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How to prepare your property properly for solar power?

By Michael Walkden

ARE YOU PREPPING YOUR PROPERTY PROPERLY FOR SOLAR POWER?

You’ll have to forgive the tongue-twister of a title, but hopefully it grabbed your attention as a seeker of sustainable real estate! Solar power is becoming increasingly popular and less expensive as more and more people decide to upgrade their homes with these clever, money-saving, planet-protecting devices.

In fact, Solar Choice figures for the month of May have revealed that, since 2012, average prices for systems of all sizes have dropped from $2.25 per watt to less than $1.75! In light of these big drops, you might be tempted to start investing in solar power yourself – but is your property truly going to make the most of this green living choice?

Here’s how you can ensure you have properly prepped your property to make the most of this solar sustainability solution.

HOW MUCH POWER ARE YOU USING?

Before anything else, you have to know how much power you’re actually using. You can find this out in a number of ways, such as talking to your electricity provider or doing some tests yourself using your meter. Either way, this information is integral to figuring out if solar is the right option for you.

Once you’ve found this information out, you’ll need to figure out if you’ve done everything you can to improve your power efficiency before installing solar. A typical home that uses 5,000kWh a year can reduce their energy use down to 3,000kWh by making a few design choices and lifestyle changes.

This can drastically reduce the amount of power your solar system needs to provide, making it cheaper and take up less roof space (particularly helpful if you live in a smaller home). You may even find that you end up generating more energy than you need (or can store), giving you the chance to sell it back to the grid.

HOW ARE YOU PLANNING TO STORE THE ENERGY?

The thing about solar, perhaps a little obviously, is that it needs sunlight in order to generate power. That means that there will be periods, such as during the night or just on cloudy days, where you find that your new system isn’t providing enough electricity at that point in time for your needs.

If you really want to make the most of your new panels, you’ll need a battery storage and a system to manage them. These systems have become increasingly popular, with orders for one modular storage battery from Enphase Energy bursting all expectations and running at double the targets, as reported by One Step Off the Grid.

As a result, you won’t have much trouble finding a range of different products for your needs, but one thing to keep in mind that you may need to sacrifice a little bit of space for this storage. Ensure that you have the wall or floor space for them before mentally committing to the solar upgrade. Of course, you may not need as extensive a storage solution if you are planning to only supplement your energy use with solar rather than rely on it completely, but these systems are still important if you want to ensure you keep the juice flowing for a full 24 hour day.

Ultimately, preparing your real estate for the solar revolution is equal parts lifestyle changes and design choices. Whether you want to go off the grid entirely, or just want to reduce your carbon footprint, solar is a great choice if you want to take your green living to the next level. But if you want to properly prep your property for solar power, make sure you do your homework before calling up the professionals!

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