The Solar Panel Installation Process: What to Expect
Photo by MICHAEL WILSON
Originally Posted On: https://solarcentralsystems.com/the-solar-panel-installation-process-what-to-expect/
The demand for solar power is surging in 2020. One recent study concluded that consumer interest in solar panels has increased by 13% since March.
There are several reasons why more people are considering solar this year.
They’re spending more time at home than ever before and thinking about ways to cut their utility bills. Many of them are also concerned about issues of environmental sustainability.
Having solar panels can help you save on energy costs and reduce your carbon footprint.
Are you looking for more details on solar panel installation?
Read this comprehensive guide for details on the advantages and disadvantages of solar power, what options are available, and what to expect during installation.
Why Should You Consider Installing Solar Panels?
You’ve probably noticed houses in your community with solar panels on the roof and wondered whether you should get them too? Is it worth the investment?
Not only will you be helping the environment, but homes with solar panels can save between $10,000 to $30,000 over 20-years. The amount varies based on where you live and how much electricity you use.
The set-up costs are high. You’ll spend the early years paying off the equipment and installation services, but there will come a point where you can earn money by selling back some of the energy you harvest.
Solar power installation does increase your property value. The average home price increases $15,000 after standard panels are installed.
By purchasing solar panels you’re also supporting a burgeoning industry, which is working to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and creating thousands of new jobs in the meantime.
Do you know who else is interested in reducing our country’s need for foreign oil? The government. Tax benefits are available at the state and federal levels (up to 30%) for solar systems installation.
Search this database to find out if you qualify for tax credits, grants, or loans for solar panels. Enter your zip code and find out what incentives are available.
Are There Any Drawbacks to Solar?
It’s important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of solar. There are plenty of smart reasons to get solar panels on your home, but what are the drawbacks?
We mentioned above how it’s expensive in the beginning. The equipment and cost of installation could be $20,000 or more. You’ll recoup that investment eventually, but it won’t happen overnight.
Another factor to consider is where you live. States with cloudy weather or long winters will result in less energy collection. Having solar panels in Florida, for instance, is a better investment than in Washington.
Homes or apartments in the middle of a city with limited roof space won’t be able to use solar panels on their own. They will have to set up a community solar program.
If you’re about to install solar panels on your home, make sure it’s where you plan on living for at least 20 years. You can’t take the panels with you and none of the original investment will be made back.
Moving the panels and installing them on a new roof causes too much damage. They would have to be retrofitted to work on a new space.
Solar Panel Options for Homeowners
Let’s talk options. If your goal is to save on electricity, you should also do a complete energy audit of your home to find out all of the ways you can save.
Many of your appliances may need an upgrade to save energy. This could augment your solar investment.
There are five options for installing solar panels on your home:
- Purchase a Solar System: Ideal for individual homeowners who want to make a long-term investment, save on energy, and potentially make money back
- Community Solar: When an entire community pools their resources for solar panels because they rent or don’t have enough roof space
- Solar Leases: A third party owns the solar equipment but a homeowner leases it
- Power Purchase Agreements (PPA): A consumer purchases power generated by a solar power system at a set price
- Solarize Programs: Another community-based option where homeowners or businesses pool their purchasing power to negotiate a competitive rate from an installer
A solar company will work with you on selecting the right type of panel for your home. There are three types of solar panels on the market: monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film.
Most homeowners select panels based on price, space considerations, aesthetics, and ultimately the amount of energy each generates.
A Step-By-Step Guide to Solar Panel Installation
Be prepared for the entire solar installation process to last up to three months. The panels can be completed in three days, but your unit needs to be permitted and inspected.
The first thing a solar company will do is come to your home and discuss your options. An installer will take a look at your roof, ask what you’re looking to do, and provide expert recommendations.
Depending on your budget, you can pay cash upfront or learn about a variety of finance options. This is also the time to explore government tax credits or grants.
Solar panels aren’t one-size-fits-all, so engineers from the company will make a custom design for your home.
They will also request the necessary permits from your municipality, utility company, or homeowners association. Depending on how many other permit requests are being processed, this step takes the longest.
Engineers from the solar company will inspect the unit once it’s installed and work with the local utility company to obtain a Permission to Operate (PTO).
The good news for consumers is that solar companies do most of the legwork.
Ready for a Solar Fitting?
Now is the best time to consider solar panel installation. Since 1980, the price of solar equipment has dropped by 99%.
It will continue to drop as more people get solar systems installed on their homes and more companies offer the service.
Solar Central Systems been a major player in the solar industry for 10 years and has a combined 50 years of installation experience. We are a reliable and trustworthy company delivering results to our clients.
Contact us to learn more about solar options.