Five Common Questions To Ask When Switching To Solar

With the aid of tax incentives, flexible payment plans, and the prospect of reducing or eliminating monthly utility bills, most people don't need much convincing to make the switch to solar electricity. However, it's still wise to contact a qualified installer before getting solar panels in Las Vegas, as an experienced installer can tell you exactly what to expect once your system is up and running. If you're considering going solar, here are five key questions to ask first.

Is Your Roof Ready?

Many homeowners are enthusiastic about getting a solar energy system, but they often don't realize that their roof's condition plays a main role in determining the viability of solar. In general, Las Vegas solar power is not recommended for roofs that are halfway or more through their expected lifespan. Roofs start to sag and leak as they age, which can be exacerbated with the added weight of a solar system. An initial roof inspection will tell you if your roof is in good shape for solar, or if you're better off replacing it first.

What is the Arrangement With Your Utility Provider?

Many solar energy systems are connected to the grid, which means that the building's power is still regulated by a third-party utility provider. Before going solar, customers should speak with their utility company to understand if and how they will be compensated for surplus energy that their system generates. Customers should also ask if they will be eligible for discounted electric rates on days when they need to purchase power.

What Type of Solar Power Should You Use?

Solar energy comes in two forms, which are thermal and photovoltaic. Photovoltaic solar systems are the most common residential systems. Photovoltaic systems create electricity from sunlight, while thermal systems use sunlight for heat and hot water. Photovoltaic systems are most popular in the Southwestern United States, where homeowners generally spend less money heating their homes.

Should You Lease or Buy?

As with getting a car, solar customers have the option to buy or lease their systems. Purchasing a system outright means a higher upfront expense, but it gives you more control over what happens with the electricity your system produces. Leasing lowers the system's initial cost, but it puts the system under the control of a third party, which can mean less predictable energy pricing. Some third-party owners will also remove your solar energy system when the contract ends, which brings you back to using conventional electricity.

How do you Choose a Good Installer?

Selecting a reputable solar installer is essential. Just as you would only want to hire a trustworthy individual to work on your home, you'll want to do the same for solar. A good way to start is by asking people who you know with solar systems if they can recommend an installer. You can also contact customers of companies who you're considering using to get their feedback. Online reviews are another helpful resource.

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