Archive for June, 2015

Solar System Installation Permits

Solar System Installation PermitDo you need a solar system installation permit for your new system? The answer is probably yes on several fronts. The company you are purchasing the equipment from and doing the installation for you should know this and help you with the preparation of the applications as well as any inspections that may be required. This should be part of the service package that is offered and frankly that you will be paying for. There are three areas as a minimum that may be required depending on the city or county that you live in.

Solar System Installation Permit

The permits that you may need to have are as follows:

  • Construction permit to make major changes to your roof
  • Electrical installation permit and inspection
  • Connection to the electrical grid

All of these permits have their own specific requirements and may be applied for at different times as well depending on whether you are attaching your system to the electrical grid or not and whether you plan to sell power back to the electrical company or not.

Construction permit to make major changes to your roof – most cities and towns require construction permits if you plan to make any major changes on your property. It is really a way of increasing taxes, but it also ensures that all construction adheres to local bylaw requirements as well.

Electrical installation permit and inspection – all electrical installations of any kind need to be inspected before they are turned on. This is to prevent fire and avoid any safety hazards from improper installations. The permit process gets the ball rolling.

Connection to the electrical grid – if you plan to connect your system to the electrical grid and sell power back to the electrical company that provides power to you, they will not only want to inspect your system, they will demand specific safeguards are in place to protect you and them from power surges, from transient currents and insure the quality of the power being provided.

Don’t be surprised and have your project delayed. Apply for all of the appropriate permits before you begin installation and actually before you spend a lot of money on  equipment.


Money Saving: Driving out of the way to use a coupon

Driving out of the way to use a couponDriving out of the way to use a coupon would seem to be a silly thing to do for many people, yet everyone wants to save a dollar and they really do not appreciate just how expensive it is to drive and use your gasoline. It takes some effort to clip coupons and to sort them so that you can use them at the best times and also when they are still valid. Consumers can save a great deal of money by using coupons, but when is the best time to drive somewhere to save money using a coupon. We came up with an easy approach to figuring this out.

Driving out of the way to use a coupon

Consider that your vehicle will use gasoline at the rate of an average of 30 miles per gallon. Some vehicles will get much more than 30 miles per gallon and some will be less, but lets use this as an average. The average price of gasoline at the time of writing is $3.00 per gallon. Consumers can drive 15 miles and return for a total of 30 miles  and a cost of $3.00 not including wear and tear on the vehicle.

If your coupons will save you at least the $3.00, you are breaking even and if you can save more than that you are ahead of the game. Driving 30 miles is not that far and saving money on larger items where you can save at least $3.00 or more means that it is worth it to take the drive and save a bit of money. Anything less than this and it is costing you money.

Grouping coupons is even better than just going for one coupon. Taking your full list of coupons to the grocery store for example is one way to save a lot of money and reduce your overall cost for gasoline as well. Focus on large discounts to really make a difference especially if you need to travel any significant distances.

 


Solar System Information

Solar System InformationDo you need to apply for permits before you install a solar system at your home. The answer is probably depending on where you live and the kind of solar system you are installing. Many cities and towns require permits prior to any major construction or change in structure to your home or other buildings on your property. They want to make sure that your plans adhere to all of the local bylaws regardless of what they are. Some will deal with safety issues, while others may be more aesthetic in nature. HOA’s in particular may also have a say in terms of what you do on your property and on your roof if that is where your solar panels will be installed.

Solar System Information – Permits

If you are planning a solar power system that is not attached to the power electrical grid then you may not need to have a permit from the local electrical supply company. You will most likely still need an electrical permit to ensure that the system will be designed properly and installed to meet all existing electrical safety requirements. Preparation of construction permits and electrical system permits is usually mandatory in these situations.

There is another reason you will want to have these permits prepared and approved. A solar system installed somewhere on your property including your roof of your home may also impact your insurance requirements. A properly designed, installed and approved solar power generation system will ensure that you insurance is not null and void if you need to make a claim. Always check with your insurance company to find out their requirements and meet them. Get it in writing so that there is no misunderstanding.

Since most home owners do not have the skills needed to prepare these permits, the company that is trying to sell you a solar system should provide this service as part of the package that they deliver to you. Make this one of the requirements to ensure that all of the permits and insurance requirements are fully met.


Money Saving: Buying an extended warranty

Buying an extended warrantyBuying an extended warranty is the same as purchasing insurance. There is the risk that the item you purchase is going to break down sometime during the lifetime that the insurance covers and there is a cost to being covered for this possibility. Generally speaking, it is a bad decision to buying an extended warranty, since most manufactured goods are of very good quality. When you think about it why would a company offer an extended warranty that you pay for other than to make money. They have figured out the probabilities of having to make repairs under the warranty and feel that they will make a profit on the premiums. This is just good business. However there are times or situations when an extended warranty is worth it.

Buying an extended warranty

Take the purchase of a car for example. If you plan to keep a car well beyond the regular manufacturers warranty it might be worth it to pay for an extended warranty. The price of major repairs on a vehicle can be very expensive. One claim may be sufficient to cover the cost of the warranty and this cost could also be expensive enough to drain your bank account. It basically comes down to risk vs. cost and this is one situation in the writer’s opinion it would be worth it to take the extended warranty and pay whatever it costs.

Electronic stores routinely ask you if you want to purchase insurance for your purchase. A TV that costs $300 to $600 is not going to break your bank account and if it does stop working purchasing another is not that expensive. Besides it may be time for an upgrade since electronics are changing so fast. In the writer’s opinion we suggest never to purchase the extended warranty for electronics. Save your money and use for other items that are more important.

There is one caveat to this rule. If you depend on your computer for your livelihood and cannot afford to be without one for any length of time you may want the insurance to ensure a quick turnaround for repairs. Make sure that this is one of the features that comes with the insurance. Twenty four hour turnaround will be important in situations like this. Waiting for 3 weeks for your computer to come back is not something that you would want to deal with. The alternative is to have a back up computer that has all of the same software and data on it so that you are never without a computer.

 


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