If you’re going solar, you’re in good company: more and more Americans are choosing to lower their energy bills and carbon footprint with solar panels. But before you schedule a solar installation, there are a few things you should do to prepare.
- Read up on your local utility policy on energy pricing and solar installation. Some areas actually allow homeowners to sell solar energy back to the grid when their solar production exceeds their consumption. Others do not.
- Find out what rebates are available in your area, and what you need to do in order to get these rebates. Also look into group or neighborhood buys of solar panels, which may negotiate lower rates for installation.
- Decide whether you want to go completely off-grid, or just cut down on your power usage. Batteries are expensive, and often not necessary — many homes with solar panels continue to receive grid energy during the night.
- Have your roof inspected for structural stability, and take a close look at the roofing or tiling. Some roofing materials, such as Spanish tile, are more difficult to install solar panels over without damaging them.
- Compare solar quotes from different installation companies, and get testimonials. Make sure the solar installation company you’re looking at is properly insured.
- Take a critical look at your landscaping. If you have trees which shade your roof where the panels are to be installed, trim the limbs which block the sun. Your solar panels will actually serve to shade the space directly under them, intercepting the direct rays of the sun and cutting down on passive solar heat gain.
- Move attic vents, antenna, weather vanes, and other roof features which may be in the way of the new solar panels.
If you’re considering a solar installation in your Portland home, call us up at Roth Home & Cooling! We can help you make the decisions that are right for your home.