Residential Solar Installation: How to Prepare Your Home for Solar Power

Are you stuck with an energy provider offering sub-par service? Perhaps you’re conscious about the environment and want to reduce your carbon footprint.

Regardless, residential solar installation is more accessible than ever. There are lenders offering solar panel financing, and the federal government offers residential solar tax credits. Additionally, local authorities and utility companies may help you pay for the installation costs.

First, contact a local solar specialist to know the best residential solar panels. This article will provide an in-depth guide into residential solar systems. Let’s explore.

Local, State, and Federal Incentives

Residential solar systems benefit the environment, but you’ll also benefit from numerous financial initiatives. For instance, many utility companies will give you a credit for additional energy you contribute to the grid.

You can use the credits to plug into the grid, and you can use the credits at any time. In other cases, a utility company may give you a check.

Since utility companies usually pay for energy at wholesale rates, the credit option is usually a better alternative. With that, the credit system depends on the utility company’s policies.

At the state level, you may live in a state that will finance part the installation costs. However, financial guidelines depend largely on the utility company.

  • Example: In Texas, some utility companies will pay 45 percent of the initial installation expenses.

To learn more about rebates in your state, check with your local utility provider.

At the federal level, you can reduce your tax balance via the investment tax credit (ITC). It allows you to deduct 26 percent of solar installation costs from your tax bill.

If you’re keen on tax savings, now is the time to consider residential solar panels, as the tax credit for residential owners will expire in 2022. By 2022, the ITC will apply to commercial enterprises alone. In 2021, residential homeowners can deduct 22 percent instead of 26 percent.

If you’re not sure how to claim the credit, talk to an accountant about your solar endeavors. The accountant can claim the tax credit and file on your behalf. To claim the ITC, however, you must own the solar panels.

Learn About Financing

Talk to a solar specialist if you’re interested in residential solar financing. A solar company can connect you with the right lender, and the lender may offer $0 down loans. The finance terms depend on the lender’s discretion, but you can normally finance between 40 to 70% of the solar panel costs.

The Benefits of an Installation Specialist

In addition to financing, solar companies will contact your HOA about your installation plans. HOAs may have restrictions on solar usage. The contractor can also apply for local permits and notify utility companies.

Plus, a contractor will help you determine the best place to install the panels. To help the contractor, show them a history of your monthly usage for the past 12 months. Utility statements will also help the consultant determine the appropriate solar space, including the appropriate number of panels.

You can get the statements from your online utility account.

During the assessment, the consultant should provide a cost-benefit survey. The survey will determine such factors as:

  • Spatial orientation
  • Proper shading
  • Solar storage
  • Suitable installation sites

Also, consider future energy usage. If you plan to increase energy usage (i.e. buying an electric car), tell the contractor ahead of time.

The specialist can also inspect your roof to see if it’s in proper condition. Not all homes can support the weight of solar panels. However, you can upgrade your home to boost support.

When it comes to structural soundness, a contractor can make your house stronger to support the heavier weight. Contactors usually enhance structural integrity for heavier roofs, and they can do the same for solar panels.

Moreover, fix your roof if it shows signs of leakage or damage.

Proceed with Repairs

You may need to replace your roof before a specialist can install your roof panels. The cost to replace a roof typically hovers between $10,000 and $15,000, but the cost depends on the shingle type.

You could pay higher costs if you have high-quality shingles (i.e. architectural shingles). In other cases, your roof could benefit from a few minor upgrades.

  • Note: It’s best to proceed with all major and minor roof repairs to save yourself the short-term headache of reinstallation. If you need to replace the roof after installing the panels, a specialist must remove the panels and reinstall them.

Additionally, you can improve energy efficiency by ensuring your roof is free of defects. A leaky roof can drive up your energy bills, allowing heating and cooling to escape your home.

A solar expert can also convey if your roof can support solar panels. For example, metal roofs contain seams that contractors use to install the panels.

Composite roofs are also conducive to panel installation. You may run into trouble if you have a tile roof, as the panels could damage the waterproofing integrity. Further, wooden roofs can cause a fire hazard.

Order the Installation

After completing the repairs, contact a solar company to proceed with the installation. The installation process will normally take a day. Keep children and pets at bay, especially if they’re irritated by excessive noise.

If you leave the residence, leave your contact information in case the contractors encounter unforeseen challenges.

Residential Solar Installation with a Reputable Solar Company

A residential solar installation expert can guide you from beginning to end. A rep can tell you how many solar panels are necessary.

They can also help you obtain permits and approval from local authorities. If you need financing, a good solar company has connections to trustworthy lenders.

Interested in learning more about residential solar panels? Click here to learn more about the benefits of residential solar.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter