When Upgrading Your Electrical Panel Make Sense

What Size Electrical Panel Do I Need to Go Solar?
Can I Upgrade My Electrical Panel on My Own?

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Why You Should Upgrade Your Electrical Panel When Going Solar

When you install solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, all of the clean energy generated gets routed through a breaker box (sometimes referred to as an “electrical panel”).

The breaker box that already comes with your home can likely manage the extra electricity your solar panels feed into the system. But there are sometimes compelling reasons why you should consider upgrading your electrical panel while installing a new PV system.

When Upgrading Your Electrical Panel Make Sense

Every electrical panel comes with an amperage limit, with the average ranging anywhere from 100 to 200 amps. The higher the amperage, the more electrical devices and gadgets you can power simultaneously.

This amp limit also determines how large a solar PV system you can install.

Any breaker box with an amp rating lower than 100 will likely struggle to support an average-sized residential PV system. And adding more PV panels is doable. But the total amount of usable solar electricity entering your home will remain unchanged. This is because the amperage (or “flow rate”) of your electrical panel box won’t allow more electrons to move through the system.

In addition, adding an “oversized” solar PV system can also create fire safety issues. When you load your breaker box with more appliances and solar electricity than it can handle, this can cause irreversible damage to your home’s electrical wiring.

What Size Electrical Panel Do I Need to Go Solar?

Every customer has slightly different energy needs. So the exact size will vary from homeowner to homeowner.

But we recommend sticking with electrical panels with 200 amps or higher. This is more than enough to handle most residential solar installations.

Better still, 200 amps also gives you sufficient slack to add more appliances in the future. For example, many Floridians invest in electric vehicles (EVs) after installing solar panels. Doing so allows them to power their commutes with clean and free sunshine (instead of expensive and dirty gasoline).

Can I Upgrade My Electrical Panel on My Own?

To save money, some homeowners try to upgrade their electrical panels as DIY jobs.

And you may be considering the same thing.

But according to the National Fire Protection Association,

Between 2010 and 2014, U.S. municipal fire departments responded to an average of 45,210 home structure fires involving electrical failure or malfunction. These fires caused annual averages of 420 civilian deaths, 1,370 civilian injuries, and $1.4 billion in direct property damage.

This is why it’s best to use a licensed electrician to handle jobs of this type. And because building codes, fire safety laws, and electrical standards often change between jurisdictions, that electrician should ideally be certified within the state of Florida.

How We Make Electrical Panel Upgrades More Affordable

Hiring a professional electrician is more expensive than handling the upgrade on your own.

However…

If you contract Capital Construction & Development to handle your PV installation and electrical panel upgrade, the entire job qualifies for the 30% Federal Investment Tax Credit. This generous subsidy covers both parts and labor for all solar-related improvements – including the breaker box.

When installing solar panels, it often makes sense to upgrade your home’s electrical panel. This article explains the pros and cons of replacing your breaker box.

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