solar panel installation company

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solar panel installation company

solar panel installation company The first and foremost consideration in determining which solar panel installation company is best for you is whether or not a company’s service or product is available in your state. While some companies are available in all, or most of the 50 U.S. states, others are regional and may not be available wherever your home is.

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Leased vs. Owned Equipment

Some solar panel installation companies will sell you the solar equipment so you can own it outright and immediately start keeping all the money you save on utility bills for yourself. Other companies make starting your journey to using green, renewable energy affordable by leasing the solar set-up to homeowners. This helps you save money upfront and employ your utility savings to help you eventually pay off the equipment.

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Financing and Deals

Another way solar installation companies can help make solar panel installation more affordable is through financing. Most of the companies on our top 10 list offer financing to help homeowners pay for a solar set-up and many, like POWERHOME SOLAR, offer up to 12 months free with a $0 down payment.

Other solar companies offer referral deals to help both you and your friends save money by referring each other for solar consultations and more. Finally, some solar companies bundle solar panel equipment with other home energy equipment, such as batteries, to save you money by using additional technology and more efficient renewable energy alternatives.

Type of Solar Equipment Used

One final way to determine if a solar panel installation company is the right fit for you is to see what kind of solar equipment it uses. Many companies offer a variety of equipment from numerous manufacturers. Some companies will mix and match panels, inverters and other equipment from different manufacturers to save you money or because company technicians are knowledgeable about the best combinations of different manufacturers equipment.

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Companies also offer solar panels of different styles and designs including some that are lower profile or designed for more extreme weather. Some companies, like Tesla, also offer solar roofing tiles.

Types Of Solar Equipment

Having an understanding of solar equipment can be helpful when choosing your installer. It can also help you understand the costs involved and help you to make informed decisions regarding budgeting and incentive dialogs. Here’s a basic rundown of some common terms to know.

Solar Panels

Solar panels are the workhorses of your solar energy system. They’re the large panels that mount to your rooftop or are attached to your ground array structure. There are three main types of solar panels.

  • Monocrystalline panels are the standard panels used for home installations. They’re the most costly but also the most efficient and durable.
  • Polycrystalline panels are less common and less efficient than monocrystalline panels but can be a good choice due to their lower upfront costs.
  • Thin-film panels can be produced in various forms using various materials. They’re typically less heavy and less rigid than other types. Manufacturing and installation are budget-friendly as well. However, these panels are less durable and often less efficient than others.

Mounting Hardware and Cables

The mounting hardware and cables are exactly what their name implies. Mounting hardware includes the framework your panels attach to and any other equipment that’s part of that system. The cables run from one panel to the next and then deliver the raw electricity directly to the other components in the system.

Battery Backup

Not every solar energy system needs a battery backup. The battery backup stores electrical power generated during the daytime and dispenses it when the sun isn’t shining. It’s an essential part of an off-the-grid solar energy system that can’t rely on grid-supplied power.

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Power Inverter

The electricity your solar panels generates is direct current (DC) power. Your home electrical system relies on alternating current (AC) power. The power inverter is necessary for a solar energy system to convert the DC power from the panels to usable AC electricity.

Charge Controller

It’s possible to create more power from your solar panels on some days than you need. A charge controller directs the energy to the inverter, batteries or back to the grid, depending on where it’s needed at the time.

Solar State Incentives & Solar Tax Credits

Currently, there are several incentives to take advantage of to offset the cost of solar panel installation. They’re worth the effort of investigating. The federal government offers tax credits worth up to 26% of qualifying solar energy systems.

Depending on your state, you may also qualify for one or more state incentives, including state tax credits, government rebates, renewable energy credits, local incentives, subsidized loans or regional utility rebates.

Solar Company Warranties

Product warranties vary slightly between solar companies. Most offer 25-year warranties against defective equipment except batteries and charging components, which vary greatly between suppliers. Performance warranties, meaning you have protection if your system’s power production wanes, typically last 25 years.

Workmanship guarantees are considered standard, but the length of coverage can vary. Some companies also offer a guarantee against property damage during installation.

Leased solar energy systems are often fully covered across the board for as long as your contract is in place. In a leased system, the homeowner is typically not responsible for maintaining the system.

Solar Panel Efficiency

Solar panel efficiency can be tricky to understand. Numbers like 20% and 300kW likely mean little to most people outside the realm of solar panel jargon. Essentially, the higher the numbers, the better. However, the numbers typically presented are maximums.

In reality, the numbers change dramatically during the day due to cloudiness, precipitcation, shading, sun position, temperature and system component efficiency. You can use a solar panel’s efficiency rating as an estimate of what kind of performance to expect.

solar panel installation company
solar panel installation company

The efficiency rating is calculated by comparing an individual solar panel’s power output against a theoretically perfect efficiency rate of 1kW of energy per 1kW of sunshine over one square meter. Current efficiency standards hover around 18% to 20% for high-end panels.

Kilowatts, or kW, is how solar power energy is measured. A typical 2,000-square-foot home will use around 32kW per day.

How Much Do Solar Panels Cost?

The average cost of a solar energy system is around $16,000. However, the price range is vast. Partial systems can cost as little as $3,500, while full, off-grid systems can run up to and over $35,000.

The size of your system and its components, such as power storage, mainly dictate the cost of a solar energy system. Fortunately, federal, state and local incentives can curb some of the costs.

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