Currently, the U.S. is the second-largest solar market in the world after China. By the end of 2015, the amount of solar power installed in the U.S. was estimated to be 27.4 GW, which was a substantial increase from the 1.2 GW recorded in 2008. Today, about two million U.S. homeowners have installed solar panels in their homes, as they seek to get off the grid and embrace green energy. Luckily, solar panel companies in Georgia and other states have made residential solar panel installation stress-free and readily available.
If you have decided to install solar panels in your home, you’re certainly on the right path. These tips will help you prepare for your solar panel installation project.
1. Know How Much Solar Energy You Need in Your Home
If your goal is to get off the grid 100%, you’ll need to install solar panels that generate more energy than your current usage. This is usually the dilemma for most homeowners looking to switch to solar energy. You will want to know how many solar panels you need for your residential use. The easiest way to know how much solar energy you need is by consulting a solar expert. This means calling in a solar panel installation company to conduct a survey of your home and review your current energy use.
Calculating how much solar energy you need is not as easy as referencing your electricity bill and taking the numbers at face value. Your monthly or annual electricity bill is only one of the guiding factors that a solar panel installation company will rely on. Other factors that will come into play include, how much direct sunlight your area receives, your solar panel wattage, and how much roof space you have for your solar panels. This can be a lot to process, especially for first-time solar installers. However, solar panel installation companies in Georgia will have you covered, so you can just call them and let them take care of your solar panel installation.
2. Consider the Local Solar Regulations in Your State
Just like you need approval for home renovation projects and construction projects, you may need to get approval for your solar panel installation project. Even though most states like Georgia have embraced solar-friendly laws to encourage more homeowners to install solar panels, the paperwork involved can be exhausting. To avoid wasting a lot of time in the approval process, it’s advisable to first familiarize yourself with your state’s solar regulations.
If you’re part of a Homeowners Association, you’ll want to know the regulations that guide solar panel installation. Some HOAs may have extra regulations in place that you’ll have to factor in during your solar installation. Good thing your solar panel installation company will help you acquire the required permits in good time.
3. Ensure That Your Roof Can Handle the Extra Weight
Solar panels weigh around two to four pounds per square foot. Given that you may need more than 32 solar panels, you want to ensure that your roof can handle the extra weight of your solar panels. Even before engaging solar panel installers, you can have a structural engineer inspect your roof.
Although most roofs can accommodate the extra weight comfortably, your engineer may recommend a roof remodel before the installation. In that case, you should renovate your roof so your solar panels are protected. The last thing you want is your roof coming down with your solar panels on top. This would be a heavy loss given that quality solar panels are costly to buy and install.
As more U.S. homeowners continue to install solar panels in their homes, it’s clear that green energy is the future. Switching to solar energy will benefit you directly by reducing your electricity bill and benefit the environment by reducing the overall carbon footprint. To enjoy quality solar panel installation services, engage a reputable solar panel installation company.