Electricity is a major power source for today's homes. In fact, a growing number of households depend on electricity to supply all their basic needs, including heating, cooling, cleaning, cooking, providing entertainment, and supplying lights and hot water.
This level of usage, coupled with rising electricity bills in many areas of the nation, has led more homeowners to consider installing a home solar panel system as a way to ensure access to plenty of power at an affordable cost. If your family is doing some research on home solar power for this purpose, this information can help you determine if it is suitable for your situation.
Grid or off-grid
The first thing to consider is whether you want to remain part of the electrical grid or whether you have the option to go completely off the grid. Many areas have existing housing codes that require connection to the electrical grid in order to fulfill health and safety requirements for occupancy. Homes in this situation should be able to install and utilize solar energy, as long as they install a safety shutoff to prevent solar energy from backflowing into the grid and creating a safety hazard, should the grid experience an outage.
Those who live in more rural or unincorporated areas may be able to go completely off the power grid, once their solar system is installed and operational. In order to supply all the electrical needs of the entire household without using the grid, homeowners will need to determine how many kilowatt-hours of electricity they will need, and then size the system to meet that load.
Off-grid homes built in areas where cloud cover is a recurring issue or where the climate requires heavy electrical usage for heating, cooling, or refrigeration will need more power than some other homeowners. In addition to the actual design, homeowners in heavy-use situations will need to make sure that battery banks are sufficient in size to ensure the home can continue to function.
Cashflow or solar loan program
Another thing that must be considered by homeowners interested in solar power is whether they should pay cash for the project, or whether using a solar loan program could be advantageous. While paying for the project as it is installed can eliminate interest costs, using a solar loan program can be beneficial for homeowners who may not have the specific knowledge to design the system they will need.
To learn more about installing a home solar power system, take time to discuss your specific situation and electrical needs with a reputable residential electrical contractor in your area.