How to Use the Solar Calculator
The best way to learn about local rebates, your home’s energy potential, and your eventual return on investment is to use our ModSun Solar Cost Calculator (see above). Enter your home address in the box, then click Check My Roof. You’ll get an instant picture of your roof’s productivity, your average energy expenses, and installation costs in your area—whether you decide to buy or loan. We’ll also provide system size recommendations and information about rebates and incentives you may be eligible for. Just select More Info under each purchasing strategy to learn more, and then connect with a solar pro.
Solar Buying Guide for Allentown Pennsylvania
The solar power movement is gaining steam in the United States. Property owners considering installing a solar panel system in their home or business should learn the important details involved with this project. This Buyer’s Guide covers the details that can help you determine if solar power is right for you and your property, as well as help you begin the solar installation process and find available rebates and incentive programs that can reduce the cost of the system.
Allentown’s Climate for Solar Power
The City of Allentown, Pennsylvania is home to 117,942 people as of the 2014 U.S. census. With approximately 201 sunny days per year — an important ingredient for solar power — the Allentown area is ideal for solar panel installation. The area experiences an annual average of 42 inches of rain, 37 inches of snowfall with the number of days with measurable precipitation around 121. Temperatures average 86 degrees in July with a low of 24.4 in January.
About Allentown Solar Panels
Solar panels produce electricity by converting the sun’s photons using photovoltaic cells affixed to an array of solar panels. The cells are typically fabricated with crystalline silicon but a more expensive material, gallium arsenide, is sometimes used to produce high-end solar cells for other industries.
Solar panel systems are most often installed on the rooftops of residential or commercial buildings. When space is available, the panels can be installed on the ground. Ideally, the panels are set at a 30-degree angle facing due south; however, this is not a requirement. The most important element to panel location is placing the panels where they have constant exposure to the sun’s rays.
Why Go Solar in Allentown?
Equipping your home or business with solar arrays offers many benefits both in economic terms and for the environment. Listed below are the main advantages driving the solar boom in the United States.
- Since solar power provides you with a means to produce your own electricity, you can reduce or eliminate your dependence on the big utility companies.
- Solar panels are a sound investment with returns rivaling those found on Wall Street, without any risk. Most solar panel owners can expect an average Return of Investment (ROI) of 20% or more.
- Installing a solar panel system on your home or business will raise its value.
- Folk planning to sell their solar equipped home have a great marketing tool at their disposal and can expect a higher price for their property.
- Reducing your carbon footprint is a major focus of the green movement sweeping the country. Clean, solar energy is a great place to start as it reduces carbon emissions significantly. Replacing big utility electricity with electricity produced by a typical solar panel system reduces carbon emissions by 3 – 4 tons each year per residential system.
- Solar power helps to lower our nation’s dependence on foreign oil. This is good for our economy because it keeps our dollars at home, which stimulates the economy and creates employment opportunities.
Roof Considerations for Solar in Allentown
For solar panels to perform at their highest levels, they need as much direct sunlight as possible. Homes with unobstructed, south-facing roofs or swaths of empty land are ideal situations for solar panel installation. Before installing a solar panel system on your roof, you should have the roof and its structural elements inspected and make any necessary repairs. Since solar panels have an expected life span of 20 years or more, replacing deteriorating roofs or those expected to fail in the near future would be wise.
Solar Permits in Allentown
Solar panel configuration and installation would be difficult for the average homeowner. Its complicated technology, design requirements, and the interconnection phase of the project warrants hiring a professional solar contractor. The city of Allentown requires building permits for the installation of solar thermal, photovoltaic, and hybrid systems. Permitting services are located at City Hall – 4th floor, 435 Hamilton Street, Allentown, Pennsylvania 18101. You can reach them by phone at (610) 437-7591, or (610) 437-7592. Their hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8 A.M. – 4:30 P.M.
How to Purchase Solar Panels in Allentown
Although you can purchase solar panels on your own, most Pennsylvania municipalities require a licensed, certified, and insured solar contractor to install them. Hiring a solar contractor is the best path to take when purchasing a solar panel system. The technology and installation process can be complicated. Your solar contractor will oversee the entire job including assessing the viability of your property, designing and sizing the system, controlling the quality of the installation and interconnection phase.
Rebates and Incentives for Allentown Residents
You can reduce the cost of your solar panel system by taking advantage of available rebates and incentive programs. To view a comprehensive list of rebates, programs, and policies by state, visit “DSIRE” Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency. Federal programs such as the Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit are also available. In addition, Pennsylvania offers incentives and rebates for renewable energy including solar photovoltaics and thermal energy. You can discover many money-saving options available to Allentown residents who purchase renewable energy technology by visiting CleanEnergyAuthority.com.
Solar Water Heating in Allentown
The two most common types of solar water heaters used in residential applications are direct circulation and indirect circulation systems. Direct systems use thermal energy from the sun to heat the water directly. Indirect systems are more common in areas prone to freezing temperatures such as Allentown. These systems use pumps to circulate a non-freezing transfer fluid through collectors and heat exchangers to heat potable water.
Installing solar energy in your home or business is a step in the right direction for reducing your carbon footprint and helping to protect our environment. Solar power, combined with smart energy conservation — CFL light bulbs, purchasing Energy Star appliances, maintaining adequate insulation, and maintaining an airtight envelope around your property — reduces the load on the natural resources required to produce electricity.