How to go solar

With the rising electricity costs and the need to move towards sustainability and fight climate change; most businesses as well as individuals are interested in going solar. However, because of the increased resources on the internet concerning going solar; it can be daunting to figure out the best way of how to go solar to maximize the benefits associated with solar energy.

Switchingtosolarpv.com provides online users with information about online solar tools such as checklists as well as concepts that have been developed with the consumer in mind to help them go solar. Online solar tools such as online solar calculators, solar checklists, online solar marketplaces and other useful concepts such as the green button data can help you decide whether solar energy panels are worth the investment or answer the question: Are solar panels worth it?

How to go solar is made simple and faster when an interested solar buyer utilizes today’s available technology such as online solar tools and expert advice available in online solar energy platforms like the EnergySage or Geostellar. 

If you are new to the process of going solar, you may want to consider a few things to help you go solar with online solar tools that provide you with very personalized information about your home or business. Online solar tools are created with the user in mind and help solar customers to have information at their fingertips before making the decision about solar. These tools provide a personalized estimates of what solar will do for potential solar buyers at the click of a button. Online solar tools provided by the EnergySage and Geostellar apply LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology which offer remote imaging of the customer’s actual roof to determine how much solar is hitting their roof to provide the user with an analysis about:

  • The customer’s rooftop size 
  • Available roof space useful for installing solar panels. 
  • Roofing orientation that will be useful to harvest maximum solar irradiation 
  • Amount of shading that may affect solar energy production 

However, these online solar tools only provide users with just estimates and a qualified solar professional is still needed to verify these figures while providing  them with the actual analysis about their solar energy potential. The data provided by online solar tools is a good starting point for a solar buyer that may want to decide about going solar by:

  • Determining how many solar energy panels they need to utilize the available solar energy potential available on their rooftop space. 
  • Determine the best types of solar panels available to them based on solar panels efficiency and solar panel financing available to them. 
  • Determine the best solar panel financing options available to them in their locality and the best available rates that they can get 
  • Determine the estimates of solar energy panels system costs and their payback periods using a solar calculator inbuilt on these online solar tools
  • Compare solar panel quotes from multiple solar contractors or installers and sell the best available solar quote that will help a solar buyer save even more money based on the various deals provided to them. 
  • Determine tax incentives and rebates offered to them by the government.

With online solar tools providing the above unbiased information about going solar; how to go solar has now become a more simplified process than it was a decade ago and a solar buyer is provided with useful information that will enable them to take the next step towards going solar when they are more informed. Actually, online solar tools were created to help reduce the cost of solar since a customer online based approach reduces customer acquisition costs since sales costs are reduced using online platforms like the EnergySage or Geostellar.

When a solar buyer is not certain about certain questions or aspects of deciding to go solar, they can register online with these online solar platforms like the EnergySage or Geostellar and access expert advice that is unbiased. Expert advice provided is more customer focussed to ensure the solar buyer makes a decision that is practically fit based on the data that is generated from these online solar tools.

Online solar checklists like the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC’s) consumer solar checklist is great checklist to consider when considering to know how to go solar. 

Online solar checklists are a good starting point for new potential solar buyers who may  not have any knowledge about potential risks and opportunities that are available for them when they are interested in going solar.

A consumer solar checklist will offer questions, considerations and protective measures to help you make a more informed decision about solar. It is great guide since investing in solar energy is as important as any other decision that requires a considerable amount of finance and therefore you want to have a safe and effective installation that meets your expectations. A solar checklist will help you get the most from your investment as noted by IREC. Some common aspects of solar as captured in the IREC’s solar checklist include:

  • Is your roof suitable for solar energy? Is it shaded by trees or will trees grow to shade your roof?
  • Should you lease or buy solar panels? 
  • Compare solar installation offers 
  • Find your local utility policies on integrating and connecting solar 
  • Ensuring safety or safe installation 
  • Securing a fair solar deal or contract 

Find out more about this consumer solar checklist to secure a more safe, reliable and a fair solar installation.  Also you can learn more about the list of questions or considerations through online solar tools provided on the EnergySage or Geostellar online Solar Energy Platforms that apply LIDAR technology.

Such online solar platforms use online solar tools that help to tell you the hours of usable sunlight per year based on day-to-day analysis of weather patterns and the total area available for solar energy panels based on a 3D modeling of your roof as well as nearby trees and thus help you to calculate the estimated net savings based on your current energy consumption.

How to go solar is therefore informed on the above information which online solar tools can help you get started to estimate your costs and savings and eventually the mode of financing i.e. is it cash, loan, solar power purchase agreement (solar PPA) or solar leasing.

The mode of solar panel financing will depend on what you are able to afford at the time of signing the solar installation contract. However, how to go solar will depend on whether you want to adopt solar as an individual or as a community especially if you do not have enough space on your roof or perhaps you may want to contribute a small amount towards a community solar through crowd-funding based on your current circumstances.

Solar energy online platforms like EnergySage or Geostellar are a great resource and would provide you with expert advice when it comes to you specific needs and requirements and hence a great place to start your process of solar adoption.

In conclusion, how to go solar is specific on your current situation and the mode of financing you can afford as captured below:

Through the cash/loan option you can find or select a solar contractor of your choice and pay the whole amount cash or enter into an arrangement with a financial institution  through a loan and install solar panels in your rooftop while been guided in the process by online solar tools as well as solar checklist tools and expert advice from online solar energy platforms like the EnergySage or Geostellar

Through solar leasing/solar PPA is great for individuals or businesses that may not have upfront, the finance to install their solar energy panels. In this case, the solar buyer enters into a leasing or PPA agreement with a solar contractor with little or no money down and agrees to be making monthly solar payments that are slightly lower than their current monthly utility bills. Online solar tools as well as solar checklists from online solar energy platforms can provide you with specific details regarding the different options available to you as well as expert advice on how much you can save with solar lease or solar PPA if you decide to go solar using this type of solar panel financing. 

Through community based solar/crowd-funding especially for well organized communities that may be interested to go solar, but don’t have enough available rooftop space on their properties or the financing to go solar on their own. This may work for apartments or communities that are interested to go solar, but want to share the solar benefits associated with this arrangement such as low cost solar as this will involve a bigger system size. Community based solar helps each member to pay less as compared to owning the system as an individual. According to the EnergySage, in the community-based solar, project participants benefit from the power generated by the community solar farm that costs less than the price they would ordinarily pay to their utility.

Find out more from online solar marketplaces like the EnergySage and Geostellar that have considerable experience in  helping communities adopt community based solar projects.

Using such online solar platforms/tools, users can compare and contrast different solar energy plans and determine all the key solar deciding aspects as captured on the consumer solar checklists while getting solar expert advice through an online based platform. 


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