BBB Offers Tips For Homeowners Considering Solar Power Installation

solar panels on small houseNow 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.

Real-World Home Solar Energy System

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.

Enjoy!

ALEC Promoting Legislation To Penalize Homeowners Who Own Solar Panels

Solar panels on roofThe American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) will be seeking to promote a number of legislation at their next policy summit, in a bid to stifle the use of renewable sources of energy.  Topping their agenda is the imposition of penalties on homeowners who install their own solar panels, as well as blocking the Environmental Protection Agency.  The group views homeowners who install their own solar panels as free riders as they are not paying for the infrastructure that they use.

There will be over 800 state legislators in attendance at the meeting.  The group is aiming to provide resolutions that will prevent President Obama from using the Environmental Protection Agency to reduce the green house gases emitted by power plants.  The plans also aim to prevent state governments from promoting renewable sources of energy.

ALEC’s main sights are however set on state Renewable Portfolio Standards.  Under the Renewable Portfolio Standards, electricity companies are required to use renewable energy to power their operations.  In 2012, ALEC drafted a model pushing for the abolition of RPS but failed in its attempt.  Despite that, the group has a new strategy to weaken the pro-clean energy laws.