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Decode the code: Residential solar panels

Learn more about the benefits, regulations, and steps for installing solar panels in Fort Worth, TX

FTW-solar-panel-house

Installing a solar panel or solar array can help reduce your home’s energy consumption.

Photo courtesy of Canva

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It’s no secret that the Texas sun has been beating down on us for a good while, pushing us to crank up the AC. We don’t even want to think about what it’s done to our power bill. Maybe it’s time to consider our options when it comes to electricity — solar electricity, that is.

While you sit there sweating, we’re here to decode the residential code and help you understand the basics of solar electricity in Fort Worth.

What’s solar power and how does it help?

Solar power harnesses the sun’s radiation to help reduce the cost of energy, contribute to a resilient electrical grid, and generate backup power.

Solar power has upfront costs for equipment — including photovoltaics or various types of panels — and installation but saves money over time, especially with the associated 22%-30% federal tax credit.

Local start-up cost is approximately $12,000-$15,000 but pays itself off in six to eight years and saves ~$32,000-$40,000 over 25 years.

Estimate your cost and savings based on location and usage with this calculator.

Local regulations

Installing solar power in Fort Worth requires two city permits to ensure safety and adhere to both building and electrical codes.

An electrical permit ensures that the solar panel is properly installed and connected to the electrical grid. If the size or weight of the equipment requires an alteration to the structure of the building, the resident will need a second construction permit.

Use the city’s portal to determine and apply for the appropriate permits for your project.

Getting started

In Texas, solar panels are typically installed on the south side of the roof for maximum sun exposure. Double-check with your neighborhood or homeowner’s association for specific guidelines when it comes to street-facing installations.

A qualified solar installer — like Solar-Verse or Sky Blue Energy — can help determine the appropriate size panel based on your energy consumption, roof size, and solar exposure.

Check out SolarReviews or EcoWatch to compare prices and ratings of local companies or explore Forbes’ top recommendations.

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