A Bit About Solar…
A solar system involves solar panels as the primary component of a photovoltaic (PV) solar system. They harness the radiant light from the Sun to produce a natural, clean “solar” power. Solar panel systems help reduce pollution and CO2 emissions while generating a quiet, and relatively maintenance free source of electricity. By installing a solar system to your house you add to your current property value. There are various forms of solar systems. Some systems are installed on rooftops of homes or businesses and RVs, while others are mounted on poles or open ground areas. There are two types of systems available. Off-grid systems work independent of any utility company and are mostly found in remote locations. Smaller units provide power for items such as computer or phone service, where larger units provide electrical service for a cabin in the woods. Grid-tied systems work in synchronization with your current utility company to accept excess generated electricity and to provide electricity anytime your system is not actively generating energy. These systems come in a wide range of sizes and production capabilities.

About roof installations, solar panels are best applied to a structurally sound roof with a standard slope.  The best orientation are roofs that face south, east, or west and has little to no shade for optimal sunlight absorption. Solar panels can be installed on flat roofs or those made of shake or concrete tiles, however, these types of installations may be a bit more difficult and require additional cost. Even if your roof is not acceptable for solar panels you still have several options. Some units can be pole mounted or you can consider ground-mounted systems as long as you have the required space.

Solar panels require little to no cleaning maintenance. Under rare circumstances, dust and debris may lower the production 5-15%, but usually normal rain and wind keeps most panels producing to nearly optimal capacity. Panels even generate energy during bad weather- just at a slightly lower rate during the event. In the case of snow accumulation, the unit will not produce any energy until the snow melts. Since the panels are usually installed at an angle or slant, and are placed in the optimal location to receive sunlight, the snow melts relatively quickly and slides off with no additional assistance required. Solar panels are even manufactured to withstand lightening strikes, high winds, and hail up to approximately three-quarters of an inch. Be aware, in the case of grid-tied system, that during a power outage solar panels will not produce electricity-for the safety of utility workers who may be working on any nearby power lines.

A Bit About Pricing…
Many people make the mistake of discounting solar systems as only a high cost investment. True, they are fairly expensive for most people’s budgets. However, there are tax rebates and other state, local, and utility company incentives for which you may qualify, significantly reducing the cost of an installed solar power system.  Currently the Federal Government offers a 30% tax credit on the total price of your newly installed system.

Solar is a good investment because it lasts.  Most solar systems will last a minimum of 20 years or longer, but many last between 25 to 35 years with minimum maintenance or parts replacements.  It’s important that you purchase the size of a system that fits your current needs and will also fit your expected future growth.

So what about our pricing?  Historically Burt Electric & Communications has been installing systems for over a dollar per watt less than the nation average.  And in California we have a record of costs of between one to two dollars a watt less that the average statewide installation.  There are inexpensive systems like “string technology” that are efficient but prone to much higher maintenance and parts replacements.  We recommend that you consider the “micro-inverter technology”.  This is the state of the art equipment, also known as a Tier 1 System.  And our pricing for a Tier 1 System can be purchased typically for a dollar less than the national average price too.

With energy costs rising almost every year, what are you waiting for?  Contact us and we’ll provide you with a professional quotation and start you on the way to saving money every month.

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