7 Things to Know Before Switching to Solar Power

Solar Technicians Carrying a Solar Panel

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Are you considering solarizing to enjoy this eco-friendly and cost-effective energy? It’s one of the most important moves to make in the 21st century.

Many financial plans have been implemented to help people offset the cost of adopting this renewable energy. And as a result, most homeowners are breaking even on their investment in under 10 years. The remainder of the time they’re using solar —it’s payment free!

If you know about this and more benefits of going solar and would like to switch, this article is for you. We have rounded up seven of the most important things to note before you make your move.

What to Consider Before Switching to Solar Power?

Whether residential or community solar, it’s important to learn everything you need to know about solar panels before installing one. Here is what to know before getting solar panels.

1.     Your Roof

Source: Jack Price-Burns

Is your roof compatible with the government’s set regulations? Is your roof old or damaged? Can your roof take the weight of the PV module?

Every state has its code and building ordinances. For instance, Florida code and building ordinances insist that panels get mounted on or above the roof, the collector array, and supporting construction should be made of noncombustible materials or fire-retardant-treated woods. Check in with the right authorities to know what your local or state code says.

Also, the typical weight of a panel is about 40 lbs, adding this weight to a damaged roof leads to more cracks and leaks, which can cause the roof to collapse.

So it’s best to assess the quality of your roof and renovate it first to save you from harm and more expenses.

2.    Types of Solar Panels You Need

Choosing the type of PV cell you need should be based on the kind of property you own and the system’s specifications. The common types are

  1. Monocrystalline: high efficiency and high performance, but expensive. This is best suited for traditional roofing materials like asphalt shingles.
  2. Polycrystalline: low efficiency and performance level, but costs less. This is compatible with traditional roofing materials, it requires more roof space.
  3. Thin-film: Malleable and easy to carry but have low efficiency and performance rate. This is best suited for unconventional roofing materials like concrete tiles.

After assessing the quality of your roof, you can choose either of these PV modules. However, If you still don’t know what to look for in solar panels, think of other specifications like the type of inverter and mounting options. Also, check the solar panel buying guide to ensure you get what you’re looking for.

3.    Solar Panels Cost

One of the things to know about solar panels is the cost because the quality you get depends on your budget.

The average cost of installing residential solar power in Florida ranges from $7,000 to $25,000. The price might vary based on your state of residence, the installation company you’re using, the number of modules, and the total operating capacity of the system.

Although this might seem expensive, you’re likely to save an average of $20,000 on electricity during the lifespan of your solar system if energy prices don’t increase.

4.   Buy or Lease Solar Panels

Source: Bill Mead

Although you get electricity without paying a large sum of money upfront when you lease PV modules, you won’t get tax deductions or other incentives.

Inversely, purchasing a PV cell saves you more money because you’ll regain the amount spent (and more) from years of cutting electricity costs. Also, you get tax reductions and other incentives.

5.    Permit to Install Solar Panels

Permits are required in some states, this helps the government to ensure you’re adhering to the regulations set. Before buying a PV cell, apply for a permit from your local government.

Alternatively, you can pay an installation company to take care of getting a permit.

6.   Tax for ownership

There are so many incentives to owning solar, one of which is the investment tax credit (ITC). This deducts 30% of the total cost from your federal tax. However, this tax deduction will decrease in 2033 from 30% to 26% and from 26% to 22% in 2034.

Beyond the federal ITC, there are other incentives like Net Metering. Ask the installation company you’re using and take advantage of these offers.

7.    Battery Backup for Solar Panels

Source: Kumpan Electric

Whether you’re connected to the grid or using an off-grid system, you’ll need backup batteries to store energy. These solar batteries will come in handy during emergencies or when there is no sun.

Advantages of Solar Energy

This renewable energy has so many benefits, which include:

  1. Less servicing costs
  2. Less energy costs
  3. Eco-friendly
  4. Increased property value
  5. Rebates and incentives
  6. Energy independence
  7. No need for additional space

Final Words

“What do I need to know about solar panels?”

You need to know the quality of your roof, the type of system you want, the price for installation, the permits required, and the incentives before installing a solar panel.

Remember, whether your PV system is on-grid or off-grid, you should have battery backup for emergencies.

If you’re uncertain about what to look for when buying solar panels, contact PPM Solar for help.

Picture of Kokou Adzo

Kokou Adzo

Kokou Adzo is a stalwart in the tech journalism community, has been chronicling the ever-evolving world of Apple products and innovations for over a decade. As a Senior Author at Apple Gazette, Kokou combines a deep passion for technology with an innate ability to translate complex tech jargon into relatable insights for everyday users.

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