5 Major Factors to Consider When Planning a Residential Solar System

Planning a residential solar system requires considering various important factors to ensure a smooth installation process and maximize the performance and benefits of your system. Here are the top 5 major factors you need to look into when deciding on a residential solar installation for your home.

1. Construction Material Supply

The first key factor is assessing the availability and lead times of construction materials, especially solar panels. With the growing popularity of solar energy, there has been a surge in demand for solar panels globally. This has put pressure on panel manufacturing, and their construction material supply, resulting in longer wait times. When planning your residential solar installation, check with your installer on the current panel supply and lead times. This will give you a realistic timeline for the project’s completion. It’s best not to wait until the last minute as unexpected delays in panel delivery could push back your target commissioning date. Having ample time buffers built into your schedule will help avoid unnecessary hassles.

Your installer should be able to provide forecasts on panel supply over the coming months based on their experience and relationships with manufacturers/distributors. Go with an experienced local company that has established supply chain partnerships to minimize risks of delays due to material shortages. Stocking extra inventory is another strategy some installers employ to address supply issues. Knowing the current situation upfront allows factoring potential waits into your planning and setting proper expectations.

2. Roof Structure and Age

The structural integrity and age of your roof are important considerations that determine the feasibility of a residential solar installation project. Older rooftops that are nearing the end of their lifespan may not be suitable to safely support additional loads from solar panels and mounting hardware. A roof inspection by your installer is essential to check for any existing damage, deterioration, or other structural issues. Your installer will advise on any roof upgrades needed, factoring into project planning and costing. Going through necessary roof repairs or replacement earlier speeds up the overall installation process.

3. Home Electricity Usage and Sizing the System

Understanding your typical household electricity consumption patterns and needs helps determine the optimal size of your residential solar installation. A well-sized system that matches your load creates maximum self-sufficiency with your solar energy generation. Your installer will analyze your previous electricity bills to gauge your annual kWh usage and peak power demands. They’ll perform a site assessment evaluating factors like roof space, shading, and orientation to advise the best solar panel configuration.

4. Local Incentives and Financing Options

Research available financial incentives in your area that can boost the affordability of your residential solar installation project. Federal tax credits offer around 26% of the system cost, while many states and utilities provide additional rebates or net metering benefits. Check deadline requirements to take advantage of current offers that may expire.

5. Installer experience, credentials, and warranty

Partnering with a reputable and experienced local solar installation company holds the key to seamless residential project execution and quality long-term support. Request multiple detailed quotes factoring in the complete scope of work from reliable installers. Check licensure, and certifications and verify years in business to gauge expertise levels.

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