Aug 25, 2017

DIY Solar Panels

Just wondering if anyone's had any experience buying and installing your own solar panels.
We've got a good government offer in Ontario and lots of private companies offering to install turnkey solutions to help you benefit from it, but the investment becomes much more compelling if you can get the price down by doing it yourself.
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Not to discourage you, but even if you're completely off-grid with your solar installation, it still has to meet the Ontario Electrical Safety Code and be inspected by ESA. Meeting code may not be as straight forward as you might think. They keep introducing new regulations, such as "all PV connectors must be of the same brand". In my experience no two inspectors will tell you the same thing and something that passes with one inspector on the first round may fail with a different inspector on a subsequent visit. They tend to look a lot closer at work that's done by an owner as opposed to an installer that they may get to know over time.

You may also find that buried somewhere in the fine print of the gov't program is a requirement that the equipment be professionally installed.

It's great that you're considering going down this path, but do your homework before you spend a single looney on hardware. The challenges may not be where you expect.

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