Solar panels are not the trend anymore. They’ve become essential. Given the environmental crises we’re facing, more and more people are ditching fossil fuels and going solar. Their popularity also rises because energy prices are rising across the globe in various parts of the world.
But as the owners learn the hard way, solar panel installation is not without complications. There’s some homework involved, which, when ignored, calls for trouble down the road. If you’re thinking of going solar in 2023, this guide is for you. We will list seven things you must know before harnessing solar energy at home.
Solar Panel Installation: What You Need to Know Before Going Solar
There are different types of solar panels
The type of solar panel you select will directly affect your solar production efficiency and cost. Some panel types are more efficient than others and hence may cost more.
There are three types of panels to choose from: monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film. Of the three, monocrystalline is the most common type for residential homes. That’s because it has the greatest efficiency. Polycrystalline, on the other hand, is comparatively less efficient. Thin-film solar panels fall in between.
Your ultimate choice will depend on your budget and desired solar energy production.
Decide on installation location and direction
Many people think solar panels are only installed on the rooftop. A majority of them are indeed, in backyard or front yard. The ones installed in the backyard are called ‘ground-mounted solar panels.’ You need to select the location based on where the energy production will be more efficient.
Along with location, you’d also have to decide the direction of the panels. As a rule, the optimum direction is between South and West since that’s where the panels receive maximum sunlight.
How much weight can the roof handle?
Most people opt for rooftop solar panels since it maximizes sun exposure. But before that, you need to inspect the roof itself. More specifically, how much weight can your roof handle?
Depending on the size, solar panels can be quite heavy. On average, they weigh 3-4 pounds per square foot. Make sure the roof is formidable enough to sustain the added weight.
Along with weight-loading capacity, it’s better to check the roof for potential cracks, repair work, and slope. If repair is needed, get it done before installing solar panels.
Plan for surplus solar energy
Some households end up generating way more solar energy than they need. This happens during peak summer months when the sun shines brightly throughout the day.
You can sell surplus solar energy and earn power bill credit to lower your energy bill further. Many electricity providers have solar buyback programs or net metering. Either way, you can sell the excess electricity and get credits.
The second option is to install a battery system. This will store the additional energy generated for later use.
Another option is to install an EV charging station. This way, you can charge your electric cars at home.
Solar panel installation cost varies greatly
Many factors affect the installation cost of solar panels. One is the type of solar panel you opt for. Monocrystalline solar panels, the most efficient, are also the most expensive type.
Other factors that affect the cost are your location, solar panel models, and the company. States with more sunny days have low prices for solar panels than states receiving lower sunlight. Likewise, some companies charge a premium for exclusive services.
The solar panels may cost anywhere from $3,500 to $35,000, with the average price being $16,000.
Understand Subsidies and Rebates
Many states have incentive programs in place to encourage solar adoption. These vary from state to state. Understanding these programs is key to reducing your solar installation cost.
For example, it takes 5.39 years to break even on your solar panel investment in a state like Florida. At the same time, it takes around 11.16 years to achieve the same in the District of Columbia.
California is considered the best US state for solar energy friendliness. On average, the state receives 150 sunny days yearly and has a robust solar incentive program.
Along with state rebates, you may also receive federal solar tax credit. So do keep an eye on it since the tax bill is about to expire in 2024.
DIY is a big No
Solar panel installation is technical work and is better left to professionals. There is installation, wiring, and compliance work to be done. Instead of doing it yourself in pursuit of saving a few dollars, you should leave it to the contracting company.
Best roofing and solar contractors in Stockton
Solar is a thriving market and is only going to explode in the near future. As you’re about to embrace the future, keep the above points in mind for the safest transition to solar energy. If you are looking for a solar contractor in Stockton, we are here to help you. Contact us today.