Yesterday, we looked at a whopper – “solar can’t survive without government handouts.” It’s definitely an interesting read, so be sure to check it out.
Today we’ll look at another popular misconception. We’ve heard it phrased many different ways, including:
- Do-it-yourself solar installations are cheaper
- You don’t need to hire a professional installer at all
- DIY solar is the only way to true energy independence
The reason this solar myth is so powerful is because there is an element of truth to it. But as you’ll soon see, DIY solar is not all that it’s cracked up to be.
The Dark Side of Do-It-Yourself Solar Installations
It’s true. There’s absolutely nothing preventing you from going up on your rooftop and installing solar panels on your own.
In fact, the process is actually becoming easier and easier thanks to a sudden boom in home solar power kits available at Home Depot, Amazon.com, and even Best Buy.
It’s also true that you’ll save on labor. When you do the job yourself, you don’t have to hire a professional. There’s no disputing this.
But do-it-yourself solar is definitely not cheaper in the long run. And you’re certainly not better off with an amateur solar PV installation. We’ve actually covered the dangers of DIY solar many times before (here, here, and here). But they’re worth repeating:
1. DIY solar is dangerous. After all, you’re working with high-voltage electrical equipment. You face many potential risks during the actual set up. And you face additional risks should malfunctions occur at any time thereafter.
2. DIY solar doesn’t qualify for incentives. As we learned yesterday, solar incentives aren’t 100% necessary. With falling panel prices and rising utility rates, solar technology is already cost competitive with grid electricity.
But free money is free money. And if you do the installation yourself, your panels will not qualify for many of the terrific programs and subsidies out there.
Moreover, you won’t be able to share your excess clean electricity with the local community. So even the green benefits of going solar remain limited if you do the installation yourself.
3. DIY solar is more expensive in the long run. You save on the labor but you forgo the incentives. This alone makes your installation more expensive if you do it yourself.
But in order to enjoy 24/7 electricity, you also have to invest in a solar battery (since you can’t connect your PV system to the utility grid). Batteries aren’t cheap. In fact, they can add 50% or more to the total installation price.
You’re Better Off Hiring a Licensed San Diego Solar Power Installer
If you are a weekend warrior who enjoys tackling challenging projects and interesting hobbies, then go for it. Pick a few Saturdays and Sundays and outfit your property with solar panels.
We applaud your passion and wish you nothing but success.
However, if your goal is to save money or save the planet, DIY solar is not the way to go – regardless of what anyone says. Hiring a licensed solar professional is cheaper, safer, and greener in the long run.
And you can easily verify this for yourself.
Spend a few hours shopping online for home solar power kits. You can even visit your local hardware store. And once you’re done, just request a free solar quote from us. Thereafter, you can compare the numbers, carbon footprint, and long-term savings. And then decide for yourself which is the cheaper option – the DIY route or the professional one.
And be sure to check in tomorrow when we look at the next solar myth on our list.