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While installing solar may seem complicated, don't worry! This is a process that many of your neighbors have successfully completed, and you can do as well. Consider looking at resources that walk you through the process from start to finish. The Solar Energy Industries Association's Residential Consumer Guide to Solar Power and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council's Solar Smart Checklist are both helpful guides.
It is important to understand the potential solar production of your home. While a certified solar professional can give you the best information, it may be helpful to do some initial investigating on your own. Investigate your property’s solar potential and estimated energy savings using Google's Project Sunroof or the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s PVWatts Calculator.
The Solar Energy Industries Association has an excellent Solar Consumer Resource Portal, which can walk your through some general things to think about, as well as a North Carolina Solar Information Sheet, which includes reviews of NC solar companies, costs and more. Certified solar practitioners can be found through the Board Certified Professionals Directory, provided by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners.
While solar installations often pay for themselves over time through energy savings, they still require an upfront investment by the homeowners. To help offset this cost, consider taking advantage of North Carolina tax credits by asking your contractor what incentive programs may be available for you. The Clean Energy States Alliance also has a Homeowner's Guide to Solar Financing which may provide you with additional financial information.