Going green has many considerations. Solar panels require the appropriate sun direction, structural integrity and incentives to make them a viable solution to your independent energy needs. These are the steps you need to take to evaluate solar options for your Washington, DC-area home.

Step 1: Evaluate Your Sun Worthiness

The Washington, DC area is a great place for solar installations, but not every home is perfectly situated to harness the energy of the sun. You may have large trees in the wrong place or a roof that is pointed in an inefficient direction. The first step to buying solar is to find an expert who can evaluate your home and tell you how effective solar power will be. During this initial evaluation, solar experts will determine the structural integrity of the roof on your home. Having a solid foundation on which to put heavy solar installations is important.

Renewable Energy Corporation
7 W. Aylesbury Road, Suite H
Lutherville-Timonium, MD 21093
(410) 660-2304

Offering solar consultations for free, Renewable Energy Corporation serves the Maryland, Southern Pennsylvania, Northern Virginia and Delaware region. It will be able to evaluate your solar needs and what your home may be able to bear with solutions from solar panels and water heaters to solar attic vents.

Step 2: Determine Your Energy Needs

Maybe you just want a solar water heater or you have enough capacity to produce a surplus of energy and have the ability to feed power back to the grid. Once you determine the power you need and what you want to produce, the next step is to buy your solar panels.

Solar Solution
4700 14th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20011
(202) 448-5199

From independent energy usage to getting a check from your energy company, Solar Solution will evaluate your needs and work with you to determine the maximum wattage that you can afford. Looking at your current energy needs and what you and family may need over the next 25 or more years, Solar Solution will get you the wattage that you need at an affordable rate, maximizing all state and federal incentives.

Step 3: Who Pays For It?

Of course, there will always be an upfront investment, but between federal incentives and state or district grants, solar energy is more affordable than ever.

From the government, for solar energy systems from water heaters to photovoltaic systems, there are incentives of up to 30 percent of the cost of the system according to energystar.gov. In Maryland, you can get a $1,000 award per PV solar panels and $500 for solar water heating. For more about the solar program in Maryland, visit its energy website. DC will offer an additional 30 percent in tax credits off the cost of the system. Virginia also offers 30 percent of the cost of the system.

Step 4: Installation

Once you buy the solar you need, it is necessary to hire an expert to install the panels. While many skilled DIYers may think that installation is easy, experts will be needed for a large installation. Panels are heavy and damage to a roof is a real risk, so it’s always better to have the experts install your panels.

Washington DC Solar
1105 W St. S.E.
Washington, DC 20020
(202) 506-7586

If you’re looking for a company that will give back to the community, look no further than Washington DC Solar. It specializes in solar installation and improving energy efficiency. Whether you need built-up roofing or something a little less involved, WDC Solar utilizes hands-on job training for low-income residents in Washington, DC so you’ll feel good not only going green, but helping your community as well.

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Jamie Hardin is the counter-culture
Washingtonian in the know. Inspired by food, sustainability issues, and public health, she prides herself on finding DC’s off-the-beaten path treasures. When she isnt enjoying organic food or reducing her carbon footprint, Jamie’s traveling on her scooter or walking her two pit bulls. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.


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