Solar Panels San Diego

What should you consider before having solar panels installed in San Diego ? How should you decide which installation company is right for you? What type of solar should you choose? photovoltaic or solar thermal? Are there upkeep or maintenance costs?

All of these are valid and common questions when considering solar panels. It’s a big investment and so it’s understandable that you will have questions and concerns. I’ve collated some basic knowledge, tips and advice on how to ensure you find a good company to install your solar panels and highlight some of the points you should consider when having photovoltaic panels installed at your property.

Cost Of Solar Panels

1. MCS Approved Installers

Firstly, and most importantly, ensure that your chosen installer is an “MCS approved installer”. MCS stands for Microgeneration Certification Scheme and it is an indication to consumers that the installer has been assessed and adheres to standards and regulations that are set by the MCS.

MCS Approved Installers are awarded certification as a result of a thorough assessment of the supply, design, installation, set-to-work and commissioning of renewable microgeneration technologies, solar panels.

2. MCS Approved Solar Panels

Alongside MCS Approved installers, make sure that your panels are also MCS approved. MCS Approved Solar Panels also undergo rigorous standards.

To receive certification, MCS Approved Solar Panels not only receive product testing, but the manufacturing processes, materials, procedures and staff training also undergo assessment. Certification is only awarded if every step and stage meets the criteria.

3. NIC EIC Certification

All electricians who provide services in the UK should be NIC EIC certified. Solar installers are no different and you should make sure the company you choose has received certification. You will then be safe in the knowledge that your system complies with national safety requirements as stipulated by the governing body responsible NIC EIC certification.

4. Solar Panel Quotes

Don’t rely on the first or cheapest company you find – ask for quotes from a number solar installation companies, and let the companies know that you plan to do this. This should help ensure that you receive competitive quotes and it also gives you a benchmark from which you can compare quotes against quotes. It might give you some leverage to “play” companies off against one another to get that quote figure knocked down a little. Companies only exist to make money, so they won’t want to lose a potential customer.

Talk to companies who visit your property to provide you with quotes and ask plenty of questions. This will give better understanding and knowledge of what to expect and what you are told. Consider all your quotes before committing to any one in particular.

5. Cheapest Doesn’t Mean Best

As with most things in life, the cheapest quote you can find won’t necessarily get you the best end result. That doesn’t mean you should opt for the most expensive solar panels either. Find a quote which you feel is fair and just as importantly, choose a company that you feel comfortable about dealing with, a company who answers your questions and takes time to explain the technical side of things in a manner that you understand.

This doesn’t just apply to the company’s bottom line figure, but also the individual materials and equipment the company quotes for. If you haven’t been provided with a detail or itemised quote, ask for one. This way, you will know what equipment and materials you are paying for, and you can compare this to your other quotes.

Cost Of Solar Panels

6. Research!

The technology is constantly evolving and in terms of energy generation for the masses, it is still quite new so there will always be improvements and enhancements being made. Ask your company what products they will be using for your install and take some time to do some background research on them: Are there any problems with the panels? Are there newer versions? Is the price about right? Are there any forums which advise for or against them? Learn about solar panel technology and the terminology used, this will help you avoid being “blinded” by jargon.

7. Calculate Potential Feed in Tariff Earnings

The Government’s Feed in Tariff has been extremely influential in the popularity of solar panels. You get paid for all electricity generated from your solar panels, even if you consume it personally. As a general overview, from 3rd March 2012, the rate is 21p/kWh and then from 1st July 2012 the rate of return will be between 16.5p/kWh – 13.6p/kWh. This rate will depend on the number of panel installations completed between March and April 2012. You can also use one of the many online calculators to see how much money you could be earning on your potential investment.

The Feed in Tariff means that whilst your initial investment may be a big outlay, not only will you save money on your energy bills, but you will also generate an income. This takes the investment in solar panels way beyond most returns from other “normal” monetary investments. If you have money invested in savings accounts, maybe consider solar panels.

8. Solar Thermal and Photovoltaic Panels

Take some time to decide whether solar thermal or photovoltaic systems would be more beneficial to your property. Solar thermal generates hot water, whilst photovoltaic panels will generate electricity.

If you are unsure as to the system you want, contact companies and ask which system they would recommend. There’s no reason why you cannot have both systems installed and if you decide that solar thermal panels are your best option, still consider photovoltaic panels, if for no other reason than it could in theory pay for itself and your solar thermal panel system.

Cost To Install Solar Panels

9. RHI – The Renewable Heat Incentive

The Renewable Heat Incentive does not provide such a good return on your investment as the Feed in Tariff, but it is still a good incentive that deserves careful consideration. The scheme’s aim is to encourage property owners to reduce their heating energy consumption and carbon foot print by providing the following benefits:

0.085p per kWh return for 20 years
energy consumption reduction
A Government payment contribution
10. Maintenance Costs
You will undoubtedly be told that there are no upkeep or maintenance costs involved with solar, and throughout life expectancy of a solar panel installation, there should in fact be little maintenance or upkeep in regards to the panels themselves. However, the inverter, which converts direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC), will, at some point in the 25 years, need replacing. The cost to replace your inverter will be somewhere near 1000, and so this should form part of your calculation and consideration for solar panels.

Cost Of Solar Panels For Home

Normally, solar systems will be installed on rooftops or high up above the ground in order to get the best exposure to direct sunlight especially in San Diego. The result of this is that less able-bodied people may require assistance to have the solar panels cleaned or to clear any fallen leaves or debris from on and around the panels to keep them working at their maximum capacity.

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Are Solar Panels Worth It Voyagerix/iStock/Getty Images If the power goes out at your home for a significant period of time, or if you have a home that is beyond the reach of the power lines, heating and lighting your home without electricity may be a bit more difficult, but it can be done using alternative energy sources. For heating and temporary lighting, appliances that burn kerosene, propane, wood or other fuels are a viable option, but for long-term lighting, battery or solar-based technologies may be safer. Wood A fireplace or a wood stove is a reliable way to provide both heat and a small amount of light for your home, as long as you have a steady supply of wood available. Harvesting, cutting, splitting, transporting and storing enough wood for a season can be a lot of work, and it may not always be possible, such as for those who live in cities. Many wood stoves can also be used for cooking and heating water, and newer models are both much safer for your health and much more efficient. Kerosene Kerosene heaters are a popular way of heating homes in many areas, especially for emergency or supplemental heating purposes. While kerosene burns relatively cleanly, it still has the potential to produce carbon monoxide, so proper ventilation and a working carbon monoxide detector are recommended. Local building codes may forbid or regulate the use of kerosene heaters, so check with your city building and permit department before buying one. Kerosene is also commonly used as a fuel in oil lamps for lighting. Propane/Natural Gas Many propane or gas-fired forced-air furnaces will not run without electricity, even models that use pilot lights, as they require the blower fan to distribute the heat. Some steam or hot water boilers will run without electricity, but in many cases, you will need to rely on alternative heating sources. Wall-mounted space heaters are available in versions that burn either natural gas or propane. Most models do not require electricity to operate, though some may have optional fans for distributing the heated air that require electricity. Externally vented wall heaters are the best choice, because they allow the combustion gases to exit the home through the flue or vent. Models without external vents, also called ventless heaters, are available, as well, but you must ventilate the room properly to avoid excessive carbon monoxide buildup. Check your local building codes before installing either type of heater. Solar Photovoltaic panels, also called solar panels, can be used to generate your own electricity during the daytime and, by storing it with deep-cycle batteries, that power can be used for lighting purposes at night. Automotive-style 12-volt light fixtures can be connected directly to the battery bank, or regular 120-volt household lighting could be used through an inverter, which converts the 12-volt DC current from the battery into the 120-volt AC current a typical house uses. Solar energy can also be used to provide supplemental heating for your home. Simply opening the curtains covering south-facing windows during the day can allow heat from the sun to warm your home, but you can also build or buy passive solar heaters to increase the heat output. Materials like stone and concrete used indoors can regulate your home's temperature. Because such materials are so dense, they take time to adjust to temperature changes. During the day they absorb heat from the sun, then slowly release it at night. Other Candles and lamps fueled by lamp oil can be used for lighting, as well as rechargeable solar lights or lights powered by disposable batteries. Both lamp oil and batteries may get expensive in long-term situations, however. For temporary situations, portable generators can be used for lighting and for powering the central heating system in some cases. Related Searches References EPA: Does Your Wood Stove Have A Dirty Little Secret? Web MD: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning - Topic Overview CSPC: CSPC Stresses Kerosene Heater Safety Fairfax County, Virginia: Ventless Fireplace Saftey Department of Energy: Planning for Home Renewable Energy Systems Home Power Magazine: Solar Electricity Basics Department of Energy: Passive Solar Home Design Photo Credit Voyagerix/iStock/Getty Images Promoted By Zergnet Comments Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus. You May Also Like How to Heat Your House Without a Furnace With heating bills rising all the time, it’s no surprise that people cannot longer afford to keep their furnace on like they... 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