do I need a main panel upgrade?

Do I need a Main Panel Upgrade? What is it?

An Electrical Panel Upgrade is a service where the existing electrical service panel is upgraded to a new one with new circuit breakers. The process of upgrading your main service panel is commonly referred to as a Main Panel Upgrade (MPU). The electrical service panel is like a switchboard for all of the electricity for the home or building. It receives the incoming power from your solar energy or utility company and distributes this power to the circuits for your internet, lights, and appliances. It is the most critical part of your home or building’s electricity. 

main panel upgrade

An MPU may be needed if the breakers in your electrical breaker box cannot handle the additional electrical load provided by a solar power system. Another reason you may need an MPU is if your home’s electrical breakers are outdated. Some older breaker boxes are dangerous and should be replaced to reduce the risk of an electrical fire in your home.

How can I tell if I need a main panel upgrade (MPU)?

When you go solar, one of the first things that will happen is that a technician will come to your home to inspect it for readiness to go solar. They will determine if your house’s main panel needs an upgrade. You may need a main panel upgrade for several reasons: 

  • An outdated electrical panel model that is no longer listed as approved by the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ)
  • Not enough space to add an additional electrical breaker
  • An MPU may be needed if the breakers in your electrical box cannot handle the extra electrical load provided by the solar power system. 
  • Will not be able to handle a higher DC input voltage that is required for the solar system size. 

Having an improper size or an outdated breaker box can be dangerous. And should be replaced to reduce the risk of an electrical fire in your home. 

commercial solar energy

A main panel upgrade will benefit you in the future

juicebox ev charger home installation

If you have a 125A or smaller electrical panel, the general rule of thumb is that if you’re looking to add solar energy with a system size larger than 7.5kW DC, the main panel upgrade may be necessary. In addition, for homeowners in California, there is an excellent chance that you will require one in the next few years. With California’s commitment to Electric Vehicles (EV), you may need to upgrade your electrical panel if you’d like to charge your EV at home. To charge your EV at home with a 220V outlet, an additional 40Amp breaker will be needed. For most older homes with an older electrical box, there may not be any room to add a breaker for the EV charger. 

No Better Time to Get a Main Panel Upgrade

electrical voltage testing

In addition, if you are looking to buy an electric vehicle or add electrical circuit breakers to your electrical panel, a main panel upgrade may be necessary. If you are a California resident or considering an EV soon, you may naturally have to upgrade your Main Electrical Panel in the future. An additional benefit of getting an MPU completed in preparation for your solar installation is that it may be eligible for the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). If your MPU cost is $2,500 and could be bundled in with the Federal Tax Credit, you could be eligible for a $650 reduction. So the total cost of your MPU would be $1,850. There is no lower cost MPU than if you were to go solar. Please note, Forme Solar is not certified to provide tax recommendations. We always advise that you speak with a tax professional to ensure eligibility and amount. 

Forme Solar can Get Your Home Solar Ready

When working with Forme Solar Electric, we will ensure that your electrical system is adequately sized and ready for solar. If you need an MPU, we will ensure that the electrical service panel we install is suitable for your new solar energy system. Our focus is to ensure that you have a solar energy system that will last for years to come. 

Your new Forme Solar Electrical electrical panel and solar energy system are done with quality and correctly wired thanks to our 25-Year Equipment, Production, and Performance Guarantees. 

Forme Solar Electric guarantees that your solar energy system will meet the promised production amount for 25 years. We are so confident that we will pay you for any shortfalls due to our installation or equipment. 

Solar Panels Installed with Quality in Mind. We make the switch to solar energy easy. Call us at 714-694-2262 or get a FREE solar quote today!