Why DIY Solar?

The Movement

The solar movement is in full swing. Systems have become much easier to install and component prices have plummeted over recent years making solar viable for more homeowners. Systems installed over a decade ago are still delivering impressive results which has built confidence in Solar's ability to deliver over the long haul.

Solar is clean renewable energy. It is also a great investment that increases a home’s value and generates returns by lowering or eliminating monthly electricity bills while simultaneously shielding homeowners from rising utility rates. As utility rates increase, payback time reduces and the returns of solar become stronger.


The Cost of Solar

Technology has reached a point where efficiency and affordability make the case for solar stronger than ever. Components have advanced tremendously over the past decade with features such as Wi-Fi monitoring and panel optimization that make systems more efficient and easier to install at lower costs per kW. As a result, systems pay for themselves faster and are ultimately better investments.

DIY vs Contractor Installation

Having a contractor install your solar may be convenient but that convenience comes at a massive cost. Hefty commissions, marketing costs, overheads, you name it, are bundled into the cost to the consumer and often dressed up in payback schemes that are made to look worthwhile when financed over long term loans, often 25 years. At JR Solar we don’t see the value in replacing a utility bill with a loan that last a lifetime. Instead we believe in paying off your system as fast as possible to reap the full reward of cutting your monthly energy costs. This is much easier to do when you go DIY.

The incentive to go DIY is often only realized once a homeowner realizes that approximately 40- 50% of the cost of a solar installation is for the installation cost itself. DIY Solar projects have major financial benefits at the expense of a few days’ hard work. DIY solar reduces the payback time of your system and accelerates savings in utility costs.

Through JR Solar you can expect at least a 50% saving in total costs which often results in $10,000 - $15,000 in savings.

Federal Tax Credit:

DIY solar installations are eligible for the Federal Investment tax credit (ITC). Costs for equipment, permitting and paid labour can all be claimed. 26% tax credit for 2020 dropping to 22% in 2021.

Net Metering

Net metering is a buy back arrangement with your utility company that allows you to sell excess electricity. When the sun is out and solar production is high, your system will typically produce more electricity than you need. This excess electricity gets sent back up the grid and purchased by your utility company in the case of grid-tie systems or gets stored in battery backup in off grid systems. When the sun is down, solar production is down, so you need to draw power from the grid or from a battery backup. The idea is to size your system to meet your annual electricity needs, this way you produce the amount needed to zero out your utility bill.

For many states, utility companies will buy your excess electricity at the same rate at which they bill you, others will buy it back at a discount.

It’s important to note that net metering policies vary by utility company and state so please check with your utility provider to understand their policy. 

The Reality of Going DIY

By now I think it’s easy to see the financial benefits of going DIY but is this something you can do? The truth is that there is quite a lot involved in a solar installation, to list a few:

  • System design
  • Permitting
  • Net metering application
  • HOA approval
  • Physical installation 
  • Inspection

JR Solar is here to take the complexity out of your DIY solar project by providing services that make the most complex aspects of a solar install simple.

We design, prepare permitting documents, assemble kits with everything you need along with all the resources you need to perform a clean install. Equipped with great guidelines and support, just about anyone can achieve success. If you need help with labour, ask a friend or hire help.

At JR Solar we provide you with the following:

  • Professional design and permitting by utilizing the best available commercial software and practices
  • Market leading equipment at the lowest price
  • Support and guidance to ensure that you complete a professional installation you can be proud of