Are you considering installing a solar power system in your home? Before switching to solar power for your home, we’ll explain what you need to know, from your roof’s condition to permitting and more.
Your Roof’s Condition
Before you get excited about finally getting the solar panels you’ve always wanted for your home, consider your home and roof’s condition first. Most homeowners will install the panels on their roofs as that’s where they’ll absorb the most sunlight. First, ensure your home is suitable to support panels.
Ideally, your roof should have an angle between 30-45 degrees to maximize sunlight exposure, but if your home has a flat roof or has a lot of shade or tree cover, it may not be suitable for panels. Also, consider the condition of your roof and whether it’s too old or worn down to support heavy panels.
Another thing to know before switching to solar power for your home is the application and permitting process. Before you can even think about installing solar panels, you’ll need approval from local authorities.
A key consideration for residential and commercial solar systems is obtaining the necessary permits, which require filling out a detailed application that outlines your solar system’s details, from the location of the panels to the solar system labels and more. If you’re part of a homeowner’s association, you’ll likely have to get approval from them or follow their guidelines regarding solar panels.
One of the obstacles many home and business owners cite as an obstacle to switching to solar power is the high installation cost. Solar panel installation costs are significant, but did you know the federal government will help pick up the bill?
Homeowners who install solar panels can apply for a federal tax credit that covers 30 percent of the installation costs. And plenty of other states also offer significant rebates and tax breaks for solar panel homeowners. New Jersey, for instance, exempts buyers from 100 percent of state sales tax for solar energy equipment.
Your Typical Energy Usage
Before you switch, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with your energy needs and the power required by your new system. Review electricity bills from past months to determine your annual power needs—what months you need more and what months you’ll need less.
Your energy bills should include this information, or you can ask your utility provider. This information will help you choose your new solar system, and your contractor can recommend the ideal system for you and your home based on your energy usage.