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Evaluate Your Energy Use

The first step to designing your new renewable energy system is evaluating your current power use.

  1. Start by locating your Kilowatt Hour (kWh) Usage for twelve consecutive months. You can see if your utility company has this information available online, give them a call, or look at past utility bills.

monthly kwh use bill

  1. Find the average kWh Usage by adding up the kWh for each month and divide that by 12. Make a note of which months you use the most energy.
  2. Write this number down. You’ll use it in Step Three.

Your average kWh per month will help determine what the size of your solar electric system will be.

Decide on System Type

Renewable Energy Systems come in many shapes and sizes. Some are powered by solar panels; others by wind or water, or a combination of these. Some are grid-connected; others are independent of utility power lines.

Which is right for you? Watch Video to Learn.

Types of Solar Eletric Systems

What is your primary reason for adding solar: saving money on electricity OR being independent of the utility company?

  • Gridtie systems are great for lowering your electrical bill but require a connection to the utility company.
  • Off-grid systems allow you to live and work with electricity in areas where utility power is either unavailable or too expensive to bring in. Off-grid is more about independence, but by living within your means, financially and energy-wise, you do save money.
  • Gridtie systems with battery backup allow the best of both of the above but are more expensive to start with.

What’s Your Energy Needs?

Estimate your system size with our easy to use calculators.

Grid-Tie:

Make sure you have your average kWh monthly usage that you wrote down in Step 1 (Evaluate Your Energy Use)

Ready to calculator your Grid-Tie system size and cost?
Grid-Tie Calculator

Off-Grid

Off-Grid power can require more work to calculate.  Here’s an Off-Grid Calculator to help.

What’s your Off-Grid System size and cost?
Off-Grid Calculator

Solar Panels
how to shop for solar panels


Batteries


Grid-Tied Inverters

Best grid-tied solar inverters video

Off-Grid Inverters/Power Center


Want boatloads more content like this? Take our Solar Workshop Today!

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Request A Quote

By now you should have the key ingredients to accurately fill out our request a quote form.  Once we receive your information we’ll, give us 24-48 hours to process your request and we’ll send you an accurate quote.  Pretty exciting stuff! Fill out the form below.

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Do It Your Way Customers

Ryder's Install (with video)

October’s Install of the Month feature comes with a little bonus: video! This month’s winner Ryder M was kind enough to give us a quick tour of the 4.2 kW grid-tied system he built out in Petaluma, CA.
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Off-Grid Ranch Living

All told, Stacy built a beautiful off-grid system and pocketed over $9000 in savings with his federal tax credit. Wil, our solar tech who helped guide Stacy through the process, had nothing but positive things to say about working with him.
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Kris' 5 Year Payback Strategy

By keeping project costs low, the projected payback period for Kristopher’s system is 5-6 years. With a 25-year warranty on his panels, there will be plenty of time for him to turn a profit off of his investment into solar.
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