Check If Your Home Appliances Are Compatible And Ready For Solar Energy Use
Some might wonder, can solar panels effectively power all types of appliances? The answer is Yes. But, youll need an inverter to do so. Since most of the appliances sold on the market are designed for the energy voltage that we use, the current collected by the solar panels may or may not be compatible for some.
Before you have your panels installed, check your home appliances. See if youll need to purchase an inverter so that you can automatically power them with solar power seamlessly. Take this opportunity to also check how much energy some appliances use. If you have an older appliance, it likely requires a lot of energy.
Since your solar panels can only collect much , maybe replacing an old appliance or bringing them in for repair would be a great choice. This can help you make the most of your collected energy and avoid wasting them unnecessarily. Should you wish to keep all of your appliances, you can freely do so. You can buy a solar battery instead, in case you need extra energy for emergency use.
Get The Proper Certification And Licensing
This is an extension of the first step above. Before you decide to settle on a state, you need to find out the licenses and certifications you require. If you choose to settle for cities like Connecticut and Massachusetts, you will require an electricians license to get a solar installation permit. In addition to this, a construction license is required if you want to operate in Massachusetts.
If you elect to settle for other states, you dont need a license to work on 12-volt photovoltaic, until the moment it is connected into the inverter. The instant you connect it, you have started to wire 120-volt electricity, which will require that you have an electricians license.
Some states will make it compulsory that you get a roofing contractors license if you are going to be carrying out installations on the rooftop.
Some other helpful certifications you will require include:
- SEI Solar Professionals Certificate
- North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners
- Solar Business and Technical Sales Certificate
- International and Developing World Applications Certificate
- Residential and Commercial Photovoltaic Systems Certificate
- Renewable Energy Applications Certificate
- Battery-Based Photovoltaic Systems Certificate
You can get the business licenses and certifications you require from your city or county. This will ensure you dont fall into the wrong hands of the law or run the risk of your business being shut down.
How To Start A Solar Panel Business
A solar panel business will conduct on-site surveys of potential installations, create a solar plan for the location, work with the owner on financing and install the units. Maintenance positions within the company provide support for the new owners repairing and maintaining panels to ensure greatest productivity and return on the investment. This business requires a structured staff with skills in construction, electrical, and basic understanding of science and solar energy.
Learn how to start your own Solar Panel Business and whether it is the right fit for you.
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Con: Risk Of Roof Damage Or Leaks
This is perhaps the biggest financial risk when it comes to a DIY solar installation.
Unless you have a flat roof, your solar installation will involve drilling a large number of holes into your roof. Drilling into the wrong spot on the roof can cause structural damage, while incorrect sealing and flashing can cause a roof leakage and/or mold issues.
Another factor to keep in mind is that a DIY solar installation is likely to void the warranty of your roof, so youll have to foot the bill for any repairs that may be needed.
Get Insurance For Your Business
For any business you want to start-up, insurance is a necessity. This is particularly more important in a business like this where you may be installing panels on rooftops and dealing with electricity. In the event of an accident or damage to the property you are working on, you can be sure of full coverage.
Also, getting insurance for your employees may be deemed a legal necessity in the state you are working in. So do your research before you begin to avoid any legal hassles that may arise.
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Become Solar Dealer Or Distributor
Your investment: 2,00,000 and above
Companies manufacture all types of solar products such as panels, solar batteries, charge controllers, solar home lighting systems, solar inverters, solar PCU, etc. If you associate with solar companies then you will be able to procure all the products from them at a special discounted rate.
If you would like to become a solar companys channel partner and sell their solar products then you need to have a sales team, a technical person, money for developing your business. Solar companies will provide marketing and training support to you. They will train you and your team to answer customers questions about their products but you MUST have a technical person on board just to make sure that the right products are reaching the customers depending on their needs.
Tips To Finding The Right Solar Installer
Choosing the right solarinstaller could be the most challenging part of your solar buying process. And it is essential to evaluate a solarinstaller thoroughly, to find the right one for your needs. But how would you choose from hundreds of solar providers in your country? First, lets figure out what are the different types of solar companies that you might encounter during your going solar journey.
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What Do Solar Businesses Do
Before you find out how to start a solar company, you might want to gain a better understanding of what goes on during an average day at work. Your typical day might start with a new installation. This means that you or one of your crews will have to head out to the location to install or continue installing solar panels. Other teams might be wrapping up additional locations, so they might be looking at installing battery systems or connecting the solar system to the electricity grid. While this is happening, your PR people are contacting, discussing, and engaging with potential customers.
Offering a free initial survey and model of long-term cost savings will bring you an edge when starting a solar business. You or a designated operations manager will likely be solely responsible with finding and securing appropriate federal and state grants, while evaluators will most often be out in the field, calculating solar energy potentials for various locations. In addition, youll be tasked with providing maintenance . Obviously, there will be payroll procedures that youll have to abide by and youll have to stay on top of your crews schedules and installation timeframes.
Incorrect Or Inefficient Designs
Its all too easy to under-or over-engineer a solar system. An incorrect or inefficient design is a surefire way to sink your business.Aurora Solars sophisticatedsolar design software generates complete engineering designs and sales proposals with just an address and an electric bill, meaning you can deliver the best design, every time.
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How Do Solar Companies Make Money
Nonetheless whether the solar panel business is a franchise or wholesaler they all make money through the successful installation of solar units. Some leasing programs generate regular income by charging their customers a monthly bill, which includes the cost of the panel installation and any extra power the customers are using from the grid.
Aside that, customer mostly pay the retail rate upfront for their panels and appropriate labour costs for connecting their panels to their home and the power grid. According to reports, a residential installation can be priced anywhere from $15,000 to $50,000, depending on the size and type of panels installed.
Leases with a zero dollar down payment can run anywhere between $25 $200 monthly depending on the type of client and the size of the installation. To accurately state the exact amount a solar panel business can make in the United States, there are key factors to consider. These factors include:
Make A Diy Plan And Design Your System
This is the trickiest step in the whole DIY process, especially if you dont have any prior experience working with energy systems.
A. Decide on your goals
What do you want from your system? Financial savings? Backup power? Independence from the grid?
The goal youre shooting for will determine the best system type for you, how complex the installation will be, and how much the project will cost.
B. Choose the right solar system type
The next decision is to choose the right solar power system type to match your goal.
All system types have many features in common: they all involve solar panels, inverters, mounts, and wiring.
There are, however, some crucial differences, and they can impact the projects cost and complexity. Heres a brief summary of each.
C. Check solar rules and regulations
There is a wide range of rules governing solar installations. They can vary greatly between states, and even between local jurisdictions.
Be aware that some states dont allow a solar system to be connected to the grid unless the installation was performed by a licensed contractor. If this is the case where you live, you won’t be able to install a DIY grid-tied or hybrid solar system.
If DIY is allowed where you live, then youll probably need a building permit and a utility permit before you start your installation. This generally involves an onsite inspection by either a structural engineer or a licensed electrician.
D. Design the system
- Your energy needs
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What Do I Need To Start A Solar Panel Installation Business
You’ll need a range of skills, qualifications and specialist equipment to set up a solar panel installation business. Let’s break these down into different categories to give you a better idea of what’s required.
To be a solar panel installation business owner, you don’t necessarily need the expertise to install the solar panels themselves. You do, however, need to have a solid understanding of how solar works as well as an overview of the market.
It pays to be business savvy in this industry too, especially when it comes to negotiating deals on solar panels and pricing up jobs. With a large team of experts working underneath you, you’ll need to know how to manage a team effectively. Keeping the business running like a well-oiled machine while making sure everyone is happy and performing in the role is key.
Remember that solar power is constantly developing. To stay ahead of the curve, you’ll need to keep up to date with the latest technology available on the market.
Courses and qualifications
If you’re planning on doing the installation yourself, you’ll need to become a qualified solar installer. This can be achieved by completing an apprenticeship or an accredited training course.
While an apprentice learns on the job over a few years, a course takes an average of 5 days to complete, and costs between $2,000 and $3,000.
How Many Solar Panels Do I Need
Your energy needs determine how many panels you need, which affects the overall price of your solar system installation. To eliminate your electric bill entirely, you must generate 100% of the electricity your home needs. Most homeowners need between 25 and 35 panels to achieve complete energy independence.
Average households need867 kWh/monthin electrical power
A solar panel typically produces about one kilowatt-hour per day, so if your daily kWh usage is 30, you would need 30 solar panels to generate all of your energy needs. If you need to generate extra energy to heat a pool or run the air conditioning for most of the year, this adds to your energy costs.
To estimate the amount of energy youll need, you need to know your average kilowatt-hours . This number should be on your utility bill as kWh used. To get your monthly average, look at bills for the past year, add up the stated kWh used and divide by 12.
Next, divide your monthly kWh average by 30 to calculate your daily average. For instance, if your average monthly kWh is 900, then your average daily kWh is 30.
For a more accurate calculation, try to factor in times when there is not as much solar power available, like when its cloudy or in the evening. There are two main ways to account for this:
These additional calculations can be difficult, but they are necessary if you want the optimum solar power system for your home.
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Step : Get Business Insurance
Just as with licenses and permits, your business needs insurance in order to operate safely and lawfully. Business Insurance protects your companyâs financial wellbeing in the event of a covered loss.
There are several types of insurance policies created for different types of businesses with different risks. If youâre unsure of the types of risks that your business may face, begin with General Liability Insurance. This is the most common coverage that small businesses need, so itâs a great place to start for your business.
Learn more about General Liability Insurance.
Another notable insurance policy that many businesses need is Workersâ Compensation Insurance. If your business will have employees, itâs a good chance that your state will require you to carry Workers’ Compensation Coverage.
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Check Everything Thoroughly Before Conducting The Installation
There you have it! The 4 simple tips discussed above are just some of the common and easy guides that you can follow before your solar panel installation. Remember, check everything that needs to be checked. Dont rush into the installation just for the sake of it.
If you need to make some changes and adjustments, do so and take all the time you need. Congrats on your decision to be a better earthling! Mother Earth is surely smiling right now because of your courageous and heartfelt decision. Best of luck in your clean energy journey!
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Raise The Needed Startup Capital
Every business known to mankind needs fund and financing to be able to stand firm and grow. There is a popular saying that money is used to make money any business that lacks funding is literally dead and doesnt exist. The major problem faced by entrepreneurs is not choosing a business niche but the capital and funding for the business.
You need fund to be able start up your solar panel installation business, buy tools, rent offices and utilities, pay employees, and also build a corporate identity. Ways of financing your solar panel installation business may include
- Personal savings
- Community schemes
Check Your Roof Condition And Make Necessary Repairs If Needed
You know that solar panels are made to last for more than 2 decades. You see, youre investing in something that will last for 20 to 30 years if taken care of properly. Normally, roof conditions start to rot and deface as early as 6 months to a year upon its construction. If your house is old, you have to make some changes to your roof.
It would be such a waste to invest so much of your money on the solar panel just to have them placed on a rotted and destroyed roof. Before you have any panel installed on your home, make sure to make the necessary changes needed. This is to ensure that your roof can provide a good place for the panels to sit on for the next 20 years.
Know that if your roof starts to show signs of condition declination, theres a possibility that your solar panels efficiency might be affected. Not only would it cost you to spend unnecessary expenses, but also, affect the performance of your home solar system.
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How And When To Build A Team
As soon as your business loan is in place, you must start building your sales, survey, installation, and maintenance team. Unless you are an experienced installer, it is wise to include an industry expert as one of your first team members who can help guide you in building the best staff. You may require an executive assistant as your schedule gets crowded with meetings, marketing, and social events.
Read our solar panel business hiring guide to learn about the different roles a solar panel business typically fills, how much to budget for employee salaries, and how to build your team exactly how you want it.
Check out our How to Start a Business page.
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Choose A Good Area To Service
The location you decide to go with has a lot of influence on your earnings and your cost of operations. This is a decision you need to make during the early phases of the business. If you end up in the wrong location, it is expensive and almost impossible to correct. This is why you need to do your research correctly before you make a choice as regards your business location.
If you have decided to service commercial structures, then choose locations with lots of businesses. Are you targeting homeowners? Then pick a residential area.
Also, you need to choose a location that is budget-friendly and wont dip excessively into your operating cost. This is particularly necessary as a start-up business as you dont want to go bankrupt before you begin.
Lastly, choose a location where installing solar panels is legal. You may find locations that suit your other requirements, but if they dont support what you do, you may be setting yourself up for legal problems. If the zoning board of your chosen city does not support what you do and isnt willing to compromise, then you need to look for somewhere else.
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