Solar Buyers Guide

Three Tips on Selecting a Solar Power Installer

  • Does the installer offer a free consultation and price quote?

Request a quote from not one, but several installers that serve your area. Make note of how promptly installers reply to your request. Many offer online services, but some offer free consultations in your own home, using your own data and individual concerns.

  • What kind of warranty does the installer carry?

A warranty often covers repairs of the actual silicon cells, should their electric production fall below a given percentage. A workmanship or product warranty may also be offered, which covers other components of the panel, such as the glass, backing and laminate.

  • Is the installer certified?

The most respected certification for solar installers comes from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). Your installer should also have strong local references and an excellent record with the Better Business Bureau.

Should I Lease or Buy my Solar PV System?

If you buy a solar panel system, you own the system, either outright (if purchasing with cash) or after repaying your loan.

If you lease the system, a third party owns the solar panel system.

Purchasing a solar panel system with cash, or financing a purchase with a solar loan, is your best option when you…

  • Are interested in potential financial rewards as well as environmental benefits

  • Are eligible to reduce your federal and state tax liability through the federal investment tax credit;

  • Are a business, and can realize tax benefits by treating the solar panel system as a depreciable asset; and/or

  • Want to increase the market value of your home by installing a solar panel system.

A solar lease is your best option when you…

  • Are most concerned with the environmental benefits of using solar versus the potential financial benefits.

  • Don’t really want to spend time fixing or maintaining your PV system

  • Aren’t eligible for federal or state investment tax credits resulting from your investment in a solar panel system; and/or

  • Don’t want to wait until the next year to receive tax credits.

What Equipment Will You Need?

In a solar power system connected to the grid, electricity is first generated by solar modules (also known as photovoltaic or PV solar panels) that can be either mounted on your roof or on a racking system on the ground. An inverter changes the current from DC into AC. Several important considerations in choosing a system include being aware of your own power needs and determining the amount of sunlight your roof or yard receives.

Solar Modules
There are 3 main types of solar cells, monocrystalline, polycrystalline and amorphous silicon. The best type for you will vary depending on the installation application. You will also want to consider durability and warranty, size and wattage requirements, and the quality of the module itself.

Racking System
Solar panels can be mounted on your roof, on the ground, or on a pivoting stand. You choose your racking system based on where you plan on mounting your solar energy panels. Although a roof mount is the first thing that many think of, there are other options if your roof is too small, unstable or too shady.

    Roof Mounts
    Rooftop solar installations can be mounted on the roofs of residences, commercial buildings, and accessory structures, such as garages and sheds. The solar panels are mounted on specially-designed racks to secure them in place, according to structural and safety requirements.

    Ground Mounts
    Resembling an A-frame, it is safest to install this racking system to a cement slab so that it may be secured in place. Ground mounts are designed to handle from 1 to 8 solar modules.

    Pole Mounts
    Designed to accommodate different sized poles, this racking system is adjustable for optimal sun angle. Pole size is determined by the number of modules to be mounted, and the mount can be either fixed, which means it holds the panel stationary, or it can move, or track, with the sun.

Inverter
An inverter changes the direct current (DC) output of a photovoltaic (PV) system into alternating current (AC).

  • Standalone inverters have a battery to allow for off-grid use or backup power.
  • Grid-tie inverters connect your solar panels directly into the grid at your power meter, which allows you to sell excess power back to the utility company.
  • Dual-inverter systems include both a standalone inverter with a battery and a grid-tied inverter to allow you to sell excess power back to the utility company. These systems are more expensive, but they offer the advantages of both kinds of inverters and maximum energy security.
  • Micro inverters connect to the back of each solar panel and convert the DC power to AC directly on the roof, before it enters your home. They allow each panel to operate independently, so that if one goes down or is shaded, the others will still function.
It's important to choose an inverter that has slightly more capacity than the peak power your home might need.

What to Expect When you Go Solar?

Powering your home with solar is getting cheaper and far easier than it used to be! Here’s some great reasons to go solar:

  • You’re adding long-term value to your home.
  • Completely eliminate or drastically reduce your electric bills.
  • Protect against rising energy costs.
  • Earn a great return on your investment.
  • Create jobs and help your local economy.
  • Boost U.S. energy independence.
  • Protect the environment.
  • Solar Energy systems are durable.

 

YSG Solar and it's Community Shared Solar program are expanding the potential customer base to 100% of homes and businesses. Currently 49% of households are currently unable to host a YSG PV system when excluding households that

  1. do not own their building (i.e., renters),
  2. do not have access to sufficient roof space (e.g., high-rise buildings, multi-unit housing), and/or
  3. live in buildings with insufficient roof space to host a YSGPV system.

It is also estimated that 48% of businesses are unable to host a PV system when excluding businesses that

  1. operate in buildings with too many establishments to have access to sufficient roof space (e.g., malls), and/or
  2. have insufficient roof space to host a YSG PV system capable of supplying a sufficient amount of their energy demand. 

Savings on your electric bill

  • bulk purchasing pricing
  • affordable no money down options
  • protection from unpredictable utility rate increases
  • Save money and remove uncertainty around electric bill with clean solar energy

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YSG Solar is a New York based solar panel installer. We design, finance and install solar electric systems. YSG Solar is committed to provide high quality equipment, installation and customer service.

 

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