Mobile Home Solar Panels: Key Details Every Mobile Homeowner Should Know
Solar-powered mobile homes have been a rarity until recently times, when local tax and federal incentives, alongside worries of climatic changes have made them a common place in the 21st century.
What's more, reports have published that installing one of these panels in your mobile home can reduce your carbon footprints by 35,180 pounds of carbon dioxide annually. In layman's language, this means you'd have to plant about 88 healthy trees annually to be able to offset that amount of CO2.
However, in between a tangle of techno-terms like photovoltaic and whatnot, plus an increasing number of installers and financing options, it can be hard to know what to go for.
You see, relying on solar power has been shown to have the potential of helping you save at least $84 on monthly electricity bills. This is such a big amount of money, and especially if you consider the potential of saving that amount for one year.
How they work
These units are made of photovoltaic cells which act like special batteries to harness sunlight, transform it to useful energy before sending it to an inverter so it can be converted into electricity. That electricity can be used to power major electric appliances in your home.
Where to look
Installing these units is not as simple as slapping a grid of cells on a rooftop. That's because you need to strategically place your panel and make sure your wiring is efficiently put in place for effective supply of electricity.
To be sure that what you're buying is the correct thing, look at the following things to guide you through the process:
- A good warranty
A strong warranty must be able to cover the inverter for 10 years and panels for at least 20 years.
- Panels manufactured in the U.S
If you're based in the U.S, you should only buy solar panels from manufacturers based in the U.S. That way, your warranty will still be able to protect you in the event that the manufacturer goes belly up.
- Never outsource installation
You will be made accountable in the event that things go wrong in the hands of third-party installation.
- Reputable manufacturer
The mobile home solar panels manufacturer should be licensed and listed with the BBB.
If they can give at least 2 recent customer references, the better it will be for you.
Did you know that the cost of solar panels dropped by 60% since the onset of 2011? If you couple this with Federal/local tax credit and subsidies, this should bring the total up-front national average to about $17,000.
The Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) will give 30% tax credit to both residential and commercial properties who will have installed a solar panel by 2016. That could see a lot of homes saving on their electric bills by a significant portion. Keep in mind that local tax incentives vary by state as well as municipality.
For example, residents of Los Angeles can take the ITC, then be exempted from paying property tax in California. What's more, they'll be able to receive $0.12 per KW-hour for 20 years.
Lease, purchase or finance?
Most mobile home owners have sought to lease these units as a way to defray the upfront cost. Again, leasing companies pay for maintenance and repairs in case these services are needed.
On the other hand, purchasing your own unit comes with more advantages than leasing. That's because you will be able to enjoy tax advantages while at the same time; improving the value of your mobile home.
Lastly, others decide to take up a loan to finance their mobile home solar panel. If you're one of those, make sure your loan repayment is less than your monthly electricity bills so you're able to save some money.
4 examples of mobile home solar panels you can buy for your mobile home
1) 100watt Polycrystalline solar panel for RVs/mobile home (http://is.gd/RKtaFu)
This solar panel costs $159 only. It's made of quality silicon material to ensure high module conversion efficiency as well as stability and consistency in power output. It's literally maintenance-free.
2) Wagan Tech Solar E-power Panel cube (http://is.gd/kABrIz)
This is fold-out slide-out design solar panel which is able to charge internal batteries with greater efficiency. This is also a multipurpose unit which can also be charged with both AC and DC outlet. Because of the vast array of features it comes with, expect to pay at least $900 to get it.
3) 100 watt 12 V Mono crystalline PV solar panel (http://is.gd/zTs8N9)
This solar panel is made of premium components as well as grade A, high purity silicon cells. The manufacturer does not include any used or rejected components into its solar cells. The cost of this unit is $259.
4) Sunforce 30 watt folding solar kit (http://is.gd/mDdFUd)
This is a complete lightweight solar kit which delivers up to 30 watts of power. It's very portable and convenient for back-up power or use in a remote location. The cost is $169 only.
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