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Why DIY Solar Costs More Than You Think

The economics of doing it yourself, may not work out in your favor.

By Laureen Peck, CMO, Solar Energy World

Sometimes homeowners will ask how much they can save on costs if they buy Solar panels wholesale and install them themselves instead of having a solar system professionally designed and installed. The funny thing is, most people would not even consider installing their own central air conditioning or rewiring their home’s electrical system because common sense tells them it takes training and experience to do this safely and properly.

Installing a solar electricity system is no different. It is complicated, takes training and statistically DIY solar systems’ efficiency will decrease significantly compared to the standard life span of solar panels that are professionally installed. This is because professionally installed solar panels have 25 year warranties whereas DIY panels do not – but that is not the only reason

Homeowners also have to be prepared to get their DIY solar panels certified. This process takes months and can also cost thousands of dollars. In addition, DIY solar panels have to be inspected by an electrical inspector, and comply with all the regulations the utility company requires.

Knowledge of what makes the best rooftop conditions for solar is also important. If the roof’s condition isn’t just right, it can potentially add costs in repairs. It is also essential the homeowner knows how and where to position their solar panels to get the optimal solar energy absorption in order to make the investment worthwhile.


Another thing homeowners who want DIY solar should consider is if they want to take advantage of tax breaks, grants, Net Metering, SRECs, utility buy-back and other financial incentives they are entitled to, they need to be willing handle of all the required paperwork themselves and must have the time required to deal with all the various parties. This can take several weeks, hours a day.

Also, let’s not forget that once the solar system is installed, since the homeowner will be the one in charge of maintenance, taking care of the solar system will be much more demanding and will likely add more costs to the project. Unless the homeowner has plenty of time and resources to properly maintain their system, they could end up losing money on their initial investment.

A certified solar installer will make the total installation process from start to finish a lot easier and actually save the homeowner a lot of time, money and aggravation. Homeowners may find that Do it Yourself Solar really isn’t worth it. So, the real question homeowners should be asking is how much money they can save if they have their system professionally installed.

For more information on best practices for a home solar installation process and ongoing maintenance, click here: SOLAR PROCESS

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