CHAPTER THREEIs a Solar System Right for You?

In this chapter, we'll look at whether a solar energy system makes sense for your home or small business. Large commercial installations require many engineering consultations and onsite visitations by professional commercial installers. That is beyond the scope of this book, but there are smaller-scale options available for homes and small businesses.

The answer to this chapter's question depends on a number of factors.

  • What are the energy requirements of your house or business?
  • What is your daily energy coverage target?
  • How much sunlight does your area receive?
  • How many panels will meet your energy coverage target?

With solar energy costs approaching those of traditional grid power from your power company, the decision is becoming less and less of an economic one. As solar prices continue to drop, adding solar energy to your home becomes more about deciding what your energy goals are. Perhaps you have a remote cabin or home not served by a local power company. In that case, solar plus storage may be one of your only options.

But for most homeowners or small business owners, the decision to add solar is based on minimizing your carbon footprint, maximizing your return on investment, saving as much as you can on your energy bill, or a combination of all three.

WHAT ARE YOUR ENERGY REQUIREMENTS?

The first step in deciding on a system is determining how much energy you use. I recommend that you take an entire year to review your ...

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