You’ve decided that you want to do your part to change the world.
Achieving some degree of energy independence makes sense, but what does it take to actually start using solar power? How long does it take and what is involved with the process?
Here’s a simple overview of what you can expect when you make the decision to convert your home to using a solar hot water system to supplement your energy needs.
The process usually begins with online research, in fact, that’s probably what you’re doing right now. Future solar users often times find themselves digging through some of the information that is available from websites like solarwashington.com, shorelinesolar.org, and findsolar.com. After the initial research, many homeowners have a grasp of the basic ways they can take advantage of solar power, but still do not see the details of exactly what their process will look like. That’s when the contact a solar installation contractor to get an expert’s help beginning the actual process.
Your first meeting with an installer will involve a survey of your site, discussion of your solar needs, an estimate of your solar footprint, discussion of your budget and of course answering any general questions that you have about financial incentives involved with solar power as well as system construction and use.
After the on-site meeting, the solar contractor will return “to the drawing board” to develop a system that will meet your needs. Your contractor will also determine the best manner of installation and develop a reasonably accurate estimate of cost and installation time required. This design is delivered to you and any questions that you have are answered.
When you decide to accept the design and begin the process, a deposit is collected by the contractor. Equipment is purchased and an installation time is scheduled.
Complete installation of the project is usually completed in two days. During this phase, you will have workers on your site installing your system inside and outside your home. After the installation is complete, the contractor will walk you through the system again to familiarize you with how it works, how to monitor production, and spot maintenance issues. You should receive a user manual and all of your warranty information and the final invoice.
Roughly a month after the installation is complete, you’ll receive the first energy bill that will show the benefits of taking the first step towards energy independence. Putting yourself in the hands of a contractor that you are comfortable working with is the most important part of the process. Once this is done, all you have to do is watch your system as its installed and reap the benefits on your energy bill.