Can I Install Solar Panels Myself? A Quick Guide
Solar power produced by American homes and businesses offsets more than 70 million metric tons of carbon dioxide each year. This is the equivalent of planting almost 1.2 billion trees.
Are you thinking about adding solar panels to your home? Have you been asking questions like “Can I install solar panels myself?” or “Is DIY solar panel installation worth it?”
If so, read on to find all the answers you need.
Can I Install Solar Panels Myself?
Technically, yes. You can install solar panels yourself. It’s important to note, though, that the installation is more complicated than it might seem.
Certain risks come with DIY installation, too, including the following:
- Increased chances of falls and injuries
- Increased chances of fire outbreaks
- Increased chances of roof damage
If you are confident in your installation abilities (perhaps you’ve worked on other people’s roofs in the past, for example), you can tackle solar panel installation on your own. It’s important to understand the risks, though, and decide for yourself whether or not it’s worth it.
DIY Solar Panel Installation Tips
If you do want to install solar panels on your own, be sure to plan ahead and do your research. Don’t just try to wing it. The following are some tips that can help you install your new solar panels:
- Calculate energy needs first (this saves you from buying more than you need)
- Use a sundial to choose the best location for your solar panels (remember, maximum energy collection)
- Mount solar panels close together (this minimizes roof damage)
- Check panels to ensure you get the right wire size
- Don’t forget to request Permission to Turn-On (PTO) if your area requires it
Keep in mind, too, that taking the DIY route may disqualify you from some tax credits and other incentives. If this is a dealbreaker for you, it’s best to hire a professional to handle the installation.
DIY Solar Panel Installation Checklist
According to the professionals at Blue Raven, unless you live off the grid, you will need to get approval from a few different people/entities before you can install your solar panels. This list includes the following:
- Local building authority
- Local utility provider
- Local zoning authorities (especially if you live in a historical district)
- Your Homeowners Association
If you get permission from all of the entities that apply to you, you should be all set to start installing. It may seem like a pain to have to ask so many people, but it’s better to take this approach than to install solar panels, then have to remove them (and potentially damage your roof) because solar panels aren’t allowed in your area.
Set Up Your Solar Panels Today
Now that you have your complete DIY solar panel installation guide at your fingertips, what do you think? Can you answer the question “Can I install solar panels myself?” confidently?
If you decide you are ready to move forward with a DIY solar panel setup, follow the tips outlined above to ensure you do so safely. If you need more guidance, be sure to check out the other solar panel articles on our site as well.