solar power inverter How to determine whether solar power is right for you / A little research can help you through a complex process
--Buying a solar system for your home is a bit like diving into the cold Pacific Ocean on a boiling day.Looks very attractive.Take a chance, you can reduce your electricity bill, make a slight impact on global warming, and use California's summer sun to run your air conditioner.But, at least in the first place, it can cause some pain to jump in.Before rebates and other incentives, a typical home solar system would cost $20,000 to $30,000.For those considering the use of solar energy, the Chronicle seeks advice from solar energy advocates, installers and homeowners who have made the leap.They suggest that curious people ask a series of questions before making a decision.All of this requires research, although most of the research can be done fairly quickly on the Internet.Of course, the answer will vary from owner to owner.Solar panels may not be worth it for everyone and will not work well for every house.But other homeowners may decide to do so.--Where do you live?"The first question I always ask is, 'Where is your house?"Barry Cinnamon, president of Aquina Solar, based in Los Gatos, said.Your location is important in several ways.First of all, if your house stands behind the screen of tall trees-Or under the shadow of your neighbor Mike's building.-You may not have enough light on your roof.Even partial occlusion can reduce the efficiency of the solar system.Second, the rebates that solar homeowners can enjoy vary from city to city.--How big is your home?You may need a 200 to 250 square foot roof facing south or southwest to get the project pencil out.Solar energy will also look more attractive if your home consumes a lot of energy.Cinnamon says people who pay more than $75 a month for electricity are the most profitable."Once you get into a higher electricity price level, the economy will get better," he said .".--How much is it?It's a bit tricky.Solar energy advocates and installers like to point out that home solar systems end up paying for themselves, usually at 20-to 25-One year warranty.They not only cut the amount of electricity you need to buy, but they also get credit for the excess electricity you generate and increase to the state grid.State and federal incentive programs can cover more than 35% of your installation costs."If you can afford a used car, you can afford solar energy," Bob Bowen said ." He spent less than $13,000 after his February tax refund to install the solar system at his home in Redwood City.However, it may be difficult to know the financial situation in advance, especially because some key factors may vary.State-The prescribed rebate will change over time.California's standard interest rate is scheduled to fall by 7% in early July.The federal government provides tax credits, but this is temporary.The national legislature needs to extend plans to provide excess electricity credit to solar owners.If this does not happen, future solar buyers will not be able to participate.However, there is an easy way to estimate the costs and benefits that the solar system may have for your family.The California Energy Commission has provided a project on its website called a clean energy estimator.Enter your zip code, current utility bills, and information about your family, and the evaluator will check the government incentives in your area when calculating possible costs and benefits.The project, developed by Napa clean energy research, will even recalculate your utilization.You can find the estimator on www.Consumer Energy Center.Organization/Renewable energy/Assessment/index.html.--How to find a reliable supplier?Assuming you have a house of the right size in the right location, finance seems to work properly.Now you need to find someone who can design the system for your home, sell you solar modules and install them.This is not a trivial matter.You want a contractor with good records and references.You also want to find someone who has the potential to work in the company for many years, and you can rely on him to provide future services.Liz Merry said: "You want someone you can trust, someone you can call him in the next 10 years and say 'My inverter is broken, they're coming. he bought a home solar system in 2002.She now serves as executive director of NorCal Solar, an advocacy group that advises people interested in the technology.There are several ways to find the right installer.The California Energy Commission has kept a list on its website.California's solar rebate is only available to homeowners who use installed programs registered in the state, and all installed programs listed on the Commission's website are eligible.Find it at www.Consumer Energy Center.Organization/database/index.html.You can also check the membership roster of the California solar industry association, a trade organization representing installers.Go to www.calseia.org.Call a few installers and have them come to your home for a free assessment and get a list of references.--What equipment do you need?The appearance and performance of solar panels vary.Some are more efficient than others and therefore cost more.Some fit into the roof but lose efficiency in the process.The standard here is completely subjective.-Including aesthetics and finance.However, some homeowners advise not to pay for the best system if you feel you really don't need it.A less-Expensive panels can also power your home.--How important is intangible assets?For some homeowners who are interested in solar, money is not a major consideration.Those who experienced the California power crisis five years ago may be eager to generate their own electricity without a conspiracy from energy traders.They may also think that solar energy is a way to fight global warming because every solar energy-The resulting Electronics added to the State Grid reduced the need to build more fossil-fuel power plants."I'm very worried about global warming, and that's something everyone can do," Bowen said ."."I am 1,000 happy, to say the least."Here are some Internet resources for homeowners who are considering installing solar systems :--To find out if you will save money with solar power, use the online calculator on www.Consumer Energy Center.Organization/Renewable energy/Assessment/index.html.--List of states-Registered solar installers who will be eligible for a California rebate, please visit www.Consumer Energy Center.Organization/database/index.html.--The California Solar Industry Association, a trade group of installers, lists its membership rosters on www.calseia.org.--For information about the California solar rebate program, please try www.Consumer Energy Center.Org/erprebate/index.html.--For answers to frequently asked questions about home solar systems, please visit www.norcalsolar.org/FAQ/faq1.html.The site's sponsor, NorCal Solar of Berkeley, is a great source of consumer information.