How to Install Solar Panels – A Guide For First-Timers
The process of installing a solar panel system to harness solar energy for use at home can be daunting. With a simple Google search, I was able to find hundreds of articles, blog posts, and websites teaching people how to do it. While there may still be slight differences in your geographical area, here’s a basic outline of how the typical solar panel installation process works. In broad strokes, the entire process typically takes several visits and several steps along the way. Here’s a look at that.
Most solar panel installations start out with an assessment of your house’s electrical needs. This includes both the electricity you use and the surplus you may still have to sell back to the electric company. After this information is assessed, you’ll work with a licensed electrician to figure out the maximum amount of energy you can realistically use from your own power source. From this figure, your solar panel provider will be able to determine how much power your home is eligible for. Once this information has been established, your installer will then prepare the necessary paperwork and get a building permit from your local city or county.
Next, your provider will contact a local roofer to inspect your roof and determine if there are any unobstructed spots that could be used for placement of your solar panels. This inspection process is particularly important because it lets your installer know just how much sun exposure your home gets each day. If the roof isn’t in good shape, the installer may be unable to place solar panels on that particular part of the roof, which would severely curtail your ability to harness renewable energy for use at home.
Then, your installer will contact your electric company and ask them to approve an installation contract. This contract specifies the amount of electricity (electricity) your home is eligible for and the frequency in which it’s available. The electric company is also going to need to know the amount of energy your home currently uses (in kilowatts). Finally, you’ll be charged a one-time installation fee. This fee is usually calculated by dividing the total amount of electricity you currently consume by the average amount of energy your home typically generates.
You may have to pay one more installation fee, but this one is designed to cover the cost of hiring a professional roofer to inspect your roof once the solar panel installation is complete. After the roofing inspection is complete, your installer will attach the electrical wiring, and you’ll be ready to enjoy the benefits of producing electricity at home. While these upfront costs may scare some people off at first, you’ll soon realize that they’re nothing compared to what you’ll save in utility bills when you install your new system. After all, utility companies make money by selling energy to you, not by letting it sit on your roof!
Although solar panel installations are certainly more complicated than other types of electrical installation processes, they can still be done on your own. In fact, you’ll likely find it to be much less frustrating. Even if you don’t want to hire a professional installation company, you can still install solar panels on your own. You simply need to get an excellent set of instructions and take some time to learn about the electrical system in your house. Once you understand how the system works, you’ll have no trouble putting it together on your own.