Solar energy equals freedom. There’s nothing more liberating than becoming an independent power producer. By installing solar panels, you take control of your energy future and opt out of a system fueled by dirty alternatives like oil, gas, and coal.
But how independent is too independent?
Once you make the decision to go solar, does it really make sense to shell out money for a professional installer when you can do the job yourself?
In a word: YES!
We can offer 5 powerful reasons why you’re better off hiring a licensed contractor. And quick spoiler alert — lower cost is actually 1 of the reasons.
5 Reasons to Avoid DIY Solar Panels
Before jumping into our list, let’s define what do-it-yourself (DIY) solar panels are.
DIY panels are solar kits that you purchase online or at retail stores and install on your own. Targeted towards weekend hobbyists, these solar kits even come with their own manuals and tech support.
But why should you avoid them?
The biggest reason is safety. Solar is relatively easy to install, but you’re still working with high voltage equipment. Most accidents stemming from solar technology happen during the installation phase — not from fires or malfunctions down the road.
2. Energy Output
All things being equal, an installation conducted by a licensed professional will deliver more output than an installation handled by you (or your neighbor).
More energy output means lower monthly electricity bills. With those savings, you can recoup the upfront cost of your installation much faster than if you handled the job on your own.
3. Grid Connectivity
In Maryland, DC, only installations conducted by licensed solar contractors and electricians can be connected to the utility grid.
Without this approval, you won’t qualify for net metering (i.e. having the utility company pay you for your clean power). In addition, you’ll need to purchase expensive solar batteries to power your home or business when the sun goes down.
4. Solar Incentives
Maryland, DC has some of the most attractive solar incentives in the country rebates and tax credits that helped to drive down the upfront cost of your installation.
But just like with grid connectivity, in order to qualify for these incentives, your system must be installed by a licensed professional.
5. Lower Cost
Believe it or not, hiring a professional solar installer is actually cheaper in the long run.
- you get more energy from your system. This means lower monthly bills and faster payback periods
- you qualify for grid connection, net metering, and incentives. This means lower upfront costs and faster payback periods
- your system will need fewer repairs over its 25 to 40-year useful lifetime. DIY installations usually don’t last nearly as long. And those that do only survive because of frequent and costly repairs
- your system is covered under a range of workmanship and manufacturer warranties. Many DIY solar kits only offer warranties if the panels are installed by licensed professionals
To Enjoy Solar Dividends for the Next 25 – 40 Years, Don’t Cut Corners
Solar is an investment. And when installed properly, that investment will continue to deliver both environmental and financial dividends for decades.
By installing the panels yourself, you limit the ROI of your system and expose yourself to hidden costs. But when you hire a professional solar contractor, you dramatically increase the likelihood of enjoying free and clean electricity until 2038 and beyond.
To learn more about solar ROIs and the benefits of professional installation, contact us today.