You are interested in going green or love the idea of eliminating the electricity charges on your utility bill.
Perhaps you have had a solar contractor out to your house and received a quote for a new system. If you use an average amount of electricity, that quote was probably in the tens of thousands of dollars — even after rebates. Looking at the hundred bucks or so you spend on electricity each month, it’s hard to justify shelling out that much money when it will be several years before your utility savings will pay for the system.
So, naturally, the question arises: Can you install your own solar system — DIY style?
It is possible, and it’s slowly becoming easier. You will save thousands of dollars, but you will still spend thousands of dollars on materials that, in most cases, will not be familiar to you. Also, you should have some practical construction or handyman experience. If putting the IKEA coffee table together was stressful for you, installing your own solar electrical system may not be the best plan.
In addition to the materials you will need to purchase, the detailed instructions you will need to follow and the successful integration of complex components, you will also need to secure the proper permits — and get your solar installation certified in order to qualify for certain incentives. And if you’re going to connect your system to the utility’s electrical grid, which in most cases you should, you will need to communicate and coordinate with the utility about this part of the project.
So you’ve been warned: This journey is not for the faint of heart.
Still not sure? Wander on over to YouTube and check out videos that a number of homeowners have posted about installing their own DIY solar systems. That might give you a better idea of what’s involved in a DIY install. Learn about some of the challenges others have encountered as well as mistakes they may have made along the way so you don’t repeat them.
If you’re sufficiently motivated and want to go for it, installing a DIY solar system can be an incredible investment of time and money that will supply power to your residence, allow you to sell back extra electricity to the grid and increase the property value of your home.
Moving forward, the first step will be to conduct a basic assessment of your energy consumption as well as the layout of your home and property in order to nail down the design of your new system, which will be our next topic for discussion. But if you are ready to get started now, visit our DIY solar calculator to get going right away.