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FIVE STEPS TO A SOLAR HOME

Step 1 ~ Learn Your Home's Potential
To get started, first learn about the solar potenial for your home. Depending on which purchasing option you choose, solar thermal (heating water) or photovoltaic (electricity generation), you could see savings of up to 60% within the first month of going solar. An expert solar installer will help assess your geography, the amount of sunlight impacting your roof, and if there is any adjustment needed due to shading.

Step 2 ~ Research Solar Companies
There are a lot of resources on the web to help you research solar installers. In addition, states that offer incentives for solar power frequently have websites with good information, and many solar companies also provide comprehensive information about getting started with solar as well. Most people choose to work with a professional solar company to design and install a home solar system. There are many quality solar companies to choose from, so be sure to identify your options.

Step 3 ~ Decide on a Solar partner
Factors to consider when chosing a solar installation company include how to get the best return on your investment, whether or not maintenence and repairs are included, and how the panels will affect the aesthetics of your home. Also, ask about available leasing options - these can dramatically lower the upfront cost of solar.

Step 4 ~ Install Your Solar System
A typical home installation will take only a day or so for a solar thermal system, and between four to six days for a residential PV (electricity generating) system. If you have a "grid-tied" PV system installed, there may be some additional time before your system can be turned on: your local utility company will need to approve the system and connect it to the utility grid. If you get a solar thermal (water or pool heating) system installed, you will likely begin enjoying the benefits immediately.

Step 5 ~ Save Money Monthly
There's nothing quite like seeing your utility meter spin backwards because of solar. In order to make sure your system delivers all the energy savings you expect, you need to monitor it. Some companies will do this for you, and with others you'll buy a separate monitoring solution.


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