As worries over climate change grow and renewable energy becomes more critical, solar power is on the rise. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), solar capacity rose by 94 GW worldwide in 2018. If you’re considering joining the renewable revolution and adding solar panels to your home, be aware that it shouldn’t just be a simple case of slap them on your roof and flick the switch. Here are essential steps to take before installing solar panels for an overall smooth process. Take time to ensure you’re well prepared so as to save money, enjoy efficiency and secure reliability.
Understand Your Energy Usage
Before adding solar technology to your home, ensure that you fully understand your energy usage. An analysis of your annual energy consumption will show how many panels you require for residential solar panel installation. Examine your electricity bill for details like kWh used per month or year.
Evaluate Roof’s Condition
The condition of your roof is vital for solar installation. The roof should be sturdy enough to hold the weight of the panels and should have sufficient years of life left in it. Otherwise, consider replacing it before adding solar panels.
Check Its Orientation
Your roof orientation affects the amount of sun exposure the panels will receive. South-facing rooftops are optimal in most areas, but other directions can be effective depending on local conditions.
Consider Shade Implications
Closely related to rooftop direction is the issue of shade. Ensure there aren’t large trees, buildings, or other obstructions casting a shadow on your roof as they can affect the performance of your panels.
Determine System Size
Determining your system size is a blend of how much power you need and how much roof space you have. A reputable solar company can help in this aspect, ensuring you get a system that matches your energy needs.
Read Local Building Codes
Before installation commences, confirm that solar panels are allowed under local building codes. Some areas might require special permits or have specific installation requirements. If you ignore this step, you may face costly fines or be forced to remove the panels.
Examine Finances And Rebates
Understand your financial situation and investigate local or national rebates or incentives for solar panel installations. EnergySage reported that consumers can benefit from the federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) which deducts a percentage of solar costs from taxes.
Choose Quality Equipment
You understand your energy needs and finances, and now it’s time to choose your equipment. Ensure you go for high-quality panels, inverters, and mounting systems, as lower-grade equipment can affect system performance.
Select Installers Carefully
Picking the right installer is crucial for a successful installation process. Look for companies with strong reputations, good reviews, and relevant experience. They should also provide a solid warranty period for their installations.
Go Through The Contract Thoroughly
This might seem obvious but make sure that you read the contract carefully before signing it . It should outline all financial details, warranty information, and projected performance for the system.
Organize Grid Connection
In many jurisdictions, homeowners with solar panels are required to connect them to the local electricity grid. This will allow any excess produced energy to be stored in the grid instead of requiring a home battery storage unit.
Prepare For Maintenance
Buying solar panels is an investment that needs maintenance. Have a maintenance strategy in place even before the installation begins. Your installer can guide you on how to clean, maintain and repair your solar panels properly.
After selecting your installer, you need to schedule the installation. The process can take weeks, so patience is important. Facilitate a smooth installation by clearing the surrounding areas and ensuring easy access to your roof.
Communicate With Your Utility Company
Last but not least, communicate with your utility company about your new projected energy output. This ensures you remain well-prepared for all eventualities and are able to take full advantage of your new solar system.
The Next Step
Taking these essential steps will ensure you are well prepared for a successful solar panel installation process. With this comprehensive preparation, you’ll be able to not only save money and improve efficiency but will also contribute towards a sustainable future.
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