5 Questions To Ask Before Solar Panel Installation

Before making the leap to home solar, make sure you know what to expect. The following are a few questions that can help you get ready for solar installation

1. Do You Have a Good Location?

Orientation is important if you want to effectively use solar panels for energy. Generally, solar panels need clear and steady southern exposure for the best sunlight accumulation, but the exact orientation will be very location dependent. The good news is that there are options, so you can mount panels on the roof or ground. There are even automatic options that change the tilt of the panels from season to season to ensure the best light collection.

2. What Preparation Is Needed?

Sometimes you need to have other work done before panel installation can begin. For example, if you are opting for roof installation, it is vital that the roof is in good condition with many years of working life ahead of it. This may mean putting on a new roof before the panels are installed, as it is expensive and difficult to replace the roof once you have solar put in.

3. Will You Need a Permit?

Permits may be necessary. Some municipalities require permits for any solar installation, while others may only require it in certain circumstances. Some areas may only require permits for rooftop installations or for arrays of certain sizes, while others may only enforce permitting if you will be moving completely off the main power grid. Your solar company should help you navigate your local permitting process.

4. Should You Store or Sell?

You may be given a choice on what to do with the extra power you generate. If you will remain hooked up to the main electrical grid, a good option is to sell the extra electricity to the power company. Many power companies have a solar buyback scheme that can offset your bills if you do need to go back on grid seasonally, or it could result in extra cash if you are able to remain on solar year around. Otherwise, you will need a battery bank to store your extra power for your own use.

5. Are There Any Incentives Available?

Always check for solar installation incentives before installing the new system. Many local and state municipalities provide cash or tax incentives to those that put in new systems. There are also occasionally federal programs or even programs put out by the local utility. 

Contact a solar panel installation service for more answers to your questions about home solar energy.