(NC) Rising energy bills and an increased focus on the environment have led many homeowners to consider solar power. But harnessing the power of the sun requires some planning and professional help.

Solar energy and energy storage systems (ESS) come with some daunting considerations, including overcurrent protection, disconnecting means, wiring methods, grounding, etc. These are all better left for the professionals to manage.

Home-building expert Michael Holmes Jr. and the Electrical Safety Authority share a few tips on how to leverage solar energy and energy storage systems.

Installation and maintenance. Knowing where to place your solar panels, correctly wiring them both inside and outside the home and ensuring you are receiving the correct amount of energy can be complicated. Hiring a Licensed Electrical Contractor (LEC) can guarantee you are getting the most out of your systems. Beware of advertisements for installations of solar panels from unlicensed contractors, which are often accompanied by the promise of cheaper or low-cost work.

Benefits of ESS and solar power. Solar and ESS systems can have a major impact on electricity bills by storing low-cost energy to use during peak hours. Both systems can provide peace of mind, as they can provide power during times of disruption, such as blackouts or other power failures. While both systems can increase reliability and offset costs, they can also work to reduce environmental impact. By lessening dependence on traditional power, greenhouse gas emissions can be decreased.

Connecting to the grid. Typically, ESS and solar power systems do not operate as stand-alone power sources. They often work in parallel with utility supplies, which in turn have many safety implications. When switching to solar energy, be sure to hire an LEC who can help you navigate these nuances, take out the proper notifications, ensure a safe and diligent installation and provide you with an ESA certificate.

Switching to solar energy is not the right time for a DIY project, always do your research and consult with professionals. Learn more at esasafe.com.