Your Questions About Solar Panels For Home

Michael asks…

How can I find a company that will sell and install solar panels for my home in Pineville, North Carolina?

Do I need a special permit? Will my housing assoc. need to approve?

ssadmin answers:

I would do a search on Yahoo or Google. If you plan to have a grid-tied system — tied into the grid as opposed to a battery system– then you will need to know if your state has a net-metering law and if your utility has special rules for tieing into the grid. And I would definitely find out if your housing association has a problem with it before I spent a penny. But what I have found to be the biggest obstacle to solar is the high cost of the panels and equipment. If you have the money, go for it. If that is problem for you too, you can rent the panels and not have any investment. You just pay for the power the panels produce. It's a grid-tied system, but the company doing this gets all the necessary permits, installs and maintains them. You may have to get the housing association permit on your own. Email me for the link to their website.

Susan asks…

photovoltaic solar panels for home?

I am looking for sites that teach people how to build their own solar panels

ssadmin answers:

This site has a lot of information

Chris asks…

how much does solar panels cost for you home?

what is the average cost, for a single family home, to install solar panels? I live in CA.

ssadmin answers:

I just got a quote for my place. It came out $8/Watt installed.

The quote was for 24 – 210W panels. Dividing the total quoted price by the 24 panels comes out to $1,750 per panel.

This includes the complete system with the converter and cutoff switch to connect it to the grid. This is also a top-of-the-line system. There are cheaper systems with shorter life spans. My quote was for a system with a 30 year life expectancy.

There is a Federal tax credit in 2009 of 30% that will bring the system cost down. There are also nice state tax incentives in CA.

Sandy asks…

Is there any kind of government funding for getting solar panels for my home?

They're so expensive, but alot better for the environment.

ssadmin answers:

This depends 100% on the state that you live in. Several states are providing generous subsidies that cover large portions of the cost to install solar energy, or any other renewable energy projects to your home or business. California is the leader in this area but many other western states have good programs also. Check out this site…

Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency®

Good luck going green!

Charles asks…

Using Solar Panels at home?

Im very interested in things like equipping my house to use solar energy. Does anyone know where I can find some good resources about how to go about that, costs, things of that nature? Perhaps even some other “green” suggestions for my home?

Any help would be much appreciated.

ssadmin answers:

I recently had panels installed on my home. I have a great rebate system in my area, my utility paid $10K and I paid $16K. During the summer months it almost zeros out my bill, I don't know about the winter yet, we'll have to see. It was only estimated to reduce my bill by 1/3. I should break even in about 6 years. Less if production keeps anywhere near where it is.

I suggest if you are considering solar, get a no cost no obligation quote, they should be able to give you info on rebates as well as size, cost and break even time for your situation.

There are lots of things you can do to reduce your energy usage. Standby energy was costing me about $50 a month, that is when tv's or other appliances are plugged in but not on, they still use electricity. An easy fix is plug your enetertainment appliances into a powerstrip with a switch, flip it off when the tv isn't on and all the standby energy stops. Same thing with chargers of all types, cell phones, laptops, battery backups and toothbrushes, unplug them when they aren't charging.

Insulation, energy star appliances, shade trees, using natural light and CFL's all help too.

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