denver home energy audits

Solar Panel Tips and Tricks for 2024

Are you thinking about going solar next year? You’ve come to the right place! With our solar panel tips and tricks, you will know what to expect when buying and how to optimize solar panels once they are installed.

The market for solar energy continues to grow. In the United States, solar capacity has increased by 84% in the last 2 years. Solar is expected to continue growing in 2024, potentially making up 6% of the nation’s energy production by the end of the year. Much of the growth of solar energy has been driven by the widespread adoption of residential solar panel systems.

REenergizeCO is a leading solar company serving Denver, Fort Collins, and the Colorado Front Range. Contact us today to find out if solar is right for your home!

How to Prepare for Solar Panels

The vast majority of homes in Colorado are suitable candidates for solar panels. Nonetheless, it is important to know whether your home can support a solar energy system.

With these solar panel tips and tricks, you can determine if you are a candidate for solar power:

1. Assess the Size and Condition of Your Roof

Your roof must be big enough to hold the number of solar panels needed to power your home. Furthermore, the roof needs to be free of damage and capable of supporting the added weight from the equipment.

Getting up on the roof of your house can be dangerous. As such, it is worth having a solar professional measure your roof and inspect the condition to ensure that no major repairs or replacement is required. 

2. Evaluate Sun Exposure

According to the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, houses with south-facing roofs tend to get the most sun exposure. The ideal angle for a roof with solar panels is 15–40 degrees.

Other important considerations include the local weather (i.e., do you get enough sunlight?) and the presence of obstructions like trees and nearby structures. It can be difficult to account for all of these factors on your own, but a solar energy expert will know how to design a system based on the direction of the sun, the angle of your roof, etc.

Read More: Why Putting Solar Panels in the Right Place Can Get You Better Results

3. Know the Local Permitting Procedures

Reputable solar companies (like REenergizeCO) will obtain the necessary permits from the city as part of the process of installing your solar panels. However, it is important to know what is required to obtain a permit before you move forward with going solar.

Sometimes permitting information for a local community can be found online. For example, a simple search turns up the latest rules for Residential Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Energy Systems Permits for the City & County of Denver.

Most homeowners aren’t experts in municipal regulations. The penalties for installing solar panels without the proper permits can be steep. As such, it is important to find an installer who knows the rules in your city or town and will ensure that all aspects of the installation are above board.

4. Understand Your Energy Consumption

Going solar is a great way to lower your electric bill. Before you can enjoy this benefit, however, you need to know how much electricity you use currently and what capacity you will need for a solar home energy system.

At REenergizeCO, we review your electric bills for the past 12 months to gain a thorough understanding of your energy consumption over the preceding year. This allows us to accurately calculate the size of the solar panel system you will need.

5. Get an Estimate

Cost is one of the most important considerations for homeowners thinking about going solar. The only way to know for sure how much you can expect to pay for a solar energy system is to consult one (or more) companies and get a quote.

Solar panels should never be treated as a one-size-fits-all solution. Every home is different and demands a unique approach. When you contact a solar company for the first time, treat that initial inquiry as a fact-finding mission to understand the company’s credentials and experience. If you are satisfied with what you learn, that will make the estimate they give you much more trustworthy.

Read More: What You Need to Ask Before Your Solar Estimate

How to Maximize Solar Panel Output

Finding the best way to use solar panels is a combination of preparation and practice. While your experience using solar day-to-day may vary based on your energy needs, the following solar panel tips and tricks can help you lay the groundwork to get more from your solar energy system:

1. Invest in A-Rated Solar Panels

Confirm that your solar installer uses only A-rated panels. These solar panels are the most durable and efficient. In addition, the manufacturers of A-rated solar panels often provide decades-long warranties that cover the cost of repair or replacement in the event of damage.

Read More: What Are My Solar Panel Options?

2. Combine Solar Panels with Battery Storage

Pairing your solar panel system with a storage battery greatly enhances your ability to be self-sufficient in your energy production and reduce your reliance on the grid. By storing excess energy generated during the day, you can use solar to power your house at night or on cloudy days. From both an energy efficiency and energy independence standpoint, battery storage makes your investment in solar even more valuable.

3. Keep Your Solar Panels Clean

A buildup of dust, dirt, and debris can reduce the amount of sunlight that reaches the solar cells, resulting in less efficient power generation. While many sources will tell you that solar panels require only minimal cleaning and maintenance (which is true!), you don’t have to do the work yourself.

Our 25-year warranty includes maintenance of the solar panels we install. As a customer of REenergizeCO, you’ll never have to deal with the hassle or hazards of getting up on the roof to clean the panels.

4. Monitor the Performance of Your Solar Panel System

In 2024, solar panel monitoring technology is more accessible and sophisticated than ever. Consider investing in a monitoring system that allows you to track your system’s performance in real time.

Read More: How to Maximize Solar Energy

These systems can alert you to many issues—such as a malfunctioning panel or reduced efficiency—so you can address them promptly. Monitoring also provides valuable data to help you optimize your energy usage.

5. Watch Your Energy Usage

Your decision to go solar may have been prompted by the rising cost of electricity in recent years. Many homeowners take a long, hard look at their bills and start to wonder if solar energy can help them save money.

Read More: How Much Money Can Solar Panels Save You?

If you decide to install solar panels, it is important to continue keeping an eye on your energy consumption. You may need to adjust your appliance usage and/or change some of your daily habits to ensure that you’re maximizing the value from your system.

How to Take Advantage of Solar Incentives

So far we’ve talked about how to maximize solar panel output mainly by focusing on the performance of the system itself. Another key factor in optimizing solar panels is to ensure that you are taking advantage of any and all incentives and rebates offered by the manufacturer, your local utilities, and the government.

Vital solar panel tips and tricks for boosting affordability include:

1. Claim the Federal Tax Credit

From now until 2032, you can claim a tax credit of 30% on your federal taxes when you install a solar energy system. This significantly defrays the cost of the initial insulation.

2. Take Advantage of Rebates

The manufacturers of solar panels may offer rebates directly to consumers or through authorized installers. Our team will submit the rebate paperwork to the manufacturer on your behalf and send you the money.

We will also help you identify incentives for solar offered by your local utility company. For example, Fort Collins Utilities offers a rebate of up to $1,000 when customers install a solar panel system that meets specific criteria.

3. Sign Up for Net Metering

Net energy metering is a program offered by Xcel Energy. If you install solar panels and sign up for net energy metering, any excess electricity generated by your system goes back into the power grid. Xcel will then credit your next bill, saving you money on energy for the month.

Learn the Solar Panel Tips and Tricks You Need to Know

People in Denver, Fort Collins, and throughout the Front Range turn to REenergizeCO to help them make an informed decision about installing a solar energy system. 2024 is looking like a great time to go solar, so don’t hesitate to get in touch today!

We start every project with a complete home energy audit. This helps us determine your candidacy for solar and any other upgrades.