Are solar panels the right thing to do for your home? Solar energy is undoubtedly a green way to provide power for your house, but it’s not a simple choice to make.
If it was easy to plug-and-play solar panels, you might find it’s a simpler decision to invest in solar power for your home. But, the installation process and price of adding solar panels to your house can be a show-stopper for anyone thinking of going solar.
It’s a noble idea to use green energy, but make sure you consider these nine essential factors before you make a solar panel investment.
1. How Is Your Roof?
In most cases, solar installation means putting those large flat panels on your roof. Before you add anything to your roof, make sure your roof can handle it.
If you need roof repairs (or a replacement), prioritize that expense before adding solar panels to your roof. Your roof must be in excellent condition before installing solar panels.
The panels are a long-term addition to your house. You don’t want to install solar panels, then find you need a new roof afterward.
2. Can Your House Handle the Weight?
In addition to the condition of your roof, is your house able to withstand the weight of solar panels?
Your installers will recommend the number of panels you need to power your home sufficiently. Be sure you check the structure of your roof, walls, and foundation to make sure your home can Handel the weight of going green.
3. How’s the Weather?
Do you live in an area frequented by severe weather? Heavy rain, hail, and wind can damage solar panels on your roof.
Replacing and repairing solar panels can be expensive. The cost can outweigh any long-term savings you’ll see on your energy bills. If no one else in your area has rooftop solar panels, find out if there’s another safe and effective way to install your panels. If not, you might need to skip the solar installation.
4. How Does Solar Power Connect?
It’s not as simple as putting solar panels on your house and having magical electricity throughout your home. Connecting your new clean energy requires a professional to get you connected to the grid.
You also want to make sure your local power company knows you’re no longer drawing electricity from them. They’ll need to adjust your bill accordingly. Ask these questions of your installer:
- Are the fees to get (or stay) connected?
- How long does it take to get hooked up after panel installation?
- How are you credited for the generated electricity from your solar panels?
- When will you see that credit on your bills?
It’s a coordinated effort to place your panels and connect to make sure your new power source provides what you need.
5. Are You Moving?
If you don’t plan to stay in your home for very long, you might not want to invest in solar panels. Solar energy is most beneficial as a long-term investment.
If you plan to stay in your house for five or more years, you’ll see a better return from the savings on your energy bills. It can also improve the value of your home in the short-term if you don’t plan to live in your house for the long-haul.
6. How Much Power Do You Need?
Can solar power provide all of the electricity you need? If you want to get completely off of the main power grid, be sure your solar installation can support the power you need for everyday life in your house.
Work with your installers to make sure they estimate plenty of panels and enough connectors, so you never struggle to power your life throughout the day.
7. What is the Cost?
Be sure you shop around. Get estimates from several companies to make sure you get the best deal—and the best service—for your long-term solar investment.
Your installation estimate should include:
- Estimated number of panels
- Cost for panels and all installation materials
- Price for installation work
- Estimated timeline for installation from start to finish
- Details about warranties and guarantees
- Costs for required permits or fees
Also, ask about repairs. How much does it cost to repair or replace a panel? What’s the cost for ongoing maintenance? Be sure you understand the full cost of installing solar panels before you commit to a company to do the job for you.
8. Do You Need Permits?
Speaking of fees for permits, talk with your installers about permits required for solar panel installation in your area. A professional solar panel company should understand the permits you need, how to get them, and how to make sure your panels and their work comply with local ordinances.
Never install panels without required permits and checking your local ordinances! It’s an expensive mistake to install panels that don’t comply, then have to take them down and start again.
9. Do You Qualify for Financing or Rebates?
Solar panels can be costly, but you can make it easier on yourself. Find out if financing options are available to reduce significant upfront costs for your solar installation.
Check on government rebates and credits. You might qualify for incentives to help offset the overall costs for your solar panels.
Renew Your Energy With a Solar Panel Investment
It’s not quite a no-brainer, but a solar panel investment can mean long-term savings on clean energy for your home. Before you invest, do your research and make sure the costs and installation meet your expectations.
If you found this article helpful, be sure to check out more property insights right here on our blog!