One of the biggest deterrents to more residents not investing in solar power is the fact that the installation process costs nearly half of what the house may cost according to the geographical location. Although financing is available through many companies, it could still take you more than 10 years to pay off the installation at rates that were higher than your electric bill. Instead of going “all-in” for your solar power needs, why not piece-meal the installation yourself?
1. Strategy - Before you start buying equipment for your solar power conversion, you need to have a strategy in place. You need to know just what is needed for your entire setup so that yourself or a qualified professional has all the necessary materials. Keep in mind, you need to have optimum Sun exposure at your location to make the investment maximized. In the United States, South-facing walls and slopes are the most ideal. In the Northern Hemisphere of the planet, the South side of any structure experiences the most Sunlight.
2. Where to Buy - Home improvement locations all over the United States are investing in how important solar power is becoming. You can pick up a 250-watt panel from HomeDepot.com for $350. While this may not cover all of your expenses on the electric bill, you can add these panels piece at a time to slowly build up your own energy efficient home. This single panel could account for much of your lighting needs within the home as it slowly begins to cut into your electric bill.
Going to eBay.com is also another great locale for finding solar panels of all sizes and production values. You can find anything from small AA battery charging capabilities to lots of five panels supplying 1.25 kilowatts of power for $1000. Although some may be skeptical to shopping on eBay, it is hard to find a better price on random goods.
3. Installation - There are many areas on the Internet where you can obtain tutorials on how to properly install your photovoltaic equipment. For those who doubt their own technical skills, there are many installation companies that will cut you a good deal if you already have your equipment. Much like mechanics, the overall cost of work completed is cheaper if you already have the part. As these companies will tack on their own markup for selling equipment, you could save a great deal of money on solar power for your home by purchasing it yourself.
4. Building for Additions - In your strategy, make sure yourself and/or your installer are aware that you plan on adding more panels in the future. You want to make sure you save enough space surrounding your panels to accommodate additions and future construction. While you could technically install additional panels where ever you wish and tie them into the lines, there is no reason why you can’t have a sense of professionalism. This is the roof other people will see and it doesn’t hurt to make it aesthetically pleasing.
Unless you are 100-percent sure of what you’re doing, paying the extra money for a qualified installer could help you avoid personal injury or property damage. At any rate, paying a private installer to mount your panels that you bought directly could save you thousands of dollars. There is nothing wrong with installing photovoltaic equipment piece at a time.