5 Things You Need to Know Before Installing Solar Panels in Your Home
Safety first, second, and last—especially when it comes to your house.
In the last couple of years, we have seen a rise in more environmentally aware consumers, from skipping single-use plastic items to switching to environment-friendly reusable straws. It's the same for electricity consumption at home. More and more homeowners are now considering going solar because it's eco-friendly and will help contribute to climate change mitigation.
If you're thinking of installing solar panels in your home, here are the things you need to do:
1. Know how much power you need.
Take note of all the appliances you will be using during the day. This helps determine the maximum amount of power you need, including the size and capacity of the solar panels. Knowing this information prevents you from overspending on your solar installation and alerts you that it may also be the time to trim down on unnecessary power use, like retiring an old and inefficient refrigerator that uses too much energy.
2. Check your roof.
It may seem simple enough, but for a project like this, it’s crucial that it’s done right. Inspect the structure and the direction that your roof faces, where the solar panels will be installed. It needs to be structurally sound to prevent the panels from falling. You’ll also want your solar panels to face the direction where they’ll get as much sunlight as possible.
3. Choose the right solar provider.
Installing solar panels can be tricky, so it’s better to hire a professional who can do the job properly and also work out the science behind it. Panel direction, panel angle, and inverter options are also some of the things you’ll need to consider. Find a supplier with a good track record on these kinds of projects and one that can provide assistance even after installation.
4. Apply for all necessary permits.
Installing solar panels on your rooftop is a building project that requires various kinds of government permits. Your local power distributor can help you check these requirements.
If you're a Meralco customer, just visit the nearest Meralco business center and they will give you a guide on the requirements and permits you need to accomplish and secure.
Some of the requirements Meralco will ask from you include:
- Residential identification: ID and proof of valid occupancy
- Plant Parameters Form (PPF)
- Certification of Renewable Energy Facility Equipment
- Certificate of Electrical Inspection
For the complete list, go here.
5. Sign up for Net Metering.
The Renewable Energy Act of 2008 (RA 9513) encourages customers with installed renewable energy facilities of up to 100 kilowatts capacity to enroll in Net Metering.
Net Metering allows customers to export excess electricity generated by the solar installation to their local power distributor, such as Meralco. This helps customers maximize the benefits of their solar installations.
A bi-directional meter will be installed by Meralco to measure how much excess electricity generated by your solar installation is exported to the company. It will also check how much electricity Meralco is delivering to your home, particularly during the times when your solar panels are not generating electricity (i.e. nighttime). The bi-directional meter ensures the flow of electricity is accurately measured and billed.
Signing up for Net Metering also assures homeowners that their solar installations comply with safety standards and regulations. If Meralco is unaware of your solar power facility, there is a risk of electrical fires, damage to household appliances, electrocution, electricity fluctuations, power interruptions, and blackouts in your neighborhood.
An efficient solar energy system is one that is calibrated correctly, maximizes energy use, and complies with safety standards. It’s always best to consult a professional because safety should be first in your home.