Whether you’re chomping at the bit to add some solar units to your roof or simply investigating the scope of the process, there’s plenty to be done in preparation for the shift to solar. Here are 9 crucial steps to prepare for solar power at your home.
Step 1: Consider Your Options
Solar power panels on roof
Solar energy is rising in popularity as prices continue to drop, leading to greater competition among solar contractors, installers, and manufacturers alike. Because of this, there have never been more opportunities available to consumers when it comes to solar energy.
The list of solar panel manufacturers continues to grow as parts and materials become cheaper, but speaking with a solar energy contractor about the specific goals for your solar energy plan can help determine the scope and costs of your project going forward.
Because you’ll need help from building inspectors and the power company in your community, it is advised that you consult with your local resources and find a solar installer that has experience in permitting and project management to ensure the process goes smoothly. Homeowners looking to implement solar power should order a cost/benefit analysis survey from a certified solar installer. This survey will identify roof slope, property orientation, shading, optimal placement sites, power distribution and storage (if applicable), and finally, aesthetic considerations.
Step 2: Find Rebates and Incentives
Depending on your geographic location, your local public works department or utility company may offer impressive rebates on the purchase costs or installation of solar panels on your property. A full list is available here, complete with breakdowns of individual solar energy rebate programs by state.
In some instances, such as in Texas, some utility companies will pay as much as 45% of the initial cost of installation – a huge motivating factor for homeowners, especially taking into account the additional 30% write-off at the end of tax season.