Solar panel technology is becoming more advanced every year and because of this, the popularity of them is greatly increasing. With the technological advancements and increased demand, the price of implementing solar panels is decreasing, providing more options and availability.

Investing in solar panels is an environmentally friendly way to provide electricity to your home or business while decreasing electricity costs and reducing your environmental footprint.

However, there are many things that need to be considered prior to investing in solar panels. Though they have become less expensive and more accessible, there are certain structures that do not accommodate solar panels and some logistics that need to be considered prior to installation.

1. Be selective about your installer

As more competition has entered the market, you must be very selective about the contractor or installer that you choose. Solar panels require expertise in both home improvement and electrical work. A contractor with little experience in either of these sectors can become problematic with the installation and maintenance of solar panels.

Look around for contractors and select the company that you feel comfortable with, who has experience and can thoroughly explain the process and requirements. In the case of a future problem or required maintenance, you want to be able to speak with the company who originally installed the panels.

2. What is the condition of your roof?

Before even thinking about installing solar panels, you must check the condition of your existing roof with a roofing contractor. Solar panels should only be installed on a new roof or one that is in excellent condition. After installation, any required repairs become much more complicated and expensive. If you do have a roof in good condition, consider the lifetime of the roof and find panels that align. If you have a roof and panels with a lifetime of 15 – 20 years, then all replacement and repairs can be completed at the same time. This is both effective and cost saving.

3. How to connect

Solar panel installation requires logistical planning. After selecting your contractor, take the time to decide what is the best way for you to connect to the grid. There are many things that need to be considered to determine the best solution, such as how long will the connection take, what extra costs are incurred, and how will you be credited for the electricity generated by your solar panels. Consider the long-term logistics prior to making any decisions about installation.

4. Insurance coverage

Solar panel installation is much more complicated than the installation or repair of a roof. You need to consider any accidents that could occur during the installation and also that if you are covered post-installation. Damages from weather or accidents can be different to solar panels than to the other parts of the roof.

To protect yourself and your home, review your insurance policy for both installation and maintenance. Be sure to check the provincial insurance requirements as some aspects of the installation cannot begin until approved by both provincial government and insurance company.

5. Shape of your roof

Solar panels can take up a lot of space on your roof and you need to make sure you have enough space to complete the installation. If there is not enough room for a sufficient number of panels, you may not get a return on your investment. Along with the shape, you need to look into the direction of the slope of your roof. In order to generate sufficient energy, solar panels need a specific placement and must align with the directional slope of your roof.

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