Every hour, Earth receives more than enough energy from the sun. This energy can prove to be enough to satisfy the global energy needs for the whole year. Today, solar energy is a leading technology that harnesses the energy of the sun and makes it useable. This is why many people want to go solar.
Most people around the world are familiar with solar panels, or photovoltaic cells, which are easy to find on some rooftops, spacecraft’s, and some handheld calculators. The main materials found in such cells are semiconductors. When sunlight hits the cells, electrons knock loose from their atoms. Once the electrons flow through the cell, generation of electricity takes place.
When solar power is involved, there is always a lot one must keep up with, however, if you research properly then you will be able to figure out who is actually making a worthwhile sale. If you are planning to go solar this year, then here are three things you need to know.
1. Understand Utility Rates of Your Utility Company
In most areas, different “tiers” of usage take place and each one has different formulas that help to calculate costs. Once you have higher energy tiers, then inevitably, higher rates follow. In such schemes, you pay more for the energy as the demand increases. For instance, let us look at the San Francisco Bay Area. The monthly typical Pacific Gas & Electricity bill is about $90, and once the monthly bill exceeds over $237, you are at “Tier 5”, meaning paying higher bills.
When you decide to go solar with Pacific Gas & Electricity as your prime utility, top tiers cut off from the cost formula. Thus, the more you spend on electricity, the higher the Return on Investment you can enjoy on the installation of solar systems.
2. Keep Track of Energy Usage for Each Month
It’s a fact that a growing family will encounter growing energy needs. On the other hand, if you have no college age children, or you are childless, then you can expect your energy costs to run low and stay in the affordable range. Replacing incandescent bulbs and working on other energy efficient upgrades and changes can also help to lower costs even further. Once you decide to go solar, it is best that you call your solar installer to help you calculate an estimate of your planned monthly electricity demands rather than the actual usage.
3. Solar Panels Have a Long Life
Generally, a solar panel can last to up to 30 years and lose about ½ percent conversion efficiency yearly. The only maintenance they require is washing the panels off a few times in summer days and keeping leaves off from their surfaces in the fall season.
There are a lot more factors or things you need to know before you go solar. It is always advisable that you properly consult solar panel companies or suppliers before you commit to an installation process. Pricing is often similar, however, you have to take your time to finalize the decision depending on the reputation of the provider, the amount of help they offer, and government rebates.
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