So you’re thinking about taking that plunge and potentially going solar. Your hope is to reduce your energy bill and help the environment but you don’t really know the details of what it takes to get there. Not a problem! We here at California Solar Electric put together a simple step by step guide for those of you who are considering going solar.
The first step is to evaluate your home to see if solar is right for you. Do you get enough sunlight? Is your roof too much in the shade? Often people think they need a specific type of roof for solar panels but this is actually not the case. Any roof can hold solar panels; the installation just varies depending on roof type.
Another thing to consider is your electric bill. If you have a higher electric bill, generally anything above $125 per month, then solar is definitely the right way to go. However, if your electric bill is on the lower side then solar investment might not be the right choice for you.
If you’re starting to think solar is right for you but want more general information on how things work, how you save, etc. start reading up on most frequently asked questions. Click here for some great examples of the most common types of questions we get asked.
2. More Research
So you’ve decided solar panels are right for you and your home. Now what? More research of course! Now you want to start looking into what companies have to offer. Luckily, we have an amazing thing called the Internet to make this process that much easier. Many companies will even let you get a quote or an estimate for free, like our ballpark estimator here.
Other than free estimates, the three most important things to look for in a company are experience, licensing, and customer testimonials/reviews. Make sure your company has been around and knows what they are doing and have customers that can vouch for that. Here at California Solar Electric we have an entire page dedicated to all the great things our customers have to say about us.
For those of you who still like to do things the old fashioned way, you can also contact your utility company and see who they recommend. Talking to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) is also another great option.
3. Get Some Quotes
You are almost at the commitment stage in your relationship with solar. After researching companies and choosing the ones you think suit you best, its time to get some quotes. We advise getting multiple quotes so you can keep your options open.
One of the most important parts of these quotes is going to be the financing options each company offers. In many cases, the cheapest company is not always the right option but instead it’s the quality they offer combined with their financing and warranty options. At California Solar Electric we have many options to help you save.
4. Prep & Installation
Making sure you have the proper permits is also another important step. Permit type and costs will vary depending on location. You can obtain the permit yourself or have your contractor obtain it for you.
The actual installation usually takes somewhere between 2 and 3 days. Some people think you need to replace your roof beforehand but this isn’t necessary.
Sit back, relax, and enjoy! Let your brand new solar panels do their work and start benefiting from all the sunny California days.