Installing Solar Panels On Your Home: Is It A DIY Job?
Home improvement is on everyone’s minds recently, as we all spend more time indoors. A staggering 75 percent of homeowners completed home improvement projects since the pandemic, according to a survey by Porch.com. One of the most notable home improvement projects on the agenda for homeowners has been the use of solar panels. Around 6 percent of homeowners already have solar panels installed, but another 46 percent were seriously considering installing solar panels.
Choosing solar energy comes with a host of supplementary benefits including reduced utility bills and access to specialized tax benefits. It is also an improvement that increases the value of your home. Thanks to increased interest in solar energy, there is now a wide range of options for homeowners looking to install solar panels- including the option of doing it themselves. So, how do you know it is the right move to DIY your solar panel installation?
Installation Is Cheaper As Is The Overall Costs Of Energy
One of the overwhelming perks of installing solar energy panels on your home is the long term cost-benefit it can provide to your household. In fact, 96 percent of participants in a recent Pew Center Research survey say the cost savings on electricity is the reason they have or plan to install solar panels in their homes. The typical lifetime of solar panels is 25 years. The average American household uses 10,649 kilowatts of electricity annually, according to the U.S Energy Information Administration. Using the average of national electricity rates as of $0.131, households expect to spend $1,395 on electricity annually. With electricity rates set to increase further this year, there has never been a better reason to consider solar energy.
Installing solar panels yourself are also much cheaper than hiring a contractor. The cost of installing professional solar panels can average $23,597, according to home repair site HomeAdvisor. The general cost ranges between $16,547 and $30,906 with some lower-end models carrying a budget-friendly $4,400 price tag. However, this is also influenced by your location. For instance, using the cost calculator on HomeAdvisor.com, the average for homes in Washington D.C is $25, 293 but in Orlando, Florida, homeowners can pay around $22,862. However, design, installation, and labor costs typically account for at least 10 percent of the final cost. Using the national average, that equates to a $2,360 cost-saving.
The DIY Solar Panel Market Can Be Complicated For A DIY Novice
The world of solar energy has certainly come a long way since it was first introduced to homeowners. Now there is a wide range of solar panels models and products for you to choose from. Even if you choose a budget-friendly DIY solar panel option, it still requires a sizeable investment. However, if done right it can be a home improvement that provides great returns. As with most capital intensive home improvements which you plan on utilizing for years to come, it is important that you get it right- the choice and the installation. Many professional PV installation businesses use digital advertising tactics like customer reviews and testimonials to assure you of quality installation service so you can rest assured the job will be done right.
Many of the solar panel installers are specifically trained to understand the different models and the best practices for installation so that homeowners can access the maximum benefit. With years of experience and nationally accredited certifications from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), professional installers can be worth the extra money. They are also well versed in the paperwork that comes with installing solar panels. When considering whether to go solar, a homeowner needs to consider much more than the cost. Homeowners also need to think about the suitability of their roof for solar panels and scheduling the local solar permits and inspections before the utility company allows them to turn on your solar panel system- both of which a professional would have intimate knowledge of.
Professional Installation May Get Your An Extended Warranty
There is no guarantee that your solar panels won’t need adjustments or experience difficulties during their lifetime. While they tend to be generally low maintenance, some common issues experienced with solar panels include hot spots, electrical issues, and micro cracks. Microcracks can be particularly detrimental and decrease the efficiency of your solar panel system significantly if left unaddressed. Most professional installers will offer an extended warranty with their services which provides coverage if these issues occur. They are also better equipped and trained to fix these issues as quickly as possible, saving you time and money. While you may not need it, it is nice knowing that you are covered if the switch to solar energy does not go as smoothly as planned.
Homeowners Get More Control Over The Cost And Installation Process
If you choose to get your solar panels professionally installed, you will be quoted a customized price based on measurements of your home and the contractor’s rate. However, if you choose to install them yourself you can compare the costs of solar panel quotes on marketplaces like the Energy Sages Marketplace, to ensure you get the best price.
Opting for a DIY installation also does not preclude you from enjoying the financial incentives and tax breaks offered by the government for solar energy homeowners. On the DSIRE website, you can easily find the solar energy policies and incentives available to you by inputting your zip code or state. For instance, homeowners in South Dakota can apply for the Black Hills Energy - Residential Customer Rebate Program. The program applies to both air conditioners and LED lighting. However, some programs require the solar panels to be installed by a professional so it is worthwhile checking with the individual authorities.
Also, if you decide to DIY the installation of solar panels in your home, it helps to have an installation checklist. Check with your local authority that DIY installations are allowed, that you have carved out enough time to do the installation and that you have standard roofing like asphalt or shingles. Homes with specialty roofing may need the services of a roofing professional to avoid leaks and other damage to the home. You may also choose to outsource part of the installation process like the wiring if you are unfamiliar with it. As long as you have the right tools and resources, there is no reason why installing your solar panels yourself cant be done. The real question is: Is it the option for you?