Educating Home Inspectors On Residential Solar

Today we met with the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) – Georgia chapter for an open and educational discussion on residential solar projects.

Since 1976, ASHI has been promoting professional home inspection services to help current homeowners and prospective homebuyers get a better understanding of their homes, focusing on potentially problematic areas and making sure that certain safety codes have been met. Home inspectors provide a report on many aspects of the home including heating and cooling, plumbing and electrical, roof, attic, and ventilation, walls, ceilings, floors, windows & doors, in addition to the foundation, basement, and structural components.

Until now, most home inspectors were not qualified or knowledgeable enough to make energy efficient recommendations related to solar.

Our talk today focused on solar thermal (for offsetting hot water needs), solar pv (for offsetting electrical needs), and solar powered attic fans for ventilation. A recent law was passed banning the use electric fans for roof ventilation.

We educated the inspectors on what to look for with installations of the main three types of residential pv solar systems: off-grid, bidirectional, and bimodal.

We gave them a tour of our home office in Atlanta which has a rooftop solar array. We produce around 4,000kWh (kilo-watt hours) each month, more than enough to meet our power needs. Power that is produced in excess of our needs is sent back to the power grid where our utility provider gives us a credit.

We explained the current tax credits that are available for homeowners who decide to go solar – both a 30% federal tax credit and a 35% state of GA tax credit.

We also talked about how most power companies will provide additional monetary incentives to reward customers for going solar and producing their own power. A great resource for all of this information is DSIREUSA, the database of state incentives for renewables & efficiencies.

Finally, we gave them the knowledge-base and confidence to intelligently answer solar questions they receive from their customers during their day-to-day home inspection routine.

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