So, you may have seen ads all over the internet and social media, on radio and even television to get solar panels for your home. But, is it something you should do? Full disclosure on my opinion here is that I do, in fact, have solar panels on my roof. I purchased them in the Spring of 2017. This article will be based on some fact along with my experiences and some advice for a homeowner or commerical building owner.

With a big push to try to produce more clean energy, solar is the most effective and efficient way to do so for the average person. As much as wind power is great, putting a large wind turbine in your back yard really isn't practical. Whereas, getting solar panels is relatively easy. Solar panels, in most cases, are cost effective, however, it is important to know that it does take a period of time to recoup the costs. That time will depend on several factors from how much power you need, to how much shade potentially covers the area that you are considering the installation of solar panels, to a wide range of other factors. Each person's needs and uses are unique. So, it would be a good idea before deciding to go solar, to thoroughly evaluate your electric usage over the previous year, or longer if possible. 

Once you know how much electricity you use, you can then decide how much you would ideally like to produce. Now, some companies will try to sell you more panels then you need, touting that the power companies will buy back the extra power produced. Now, that is true, however, TECO and Duke Energy do NOT buy back those extra kilowatt hours at the same price that you pay for them. So, getting extra panels can be extra costly and likely not necessary

Once you have your solar panels, and your reversible meter is installed, you can watch daily as the sun produces power for you. Keep in mind that Florida is the Sunshine state and the Tampa Bay Area averages more than 250 days a year that are considered "predominantly sunny." And many more days beyond that that at least have some sunshine. We have very few totally cloudy days around here.

For me, I am lucky because I have full exposure on my roof to the south and to the west, making for ideal placement for my panels. Since I had my panels installed in March of 2017, my panels have produced 19.87 Megawatt hours of electricity or 1,987 kilowatt hours. 

There are added benefits as well to purchasing solar panels. There is currently a tax credit that can help you recoup the money quicker.

Now, I am NOT endorsing any particular company and like any purchase you should do your due diligence. See how long the company has been around, ask for references, get all of your questions answered. Decide if you can afford to pay for them upfront or does it make sense to finance them. Decide if the amount of time to recoup the costs makes sense to you. But, in most cases, the monthly expense will be less than your current electric bill. 

I am always happy to answer questions you may have. Feel free to send me a message at the Josh Linker Meteorologist page on Facebook.