Maximize Savings with a Smart Strategy for Transitioning to Solar
March 16, 2023
In our previous piece, Finding the Right Solar Panel Installer, we did a deep dive on strategies for picking a solar panel installer, and discussed the importance of research and asking your solar contractor candidates the right questions before you sign on the dotted line. But making the switch to solar isn’t all about research exclusively; once you’ve determined your energy output potential and the types of solar panels you need, and found the right partner to work with you through the solar panel installation process, the path forward is clear. So clear, you can saunter across the switch to solar finish line with a few smart tips and checklists. In this write up, we’ll get into ways to avoid some critical switch to solar mistakes and share a comprehensive solar panel installation checklist.
What NOT To Do When Switching to Solar
Luckily for homeowners who are considering having a solar panel system installed, there are far more things you should do than shouldn’t. The typical mistakes you should avoid might seem like no-brainers, and yet, many homeowners who opt for the fastest, easiest, or cheapest way to switch to solar make these mistakes time and time again. You’re better than that though. These three illuminating tips about what not to do when pursuing a switch to solar will probably be lost on you, but nevertheless:
The first critical mistake you should avoid is forgetting to have your home checked to ensure it’s suitable for solar. You may be thinking, ‘I have a roof, and I have power needs’ and assuming that is more than enough to justify making the switch. If this is you, we beg you to stop and go back to the very first step in the switch to solar process: determining your energy output potential. It’s sad, but the fact of the matter is that not every home is well suited to go solar. That being the case, you’ll want to make sure you use every resource at your disposal to make sure investing in a solar panel system is right for your home.
The second common mistake we see in the market is homeowners focusing on cost to their own detriment. A solar panel system can bring a lot of joy, independence, and control to your lifestyle—as long as you don’t go cheap on your panels. As a reminder, most solar panel systems last for 25-30 years. The cheapest available options, though appealing for their fire-sale prices, will never make it that long. If they do, you’ll end up spending a small fortune maintaining them to ensure they keep performing as desired. Like all things in life, you get what you pay for when buying solar panels. Avoid paying (and paying, and paying) for this mistake down the line and discuss your options for financing the purchase of a solar panel system that will serve your needs instead.
The third mistake—and biggest no-brainer of them all—is trying to purchase and install a solar panel system all by yourself. Would you ever roll up your sleeves and rewire your entire house by yourself? No, you wouldn’t. You would hire a professional electrician. The same mindset applies to transitioning to solar powered living. Making a switch to solar is about energy and performance, two things that even the most accomplished DIY all-star should acknowledge and respectfully keep their crafty hands out of. Seriously—you need to use an installer. Not a group of your best friends on a free Saturday afternoon, an actual licensed installer. Safety aside, taking the DIY approach can create multiple dangerous threats to your home that could result in costly financial losses. Remember, you’re investing in solar to save money, not lose it.
Your Switch To Solar Checklist
Sometimes, you just need a list.
- Familiarize yourself with your home’s energy efficiency
- Determine your home’s Sun Number Score and identify any restrictions or impediments that might impact your installation
- Consider your potential energy needs ten, twenty, and thirty years from now
- Review the available solar panels and solar batteries on the market to ensure your final selection satisfies all your energy requirements and expectations
- Clearly understand the cost of making the switch
- Confirm the solar panel system incentives you could receive at the city, state, and federal levels
- Understand your options for financing
- Pick the right panels and other system components for your budget and energy needs
- Research and obtain bids from installers
- Discuss costs and options for solar panel maintenance
- Get a solar panel maintenance plan or schedule locked in
- Work with your installer to finalize agreements and complete the install
- Look back and think, ‘how did I ever live without solar energy?’
Avoiding these simple mistakes and following this short checklist will help ensure your satisfaction with your solar panel system for literal decades. And before you know it, you’ll be singing the praises of solar panels to your friends and neighbors.
We started on our own journey of solar panel fanaticism back in 2007, spreading the good word about the incredible freeing feeling that comes with solar energy from a well-researched, thoughtfully planned, and expertly installed solar panel system. Since then, we’ve connected with thousands of homeowners who once stood exactly where you are now, right on the edge of the best decision you’ve ever made. When you make the jump to a solar panel powered lifestyle, we along with the rest of the solar community, will be there to welcome you and make the transition as seamless as possible. Still not feeling confident? The answers you seek are just a phone call with a Freedom Solar Power representative away.
Feeling a little too confident? Double-down on your solar energy expertise by downloading our handy Project Planner eBook and let’s get started on setting you up with the solar panel system that will change the way you live.
See you on the bright side.