Is My House Good Candidate For Solar Panels?

Is My House Good Candidate For Solar Panels

If you are considering converting to solar power, you undoubtedly have many questions. Some of the most common questions people in your position ask include whether their property’s roof is suitable for solar panels, whether solar energy will generate sufficient electricity to power their home, and whether solar power is really cost-effective.

Let’s help you to get answers to these questions, and a few others.

Solar panels and your roof

The pitch, age, and direction of your roof should all be taken into account when deciding whether or not you should install solar panels. Rooftop solar works best with roofs that face west or south although it can work fine on east or west-facing roofs.

The pitch of your roof should be around 30 degrees and there should be no obstructions like chimneys and skylights. There should not be shadows from, for example, other buildings or trees obstructing the sunlight.

You also need to determine whether your roof is large enough. Google’s Project Sunroof is a good website to help you figure this out.

Finally, solar panels give the best performance on durable, strong roofing materials such as asphalt shingle, standing seam metal, or concrete tile. If you have a slate tile, wood shake, clay with mortar, stone coat-ed/composite metal roof your best option is to first consult a solar professional who is experienced in in-stalling solar panels on those kinds of roofs.

How much are you currently paying for energy?

The biggest point of installing solar panels is to save money. If in your region, electricity is extremely cheap it’s unlikely that installing solar panels will save you money. As a general rule, the higher your electricity bill, the better a candidate your home is for solar panels. A utility bill of around $75 is often regarded as the threshold.

How you intend to finance going solar

Solar panels can be paid cash on installation, via a loan, or a zero-down lease. While a cash purchase will require the biggest initial outlay, it will most likely in the long run be the cheapest. All forms of credit involve interest. The monthly repayments also mean that it will take longer to realize any kind of saving on your monthly expenses.

What is your local climate like?

A popular misconception is that you have to live in a sunny, warm region like California or Florida to justify installing solar panels. The truth is that New Jersey, New York, and Massachusetts are among the top 10 states when it comes to new solar installations. And Germany, which receives no more sunlight than Alas-ka, is the world’s leader in solar panel installations.

The fact is that high-efficiency solar panels can convert both direct and indirect sunlight to electricity. This means they work well on sunny days, and also on cloudy days.

It is, therefore, possible to generate solar energy in all types of extreme climates, from hot regions such as California to rainy areas like Seattle. Use a solar suitability checker tool to help you understand how the climate will affect your home’s suitability for solar panels.

Investigate incentives in your area

The switch to solar power is often made a lot easier because of the various rebates and incentives home-owners get from local, state, and federal entities.

The federal government, for example, currently offers a federal solar tax credit to home-owners who want to install solar panels. In 2020 this is still equal to 26 percent of the total cost, but in 2021 it will be reduced to 22 percent before it’s phased out the next year. Note that this is not a refund, but a tax rebate.

Local authorities and states also often offer rebates on solar panel installations.

The bottom line

Taking into account all these factors might seem a bit daunting. What makes it even more complicated is that every house is different. No need to panic. Contact us for a consultation, and we will do the math with you and help you to make the right decision.



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