How to Choose a Solar Installation Team

When ready to switch to solar power, most begin with a quote. However, they shouldn’t choose based on price alone, there are a few other things to consider beforehand. Once the type of solar power panels has been chosen, and the buyer has figured how they’ll finance their purchase they are ready for the toughest decision ever, choosing the installation team. Here are some tips.

The team selected will be in and out of one’s home or business and on their roof basically building a custom solar power system.The way the company handles the job directly affects energy production, service and will basically determine if the panels will last as long as possible.

Since solar installers vary by reputation, size and experience as well as products offered, delivery and fees and their geographic focus it’s difficult to assess them using the standard methods of financing options, cost and general benefits. Happily, installation of solar equipment isn’t very complex. As long as the team in question is experienced the job should go off without a hitch.

Consider the following attributes and standards when looking for solar installers:

Expert Knowledge

Any solar installer should have a skill set that’s specific to the install of particular systems. There are specific types of training and several affiliations that the company should have depending on where they are located. By asking them to show their certifications one can see fi they are validated and considered experts in their field of solar power.

Checking certifications means quality assurance will be met for every system that is installed, and any crew that is affiliated with the company for the project at hand should carry at least one professional to oversee the work.

While there are plenty of talented solar installers without certifications, it’s much better to go with those who have been. This way one is guaranteed to be satisfied with the results, and they’ll know they are up to the latest standards.

Licensed and insured

In addition, all solar installers should be licensed and insured to the specifications of the area they are working in. These vary by jurisdiction. The best solar installer will provide their license number before a potential client even asks. At the very minimum they should have liability insurance.

Track record and experience

As an industry on the rise, solar power brings all types of people from professionals to homeowners and even caravan travelers. Many contractors now include solar options along with their regular electrical, plumbing, roofing and other construction jobs. This is a growing trend that hasn’t let up for years and is projected to continue to grow.

When it comes to one’s own system it’s smart to find solar installers that have a proven record for installing the specific system of interest. There is no shame in asking for stats on how many systems they’ve installed, and it’s always smart to get references.

Be Wary of Sub-Contracting

Solar installers are not immune from using sub-contractors. While having “some” is okay, be wary of any company that uses mostly sub-contractors. If they bring a specific expertise or has worked with the company for years, it can be a great arrangement. On the flip side there are tons of risks involved when too many sub-contractors are used.

Ask how the company chooses who to work with, and what the extra hands will be in charge of doing and why. It’s the property owner’s right to know all the details of the job they are paying for.

Finally, the best solar installers are also advisors, and should always be interested in the particular project at hand. They should lend advice at all times, and offer a lasting relationship should any new products be available that would benefit the set up.

Living Off of the Grid – Five Vital Necessities

Living off of the grid may sound like a nightmare to individuals that have been surrounded by four walls, but for many people, this is a dream that they have been waiting on for their entire life. Living off of the grid means that it is just a person and their family, and all of the sights and sounds that they want. Before taking the plunge to embark on this drastic lifestyle change, here are some important things to consider.

A home

Travelling the country sounds fun, but not when nights consist of sleeping on the backseat of a car. Instead, individuals are encouraged to consider something along the lines of a caravan. A used one can be purchased a little bit on the cheaper side, and this will provide plenty of space to sleep at night. A larger motorhome may be more suitable for larger families with children. Individuals should keep in mind that these require money to maintain, much like a house does.

Money

Going off the grid is the new dream, but it does still require a bit of money for things like food and toilet paper. Families are encouraged to look into their current finances, eliminate the bills that are currently caused by living in a house, like the trash bill, and then add in the costs of living on the road, like gas and site fees. This should provide a nice estimate on monthly costs.

Start-up costs will include things like purchasing solar panels, battery powered accessories and so on. This can easily cost thousands, but it is well worth it in the long run.

Technology allows individuals to live wherever they would like to and still work full time. Freelance writers can work anywhere that they have access to Wi-Fi. Individuals that are still working a boring 9-5 job may want to look into this possibility to make their dreams come true.

Power

Having a source of power is vital to making a living. It can mean that laptops are charged and ready to go in the morning for work, and for school. Some families may choose to plug into shore power as often as possible, while others prefer an alternative energy solution, like solar energy, to keep them powered up when they are on the go.

Solar energy remains one of the most popular choices for caravan owners. Installing solar panels will provide families with an endless supply of power, and can make living off of the grid that much easier. Instead of families being forced to make their remaining battery power last as long as possible, they will be able to wake up and enjoy the simple things in life, like using the microwave and curling their hair when they opt for solar energy.

Downsizing

A caravan provides a small amount of space when compared to a full house, and that means that there will be less room for everything, including clothes and shoes. Before moving in to one full time, it is best to find a caravan first. Then, families can see how much space they will have, and begin to downsize accordingly. Often, caravans only have enough room for necessities and a few luxuries.

An Address

Before setting up life in a caravan, it is important to consider what permanent address will be used for things like car insurance. Those that are contemplating this lifestyle are encouraged to consider their future plans, and whether or not they require a permanent address. For example, most banks will not give a loan to an individual without a permanent address. Often, individuals that are living the dream are able to use a friend or family member’s address. A mail box number can be used for correspondence, if necessary.

Living this lifestyle full time is a dream for many, and it is closer to their reach than most would think. Once a new home is purchased and fitted with a few solar panels for energy, it is all about the freedom of the road and living life to the fullest.