Generally, solar panels installation and system together cost between $15,000 and $25,000. On average, a 10 kilowatt (kW) solar panel system installation costs $20,498 after taking into account the federal solar tax credit.

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What To Consider Before Starting Your Solar Panels Installation?

How Much Electrical Power Do I Need For My Home?

Before you start the process for solar panels installation, you’ll need to get an idea of your energy requirements to estimate how many panels you’ll need. This important to know before your solar panels installation. This will vary depending on the size of your property, the number of people in your household and how much electricity you use on average. You can check your utility bill to discover how much you use per month.

What Are Your Electricity Requirements By Appliance?

Once you’ve checked your bill, It’s a good idea to estimate the amount of electricity your essential appliances need. Later on, when we calculate your solar requirements and this will be your baseline. Although not essential for your solar panels installation, it’s definitely worth knowing.

Here’s a quick way of working this out.

  • Usage Time: Work out how many hours in a day you use each major appliance. For example, your fridge, TV or hot water.
  • Device Wattage: Now check your appliance for a label that will give you its wattage.
  • Estimation: Multiply the wattage by the number of hours you use. This is your watt per hour.

How Much Sunlight Do You Need For Solar Panels Installation?

Now that you know your total energy requirements and have a baseline to cover your major appliances, it’s time to look at how much sunlight is available once you’ve completed the solar panels installation. The average residential solar panels are rated to produce between 250 and 400 watts each per hour. However, these are only estimates and depend on where you live. Technology is constantly being developed to make efficiency greater. Let’s look at the number of sun hours available in your location? Even though a typical solar panel doesn’t need total sun coverage, it needs light to generate electricity. Weather, location, shade, season are some factors that contribute to the amount of light. To check your available sun hours there are apps on your cell but here’s a site called Time And Date, that you can use to get an estimate throughout the year for your location.

What Is The Size Of Your Properties Roof Space To Mount Your Solar Panels?

The last thing to consider is your roof size. To produce the electricity you need, your roof needs to be suitable. Some factors you need to check include, Roof slope Shading on the roof Roof direction It’s a good idea to work out the space you have and then bring that information to the final estimation

How To Calculate What You Need Before Your Solar Panel Installation?

You now know:
  • The amount of electricity you consume daily
  • The baseline you need to run your major appliances
  • How big your roof is
With this information, it’s time to work out the number of panels and the size of roof you need to reach your daily baseline and self-sufficiency goals. To make it easier for you, we have designed a solar panel calculator that will give you an estimate for all these variables. Check out our solar panel calculator here! When your contractor comes to do the survey, which we’ll talk about next, he’ll be able to help give you a more accurate assessment.

A 6 Step Guide To Solar Panels Installation

Ranging from 1 to 3 days depending on the size and position of your property, the solar panels installation method usually follows the same process.
#1. The Contractors Engineer Surveys The Site
Once you have chosen who is going to install your solar panels, they will arrange a date to come and survey the site. They’ll check,
  • Compatibility of your existing electrical setup with your new solar panel system.
  • They’ll survey the roof to see if it’s sturdy enough and if any repairs or a replacement are needed.
  • They also check for shade, roof angle, pitch and roof direction and measure up to see how to optimize your space and position.
  • Once they have all the information, they will assess it and send you an estimate of what you need in terms of solar panels, mounting systems, etc.
At this stage, it’s a good idea to complete one last check and do some due diligence yourself on what the contractors recommend. Compare all the systems on the market, check the solar panel types and solar inverters. Also, always remember to get the company to provide references from other customers in your area who they have done solar panels installation for
#2. All Federal And State Documentation And Permits Are Signed
Once you are happy with the surveyor’s recommendations, it’s time to sort out the paperwork. This will cover items such as,
  • The financing of the solar panels installation
  • The application for State and Federal solar incentives such as SRECS and Net Meterage
  • Any building or property planning requirements
#3. The Position And Placement Of The Solar Panels Is Agreed
From your own estimation and the supplier’s recommendation in the surveyor’s report, it’s now time to confirm where the solar panels are going to be installed. This is an important decision, so don’t forget to check the meteorological information for where you live, as it definitely affects positioning.
#4. The Site Is Prepared And All The Groundwork Is Completed
Now that you are satisfied with the surveyor’s report, the solar system to be used and its positioning, you can give the go-ahead to your supplier to order the solar panel system. Ideally, your contractor should prepare the site whilst waiting for the delivery. This would include,
  • Conducting any repairs to the roof and making sure it’s sturdy enough for the installation.
  • Clearing any groundwork that may be necessary.
Often, most contractors do the setup on the day of the solar panel installation, so there may not be a gap between stages.
#5. The Solar Platform Is Built And The Solar Panels Are Mounted
We’re now in the last stages. Your contractor is on site and is ready to instal your solar panel system. Typically, this comprises,
  • Completing all the wiring and connecting the system
  • Setting up the Mounting to attach the solar panels to
  • Connecting the inverters
A question often asked is, ‘Are solar panels easy to install?” Obviously, it depends on the property but on average solar panel installation is relatively straightforward.
#6: The Solar Panel System Is Tested
The contractor will then run tests, and you are ready to go. Following the successful test, the system will be inspected officially depending on your States’ requirements.

Summary Of The 6 Step Process For Solar Panels Installation

So when looking at how are roof solar panels installed most contractors go through a similar method, that includes,
  • Surveying
  • Documentation
  • Agreement on solar panel placement
  • Preparing the job
  • Solar installation
  • Testing

Which Solar Contractor Is Right For You?

Whatever your circumstances, never compromise on quality as solar panel installation is a tremendous investment. If you would like to see how the leading suppliers compare against each other, click on the banner below and answer few questions to find the best solar deal in your area.