Are you considering putting the sun to work for your home? Solar power is a viable option for homeowners looking to lower their electric cost and reliance on their utility due to the current incentive programs.

Solar powered homes were few and far between a few decades ago. But with the rise in concerns about climate change and plethora of local and federal tax incentives they are now a commonplace.

Solar panels can save you money right away, benefit the environment, and help you avoid the rising cost of power with your utility company. Here are a few things to consider when thinking about solar for your home:

Roof Space –

Solar panels are usually installed on rooftops. The amount of panels depends on the homeowners’ energy needs. You need to have approximately 400 square feet of unobstructed roof space to install a solar array. Everyone’s home and energy needs are different so be sure to explore different panel options. SunPower® high efficiency panels will help you maximize your roof’s productive capacity.

Site Conditions –

This is a very important step in evaluating your home for solar. In order to benefit from solar power you need to get direct sunlight on your roof. Unshaded environments are ideal, but certain design considerations and equipment choices can help to mitigate the effects of trees, chimneys, surrounding buildings, and other obstructions that may affect your solar production. The steepness of your roof and the way it faces will also affect how much energy your roof can produce.

Current & Future Energy Use –

Typically homeowners look to install a system to offset their current electric needs with solar. By simply evaluating an electric bill you can determine your annual kilowatt (kWh) consumption. Some homeowners have plans to increase their usage by adding a pool, hot tub, or electric car in the future. If you have plans to increase your usage using a high efficiency solar panel, like the SunPower X-Series panels, will leave you with the flexibility to expand in the future.

Choosing Equipment & Installation Company –

A solar panel installation is meant to last for 25+ years. It is important you install equipment that is built to last for decades to come. SunPower® solar panels come with a 25-year bumper-to-bumper warranty whereas conventional solar panels have a 10 or 12 year warranty that doesn’t cover labor. Make sure you are using a reputable installation company that has done work in your area, is familiar with the local building codes, and is willing to guarantee their work.