So, you’re considering solar?
With the high cost of energy being the red-hot topic it’s become, my wife and I have decided to have a closer look at solar for our home. We have visited the idea briefly in the past but when we did, the varying advice we got did nothing to make us feel very confident.
What kicked us into gear again this time was a conversation with an electrician who knows his stuff and one we trust. It wasn’t a detailed conversation, but it was enough to help me understand solar a bit better and it prompted me to actually talk to a local solar company about getting a formal quote.
That’s the stage we’re now at – we have some information and we have a quote. Without trying to be conclusive, I thought readers who may be considering solar for their home might like to hear what I’ve discovered so far. I’m sure there are a lot of people who are thinking about solar but like us, just need a bit more confidence and knowledge about how it works, how much it costs and how to go about it.
Basically, to put solar on our home is going to cost $6,500 dollars. The trick I’m told is determining the right size system for our home’s needs. Apparently, without careful consideration of our situation and likely usage, it’s easy to install a unit that’s too big or too small for our needs. The type of panels you buy are also important as, like with most things there’s good quality panels and there’s lesser quality. The installed cost of the system can also be affected depending on whether you have single or 3 phase power. I have also been advised to include a battery adaptor, not for now but for the future. Battery backups are one of the big issues that’s still being sorted. I’m told they are awfully expensive at the moment (tens of thousands) and best to wait until they improve the technology before going down that road.
The $6,500 system we are looking at should provide us with enough solar energy each day, given normal circumstances. When you have solar power, there is a need to manage your usage a bit. By that I mean, using certain appliances at certain times of the day. That may sound a bit inconvenient, but I’m told you soon get used to doing things at different times and it doesn’t cause any problems. We have family with solar and they confirm this. Where a couple both work and are not at home during the day, the benefits of using solar power may be affected to some degree. The solar system we’re considering will not power our hot water and I’m told, for now, it’s better to think about that separately.
It’s also worth mentioning that while we were doing out homework on solar, we received a flyer in the mail and saw an ad somewhere offering solar systems for a variety of prices. I have no idea how good or otherwise these offers were but either way, the advice I’m getting from friends who have had solar experiences is to deal with someone you know and trust, preferably someone local who has a good track record. That’s what we’ll be doing.
We’re not far away from taking the plunge and at last, I’m actually looking forward to it. Solar energy has always made sense but like with any sizeable purchase, I want to feel comfortable about the product and who I’m dealing with.
Hope any readers considering solar find my experience helpful.