A Beginner’s Guide to Going Solar

residential solar panel installation

Each day, the sun drives 120,000 terawatts of power to the Earth. That power yields 100 times more lifetime energy than other systems, and more and more homeowners are opting for residential solar panel installation to be more efficient, more environmentally responsible, and to save money on their energy costs. If you are thinking about switching your home to solar energy, read on for a brief guide to what you can expect during the process of residential solar panel installation.

Is Your Property a Good Candidate for Residential Solar Panel Installation?

First things first: is switching to solar energy a good choice for your property?

Is your roof able to have panels installed on it? Some roofs are better suited to residential solar panel installation than others: asphalt shingles, standing seam metal, composite shingles, concrete tiles, and other common roof materials are conducive to residential solar panel installation. Other materials can certainly have solar panels installed, but you should be careful in choosing solar panel installers who have experience working with your type of roof. Also, if your roof needs repair or replacement, it’s best to have that work done in advance of the residential solar panel installation.

Select a Residential Solar Installation Company

The next step is to find a commercial solar energy company that will be a good fit for your project. Inquire with friends and neighbors who have had solar energy systems installed. Find references from customers who have used the solar panel installers you’re considering.

The residential solar companies you meet or speak with at this stage may not immediately offer an estimate. Homes vary widely and the vendor will wish to provide a fair estimate that works for both parties.

They will likely send a representative to inspect your property and create a plan that will work for you and the type of structure you have, your energy needs, and the systems and products available.

Learn About the Products

The panel installation company you choose will likely prefer and recommend a particular type of solar panel. Learn about the product: their reputation, their durability and quality, whether they are warrantied and for how long. Keep in mind that the solar company will install materials they’re familiar with more efficiently than they will other products or materials.

Consider Financing Options

There are a number of ways to pay for your residential solar panel installation project. Of course, it can be paid in full immediately, but that isn’t always necessary. Many lending institutions offer options for families that are upgrading to solar power, and many commercial solar companies offer financing as well. In addition, you can lease the panels and pay for the labor. The solar energy company you choose to work with can explain your options to you in more detail.

There are also significant tax incentives for homeowners who install solar energy systems in their homes. It’s likely that you will be able to make a lateral move from your excessive energy bill by applying local, state, and federal tax incentives to the modest monthly payment you arrange for your solar energy system installation.

Residential Solar Panel Installation

Once you’ve established that your property is well-suited to solar panel installation, selected a vendor to complete the residential solar panel installation, and arranged for convenient payment that won’t eat into your energy savings, it will be time for the solar energy system to be installed. This can include the permits, applications, utility transitions, and any consents necessary with homeowners associations and other bodies.

Residential solar panel installation generally takes no more than two business days to complete, and consists of a small crew of professional installers delivering the panels and other installation hardware. They will complete the installation and make sure that you’re satisfied with the service and product, and that you understand how your new solar energy system works.

Inspection

A local utility or energy authority will likely need to inspect the system and the work, mostly as a formality: your system will be installed properly and to the highest standards of craftsmanship and compliance.

The very last step is to enjoy the benefits of your new solar energy system by saving money on your energy costs!