3 Tips To Prepare For Solar Panel Installation

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If you've been looking for ways to go green while reducing your energy costs, solar panels could be the answer. Homeowners who are looking into solar for the first time often have a few questions about the process. Here are four essential tips to prepare for solar panel installation.

1. Schedule a Professional Roof Inspection

For most homes, the roof is the foundation of the solar system. Your roof must be in good condition to hold the weight of your new solar installation. Problems in the underlayment or other sublayers of your roof could compromise its integrity after a solar install, and these issues aren't always easy to spot. Most solar installers recommend a professional roof inspection to confirm that your roof can support your new panels.

2. Secure Financing for Solar

While solar panels are certainly a great way to bring down your energy costs, you must also account for the upfront costs of installation. Fortunately, homeowners have several options available to finance solar panels. New residential solar panel installations cost around $16,000 on average, but most homeowners won't need to pay out-of-pocket.

The first financing options to familiarize yourself with are federal and local tax credits for solar energy. Federal tax incentives can deduct a portion of your installation costs from your income taxes. Depending on your state, you may also be eligible for a lump-sum rebate for your solar panels. Other financing options to consider are solar-specific loans, personal loans, home equity, or leasing your solar panels.

3. Choose Between Net Metering and Battery Storage

Solar panels sometimes absorb excess energy that your home can't use. Deciding what to do with that extra energy is crucial before your solar installation. With a solar battery, you can simply store this excess energy for use at night or during inclement weather. However, your installation will be more expensive if you go this route, and you'll miss out on the earning potential of net metering.

With a metered solar system, any excess electricity from your solar panels is uploaded to the electrical grid. The energy is routed to other homes on the grid where it's needed, and your local utility provider will reimburse you for the extra power your home produces. Some providers offer full-retail net metering, while in other cases your returns may vary due to time of use.

Installing solar panels is a great way to help the environment while also enjoying lower monthly energy bills. Talk to a local solar panel installation contractor for more tips to prepare your home for solar panels.