Solar Panel Installation Basics

Understanding the Solar Panel Installation Process

Solar panels can seem like instruments from outer space to people who are not familiar with them. Before you commit to getting solar panels on your home, it helps to understand the different elements of the installation process and become familiar with the terms that are used. The more you know about installing solar panels, the easier it becomes to benefit from them.

Consider Leasing Instead Of Buying

Many solar energy companies offer a lease option called a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) that can save you a lot of money and hassles. When you lease your solar panels, your upfront costs are much lower and you do not have to worry about maintenance at all.

The one big problem with a PPA is that the person who buys your home would have to be approved for a PPA as well as a mortgage in order to complete the purchase. In some cases, that can be an issue. But it could also be something that the buyer considers a benefit as well, which helps your chances of selling your home.

Panel Types

If you live in a gated or controlled community, then there may be rules against having solar panels installed on your property. But that is not a problem because you can just choose to have solar shingles installed instead. Solar shingles look and act like regular roofing shingles when it comes to protecting your home, but they have the added benefit of also being collectors of solar power.

Where Will Your Panels Be Installed?

As you talk to the technician who is giving you your solar panel quote, you may find that you have some decisions you will have to make. Your solar panels will need a clear view of the Southern sky to be effective and there may be obstructions on your property that do not allow that to happen. If that is the case, then your installer can put your panels up on poles in another part of the yard and you will still benefit from solar energy.

When you know about the need for access to the Southern sky in advance, you can make some decisions prior to having the panels installed. If you really want your panels installed on your roof, then you will need to remove whatever is blocking the sun from the south. This is something you would have to have done separate from your solar panel installation and it would be a cost you would need to consider.

What To Ask Your Installer

You want to find a solar energy installer that you can trust, because the installer will be the one in charge of the entire process. Before you decide on an installer, it is important to try and find as many options as possible. If you can get three different quotes, then that would give you the opportunity to compare companies and get the best deal.

Ask each installer about their experience with solar power and if their company specializes in solar, or if solar is just a side project to them. It is also important to ask who will be paying and applying for the work permits, and who will be submitting the paperwork for government subsidies. Some installers will take care of the permits for you and help you to submit the paperwork, which can be very helpful when you are dealing with something new.

Having solar panels installed on your property is exciting and beneficial to your family’s budget. Before you settle on an installer, take the time to understand the installation process and know what questions to ask when you are talking to your potential contractors.