Do You Tip Solar Panel Installers?

It is, however, a “kind gesture,” especially if they have gone above and beyond their service agreement by performing additional work for you.

What are the best places to work as a solar installer?

Hawaii ($57,890), Oregon ($57,790), Texas ($52,210), New York ($50,920), and Massachusetts ($50,850) are the states and districts that pay the highest average wage for Solar Photovoltaic Installers.

Is it worthwhile to install solar panels?

If you live in a region with high energy costs and an adequate solar rating, and you can afford the initial expenditure, it’s worth installing solar panels in your home while the 26 percent tax benefit is still in effect for the environment’s sake and your wallet’s sake. However, don’t expect to be able to completely reduce your power bill overnight.

What need I do to get ready to install solar panels?

Whether you’re eager to install solar panels on your roof or simply want to learn more about the process, there’s a lot to do to get ready for the switch to solar.

Here are nine critical actions to take to get your home ready for solar electricity.

Step 1: Consider Your Options

Solar energy is becoming more popular as costs fall, resulting in increased competition among solar contractors, installers, and manufacturers. As a result, customers have never had more options when it comes to solar energy than they do now.

As parts and materials become more affordable, the number of solar panel manufacturers continues to expand. However, discussing with a solar energy contractor about your specific goals for your solar energy plan will help you evaluate the scope and expenses of your project moving forward.

Because you’ll need assistance from building inspectors and your local power company, it’s a good idea to check with your local resources and select a solar installer with permitting and project management experience to guarantee the process goes well. A cost/benefit analysis assessment from a licensed solar contractor is recommended for homeowners interested in installing solar electricity. Roof slope, property orientation, shading, best placement sites, power distribution and storage (if required), and aesthetic concerns will all be identified during this study.

Step 2: Find Rebates and Incentives

Your local public works agency or utility company may offer substantial discounts on the purchase or installation of solar panels on your property, depending on your geographic region. A complete list is accessible here, along with state-by-state breakdowns of various solar energy rebate programs.

Some utility companies, such as those in Texas, will pay up to 45 percent of the initial cost of installation a significant incentive for homes, especially when considering the additional 30 percent tax write-off at the end of the year.

Step 3: Secure Financing

The federal government will grant a 30% tax credit to households for qualified expenditures toward a PV system under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of December 2015. Systems must be put into service by December 31, 2019 to receive the full credit. Businesses based in the United States are eligible for the same rebates.

Loan programs are available from the US Department of Energy, the US Small Business Administration, and other federal organizations for both households and companies interested in investing in solar power. Securing a loan for energy improvements through the SBA can more than double the maximum loan amount available up to $750,000 when compared to a traditional mortgage or residential energy efficiency improvement loan from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

In terms of panel costs, the average cost per watt generated was less than $0.74 in 2013, yet the payback period (or return on investment) is less than 10 years in places like Massachusetts, Louisiana, and California.

Step 4: Make the Necessary Repairs and Upgrades

To prepare your home for solar panel installation, speak with a building inspector to confirm that your roof is structurally sound and capable of supporting large solar arrays.

Because of the weight and surface area required to install solar arrays on a home rooftop, it’s critical to assess the health of your roofing materials before committing to a solar solution. Because any roof repairs after installation will need the entire removal of the solar panels, it’s a good idea to schedule roofing repairs or replacement before incorporating solar energy into your home’s energy profile. While these improvements may not be as intrusive as a house redesign, the breadth and technical nature of the job may necessitate more preparation work before contractors can begin.

The majority of PV panels are installed on south-facing rooftops, however installers can position the arrays at optimal angles to maximize exposure to sunlight on roofs with east-west orientations or flat roofs.

Consider constructing a separate utility nook or storage cabinet to contain a battery, electrical inverters, and Balance of System (BOS) equipment to integrate the solar modules into the home’s existing electrical system in preparation for installation. More companies are projected to enter the market as solar energy becomes more inexpensive, introducing new and innovative products and solutions for energy-conscious homeowners. Tesla’s Powerwall is the forerunner in this category, with consumer units shipping in 2017 and providing 6.4 kWh of residential energy storage capacity. The Powerwall, which is designed to work with solar panels, allows households to actively capture solar energy for later use or sell it back to the grid.

Step 5: Permitting and Rebate Process

Before installation can commence, most city utility companies demand the following documentation:

  • For inverter-based generating systems, Level 1 Interconnection Application and Agreement is required.
  • Electrical service application (needed for usage with meters and other state and local production incentive schemes)

These documents should be generated or provided to you upon request by a certified solar installer or contractor.

Prior to installation, the solar contractor must also obtain an electrical permit. Before replacing your old meter with a reverse-power meter, your local building or planning authorities will demand an electrical inspection.

You may be entitled for a 30 percent credit on your federal income tax bill after installing and deploying a solar energy solution in your house. Homeowners that invest in an energy saving solution will be allowed to file IRS Form 5695 – Residential Energy Credits until December 2016. Qualified tax credit applications, according to the instructions for the form, are for costs linked to the following:

“Qualified solar electric property costs are costs for property in the United States that uses solar energy to generate electricity for use in your home.” No costs associated with the installation of a solar panel or other property as a roof (or portion thereof) shall be disqualified only because the property is a structural component of the structure on which it is installed. The house doesn’t have to be your primary residence.”

Additional subsidies, credits, and rebates may be available from your state and local governments, utility providers, and energy efficiency coalitions to help you install solar panels in your home. Check out the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency for a complete list of potential benefits.

Step 6: Investigate Buyback/Energy Storage Solutions

You’ll need a production meter installed and programmed by your local electric company if you want to help offset the cost of your solar energy system by selling excess generated power back to the grid.

A production meter, which works in the opposite direction of a typical utility meter, monitors the quantity of power created by an energy source. Before flowing through the main interconnection breaker on your property, production meters link to your system via the AC disconnect on your solar inverter.

Utility providers frequently read production meters at the same pace as normal meters, delivering homeowners an annual report detailing the number of kilowatt-hours produced by their solar energy system. You’ll need to fill out a yearly application for compensation for extra energy your system contributed to the grid based on that information. Incentives can be in the form of service credits or a cash mailed to you.

Tesla Motors’ Powerwall, which actively absorbs and stores solar-generated energy for backup use or daily electrical demands, was one of the first consumer-grade electrical storage systems. While other firms are following Tesla’s lead and developing low-cost, high-capacity batteries for solar-powered buildings, Tesla is still regarded as the market leader. Each unit is expected to have a 92 percent round-trip DC efficiency, and the first versions will store 7 kWh (about 1/3 of the average daily energy used per American family in 2014). Because most domestic electrical systems run on AC power, a converter will be required to utilise the Powerwall’s stored energy.

Step 7: Finalize Power Efficiency Solutions

Adding solar electricity to your home, like most energy-efficiency enhancements, will only perform to its full potential if other components of your home are working in tandem with your new system.

  • To boost indoor energy efficiency even more, use a layer of protective window film.
  • Air filters should be replaced in air conditioning and heating systems, as well as vents and appliances.
  • Check your roof and attic for leaks or install ventilation systems to prevent capturing hot air.

Once again, the best approach to study and assess the strengths and weaknesses in your home’s energy efficiency standards is to hire an energy-efficiency consultant to conduct a home energy audit.

Step 8: Installation and Implementation

While it’s not unheard of for homeowners to install solar energy systems on their own, hiring a professional solar installer to oversee the job is highly recommended (and often required, depending on your location and system of choice).

  • Request separate quotes for roof-mounted and ground-mounted PV systems.
  • Inquire about the amount of experience of the prospective contractor. What is the total number of solar energy systems that they have installed? How often do you do it?
  • Inquire about certification or licensing verification. Each licensed contractor in the business should be listed with your state’s licensing board.
  • Examine the contractor for any disciplinary actions or ongoing complaints. Any pending liens or judgements against a corporation should be reported to the Better Business Bureau and your local authorities.
  • Request energy and cost estimates based on the solar resource of each potential installation site, the system’s size/scale, the type of PV panels to be used, and the current state of your home’s existing energy efficiency solutions.

Unless your solar electric system is part of a new, energy-efficient house construction project, you’ll almost certainly require the services of a professional electrician to install and test a few secondary but crucial parts of your new energy system. Both stand-alone and grid-connected solar energy systems necessitate the installation of power conditioning equipment within your home in addition to your new PV panels and batteries. It’s never a smart idea to trust electrical work to a handyman or a DIY project for obvious reasons. The existing UL 1741 standards for grid-interactive power inverters should serve as a guideline for solar contractors in the future.

Every electrical system is vulnerable to failure, damage, and lethal surges, which must be addressed individually. Renewable solar energy systems should implement the following to ensure safe and sustained operation, according to the National Fire Protection Association and its updated National Electrical Code:

  • Internal system wiring is protected by safety disconnects, which also enable for safe repairs and grid isolation.
  • Grounding equipment that allows errand surges, lightning strikes, and equipment breakdowns to discharge into the ground in a safe, low-resistance path.
  • Surge protection equipment is used to safeguard electrical equipment from lightning strikes and storms.

Step 9: Testing and Analysis

There are various techniques to assess your system’s efficacy and dependability. First, the built-in meters and gauges on your solar control or energy monitoring panels should provide sufficient information about energy usage, current storage levels, energy generation rate, and total converted energy to date.

Some solar energy systems connect to third-party smartphone monitoring apps, allowing for more accurate visual representations of data collected over longer periods of time in your home. Other devices, such as Nest, integrate easily with current energy systems, allowing homeowners to better use and conserve energy while also lowering the amount of maintenance required to achieve optimal efficiency.

Finally, once you’ve had your solar energy system operational for a full year, you’ll want to save your old utility bills and compare year-to-year comparisons to fully grasp and appreciate the success of your solar energy system. Ordering a home energy audit after your solar energy system is installed will also provide useful information on how to increase your home’s efficiency potential in the coming decades.

Solar electricity has numerous advantages, and its costs are continuing to decrease. Is your home ready for the energy future? Visit the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners to find a solar installation in your region and start your journey to genuine energy independence now.

A Long-Term Investment

After conducting their investigation, they came up with a list of five solar panel firms to suggest. There is also a vast quantity of material to absorb in addition to those recommendations.

What questions should you ask before going solar?

Even if you have the perfect home for solar, a cheap electricity cost may deter you from investing in a new system. Even if you reside in a state or city where electricity is expensive, solar may not be worth it if you don’t consume a lot of it.

As a general rule, we prefer that our customers’ energy bills be greater than $75 in order for solar to make sense in terms of immediate savings. The more you pay for electricity, the faster the panels will pay for themselves, as we said in the preceding question. As a result, going solar will not save a lot of money for homes with minimal power demand.

What is the profit margin for solar companies?

When you run a leased solar panel business, your profit is totally dependent on the amount of panels you install. A normal annual return is around 6%, although this necessitates a long-term investment strategy on the part of the business owner. Profits of $5,000 to $10,000 per job are possible for companies who exclusively install panels for customers who pay in full at the time of installation. This, however, necessitates a continual flow of new contracts. If you work on a large industrial contract, you can make hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of a year.

In California, how much do solar panel installers earn?

While ZipRecruiter is seeing salaries as high as $65,869 and as low as $22,611, the majority of salaries within the Solar Panel Installation jobs category currently range between $31,950 (25th percentile) to $44,239 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $58,494 annually in California.


The cost of purchasing a solar system is relatively expensive at first. Solar panels, inverters, batteries, wiring, and installation are all included in this cost. Nonetheless, because solar technology is continually improving, it’s realistic to predict that prices will continue to fall in the future.


Although solar energy can be collected during overcast and rainy days, the solar system’s efficiency is reduced. Solar panels must be exposed to sunlight in order to collect solar energy. As a result, a couple of overcast, rainy days can have a significant impact on the energy system. It’s also important to remember that solar energy cannot be collected at night.

Thermodynamic panels, on the other hand, are an option to consider if you need your water heating solution to work at night or during the winter.

Check out our video for a breakdown of how effective solar panels are in the winter:

Is it a waste of money to invest in solar energy?

Solar panels are a cost-effective way to power your home “According to a recognized University of California-Berkeley business professor, the costs significantly outweigh the financial benefit.

According to Severin Borenstein, who also runs the UC Energy Institute, the technology, which uses photovoltaic panels to create power, is not economically competitive with fossil fuels and costs more than other renewable fuels.

“By deploying current solar PV technology, we are wasting money,” he remarked.

Is there a tax credit for solar panels at the federal level?

Congress extended the ITC in December 2020, providing a 26 percent tax credit for systems installed in 2020-2022 and a 22 percent credit for systems installed in 2023. (A 30 percent tax credit was available for systems installed before December 31, 2019.) Unless Congress extends the tax credit, it will expire in 2024.

When it comes to solar panels, how long do they last?

Photovoltaic (PV) panels, commonly known as solar panels, are designed to last for more than 25 years. Many solar panels that were placed as early as the 1980s are still operating at full power. 1 Solar panels are not only incredibly dependable, but their lifespan has risen substantially in the previous 20 years. 2 Many solar manufacturers back their equipment with performance guarantees in their warranties, in addition to decades of successful performance. 1

Keep in mind that just because your solar panels are predicted to last a couple of decades doesn’t imply they’ll stop producing electricity. It simply implies that their energy production will be reduced by the amount that solar panel manufacturers believe is necessary to meet the energy needs of the ordinary American family.