Complete Guide to Home Solar Panel Installation in 2024

Little girl balancing on stone in yard with father in front of residential solar panels

Installing home solar panels is a smart but big decision. Before you take the plunge, it’s important to learn as much as you can about solar panel installation. Getting the facts before you go solar will set you up for a successful home solar installation. 


Solar Power Pros is the leading local solar installer in Denver, CO. We created this guide to share our knowledge and experience in Colorado solar panel installation so you can prepare for your project.

Solar 101: Understanding Solar Panels

Before we get into the details, let’s cover some basics.

How Solar Panels Work

Solar panels work by capturing energy from the sun and converting it into electricity. They make use of a phenomenon known as the photovoltaic (PV) effect to do so, which is why you often see solar panels referred to as PV panels. 


Here’s a step-by-step overview of how solar panels work: 


  1. Absorption: Sunlight hits the solar panels. 
  2. Generation: The solar panels generate direct current (DC) electricity.
  3. Conversion: A solar inverter converts the DC electricity into alternating current (AC) electricity, which is what most houses and the electric grid are wired for. 
  4. Usage: The inverter sends the AC electricity to your electrical panel, which distributes it to outlets and appliances as needed. 
  5. Storage: If you have a solar battery, excess electricity is stored for later use.

Types of Solar Panel Systems

There are three main types of solar energy systems: grid-tied, grid-tied with battery backup, and off-grid. There are pros and cons to each, but we recommend grid-tied solar with battery backup for most homes in Colorado. It provides the greatest number of benefits at the best value. 


  • Grid-tied solar panels are connected to the electric grid and can share electricity with it. When your solar panels are not producing enough electricity (at night, for example) you can use the grid for backup power. The downside is that when there is a power outage, your solar panels will automatically turn off. 
  • Grid-tied solar panels with battery backup work the same way regular grid-tied solar panels do. The difference is that they have a battery, which is charged by the solar panels and can be used for backup power whenever you need it, including during a power outage or to avoid time-of-use electric rates
  • Off-grid solar panels are not connected to the electric grid. They are more complex than grid-tied solar panels and tend to be more expensive.

Pre-Installation Considerations

There are a few factors that must be considered before you can install solar panels for your home.

Assess Your Energy Needs

The first step is to calculate your current electricity usage and consider future needs for upgrades you may be considering, like an EV charger or heat pump installation. You can calculate your current usage by evaluating your past electric bills. If that sounds like too much work, just give Solar Power Pros a call! We will provide an in-depth analysis of your electric bills as part of your free consultation.

Site Evaluation

It’s important to have your roof evaluated by a solar professional before installing solar panels. Not only will this ensure your system maximizes available space and sunlight, but it will also ensure your roof is strong enough to support the solar panels.

Regulations & Permits

Home solar panel installations must comply with local building codes and you will need a permit before you can install solar panels in Colorado. Solar Power Pros will handle this entire process for you so you don’t have to deal with any red tape.

Solar Panel Installation Process

Solar panel installation is a straightforward process as long as you have an experienced solar installer. Solar Power Pros follows a carefully structured process that we designed to make solar installation as easy as possible for homeowners while ensuring quality and compliance with regulations. 


  1. Free Evaluation: We start with a free, no-pressure evaluation that can be done virtually. We’ll use satellite imagery to evaluate your roof and provide a free estimate for your solar installation. 
  2. System Design & Engineering: We will design a custom solar power system tailored to your electricity needs and your home’s specifications. 
  3. Permits & Documentation: We’ll make sure your system complies with building code and obtain all necessary permits.  
  4. Installation: Our in-house technicians will install your solar energy system, typically in as little as one day. 
  5. Testing & Grid Interconnection: We will test your system to make sure it’s working properly and oversee your grid interconnection. 
  6. Final Walkthrough: We’ll show you how your system works and answer any questions you have before wrapping up your project.

Financing & Incentives

Solar panels are an investment that puts money back in your pocket. They save you so much money on your electric bills that, in a few years, they’ll pay for themselves. But as they say, you have to spend money to make money. Thankfully, you have plenty of financing options for your solar panel installation, and solar panels are eligible for tax incentives, too.

Solar Financing Options

The only way to truly benefit from solar panels is to own them. Leasing solar panels is an option, but leasing solar panels simply transfers power from your utility company to a leasing company. To reap the full benefits of solar panels, you need to own them. There are two paths toward solar ownership: 


  • Cash Payment: Of course, you can pay for your solar panels upfront in cash. For many homeowners, this is the best option. 
  • Solar Loan: A solar loan is the most affordable way to own solar panels. With a loan, you can go solar for zero dollars down. You’ll owe a low monthly payment (which should be less than you’re currently spending on electricity) so you’re immediately cash-positive.

Solar Incentives for 2024

Colorado homeowners have access to several solar incentives in 2024. 


  • Federal Solar Tax Credit: The solar tax credit reduces your federal income tax liability by 30% of your solar installation costs, effectively saving you 30% on solar panels. 
  • Net Metering: When you go solar, you will enter into a net metering agreement with your utility company. Net metering allows you to trade electricity with the grid. When your solar panels produce too much power, you can send it to the grid and receive a credit to your account. When you need to buy power, you can use your credits to cover the cost. 
  • Utility Rebates: Many Colorado utilities offer solar rebates. Solar Power Pros will determine what rebates you qualify for during your free solar assessment.

Start Your Colorado Solar Installation with a Free Assessment

Solar panels free you from your utility company and put you in control of your own power! They also significantly reduce your fossil fuel consumption and have a direct impact on climate change. 


If you’re ready to join the thousands of Colorado homeowners who are already benefiting from solar panels, call Solar Power Pros. We offer a virtual, no-pressure solar consultation at no cost to help you decide whether solar panels are worth it for your home. We install solar panels in Denver and throughout Colorado.

Schedule a free, virtual solar assessment today! Call 303-797-6527 or contact us today. 

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