If you own a business, you know that one of the biggest expenses is your energy bill. There are a number of things you can do to reduce your energy costs, such as upgrading to energy-efficient appliances and lighting, and improving insulation. However, one of the most effective ways to save money on your energy bill is to install solar panels.
Solar panels are a clean, renewable source of energy that can generate electricity on-site. This means that you can reduce your reliance on the grid and lower your energy costs. In fact, the average commercial solar installation can save businesses up to 60% or more on their energy bills.
If you don’t have enough roof space for solar panels, a commercial carport can be a great alternative. Commercial carports are structures that are built to shelter vehicles from the elements.
Commercial carports offer a number of benefits, including:
Protection from the elements: Commercial solar carports can protect vehicles from the sun, rain, snow, and hail. This can help to extend the life of your vehicles and reduce the need for maintenance.
Reduced energy costs: Commercial solar carports can help to reduce energy costs by providing shade for your vehicles. This can help to keep your vehicles cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
Increased employee productivity: Commercial solar carports can help to increase employee productivity by providing a more comfortable and convenient parking environment. This can help to reduce absenteeism and improve morale.
Improved property value: Commercial solar carports can improve the value of your property. This is because they can make your property more attractive to potential buyers and tenants.
The 30% Solar Investment Tax Credit
The federal government offers a 30% solar investment tax credit (ITC) for commercial solar installations. This means that you can deduct 30% of the cost of your solar installation from your federal taxes. The ITC is a great way to save money on your solar installation and to accelerate your return on investment.
If you are interested in learning more about how solar energy can benefit your business, contact Solar Works Energy. We would be happy to answer any of your questions and help you get started on your solar journey.
Click here to learn more about federal solar incentives for businesses.
Solar energy is a clean, renewable source of energy that can provide significant benefits for commercial businesses. However, the upfront cost of installing solar panels can be a barrier for many businesses. Fortunately, there are a number of loans and power purchase agreements / financing options available to help businesses finance the cost of solar panels.
In this blog post, we will discuss two of the most common types of commercial solar financing: loans and power purchase agreements (PPAs). We will also discuss the pros and cons of each type of financing, so that businesses can make an informed decision about which option is best for them.
Solar Financing Loans
A loan is a type of financing in which a lender provides the borrower with a sum of money that must be repaid over time, with interest. Loans can be used to finance a variety of expenses, including the cost of solar panels.
There are a number of different types of loans available to businesses, including traditional bank loans, government loans, and private loans. The terms of each loan will vary, so it is important to compare different options before choosing a loan.
Pros of financing solar panels with a loan:
The business owns the solar panels outright.
The business can deduct the interest on the loan from its taxes.
The business can build equity in the solar panels over time.
The business may be eligible for federal and state tax credits and depreciation benefits.
We offer commercial loans with low interest and up to 20 year terms.
Cons of financing solar panels with a loan:
The business must make monthly loan payments.
The business may have to pay closing costs.
The business may not qualify for a loan.
Power Purchase Agreements
The federal government’s investment tax credit (ITC) for solar has been expanded in three key ways:
A power purchase agreement (PPA) is a contract between a business and a solar developer. Under a PPA, the solar developer owns and installs the solar panels, and the business purchases the electricity generated by the panels at a fixed rate.
The business does not have to make any upfront investment.
The business knows exactly how much it will pay for electricity each month.
The business can take advantage of the tax benefits associated with solar energy.
The business may not have to pay for maintenance or repairs.
The cons of financing solar panels with a PPA include:
The business does not own the solar panels.
The business may be locked into a long-term contract.
The business will not directly get any tax credits.
Which Type of Financing is Right for You?
The best type of financing for your business will depend on a number of factors, including your budget, your risk tolerance, and your tax situation. If you are comfortable with making monthly payments and you want to own the solar panels outright, then a loan may be the best option for you. If you are looking for a more flexible financing option and you do not want to make any upfront investment, then a PPA may be the best option for you.
If you are not sure which type of financing is right for you, then it is a good idea to talk to a solar financing specialist. They can help you understand your options and choose the best financing solution for your business.
Solar energy is a great way for businesses to save money on their energy bills, reduce their environmental impact, and boost their brand image. There are a number of financing options available to help businesses finance the cost of solar panels. The best type of financing for your business will depend on your budget, your risk tolerance, and your tax situation. If you are not sure which type of financing is right for you, then it is a good idea to talk to a solar financing specialist. They can help you understand your options and choose the best financing solution for your business. Click here to learn more about federal solar incentives for businesses.
Non-profit organizations are essential to our communities. They provide a wide range of services that make our lives better, from providing food and shelter to the homeless to educating our children. However, non-profits are often under-funded, and they can struggle to pay their bills. This is where solar benefits come in.
One way that non-profits can save money is by installing solar panels. Solar panels are a clean, renewable source of energy that can generate electricity on-site. This means that non-profits can reduce their reliance on the grid and lower their energy costs.
There are many benefits of solar for non-profits. Here are just a few:
Reduced energy costs:Solar panels can help non-profits save money on their energy bills. In fact, the average non-profit can save up to 60% and sometimes more on their energy costs by installing solar panels.
Increased sustainability:Increased sustainability: Solar panels are a clean, renewable source of energy. This means that non-profits can reduce their environmental impact by installing solar panels.
Improved public image:Improved public image: Non-profits that install solar panels can improve their public image. This is because solar panels are seen as a symbol of sustainability and environmental responsibility.
Increased fundraising potential:Non-profits that install solar panels can increase their fundraising potential. This is because donors are more likely to donate to organizations that are taking steps to be more sustainable.
BIG NEWS FOR 2023
The federal government’s investment tax credit (ITC) for solar has been expanded in three key ways:
Nonprofit organizations with no federal tax liability can now apply for direct reimbursement equal to the value of the tax credit.
Storage-only projects are now eligible for the ITC.
The ITC now includes several “bonus credits,” which can significantly increase savings for projects serving low-income and underserved communities.
These important changes are outlined in further detail below.
Direct Pay Reimbursement
Nonprofit organizations with no federal tax liability can now apply for direct reimbursement from the federal government. This means that they can receive a check for 30% of the cost of their solar installation, even if they don’t have any federal tax liability. This can be a great way to save money on their solar installation and to make it more affordable.
Storage-only projects are now eligible for the ITC. This means that projects that only install energy storage systems, such as batteries, are now eligible for the tax credit. This is a major change, as it previously only applied to projects that installed both solar panels and energy storage systems.
The ITC now includes several “bonus credits,” which can significantly increase savings for projects serving low-income and underserved communities. These bonus credits are available for projects that are located in certain census tracts or that serve certain populations, such as low-income households or veterans.
These important changes to the ITC make it more attractive for a wider range of organizations to install solar panels. If you are a nonprofit organization or a developer of storage-only projects, or if you are considering installing solar panels in a low-income or underserved community, you should be aware of these changes and how they could benefit you.
If you are a non-profit organization, I encourage you to consider installing solar panels. Solar panels can help you save money, improve your sustainability, and improve your public image. Click here to learn more about federal solar incentives for businesses and non profits.
Small businesses are the backbone of the Colorado economy. They employ over 50% of the state’s workforce and generate over 40% of the state’s GDP. But small businesses also face a number of challenges, one of which is the high cost of energy.
The average small business in Colorado spends $10,000 per year on energy. This can be a significant financial burden, especially for small businesses that are just starting out. But there is a way for small businesses to save money on energy and become more sustainable: solar energy.
Solar energy is a clean, renewable source of energy that can provide small businesses with a number of benefits, including:
Reduced energy costs: Solar panels can generate electricity for your business, which can help you reduce your reliance on the grid. This can lead to lower monthly utility bills and a more predictable energy budget. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, the average commercial solar customer in Colorado saves $15,000 on their energy bills over the lifetime of their system.
Increased property value: A study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory found that commercial properties with solar panels sell for an average of $17,000 more than comparable properties without solar. This is because solar panels add value to a property by making it more attractive to buyers and tenants.
Enhanced brand image: In today’s world, consumers are increasingly looking for businesses that are committed to sustainability. By installing solar panels, you can show your customers that you are a responsible company that cares about the environment. This can help you attract new customers and build loyalty with existing customers.
Tax Incentives: There are a number of federal, state, and local tax incentives available to businesses that install solar panels. These incentives can help offset the cost of installation and make solar more affordable. The federal investment tax credit (ITC) for commercial solar is 30% for 2023
Increased productivity: A study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that employees who work in buildings with solar panels are more productive than employees who work in buildings without solar. This is likely due to the fact that employees who work in buildings with solar panels are more comfortable and have a better sense of well-being.
Reduced Carbon Footprint: Solar energy is a clean, renewable source of energy. By switching to solar, you can reduce your business’s carbon footprint and help fight climate change.
Peace of Mind: With solar panels, you can rest assured that your business will have a reliable source of electricity, even during power outages. Solar panels can also help you hedge against rising energy prices.
If you are a small business owner in Colorado, I encourage you to consider installing solar panels. It is a smart investment that can save you money, increase your property value, and improve your brand image. Click here to learn more about federal solar incentives for businesses and non profits.
Are you considering making the switch to solar energy, but have some doubts about it? You’re not alone! In this blog post, we’ll be debunking some common misconceptions about solar energy and explaining why it’s such a great idea for homeowners.
First things first: solar panels do work in cloudy or cold climates. It’s a common misconception that solar panels are only effective in sunny, warm locations. However, this simply isn’t true. Solar panels are designed to produce electricity from sunlight, and while it’s true that they may be less efficient in cloudy or cold conditions, they can still produce a significant amount of electricity. In fact, some of the cloudiest and coldest places on earth, such as Germany and Denmark, have some of the highest levels of solar energy adoption (Source: Solar Power Europe). So don’t let a little cloud cover or a chilly winter day deter you from going solar.
Next up: maintenance. One of the biggest misconceptions about solar panels is that they require a lot of maintenance. In reality, solar panels are extremely low maintenance and generally require little to no attention. They are built to withstand harsh weather conditions and are designed to last for decades (Source: EnergySage). All you really need to do is keep them clean (which is easy to do with a little bit of water and a soft cloth) and perform a visual inspection every once in a while to make sure everything is in working order.
The cost of solar
Now let’s talk about cost. I know that when it comes to investing in anything, cost is always a major factor. And it’s true that solar panels can be a significant upfront investment. However, the cost of solar panels has decreased significantly in recent years, and it’s expected to continue to do so in the future (Source: National Renewable Energy Laboratory). Plus, there are a ton of financial incentives available that can help make the cost of going solar more manageable. Many states offer tax credits and rebates for residential solar energy systems, and there are also financing options available that allow you to pay for your solar panels over time (Source: Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency). In 2022, a the Inflation Reduction Act passed which increased the Federal solar incentive to 30%! This combined with State incentives could leave you with only half of the price of the system.
But let’s be real: even if solar panels were completely free, some people still might not want them because they’re worried about how they’ll look on their roof. I get it – nobody wants to ruin the aesthetic of their home with a bunch of clunky, unsightly panels. Fortunately, at Solar Works, we not only install the sleekest most compact panels, we install your panels with your homes aesthetic in mind, so you can have the efficiency and cost-savings of solar, while keeping the aesthetic integrity of your home.
Finally, let’s address the concern about reliability. Solar energy is often seen as an unreliable source of electricity, but that’s just not true. Solar energy systems can be designed to provide a reliable source of electricity, even when the sun is not shining. By incorporating battery storage into a solar energy system, excess electricity can be stored for use during times when the sun is not shining (Source: EnergySage). And with the advancements being made in battery technology, it’s becoming increasingly possible to rely solely on solar energy as a primary source of electricity (Source: Department of Energy).
In some areas such as New Mexico, there are flat-roof homes, which are often optimized for solar. If you have a flat-roof home or are interested in learning more about this, check out this blog post.
So, why is solar such a great idea? Well, for starters, it’s renewable and sustainable. Solar energy is produced by harnessing the power of the sun, which is an endless, pollution-free energy source. Going solar also helps to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, which are a finite resource and contribute to air pollution and climate change (Source: Environmental Protection Agency). Plus, solar energy can help to lower your energy bills, as you’ll be generating your own electricity rather than relying on the grid. According to the Department of Energy, the average solar panel system can reduce household electricity costs by 50-90% (Source: Department of Energy).
But the benefits of residential solar energy go beyond just cost savings and environmental sustainability. Solar energy can also increase the value of your home. A study conducted by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory found that homes with solar energy systems sell faster and at a higher price than homes without solar (Source: National Renewable Energy Laboratory). So not only will you be saving money on your energy bills, you may also see a return on your investment when it comes time to sell your home.
In conclusion, don’t let common misconceptions about residential solar energy hold you back. Solar panels are effective in all types of climates, require minimal maintenance, and are becoming increasingly affordable. Plus, with so many stylish and visually appealing options available, you can have a solar energy system that not only helps the environment and saves you money, but also enhances the look of your home. Don’t wait any longer to make the switch to solar – start enjoying the numerous benefits it has to offer today.
Because it will put money back in your pocket! Solar panels save you money each month on your electric bill. When you begin to generate energy–right from your very own roof–you can export that energy to the power grid and earn financial credits on your electric bill through a program known as net metering. 
Solar energy is great for many reasons. How often are you able to save money while helping the environment and bolstering New Mexico’s economy–all at the same time? Probably not very often, and that’s why solar energy is so great. Solar energy is green and renewable. It allows us to decrease our reliance on fossil fuels and contribute to a cleaner, healthier planet.
Solar energy is attractive to many people because it’s an environmentally conscious and money-saving choice. It’s easy to see why solar energy is increasing in popularity. In fact, New Mexico ranks 8th in the nation in per capita solar capacity.  From installation to the manufacturing of solar components, the solar industry provides jobs for New Mexicans and bolsters our local economy.
Solar Energy in New Mexico
In March, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham reinstated the New Mexico Solar Tax Credit after it had expired in 2016.  This program provides 10% off the total cost of solar panel installation in the form of income tax credits. If the tax credit exceeds your total taxes owed for the year, it can even be carried over for up to five years! In addition, the New Mexico Solar Tax Credit can be combined with a substantial federal tax credit which provides an additional 30% off the cost of installation. 
In addition to all the money you can save on tax credits and incentives, New Mexico law has been very favorable to the solar industry in allowing net-metering–an awesome benefit of solar energy that allows you to “sell” your excess energy that would otherwise go unused back to PNM at the going rate–currently $0.14 per kilowatt hour. 
Once your solar panels are installed, you’ll be producing energy at different rates throughout the day. Net metering ensures that no energy is wasted. If your home produces more energy than you need, that money is put right back into your pocket through credits on your electric bill.
Here’s it works. During the middle of the day, your solar panels will often generate more energy than your home is using. The sun is directly beaming on your panels, and often, family members are out of the house at work or school so energy consumption is low. And here in New Mexico, we are lucky to have a lot of beautiful sunny days!
During the afternoon, the extra energy that your panels produce will be exported to the power grid. It will travel to neighboring areas and provide needed energy. And the best part–your meter will be spinning backward whenever this happens. You’ll be “banking” energy . . . and money!
Usually, you’ll need to use some energy from the power grid at night. When the sun has set and the whole family is home, electricity usage will go up while solar energy is no longer being produced. At this time, your home will pull energy from the grid. But the good news is that your solar panels have already offset a large portion of that cost by soaking up the sun all day long!
In order to obtain the benefits of net metering, your home must be connected to the power grid. You will sign a Utility Interconnection Agreement with PNM, and there is a monthly, flat connectivity fee of around $7.00 to keep your home’s solar panels tied into the power grid. This fee is paid directly to PNM and it’s separate from any payments to Solar Works.
After that, the magic of net metering can begin! Any time you add energy to the power grid by producing more than you use, you will be credited by PNM at the going rate which is currently $0.14 per kilowatt-hour.  If your home produces more energy than you use in any given month, the money you earn will roll over onto next month’s electricity bill.
Solar Panel Savings
It’s difficult to determine exactly how your electricity bill will change once you are net metering your solar energy. It’s dependent on your own energy usage, the number of solar panels installed, the cost of electricity, and even the weather.
But one thing’s for sure–you will save money. PNM’s energy rates have been gradually rising. Over the past six years, they rose 12%. Without solar, your electricity bill is only going in one direction–and that’s up. The average monthly utility bill nationwide is $110. With Solar Works, customers paid an average of $10.51 per month!
How Can I Afford the Cost of Installation?
Many customers worry about the up-front cost of installing solar panels. They are right, it’s a big investment, but the many state and federal tax credits and incentives make it a lot more affordable than many people would assume.
Let’s use an example. The cost of solar panel installation for an average home in New Mexico is around $17,000 . But the NM Solar Tax Credit saves you 10% of that cost ($1,700) . The Federal Tax credit can be used as well, and it saves you 30% of the total cost ($4,420) . This decreases the out-of-pocket amount to $10,880. There are often other state and federal incentives that will lower the price even more.
And there are other financing options as well! You can finance your solar panels with no money upfront. Solar Works will walk you through your options and help you pick the best option for you. The average monthly payment for solar panels ranges from $60-100. This is substantially lower than most monthly electricity bills, so you’ll begin saving money right away.
Savings Over the Lifespan of Your Home
When considering solar, remember that the savings pile up over months and years. Based on national averages, let’s assume that you save $100 a month on your electricity bill . In a year, you’d save $1,200. And over the course of 25 years (which is the length of time many people live in their family home), you would save $30,000! This offsets your installation costs and leaves you with massive savings.
Many solar calculators estimate savings in the $20,000 to $30,000 range over the 25 years–and that’s even after you subtract the cost of your solar panel installation.  A pretty great deal, especially when you’ve helped the planet at the same time. It saves you money, helps the environment, and strengthens New Mexico’s economy–there’s a long list of reasons to love solar.
Adobe stucco homes are extremely common in Albuquerque, NM because of how energy efficient they are in the dry climate. If you have been worrying that solar panels won’t work for your home because of your flat roof, think again! Here are 5 reasons, solar panels are perfect for flat-roof homes.
Absolutely. There are roof requirements for solar panels, but needing a sloped rooftop is not one of them. The flat roof will actually work to your advantage for these 5 reasons:
1. You get to save money on installation costs
With flat-roof homes, there is no steep roof to work around, no special equipment needs to be factored into the labor and installation costs. At Solar Works Energy, we use a no-puncture method with flat-roof homes.
2. Your roof is protected
Typically, solar panels will need to be installed on a sloped roof using a penetration mount, which requires holes to be drilled into the rooftop. However, with a flat roof, this is not necessary as you will be using a no drill solar mount method. Instead, a ballast system will be used, requiring weighted structures to hold the panels in place.
Additionally, the areas of your roof that are covered by the solar panels will be the most protected. They will serve as a barrier against weather conditions and other potentially damaging influences.
3. Flat roofs allow you to choose what direction to point solar panels
With pitched roof homes, you have limitations with which direction you can point your panels. Since you are not limited by the direction your home faces with a flat roof, you have much more flexibility when determining what would be the best orientation for solar panels.
4. The production of electricity is maximized
It is advised to have your solar panels facing south to generate the most power if you live in the Northern Hemisphere. Because your flat roof gives you the freedom to find the best solar panel placement, you get to reap the benefits of a better-performing system.
5. You will increase the resale value of your home
If you plan to sell your home in the next decade, you will draw potential buyers in with the lower energy bills they will have due to the already installed solar panels. You also don’t have to worry about someone not being a fan of how they look from the street as there will be minimal solar panel visibility with a flat roof.
New Mexico solar installers
If you have a flat roof home, you are in luck. You have more flexible options and get the benefit of a smoother, cheaper install. Adding solar panels to your already energy efficient adobe home will only increase your savings and contribution to bettering the environment. If you are ready to take that next step, take our 30-second survey to see if you qualify!
After solar panels are installed, one of the first questions that customers usually ask is: “How much money will I save each month on my electricity bill?”
This is a difficult question to answer as it’s dependent on a lot of factors, such as your typical energy usage in your home, the amount of energy your solar panels are generating, the electric company’s current price per kilowatt-hour of electricity, and even the weather.
But you will undoubtedly save money when you begin to generate energy right from the roof of your own home. To understand more about the savings you’ll see on your electricity bill, you’ll need to understand a bit about net metering.
What Is Net Metering of Solar Energy?
Here’s how it works. When your solar panels are installed, your home will be tied in to the power grid. Once connected to the grid, you can export your unneeded energy and the magic of net metering begins.
And here’s the great part–when that happens, your meter will actually be running backward. You’ll be netting all that energy and the money that it’s worth–after all, your solar panels created it! The current nationwide average cost is $0.15 per kilowatt-hour of electricity, and your electric company will be paying you for that energy.
At other times of the day, your home may need to pull energy from the power grid because your panels are not producing enough. This typically happens during the nighttime when the sun is down or even during the early morning hours when everyone is using electricity to get ready for the day.
During these times, your house will import energy from the grid. But at other times during the day, you have been banking or “netting” your extra energy, so your net electricity bill is very low.
With net metering, your solar energy is never wasted. Instead, it’s credited to your account at the going price (currently $0.15 per kilowatt-hour nationwide). It’s possible to offset all or a large portion of your electric bill. If your solar panels provide more energy than you typically consume, you’ll end up with excess energy–and money–at the end of the month. That money will roll over to your next electricity bill, so the money that your solar panels are earning will never go to waste.
Net metering is good for the economy and for the environment. How often are you able to save money and help the environment at the same time? Probably not very often. But with net metering, that’s exactly what you are doing. Net metering of your solar energyis awin for your pocketbook. But it’s also a win for the environment.
It’s efficient and practical, allowing your excess energy to be used nearby where it’s needed. Because net metering puts money right back into the customer’s pocket, it’s made solar energy an appealing option to many homeowners–and solar is becoming more and more popular.
The increase in solar energy production allows us to rely less heavily on fossil fuels and replace them with a clean, renewable energy source. With solar, you reduce your carbon footprint and invest in an industry that makes our planet a healthier place.
Is Now a Good Time to Invest in Solar Panels?
Now is the best time to go solar because of the many state and federal incentives, such as the 10% state tax rebate and the 30% federal tax rebate. The government wants solar energy to appeal to homeowners–so there are currently many programs and incentives to motivate homeowners to install solar panels. But as solar energy becomes more and more widespread, some of these incentives may disappear.
For example, many states have laws that allow for net metering which has an enormous benefit to the homeowner as they sell their energy back to the electric companies. But as electric companies transition to solar energy in greater and greater capacities, they will have decreased need to “buy” energy from the solar panels on your home.
With a decreased need for residential solar energy, electric companies in some states have begun to reduce or limit their net metering programs. For example, instead of offering homeowners the full price per kilowatt hour for their energy, they may only offer half or three-fourths of the going rate of that energy. But, if you install solar panels now, you will keep getting paid the full price per kilowatt hour due to a grandfather clause that enables you to lock in that better price.
The bottom line: solar energy saves you money and makes our planet healthier. State and federal incentives such as tax rebates and net metering will save you thousands of dollars, but they may not be around forever. If you are considering solar, the best time to install solar panels is NOW.
There’s no denying chicken coops have been around for centuries. But as technology progresses, why not make our lives easier? Just one 200w chicken coop heater uses roughly 144kwh of electricity a month. This equates to only 1-2 extra panels on your home install, depending on the size of your coop. In this article, we will be breaking down why it makes sense to power your chicken coop and home with solar.
Why not keep your energy costs low?
The average homeowner saves over $1,700 a year on their electric bill when switching to solar. Even better, there are federal incentives that pay you back 26% of your solar system, greatly reducing your bill. Some states, including Utah, and New Mexico offer state rebates for solar as well. These tax credits end up being up to $6,000 back in your pocket! Combine that with the federal incentives and you see up to $20,000 in combined incentives! All the more reason to power your chicken coop and home with solar!
Do YOU Qualify for chicken coop solar?
Today, solar is without a doubt available in your market. Whether you’re still figuring out how to build a chicken coop or you are a veteran just looking to get some new tips on how to clean your chicken coop, solar is here for you and can make the process easier. At Solar Works we serve New Mexico, Utah, and Texas. If you are looking for solar and you live in a different state, that’s ok! Fill out this form and we will get you matched with a top-quality solar company in your area.
Are you a big do-it-yourself person? Solar is perfect for those of us with DIY tendencies. Even if you are in the early stages looking up a frame plan for your chicken coop, you can get the process started. Contact us for a free solar quote! There is nothing more satisfying than being self-sustaining. Solar panels are your ticket to ultimate sustainability. Use solar to reduce the cost of your chicken coop by installing solar panels on your home. This is a fantastic way to increase the productivity of your DIY chicken coop. Trust us, your chickens will thank you later!
In the age where anything can be learned from YouTube, it may be tempting to take on solar as a DIY project. However, this might be one of those times that it’s actually just in your best interest to let someone else do their job.
Let’s take a look at what goes into a solar project that a contractor can make sure goes as smoothly as possible.
A contractor will make sure your roof can withstand the load
Your roof has to be structurally sound
This is likely the most crucial piece of information to have before the project even begins. In some cases, homeowners choose to bundle the process of replacing their roof and having solar installed because it ends up saving them money in the long run and ensures that the roof is in good enough shape to support the panels.
Your roof has to be capable of withstanding an extreme weather event AND the panels
Here is one example of information that a solar contractor can easily obtain, but that would be a lot harder for you to figure out.
Before beginning any solar install, a solar contractor is going to do an analysis on your roof compared to the area you live in to make sure that even if there is an extremely rare weather event, your roof will still be able to support the panels.
The panels have to fit without overloading any poiNt On The ROof
To ensure that your roof is not taking on too much weight in any one spot, a contractor will conduct an engineering report to figure out exactly how to arrange the panels on your roof to ensure that their weight is dispersed as evenly as possible while still being in a position that produces as much energy as possible.
A contractor has technology to take into account extreme heat, cloudy days, shade, location
Although I’m sure you know your area pretty well and you understand how often it’s sunny compared to cloudy etc., the exact measurements of these factors are really important in designing a system for your roof.
Solar panels work by collecting the light from the sun turning it into usable energy for your home. So it’s really important that small or even big, unexpected changed in the weather don’t change your ability to power your home!
For example, during the hottest months of the year, solar panels can actually lose up to 20-30% of their efficiency due to the extreme heat. Not to mention that there will be daily fluctuations based on the shadows that pass over your roof, the cloud cover, the time of year etc.
It’s very hard to make an estimation of exactly how all of these factors will affect the output of a solar system. Thankfully, solar contractors have access to technology that can do a lot of the calculation for them so that they can be certain you won’t be without power on an off-day, nor overcompensate and end up paying for more panels than you really need.
A contractor will know if it’s better for you to have a ground mount and can design one optimally
In some cases, after doing all of the inspection and running the analyses mentioned above, a contractor will discover that putting a solar system on your roof is not actually in your best interest.
If this is the case, they will be able to recommend other options for you including the possibility of a ground mount. Then, if a ground mount is the right option for you, they have the capability to design and build the perfect one to meet your needs at the lowest possible price point!
A contractor will have easy access to the required permitting offices
Building a new structure on your property, whether it’s on your roof or on your land, is going to require you to get specific permits from your local AHJ. If you’ve every tried to get permitting for anything, you know, this is not always an extremely smooth or painless process.
However, because solar companies are interacting with these jurisdictions every single day, they eventually build a relationship with each other that makes the process much easier for everyone. Being able to take advantage of this relationship, alone, might be worth the price of the contractor right there!
You won’t have the same warranties if you install the panels yourself
Just like the relationships that exist between solar contractors and permitting offices, solar companies are going to be much more “in” with the manufacturers of the panels themselves.
This means that when it comes to your warranty, you are much more likely to be able to reap the benefits of a warranty when working with a contractor than when you’re advocating for yourself in a DIY project. Not to mention, many solar companies will take responsibility for getting your issue resolved and make sure that it happens as quickly as possible in order to maintain their good standing with you, the customer.
Even if you are able to get a warranty on the panels you purchase for your DIY project, you will likely have many more hoops to jump through should you ever end up needing to fall back on that warranty.
It will take you A LOT of time and every set back will fall directly on your shoulders
This may seem obvious but I can’t leave it unsaid: installing solar panels yourself as a DIY would be a huge undertaking! It is going to take lots of time and energy and every little hiccup along the way will fall onto your shoulders.
You probably already have a job that you’re really good at! There also happen to be people who have this job, and they’re really good at this. Why not let a contractor help you out so you can spend your time where it’s most valuable?