SOLAR POWER: Tips for homeowners considering solar panel systems
With solar power growing as an option for homeowners, here’s some things to consider when shopping for a system.
Solar power installation on a home is a permit project. Mike Lara , the director of building and safety for Riverside County, has some tips for consumers:
Electrical service panel: Ask if the new system will require replacement of your current electrical service panel. That’s the box with the meter on it outside your home.
“You will be feeding additional electrical power through the panel, so it has to be sized properly” to handle inbound from the local utility company as well as the solar panels’ contribution.
Firefighter clearance: A rooftop panel array must allow space for firefighters to walk on the roof.
“If it’s a daytime fire the panel stays energized all the time,” Lara said. “We work with fire departments to make sure the panel layouts have a clear path.”
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