With energy prices on the rise, this may be the perfect time to go solar. Here are a few things to consider that will affect the cost of installing solar panels.
Type of Solar Panel
There are three major types of solar panels. As you may imagine, the most effective solar panels have the highest cost. The most effective and most expensive type of solar panel is Monocrystalline, which is constructed from one continuous sheet of silicone. Slightly less expensive, and less effective, is Polycrystalline. These solar panels consist of many individual PV cells held together by metal conductors. Amorphous solar panels are the least expensive of the three types but also the least efficient. They are made up of a thin layer of silicon placed on top of a metal or glass base.
Type of Mount
There are three different types of mounting systems for affixing your solar panels to your home. Similar to the panel types, the least expensive option is the least efficient and the more expensive options are more effective. Fixed solar panel mounts are completely stationary and cannot be adjusted to capture more or less sunlight depending on weather and season. They are the least expensive type of mount. Adjustable mounts can be tilted depending on the intensity of the sun or the season. They are more expensive than the fixed mounts, but will have more energy efficiency as well. A tracking solar panel mount follows the arch of the sun and provides maximum efficiency. The amount of solar energy you will be able to generate depends on not only on panel construction and mounting, but your location.
Reduction in Energy Costs
Although you may hesitate to spend the money on the most expensive types of solar panels and mounts, it is good to remember that you will save money on the other side with decreased energy bills. Talk to your installation pro about what kinds of savings they predict you may have. It could be that what you spend up front will pay for itself very quickly in your reduced monthly bills.
State & City Subsidies
Some states and cities offer subsidies and tax incentives to upgrade your home to solar power. Check with your local and state energy authorities to see if you qualify.
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