According to the SEIA’s latest report, solar energy production in the US grew by an unprecedented amount during the first quarter of 2021. Forecasters predict that these figures should increase by another 30% by the end of the year.
Are you ready to get on board with this rapidly growing trend toward solar energy?
You can do your part in the move toward solar by implementing a grid-tied solar system in your home. Here’s how to go about it.
What Is Grid-Tied Solar?
A grid-tied home solar system remains connected to the electrical grid. It generates power for your home and excess power generated by your solar panels back to the electrical grid.
Grid-tied systems use grid-tie investors that can communicate with the electricity grid. These inverters allow electricity to flow both in and out of your home.
This system works with your electricity meter to keep tabs on how much power you use from the grid compared to how much you put back in. At times, you might even notice your meter spinning backward as your solar system pumps power back into the grid.
At the end of your billing cycle, your power company will bill you for any power you’ve used, minus the excess you fed back into their system.
It’s easy to see that you can save a lot of money on your electricity bill with a grid-tied solar system.
One of the best grid-tied solar benefits is that you’ll experience a return on your investment much faster than you would with an off-grid system.
You can expect to break even for the cost of installing your solar panels within 10 years. With an off-grid system, you’ll need to wait 20 years before you see profits.
Considering the average solar panel system lasts for up to 25 years, you can look forward to 15 years of savings with a grid-tied system. You don’t need any batteries with a grid-tied system, which helps reduce installation costs further.
What About a Backup For Your Solar System?
It’s a no-brainer that solar panels don’t work at night, so some homeowners like to install backup power sources to keep their energy costs low during peak tariff hours.
Batteries aren’t usually enough to power a home sufficiently unless you have a huge array of these expensive items. How this works is that your solar panels send enough power to the batteries to charge them fully, before releasing extra energy into the grid.
Another way to ensure you always have electricity is by installing grid tied solar with generator backup. This way, you can have access to electricity when the power company is down, and your panels aren’t producing a lot of energy.
Generator backup is an excellent option if you live in an area that experiences a lot of storms or general electricity outages. For added convenience, these generators run off propane gas or natural gas, and they’re much quieter than petrol-driven generators.
If you install your generator or battery backup, along with an inverter at the same time you install your solar panels, you can achieve greater cost savings via the federal tax incentive on solar installations.
The Procedure For Installing Grid-Tied Solar
The process of installing a grid-tied solar system starts when you sign your solar agreement. This could be a cash purchase, power purchase agreement, lease, or loan. After this step, it can take two to three months to get the ball rolling.
It’s best to work with an established local contractor when you install any solar power system. Sometimes the power company will recommend a solar installer of their choice.
There are five steps involved in the process, as follows:
1. Engineering Site Visit
During this step, a solar engineer visits your home to assess your property and its potential for a solar installation. They’ll check that your home’s electrical status complies with the requirements for grid-tied solar.
They’ll also inspect your roof to ensure it’s capable of holding solar panels, and they’ll check if you need to upgrade your electrical panel. When they’re satisfied, they’ll okay your solar installation by signing it off.
The engineering visit differs from the installers’ site visit when they evaluate the type and size of solar installation you need.
2. The Paperwork
There’s a lot of paperwork involved in installing solar panels. You’ll need to apply for federal solar incentives, clean energy financing, solar renewable energy certificates, and other incentives.
You’ll also need building permits specific to where you live. For instance, some states allow you to install solar panels across your entire roof, while others require three feet of clear space around your solar panels.
Fortunately, the installer will take care of most of these aspects.
3. Choosing and Ordering Equipment
As soon as you’ve got all the paperwork in order, your installer can request your solar panels and equipment from their distributor.
Although you should have no problem with the selection your installer has made for your home, you can research some grid-tied solar kit options on your own and ask them to amend your order accordingly.
After this stage, your installer will add you to their queue of work and arrange delivery of your solar equipment on that day. The time frame for this depends on how busy your installer is at the time.
4. Installing Your Solar Panels
On the big day, your solar installer will get started by prepping your roof and making sure it’s ready to receive the panels. Then, they’ll place the electrical wiring that connects your panels to your electrical panel and home’s power system.
Once that’s complete, they install racking to support the panels on the roof. When it’s level and firmly attached, they place the panels on the racking. Lastly, they connect your inverter to the panels and attach the power meter.
The installation can take up to three days depending on the size of the system.
5. Approval and Interconnection
The last step in the procedure is a final check and approval by a representative from your town government. After this last step, you’ll finally get to flip the switch on your new solar system and start enjoying the benefits of solar power almost immediately.
Saving With Solar
A grid-tied solar installation system is one of the best home upgrades you can implement. It saves you money, helps support the aging US grid, and has enormous environmental benefits.
Are you interested in discovering more cost-saving, convenient home improvements? Explore our website for all the best ideas.