Green energy choices and companies are thankfully becoming more popular these days. I have been sent a guide to choosing solar panels by The Simple Dollar (which is a bit like The Money Saving Expert website here in the UK) that I wanted to share with you all. Although some of the details only apply to the American market there is a lot of useful information in the guide that anyone anywhere can use to help them choose the right solar panel scheme, manufacturer and installer. You can read the full guide at The Simple Dollar Solar Panel Guide webpage. I have provided a short breakdown of the guide below along with a couple of links that will be useful for UK readers (as that is where most of my readers are.) If you live in the US there are lots of useful links in the article. If you live elsewhere then it is worth checking out local government schemes and green energy companies in your area to see what they provide.
If you are in the US there is lots of useful information on the tax credit scheme (that has been extended) that you can use to buy solar panels. There is also lots of useful information on US companies, costs and schemes. I think that subsidies have recently been cut in the UK, but it worth having a look around to see what schemes are in place. You can check out the Energy Saving Trust and also Which? for more information on UK Solar Panels costs and savings. There is a detailed guide to the different ways to get solar panels in the US and also the savings that can be made on each method - however these sorts of schemes also exist in other areas, so the advice can easily be applied to the UK and elsewhere. For example, the article mentions community energy schemes which I have also heard about recently in my local area.
The main advice we can take from this article is that buying outright is probably the best option in the long run in terms of finances. When we own the panels we can sell excess energy that our panels make back to the grid. Owning the panels also saves money in the long run, especially as they last a long time, so you wouldn't get the same benefits from leasing them as you would a car. They even add value to your house.
There is also a very useful guide on choosing the right manufacturer and installer. In terms of the manufacturer advice includes looking into the longevity and efficiency of their panels. The detailed guide on finding the right installer looks at points such as customer service, warranty and the reputation of the company .
I found this guide to be a great read. Although, as previously stated the company information is only for the US and Canada - the actual guides to the money that can saved on different options and the information on finding the right installer and manufacturer are useful wherever you are. We don't have solar panels on our current home, especially as we are hoping to move in the next year or so. But we want to get solar panels for our new home and I will definitely be applying the points from this guide in my research. You can find the full guide at The Simple Dollar Solar Panel Guide with UK information at Energy Saving Trust and the Which? Solar Panel Guide. I hope you find the guide useful and it helps you to save money and make your home a little greener.