Installing solar panels is a big decision that also has the ability to reduce the environmental impact of the energy consumption in your home and can lower or even eliminate your utility bill. Before installation can begin, homeowners have some topics to consider to prepare for a solar panel installation.
Addressing these with an experienced solar panel installer will help achieve a more successful solar array and maintain financial wellness for your home improvement purchase.
Understand Coverage and Energy Offset
The energy provided by solar panels is determined by how many panels are installed, where they are placed and more. A solar installer will show homeowners an assessment that describes the number of panels that the roof can support, the amount of energy offset that they will provide and the cost of such a system.
The financial viability of a solar installation correlates to the energy savings that it will create, and installers should share a comprehensive overview of how the system will function in this arena. This is an ideal time to ask questions and gain a more thorough understanding of the process and expected outcomes before work begins.
Fix Roof Issues
Before solar panel installation begins, the installer should perform a roof inspection, advising you of any issues that must be addressed to support installation. An installer’s site surveyor and building inspector will assess the structural integrity of the roof prior to adding solar panels, which can weigh around 2.5 pounds per square foot.
Depending on the specific architecture of the house, installers may also recommend that vent pipes and other instructions be moved or otherwise addressed prior to installation. This could include cutting down obstructions or relocating elements of the home’s workings. These tasks should be left to a professional.
Clear Away Obstructions
Solar panels work best when they have direct exposure to sunlight. Before panel installation begins, it is wise to trim those trees that exceed roof height and produce shade on the intended installation area, or those that appear likely to fall.
If this task is deferred until after the panels are installed, unstable branches can fall off and damage your new installation. Remove any other obstructions that pose a hazard or will cast shade on the panels and reduce their effectiveness.
Select Metering and Plan Battery Usage
When preparing for a solar panel installation, decide whether a battery is important to your overall energy plan. Batteries can hold excess energy, creating the ability to access energy to power your home on days with bad weather.
Homes can also send excess energy onward via a metered connection to the utility company. If your area participates in net metering, you could be compensated for the extra energy that you produce. These options are not mutually exclusive, but the installer should discuss them with you prior to installation.
Determine Payment Details
Solar panels require an upfront financial investment, but the savings they produce last for years or even decades after. Homeowners will need to choose how they plan to pay for the panel installation. This may require using savings, securing financing, or a combination of both. Your installation company can provide useful insight to any available options.
The cost of solar panels can vary based on numerous factors both within and outside the control of the homeowner. The design, permitting fees, materials (such as inverters and racking equipment), warranty, and interconnection fees will all impact the overall cost. Additionally, upgrades such as premium panels or a breaker box can increase the bill.
Secure Permits and Permissions
Depending on where a homeowner resides, local regulations may require that installers acquire a permit before beginning solar panel installation. A reputable installer will include all permitting issues as part of installation and take charge of this process for the homeowner.
Some, such as Ipsun Solar, even go a step further and liaise with localities and homeowner’s associations, to ensure that the appropriate paperwork is filed not only with city and county but with the HOA governing board.
Trust a Reputable Installation Company for Your Solar Panels
When it comes to a sizable home improvement such as installing solar panels, it is important to choose a reputable installation company that will do the job right. Ipsun Solar creates customized solar solutions that are tailored to the unique needs and challenges of each home.
We are driven by the impact that we can have in our community to combat climate change and empower anyone to achieve sustainable practices. Contact us to learn more about what to do before a solar panel installation or to schedule an appointment to discuss solar for your building.