You will use your solar panels for at least twenty years making the purchase a substantial investment in your life. In this regard, don’t be carried away by the excitement about reducing or eliminating your electricity bill and minimizing your carbon footprint that you forget to consider the important aspects of your purchase. There are some factors which are non-negotiable when you want to buy solar panels.
Although solar panels may seem fragile, they are durable and a long term investment that requires careful consideration when buying. When you decide to go solar, one of the primary things you should consider is the overall cost of installing solar. There are also other factors to consider apart from the cost of solar panels. As you make plans to switch to solar energy, you can first share your plans with close friends, colleagues, and family who are using solar power in their homes or organizations. They will share their experiences with you and advise you on potential problem areas. That said, in this article, we cover solar panel buying tips to get value for money.
What to Consider When Buying Solar Panels
1. Solar Financial Options
Which is the best option to buy solar panels? The deliberation about leasing vs buying solar panels should consider various factors. First, consider the real leasing costs per month and buying costs per month. Please note that when you lease a solar panel, although you will avoid the risks associated with the purchase, a third party will own the system for the duration of the lease. On the other hand, if the leasing options are open, you can lease for a short period of time say six months and then move on and get into an agreement to purchase the solar system. Nevertheless, should you decide to buy the solar panels, consider the various payments options. As much as possible, the combined payments to your utility company and solar financing institution per month should not exceed your current electricity bill.
2. The Quality of the Solar Panels and Price Expectations
It is advisable to buy solar panels from a reputable company with a good corporate image. Therefore, ask your solar installer to show you the manufacturer of the solar panels. Quality equipment always have a substantial cost element to them enough to recover the cost of manufacturing and give the manufacturer a profit to sustain them in the market. If you get extremely cheap solar panels you should be cautious because the components may not be as durable as components in sturdy solar systems and that is why the manufacturer may sell them cheap. You need to buy solar panels from a reputable organization that will honor their warranty if need be.
3. Solar Panels’ Warranty Period
You need to consider the warranty coverage period. The best solar panels you can buy have a long warranty period. As much as possible the solar panels should outlive the warranty period and should last long enough to give you a ROI.
4. Your Roof Size
There are different types of solar panels with different efficiencies. The big question is, which are the best solar panels to buy? Mono-crystalline are the most efficient and come at a high cost. Then we have poly-crystalline and Thin-film solar panels. If your roof is small, then you need more efficient solar panels like mono-crystalline panels. However, we know that researchers and innovators are working round the clock to improve the technology of solar panels and this issue may change soon.
5. The Quality of Other Devices in the Solar System
Solar panels work in combination with other devices which perform equally important functions. One of the important devices in a solar system is a solar inverter. An inverter converts DC power into AC. An inverter should be efficient so that as little heat as possible is lost. If it doesn’t work effectively, it will supply your systems with less power. This will result to a longer payback period because the inverter will generate less power than is the standard every day. Also, if you are buying a solar battery, you need to ensure that you get value for money.
6. The cost of purchase and installation
Contact a few solar companies in your state and get solar quotes with details of the cost which should include solar installation costs. The quotes should also indicate the solar panels’ warranty periods. This will help you to come up with a competitive price or average cost to buy solar panels. Once again, be aware of very low prices because it may mean that the components in the devices are of low quality. Poor devices will compromise on power generation and may eventually delay your payback period for the solar installations.