While the solar panels themselves will naturally be a huge part of your considerations when purchasing a solar power system for your home or building, it's important to realize that they aren't the only relevant components at play in many such settings. There are a few others that will often play a huge role in the basic operations and value generation of your system, and knowing about them as well is very important.

At Intermountain Wind & Solar, we're happy to assist with a huge range of both residential and commercial solar power needs for clients around Utah, including not just the panels themselves, but the entire setup your home or building will require. What are some of the top accessories you should likely be thinking about for your solar power system, including some our pros may recommend to you directly? Here's a basic rundown.

Solar Batteries

Likely the single solar power appliance that's growing most in popularity at this time is the solar battery, and for good reason. This is an appliance that can store solar energy collected during the daytime so that it can be used even when the sun isn't out. That way, you won't have to rely as much on your backup power source, whether that's the grid or a generator.

Solar batteries come in all shapes and sizes, so it's important to speak with a pro about the specific needs of your solar power system before making any decisions. But battery backup is an increasingly popular option that can really help you feel more confident and comfortable in your use of solar power overall.

At Intermountain, it's our pride to offer the Tesla Powerwall battery backup, an industry-leading product that we feel confident in recommending to all of our clients.

Critter Guards

When solar panels are mounted on the roof of your home or building, they're generally applied in a way that leaves a small space under each panel. This allows for any debris that collects to simply roll off the roof rather than becoming stuck or building up over time.

However, in some areas, it's also not uncommon for small animals or insects to find their way under these panels and start building nests. This can obviously cause all sorts of problems, including potential damage to your solar panels themselves.

For that reason, we always recommend the use of critter guards for any home or business owner with rooftop solar panels. These are simply wire mesh screens that can be installed over the spaces under your panels, keeping any small creatures out while still allowing for ventilation and debris removal.

Even if you haven't had major pest or rodent issues in the past, it's always better to be safe than sorry - and critter guards are an extremely affordable way to do just that.

Solar Panel Mounts

The actual process of mounting solar panels to your roof or another surface will obviously vary depending on the specifics of your project. But in all cases, it's important to make sure that you're using high-quality, durable mounts that can really keep your panels in place for the long haul.

There are all sorts of different solar panel mounts on the market these days, so again, it's important to work with a professional to figure out which ones will best suit your needs. But at Intermountain, we're confident in the quality of the products we offer, and we're always happy to help our clients choose the right mounts for their needs.

Edge Skirts

Speaking of mounting accessories, edge skirts are specifically meant to help obscure or even entirely hide the exposed edges of your solar panels. This can obviously be important for aesthetic reasons, but it can also serve a functional purpose in some cases.

For example, if your solar panels are mounted close to the edge of your roofline, an edge skirt can help to prevent any water or debris from getting behind the panel and causing problems. They're generally very affordable and easy to install, so they're definitely worth considering.

EV Chargers

Another area that's growing in popularity in big ways in recent years is the electric vehicle industry, which obviously has a lot of overlap with solar power. More and more people are making the switch to EVs these days, and as a result, there's an increasing demand for solar-powered EV chargers.

If you're considering making the switch to an electric vehicle, or if you already have one, it's definitely worth looking into the possibility of getting a solar EV charger. These can be a great way to maximize the efficiency of your solar power system, and they're becoming more and more affordable all the time.

Solar Inverters

Another hugely important accessory for solar power systems is the solar inverter, which essentially acts as a go-between for your solar panels and the rest of your home or building. The inverter takes the Direct Current (DC) power generated by your solar panels and converts it into Alternating Current (AC) power, which is the kind of power that's used by nearly all homes and businesses.

Inverters are generally very reliable, but they can occasionally run into problems - which is why we always recommend working with a professional to get yours installed. That way, you can be sure that it's done right and that you have someone to turn to if you ever run into any issues.

Intermountain Wind and Solar is proud to be at the forefront of the solar industry in Utah, and we're always happy to help our clients find the best possible products and accessories. For more on this area, or to learn about any of our Utah solar panel services, speak to our staff today.

While the generation of power from your solar panels is a vital part of their operation, it's only one piece of the puzzle in most solar power systems. Also vital is the storage and proper directing of that power to the areas where it's needed, and there are a few important variables to be thinking about down these lines.

At Intermountain Wind & Solar, we're here to not only provide both residential and commercial clients with quality solar panels, but also to offer industry-leading storage solutions like the Tesla Powerwall battery backup. These and other solar power storage systems allow you to capture your energy and store it for future use, helping with everything from maintaining power needs during peak hours to preventing power outages in your home or building. When you're considering installation of any solar panel system, what are some areas to inquire about with regard to storage? Here are several.

Why Does Solar Storage Matter

Solar power storage hits at the very basic theme that solar panels can't constantly be providing direct power generation around the clock. They need sunlight to do their job, and while many solar panels are becoming more efficient at lower light levels, they're not able to produce power at night or during extended periods of cloudy weather. This is where storage comes in, as it can help you "bank" your solar energy for later use.

This future use can come in several forms, such as:

These are just a few examples of how solar storage can be beneficial. When you're looking at any kind of solar installation, it's important to inquire about storage solutions and see if they make sense for your needs.

How Does Storage Work During a Power Outage

We mentioned the value of solar storage during a power outage above, and many people have questions about how this works. Here's a quick overview.

During an outage, your solar panels will stop generating power. However, if you have a quality storage system in place, the stored power can be used to maintain critical loads in your home or business. This might include things like lights, refrigeration, and communication equipment.

One thing to keep in mind is that during an outage, your system will be working "off the grid." This means it will be disconnected from the utility company's power lines. As such, you'll only have as much power as is stored in your system, so it's important to make sure you have enough capacity to cover your needs.

This is where the Tesla Powerwall really shines, as it's specifically designed for backup power needs. With a very high wattage capacity, it can provide enough power for most homes to maintain critical loads during an outage.

How Does Solar Power Storage Benefit the Power Grid?

Some think of solar power as a service that's "in opposition" to the power grid. In reality, however, solar power and the grid can work together quite well. This is especially true when solar storage is involved.

One way this works is through what's called "load following." This is where stored solar energy is used to meet demand on the grid during periods of high use. This helps utilities avoid having to use dirtier, more expensive power sources to meet this demand.

Another way solar storage can benefit the grid is through what's called "frequency regulation." This is where stored solar energy is used to maintain a consistent frequency on the grid. This helps keep the grid stable and can avoid blackouts and other issues.

In both cases, solar storage can help the grid operate more efficiently and effectively. This, in turn, helps keep costs down for everyone involved.

Is My Existing System Compatible With Solar Storage?

Whether you have a current solar panel setup already or are still utilizing the grid as your primary power source, it's important to know that solar storage is an option for you. In most cases, solar storage can be added to existing systems with little difficulty.

The best way to find out if your system is compatible with solar storage is to consult with a qualified professional. They'll be able to assess your system and let you know what options are available to you.

In many cases, solar storage can be a great addition to an existing system. It can provide numerous benefits and help you make the most out of your solar panels.

What Will Storage Cost Me?

This is a vital question, of course, but it doesn't have a singular answer. The cost of solar storage will vary depending on a number of factors, including the size of the system, the type of batteries used, and the specific needs of the customer.

In general, however, solar storage systems are becoming more and more affordable. This is thanks in part to advancements in technology and increased competition in the market. Many battery producers, and even some utility companies, are offering great rebates to customers who install solar storage.

The cost of solar storage will also vary depending on the specific benefits you're looking for. For example, a system designed solely for backup power during an outage will be less expensive than one designed to provide both backup power and load following capabilities.

The best way to get an accurate estimate of what solar storage will cost you is to consult with a qualified professional. They'll be able to assess your needs and give you an accurate estimate of what it will cost to install a system that meets those needs.

For more on what to ask regarding solar power storage, or to learn about any of our solar storage or solar panel installation services, speak to the team at Intermountain Wind & Solar today.

As the number of homes with solar panels installed on or around them continues to increase with each passing year, more and more people are running into a common situation: They're either looking to buy or sell a home that has solar panels. If you're on either side of this coin, which elements should you be closely considering as you move forward?

At Intermountain Wind & Solar, we're here to help with a huge variety of residential solar power and related needs, from initial installations and tax incentives through increasingly common situations where our clients are considering purchasing or selling a home that has solar panels installed. Here are some important themes to keep in mind as you're navigating either side of this situation.

System Ownership Type

First and foremost, it's vital to be cognizant of the kind of ownership of the solar panel system that's present on a given home, and how this impacts a potential sale. There are a few different formats under which solar panels are typically acquired:

It's important to be aware of which of these scenarios is in play, as it can have a big impact on the final value of the home. For instance, if you're selling a home with leased solar panels, the new owner will likely be taking on that lease agreement and will need to factor that into their budget.

On the other hand, if you're looking to purchase a home with solar panels, you'll want to be clear on whether the system is owned outright or if there's a lease agreement in place. In the latter case, you may be taking on an existing monthly fee, but you could also have the option to purchase the system at a later date.

Valuing a Solar Panel System

Especially important if you're buying or selling a home where the solar panel system was purchased outright (or where a prior loan has been paid off entirely, meaning the system now belongs to the homeowner) is understanding how to value the system. In some cases, the system may be considered personal property and will be included in the sale price of the home as part of the negotiation between buyer and seller.

In other circumstances, however, it may make more sense to value the system separately from the home itself. This is more likely to be the case if the system is leased, as the new homeowner will likely be taking on that lease agreement regardless of whether they purchase the home or not.

If you're working with a real estate agent, they should be able to help you determine which route makes the most sense in your particular situation.

Buyer Tips for Homes With Solar Panels

Here are some other general tips we offer to buyers who are evaluating homes that have existing solar panel systems:

Seller Tips for Homes With Solar Panels

If you're selling a home with solar panels, on the other hand, here are some concepts to keep in mind:

For more on how to navigate a home sale or home purchase situation where solar panels are involved, or to learn about any of our solar power solutions, speak to the team at Intermountain Wind & Solar today.

Like with many other areas where you'll be spending money on a product or service of some kind, comparing your available options when looking into solar power for your home or business is important. Solar power companies will happily provide basic price quotes and estimates to clients to help them decide whether solar will be a quality investment for them, and understanding what's involved in these quotes and how to compare them can go a long way.

At Intermountain Wind & Solar, we're happy to provide detailed price quotes and savings estimates for our residential and commercial solar power clients in Boise and other parts of Idaho, helping them understand not only the initial setup costs for our components, but also the long-term savings you stand to enjoy from replacing your reliance on traditional power with solar energy. We welcome comparisons of our price quotes and other elements to other solar companies you may be looking at, both because we want clients to get the very best for their needs and because we're confident that we're the ones best-positioned to offer it. Here are some basics on why comparing solar quotes is a must for anyone looking into this area, plus some tips on how to go about doing this.

How Comparing Quotes Saves You Money

Price comparisons are a common thing people do in any number of situations, from buying a new car to hiring a painter for their home. It only makes sense to compare the available options when you're looking into making such a significant investment as solar power, both to ensure that you're getting the most bang for your buck and also because there are often variations in pricing depending on the company you go with.

Comparing quotes also allows you to more easily identify any potential "red flags" that may come up. If one company's quote is notably lower or higher than the others, that could be a sign that they're not including all the necessary costs in their estimate or that they're using lower-quality components. Asking about any discrepancies is a good way to get more information and ensure that you're making the best decision.

To get the most accurate comparisons possible, be sure to provide each company you're considering with the same basic information, such as the size of your home or business, your average monthly energy usage, etc. This will help ensure that you're comparing apples to apples and make it easier to see which company is offering the best overall value.

Our next several sections will go over some other basic tips for how to go about obtaining and comparing price quotes among solar power providers.

Solar Equipment Qualities

One of the most important areas to inquire about and look into in detail within any solar quote is the quality of the equipment that would be installed. Not all solar panels and systems are created equal, and some companies may try to cut corners by using lower-quality products. This not only decreases the long-term savings you'll enjoy from your solar installation, but it can also lead to problems with the system down the road.

When comparing solar quotes, be sure to ask about the quality of the panels and other equipment that would be used. In addition, it can be helpful to look up reviews of the equipment online or to ask for customer references who have had similar systems installed.

There are several factors that may differentiate solar panels, from the specific materials used in their construction to the company or country of origin. In general, higher-quality panels will be more durable and efficient, providing greater long-term savings.

Roof Layout and Design

Another important element to consider is the way solar panels will be laid out, usually on the roof but sometimes on other parts of the property. Some companies may try to fit as many panels onto your roof as possible, while others may take a more conservative approach.

Comparing quotes will help you get a better sense of how much each company is willing to work with you on the design and layout of the solar installation. If you have specific ideas about how you want the panels to look or be arranged, be sure to communicate this to each company so that you can get an accurate sense of their approach.

In some cases, a more "aggressive" layout with more panels may actually increase your long-term savings potential, while in other cases it could decrease the curb appeal of your home or business without providing enough of an efficiency boost to make up for it.

Solar Financing and Energy Savings Potential

For many home or building owners, the single most important factor in deciding whether to go solar is the potential for energy savings. Solar panels can provide a significant reduction in your monthly energy bills, but the amount of money you save will depend on several factors, from the size and layout of your system to the amount of sunlight your property receives.

When comparing quotes from different companies, be sure to ask about the potential for energy savings and how that was calculated. In addition, be sure to ask about any solar financing options that may be available, as this can make solar more affordable up-front and increase your overall savings potential.

There are a number of solar financing options available, from leases and PPAs to loans and outright purchase. Each option has its own pros and cons, so be sure to compare them carefully before making a decision.

Solar Maintenance and Warranties

Last but not least, be sure to ask about solar maintenance and warranties. Most quality solar panels come with a 25-year warranty, but some companies may try to skimp on the warranty period or offer only a limited warranty.

Maintenance is also an important consideration, as a well-maintained solar system can lead to greater long-term savings. Be sure to ask about who is responsible for maintaining the system and what that entails.

For more on how to compare price and equipment quotes for solar panels between various options, or to learn about any of our solar power installation or other solar services in Boise or other parts of Idaho, speak to the team at Intermountain Wind & Solar today.

There are numerous groups that may benefit from the use of solar power, and among these are homebuilders and their clients who are looking to build new homes for themselves. The use of solar panels in new home construction has gone way up in recent years, with both builders and their clients realizing many ways, both financial and otherwise, that solar panels can play a role in a quality construction process.

At Intermountain Wind & Solar, we're happy to help with a variety of residential solar panel services, including the use of the Tesla Powerwall battery backup, the best solar battery solution on the market. Why are more and more homebuilders utilizing solar energy as part of their builds, and what are some important themes for clients in such situations to consider as they go about planning a new home construction process that involves solar? Here's a rundown.

Why Solar is Increasing in Popularity Among Homebuilders

There are several reasons why solar is on the rise among homebuilders. First, as mentioned, there are significant financial benefits to be gained by solar panel installation, both for the builder themselves and for their clients. Solar panels can provide a great deal of savings on energy costs over time, and this is money that can add up quickly, especially in cases where a home is outfitted with a larger solar array.

What's more, solar panels can actually increase the resale value of a home, making them a wise investment for any builder who is looking to create homes that will have good resale value down the line. And finally, as awareness of both the benefits of solar power and the technology continues to grow, it's becoming more and more common for people to want solar-powered homes.

Are you looking to hire a homebuilder to help you create the new home of your dreams -- and also looking to include solar themes in this process? Here are some basic tips we recommend keeping an eye on.

Up-Front and Long-Term Costs

When it comes to solar power, it's important to think about costs in multiple timeframes. There are up-front costs associated with solar panel installation, of course, but these are often offset by a variety of financial incentives -- including federal and state tax credits, as well as utility company rebates in some cases.

In other words, while there may be an initial investment required to get solar panels installed, this cost is often recouped over time as the savings on energy bills start to add up. Additionally, it's important to consider long-term costs and benefits; solar panels will continue to provide energy savings for years after installation, making them an extremely cost-effective choice in the long run.

That said, you need to take the time to precisely determine how much a solar installation will cost in order to get an accurate estimate of how long it will take for the savings to offset the initial investment. This is something our team at Intermountain Wind & Solar can help you with, so be sure to get in touch if you're interested in learning more.

Building Regulations

Before beginning any construction project, it's important to make sure that you're in compliance with all local building regulations. This is especially true when solar panels are involved, as there may be specific requirements regarding their installation.

Our team at Intermountain Wind & Solar is familiar with all relevant building codes and regulations, so we can help you ensure that your construction project is in compliance from the very beginning. This will save you time and hassle down the line, and will help ensure that your new home is built to last.

Coverage Area

Another important consideration when installing solar panels is the coverage area of your property. In order to get the most out of your solar investment, you'll want to make sure that the panels are installed in an area where they will receive the most direct sunlight possible.

It's important to realize that the size of a given solar power setup doesn't always directly relate to the size of the home in question. Rather, the number of solar panels you'll need depends on a variety of factors -- including the climate where you live, the average amount of sunlight your property receives, and how much energy you typically use.

Insolation Rating

Another factor that's extremely important when determining your precise solar power needs: Insolation rating, which refers to how much solar radiation a given location receives. The higher the insolation rating, the more solar radiation a property will receive on an annual basis.

This is something our team can help you determine, as we have access to detailed maps that show the insolation rating of various locations across the United States. With this information in hand, you'll be able to make a more informed decision about how many solar panels you'll need for your new home.

Surrounding Elements

As you may have already guessed, another vital consideration here is the surrounding elements. You'll want to take into account things like trees, buildings, and other obstructions that may shade your property and limit the amount of sunlight that reaches the solar panels.

Making sure that there is plenty of open space around your home is essential for getting the most out of a solar installation. If you're unsure about whether or not your property is a good candidate for solar, our team at Intermountain Wind & Solar can help you assess the situation and make a decision.

Orientation

Last but not least, it's important to consider the orientation of your home when installing solar panels. In order to maximize the amount of sunlight that reaches the panels, they should be installed on the south-facing roof of your home.

If this isn't possible, or if your home doesn't have a south-facing roof, don't worry -- there are still ways to make solar work for you. Our team at Intermountain Wind & Solar can help you assess the situation and determine the best way to install solar panels on your property.

Building a new home with solar power is becoming an increasingly popular option, thanks to the many benefits that solar energy can offer. Not only does installing solar panels increase the value of your home and help you save money on your energy bills, but they can also play a role in the overall quality and sustainability of the home moving forward. If you're looking to include solar in your new home construction process, contact the team at Intermountain Wind & Solar for assistance.

There are many people and industries that are benefitting from the rise in solar panel technology in recent years, and one such industry is the home construction realm. Homebuilders have begun to include solar panels more and more often in new homes, including some states like California where this sort of thing is essentially a legal requirement -- and the affordably, high-quality nature of today's solar panels makes this beneficial for everyone involved.

At Intermountain Wind & Solar, we're happy to offer a wide range of both residential and commercial solar power services, and we've worked with many builders to help install solar power systems into new homes or buildings. What are some of the benefits solar power offers to the new home construction industry? Here's a primer.

Sustainable Building

First and foremost, did you know that the US Department of Energy estimates that the US construction market is responsible for around 40% of the country's energy usage? With this in mind, the potential adoption of eco-friendly practices like solar energy is vital. Solar power can be used to save money on energy bills, and it's also just a good way to promote sustainable building practices that positively benefit the planet.

Solar panels installed on homes is just one part of this picture. Builders have also begun to use renewable sources like solar to operate their machinery and their office spaces as well. You might be surprised to learn that the construction industry was actually one of the earliest adopters of solar power technology, and this is a theme that's persisted into modern times.

Financial Incentives

Many homeowners who have installed solar panels have quickly realized certain financial benefits of doing so, and the same theme can be applied to homebuilders and their creations. Homebuilders who own their own solar equipment can either lease it to homeowners (for continuous profits) or sell it to them for a higher price; here are some possible financial incentives that may apply depending on your state:

Benefits to the Environment

Of course, we should never forget about one of the most up-front benefits of solar panels, which absolutely extend to homebuilders: They're just a positive step toward protecting the environment. Solar power emits nothing but water vapor and some tiny particles, so it's a good way to offset some of the detrimental effects of traditional building materials like concrete or steel.

In addition, solar-powered homes are often more durable than their traditional counterparts since they have no need for backup systems during emergencies -- and this increased durability lasts even after the solar panels themselves begin to age.

Boosts Local Economy

Renewable energy is also cheaper and more widely available in many areas of the country, which means that local solar panel companies are more likely to hire additional workers or increase their production level. That can lead to a stronger economy for your community as well as lower prices on the equipment you'll need to bring your homes into existence.

Many solar energy companies will also offer incentives to homebuilders, including discounts on the purchase of new panels, to ensure that both parties are able to benefit from this arrangement.

Bringing in New Customers

Homebuilders are always looking for ways to attract new customers, and updating your services with the modern times is a great way to do so. For instance, by including solar panel equipment in the construction of your new homes, you can attract environmentally conscious homeowners who are willing to pay a little extra for their own slice of Mother Nature -- and these customers will no doubt appreciate this consideration from you.

New Building Regulation Compliance

As we noted above, California recently enacted a new law that requires new homes and buildings to have solar panels installed whenever possible. That's a great way to get the ball rolling, and you may find that many other states will adopt a similar law in coming years -- and your efforts can serve as an example for them of how this new regulation doesn't need to open up new expenses, but rather save money on energy bills of all kinds while also protecting the environment.

For more on how solar panels benefit homebuilders and why this technology is being utilized in this field, or to learn about any of our solar panel services, speak to the team at Intermountain Wind & Solar today.

Like with any other sort of upgrade you're considering to your home or building, cost is a major factor when thinking about solar panels. But because the needs and setups for different home or building owners can vary significantly, there are a few important variables to keep in mind when considering what such an installation will cost you.

At Intermountain Wind & Solar, we're happy to discuss costs and pricing in detail with all our clients, both in the commercial and residential solar sphere. We'll help you understand all the important variables at play here, including not just your initial installation cost, but also the forms of savings you receive on your power bills and how this entire picture comes together financially. Here's a rundown on some of the most important factors that will impact pricing for your solar panel system, both in the short-term and long-term.

Solar Installation Type

While many are familiar with typical solar panels that are mounted on the roof of a home or building, this is not the only format for solar panels. There are also solar panels that can be mounted on the ground, and this is known as a ground-mounted system. If you're looking at a commercial location for such a system, there may be multiple factors to consider with respect to costs of both types of systems, including drainage issues and the limitations of roof size or orientation.

Another type that may be considered by some homeowners is the carport solar installation, which is essentially a solar-powered carport. You can then park any vehicle that you want underneath these panels, and the electricity produced by the system will power that and any other connected systems, such as lighting or electric cars.

Equipment Type

Within the realm of solar panels, two important variables will differentiate the kinds of equipment used:

From here, there will be a few other types of equipment utilized for solar panels. String inverters, for instance, are used in traditional solar panels that are mounted on roofs; they're inexpensive and easy to use. Micro-inverters, on the other hand, are more efficient and allow you to monitor each panel's production capacity--and this is important for arrays that have a large number of panels. Some systems may also use power optimizers, which are similar to micro-inverters but at a lower cost.

Roof Type

Another vital consideration when it comes to the cost of your solar panel installation will be the type of roof (for roof installations). Solar panels can be mounted in metal, shingles, flat roofs and other styles -- but each of these will require different installation components and may require special considerations.

Shingle roofs, for instance, will require a specific flashing piece in order to install a solar panel. This is a piece that runs around the perimeter of the roof, designed to direct rain away from other elements on the roof so as not to damage them. While this flashing can be purchased at relatively low cost, you'll need someone with expertise to ensure it's done right -- and installation costs will go up if you have to hire someone with this specialized knowledge.

Flat roofs, on the other hand, utilize a ballast mount that will allow for the panels to be set up with less weight. Your roof structure will determine how heavy of a ballast you can utilize, leading to different installation costs depending on the flat roof's capacity -- though this may also change what type of shingles or other materials need to be used.

Energy Consumption and Requirements

The goal of most solar power systems is to offset energy consumption from other sources. If you have a particularly large energy consumption, this will influence the type of solar panel installation you need to consider.

Before investing in solar panels, one should consider the size of the system required for their energy consumption needs. The average home uses approximately 10,000 kilowatt-hours per year. This number may vary depending on factors such as climate, household size and the number of people who will be home.

Shade and Weather Elements

While modern improvements in solar technology have limited how much weather can impact the system's performance and production, you should still consider how much shade your home or building will need to endure. A system that's in full sun will produce more energy with fewer panels than a system that's in full shade, which means that if your home or building is often shaded you may be looking at a larger installation.

In addition, weather patterns vary depending on where you live. If you're in an area where it often snows and accumulates on your roof, for instance, snow can reduce the energy output of a solar system by some degree.

Interconnection Cost and Distance

Interconnection refers to the process of connecting your solar panel system to the local power grid, and requirements here will vary between local utilities. There are several factors at play here, including the distance from your home to the interconnection point and the amount of power that your solar system will generate.

Long-Term Savings

In some cases, the above costs for installation and setup of solar panels may seem significant, especially if you're installing a large system. It's important to remember, though, that this is an investment that you'll be able to recoup over time with help from incentives and rebates. What's more, if the cost of energy in your area is high enough, solar power can even save you money in the long run, allowing for an even better return on your investment.

For more on the variables that play into your solar panel installation and setup costs, or to learn about any of our solar panel services in Utah or other states, contact the team at Intermountain Wind & Solar today.

If you've decided to transition your home or building to solar power, you naturally want to partner with the very best in the solar industry for this process. Solar has become a very popular industry in recent decades, and as such you have a number of options for your solar power services -- how do you go about choosing the ideal solutions?

At Intermountain Wind & Solar, we offer a wide range of residential and commercial solar power services, and we're happy to see our programs compared to other solar panel companies in Utah. This is both because we want to see all prospective solar clients get the very best services to meet their needs, but also because we're quite confident that once you've done your research, you'll realize that we're the company best suited to fill those needs. When you're performing this research, what are the top qualities you should be looking for in a solar panel installation company? Here are several to ensure you're covering so you get the very best services.

Operate Locally

While there's not necessarily anything wrong with larger national corporations that provide solar panel service, the simple reality is that you aren't likely to receive the same level of personalized service with a nationwide company that you will from a local one. This is because national companies must handle many more customers and that means they need to delegate to individual employees the task of providing service.

If your region has its own services, there's no question that your solar power company should be local -- this not only ensures you'll receive the best possible personalized service, but also that your solar power company knows the terrain where your solar panels will be installed. Local companies are better equipped to understand how climate and weather conditions in your area can affect the health of your solar panels. This is especially important if you're experiencing inclement weather more often as a result of global warming -- it's best to hire a company that can give you personalized attention and is equipped to deal with such factors. A local solar power provider will better understand these risks and how to address them.

Don't forget about the importance of local support, as well. If your community has certain rules and regulations regarding solar panel installation, your solar company will be far more likely to understand and follow them if they're based in the region. These might include requirements for how far solar panels must be kept from particular types of vegetation, or rules about how visible your solar panels can be from a certain distance away.

Proper Licensure and Certification

In addition, before proceeding any further with a prospective solar panel installation company, it's important to ensure that they have the proper licensure and certification. In many cases, this will mean an electrician's license will be required, as well as other types of certifications from your local government office.

This can help ensure you're being offered solar power services from a professional who is capable of following all appropriate codes, permits, and regulations. This is especially critical if you're planning to install solar panels on a property that you or another owner will continue living in. When working with an electrician to install the equipment necessary for solar power, hiring professionals who aren't properly licensed can not only void any warranties you receive on your products, but it could also put you and others in your home at risk.

Reputation and Reviews

Once you've confirmed that a solar panel installer has the proper certifications and serves your area, you should look at the reputation they've earned. The best way to find this information is through online reviews.

A professional, successful local solar company will likely have a roster of satisfied customers that you can view and evaluate for yourself. This can be a great way to understand if their level of customer service has been effective in the past. Also, if you're signing up for solar power services, it's wise to avoid choosing providers that have many negative reviews.

Post-Installation Services

Installation of solar panels is obviously very important, but it's not the only service you'll receive from your solar panel installer. You should also look at the company's level of commitment to post-installation services such as maintenance and repair.

If you're planning to get solar panels for a home or building that isn't currently connected to the electrical grid, these services will be especially important. If your power source is interrupted, you won't be able to receive power through the traditional outlets in your home, meaning you'll need to rely on your solar panels for power. This can be especially critical if there are weather conditions or other factors that could threaten the health of your system. Make sure that your provider offers long-term protection and maintenance services so that your panels will be able to continue providing you with power through any potentially hazardous conditions.

Warranties

Finally, you should be inquiring specifically about the warranties offered on products, as well as the installation process. Make sure that you understand what is covered by any warranties provided by your solar power provider.

Some solar panel installers will not offer a warranty on installation, and will instead only offer the manufacturer's warranty for any products you purchase. Just like with other types of warranties, make sure that you understand how long the service contract is in place and what exactly it covers.

For more on the qualities you should be looking for in a great solar panel installer, or to learn about any of our solar power installation or maintenance services, speak to the pros at Intermountain Wind & Solar today.

While it's generally true that solar panel systems decrease your reliance on the typical power grid and electrical systems, it's important to note that such systems are not eliminated from the equation entirely. Because solar panels are installed with the goal of replacing this form of energy, certain electrical systems or components will remain in place as part of the solar panel setup, including certain electrical panels and other pieces of minor infrastructure.

At Intermountain Wind & Solar, we're proud to assist Utah clients with a variety of solar panel installation needs, offering solar consultations where we'll go over your current power bill and home infrastructure and let you know what needs to be done to allow a quality solar panel system to be installed. In some cases, depending on the state of your home and its existing electrical components, you may need to make just one or two minor upgrades to allow for solar panel compatibility -- but these are generally affordable enough that they don't change the overall math on the savings you'll receive from solar panels much, if at all. Here are a few of these upgrades that might be needed, plus some other tips for ensuring your home is compatible with the solar panel system you're installing.

Electrical Panel Upgrade

For those unaware, an electrical panel refers to the service box that connects your main power lines to your home, plus distributes electricity to the appliances and outlets inside your home. These panels can also have fuses or circuit breakers which prevent damage from occurring in the case that a short occurs, but it's important to not replace these components with breakers which don't meet code for whatever reason -- doing so leaves you vulnerable to potential accidents.

For some homes, especially newer ones, this will be the only upgrade that's required for a solar panel system -- if it's required at all. Most solar power systems require electrical panels that can accommodate up to 200 amps, though some can be upgraded to fit up to 400 amps. Most newer panel systems require that breakers are placed no closer than every 20 feet.

For older homes, the issue with electrical panels might be less related to power, and more about age and components. For these homes, you'll need to get a thorough assessment of the electrical components involved before committing to a solar power system upgrade. In some cases, it might be necessary to replace certain components entirely in order to make way for bigger electrical demands. No matter what, our solar power experts will be happy to walk you through this area.

Electrical Wiring Upgrade

Because electrical conduits within your home will need to run through the roof to connect to the solar panels themselves, you'll need to ensure that there's enough room for this conduit within your home. If the conduit is too thin to fit through existing walls and other obstructions, it can cause issues with properly connecting the roof line and rooftop solar panels.

If this is the case, you may need to arrange a minor wiring upgrade that allows for the conduit size to be increased. While this is something our solar power experts can often arrange, it's also worthwhile for you to investigate whether or not there are any other electrical components -- such as your current meter box -- that might make expanding your home's electrical capacity difficult.

Roof Upgrade or Replacement

In much rarer cases, but those that may still take place from time to time, an existing roof may need to be upgraded or replaced in order to accommodate the placement of solar panels.

This is typically done by replacing the current metal roof with a new one that offers better UV protection. These roofs can also hold more weight, making them much more resilient against storms and high winds -- but are still much lighter than traditional options.

In addition, they tend to age better and require less upkeep over the long term. In some cases, roofs successfully handle solar panels for decades without issue. In others, a roof replacement can be necessary to ensure it's up to par with these kinds of demands.

Other Tips for Ensuring Home Solar Panel Compatibility

Here are a few other basic recommendations we can make on how to ensure your home is compatible with any solar panel system you're installing, and vice versa:

For more on the electrical and other themes you may need to consider for solar panel compatibility, or to learn about any of our residential or commercial solar panel services in Utah, speak to the staff at Intermountain Wind & Solar today.

There are several major areas of value that solar panels and their related systems bring to property owners, from replacement of reliance on the traditional power grid to major energy savings. In addition, did you know that installing solar panels will often have a fantastic impact on your overall property value?

At Intermountain Wind & Solar, we're proud to offer a huge range of both residential and commercial solar power services, helping many clients add major value to their properties while also receiving several other benefits. What are some of the specific ways that adding solar panels to a home will help increase its value, often by far more than the amount you paid for the system? Here's a primer on several ways this happens.

Meeting a Need

It's a simple reality in today's modern day and age: A huge percentage of homebuyers are looking for features that signal strong energy efficiency, and solar panels are a powerful way to show off your home's environmental friendliness. Homes with solar panels may be in a particularly great position when it comes to making a sale, as the growing number of eco-friendly homebuyers means even non-environmentalists feel comfortable knowing they're bringing a house that knows how to look after itself into their lives.

And in addition to sustainability themes that many buyers care about, they're also interested in energy efficiency because it saves them money and helps them manage their household budgeting. That's another reason why adding solar panels can add major value to your home: If you've already invested in them, you're out of the house and able to sell it with a lower electric bill and a great return on investment. The ability to guarantee both of these things will make many buyers willing to pay more for your home.

In-Demand in Your Area

More and more parts of the country have begun to embrace solar power as a primary or supplemental source of energy, and this is reflected in the real estate market. Homes with solar panels installed are considered more valuable in these areas, as buyers know they'll have a lower cost of living and reliance on the traditional grid.

In fact, there are even certain specific neighborhoods, homeowners' associations or other property-related entities that have incentives in place to reward residents for having solar panels installed. These can range from waived or discounted HOA fees to priority placement on the list for when it comes time to sell.

Added Durability

Another benefit of solar panels that impacts property value is their innate durability. Solar panels have a lifespan of 25-40 years, meaning they'll be providing your home with environmental benefits and value appreciation for decades to come. Compare that to other home features like carpeting, paint or appliances, which may only last 10 years or so before needing replacement or renovation.

When it comes time to sell your home, buyers will be happy to know that they're not inheriting any major liabilities in terms of replacements that need to be made in the near future. In fact, solar panels can actually increase the value of your home even after you've moved out, as their long lifespan means they can continue to provide savings and environmental benefits to a new owner.

Speed of Sale

In today's ultra-competitive property market, many homes and other property types sell fast -- and a quick sale is often a goal if you've decided to list your property on the market. And simply put, several areas of research have shown that properties with solar panels already installed sell faster than those without.

One study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory found that homes with solar panels installed were on the market for an average of two days less than those without, and that they fetched a premium of almost $5,000 more. And in some cases, this is due to solar panels' ability to save buyers money on their energy bills, meaning they're able to put more of their money into other expenditures and still come out ahead.

A More Attractive Investment

Many owners buy investment property for the income that it brings them – and solar panels can be an excellent way to enhance this return on investment. Not only do they keep operating costs lower, but they often increase the value of the property as well.

This is especially true in areas that are seeing a growth in solar installations and eco-friendly living. In these regions, a home with solar panels can be expected to sell for significantly more than one without – sometimes as much as 30%.

Rising Appraisals

Moving specifically to the realm of residential property values, all such sales in this area will involve an appraisal, or an estimate of a home's worth. In recent years, many appraisers have begun to factor in the value of solar panels when they arrive at their final appraisal amounts – and this can be either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how much money you stand to save by having them installed.

Appraisers are typically concerned about three things when it comes to solar panels: the initial installation cost, the savings on monthly energy bills and how long the panels are expected to last. If all three of these factors are positive, then the appraiser is likely to raise the value of your home accordingly.

Overall, there are many reasons why installing solar panels can positively impact the value of your home or other property. To learn more about this or find out about any of our solar panel installation services, speak to the team at Intermountain Wind & Solar today.

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