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Solar Energy Use has Grown Rapidly Over the Past Decade

This guide will help you understand the basics of solar energy, your solar options, and the right questions to ask solar professionals.

How Solar Works

Most residential solar systems today are photovoltaic (“PV”) – or solar electric – systems. They generate electricity using two main hardware components:

  • Panels (or modules) that convert sunlight to electricity
  • Inverter(s) that convert(s) direct current to alternating current for use in your home

Generating Electricity

The amount of electricity produced by any solar system depends on two factors:

  • The size (or “power rating”) of the system measured in kilowatts direct current (kW-DC)
  • The amount of sunlight the system receives

Your Home Solar Options

Today, most Americans have options for going solar. The main options available today are:

  • Purchase a solar system (with cash or a loan) and own both the system and all the power it produces (This is the only option that we, Solar Power of Oklahoma, offer).
  • Lease a system, usually for a fixed monthly rate, and own all the power it produces

Energy Storage

Consumers are increasingly interested in pairing solar with energy storage. Batteries are currently the most common energy storage product for homeowners which can come from many different reputable brands. Solar Power of Oklahoma can help you determine which battery works best with your system if any!

Taking Care of Your System

Due to PV systems having no moving parts, regular maintenance is straightforward for a consumer mostly consisting of semi-regular panel cleaning. In the event of a system malfunction, we recommend reaching out to your solar installer or a solar professional for a consultation.

Moving Forward

When evaluating your options to go solar, you should always do your homework, talk to friends and neighbors who have chosen solar, use common sense, and be active and engaged in dealing with solar companies.

Key Questions to Ask Before Going Solar

So that you may move forward with confidence when deciding to go solar, we have compiled a few key questions we recommend you ask the solar professional who is providing your quote.

Legal and Homeownership Considerations

  • Are there any restrictions or requirements from homeowner associations?
  • Does my Utility offer Net Metering?

Cost and Financing

  • What is the total cost of the solar system?
  • What financing options are available, and what are their terms?
  • How does financing affect the total cost over time?
  • What happens if I wish to end the agreement early or sell my home?

System Details

  • What incentives and guarantees come with the system?
  • What size system do I need, and how much electricity will it generate?
  • How does adding storage impact cost and savings?

Installation and Maintenance

  • Is the installation company licensed and insured?
  • What maintenance and warranty coverage is provided?
  • Who handles system monitoring and performance?

 

For more information on solar, feel free to explore our website or reach out to our team.

This blog post is based on information provided by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

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