In recent years solar power has emerged as the top alternative to fossil fuels, providing cleaner energy and reducing the energy bills of those who adopt the technology. This is especially the case in California, which currently hosts more than 230,000 homes that have solar panels installed. This is the highest number of any state in the nation.
Furthermore, California also demonstrates an unwavering dedication to moving towards renewable energy, with the Renewable Portfolio Standard requiring the state to replace traditional energy sources with renewables. Currently the regulation requires California to be at a level where 25% of all electricity is generated from renewable sources by the end of 2016, with further targets set over the years that will follow.
This move ties into much of the anti-pollution legislation that the state has enforced over the last few decades. Anybody who has been to Los Angeles, especially during the late-1990s or earlier part of this century, will have noted the high levels of smog that obscure landmarks like the Hollywood sign in many cases. The move towards solar and other renewables aims to reduce these levels of pollution and make the state a healthier place for people to live.
This initiative has, in turn, led to an increasing demand for solar panels. This is especially the case in residential areas, where solar can benefit families both through cheaper energy bills and a range of incentives. An extremely important aspect of this process is finding the right installer, so be sure to consider these tips if you are mulling over the idea of adopting solar technology.
Do the Research
There are many companies in California that provide solar panels so it is important to find one that is dedicated to its craft and will ensure the entire process is completed without a hitch. Research should start online and it is a good idea to create a shortlist of companies that take your interest. With this list in hand try to search for forums and other areas of public opinion to see if you can find unbiased opinions about the service of each company.
Once this information has been used to refine the shortlist, have the remaining companies come in to examine the house and provide a free quote. This way you can get a good idea of the costs in addition to weighing up the professionalism of the workers who come to visit you. Remember that if they leave a bad taste in the mouth on the first visit, this is unlikely to go away when they are doing the job.
It is important to ensure that your chosen installer is fully certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). Not only does this provide additional peace of mind when it comes to the installation, it also provides the customer with added protection should something go wrong with the equipment used.
Furthermore, the majority of state incentives require the fitting to have been carried out by a certified professional. For example, if you wish to claim the bonuses offered by the Single-Family Affordable Solar Housing (SASH) scheme the company handling the work must be fully accredited and also have the approval of the SASH program.
It is not impolite to test the knowledge of the solar companies that you are considering. In fact, it should be expected and any good organisation should provide you with all of the information that you need. Remember that it is important to test this aspect, even if you have already found the answers for yourself through your research.
Quiz your prospective installer on the types of solar panels they use and why they have selected that particular technology. Ask about vital facts and figures, such as how much they estimate the technology could save in emissions and how you should go about claiming incentives. If they don’t know the answers this suggests that they may not be the right company for the job.
Manufacture and Warranties
As previously implied, the type of solar panels used for your fixture is key. Bear in mind that there are many manufacturers throughout the world and most will use differing techniques and production methods.
Obtaining a warranty is exceptionally important as the potential for a cell or panel to fail does exist. Most of the top manufacturers provide a minimum of 25 years warranty on all of their solar panels. Confirm this is the case with the panels that will be used for your home and place serious thought into considering your options if the panels don’t carry a guarantee like this. Poorly manufactured solar panels could end up losing you money.
In addition to the various incentives offered to anybody in California who makes use of solar technology, both the state and many companies offer a range of financing options to help along with the payment process. As the initial cost of solar panels can be somewhat difficult to manage, these financing options can make the process a lot more manageable.
The Go Solar California website offers a lot of information about potential financing options and your chosen company should also be able to help along with this process. Solar is a long term investment and the panels will eventually pay for themselves. However, there is nothing wrong with getting a little bit of help during the initial stages.
Making the switch to solar can be somewhat intimidating at first but it is important to remember that there are plenty of resources available to help you along the way. Finding a good installer is a great start as they will be able to provide you with all of the information you need and assuage any fears you may have about adopting the technology. With the right information and the proper equipment your solar panels can play an enormous part in reducing energy bills over the long term, in addition to helping California achieve its targets in relation to the Renewable Portfolio Standard.