Most solar companies will install a monitoring device, which allows you, as well as the solar company, to track your solar energy production. Having a monitoring system is not only important to track the production, but also to determine if the panels are working. As with any technology, things often glitch or break, and if either of these happen with your solar system, you will need the solar company to fix the problem.
With a monitoring system in place, you can see how much electricity is produced and when it produced. If the system is producing less than expected, this can be due to a number of factors. Elements such as shading, temperature, debris and degradation need to be taken into account. Knowing exactly what is happening and at what time will enable you to keep track of what is occurring. If the system is producing no electricity, this is a red flag that there is a problem. A system can stop producing for a number of reasons such as a broken inverter, broken panel, shading, or too much debris. If your solar company provides maintenance, you can call them to assess the problem and fix the system if need be.
Knowledge is power and knowing when your solar panels are at top efficiency and when they will produce less will help you maintain control over your electric bills. While some solar companies will provide the monitoring device and have access to the
information, they will not necessarily be actively monitoring your system. It is important to know if your solar company will be monitoring your production levels and notify you if they need to look at your panels or if it is your responsibility to notice the problem. If the responsibility falls onto you, it is imperative that you understand how much electricity your panels are producing and if they are functional.