Keep your solar panels out of the shade. It might seem obvious, but your solar panels do need sun. Make sure that you are not installing them in the shade. Trim back the branches on surrounding trees if you need to. Failing to do so could cost you more than half your energy output.
The amount of energy your solar panel will produce is rated by watts. For example, if your solar panel is rated 100 watts, then on a clear day, your solar panel will produce 100 watts per hour. To find out how much electricity you need to produce, look at your electric bill and divide the total by 30 days and then divide it by 3 as there is generally bright sunlight one third of the day.
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You can be free of the power grid when you generate your own solar power. You, yourself, can get it work, making your family more independent than your neighbors. In other words, you won't need to change electric services should you move, nor will you see high electric bills anymore.