Solar energy system is a big, long-term investment, thus, it costs quite a substantial amount. Part of the cost is the installation fee. That is why there are people who think of Doing-It-Yourself or DIY. This is because people who go DIY pay less upfront, have full control of the project, and have that sense of achievement and pride after completing the project.
There are a lot of tutorials on the internet like articles and YouTube videos. Though there is nothing wrong in DIY, you must first consider the advantages and disadvantages of it, then, weigh-in.
Pros of Doing Your Own Solar Energy System (DIY)
Less Expensive Upfront: An average home, one that usually has an electric bill of PHP 5,000, you will need a solar energy system that costs around PHP 150,000. Included in that are solar professional fees, project management costs, and their markup, these usually comprise around 10% of the total which is calculated by 150,000 x 0.1 = PHP 15,000. Going DIY can save you around PHP 15,000.
Full Control: If you go DIY, you are responsible for everything from the timeline to labor. You get to decide how long the project it takes, the scope, and the cost. You can do the whole needed labor by yourself or hire local laborers and coordinate with them their pay. You also have the freedom to customize, rather than rely on standard vendor packages or solar professionals’ proposals. From time to budget, these all are on your hands.
Sense of Achievement and Pride: Have you experienced successfully following a recipe online and when you taste it is so delicious? Do you remember when you finished that woodwork and high five yourself? How about that moment when you win a ranked game, complete a level, or even finish a game? Well, combine those proud and pride moments and multiply it by 100! Completing a big project like the solar energy system will give you a satisfaction that will last for decades to come! And you can always tell your loved ones or a visiting friend or at your reunion that you built that system that powers your whole home!
Cons of Doing Your Own Solar Energy System (DIY)
DIY Only For Solar Kits: Usually, the only ‘solar energy system’ that you can DIY is solar kits, usually available in home maintenance stores like Ace Hardware and Home Depot. These solar kits can be easily installed with proper guidance and knowledge. BUT these solar kits are only suitable for usage that requires little power for they generate much lower power than solar energy systems usually installed in the average Filipino homes. Thus, they are only appropriate for off-grid use like RVs, boats, tiny houses, mobile homes or for lighting a detached and outlying area from your main house like a barn, tool shed, gazebo or outdoor light.
Low Tier Solar Energy System: Solar professionals help you from planning, inspection to installing, and maintenance. Planning is a crucial part as this is where you decide what solar energy system to buy. Buying a low tier solar energy system means you cannot fully utilize the benefits of going solar, your system may not work and you will lose your investment, and it can even mean danger to you and to your loved ones especially if they malfunction. Again, only solar kits suited for low energy usage are the ones ‘relatively easy’ to install but even these need the proper knowledge and know-how.
Technical Knowledge and Expertise: Solar professionals are licensed, registered, and have the proper training. From planning to maintenance, especially the installation of your solar energy system, all of these need knowledge and expertise. Your property needs to be thoroughly inspected so that solar professionals can present various proposals based on your needs and budgets. Remember that different homes need different types of solar energy systems and a tutorial or an article you found on the internet (they are usually general) may not be fit or teach you enough on going solar. Solar professionals help you fully maximize your investments. You will not worry that you might miss a perk or a benefit that comes with your solar energy system. Having your system professionally set-up means that your system is fully functional and operates at its best capacity, giving you savings which means you can recoup your initial outlay earlier. This also means higher earnings and profits to you. It is also much safer to have professionals do the installation, they have years of experience that you cannot compare to reading articles or watching YouTube videos. Teaching, learning, and applying are various things. There are a number of articles and videos that are not done by professionals, and may cause danger to you and to your loved ones. Mishandling and endangering a third-party opens the possibility of you getting trouble with the law and costly legal battles.
Legalities and Coordination: Your solar energy installation also needs to follow multiple electrical, fire, and building codes and laws. You also need to secure various permits for example permits from your Local Government Unit. If you are connected to the grid, especially if you want to utilize net metering, you also need to coordinate with your city hall, utility company, and hire professional licensed electricians to sign-off your set-up. Solar professionals will help you every step of the way, and these are crucial for missing one permit or being unable to follow even one section of the codes may mean redoing your whole system and/or getting fined.
Warranty: Solar equipment comes with warranty from their manufacturers, but these warranties clearly define what they cover and not. Mishandling and improper installation, a common result of DIY, are usually not covered. hus, equipment warranties that may span several years are immediately voided. When you hire solar professionals, aside from ensuring that the equipment warranty is not voided, the company who did the installation also give their own warranty for their work so you can be sure that your system is both properly up and running and protected.
Missed Energy, Time, and Opportunities:. Aside from the personal time and energy invested, going DIY has a high possibility of the project finishing longer than usual. Imagine the wasted energy, and time that you could have directed to other productive activities. If you are working or have a business, calculate your missed wages or profits.
Because of the lower upfront costs, many consumers find it tempting to go DIY. Many also find the full control and customization appealing. However, this requires investing in research and technical skills to pull it off, and admittedly, not everyone possess the know-how. Before going DIY, consider first the long-term picture, as it is possible that you will get much more savings, perks, and benefits if you partner with a trusted solar supplier, installer, and contractor.
Whatever you decide, SolarWisePH can help you with everything solar from comparing free quotes to post-installation care, maintenance, and service. Whoever, wherever, and whenever you are in your solar journey, you got us with you!