When looking to install solar for your home, one of the most significant decisions you’ll need to make is choosing the best home solar panels for your situation. Also known as solar modules, solar panels are not one-size-fits-all. They are chosen based on their specific application. Read all about our solar financing solutions to see what payment plan works best for you. Every home solar system is custom designed with software by an engineer. An expensive, high efficiency panel may perform just as well as a standard or economy panel under certain circumstances. Bigger is not always better. The best solar panels for your situation are highly dependent on the two factors below. The more electricity you consume, the more solar power you’ll need to generate. You should ideally produce enough power to offset 100% of the electricity you consume. It’s useful to have a full year’s worth of electricity payments for reference on your bill, so your system designer can factor in household usage patterns that fluctuate month to month. Most residential systems are placed atop your home on the roof. Your roof’s tilt, type, age, and amount of shading can all affect the number of solar panels you need. Generally speaking, it’s better to have more panels placed on the southern side of your roof, as that’s where the sun shines the most in the northern hemisphere. Keep in mind: Choosing the best solar panels company for you is significantly dependent on these variables. Be sure you’re working with a knowledgeable company that encompasses all of these factors into your project. Solar panels and inverters work together to form the main components of your solar system.In a nutshell, your panels generate Direct Current, or DC, electricity, and then your solar panel inverter “inverts” that power to Alternating Current, or AC, electricity. This is necessary because your home appliances and the electricity grid runs on AC power.Some photovoltaic panels are compatible with only specific types of inverters, some with all inverters. Your panels and inverter must fit together like puzzle pieces. The type of system your home needs, and your own personal preferences, will determine which inverters and panels are an option for you.
In environmental friendliness, solar far exceeds traditional forms of energy production from fossil fuels.The clean energy produced by solar panels quickly compensates for the energy required to manufacture them. Combined with other positive environmental impacts such as reductions in water usage, consumers can rest assured that solar panels have a substantial positive effect on the environment. Here’s how going solar compares to having your home powered by a traditional coal-fired power plant: Life-cycle carbon emissions are 95% lower than coal Total water consumption is 99% lower than coal Total air pollution is 99% lower than coal Though no carbon emissions are associated with the generation of energy from solar panels themselves, the transportation, installation, and maintenance of the panels do result in carbon emissions. The carbon footprint of solar panel production varies widely by region of production, depending largely on the primary fuel that a region relies on for its energy. In 2014, a study found that the carbon footprint of a solar panel produced in China, where coal is heavily relied upon for electricity, was twice that of a panel produced in Europe.Despite the energy costs of producing panels, most solar cells pay back the initial energy invested in their manufacturing within just 2 years. Considering a standard solar panel lifespan of 30 years, the clean energy that these panels produce far outweighs the energy required to manufacture them.Still, the solar industry can continue to improve its practices. As clean energy spreads, more of the energy used for solar panel production will itself be generated from renewable sources, reducing the lifecycle emissions of solar panels even more. As an environmentally conscious consumer, you can make a positive impact by requesting information from installers concerning the manufacturers of their products. In turn, installers will be pressured to request this information from their manufacturers and select manufacturers with responsible environmental practices. As a result, manufacturers will have a financial incentive to improve their practices. Environmentally-minded consumers should also choose manufacturers that provide transparent information about their manufacturing practices. With consumer choice indicating a preference for environmentally-friendly manufacturers, the industry will continue moving toward an even greener future.
The pandemic’s entry in 2020 challenged just about every business to adapt and innovate. While the solar industry had its own obstacles to bear, implementing stricter safety protocols and fine-tuning digital business practices made all the difference. For SunPower, making these changes early on was a large part of our success. Online appointments took over the traditional consultation process and solar installers practiced responsible social distancing. Each month, we have seen an upward trend in the number of homeowners ready to take charge of their electricity. Only 2% of U.S. residents are currently using solar energy, leaving a large market of possibilities. In addition to the global pandemic, multiple natural disasters made themselves known during 2020, many of which are being contributed to climate change. With what seemed to be a longer than usual wildfire season across the west coast and a record-breaking hurricane season along the Atlantic, this past year saw more than enough evidence that environmental stewardship is more important than ever before. While the effects of climate change don’t seem to be slowing down, SunPower will continue to stay focused on changing how our world is powered. Brands across the nation are actively embracing more sustainable practices, in part, to help mitigate the effects of climate change. As a result, many companies have created ambitious plans to significantly reduce carbon emissions, all within a fairly tight timeline. SunPower has had the pleasure to work with many of these businesses in an effort to help them reach these goals. Just last year, SunPower helped install more than 26 MW of solar for its commercial customers and that’s not counting PPA partnerships or connections made through its expansive dealer network. That’s an equivalent to carbon sequestered by approximately 2.5 million tree seedlings grown over a 10-year span of time. We look forward to increasing those efforts within the next year as more brands implement cleaner energy for cost savings and corporate social responsibility efforts. The future of solar energy is here and it starts with homeowners getting more control over the power they generate through their solar panels. When extreme weather hits and leads to rolling blackouts from wildfire activity, snowstorms and even hurricanes, it makes sense that homeowners would want a solar battery on their side. Many are already finding great value in the peace of mind that a reliable backup system can bring and we expect interest to only increase over time. At SunPower, we’ve already seen an encouraging demand for our SunVault™ storage system as we roll the product out in select regions across the U.S. Solar energy has become more mainstream globally and a lot of that is due to policies supporting its implementation. As a result, the decision to switch to solar power has become increasingly more affordable throughout the decades. So much so that last year solar energy hit a new milestone, historically low costs. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), solar power is now the cheapest source of electricity in history for some parts of the world. And policymakers aren’t stopping there. From state to federal levels, environmental advocates like the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) are working to create more benefits for solar adopters. This includes the recent extension of the federal solar investment tax credit (ITC). Beginning this year, the ITC was originally slated to decrease to 22% of the total installed cost of a solar system. However, with the COVID-19 rescue package, the tax credit is now set to 26% during 2021 and 2022.