Blog Week of October 16, 2011
Read This First!
Read This First!
The best advice for a homeowner interested in a Solar PV system for their home is to first do your homework! Prices for Solar PV systems will vary depending on the size and type of system, as well as the overall structure of your home. An average solar PV system costs between 16k -28k and may be more depending on the type of solar panels you use, however, the industry has seen a 30% drop in solar panel prices in the last six months alone, meaning that solar for the home is becoming more affordable.
Generally, the more electricity the system can generate, the higher the savings – but the bigger the initial cost. A 4kW system typically provides around a quarter of your home’s electricity needs and will save you money on your annual electricity bill.
The Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE) has information regarding incentives available in your state. You can use energy calculators available on various websites (such as OneStopGreen.com) to determine how much potential your home has to produce electricity from solar.
How much electricity you will generate will depend on:
- The tilt angle of your roof and its orientation (maximum output is for a perfectly south facing roof with a tilt angle of 30 degrees)
- Where you live: the south-west gets more sun than the north, which could impact the amount of electricity your system will generate, although not too significantly.
Our initial site survey will first complete a comprehensive energy audit of your home in order to determine potential problems areas. Otherwise, it’s as if you are just pouring water into a bucket with a hole in it – no matter how much water you pour in, its going to continue to leak out. In much the same way, it is important to address all the other problem areas of the home before even thinking about adding a solar PV system.
Also, be sure to:
- Make written notes – Inspect your roof and make note of all the measurements, in particular the orientation of the roof.
- Look at the roof – from both inside and outside.
- Be safe – Use access equipment for closer inspection where roof quality is uncertain.
- Record any possible risk of shade – Shade will reduce the effectiveness of your system. Look for shady spots on the roof from trees, neighboring houses and chimneys.
- Examine the house – Measure the tilt angle of the roof, this is important when determining how big of a system is needed.
- Look at electrical use – Look at your fuse box and metering to see how much energy you are using.
- Identify your main electrical appliances – The biggest users and when you use them can help set a baseline for a solar system.
- Look around your property – Plan and discuss where to locate cables and equipment.
- Be sure to ask about other costs – This includes scaffolding, panel/module information, details of warranties, details of the inverter, the company’s terms and conditions, and information on how it has calculated the payback, rate of return and savings.
One Stop Green is looking towards a ‘greener’ future, sharing the latest and greatest ideas in green living and green technology with you through our staff written blogs. Going 'green' is no longer a choice, it's our responsibility, that's why it's so important to try and do the small things that can help change the outlook of the planet - and this is essentially the purpose of One Stop Green. We believe even the little things like recycling or using less water helps the environment out in a big way, and that's why our various solutions seek to nurture and edify your home or business in an eco-friendly manner.