When I started looking for solar panels, I did not know where to even begin. As any of you
would do, I went online. There was a lot of information out there about solar panels. I really mean a lot about renewable energy. There were some companies talking about other companies reviews. There were some homeowner complaining about their roof leaking. There were sites asking me about how many watts my appliances were so that I could get a right kWh from them. kWh? what the heck is that? I thought. There were some customers worried about the rebates and the list just goes on. I felt overwhelmed. I knew I was in for a ride!
I first found out that I need certain kwh system on my roof. kWh stands for kilo-watts per hour.
Every electric appliance uses some energy that is measured in terms of watts. Just as you would measure your car speed in miles per hour. Next thing I needed to find out was how much kwh is needed in my house. I have XCEL energy as my traditional electricity provider. I got my last few months bills together. Its on the bills that is mentioned how many kwh I was using per month. I figured that I am using on average 6 kwh a month. I figured a system that can generate 7kwh would be more than enough.
I moved to solar panels equipment next. There was so much technical gibberish that I had no idea about, like Monocrystalline , Polycrystalline etc etc. Mostly for me it was the matter of what kind of looks I like. I liked blackish look so I chose polycrystalline. I found out quickly that the panels that most of the companies are putting on residential roofs are anywhere from 265 watts to 305 watts per panel. I saw 80% companies were using in between measures like 275 watts per hour. I found that in SolarWorld panels. I also found out that there are two ways you can tie the solar panels together, string and microinverters. Strings is being old technology, I moved on with microinverters from en-phase. I loved the idea that I could monitor my panels efficiency from website!
After I had that in place, I called a solar company. The salesperson came out and gave me sales pitch. This guy was from SunRun company and he was trying to force PPA on me. PPA as I understood is a lease program and the way he explained me seemed to me that I was almost giving my ownership in the house to them by putting those panels on my roof. He made it very clear that I could not sell my house unless the buyer first takes over the solar panels. I hated that thought so I asked him to tell me about purchase option. He did give me purchase option but he would only put the panels that his company had and would not go with my research.
I then called a local solar company and told them that I want to go with my research. They agreed to go with the equipment of my choice and also extended the warranty to me for panels. I got 40 years warranty on panels and I got 10 years warranty on my roof.
Next came the permitting and communication phase. I just had to be on top of communication and as I was getting things in the mail, I made sure I keep the company informed so they can move with their design and engineering implementations.
I am electric company free now! Happy saving environment and see you soon!