Pros and Cons of Buying and Doing a DIY Solar Panel Installation

There’s a number of reasons why people invest in solar energy through solar panel installations on either their homes or other buildings. For some, they want their energy consumption to reduce their carbon footprint and make sure they live environmentally friendly. For others, they may want a power source they can use just in case the power were to shut off for a long period, or may want to earn tax incentives for going green. But whichever reason you have, you have a choice between buying from a professional solar panel installation company, and going the DIY route. There are a few pros and cons to doing a DIY solar panel installation.

Pro: You Can Determine Where And How You Want Your Solar Energy

If you have the time to design and build your own solar energy system, you can decide how you want it built and where you want it placed. One of the keys is buying solar panels for either on-grid or off-grid use, because that determines a lot in the scope of your installation. But if you’re willing to take on the rigors of the installation, you’ll have the satisfaction of seeing solar power going to the areas of your property where you want.

Pro: There Is Some Savings You Can Get

Yes, getting DIY solar panels can save you some money, though it may not be as much as you want. The main area of savings is in the design and labor costs since you’re handling these yourself, but there can still be other costs you incur while taking the project on. For example, you may need storage or battery backups in some cases that may be a hidden cost. Still, you can usually save about a minimum of 10%-20% in overall costs by going DIY. According to the experts at Unbound Solar, “Even if you extend your payback period by taking out a loan to finance your project, you still enjoy reduced electricity costs from the moment you flip the switch on your PV system.”

Con: Not All DIY Solar Panels Can Be Used On The Grid

While there are a few cases where you can install your own solar panels and remain connected to your utility provider, not all solar systems are designed for that. And some local governments have laws about what kind of solar panels and installations can be done that remain grid-tied. You’ll want to do research on whether you can do this before getting started.

Con: DIY Installation Can Be Quite Complex

While getting your own solar panel kit and building it yourself sounds easy enough, the process can be very intense and require a lot more know-how from the consumer than they might realize. Plus, there are tasks that need to be completed and signed off on by a certified electrician if your solar panels are going to be grid-tied, so you need to be aware of that. It’s usually going to require heavy duty tools and take some man power to get the system installed perfectly.

At the end of the day, installing your own solar panels can allow you to save a lot of money on energy, or get power to areas that it would be difficult to with a utility provider. But if you’re new to installing a solar panel system, you need to carefully consider the cost in both time and money to do it.

About Salman Zafar

Salman Zafar is the CEO of BioEnergy Consult, and an international consultant, advisor and trainer with expertise in waste management, biomass energy, waste-to-energy, environment protection and resource conservation. His geographical areas of focus include Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Salman has successfully accomplished a wide range of projects in the areas of biogas technology, biomass energy, waste-to-energy, recycling and waste management. Salman has participated in numerous national and international conferences all over the world. He is a prolific environmental journalist, and has authored more than 300 articles in reputed journals, magazines and websites. In addition, he is proactively engaged in creating mass awareness on renewable energy, waste management and environmental sustainability through his blogs and portals. Salman can be reached at salman@bioenergyconsult.com or salman@cleantechloops.com.
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