Your new solar system has finally graced your home and your rooftop looks amazing – what’s next? Although half the job was done the very first time you learned how are solar panels installed, the other half remains – things to do after the solar system is installed.
If that’s what’s been keeping your mind occupied, we’re here to put an end to all the guesswork. This guide has been curated to walk you through all the things you need to know (and do) after learning how are solar panels installed.
Let’s get you started now. Dive in!
Top 5 post-installation essentials every homeowner should be aware of
#1. Expect a mandatory on-site inspection by the discom authorities
You expect the solar system to start producing free energy the very minute it’s installed. But, patience is a rare virtue that takes a man a long way.
After learning how are solar panels installed, it’s about time you learn that it will take some more time before the solar panels will start generating electricity.
Personnel from the discom will come for an on-site inspection in order to establish that everything has been properly installed.
#2. Next in line is a meter change
A rooftop solar system does not run on your regular meter. The regular meter by the discom has to be replaced with a net meter first. After the inspection, the installation of the net meter commences.
Your regular meter will be replaced with a bi-directional net meter. It usually takes between 1 to 3 weeks for the installation of a net meter after the installation of the solar system.
That’s, however, not a ballpoint figure. There are certain exceptions that you should be aware of.
- Government holidays and weekends can cause delays in this activity
- The amount of time taken also depends on the availability of the Discom officials to visit for inspection and meter replacement
And voila! As soon as the net meter is installed, your solar panels will start producing clean, green (and free) solar electricity to light up your house.
#3. Understanding all about the solar bill
The next thing is to understand (and wait for) the solar bill.
The first solar bill will arrive 2 or 3 months after the meter change. Why so long? The concerned sub-division team will first calculate the arrears. Once it’s done, the file will then be sent to the accounts department for final approval.
In the meanwhile, you will receive an intermediate bill.
#4. Learning how to read your solar bill
It can be tricky – at least, trickier than learning how are solar panels installed.
But, fret not. If you understand how the net meter works, you’ll have the bill decoded as well.
Here’s what happens:
- Your solar panels keep producing electricity during the daytime.
- The required electricity is consumed and the remainder is sent to the grid.
- During the night, the electricity is imported from the grid to keep the house running.
The net meter captures the number of units sent to the grid and the number of units taken from the grid. These units are then calculated.
- If you consumed more than what’s generated, you pay the discom the money for the extra units you used beyond the units generated by solar.
- If you supplied the units and consumed less than what was generated, you pay nothing. The discom will adjust those units as negative units that will be carried forward in your next month’s solar bill. You become the supplier here.
#5. Maintenance of the solar system without procrastination
Yes, they do not need a lot of maintenance, but they need basic care. Do not let dust accumulate on the panels. It will hinder the sunlight from striking the surface of the panels directly. Result? Lesser generation than what it should be. Solar panels that have not been cleaned for 3 months generate 30 to 40% less power compared to panels that have been freshly cleaned.
Also, don’t forget to let the experts clean the solar system once or twice a month. It’s important to get rid of debris from bird droppings and leaves and twigs.
If anything is left unchecked, the solar system will not produce the amount of electricity it should.
Do not try to harshly rub the surface of the panels to remove the debris on your own. You’ll end up scratching them. Solar experts use soft brushes made from the same materials used to make toothbrushes to ensure the glass surface is not scratched. Remember, solar panels have a life of 25 years and any scratches on the glass will affect their performance for their entire lifetime.
That being said, it’s crucial we address one more issue at hand – should you install a higher capacity solar system since you can sell the extra electricity to the discom?
Our answer is, no – No, do not install a higher capacity solar system under the impression that you’ll earn chunks of money by selling extra units to the discom.
Let’s understand the basics at a glance.
Why is installing a solar system higher in capacity than your power consumption not recommended?
Now you know a lot more than just knowing how are solar panels installed – you know about net metering and solar bills too.
It’s obvious to get tempted to earn revenue. After all, you can sell the extra units the system generates to the discom and earn money, right? Well, technically speaking, not so much.
The discom does not pay you the tariff it charges for fossil fuel-based electricity it supplies. The solar electricity you supply will be purchased at very petty rates. The upfront cost for the installation of a higher-capacity solar system won’t break even quickly.
So, it’s not an economically smart decision to install a solar system that generates a lot more electricity than what you consume.
Learning what to do after the installation of a solar system is just as important as learning how are solar panels installed in the first place, and we hope we’ve put things into perspective for you.
Things might look very tricky on the outside, but when you choose the right installation company, everything will be taken care of. So, instead of leaving things to fate, leave them in the hands of experts.