Photovoltaic installation guide: everything you need to know

The installation of a photovoltaic system is a profitable investment that allows you to benefit from lighter bills and contribute to the production of clean energy.

In fact, on average, you can reduce your electricity consumption by 30% thanks to self-consumption, or by drawing electricity directly from the system instead of from the electricity grid. This percentage rises on average up to 70% if an energy storage battery is also combined with the system.

How much is the savings from self-consumption worth in economic terms?
Using the prices published by Arera for the domestic user protection service valid for the third quarter of 2022 we obtain savings on the bill thanks to self-consumption of € 325 per year, savings which rises to € 750/year in the case of the installation of a storage battery1 .

Before proceeding with the installation of photovoltaic solar panels, it is good to think about the energy needs of your home. Having clear your annual consumption, it is easier to choose the modules that suit your needs and calculate the payback times.

1 Values ​​calculated considering the Arera variable prices for the third quarter of 2022, in relation to a domestic residential customer with 3 kW of power committed and annual consumption of 3,000 kWh .

Procedure for installing the photovoltaic system

To request the installation of the photovoltaic system, it is necessary to follow three steps:

  • verification
  • realization of the project
  • request for authorization

First of all, the specialized technician carries out an inspection to verify the feasibility of the system and evaluate the characteristics of your home, such as the presence of constraints or exposure to the sun of the place where the panels will be installed. If the assessments are successful, the technical consultant carries out the plant project taking into consideration the number of people who live there, consumption habits and the availability of spending. Once the project is completed, with the assistance of the supplier company, the request for authorization or communication to the competent bodies must be made:

  • if the building on which the system is to be installed does not fall within an area subject to constraints (environmental, historical, artistic, landscape, etc.), the panels can be installed without the authorization, but subject to notification to the network operator through the Single Model.
  • If, on the other hand, the property falls into an area subject to restrictions, it will be necessary to have the landscape clearance from the competent authorities in the area and request an ordinary or simplified authorization, as in the case of other building interventions.

Installation of photovoltaics in a condominium

Lately the state has also tried to facilitate all those people interested in installing a photovoltaic system who live in condominiums or condominium complexes. The Condominium Reform, in fact, allows the installation of photovoltaic panels in the apartment, allowing all residents to reduce their common expenses for electricity.

Specifically, there are two types of photovoltaics for condominiums: private use and centralized use.

In the first case, for private use, the procedure is very simple and fast. Once the prior communication has been made to the Municipality to start the work, the panels can be placed on the properties of the individual tenant. The approval of the condominium assembly is not required. Only if the photovoltaic for private use is installed on a common part of the condominium, then it is necessary to call an assembly to inform all the condominiums and evaluate the feasibility of the work. However, the works cannot be prevented by the contrary opinion of the condominiums.

In the case of centralized use, the procedure is more complex and involves the obligation to convene a condominium assembly to have the consent of at least half of the condominiums. If you proceed with the installation, the costs are shared among those who voted in favor. While those against are not required to bear the costs and do not enjoy the benefits associated with the photovoltaic system.

Characteristics of the photovoltaic system

If you want to get the maximum savings from solar photovoltaics, it is important to think about your consumption habits and concentrate your electricity consumption during sunny hours. Once we have identified the time of day in which we use appliances the most, we can make the peak of consumption coincide with that of production. For example, there are already many appliances that have a feature that allows you to program their use. You could therefore think, for example, of loading the washing machine or dishwasher, and programming it to start during the day at maximum solar radiation. In this way, the energy produced by the panels will be immediately used for our needs, maximizing the economic benefit.
There is also the possibility of connecting storage batteries to the photovoltaic system, which allow you to use the energy produced by the system and not consumed in real time, during the night or in general. when the plant does not produce energy.

Dimensions and positioning of the photovoltaic system

Contrary to popular belief, the photovoltaic system can be installed anywhere: roofs, balconies, facades and even on the ground. The yield of the system varies depending on the inclination of the modules, their orientation and the presence or absence of shaded areas. A southward orientation and an inclination of about 30 degrees of the panels is optimal, in doing so you are sure to obtain the maximum production of kWh.

Another factor to keep in mind is the size of the modules, in fact, if too big you risk incurring excessive costs, on the contrary if too small, the energy requirement will not be fulfilled. In general, the optimal sizing is the one that guarantees the best relationship between annual production of the plant and average self-consumption of the user.

Installation costs of the photovoltaic system

Today, having solar panels doesn't mean spending big bucks. In fact, in recent years the costs for a photovoltaic system have decreased significantly, in the face of better performance. In addition, the expense can be recovered in a short time, from the first years of use.

The costs for a photovoltaic system vary according to some factors, such as the installation method, the size of the system, the components purchased and the distance between the system and the connection point to the electricity grid.

There are, however, some standard costs to be incurred to have an efficient photovoltaic system:

  • costs for inspections to verify the feasibility of the works and find the solution that best suits your consumption needs and the characteristics of your home;
  • price of modules which depends on the size and material used;
  • administrative costs for the design of the system and the necessary authorizations that require the involvement of the bodies in charge, only where required.

Incentives for the installation of photovoltaics

More and more families are installing photovoltaic panels in their homes, encouraged by state incentives that allow them to return on spending in a short time.

Precisely in order to encourage the adoption of photovoltaics, the legislator has provided a series of benefits for those who decide to install them in their home:

  1. Tax deduction/credit transfer/discount1: you can take advantage of these incentives with the restructuring bonus1 (until 31 December 2024) thanks to which you can recover half of the cost of the photovoltaic system in the form of tax deductions (from Irpef) in the ten years following installation. The actual cost of the system is halved and it is also possible to take advantage of a reduced VAT rate of 10%.
  2. Superbonus 110%2 (until 31 December 2023 for expenses incurred by 31 December 2023). To access the 110% super bonus for the installation of photovoltaics, it is necessary to carry out other energy efficiency work on the house to improve the APE energy certification of the building by at least two energy classes.
  3. On-site exchange3: it is a service provided by GSE (Gestore Servizi Energetici, a joint-stock company wholly owned by the ministry of economy and finance) which uses all the energy injected by the user into the electricity grid. In this case, the electrical system is used as if it were a tool for the virtual storage of the electricity produced but not at the same time self-consumed by the user. Necessary condition for the provision of the service is the presence of plants for consumption and for the production of electricity underlying a single connection point with the public grid. The user who accesses the service will continue to receive the electricity bill from their supplier for all consumption withdrawn from the public network, without any changes to the contractual conditions. Therefore, it will only pay for the energy it has withdrawn from the grid when the system is not in operation (for example at night).

This mechanism will still be accessible on new connections completed by 2022 and will remain in place until the end of 2024. As of today, October 2022, it has not yet been established by the state what will happen after these dates, although it is likely that there will be other forms of remuneration (for example the energy communities) or the dedicated collection.

For more details on the operation and access of the exchange on the spot see the article dealing with the savings related to photovoltaic.

1 pursuant to art. 16-bis of Presidential Decree 917/86
2 pursuant to Article 119 of Legislative Decree no. 34/2020
3 governed by Resolution 570/2012 / R / efr AEEGSI

Why is it convenient to install photovoltaics?

There are several advantages you can benefit from by installing a photovoltaic system in your home:

  • installation on the roof, balcony, facade or ground;
  • significant reduction in the price of panels in the face of greater efficiency;
  • savings on bills thanks to self-consumption: possibility to consume the electricity produced by the photovoltaic system on site;
  • amortization of the expenses incurred in a few years;
  • tax deductions of 50% or 110%;
  • access to the economic benefits of on-site exchange;
  • production of clean energy.

Enel X photovoltaics

With the Enel X solution we guarantee the installation of a photovoltaic system insured for at least 10 years. The offer also includes the inspection, design and installation of your system, in addition to the management of administrative and fiscal practices regarding the deduction. So you buy your photovoltaic without worries.

And if you are an Enel Energia customer, by purchasing the Enel X products immediately receive WOW points! in the free loyalty program ENELPREMIA WOW!, which you can spend on a catalog full of prizes and bonuses on your bill. In addition, you will be able to choose advantageous discount coupons every week to use at partner companies.

What are you waiting for? For further information on the feasibility of the works and the optimal size of the panels request a consultation for photovoltaic installation.