Solar

Should I DIY Solar?

A common question of those interested in going solar is whether there are options for homeowners to install solar themselves. If there are options, it is worth it?

To do or not to do…to vaguely reference a famous poet who touched on so many deep, human questions. And speaking of deep questions, you’ve probably been brewing over whether you should install solar panels yourself or to use a professional.

Both are possible, and could be good choices depending on your personal experience, knowledge, and budget.

Here are a few things to consider before you make your final decision on how you’re going solar.

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DIY—I Have The Know Hows

DIY solar can save you money and fit a tighter budget for going solar.

You can buy a solar kit and then install those panels yourself. Of course, while this will save you the most money, it also requires a lot of knowledge, research, and work in electrical, roofing, and solar and sometimes even plumbing. You can usually buy quality solar equipment for somewhere around $2/watt instead of $4/watt, which is the usual cost of solar panels installed by professionals. In addition, you can save money with state and federal tax incentives (you can save around 30% with the Solar Investment Tax Credit—ITC).

You can purchase the solar kit, and then contract with a professional to do the actual installation. This can also save you some money. However, most of your savings on buying your own panels will go to the professionals you hire. They will charge more, as they won’t be making money off your equipment. And you should consider the cost of an electrician (around $3-5,000 on a solar panel system) which also takes some of the savings away from buying your own panels.

So really, after you consider the solar tax credit, you’re only going to be saving around $2-4,500 on a DIY solar project.

It’s up to you. Going DIY could be a great thing if you really know everything that goes into it. And if you’re a professional yourself.

You’d have to weigh out if a few thousand in savings is worth not having a warranty, not knowing if things are done completely right, not being able to rely on a company when things go wrong, and of course potentially damaging your expensive equipment during installation.

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Professional—I Want To Save Time And Money

If you don’t have the qualifications to DIY solar, you’re probably leaning towards hiring professionals. This is a great course of action if you don’t have knowledge or experience with solar (including electric, roofing, and even plumbing).

The perks of hiring a professional are pretty obvious.

First of all, you have a company backing you up and giving you a warranty on their parts and labor. If something goes wrong in the installation or if they damage equipment, it’s on them and their dime.

Second, they have all the permits ready and know how to meet the state and federal regulations for solar.

Third, they know of all the tax incentives and rebates and can help you save money on your solar system.

Fourth, they already have subcontractors, like an electrician or plumber, included in your installation costs.

Fifth, they have all the experience and knowledge and can probably get your system up in a day.

Going with a solar professional can save you a lot in time, and maybe even money if things go wrong in your installation, or if your system doesn’t last as long as it should. Having that warranty on parts and labor, and a professional ready for your call if your panels have issues, might be worth the extra cost to you.

Need a quote on solar professionals near you? Let Home Professionals help you find the best deals and experts today.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Solar:

Q: What is the ITC?

A: The Federal Government in the year 2019 will pay for 30% of your solar cost. That's like the Federal Government paying 30% of your electric bill for the next 30 years.

Q: Is there a solar program that is 100% free?

A: No. There are programs without any enrollment, install, or maintenance costs. However, you still have to pay the lower power bill that comes accompanied with your electricity use.

Q: What energy efficient program offers the most savings?

A: Solar offers massive savings to the homeowner. Especially as electric rates tend to rise year after year, and homeowners are using more power as they are adding in home automation, tvs, speakers, etc.

Scale of Solar Prices Over Time

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FAQ
Q: Are solar panels cost-effective?
A: The best way to find your individual answer for this would be to get a solar consultation and quote from your local solar professional. You will be able to weigh out your current electricity costs, what solar would save you, and how much the solar would cost. You will be able to find out from that if solar panels are cost-effective for you.
Q: Are solar panels connected in a series or parallel?
A: You and your solar professional can decide which way is going to work for you. Parallel circuitry has many paths for your current to move on. If a circuit is broken, the current moves around it along other paths.  Series circuitry only has one path to travel on. If one part is broken, the whole thing is down. Solar panels can be wired either way.

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