Solar panels are becoming popular with each passing day. The technology behind them is continuously getting better and better. Many state governments have put in place various schemes to encourage homes to install them as part of environmental policy to reduce carbon emissions. The real advantage to households of installing panels is, despite their price tag, the very large financial gains to be made from them.
First, make sure you pick a good installer. A lot of solar panel companies are new start ups – the increasing popularity of solar panels means a lot of companies have suddenly got into the business. Just because a solar panel company is new doesn’t mean they won’t be any good at installing them, but it does mean they won’t be as experienced. Therefore, ask them if they could provide some references of some past customers, and make sure you ring these numbers to see how they got on with their systems. Your assessment of the person giving the quote is also important – go with your gut instinct, and realize that a more expensive company may mean you’re better off if they’re better at installations.
Work out on which part of your home the panels should be installed. A south facing roof is by far the best option. It is possible to place the system on an East or West facing roof, but it will generate a lot less electricity / hot water and so you’ll save less on your bills and also you’ll make less from the government schemes on offer.
Ideally, the roof should be sloping and not flat. Around 45 to 60 degrees is best depending on where you live. A SE or SW facing roof is fine. You can even install them in your garden, but make sure you have plenty of unshaded space to do this, and be prepared for possibly a slightly greater cost of putting them in if a lot of wiring is needed.
Finally, work out if you want to produce hot water or electricity. Hot water panels are cheaper, but you won’t earn as good a return through the Renewable Heat Incentive. Electricity panels are about 4 times as expensive, but you’ll earn a lot more money with them. Research these schemes carefully – get more information here on solar panels for your home.