One of the standard stages when considering solar for your home is the solar site visit. This involves a solar installer coming out to your home and inspecting your roof for the potential installation of a home solar system. This is a critical step in the solar process and one that a potential solar customer should prepare for. On a solar site visit, the solar installer comes to your home and conducts the following assessments:
With the interview, a solar installer will be primarily looking to see what your electricity use has been over the past year or two, particularly during the summer and winter months when electricity use is typically the heaviest. Based on the size of your electric bill, the solar installer can determine what your options are in terms of potential sized solar systems and how much of your electric bill you want to offset. By reducing your electric demand with simple energy efficiency improvements, you will not need as large a home solar system to reduce your electric bill.
The other component of the solar site visit is the inspection of your home’s roof for mounting of the solar panels. Specifically, the solar installer will be checking the roof's orientation and solar access. Solar access is essentially the percentage of time that a proposed solar system will be receiving full un-shaded sunlight during different days of the year. A roof with too much shade will not be a candidate for a solar system, although there are a few ways to address shading: looking at alternate sites on the home property, trimming or removing trees, or using a series of smaller power inverters in the system design rather than one large central power inverter.
In the end, the solar site assessor will take in all of this information and summarize his findings a written report that could be used to help calculate the economics related to your proposed home solar system. If all aspects align, you could soon be on your way to receiving a reliable supply of electricity at a cost effective price.