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Most of us are doing our best to help slow down the dramatic effects of climate change.  From the light bulbs we use to the products we buy, there are numerous ways to consume less energy and help reduce our carbon footprint and all the energy we consume on a daily basis.

If you are a small business owner, then you might be considering adding a solar panel to your small business for just this reason. It will not only save you money in the long run but can help reduce your energy bill by using less energy.  Some cities will even give you a tax credit when you install a solar panel because they want to become more energy efficient.

There are so many reputable solar energy companies that it’s really hard to know where to start looking. Of course, the most important thing to look out for in a solar energy company is that they have a great reputation and that they specialize in solar panels. Below are some tips to not only help you find the best solar energy company, but some other things to consider when shopping for a solar panel.

1.  Make Sure Your roof is Compatible for a Solar Panel

Most roofs today are compatible with solar panels, but there are certain roof types that make it easier to mount a system.  Clay, asphalt, metal, and PVC are among the best roof types for solar panels. Wood and slate aren’t as solar panel friendly because they are more fragile than other roof foundations.  You can still install a solar panel on these roofs, but there might be some special mountings needed which could make the whole process a little more expensive.

2.  Roof Positioning

A roof that faces south gains the most efficiency from solar panels.  West and east-facing rooftops can still gain efficiency from a solar panel when properly installed.  If your building happens to face north or is in a shady area, a solar panel probably won’t be that useful to you.

3.  Solar Panel Efficiency

The higher-efficiency solar panels will convert energy at a higher rate compared to the lower-efficiency systems. The highest-rated solar panels will convert energy anywhere from 18% to 22%, and are usually made from monocrystalline or polycrystalline silicon which are both the purest silicon available. Thin film solar panels are not only less efficient but they are more flimsy which is why they are priced lower.  The silicon higher efficiency panels will also last longer and are more durable in various kinds of weather.

4.  Installation & Customer Service

The best solar energy companies will do all the work necessary and not only install the solar panel, but they will help you with the permits and most importantly, evaluate your small business to find the best solar panel for your particular roof and building. A solar panel is a big investment and you want to know from the beginning that you are with a good company that can do the work, offer you security, and is reliable if you need your solar panel repaired.  You want to make sure the company has enough contractors or a knowledgeable customer service representative that is available if you need anything from a simple question to a serious repair.

Picking the Right Solar Company

Of course, there are many other things to consider when selecting a solar company.  Maybe you would rather rent a solar panel than actually buy one? Or there might be tax credits in your state for converting to a solar panel. The best thing you can do is to think about the particular type of solar panels you want and find a company that you feel comfortable with. While the task might seem daunting, a good solar energy company will do all the hard work for you and in the end, you can reap the results.

Guest Author: ConsumerAdvocates.org

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