How do I choose among solar electric providers?

Compile a list of prospective solar electric providers. You might first consider those closest to you, because the contractors travel costs might add to your system price. Next, contact these providers and find out what products and services they offer. The following questions may give you a good sense of their capabilities:

This usually means that either the installer or a subcontractor has an electrical contractor's license. Your State Electrical Board can tell you if a contractor has a valid electrician's license. Local building departments also may require that the installer have a general contractor's license. Consumers should call the city and county in which they live for additional information on licensing.

Consumers should call the city and county in which they live for additional information on licensing.

Integration of solar systems

Integration of distributed renewable energy systems with efficiency and conservation technologies.Evaluation and improvement of renewable technologies appropriate to the Pacific Northwest and Increase technical knowledge among utilities and public through education or training.

Solar Power Installation Will Cost Money

Solar power has sparked a lot of good “reviews” among environmentalists and pioneers who want to save themselves thousands of dollars annually. After an initial installation fee, there are little to low maintenance costs for a solar power system and there are no unpleasant side effects on the environment. No-cost, pollution-free, renewable energy? Where do you sign up?

Solar power installation companies can turn your home into an electrical system that draws power from the photons found in sunlight. Solar power installation companies will line the roof of your house with non-reflective panels of glass called solar modules that trap the photon energy as DC electrical power.

The DC electrical power travels to an inverter, which your solar power installation company will install near your utility panels. This inverter changes the DC power into AC electrical power, which is immediately useable in your home. Solar power installation companies will also install a battery, which will store excess solar power for use when the skies are overcast or during the night.

Solar power installation also sometimes involves panels installed in a grid system closer to the ground, as long as there is a clear view of the sky. As sunny skies are the most important ingredient in a successful solar power installation, California and Florida are the most popular states for solar power homes, but solar power installation companies will install systems in most states.

Solar power installation can be pricey at first glance. Depending on the size and energy needs of your home, the average price is somewhere between $10,000 and $100,000. However, the federal government and state governments offer their own incentives to encourage solar power installation in more American homes. State government programs sometimes rebate homeowners for 20-50% of the cost of their solar power installation, while the federal government offers a $2000 tax credit.

If the price of professional solar power installation is still too high for your budget, there are a number of self-installation solar power kits for the technically-inclined to install solar power in their homes themselves. Kits range from small panels for smaller parts of the home that need power, like the garage or a workshop, to full kits for installation of solar power in your entire home.

If you’d like to learn more about do-it-yourself solar power installation, there are a number of workshops sponsored by solar energy groups that meet to explain the ins and outs of solar power installation. For a fee of $100-1500, you can study the techniques of successful solar power installation and practice on some solar power system examples.