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Top 2 Things To Ask For When Shopping For Solar Panels

By Susan E Freemont

There are a number of ways to make your home much more energy efficient. Homeowners can invest in new appliances, water fixtures, tankless heaters, and even something as small as new light bulbs. But there is one environmentally friendly product that many homeowners have not researched, and that is solar electric panels.

Solar electric panels can be difficult to research. Instead of finding practical and helpful information, homeowners often find tons of technical jargon and staggering price information. Solar panels are still quite a financial investment for most homeowners, and depending on the size of the home and how much energy the home uses it can take anywhere from 10 to 20 years for solar panels to pay themselves.

However, this hasn’t stopped many other homeowners from investing. If you choose the right product, they will last you up to 40 years or more and many companies offer warranties up to 25 years. Plus, your electricity bills will become a mere fraction of what they used to be. Many homeowners actually see their electric meter spin backwards after installing the panels.

When searching for solar panels for your home, there are two top things to ask for:

First, you need to know the solar module efficiency for each solar panel product that you look at. Make sure that you are given information for the solar module efficiency and not the individual cell efficiency, as it is preferable to know the efficiency of the entire working unit.

Secondly, you need to know the minimum warranted power of each product. There is a negative tolerance rating for each product which is a percentage that tells you how much power the product is guaranteed to use. As indicated by its name, the percentage should be subtracted from whatever wattage is displayed on the product box. It you have a 200 Watt panel with a negative tolerance rating of 10 percent, than the product is only guaranteed to have a power rating no lower 180 Watts (so its minimum warranted power is 180 Watts). This is a little tricky, but when it comes down it this only means that you could be paying for 200 Watt solar panels and really only get 180 Watt panels. Because of this you should buy panels with a negative tolerance rating of 5 percent or less if you want more value for your money.

To obtain this information and information about the solar module efficiency, you can simply ask the salesperson to print you out a copy of the factory specification sheet. They should not be hesitant to do this, and if they are it is advised that you shop else where.

Looking to find the best deal on Arizona Solar Companies, then visit to find the best advice on solar companies in Phoenix for you.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Freemont, Susan E. "Top 2 Things To Ask For When Shopping For Solar Panels." Top 2 Things To Ask For When Shopping For Solar Panels. 27 Jun. 2010. 29 Dec 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Freemont, S (2010, June 27). Top 2 Things To Ask For When Shopping For Solar Panels. Retrieved December 29, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Freemont, Susan E. "Top 2 Things To Ask For When Shopping For Solar Panels"

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