Now that summer is here, many homeowners may be considering solar power as an alternative to saving energy. However, the Better Business Bureau has thrown out words of caution to customers to ensure they are well informed before they make an investment in solar power energy.
This advice comes as the agency has received several reports of scams regarding solar energy contractors. The complaints filed range from contract issues to issues with customer service.
The bureau offers the following advice to customers who are considering installing solar power in their homes.
1. Assess if the Investment is Worth it
If your energy bill is less than $100 per month, then you should consider other ways of reducing energy cost. This is due to high initial investment needed for solar energy installation.
2. Sun is Vital for Solar Energy
Since solar energy is generated by the sun, check how many sunny days you get on average annually in your neighborhood before making the investment.
3. Exercise Caution With Solar Installers
If a solar deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If an installer offers low costs due to rebates and then makes a suggestion for you to obtain credit for the full amount of the system, then that is a red flag that something is not right.
4. Ensure you have a Sturdy Roof
To avoid any future problems, ensure that your roof is in good condition before installing a solar system.
Solar installations in San Diego are growing rapidly every year. In fact, one solar installation company has experienced a 50 percent growth in the past 3 years. In 2008, solar leases were introduced and the number of systems acquired through this means increased drastically.
Leasing a solar system may be convenient and cheap electricity option for many homeowners. However, it can prove quite a challenge when the house is to be sold. This is the plight of many homeowners in San Diego as the leased system means that a future buyer will have to undertake the existing contract. This factor alone can be a huge factor in the decision process for prospective buyers.
Homes that feature leased solar energy systems is also now a challenge for Real Estate Agents in the area who are trying to educate sellers and buyers on the pros and cons of owning vs leasing. If it was as simple as just transferring the lease it would not be so bad. However, prospective home buyers also have to qualify for the lease of the solar panels. The criteria for the lease assumption was, in some cases, more stringent that that of the loan purchase for the home.
We’ve always had a rather challenging time trying to track down real-world wiring diagrams of a actual home solar energy systems.
One of the most useful examples we’ve found online was discovered on YouTube. Not only does he list out what items he’s using, he also gives a diagram of the system and takes several minutes to discuss it.
Japanese engineering and electronics company Toshiba, will be venturing into the solar power business. The project is set to launch in March 2014 in Germany with the installation of photovoltaic (PV) systems in some apartment buildings operated by a German real estate company.
Germany is seeking to deregulate their energy market following a yearly spike in consumer electricity bills. Independent power providers are now able to deliver electricity. Toshiba will be one of the companies participating in Germany’s reformation of power generation and transmission and will operate a consumption model that will alleviate the burden on the regional grid.
The power generated by Toshiba’s PV systems will be sold to apartment residents at a lower rate than what is normally charged by the electricity companies. The company plans initiate the project with 3 megawatt solar systems and later expand to 100 megawatts by 2016.