The solar installation costs have fallen dramatically since 2010. Experts expect prices to drop by another 35 percent as soon as 2022.
Solar also saves you money on household energy bills while reducing your carbon footprint.
These reasons alone make solar energy for homes a solid investment across the United States. For those living in perpetually sunny spots like Las Vegas, NV, solar is a no-brainer.
To ensure you get the most back on what can be a hefty initial investment, read on to learn the solar installation mistakes to avoid.
Solar Installation Mistakes:
1. Incorrect Orientation
There are two things to consider when orienting your solar panels: where they point and how much they tilt.
Why is the degree to which your panels tilt important? Well, it’s because you want your panels to produce as much electricity as possible. To do this, you need to ensure you tilt your solar panels so they’re perpendicular to the direction of the sunlight. A 0-degree tilt means your panel is lying flat, while a vertical panel tilts at 90 degrees.
When it comes to which direction to point a solar panel, the standard advice is that it should face within 30 degrees of true south. At least for those living in the Northern Hemisphere. If your roof faces any direction other than south (outside of north, of course), expect slightly lower than optimal outputs.
Professional solar installers use careful calculations–and sometimes specialist software–to help them find that sweet spot for your solar panel designs.
2. Installing Too Few Solar Panels
It can seem like solar installation costs a lot at the beginning, even if you know they’ll save you money in the long run. This fact can lead to people buying fewer solar panels than they require to take care of their energy needs.
There are some simple steps you can take to correct this mistake.
Calculate how much energy you use, especially during the hot Las Vegas summer when you likely run the AC. Understand what a kilowatt-hour is and how that applies to the appliances in your home. Consider if you want to install an on- or off-grid system.
Once you’ve undertaken these tasks, you or your solar installer will be able to calculate how many panels you need.
3. Buying an Inferior Quality Product
When it comes to buying solar panels for your home or business, don’t make your decision solely based on price. The cheapest solar panels and systems are almost always inferior products. Your two-decades of total savings will be higher if you invest in a quality (and almost always more expensive) system.
Look at where and how the solar panels you’re planning to purchase are made. How well are they tested? Where are the parts procured from? And remember, most companies offer financing options to help you pay your panels off over a set amount of time.
Choosing to work with providers that hold accreditations, certifications, and licensing can give you some assurances that their products and services are of a good standard. Requirements vary on a state-by-state basis, so do your research.
4. Not Maintaining Your Solar Panels
Once installed, regular maintenance is essential for getting the most efficiency from your solar panels.
In warm, dry places like Las Vegas, dust and debris can blow onto your panels and clog them up. Getting them cleaned often will ensure the panels are clear enough to soak up all that energy-giving sunshine.
In areas that get a lot of snow, solar panels are warm enough to clear themselves quickly. If you notice a reduction in energy from the panels and it's snowy outside, call your provider to come and check if they need cleaning or repair.
A daily spray of the panels with the garden house will also go a long way in keeping them clean. This will help to extend the life of your investment.
5. Choosing an Out of Town Provider and Installer
There are endless good reasons to choose a local solar panel professional over a nationwide company.
- Understand city and state regulations, such as zoning-related requirements
- Understand local environmental and climatic conditions
- Offer a faster response if you need maintenance or repair
Best of all, you’re spending your money within your local community. The benefits of solar energy are for everyone!
Do you need statistics to convince you? The results of a 2018 study suggest that local is the way to go when it comes to good value and customer support.
The researchers surveyed close to 3,000 owners of solar energy for homes. The homeowners all said they preferred to buy from small, family-owned companies that showed investment in their local community. These factors were even more important than lower prices.
6. Missing Out on Government Incentives
Solar installation services save you money in the long-term. There are several government incentives available at the state and federal level to save you money right away.
In 2020 and 2021, homeowners can get a 26 to 22 percent federal tax credit on small solar energy systems.
Head online to the DSIRE (Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency) to check what subsidies and incentives you can take advantage of.
And remember, if you lease your solar panel system, you won’t be eligible for rebates or tax credits. Be confident in your decision to invest. You’ll see the most return.
7. Not Reading the Fine Print: Warranties and Guarantees
When you buy solar panels and solar inverters, they will come with a warranty. There are no exceptions to this because the manufacturer provides the warranty rather than the installation company.
Your solar installer may also offer a warranty. This will typically include a promise to fix issues with solar installation services if and when they arise as well as an energy generation guarantee.
Federal law in the USA requires that a company make warranties available to the consumer to read before they make a purchase.
As with any large purchase, read the contract and warranty details carefully before signing on. And be sure to ask your installer questions about what kinds of products and workmanship they include in their warranty.
Avoid These Mistakes to Reap the Benefits
The benefits of solar energy are clear. Solar panels are easy to install. The systems are cost-effective, especially since overall start-up costs are falling. You can qualify for tax incentives.
If you avoid the solar installation mistakes listed above you’ll be on the path to greater savings and a more environmentally friendly home.
Have questions about solar energy in Las Vegas, NV? Planning to install solar panels on your home soon? Schedule a free consultation with Enlyten Energy today!