Solar Installation Impact On Home Value
As mentioned, rooftop solar generally takes about 8 to 11 years to recoup costs. By modern standards, 11 years is quite a long time to stay in one home. You might be wondering how solar affects selling your home. Is it a burden? Does it add value?
If you own the system on your roof , solar is absolutely a benefit when it comes time to sell your home.
In 2015, the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab studied the resale value of 22,000 solar and non-solar homes across 8 states . They found that solar installations added about $4/watt of additional value on average. With most solar installations around 6,000 watts, thats an average premium of $24,000.
The researchers also found that the biggest determining factor to the installations value was the age of the system. As the panels age, the value goes down. They found that new installations between 6 months and 2 ½ years old added a premium of $5.90/watt, while installations 6 to 14 years old added $2.60/watt. So your 11 year old installation could still add $15,600 to your resale value.
So when it comes time to sell your home, you could actually recoup your entire investment just through the higher resale value. However, if you want to install solar but are planning to move within the next five to ten years, dont just assume youll recoup your investment when it comes time to sell your home. Call up a couple local realtors to see if theyve sold any homes with solar and if they brought a premium.
Local Permitting And Inspection
Before you install solar panels, your solar company will need to file for a permit with your local government to let them know what work theyll be doing on your property. The permits required for installing solar vary by location but typically include a photovoltaic specific permit, a general electrical permit, and/or a construction permit. Depending on your town, the number of permits required, and how busy the permitting office is, this process may take anywhere from a week to more than a month.
Post-installation, your local government will also need to send someone out to inspect your system and confirm it meets the necessary standards. Similar to permitting, how soon you can expect an inspection will be dependent on your location and how busy the local government offices are. Typically, you can expect the inspection to occur within a week from the date of the request.
Typical Time Frame To Complete Inspection: 2 To 10 Weeks
We know thats a big range. And the on-site inspections themselves do not take very long . But scheduling the inspection and processing necessary paperwork can take some time, depending on your own availability and how busy your local municipality/utility is. Much like step two, you dont have to do much for this step other than wait.
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Will Installing Solar Panels On My House Be A Good Investment
In some areas, installing a solar panel system on your house can now offer a better return than traditional investments like property or shares. However, this is not the case in every situation. The residential solar calculator above will help you determine whether solar panels are suitable for your home and give you local information about costs, savings, tax credits, and other local incentives.
The calculator above will also show you what your payback period is likely to be based on your location and energy use
How Long Does It Take To Install Home Solar Panels
A solar installation usually takes one or two days to complete, sometimes more depending on the complexity of the system. But the installation is just one step in the process of going solar.
When all is said and done, it can take between two and three months to get solar installed from the time you sign an agreement with an installer to the time the system is turned on. The biggest holdups are due to solar permitting and utility approval, which, depending where you live, can add months to the installation process.
The good news is that many solar companies are pushing for quicker permitting processes so homeowners can start saving with the sun as soon as possible.
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Factors That Impact How Long It Takes To Go Solar
Solar installation can take as little as three weeks to several months to complete. Certain factors can add a considerable amount of time and delay to your solar energy project. The most significant factors that add to delays are:
Because solar panels are a significant change to your home, your homeowners association may also want to be notified and require an approval process.
Main Panel Upgrade
43% of our customers have required a main panel upgrade from a 125A service panel to a 200A electrical panel. With a service panel, it adds additional steps to going solar and requires an additional electrical permit. A main panel upgrade also requires 2-3 inspections with the city. A pre-lath inspection, a rough inspection, and a final inspection.
Even though your solar energy system is designed to last for 25 years, your roof may not be. Our companys policy is that if your roof looks like it has less than ten years until it needs repair, we recommend roof repair. Your roof repair can require a permit, which will further extend your solar installation projects timeline.
Unpermitted Structures and Service Panel
Any unpermitted structures or an unpermitted main service panel can create substantial delays regarding your solar energy project. To get approval from the city, they require that all of the work done on your home is permitted or the unpermitted work is removed.
Solar Equipment Availability
Technical Visit By The Installer
Time needed: days.
At some point near the beginning of the project, a technical site visit will be required by the installer that youâve selected. This is to find problems that canât be identified by satellite or drone photos, such as electrical panel upgrades that need to be made, or issues with your underlying roof structure.
With some contractors, this step will happen only after contract signing. Thatâs fine, but if you havenât had a technical visit before youâre given the contract, make absolutely sure thereâs a clause that allows you to back out of the contract without penalty if issues are found that cause the invoice price to change. Hidden issues might mean that significant and expensive upgrades need to be done before installation can happen, so you want to make sure that you donât get stuck with paying a much higher price than you bargained for.
For this step, thereâs nothing you need to do except to be home to answer the door. But if you have questions about anything, this is also a good time to ask while you have this person standing in your kitchen.
The time needed for this step is listed as days, because you and the company will need to find a time on the calendar that works for both of you. The actual visit to your home will probably take an hour or less.
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The Installation Of Your Solar Panel
Finally, the installation day has arrived. This process is usually the quickest, especially after your solar installation is scheduled. You might even be surprised at how fast this step is completed. The solar company will arrive at your home with the solar systems and other required equipment to accomplish the task.
They will begin working on the wiring system before installing the panels. They can complete the installation in one day if you ordered a smaller panel or have a small home. For complicated, larger roofs and larger solar systems, it can take 2-3 days to complete.
How Long Does It Take To Install Solar Panels On A Home
If youre looking for a quick answer, the actual process of installing solar panels on a home usually takes one to three days. However, the time between your installation and the moment you decide to go solar is going to be much longer than that.
In the United States, the installed solar capacity across the county increased by 33% in 2020, and growth is expected to continue for years to come. With the high demand for solar panels on homes and businesses across the country, the industry continues to expand and create renewable energy jobs.
While processes are becoming more streamlined with solars rapid adoption, most people can still expect to wait a considerable amount of time before their solar panels are installed and producing energy. This could be anywhere from a few months to the greater part of a year.
Apollo Energy is a locally owned and operated solar company based in Denver, Colorado. In this article, we will outline why a solar panel installation timeline matters and how long you can expect to wait before you are producing clean energy right on your roof.
With Moxies Rapid Installation Team Its Quicker Than Ever Before
Once you have decided to get solar energy for your home, farm, or business, the last thing you want to do is sit and wait to enjoy its many benefits. Whether your reason for making the switch to solar is to save money on rising energy bills or to protect the environment, MOXIE understands that theres not a second to waste.
Enter the MOXIE Rapid Installation Team, an in-house turnkey solar panel installation team that utilizes state-of-the-art virtual technology to expedite every step of the go solar process. The result is a long-lasting solar array that thats installed quicker than ever before, without sacrificing quality.
The newly formed Rapid Installation Team has allowed us to set first-contact to inspection times as short as 16 days. Thats about 90% faster than our previous average!
How Long Does It Take To Recoup Your Solar Investment
Youve probably heard someone online boast about how they save $1,800 a year installing solar or they recouped their investment in just five years. Maybe youve already gotten estimates, but they say itll take you 8, 10, or even 11 years to see a return on your purchase. What gives? Why arent you seeing the same results?
The length of time it takes to recoup solar cost investment isnt a one-size-fits-all number. Your utility rates, location, installation costs, and other factors all directly affect just how long itll take you to pay off your installation, as well as how much cash you can save by installing solar.
Lets take a look at what factors affect your payback time, how to compare solar costs to utility rates, and discuss a few tips to help you see the fastest return on your investment.
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How Can I See The Fastest Return On My Solar Installation
For homeowners, the best way to ensure you see the shortest payback period is to ensure youve installed the lowest-priced, most efficient solar installation you can. Here are a few tips to make that happen:
Talk to multiple installers: Just like any home improvement project, youll get a wide variety of cost estimates for your solar installation. Reaching out to multiple installers allows you to find the best balance between cost and quality. It also gives you a chance to weigh each installers experience and customer service skills, which are crucial if anything unusual, like equipment shortages or roof issues, pops up.
Assess your equipment: Those ultra-high efficiency solar panels are extremely cool, but theyre also expensive. For most homeowners, standard-quality solar panels offer a good balance between quality and cost. Manufacturers like Canadian Solar, Yingli, and Hanwha produce well-priced, well-respected panels and offer decent warranties. Youll see the fastest return on your investment with mid-quality components like these.
Image Sources: Public Domain via Pixabay
Local Permits + Inspection
Each city or town has different permitting processes in place, but typically the solar installer will be required to submit a Solar PV Permit, a General Electrical Permit, and a Construction Permit. Depending on how busy your local permit office is, approval usually takes anywhere between 1 to 5 weeks. Its important to note that after the installation takes place, and before your new system is switched on, your town or city government will send an inspector to confirm it meets their standards.
We will also have our field manager do a commissioning walk-through with the homeowner to explain the system.
This typically happens within a week of the installation.
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A Beginners Guide To Solar Panels For Home: Are They Worth It Where You Live
Installing solar panels on your home promises the rarest of opportunities: to profit while doing good. This powerful motivation has already seen more than 2 million homeowners install solar panels. In August 2021, SolarReviews.com saw more than 60,000 homeowners request quotes for residential solar systems, the highest amount ever.
However, the economics of solar can be vastly different depending on where you live, what your utility company charges for electricity and how much power your specific home uses.
This is why we start our Solar Panels for Home Beginners Guide with our solar payback estimator that calculates the economics of solar based on your zipcode and the amount of your current electric bill.
Find out how much a solar system would cost for your specific home
The General Site Visit
When you begin to narrow down your solar installer choices, youll want to request a general site visit. A representative from the company will come out to your house to assess your homes energy needs and evaluate your property. During the site visit, the installation expert will look at things like:
- Your roof type
- The general condition of your roof
- Any shading concerns with your roof
- Any other factors that could affect your future solar power system
With this information, the installation expert will be able to make a recommendation on the ideal solar panel system size for your home. They can also explain financing options and equipment brand choices to you.
After the site visit, the solar company will provide you with a project quote for the solar panel installation.
Typically, a solar company can schedule a home visit within one or two weeks of your call depending on their schedule.
With a few solar installation quotes to compare, you should be able to make your decision. Your chosen solar installer will draft a scope of work that will confirm the size of your solar power system, the brands of your panels and converter, and your payment option . Once you sign a contract with your installer, and the installation will formally begin. Start your clock!
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There are heaps of different jobs you could be doing to earn extra cash while youre in college. However, youll probably want to give some thought to how each of your prospective job opportunities might impress prospective employers when you launch your actual career after graduation. The following jobs are ones youre probably qualified to do, and theyre likely to be more impressive additions to your resume than the usual Mcjob options would be:
Ordering Your Solar System
Once the building permits have been approved, the contractor can order the panels and other installation equipment like the inverter and racks for connecting the system to your roof. This can take one day if the equipment is in stock.
However, if the equipment and solar panels are not available and need to be shipped from overseas, you may need to wait for several weeks before the equipment arrives.
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Structural Or Geotechnical Inspection
Time needed: days or weeks.
Depending on your local regulations, a structural engineer may need to come to your home to take a peek at your roof. If youâre going with ground-mounted solar panels, you may need to have a geotechnical engineer poke at the soil in your yard to determine what type of foundation will be required.
This is another step that doesnât require much actual time from you, but usually you will need to be home to answer the door. Scheduling this can take several days or more out of the calendar.
How Many Solar Panels Do You Need To Power A Home
Were going to be honest with you, the question How many solar panels do I need? isnt that helpful, and frankly, it makes things more complicated than they need to be. The exact number of panels on your roof varies depending on the specific brand and model of the solar panels chosen.
The more relevant question is, What size solar panel system do I need? Solar systems are measured in watts and kilowatts where the kW rating is the maximum generation of the system installed. An average size system in 2022 is around 8 kW. In 2022, solar panel models are around 370 watts each, meaning on average people are installing around 22 panels.
If you want to know the number of solar panels you need to power your specific home you can use the solar panel cost calculator here.
If you would prefer a more detailed explanation on solar system sizing, and how it is calculated, you can read our article on the topic.
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