Do You Need an Electrician for a DIY Solar Installation?
If you're pretty DIY-experienced or work as a builder, then you may be thinking about installing your own solar panels rather than using a solar company. While many parts of this job may be well within your capabilities, hooking up solar panels to your electricity system is a trickier issue. Do you really need an electrician to do this job for you?
Should You Be Playing with Fire?
While avid DIYers and builders can turn their hands to most projects, most will leave some work to experts because they know that they aren't qualified to do the work safely and to required standards. Typically, working with electrics falls into this category.
If you haven't trained as an electrician, then messing about with your power system while you fit solar panels could be downright dangerous. Make the wrong move at the wrong time and you could electrocute yourself; get one connection wrong and you could start a fire that seriously damages your home and puts your family at risk.
As well as damage, incidents that happen because of DIY electrical work could give you further headaches. For example, if your work causes a fire in your home, then you may have problems claiming for damage on your home insurance if your insurer won't pay out for incidents caused by faulty workmanship.
Do You Understand the Legal Standards of Solar Systems?
The government sets a range of standards that are required for the safe installation of solar systems, a good number of which relate to the electrical parts of a system. A qualified electrician, especially one with a lot of experience in wiring up solar systems, understands how to decipher and meet these standards. You might not be able to cover all of them, which could leave you with a system that isn't up to standard.
Do You Want Rebates or to Connect to the Grid?
Installing a solar system can be good for your pocket. For example, you may qualify for rebates on the cost of your system from the government and you may be able to link your system to the grid to make money on the energy you create. You're not likely to see any money from either of these options, however, if you install the system yourself. To get a rebate, you need to prove that your system was installed by an accredited Clean Energy Council (CEC) professional; connecting to the grid only works if you use a licensed electrician.
Given the downsides, you're likely to end up with a safer and most cost-beneficial solar system with an electrician's help. Local electricians with solar experience will be able to talk you through the process and identify areas where you might be able to safely take on some other parts of the installation job yourself.