More solar panels were installed in 2012, than any previous year, according to a report by the Solar Energy Industries Association and GTM Research. Homeowners who create an energy savings plan will combine energy sources to make the biggest impact on their electric bills. When looking for energy providers, review options on comparison sites such as www.electriccompanies.com to find one that meets your needs and offers the best price. The same goes for when you're considering adding solar capability to your house and looking for an area contractor. Here are some tips for finding the best one for your home.
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Use Your Network
The best way to find a reputable solar dealer is through word of mouth. Put the word out to your friends, family, and social networks that you're looking to get into solar power for your home. People who have already made the investment will be eager to share their experiences with you.
You can also drive around the neighborhood looking for homes with solar panels on the roofs. Stop and ask if the homeowners will speak with you about their solar projects and the installers they worked with. Again, you'll find most people are eager to talk about their own solar projects.
The key to success in the solar business is educating people to have a new way of thinking about energy. Unfortunately, solar power has suffered from the reputation of being a "new age thing" — something people don't take very seriously.
Look for companies with many years of experience designing and installing solar solutions. These companies are working with the facts of solar energy efficiency and not the myths. These companies can confidently tell you what will and won't work for your home.
Get the Right Solar "Fit" for Your Home
Find a dealer who takes the time to do an energy assessment of your home before recommending a type of solar panel, since you could cover your roof with inexpensive panels that don't produce the output you need. Avoid the dealer who takes you over to the "sale table" or who says, "We have a special this month on such-and-such panel."
Installing Your Solar Solution the Right Way
A good dealer has years of experience working on roofs. That's where the solar panels sit, and if not done right, you may deal with years of problems. A site survey by a professional installer is the only way to do this right, The Seattle Times reports. The roof must be able to handle the load of the panels.
One consideration is that the solar panels may have up to a 25-year warranty on them. If your roof only has five good years on it, you may be looking at a reinstallation of panels not long after you first put them up. A reputable dealer will have this conversation with you before you sign any contracts.