As photovoltaic technology advancements make home energy systems a more viable, attractive and affordable option for home and business owners, it becomes important to look at who offers solar power systems. Someone who offers solar energy harnessing could be a professional business, contractor or properly certified and licensed individual. Customers should look for a reputable company that is well versed in their product line and is able to accommodate the climate and conditions in any area. A house that will be receiving heavy snowfall should be given panels equipped with increased load capacity. An installer of a home solar electric system on the coast should know whether the panels need to be protected against salt mist corrosion.
One way to see if an installer and provider of PV (photovoltaic) panels is familiar with the technology they’re working with is to inquire about which licenses and certifications they and their employees currently have. The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) allows renewable energy professionals to voluntarily become certified in an effort to homogenize industry standards, educate, and promote safety. However, being certified by NABCEP does not authorize an individual to practice any sales or installations, and a NABCEP certificate is not the same thing as a license issued by the government. Each state has its own special set of licensing requirements. Some licenses and rules that may be relevant for anyone who offers solar are as follows: Home Improvement Contractors license before any sales or installations can be done, a master electrician’s license for electrical work, one permanent employee that is NABCEP qualified, unlicensed apprentices are allowed to work only under the direct supervision of a licensed person. The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) maintains an up to date state by state list of the prerequisite qualifications. IREC is a nonprofit organization that helps to influence energy policies and standards within the industry.
The benefits gained from a home electric system come in the form of fixed energy rates, as well as immunity from blackouts and brownouts. Depending on the state, there are also the added advantages of tax incentives and net metering options, where applicable. Net metering allows the owner of a home energy system to receive a retail credit for some of the excess energy they produce. Installing photovoltaic panels can also have the unintentional benefit of increasing the value of a building. The benefits of a home electric system impact more than just the homeowner; solar is a clean source of renewable energy that places no stress or pollution on the environment.
When looking for someone who offers solar panel sales, the method of supplying the panels is important to take into consideration too. Can they be bought or is there an option of leasing solar panels? Is the leasing agreement financially beneficial in the long run? While no money up-front is an appealing option for leasing, the long term financial outcome should also be taken into consideration when talking with the company who offers solar power options according to those like Alouxe. The lifetime of a panel can be 40+ years, and after the initial installation they require almost no maintenance or adjustments. A leasing agreement typically increases 3 percent annually, which adds an unnecessary cost to a system that does not require more money to function.