Can I Add More Solar Panels to My System?
A frequent question we get from our clients, new and old, is: “Can I add more solar panels to my system?”
Imagine this: you’re a homeowner with a solar system. Your system has been working great for years. You are happy that every day you feel like you’re making a difference. And you’re delighted to put your money towards an investment that adds value to your home and life.
It’s the middle of summer, the sun is shining every day, and your system is producing the same amount of electricity as it has in years past. But you notice – month after month – you’re paying more to your utility than you have in the past. What gives?
Then you remember that hot tub you installed in your backyard last fall. You’re using more electricity now, and your solar power system is no longer meeting 100% of your household’s electric demand!
What can you do? You can add more solar power to your existing solar energy system!
Sometimes our customers come to us knowing that their energy use will grow with time. They have a growing family. Sometimes they know that they are adding new appliances like pools or hot tubs a little down the line. Some even have big plans to upgrade their family fleet to all-electric vehicles in the coming years.
Other families choose to size their system small on purpose, purchase what they can now, and plan to add more when they can later.
And, what do they do when they’re ready to add more solar? Give us a call!
If you don’t have a solar energy system and anticipate adding more panels later down the line- let us know when designing your system. We will consult with you and select an inverter that will be compatible with those future energy goals.
Are you considering battery backup? Let us know that when we’re designing or expanding your system. Solar systems with batteries require inverters that also charge the batteries and manage their energy output. Additionally, if you are thinking about adding home batteries, adding them at the same time you add panels to your system is a smart move.
If you didn’t plan for expansion at the time of your initial installation, there is a chance you’ll need to upgrade your inverter to accommodate the addition.
Space and location are other factors to consider when thinking about expanding your solar array. Is there available space left on your roof? Is it unshaded and unobstructed?
Updates to Ohio Net-Metering
When you went solar, it’s possible that Ohio’s net-metering rules wouldn’t allow you to produce more than 100% of your annual consumption. Your solar array may have been undersized to keep you away from the penalties associated with overproduction.
In 2020 Ohio’s net-metering rules were updated. In Ohio, you can now produce up to 120% of what you consume in a year, making it possible for solar installers to get their homeowners to 100% (and even a little more!) offset without putting them at risk of those penalties.
If you have solar now and are interested in expanding, we’ll work with you to understand how many additional panels you’ll need to make up for the energy your system isn’t generating for you right now. We’ll also make sure that you have enough available space to meet that need.
Adding more solar panels – now or later – we’re here to help
We look forward to assisting you in determining the system size that meets your electricity goals. Whether you want to make additional upgrades to your existing system — or plan a smaller system now, with plans to expand later – we’re here to help you!