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How to Get Grandfathered in to NEM 2.0

How to Get Grandfathered in to NEM 2.0

NEM 2.0 (Current)

With California’s current (grid-tied) net metering protocol, known as NEM 2.0, solar customers receive a retail credit for excess energy produced by their solar panels which is transported back to the grid. This retail credit is used to offset the homeowner’s bill during times when solar production is insufficient (night-time and winter months) and customer’s draw energy from the grid (utility).

Net Energy Metering (NEM) 2023 – Transitioning to NEM 3.0

NEM 3.0 (Beginning April 14, 2023)

The California Public Utilities Commission has authorized (by law), the existing California utility companies to make adjustments to the current Net Energy Metering billing schedules via NEM 3.0.  NEM 3.0 introduces several changes to the existing net metering program after April 14, 2023 that will dramatically impact a solar customer’s savings and value.


One of the major changes is the homeowner’s excess credits will be credited at much lower rates (not the retail value). The expected percentage drop in value for these credits is about 75% of retail rates. This means, that unless a customer can store more solar energy in a battery which they can then run off of at night, the average size system won’t likely be able to produce enough excess credits to provide the standard 100% net energy offset customers have come to expect. Systems will have to be designed larger than normal if a homeowner wishes to have 100% offset – and be without a nasty “True-Up Bill” (reconciliation of their net energy) at the end of each year.

Another ding into customer’s solar energy savings will come as another non-bypass-able energy surcharge in the form of a grid-access fee based upon the size of the customer’s system. This feels like just one more way for the utilities to “maintain a level playing field” and keep control of their power monopoly. The new protocols also limit the system size eligible for net metering, with a cap of 11 kilowatts for residential customers and 1 megawatt for non-residential customers. Remember, they are in the business of making money off of you and I, and not the other way around!


Overall, NEM 3.0 aims to more accurately reflect the value of solar energy produced by customers and its impact on the grid, while also ensuring that non-solar customers aren’t unfairly subsidizing solar customers. Regardless, we expect energy prices to climb and solar to continue to be an attractive way to combat this inevitability.


If you are a current homeowner on SDGE, SCE or PGE electricty, you literally only have weeks (not months) to get grandfathered in to the great NEM 2.0 program which will save you about 40-60% more than a solar system on the new NEM 3.0 schedule. Contact us for a free estimate and solar energy evaluation for your home or business today. Special incentives are available until March 31.

What is The Difference Between Micro-Inverters and String Inverters?

  • What is a Micro-Inverter – a micro-inverter can also be referred to as a solar micro inverter. It is a piece of electronic equipment used in PV cells for changing the waveform of current i.e. changing Direct current (DC) to Alternating current (AC).
  • What is a String Inverter? – String inverters can also be referred to as centralized inverters. It also converts Direct current (DC) to Alternating current (AC) but here the inverter is connected to a string of solar panels.

When a micro-inverter is better than string

  • Easy to install and use
  1. You don’t need an expert to install it for you. Micro-inverters can be easily set-up by you thereby saving you the cost of paying experts to do it for you.
  2. It does not require any additional hardware or manual configuration. It is Plug-and-play for the most part.
  3. Micro-inverters are connected to an AC source carrying normal household voltages. Whereas, central inverters demands connecting multiple strings of thick DC wires from the solar panels to the central inverter through a tunnel.
  4. The installations of central-inverters demand 4-8 categories of high voltage DC wires which need to be connected correctly to the inverter.
  5. In the installations of string-inverters, the installer has to calculate line losses to determine the size of the wire that will be required to connect it to the panels. Also, the panels, central inverters, and the racking all require different grounding system.
  6. Even for the loading of the string-inverters, it requires that the person installing it design the system to be able to load balance each strand of panels.
  7. In a central-inverter, when a panel malfunctions, it is going to be hard to determine which panel exactly in the system is malfunctioning without testing each one of them with a micrometer.
  • Effectiveness
  1. Micro-inverters make the best use of the power output of each individual panel resulting in an additional power of 15% per panel.
  2. Central inverters will not function as it should if there is any shading whereas a micro inverter system will function optimally.
  3. If a panel malfunction in a micro-inverter system, it will not affect the whole system and the exact panel that is malfunctioning can be easily determined.
  • Safety
  1. Micro-inverters are safe to use, unlike string-inverters which expose the person installing it to hundreds of volts of unsafe DC power while micro-inverters do not.
  2. Micro-inverters are safe to handle as they do not produce power when they are not connected to your solar panels. On the other hand, a string inverter needs to be handled safely because they produce power as soon the panels are exposed to light.
  3. A string inverter can be wired incorrectly in a lot of ways which could lead to severe damage or even kill the installer.
  4. There is no way a micro inverter can be wired incorrectly because it is plug-and-play.
  • Durability and Cost Effectiveness.
  1. Micro-inverters last for a very long time having an average lifespan of about 32 years and also a longer warranty of 25 years whereas central inverters have a shorter lifespan and a shorter warranty period of 10-12 years.
  2. The cost of maintenance for a string inverter can be more as it will need replacement in 10-15 years.

Is Switching to Solar Panels The Way to Go?

Most solar companies have different ways of promoting their products, such as “do you know that having a solar panel can help you save lots of money?” They make it look really light, truth be told, if solar is a relatively long time investment for you it relies on some major agents. Before jumping at the opportunity, we advise that you try making use of the simple guide and make your way through the sales pitch and know if the solar panels are really worth spending your money on.

Determining if solar is worth it

When going through the solar choices, here are some questions you can ask to ascertain if solar is the way forward for you, including:

What is the cost of your electricity bill?

The present state of your electricity bill is a major determinant of the amount you can save by installing solar. You pay the bill per unit of the electricity you make use of and the amount usually differs based on the part of the country you live in. In some sections of the country, electricity bill can be as low as 8 cents per kWh; while some you could as much as 20 cents or higher.

When going solar, you install a small power plant on the roof of your house to substitute the main source of your electricity. Therefore, it means that homeowners with large utility bill will opt for solar installation which helps them save more.

What is the cost of the solar panel system?

Installation of solar does vary depending on the solar company of your choice and the type of equipment you install. Though cheap solar panels could seem worth it for 20-years savings not to be a waste it is best you invest in quality equipment even though it might seem more expensive. It best you take your time and review all the equipment and the prices to determine which suits you and your home best.

Also, remember to make inquiries about solar rewards and abatement available wherever you stay. They can cut the price by 50% or even more. The federal government normally offers about 30% solar tax discount and most states and cities have some added financial advantage for the citizens. Some companies help customers go solar by giving them financial aids.

How do you intend to finance the solar panel system?

solar panel system

Whether you decide to buy or rent your solar system for long-term use, the best means of purchase still remains by cash. It will help save cost even though the money needed will till run in tens of thousands. While solar leases and the power-purchase agreement does not need down payment of cash and it comes along other solar benefits of free maintenance and trade-off; the amount needed could just be about 10-30%of the utility bill of electricity. How workable is this in the real world.

What is the essence of having a solar panel when one is not staying in the sunny Southwest?

Though solar panels enjoy sunlight, you will be amazed to realize that you don’t have to be based in sunny Southwest to enable you to save. Most of the states like New York, Massachusetts, and New Jersey is known for the cold which is in the Northeast of the country tend to make use of solar panels more because the rate of the electricity bill is high and there are available for them.

Solar Canopy Installations: Producing Shade and Also Clean Energy to Your Garage

The benefit that solar has is actually a terrific one especially the financial as well as an environmental one. Industries wanting to install photovoltaic panels can benefit from the chance to conserve. Businesses in the country are developing a solar garage that produces shade for the vehicles while developing renewable resource together with as well as saving electricity costs as well as great deals of dollars in the process.

What is a solar canopy?

Solar canopies are high-structures that bring photovoltaic panels as well as produce color. These photovoltaic panels are mounted on raised structures found in the parking spaces or led locations.

Actually, the solar canopies corresponds to solar carports and also a ground-mounted solar panel. Each of these choices when a roofing system is not able to host or carry solar panels or if the family makes use of much more power than the solar roof panel can give. Plenty of firms has actually provided electric automobile billing stations to ensure that chauffeurs can recharge their electrical automobiles with solar power when parked.

Solar parking canopies Benefits

solar parking

Solar panel benefits are remarkable: when a solar power system is set up, electrical bills are lessened. It gives protection against climbing prices in energy as well as decreases the result on the environment. The solar garage has little extra advantages than the conventional roof-mounted and ground-mounted photovoltaic panel systems.

Solar canopies can be an efficient way to manage area

Parking spaces are used as an opportunity for solar setups throughout the nation. As specified by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, paved locations make up about 35-40 percent of the overall area in cities and 40 percent of the led locations are parking spaces. Effective use of room can be done when a garage is installed with a solar canopy as opposed to setting up a standard ground-mounted system. A solar canopy can include added use to the already existing functional framework and there is no need to produce even more room.

Photovoltaic panel garage alongside creates shade

One big benefit of utilizing a solar parking canopy is the effect the sun rays carry a parked car can truly be unpleasant by assisting to decrease the rate of warming in the cars and truck. Another included advantage is that the fuel economic situation of the parked cars and trucks is made better.

According to, the significant cause of the reduced economic situation in heat is making use of an auto cooling (Air Conditioner) system. Under high temperature (an instance when your vehicle has been under warm sun rays) using your car air problem (Air Conditioner) can cause a common reduction in the fuel economic situation by up to 25 percent. The effect can be higher for hybrids, electric cars and trucks, and also plugged-in crossbreeds. Photovoltaic panel aid to maintain lorries on cool on extremely warm days and also help reduce using air condition on such days.

To obtain increased manufacturing canopy car parking can be optimized

The roof solar base has some limitations such as the type of roofing that it is being set up to, the angle of the roofing system, the post the roofing system deals with and also if there are buildings like chimneys, skylights or vents obstructing the solar then the solar variety will certainly be less efficient. The solar panel of the solar canopy can be concentrated in such a way that the electrical energy produced can be sufficient and this can cause much savings.

What quantity of cash can be saved from solar car parking canopy setup?

The size of the solar system and the amount of electric bill you pay are factors in determining the economics of solar canopy. Some things to remember are:

● The optimum degree of creating solar energy is typically in the mid-day, specifically when the need is extremely high. It also reduce your bill by decreasing the usage of electrical energy at such times.

● The installation of a solar garage will certainly be extra pricey than the normal solar roofing system panel setup due to the fact that more labor will be required, consisting of tools that will certainly be used to develop the canopies that will certainly carry the photovoltaic panels. Although as we have earlier stated the ecological advantage, it will certainly likewise generate even more electrical energy to the space restriction of the roofing system solar panel.

● The tax break chances open to enterprises that develop solar canopies or that utilize any type of other photovoltaic panel systems. The worth of their solar energy system can be written off with the Changed Accelerated Expense Recovery System. (MACRS), by reducing service tax obligations as well as levies as well as increase returns on solar investment. The cost recovery is about 5 years for qualified solar power equipment. Boosted depreciation can drop your internet system price by another 30 percent.

City of Santa Cruz

● A solar canopy installed in Santa Cruz City over two of its typ had parking lots. In addition to producing electrical power and also producing color, the carports have billing stations for community electrical cars and trucks.

The two systems develop an ordinary yearly financial savings of $73,000 and create more than half of the power demand for the area where they are mounted. The amount of financial savings for the 25-year life span of the system is more than $4 million.

University of Colorado, Boulder

The College of Colorado, Boulder mounted a solar carport at their Mountain Research Center. Much like the City of Santa Cruz, CU Boulder’s carport is also wired for electric auto billing terminals.

The university’s solar garage uses an average annual cost savings of $21,740, which is equal to an 8 percent return on the beginning financial investment. In the two years after the original system was set up, CU Boulder created two more solar carports on the university school, assisting to accomplish the LEED Platinum standing to the framework.

Exactly how to obtain your very own solar parking space

Solar parking spaces are a lot of financial investment with numerous untapped abilities for substantial cost savings. To be able to figure out a far better choice for your solar canopy for your property is to make a comparison between all your readily available competent solar installers around you.

Who Has The Most Efficient Solar Panels?

Solar panels are the most essential component of a solar power system. There are other components that make up the system; however, the solar panel dictates the efficiency of the entire solar power system. The sun has enough energy to provide the electricity that we need. But the sun has always been there with this potential yet it did not automatically provide uses for electricity. There is a need to develop a system to tap from the sun’s energy. Not until recently, this fit seemed far-fetched. Research in this line that gave us solar panels which is the main source of tapping solar energy. The solar panel is the component that is designed to capture the UV (Ultraviolet) rays that are generated by the sun. This is then converted into an electron that generates the direct current (DC). The direct current (DC) is then converted into an alternating current (AC) using an inverter. The AC current is the electricity that is consumable. However, not all the sunlight will be converted to electricity by the solar panel; some will be left unconverted, which means, there is still some potential energy been unused. In other words, a signal panel is limited in the amount of solar energy it can convert to electricity. If you, therefore, need to produce electricity in a large quantity, you will have to combine solar panels so that one can make up for the other. This is where the question of panel efficiency comes in.

Solar panel efficiency: what you need to know

solar panel efficiency

When we talk about the efficiency of a solar panel we refer to its ability to convert sun ultraviolet rays into electricity. All things being equal, when the same amount of sunlight shines on two solar panels, for the same time duration, the better efficient one will produce more electricity than the less efficient one. What this means is that if there are two panels A and B of the same size, subjected to the same condition of sunlight and it is found that panel A has an efficiency of about 21% while panel B has efficiency of 14% then panel A will produce 50% more electricity in kilowatt per hours than panel B which has a 14%. A higher efficiency rate means the panel has the ability to use or convert more solar energy. The more solar energy a panel can convert the less the number you will need to power your building.

Solar panel development has gone through many stages. The first set of panels produced were of little efficiency which means they could scarcely be used to produce electricity. They were not only of little efficiency, but they were also very expensive. This added to the difficulty of them having substantial commercial value. Many in the solar industry associate the efficiency of the solar panel to be the most important factor to assess a solar panel. As much as this is true, it is not the only factor. There is a need to consider the ability of the panel to convert at a low cost and supply at a high rate.

Most efficient solar panels:

With the realization of this fact, manufacturers have invested time and resources into doing proper research in order to increase the efficiency of the solar panels produced by them. As it stands this year, 2019, the solar panel with the highest efficiency rate is at 22.2%. Let’s see some of them and what rate of efficiency they have to offer:

  • SunPower (22.2%)
  • LG (21.1%)
  • Panasonic (20.3%)
  • Solartech Universal (20.2%)
  • Silfab (20.0%)

The majority of the solar panel manufacturers out there offer an efficiency rate that is less than that of the top five. They offer between 15% to 17% efficiency rate solar panels. The top five solar panel manufacturers led by SunPower offer within the rage of 20% to 22% and this is the latest development. The challenge with the solar panels offered by the top five manufacturers is that they come with a higher price tag than that of the majority manufacturers. These top five will often be the favorite of anyone more concerned about efficiency over cost. The truth is that no matter the cost you moderately spend on the installation of a reliable solar system, you will eventually break even. And this will be in the early years of the life span of the solar system especially if you stay in an area where the cost of electricity is high and keeps rising.

Companies produce solar panels in large quantities. There will, therefore, be a disparity in the efficiency of the panels across the board. Most solar manufacturers produce solar panels in several models which will cause ranging in the efficiency of the solar panel. It is important to know that there is a difference between what we call the maximum efficiency rating of solar panel manufacturers and consistently maintaining the record across boards, meaning across the solar panels that were produced in mass. You need to know that for every manufacturer, there is the maximum efficiency record as well as the minimum efficiency record, and we have the average efficiency record which is the efficiency rating that the manufacturer consistently maintains over time. For example, LG has a maximum efficiency rating of 21.1%, however, the minimum efficiency rating for LG is 16.80%. From these two ratings, we have an average rating of 18.78% which is still a leading efficiency rating among other manufacturers, excluding SunPower which has an average rating of 19.96%. 

How Much Does Solar Cost?

Go solar:

There are so many reasons why you should go solar. From environmental, financial and then to personal reasons, there seem to be numerous justifiable reasons why you need to go solar. To go solar means to tap from the solar energy generated by the sun to provide electricity. Besides the fact that solar energy is environmentally friendly, it has a direct effect on your finances. Whether you are a homeowner of you own a business of your own, the cost of electricity has a way of affecting your finances. Since solar energy can be used for both individual and commercial purposes and investment in a solar system for electricity generation is a once in decades investment, this has an influence on electricity bills. Going solar can help eliminate the bill you pay on electricity completely. Using solar power alongside the public provided electricity will help reduce the amount you pay on the electricity bill.

Also, you tend to save a lot when you go solar. This is because savings is equal to the amount of money you avoid paying as a result of going solar. You save more as the electricity rate in your area gets higher and this will continuously happen throughout the 25-plus-year lifespan of the solar facility. As a business person or a homeowner, it makes your budget planning really easy to do. This is because the rate of electricity is unpredictable. It might, therefore, be difficult to do a forecast of your expenses for managerial purposes. The benefit of going solar cannot be overemphasized. There seems to be little or no disadvantage to the choice of going solar. It is the modern day idea and it seems totally welcomed. Now that we know the benefits of going solar, an important aspect is to know how much it costs to come on board. How expensive or affordable is the cost of solar system installation?

Cost of solar system Installation:

solar system cost

The cost of solar panels is the major determinant of the overall cost of a solar system. Solar panels do not work alone; they work alongside some other components. These components are not as expensive as the total cost of solar panels that you will need. Most times, you will need more than one solar panel to fully power your facility. It is also important to note that, no matter the cost you incur as a result of going solar, you will break even within its lifespan and begin to earn or save money over the rest of its life span. The lifespan on a solar system is expected to be over 25 years. Those who take the solar panel financing scheme usually finish paying their loan within about 5 to 6 years. The rest of the years are used as a time for savings on the electricity bill. In summary, a solar system is a fixed asset that eventually puts money into your pocket in the long run

Cost determinant for a solar system:

Now, to determine the cost of the solar system you will need, the size of the facility you are trying to power with solar is paramount. This will determine the quantity of electricity you will need to generate, which will determine the number of solar panels you will need and the cost of the solar system installation. The more electricity you need to generate the bigger the number of solar panels you will need and the number of labor that will be needed to install the system. All these amount to the cost of installing the system.

ystem you will need, the size of the facility you are trying to power with solar is paramount. This will determine the quantity of electricity you will need to generate, which will determine the number of solar panels you will need and the cost of the solar system installation. The more electricity you need to generate the bigger the number of solar panels you will need and the number of labor that will be needed to install the system. All these amount to the cost of installing the system.

It is also important to note that the number of solar panels needed varies across geographical locations. This is because some places experience more intense sunlight than others. Some places are cloudier and experience lesser days of sunshine. The number of solar panels needed in places like these will be more. California has no problem in this respect. However, if you do a quick research about sunshine in California, you’ll find that sunlight differs according to places in California. For example, the record has it that Redding, California, experiences 88% sunshine yearly, while Sacramento, California, experiences about 78% sunshine yearly. This show a disparity in the amount of sunshine that is experienced in places across California. However, this would not have much effect in that the two places experience quite a high amount of sunshine, therefore, there might not be much difference. In places with a substantially low quantity of sunlight, this does not mean they cannot install a solar system. It only means they will need more solar panels to compensate for this. One very wise way to do it is to know how much a complete solar system will cost in your area is to compare the price of quotes from homeowners if you intend powering your house with it. If you intend powering your business with it, you compare quotes for commercial buildings.

Another great determinate of solar system cost is the solar panel manufacturer brand. Some brands are more expensive than the other. Some brands attach quality of the product brand to price. But this is not always the case.

Cost of DIY installation Vs. Solar company installation

Some people who will like to take the solar system installation as a personal project would want to know how much a single panel cost.s The simple way to answer will be that, it depends on how much leverage you have as a buyer, the type of the panel you are trying to buy and the size of the system you need. However, because solar companies have a direct relationship with those who sell the solar panels and they buy in bulk, they have the opportunity to buy the panels at a much lower price than an average customer. They also know where to purchase quality solar system components. This is why you need solar companies to handle your solar system installation. Get as many solar quotes from companies and compare your choices. This way, you will be sure to get the best solar system installation cost.

The Upside and Risks of Solar

Your decision to switch over to the use of solar energy has most likely been impacted by solar marketers either physically at your doorstep, an ad on television or radio or even via the spam on the internet.

In order to properly make a decision based on actual facts and not on enticing hyperbolic statements, you may need to be properly enlightened on the upsides and the downsides of the use of solar panels..

What exactly are the desirables and undesirables that come with the use of solar? Advantages include energy from the use of solar could bring about a reduction in bills from electricity consumption, an appreciation in the value of your properties, the creation of profit, protection from increasing costs of energy, and a reduced in carbon you emit.

Disadvantages include the fact that solar cannot be used on all and any roof, it probably is not the better investment especially when considering relocating, solar can cause a lowered investment return when the bill from electricity use is small, it could be expensive up-front, and getting the right company for installation may not be easy.

Among the general upsides and downsides of making use of solar energy, below are the few that repeatedly stand out:


  • A decrease in bills from the use of electricity
  • Greatly increases value for your home
  • Minimizes carbon emitted from you


  • Cannot be used on all roof
  • It is not advisable in the case when you plan to relocate soon
  • The high cost of solar paraphernalia

The significance of the use of solar: Major advantages to always be conscious of.

Solar panel electricity has quite a number of significant advantages. Here a few essential ones for consideration:

solar panel uses

1. It could greatly minimize or end bill expenses from the use of electricity.

This is a straight forward benefit that is enjoyed from the use of energy from a solar electrical system in a home setting. As you enjoy electricity generated freely, you are independent of supplied utility and therefore minimize regular electricity bills. The panels used for solar electricity generation are durable and can be used for upwards of 25 to 30 years. The implication of this is that the costs of electricity are totally put off over a very long period of time. You can make use of available tools such as the ‘instant estimate tool’ to get an estimation of your bill savings over a long period of time and also reviews that are personalized for projected cost savings from solar for 20 years.

There is a dwindling in the price of solar throughout the nation. View the costs in your location and receive solar quotes for free from Next Generation Energy.

2. It increases home value

In the U.S, there are millions that own a home and could benefit from the use of a solar electric system but face a basic challenge of being ignorant of what is required for its installation. This is because they have not diligently given it enough attention. This fact about consumers coupled with the obvious advantages of using solar in a home setting promoted some studies that have been recently conducted, which show that the value of property appreciates after the installation of a solar electric system. Therefore, the second advantage of the use of solar can eliminate one of the disadvantages stated above – if you plan to relocate very soon. After the sale of the panels for your solar energy generation, you will recover your money and possibly more after you have sold your house. To get more knowledge on the appreciated value in the resale of homes with solar electricity, look out for exactly what solar increases the purchase value of the property by. View the article on ‘solar and property values’.

3. You can get paid by solar and simultaneously earn from the investment you have made

As a result of the several incentives on solar within the U.S., you can make profit added to the savings from a bill which clears out the system’s cost. ‘Solar renewable energy credits (SRECs)’ coupled with ‘net metering’ are essential solar incentives which give room for you to merit bill credit (and in some cases extra money) while your system generates electricity. For these cases, compensation for produced electricity from your solar system is paid to you. If where you dwell in a place that either incentive is applied, you may anticipate the immediate and long-run returns over your investment.

4. You gain control of increasing costs in energy

Many of those who own a home deal with anxiety when faced with charges from the use of electricity. In many cases, there isn’t anything that can be done to control the rate of electricity. On one hand, the expense incurred on solar has reduced by over 70 percent during these past 10 years while on the other hand, that of electricity has gone up with 5 percent and has an expectation for a constant progression. You become the driver in terms of the production of energy when you adopt the use of solar. Quick adaptation by utilities is being made towards the increasing use of energy that is renewable. The U.S. government is fast adding to its aim for the reduction of emitted gas from greenhouses making this the best time to become autonomous with energy.

5. With solar, the carbon emitted is reduced and promotes non-reliance on energy

In the use of solar, the most admired advantage which is also patriotic is that the environment also benefits even as the country is transformed from fuels from fossils. In the bid for solutions to energy to aid the U.S. to minimize the total emissions, the country seems to be establishing non-reliance to quit excessive dependence on generators of fuel from fossils abroad. Just as the cheapest methodology to minimize the output of carbon in respect to change of climate of the globe is being sought for by the world, energy from solar is now a major resource and to a great extent a right to brag for the day of the earth and also July Fourth.

Are there downsides of adopting solar? The 5 top disadvantages of energy from solar

Energy from solar is not flawless. Consider the following to be conscious of when making the decision to opt for solar.

1. The panels for solar energy cannot function on every roof type

Panels for rooftop installation are done by racking which is also the same as connecting to the roof a mounting system. Some specific materials for the roof in homes that are old or historical like slate, cedar tiles and etc., can be difficult to work with by solar installers. Lots of homes and apartments use skylights or have additions of rooftop decks which could cause the process of installing the solar not easy or expensive. However, over time in the U.S., this may not be an obstruction in the adoption of mass power from solar. In the case where your home is not fit for installing rooftop solar energy, there are options of panels that are mounted in the ground or purchasing shares from the solar garden community could help level up this disadvantage.

2. Solar may not be the best when you want to relocate

The use of solar is a good investment financially though, it could be a good while before reaching a point where you break-even. About seven-and-a-half is the average period in the U.S. for solar payback. Homeowners that are young may feel like using a solar panel on the roof of his or her home is not a worthy investment. However, there can be an improvement in the value of your property if and when your home is sold. Therefore this downside can be leveled up if you decide to purchase a system using cash or a loan.

3. Savings from solar are low if electricity is cheap

The major and optimal benefit of energy from solar is the reduction in your dependence on provided utility and also as a result save money. This benefit, however, presumes that the homeowner gets a sizable bill from electricity usage. For homeowners in places like Louisiana that have electricity cost 25+ percent cheaper than the nation’s average, the solar installation may not be quite attractive compared to homeowners in Hawaii that pay over double the rate of average electric.

4. Solar cost up-front can cause intimidation if you have no access to financing for solar.

All over the nation, there is an argument concerning what homeowners are to pay for solar from the pocket. The net price for panels used for solar energy generation is dependent on credits from tax, rebates, and the choice of financing you make. Even if you easily can get an amount of the average expense of solar in your location or perhaps a personalized home estimate, a simple response is if you do not meet up the requirement for a zero down loan for solar, the cost upfront for the solar is quite sizable.

The downside here is vivid: it is not everybody that has the money at hand for an investment of this magnitude with payment upfront. Having stated the above, several financing options for solar are available to help anyone with this downside. Examples are the loan programs agreement of power purchase and leases.

5. Getting quality installers of the solar panel at the local level and comparison of quotes may not be easy

Many homeowners have an association in common with solar. This basically involves coercive front door sales reps of solar who pressurize customers to opt in for a contract of 20 years before clarifying them on the entire scope the offer covers or the reliability of the company. Of the many fast-growing markets worldwide, the solar market is one of them and more companies are employing aggressive means to obtain a percentage of the market. Owing to this, many people find solar shopping tiring and confusing. With luck, easier ways to purchase solar that gives homeowners control have sprung up. The next level energy marketplace is a 100% online platform of shopping comparison which gives room for the comparison of solar quotes of from top installers that have been pre-screened in the area you reside in.

Important notes: A comparison of the pros and cons of solar energy panels

Following the review of our upside and downside of solar, there are vivid notes to be conscious of:

  • Solar panels for rooftop are not perfectly fit for all: Just like other products for home efficiency, panels for solar power bring about benefits to the homeowners, including the desired upgrades in energy as well as a reduction in an electricity bill. The description does not fit everyone.
  • Think of the use of solar as an investment: an investment that yields major returns and has low risk though the investment is hefty nonetheless.
  • Solar is the least expensive option for the U.S. movement towards energy that is clean. Nothing is vague concerning the future of energy in America. There is a transition in the U.S. away from fossil fuels from and toward renewable sources. One of the best solutions for a consumer is solar.

How Has Solar Technology and Prices Evolved Over Time?

solar panel cost

The energy from the sun in the form of light and heat has so much effect on the earth we live in. The sun is believed to be the earth’s power and without the sun, the earth becomes uninhabitable. Plants use the sunlight for photosynthesis. Many other inhabitants of the earth also draw energy from the sun, not excluding man. The solar system has been in existence before man and as it is known of man to use the surrounding elements to his own advantage, the sun will not be spared. Man, since time immemorial, has found ways, no matter how crude, to tap energy from the sun. This energy is then used for different purposes. History has it that the energy from the sun was tapped by the humans many years ago in other to light fire. The magnifying glass is the instrument used to achieve this feat.

Also according to history, the Romans and the Greek were said to use energy from the sun to light touches for religious celebrations. They used mirrors to tap solar power. The Chinese were documented to use solar power for the same purpose. The concept of the sunroom in houses and buildings, which is still popular today, is an idea powered by tapping energy from the sun. The sunroom in a building uses huge windows to concentrate sunlight to an area in a house. The general idea behind tapping solar power in the early years revolves around the use of mirrors.

Regardless of the reasons solar power is interesting to us and what purpose we try to find in it, it is certain that solar power is useful to us. It is this usefulness that has triggered the desire to make research along this line. Today, solar power has a long list of uses, with a major focus on how it can generate electricity for us. This has drawn us away from the use of mirrors and massive glass to concentrate the power of the sun to the development of solar panels. The general idea behind the solar panel is to collect photons from the sunlight and then transform them into electrons to produce direct current. The direct current will then be inverted or converted into alternate current which is the electricity we use. The materials from which the panels are made are different. However, the general idea is usually the same.

New-age solar panel technology

Fifteen years ago, the idea of going solar was like a dreamer’s idea. This is because of the low level of development around the use of solar panels. First, the challenge was how to go from the use of mirrors to a component that will attract the solar energy and then give it out in the form of electricity. We scaled through that by the discovery of PV effect (Photovoltaic effects) which was of great influence and the first leap toward the development of a solar panel that generates electricity. From there, it was discovered that a material called selenium does generate electricity when it is been exposed to sunlight. This took us to a whole new level and served as the basis for the majority of the solar panels we have today as they are made from silicon. That was how the first challenge was solved. The use of silicon in making solar panels took effect and began to serve as a source of renewable energy about 10 years ago.

The bridge has been crossed and we now know how to tap solar energy to produce electricity. However, the first few years of this development were faced with two major challenges:

  • The efficiency of solar panels
  • The cost of solar panels

The efficiency of solar panels:

Solar panel efficiency refers to the fragment of sunlight energy that a photovoltaic panel can convert into electricity for consumption. The first generation of solar panels produced was not very efficient. The rate of conversion of solar light or photons absorbed to the electricity produced was very low. They had less than 1% conversion rates. This made the possibility of using solar energy unlikely. However, the relentless effort of researchers has brought about a great improvement in the efficiency of the panels. Today we have solar panels that are 30% efficient, and work is still been done to develop more panel efficiency.

Recent development claims to have gotten a 42% efficient solar panel. 1960 to early 2010 recorded a low efficiency of solar panels. It was in 2012 that things took a good turn when efficiency increased to about 17.8%. Late 2015 also gave the good news of 22% efficiency. In early 2016, NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) and CSEM (Swiss Center for Electronics and Micro-technology) achieved a 29.8% efficiency rate. 2017 gave an increase in efficiency to above 40%. In 2019 there has been an integration of various mechanisms into the development of solar panels that has given a great increase in the efficiency rate and research still continues. The disadvantage of this great development is that these highly efficient panels are made from expensive materials and these materials are costly.

The cost of solar panels

The first generations of solar panels were not only low in efficiency they were also very expensive. This added to the constraint of making solar power commercial. However, in addition to the increase in efficiency rate, manufacturers have improved their production process and this has reduced the cost of solar panels to a bearable minimum. Solar manufacturers also put in some economic indices to minimize the cost of production. Today the concept of renewable energy has grown commercial levels.

Getting What You Pay For – What To Consider In Evaluating The Quality Of A Solar System Purchase

In order to generate electricity from sunlight, there is a need for solar panels. Solar panels serve as the medium by which sunlight is converted into electricity. Using sunlight as the source of electricity for our homes seemed like an impossible feat before now. However, after years of tireless research channeled toward this cause, came the solar panel. Today, solar panels have become a popular product. Many homes now make use of the system. Solar panels collect the ultraviolet rays of the sun particularly the photons that are present in the sunlight and then convert it into electrons. The electrons produce direct current which is a form of electricity, but not the kind that can light up a building.  They, therefore, need to be inverted with the use of a component called the solar inverter. When this is done, alternating current is produced which is the electricity that you need, the one that powers your home. The whole process begins with the solar panel.

Various brands of solar panels perform differently. This is referred to as solar panel efficiency. Solar panel efficiency is the ability of the panel to convert sunlight into electricity. Not all the sunlight that hits the solar panel will be converted. Some will be wasted, which is typical for all solar panels. However, some panels convert more solar rays than the others. It is imperative that you know the efficiency of the solar panels you are about to purchase.

Factors To Consider When Getting Solar Panels

solar panel factors

You need to know the indices that are to be considered when shopping for solar panels. These factors will determine if you will get value for your money. These factors include solar panel rating, power tolerance, solar cell efficiency, temperature coefficient.

Solar panel rating refers to the amount of power the panel can produce based on an industry standard test. The higher the power rating, the more it becomes effective at producing power or electricity. Every solar panel has a nameplate power rating. It is used to determine how much work or power a panel can generate. It is by nameplate rating that you can make a comparison with other solar panels.

Power tolerance: during the production of the solar panel, some variations take place which affect the total output of the panel. This represents how the power output of a panel can be slightly different from the nameplate rating of the panel. For example, a panel which according to nameplate rating should produce 250 watts could eventually produce about 237.55 watts. This difference is represented in percentages. You need to be on the lookout for panels with a narrow power tolerance because it offers more assurance. You, therefore, need to view the power tolerance alongside the solar panel rating.

Solar cell efficiency: this is the effectiveness of the solar panel to convert solar radiation into electricity. The highest solar panel efficiency rate available today is a little above 22%. Only a few solar panels can boast of this type of rating. High solar panel efficiency means that the panel can generate more electricity than a panel of the same size under the same condition. Size is not necessarily a guarantee that the solar panel will generate more electricity. It won’t if it has a low power efficiency rating, that is, its conversion rate is low. If you purchase such a product, you will spend more to buy multiple panels so as to make up for the quantity of electricity that you need. This is why it is important to consider the rating of a panel before purchasing in order to get adequate value for your money.

Temperature coefficient: it is believed that solar panels are able to withstand the heat of the sun. This is true but only to a certain extent. When the solar panel is subjected to too much sunlight heat at above 77ºF, it decreases the solar panel’s power capacity. For example, when the temperature is about 4ºF, some standard grade panels will produce about 1% less electricity than they normally produce. Panels that have a smaller temperature coefficient will perform better over time. You need to need to check the solar panel temperature coefficient before purchase especially if you reside in a region that experience high daily temperature.

The above listed are the factors that differentiate one panel from the other even if they look the same in size as others. When you find a panel that has the above quality, then you have found a panel that gives you value for your money. However, when you have a variety of such solar panels, which one should you go for? Let’s quickly take a look at some of the criteria for choosing the best among the best.

Solar panel quality: you need to be sure the panel has the certification of the International Standard Organization (ISO). A panel not having ISO certification is not an indication for poor quality, however, a panel with ISO certification is an indication that the panel has passed a certain test and its quality is certified.

Solar panel durability: this is the measure of how well a solar panel can withstand the pressure of the real world such as in snow, high-intensity wind and harsh weather conditions. Check out the reviews on the solar panel to know this.

Manufacturer assurance: this comes with respect to warranty. In case a problem occurs after installation, a strong warranty will cover for it. You need two major types of warranties:

  • Power production warranty: despite the fact that there is usually a decline in power production over the years, the manufacturer should be able to guarantee that the panel will maintain a certain percentage of its power production capacity over a period time of about 25 years which is the estimated lifespan of a typical solar panel.
  • Material warranty: this covers against failure as a result of manufacturing defects and environmental issues. The materials used for the panel need to be able to stand the test of time.

How To Maintain Your Solar Panel System

Do you own a solar energy generating panel? Are you worried about the maintenance and how to make them more durable? This article answers all the questions you might have and much more. The solar panel is actually very durable and does not require much maintenance. It can withstand extreme temperatures and weather changes without a hitch. Most manufacturers give over 20-year warranty on their solar panels that will cover the cost of replacement and sometimes maintenance by the company you purchased it from. Below are all the tips you need to know about solar panel maintenance. 

Take advantage of the manufacturer’s warranty:

In the unlikely event of damage to the solar panel, it is best for you to contact the manufacturer for replacement and repair. Be sure to read through and understand what the manufacturer warranty will cover before installation. Go for the best deal you can get. Solar inverters usually come with a 10-year warranty too.

Installation of your solar panel:

solar panel installation

The solar panel does not have any mountable parts except tracking mounts. Most of the issues that arise from your solar panels are related to electrical production which is why it is important that you track the energy production of your panels. Make sure to note any decrease in energy generation in order to address these issues as soon as they arise. Your panel should be installed at an angle of 15 degrees, and you need not to worry about cleaning the surface in event of snow, dust or rainfall.

In the event that your solar panel requires cleaning due to bird dropping or oil spilling on it, it will be best if you consult the user’s manual to know what kind of cleaning it needs to be done or you can call a local cleaning agency in your neighborhood.