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How to Compare Solar Panel Companies?

When looking for a vendor to help with the installation of your solar power project, you’ll need to compare solar companies in your area. To help with your selection, there are several criteria by which you should evaluate these companies and their products to determine which is the most suitable for what you have in mind. This discussion will center on some of the comparison points you should consider in order to make the best decision.

Commercial Solar Panels

Commercial vs. Residential

Some solar power companies work with both residential and commercial clients, and some specialize in one or the other type of client. Commercial setups are typically more robust and require much greater availability of area for the installation of the solar panels collecting the sunlight. Residential installations by contrast, are generally limited by the available rooftop space, or sometimes an area adjacent to the home with no obstructions to the sun.

Energy Efficiency

While they typically cost more to buy and install, solar powered systems which include very high-efficiency solar modules might be critical to a homeowner who needs to maximize limited rooftop space. Because high-efficiency systems generate the most electricity from the least amount of sunlight, they are a good choice where the total solar collection surface is less than ideal, or when available sunlight is sporadic.

The key component to consider when you compare solar panels is the solar cell. While the absolute most efficient solar cells are not even commercially available (their prohibitive cost makes them suitable only for special applications, like NASA projects), there is still a descending hierarchy of highly efficient solar cells used in panels marketed by solar companies. When you compare solar panels, there will always be a delicate balance between high-efficiency and cost.

Purchasing vs. Leasing

The advantage of leasing is that it avoids the initial high cost of installing a solar power system. However, the flipside of that coin is that a monthly bill will be higher due to the solar company offering the lease. Purchasing a solar power system carries a high initial cost of installation but almost no ongoing costs afterward, since sunlight is free.

At the present time, among homeowners who have adopted solar power as their primary source of household energy, three out of every four have opted to lease their systems from solar companies. This all boils down to priorities and preferences and the resulting costs. Factors involved in deciding on one or the other include the state you are in, the size and shape of your home’s rooftop, how old and what condition your rooftop is in, and even the availability of space adjacent to the home.

When you compare solar companies, it’s a good idea to do some research on your short list of candidates to see how they match up with these criteria. The right solar power company for you is the one that can provide you with the most advantageous options and the best long-term solution.

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