Costly Mistakes Homeowners Make Installing Solar Systems

  • Most Kenyans are embracing alternative sources of energy with the popularity of solar energy growing mostly prompted by the recent cases of electricity blackout experienced in the country, the hiked bills. 

    Other than just homeowners rushing to install solar panels, even big companies are taking that similar path. The latest company to start using this clean source of energy is Bamburi Cement which entered into a deal to set up solar plants adjacent to its Mombasa and Nairobi factories.

    In 2020 alone, Bamburi cement spent over Ksh6.04 billion to purchase electricity and other sources of energy for production. 

    Their decision to install solar systems comes just months after East Africa Breweries Plc (EABL) announced a Ksh22 billion investment plan for renewable energy.

    File photo of installer fixing solar panels in one of the mega projects in Kenya

    File photo of installer fixing solar panels in one of the mega projects in Kenya


    With all the craze and rush to acquire solar panels which is considered green and sustainable, most homeowners and companies end up making costly mistakes.

    Failing to Consider Structural Design of the Roof

    The design of the roof is very essential in installing a solar panel. Before purchasing the panels, it is advised for one to check if the roof can comfortably support their weight. 

    It is difficult to install solar panels on a room roof that has swamp coolers, chimneys, and air vents. Also placing panels near them is not advised at all.

    If the roof is fitted with cement roof which tends to brittle it is advised to go for racking as installing solar panels in most cases them to crack.

    Picking the wrong sizes of the solar panels

    Most households have fallen victim to this mistake where they end up picking panels of the wrong size. This is a critical part of the entire process.

    For one to get proper sizes of the panel, factors such as panel orientation, the voltage settings of the system’s inverter, and natural efficient declines need to be considered.

    This is essential as any little mistake at this process may end up destroyed and even some of the hardware used in the installation.

    At this point, a homeowner or a company is usually advised to work with an expert or a verified solar installation service provider.

    Buying Cheapest Solar Panels 

    Most homeowners lose money at this juncture. This is informed by their need to save on utility bills.

    But for one to get quality and durable solar panels, they have to be willing to purchase the best durable brands. Most low cost panels end up requiring system replacements and even some end up breaking down completely.

    Professional solar panel contractors usually point at the ideals one with affordable and reasonable prices.

    “Cheap is also expensive. Don’t go for cheap panels as in most cases end up breaking, developing faults and other problems that require expensive replacement costs,” a solar panel installer told

    Settling on One Quotation

    Just like building a house, setting up a solar panel requires a homeowner or a company to compare several quotations before deciding which contractor to buy from. The same applies to installation services.

    One is advised to shop around and later do research accompanied with proper evaluation before deciding on which to pick.

    “Just like buying a suit for the first time, one does not just buy from the first shop. In most cases people go out for window shopping before eventually getting one. The same strategy should also be applied while going out to purchase the units.”

    Placing Panels Away From the Sun

    Most people try as much as possible to hide their panels from public view. In the process, they end up making the biggest mistake, placing them away from the sun.

    The appropriate location to place a panel is away from shadows. An installer helps identify the proper location for the unit.

    Choosing DIY Methods

    DIY is short for Do It Yourself – choosing to do a task yourself with no direct help from an expert. 

    Most people in recent times are embracing DIY projects but for installing solar panels this is not much advised. 

    DIY is not advised unless one establishes the size of units required, how much roof support is required and is ideal, how the wiring be done and what is the perfect location to place the panels.

    Converting to solar panels energy is beneficial and also environment friendly. But simple mistakes may end up undermining the entire investment.

    The maintenance of the units includes proper cleanliness of the units and free of any form of defects. Also ensuring all parts are not corroded is essential.

    Other maintenance practices include ensuring the panels are vents are free of debris, various switches have no defects, and also ensuring the wiring system is not damaged at all.

    File photo of solar panels installed on top of house

    File photo of solar panels installed on top of the house


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