Can I install solar panels myself?

Fast read

Do-it-yourself (DIY) solar installation is not recommended for several reasons. First, the federal government rebate for solar is only available for systems installed by Clean Energy Council-accredited solar installers, so a DIY installation will not be eligible for this rebate.

Handling solar panels requires a high level of care to avoid damage, and working on a roof can be dangerous for those without the necessary skills and experience. Electrical work must be carried out by a professional, and a qualified solar installer will be able to assess the structural integrity of a roof before installation to avoid potential damage.

Finally, a DIY installation may void the manufacturer's warranty and may not be covered by insurance if there are issues with the system. Hiring a professional solar installer is recommended to ensure a safe and effective installation.

Solar DIY, is it a good idea? 

Whether you are conscious of your energy bill or your environmental impact if you are a homeowner in Australia. Installing a solar panel system is not hard to see the appeal of. However, this then raises the question with some homeowners, especially the ones in the building trade. Such as roof repairs or replacement, whether you have to get it professionally installed or whether it can be a DIY job and you save further money.

We at Your Energy Answers do not recommend installing a solar system yourself. However, there are at least five reasons to leave this job to professionals.

1. No rebate for installing solar yourself

One of the key reasons is that the Federal Government rebate for solar is only for PV systems installed by Clean Energy Council-accredited solar installers. Therefore, a PV system that is established by someone who does not have these credentials will not be able to access the solar rebate (STCs).

For a standard family solar power system, the rebate can be between $2000 and $3000. Therefore any savings from the DIY solar approach will usually be less than the rebate is worth. So from an economic point of view alone, it is not worth it.

2. Inexperienced handling can damage solar panels

While someone with roofing building qualifications might feel confident about installing certain parts of your solar system, such as the panels, designing and installing a solar system in Australia is a job for the experts. Getting the system adequately wired and connected to function for decades and connecting to the inverter and monitoring requires a professional.

Just imagine that each panel your installer carries is a giant TV screen. This is how much care they give your panels when transporting and maintaining them.

If you carry them on your shoulder, you could damage them as the pressure goes to one specific cell, and it could cause a microcrack.

3. Working at heights and roofs is not a job you should do yourself

Thinking you can get solar panels on your roof with just a ladder is a mistake. Solar panels are heavier than you might expect, weighing over 20 kg each. This makes it a risky task for those lacking skills in this field. It’s important to recognize that installing solar panels requires expertise to ensure safety and proper setup.

You are risking physical injury via heights and live electricity. Furthermore, if any issues arise throughout the system’s lifespan, it will be up to you to return to the roof and solve the problem.

installer on roof installing solar

4. Electrical work by non-professionals is illegal

Why would one risk the lives of one’s loved ones and oneself by playing with live DC electricity? Solar panels require specialist designs, and installers have learned the craft via lengthy apprenticeships and years of learning in the field.

5. You can not judge the structural integrity of your roof  

Before you start your solar journey, it’s crucial to have your roof, especially if it’s 30 years or older, professionally inspected. This step is essential for two reasons: first, your roof might have hidden structural problems that you aren’t aware of, and second, installing heavy solar panels on a weakened roof could worsen any existing issues.

Hiring a qualified solar installer for this assessment is vital. They can identify potential problems and ensure that your roof is in good shape to support solar panels without causing long-term complications. This inspection not only safeguards your investment in solar energy but also contributes to the overall health and longevity of your home.

If your roof is older, taking this precautionary step will help you avoid unexpected headaches down the road. So, consider having a professional check your roof before diving into your solar project to make sure everything is in tip-top shape.

6. You can cause roof damage

Installing a solar system by yourself isn’t a good idea, and here’s why: it raises the chance of damaging your roof. When setting up the racking for the solar panels, there’s a need to make holes in your roof to attach the brackets to the trusses. If you drill or grind in the wrong spot, it could cause water damage to your ceilings later on.

To avoid this risk, it’s better to have professionals handle the installation, ensuring it’s done right and minimising the potential for future problems. This not only protects your roof but also safeguards the areas inside your home from water leaks. If you’re thinking about going solar, it’s wise to let the experts take care of the installation for a worry-free experience.

7. You will lose your warranties if you install solar yourself

A DIY solar installation will likely invalidate your roof’s warranties, and your solar system’s warranties mean you’ll be responsible for any necessary repairs in the future. Of course, you can still contact the manufacturer, however, if there is a fault and you have no proof of certified installation practices, you will most likely be denied any warranty claims.

As you can see, professionals handle solar system installations for many reasons.

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