4 Mistakes to Avoid When Installing Solar Panels
I can’t count how much IKEA furniture I’ve assembled incorrectly. The little pictures are always so confusing. Making mistakes all over works fine for little projects, but for more expensive ventures–like installing solar panels–mistakes are more costly.
Contractors will walk you through the majority of the process, but some things are hidden between the lines. In order to help you have the smoothest possible experience with your solar panel installation, we’ve compiled the most common missteps first-time solar panel buyers encounter.
In order for solar panels to last as long as possible, they need to be installed on a solid roof. Installing on an old roof can cause the entire roof-panel system to fail. So check if your roof or energy meter will need to be fixed or even replaced before adding solar panels. Before updating your home, you also need to be sure that you have the correct building licenses prepared.
What panels are for you? Which contractor? (Someone you trust!) Be sure to do your own research. Don’t make the mistake of choosing sub-par panels or contractors.
Take full advantage of any financial programs! Many contractors and state governments offer programs to help you pay for your solar panels, even if your credit score is low. Don’t pay more than you have to—but remember that even if it seems like a lot of money to fork out now, it will pay itself back five-fold in the next twenty years.
The most common problem our customers face is miscommunication. Either we misunderstand our customers’ desires or we express ourselves poorly and they misunderstand us. We do everything we can to do what is expected of us and to be clear, but obviously can still make mistakes. As customers, you can do a lot to help us to improve. First, be sure to read the contract. If something isn’t up to your par, either in the contract or in the work we’ve done, tell us! We are here to meet your every need, and we want your experience to be everything you ever wanted.
In order to help you understand better our process at Epic, and in order to help there to be less miscommunication between us and our customers, here is a general timeline for a roof or solar installation:
- The customer calls. We fix a date to come in, hopefully during the week of the call.
- Epic visits to do an inspection and give you a quote.
- We sign the contract. Hopefully one week after the initial call.
- The installation. Typically is finished within three weeks of initial call.
Even when the whole process seems to have gone well, sometimes things just aren’t quite right. Here are several things to double-check if your panels don’t seem to be working before calling your contractors:
- Are your panels clean?
- Are there birds or other animals stuck in the wiring?
- Too much shade? Have baby trees grown?
- Are the connections functioning between panels and grid, grid and counter that keep track?
- Have the panels been damaged in some way?
Hopefully these tips and tricks will help you to have a wonderful first solar installation experience.