How to Shop for Home Solar Panels

Wise Solar, Inc. Solar Panels on Commercial roof

Shopping for solar can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be. Purchasing Solar Panels for your home is a major investment and can save you a lot of money even at a high dollar amount for the solar system. There are some key steps to take to shop for solar panels in the most proper way possible.

Solar Panels on a tile roof
Solar Panels on a tile roof

Some of the key things to consider when shopping for solar panels is your general location. We are located in Southern California where there is a ton of sun! Owning solar panels down here is a great investment and can almost always save you money. With the Solar Panel technology that is available today, it is really easy to meet your exact needs. The biggest variable for our pricing and structure is the type of solar panels that you choose to work with. All of the solar panels that we install have a 25 year warranty. Not all warranties are created equal, but overall solar panels are extremely simple and durable devices.

Know Your Electrical Usage in kWh

The panels that are widely installed today all generate electricity and it has become a science to determine exactly how much solar power one panel will produce. When you start shopping for solar, knowing the exact amount of power that will be needed to “offset” will be key. You will be able to find this information manually on your electric bills, or in most utility companies (SCE, PG&E, SDG&E and more) you will be able to pull this information up in your online account.

Monthly Usage Example for Step one on your path to shop for solar

You can see that we really only want the total kWh consumed. Be sure to know your rate plan and then the software fills in the rest.

Usage Data Input

Today, the electrical companies charge a different rate after solar and that will be more important than your current rate plan. In SCE, there isn’t much of a choice for post solar rates, but in PG&E and SDG&E, there are many rate plans to choose from and that is a difficult thing to compare. With the LADWP rate plan, they have some of the best rates and value for solar consumers. With these new Time of Use rate plans in most utilities, batteries have become a financial saving factor in some cases.

When you shop for solar, know your home and where you want the panels

After you know exactly how much power you and your home or business will need, it is time to get to know your home a little better. It is important to know the Azimuth (direction) that your roof faces. I have found that Google Sunroof has some great information on it. It really goes in and allows you to see how much sun you have on your roof and how much you may be able to save.

Example of Google SunRoof
Example home from Google SunRoof.

After you have this knowledge, you should be able to shop for solar panels with more confidence knowing some of your savings! If you came to us with this information, we would be more than happy to take it to the next level which will be to draw up your home manually and show exactly where the solar panels will go. At this point, all of the information would be our preliminary information.

Preliminary Solar Panel Design
This would be our preliminary information. It is using Google’s high resolution Map imaging. Then we would come out and fly a drone to finalized.

This is a really quick guide to the first steps to shopping for solar panels. We want to help you get the best products at the best pricing possible, and we will do what we can to help you get there. The next steps are to pick what type of solar panels you would like. We will go over the next step in our next post.

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