Decide whether you want to be on or off the power grid. Many people look forward to getting "off the grid" when they switch to solar power, however this may not be the best choice. Staying on your power grid means that when you have poor sunlight conditions you have the ability to purchase additional power when you need it. As a bonus, when you produce more power than you use, you can sell the excess back to the utilities.
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Find out if your local energy provider offers meter rollback programs. Once you have a solar energy system, you should consider joining one of these programs so you can sell the energy you produce to the main grid and draw the same amount of energy instead of purchasing an expensive battery system to store your power.
When switching over to solar panel, take the time to evaluate all of your energy needs. Solar panels are far from cheap, and there might be more cost effective ways that you can reduce energy consumption in your home. By reducing consumption, you can reduce how many panels you need, thereby reducing your overall purchase and install costs for a solar system.