Up until a decade ago, commercial solar panels Los Angeles were a rarity. Numerous local and federal tax incentives along with an increased awareness for pollution and climate change have helped increased their need.
Do solar panel installations really help? Consider the following fact: an average household solar panel decreases approximately 35,180 pounds of carbon dioxide each year. You would have to plant 88 trees each year to achieve a similar effect! However an explosion of tech-talk, financing plans, installers and other discussions on photovoltaics have left many business owners confused and unsure where to get started.
Perhaps the following introduction to commercial solar panels Los Angeles will help:
Why are solar panels necessary?
In order to reduce your carbon footprint and offset costs of rising utility prices, solar panels are a good, long term solution.
How do they work?
Solar panels are comprised of photovoltaic cells or PV cells. These are special units that harness the sun’s rays and transform it into direct current. This current is sent to the inverter which changes it to alternating current which is used to power homes and businesses.
Who installs commercial solar panels Los Angeles?
Installing panels isn’t easy. You need to hire a pro to do the wiring, assessment, panel placement, etc. To hire the best installer, look for a company that offers:
- A warranty for the inverter and panels - The warranty period should ideally last 10 years for the inverter and 25 years for the panels.
- Panels manufactured in the United States - This protects your warranty in case the manufacturer goes out of business.
- In-house installation - This lends more accountability in case things go wrong.
- Quality services - The installer must be bonded and licensed. Check with the Better Business Bureau for any complaints filed by previous clients.
- Customer References - Contact each reference to determine how well they performed their services.
How much does it cost?
The cost of solar panels has reduced by more than 60% since 2011. With the introduction of subsidies, local and federal tax credits, the average cost of a solar panel installation has reduced by $17,000.
Should you buy, lease or finance your panels?
When you purchase your panels, you can take advantage of tax credits. This installation can increase the value of your business.
Leasing is also quite popular as it helps deflect much of the up-front costs. In addition, when you lease, the company takes care of maintenance and repair charges.
If you have a good credit history, you can easily obtain a loan to purchase your panels. To take maximum benefit of this, ensure your loan payment amount is less than the cost of your electricity bill. This will help you save money.
How long will the entire installation process take before I can start using my panels?
Between wiring, installation and getting approval from the utility company, it can take up to a month before you can start using your panels. The installation and wiring components take up a couple of days. Between signing the contract and getting the actual installation can take a few weeks, depending on how busy your installer is.
Do I need a permit?
Yes. This is why it will take time to install your panels. The type and cost of permits varies according to municipalities but your installer will obtain them on your behalf.
What can impact my installation?
Your roof must ideally have a South-Western exposure to receive maximum sunlight. However, you can still take advantage of solar technology with other roof orientations.
Variables such as tall buildings, trees and chimneys can block the amount of sun exposure your panels get. This will be determined during the assessment phase of your installation.
How many panels do I need?
The number of panels required can be determined by multiplying your average daily kilowatts by 0.25. This figure will tell you how big your system needs to be. The number of panels will depend on how much peak sunlight your panels will get per day.
Determining how many panels you will need for maximum efficiency and savings is a bit complicated, which is why we recommend hiring a professional commercial solar panels installer.
Get in touch with one now at OhSolarMio!