Planning a Home Solar Electric System In Mississippi

Mississippi Power Smart Neighborhood Will Feature Tesla Solar Roof &  Powerwall - CleanTechnica

If you are planning a home solar electric system in Mississippi, then there are several steps that you are going to have to follow. How much does solar service cost? What does a typical solar installation cost? You could schedule your solar installation service at Solar Alternatives in Mississippi if you are interested in turning to renewable energy.

  1. Investigate your home’s energy efficiency

You should investigate your energy use and consider all of the potential efficiency upgrades before starting the whole process of powering your home with solar energy. You need to be well aware of your total electrical usage and maybe consider low-cost and easy-to-implement efficiency measures before you go and choose solar.

You could explore the following resources to reduce your electricity use:

  • Lighting: You could switch to energy-efficient lighting like LED light bulbs
  • Home energy audits: Having a home energy audit may help you understand where your home is losing energy and the possible steps to take to improve the efficiency of your home
  • Heating and cooling: Your heating and cooling needs would significantly affect the amount of solar energy that you need if you use electricity to heat and cool your home.
  • Appliances and electrons: Consider investing in high efficient products and use your appliances and electronics more efficiently.
  1. Assess your solar potential and any limitations

You could assess the potential solar energy that can be produced at your address before you decide on the best way to use solar electricity at home. Solar resources across the United States are ample for home solar electric systems because PV technologies use both direct and scattered sunlight to create electricity.

There are several mapping tools and services that you could use to help you determine your home’s solar energy potential. When planning your solar plan, you could consider the following:

  • The age of your roof and how long until you are going to need to replace it. You may want to consider improving installing solar if you expect to need a new roof within the next few years.
  • Nearby shade trees. The contractors would help you evaluate the shading, but you also have to consider your own and your neighbor’s trees that are still growing.
  • Neighborhood and homeowner association (HAO) restrictions or approval requirements.
  1. Assess your options for going solar
  • Purchasing a solar energy system
    • You have the upfront capital to purchase the system or access to capital through a lender
    • You want to purchase a solar energy system to install at your home
    • You want to increase your home’s value
    • You are eligible for state or federal investment tax credits
    • You want to sell unused electricity produced by your system back to your utility through a net-metering arrangement
    • You are willing to be responsible for maintenance and repairs
    • You want to reduce your electricity cost
  • Solarize programs
    • You want to reduce your electricity costs and sell unused electricity produced by your system back to your utility through a net-metering arrangement
    • You are eligible for state or federal investment tax credits
    • You want to purchase a solar energy system to install at your home
    • A Solarize program is available in your area
    • You are willing to be responsible for maintenance or repairs (note that most solar energy systems offer warranties, and many installers offer operations and maintenance plans)
    • You want to increase the value of your home.
  • Community or shared solar
    • You do not want to be responsible for maintenance and repairs
    • You are unable or you do not want to install solar at your home or property
    • You are unable to claim state or federal investment tax credits
  • Power purchase agreements (PPA)
    • You want to reduce your electricity costs
    • You want to install solar at your home, but you are unable or do not want to purchase a solar energy system
    • You want to sell unused electricity produced by your system back to your utility through a net-metering arrangement   
    • You are ineligible for state or federal investment tax credits
    • You do not want to be responsible for maintenance or repairs
    • You want to reduce your electricity costs
    • You are interested in procuring solar at a limited up-front cost.
  • Solar leases
    • You want to sell unused electricity produced by your system back to your utility through a net-metering arrangement
    • You want to install solar at your home, but you are unable if you do not want to purchase a solar energy system
    • You want to reduce your electricity use
    • You are ineligible for state or federal investment tax credits
    • You do not want to be responsible for maintenance and repairs
  1. Estimate your solar electricity needs
  • Consider any planned changes. 
    • If you will be purchasing an electric vehicle or are planning a home addition, your electricity needs may increase. If you are continuing to make significant changes to improve your home’s energy efficiency, you may need less electricity than you used in the past.
  • Review electricity bills to determine annual electricity needs. 
    • Your usage will be shown in kilowatt-hours (kWh). Review each month of the year; you may use more electricity in some months than others
  1. Obtain bids and site assessments from contractors 

When you are interviewing solar installers, then you could consider asking them the following questions:

  • Is the company properly licensed or certified?
  • Is your company familiar with local permitting and interconnection processes?
  • What is the warranty of this system like
  • Can the company provide references from other customers in your area?
  • Does the company have any pending or active judgment or liens against it?
  1. Understand available financing and incentives

A 30 percent federal tax credit is available for small solar energy systems through 2019 but the tax credit decreases to 26 percent in 2020, then 22 percent in 2021, and would expire on December 31, 2021. You have to remember that you will not be eligible for this tax benefit if you opt for a solar lease or power-purchase agreement since you will not own the solar energy system.

  1. Work with your installer and utility to install the system and set up agreements

The size of your system would be based on your electricity needs, as well as the following:

  • The system’s efficiency at converting sunlight to electricity
  • Other electricity sources like utility, a wind turbine, or a fossil fuel generator
  • The system’s orientation and tilt
  • The site’s solar resources or available sunlight

Understanding how billing, net-metering, and any additional utility fees that you are going to have to pay is incredibly important if you are planning on going solar. To make sure that all the equipment is installed correctly and oriented and tilted in such a way as to maximize the daily and seasonal solar energy that your system would receive and produce, your installer would occasionally have to go and check up on your system.