Solar Simplified for Homeowners
Have you ever thought about going solar but don’t know where to start? Installing solar on your home does not have to be overly complex or costly; become an informed and empowered homeowner with these simple steps to solar:
9 Simple Steps to Rooftop Solar:
1. Know Your Solar: Read the FAQs
Have questions? We’ve got answers! Read through the Solar FAQs to get answers to common questions.
2. Know your power needs
Review your last 12 power bills (or contact your utility) to figure out how much energy you use annually. This will help ensure you install the right sized solar system.
3. Set Your Goals
Do you want to meet all, or a portion of your energy needs with rooftop solar? What’s your budget for the upfront cost of a solar installation? Start thinking about your personal energy, economic, and environmental goals, so you can customize your solar installation to meet your needs.
4. Get Solar Ready With Energy Efficiency
The more energy-efficient you can make your home, the better! Reducing your overall energy usage will improve the return on your solar investment and help reduce the amount of solar required to meet your energy needs. Learn about low-hanging fruit that could save you money.
5. Check Your Home’s Eligibility for Solar
Solar makes sense for many homes (yes, even in areas with lots of snow). Don’t assume your home isn’t suitable for solar; instead, you should speak with a solar contractor so they can help you navigate potential challenges to solar (roof age, restrictive HOAs or zoning laws, historic districts, and/or shade trees). There are often readily available solutions!
6. Contact Solar Installers
Contact 2-3 installers and request a customized bid. See the comprehensive contractor list and learn more about selecting a solar contractor. Contractors will set up a site visit and discuss your options in-depth; be prepared with questions and be sure to check out these Solar FAQs first!
7. Figure out financing and incentives
Ask your solar contractor if they offer financing options (many do). Shop around by checking with your financial institution about traditional financing options.
Rooftop solar installations are eligible for a Federal Tax credit and a state tax credit. Your selected contractor can work with you to apply for available incentives and improve your return on investment!
8. Connect to the grid
Before installing solar, your contractor must get approval from your utility to connect your rooftop solar installation to the grid. Work with your selected contractor to apply to connect your solar system with your utility and get credit for any excess energy you provide to the grid. (Please note: solar export credit agreements differ among utilities; check with your utility and ask about their net metering or solar export credit terms or ask your solar contractor to help with this).
9. Go solar and spread the word!
Let your neighbors, friends, and family members know about your decision to install solar. Spread the word on social networking and share your story with us!