10 Tips to Help You Save on Your Solar Power System

 

Solar power systems can save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on your electricity bill each year. But they’re expensive to buy and install, so it can be difficult to justify spending the money on one. With these 10 tips, you’ll be able to do it with ease and save a lot of money in the process!

1) Use Filtration

One way you can reduce your costs is by purchasing a solar water heating system, also known as filtration. These systems are designed specifically for residential use and will increase your energy efficiency as well as your savings. Plus, they’re just plain good for our environment! That said, there are some things you should know before installing one in your home. Read on for ten tips that will help you save money and enjoy optimal performance from your new system.

2) Buy Energy-Efficient Appliances

The Department of Energy estimates that 40 percent of the energy used in a home is consumed by appliances, electronics, and lighting. Upgrading old appliances or replacing them with energy-efficient ones can reduce electricity costs and save up to hundreds on your electric bill. If you’re ready to buy new, think about: compact fluorescent light bulbs; ENERGY STAR refrigerators; programmable thermostats; tankless water heaters; as well as ENERGY STAR certified windows, doors, and skylights.

3) Consider the Warranty

Selecting a solar power system is an investment. While every component in a solar panel should last for 20 years or more, one or more of them may fail prematurely due to faulty workmanship or poor quality. It’s also possible that your roof isn’t properly suited for hosting a solar panel. Ask about warranty lengths and if replacement parts are available before you buy.

4) Read the Terms & Conditions

Before buying any solar power system, it’s important to read through its Terms & Conditions thoroughly. It’s also a good idea to do so with all of your utilities, as well. Doing so will help you determine if there are any extra charges associated with your service that you weren’t aware of before. If you find anything you don’t agree with or aren’t sure about, contact customer service immediately and ask questions until you feel comfortable moving forward.

5) Find an Independent Contractor

If you know how and where to look, it’s possible to find a great solar energy contractor for cheap. But be warned: there are plenty of untrustworthy companies out there that try to make a quick buck from unsuspecting homeowners. Do your research before hiring someone. A good place to start is with review websites like Yelp, where you can see other people’s experiences with local solar contractors. Check out sites like Angie’s List or Service Magic for reviews on local providers as well.

6) Do Not Overestimate Energy Costs

Before buying a solar power system, make sure you know exactly how much you spend on energy. Avoid overestimating your energy costs and then overspending by purchasing more solar than you need. Overbuying your solar can cost you thousands of dollars in extra expenses. By having a clear idea of your actual energy needs, you’ll be able to choose the right size solar panel and inverter for your home.

7) Have Some Patience

Don’t fall for sales tactics. Not all solar companies are created equal. By all means, shop around. But be wary of any company that makes a big deal about guaranteeing a certain number of years of savings or lowering your electric bill by a certain amount per month. The law doesn’t allow them to make those promises, and many customers have reported feeling cheated when they do get results that don’t match up with what was promised.

8) This May Take More Than One Try

While most of us are very concerned about our carbon footprint, most of us still don’t have a handle on our electricity consumption. Using a power analyzer can help you find out exactly how much electricity you use and where your biggest energy hogs are. An easy way to get started is by installing one in your home; it will provide constant feedback and a wealth of information over time.

9) Search for Rebates and Incentives

If you want to save money with solar power but aren’t prepared to fork over a lump sum of cash, look into local and federal incentives. These government-run programs will lower your upfront cost of installation and save you money over time. For example, some states offer tax credits for installing solar panels or even allow residents to sell back excess energy at a discounted rate. The U.S. Department of Energy also offers grants for homeowners who install renewable energy systems like solar panels and wind turbines; many utilities also offer rebates for new customers who go green (and it never hurts to ask if they have any promotions going on).

10) Think About Long-Term Savings

If you can’t afford a solar system now, it might be tempting to put it off for later. Unfortunately, delaying installation means you’ll also miss out on long-term savings. A solar power system takes years to pay for itself, but you’ll save money every month for as long as your panels are operational.

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