For many homes, the main source of power for heating and cooling is a traditional furnace or hot water heater. However, the rising cost of conventional energy is making more people look at residential solar energy options. While solar energy does not contribute to global warming, it can save you money on your utility bills, provide you with the heat or light you need, and reduce your dependence on fossil fuels. In fact, solar energy makes up the fastest growing renewable energy sector today.
Before you install residential solar panels, you should have a well thought out plan for how you will use the power they produce. First, you must determine how much power your solar system will generate. For many homes, a primary source of electricity is the furnace or hot water heater. Unfortunately, these devices draw a lot of energy from the roof. As a result, your monthly utility bill will be much higher than for systems that pull power from the solar array.
In addition to a general electricity usage plan, you will also need a plan for increasing the amount of solar energy your residential solar panels generate. Typically, panels produce enough electricity to provide your entire home with power during the day and a little bit at night. For this purpose, you will either purchase an off the shelf solar power unit or one of particular interest to your situation. SSolar energy guides can help you find the right unit for your house. With the right guide, even the most inexperienced homeowner can understand how to select a solar system that will work for their specific needs.
Residential solar panels come in many shapes and forms. You might want to purchase several panels to make sure that you gain maximum benefits. Residential solar panels can be mounted on the roof, hung from the ceiling, or installed on poles. You can mount them as high as forty feet or as low as ten feet. For some homeowners, installing solar panels on poles is preferable because it allows them to be out of the way during bad weather. If you decide to install the panels in a location that will be exposed to natural elements, you should choose a roof covering that will protect the solar cells from the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
Solar electricity can be converted into direct current (DC) electricity that runs your household appliances. Your residential solar system can be connected to your power grid to recharge batteries or store excess power for days or weeks when there is no sun. The power you obtain from your solar panel system can be stored in deep cycle batteries or bank batteries. During the day, the DC electricity flows into your household appliances and at night, it is converted back into AC electricity using a power inverter.
Residential solar panel systems can also be installed to offset excess utility bills. Incentives for installation are available in many states and federal agencies for residential customers. Incentives can be as simple as the receipt of a rebate check or reduced interest rate. In some states, customers may qualify for a matching discount with local suppliers. If you install enough solar panels to produce electricity for a home, the savings can significantly offset the installation fees.
Another incentive program is the solar tax credit. Like rebates, the federal solar tax credit is designed to encourage homeowners to install new residential solar systems. Like rebates, the installation costs are deductible against the taxes owed. The solar tax credit is scheduled to end in July, 2021. To determine whether you will be eligible for this credit, contact your tax preparer.
You may also be able to receive state tax credits or state solar incentives. Contact your tax preparer to find out if your state provides solar incentives. Some states provide tax credits for new and existing residential solar panel systems and photovoltaic electric generation equipment. To qualify, you need to include at least one megawatt-hour of electricity generated by renewable energy sources to your household electrical plan.