Kansas City homeowners share what they wish they knew about going solar before they took the plunge

Like a lot of things in life, the process of going solar at home can be an intense learning process. We’re lucky enough to get to meet and talk to a lot of homeowners about their experiences going solar here at Solarhood HQ. Here are some learnings from homeowners in Kansas City about what they learned by going solar.

1. Planning a home renovation? Think about how solar fits into your plans!

When Charlie Copeland was planning on replacing the roof, he decided to also think of how to best design a roof to fit solar. In older homes, roof design and condition plays a huge role. For example, the rafters on Charlie’s home were not big enough, and they needed to beef them up by doing some reframing.

2. There a lot of ever-changing factors with solar.

Incentives change, energy costs change, technology and install costs change. By monitoring these factors on a long term basis, you’ll be able to make an informed decision on when to make the plunge into the home solar pool.

3. Getting a new roof? Coincide that work with a solar installation.

This can save money and time. Also, you can ensure your roof can structurally support solar panels as well and save future frustrations.

4. Take an energy audit of your home before going solar.

Take an energy audit of your home to see how much energy you can save just by being more efficient (turning off lights when not in the room , unplugging appliances, etc.) This can reduce the overall system size you need.

5. Don’t be discouraged if your project is initially turned down.

While the process to install solar was fairly seamless for homeowner Kathy Rodgers, the main hurdle was getting approval from Kansas City Power & Light. When she initially applied, she was turned down and she had to do an appeal process. “I needed to install a bigger circuit breaker (which is common in other homes, but wasn’t in mine),” Rodgers says.

6. Energy credits can be your best friend.

Brandon Richman wasn’t living in his house when they had solar installed. “We had the system installed in May and we didn’t move in until September,” Richman says. “So we had a bunch of credits and we even had negative bills a couple months.”

7. Be prepared for the sometimes unpredictable nature of the approval process.

Jeanette Metzler said her installers warned her about the length of the approval process. He solar panel installation was approved in October, they were installed in December, and by March, they were up and running.

Jesse Crupper agrees. He says because cities are still working out an approval process for solar installations, he made four or five trips to the city before finally getting the proper permitting and licensing.

8. There a lot of ever-changing factors with solar. Stay informed!

Incentives change, energy costs change, technology and install costs change. By monitoring these factors on a long term basis, you’ll be able to make an informed decision on when to make the plunge into the home solar pool.

9. If purchasing a home, consider prioritizing installing solar soon after signing that mortgage.

You will see your solar installation pay for itself over time!

10. Talk about your solar installation with your friends.

Jeanette Metzler is optimistic about the future of solar. “Once the word gets out and people can see how it works and how easy it is, and the cost savings that go along with it, I really think solar is going to take off,” Jeanette says. “I look for every opportunity to slip it into a conversation.”

Want to make the process of going solar easy (and dare we say fun)? Visit Solarhood.com or download the Solarhood app to find out what you can save by going solar at home and connect with local installers.