Identifying Energy Problems

What You Need To Know About Home Solar Electricity

Making the switch to home solar electricity can be appealing, especially to folks who live in regions that get a lot of sunlight each year. There's plenty more to the job, though, than just doing a solar panel installation. If you're thinking about solar as an option, you'll want to pay some mind to these three potential issues.

Available Light

Using home solar electricity takes a lot more than simply living in a part of the country that fits the right profile. Your house's specific location will determine a great deal of how well a solar panel installation effort is going to pay off. Being in a valley that gets shade much of the day and having trees close to the building can significantly reduce the operation of photovoltaic systems.

A good rough number to work with is that your location should receive at least four hours of sunlight at peak hours in order to justify the expenses. For reference, a very sunny state, such as Arizona, gets about 6.5 peak hours of sunlight a day. Conversely, a cloudier state like Pennsylvania receives about 3.6 peak hours.

Connections and Storage

How you hook up your solar rig is critical. Most people either elect to store electricity in batteries or to feed electric back into the grid. Both types of setups call for a significant amount of work to be performed to the electrical system in a home in order to accommodate shifting loads.

If you intend to feed power back into the grid, you'll want to talk with your electric company about how they handle credits for net usage, especially if it ends up being a negative number. Bear in mind that only an electrician who's licensed and insured is allowed to access the part of the electrical system that ties your home into the grid.


The national average for a home solar electricity project is close to $23,000, with homeowners typically targeting between four and 5 kilowatts of production per peak hour. The addition of a battery may go more, but costs have been heading downward for several years. You may also be eligible for state and federal tax credits, but you should look into the details of such offers before committing to a setup. It's wise to inquire about warranties, which may vary from 25 years at the high end to no years on the low end.

Contact a company, like Solar Source, for more help.