Factors to Consider Before Installing Solar
October 13, 2023
The benefits of installing solar may seem like a no-brainer, but not every home (and homeowner’s situation) is always right for solar. Before installing solar, there are several factors to consider, like determining if your home will receive enough sun to achieve your goals, finding the right contractor, and other important details. Considering solar for your home is a major decision. Here are a few things to review before installing solar.
Establish what goals you want to achieve with solar. If saving money is your goal, contact one of our energy specialists. Our energy experts can walk through several home energy technologies and their impact on energy use. They can also perform an energy audit of your home that will yield recommendations for energy efficiency upgrades to provide a faster return on your investment.
Is my roof suitable for solar? Your roof should be in good condition before installing solar panels. If your roof is old or in poor shape, it may need replacing before panels can be mounted. Additionally, your roof should receive a lot of sun to make the most of a system. Solar panels perform best when facing south, so keep this in mind as you think about where the panels will be mounted.
How long will I own the home? If you’re considering solar, you likely plan on staying in the home for several years. But if you plan on selling the home down the road, consider all potential buyers will not want to maintain a solar system. If you enter a contract to lease the system, review the terms of selling the property closely.
Lease or purchase solar? Purchasing a solar system outright is expensive, so many homeowners opt to lease their solar panels. However, it’s important to figure out what rebates and tax credits a solar system may entitle you to. Consult with a CPA on potential savings. Regardless, if you purchase a system outright or finance a solar system, get several quotes from different solar companies.
Can a contractor provide up-to-date documentation? It may seem obvious, but do your homework on the contractor before signing a contract. Request proof and documentation of the contractor’s licensing, permitting, and other credentials. Check the company reviews and the contractor’s status with the Better Business Bureau.
Does the contract seem reasonable and fair? If you hire a contractor to install solar, carefully read the contract’s fine print. Do the system performance calculations seem realistic? Does the project timeframe sound reasonable? Negotiate the contract terms to fit your goals and needs.
Who will maintain the solar panels? Firmly, the system maintenance depends on who owns the system. If you lease the system from a solar installer, it may be their responsibility. Solar panels must be cleaned and checked periodically, as dirt and debris can impact the panel’s productivity. Overall, it is important to know who will take on these responsibilities.
If you have researched home solar and decide it is a fit, we encourage you to contact one of your trusted energy specialists at Union Power as your first step. Our specialist can help walk you through the steps, including how our solar rates and fees work and any questions or concerns you may have before contacting solar installers.