Installing solar panels on the roof of your home can help you avoid the rising cost of electricity, increase the value of your home, and reduce your carbon footprint. Solar energy is clean and renewable, and government rebates, subsidies and grants encourage homeowners to make the switch. Solar power systems can heat your home, produce electricity and provide hot water so that your home is entirely self sufficient. So whether you want to improve your home’s energy efficiency, save money, or do your bit for the environment, use Houzz to find the best solar power contractor for your needs.
What solar power systems are available?
The two main solar power systems are on-grid and off-grid. On-grid systems – also referred to as grid-tied and utility interactive – are connected to your mains power supply. If your home produces more energy than it uses, your meter goes down and you generate credits with your energy provider (check your state government for details on any rebates available). On-grid solar panel systems have lower equipment and installation costs, and will save you money through net metering.
An off-grid solar power system uses battery banks to store the electricity you produce. These battery banks store the sun’s energy so you can use electricity at night or on a cloudy day. This system is designed to keep household electricity running for about two or three cloudy days; longer cloudy periods require a backup generator. Off-grid systems are most suited to households that have no access to the utility grid, and are sometimes a cheaper alternative to extending power lines in remote areas.
Hybrid and portable solar power systems are additional options. A hybrid uses two or more renewable energy sources – usually wind and solar, while portable solar systems are used mostly in farming, fishing and camping, and can be set up when there is no access to mains electricity.
What types of solar panels are available?
There are three main types of solar panels that can can generate electricity for your home: monocrystalline, polycrystalline and hybrid. The basic monocrystalline celled panels are fairly efficient and have outstanding performance in cooler conditions, but are marginally more expensive than polycrystalline, which works better in hotter conditions. Hybrid panels use crystalline cells with a thin layer of film, which attracts more energy. This makes hybrid models the most efficient solar panel installation, but also the most expensive. To talk about which solar panels are best for your home and how much energy they produce, contact a solar panel company or installer on Houzz.
Questions to ask potential solar power contractors:
Do you have state certification?
Will you come to my home for a free onsite consultation?
Are you able to repair an older system?
Can you provide me with a layout to see where the panels will go and what they will look like?
Can you give me any information on solar rebate programs?
Find a solar power contractor on Houzz. Search the Professionals section for solar power contractors or browse Photos of completed installations and then contact the professional responsible. Here are some related professionals and vendors to complement the work of solar power contractors: Lighting, Swimming Pools & Spas, Electricians.
Find solar power contractors near me on Houzz
Before you hire a solar power contractor, browse through our network of 6 solar power contractors. Read through home owner reviews, check their past projects and then request a quote from the best solar power contractors near you.