Top 40 Costly Mistakes Solar Newbies Make

Here’s a great book on mistakes made by people who are new to solar. We really like this book because it covers:
      –    General mistakes and misconceptions
• Mistakes during local assessment
• Mistakes with solar panels
• Mistakes in solar electric system sizing
• Mistakes in assembling the system components
• Mistakes in buying a solar electric system and…
• It has a comprehensive glossary of terms

The book is called “Top 40 Costly Mistakes Solar Newbies Make: Your Smart Guide to Solar Powered Home and Business”.  Here is an excerpt from the book:

If you’re planning to buy a solar electric system, please mind the following:

• Electricity generated by a PV system is still more expensive than electricity supplied from a utility grid, unless you live in a remote region where connecting to a utility grid would cost you a fortune.  PV systems do make solar electricity more affordable (than, for example, it was 20-30 years ago) but prices still remain relatively high. Nevertheless, for the last few years, prices of solar photovoltaic panels have dropped 80% on average and they still continue to decrease.
• Using PV systems for heating is not recommended.  For heating, you should use a solar thermal system.  Another option for heating is propane or natural gas.
• The high costs of a PV system are concentrated in a substantial initial investment.  Often the biggest problem is how to find initial financing. Once a PV system is installed, with its payback spread over a long enough period of time, it is nice to feel independent from the utility grid or to see your monthly electricity bills going down.  Buying a PV system is actually like paying your electricity bills in advance for years ahead, and the point is just to avoid the essential burden of high initial costs. That is why it is important to find a suitable source of financing.
• PV systems only produce power when the sun is shining.  Therefore, something should be done with the electricity produced – it should either be consumed right away, exported to the grid (in grid-tied systems), or stored in a battery for later use (in stand alone systems).
• For people who are connected to the grid, the decision to purchase a PV system is usually based on economics – the idea of reducing monthly bills by selling power to the local utility.  For people living in remote areas, who are far from a utility company, the decision to purchase a PV system is not determined by economic reasons, but is rather a matter of securing a normal life instead.

If your home or office is connected to a local utility grid, full replacement of the utility with a PV system might not be cost- effective.

Offsetting a part of your electrical consumption to a solar electric system, however, could be an excellent way to save money on electricity.

The utility company’s costs for generating electricity are always lower than yours since any utility spreads the cost for generating electricity among all its customers.

Unfortunately, although solar energy is free, solar equipment is not free.  For this reason, being connected to the grid, the price that you pay for electricity is normally lower than the price you pay for solar electricity generated by your own solar electric system.

Investing in your home

Going solar is like renting vs owning a home. When you rent a home you are not buiding any equity. It’s the same with your power. You could take the same money you are already spending on power and invest that in a home improvement that will save you money over time.

The Sales meeting was Professional and Informative. Prompt return on installation. Punctual, respectful, and through crew. Polite and helpful office staff. I couldn’t believe how quickly our panels were installed.
Megan C.

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