Want Solar Panels on Your Roof? Here’s What You Need to Know

Solar energy is becoming mainstream energy source. This is backed by government policy on clean energy sources. The industry is benefitting from tax incentives hence reduction in prices. The craze of mainstream contribution to consumer solar power poses a challenge. Everybody now knows something about solar and that is a challenge. Getting the right information before committing to solar should be a first step for any person thinking about it. Putting solar panels on your roof costs as much as a car, but the cohort of experienced buyers is far, far smaller. Trust when I say that the number of customers who have a lifetime experience on solar system through its full lifecycle is even more limited.

Point to note here is that, the stakes on solar installation are high. Remember this is going on your roof, after all. “This is a big one. This is one where you can’t say, ‘well, if I make a mistake, the next time I’ll know better,’” says Jane Weissman, the president and CEO of the non-profit Interstate Renewable Energy Council, who we always countercheck before enlisting the resources and guidelines for your rooftop solar installation project.

Basing on statistics, which we always do, the cost of solar panels has kept falling in the past decade and the number of installations kept rising. Being solar experts, xxx can walk you through the planning phase, give detailed information on what to look out for when buying solar. When inform you on installation prepared ness and a firm selection criteria for the installation. We have a list of the most important questions to consider before making the jump to solar energy.

Hey! Do you have a roof that can support solar panels?

The key is here. Sight the position of your roof to find out if they are covered with a shade in the duration of day. If your roof is covered in shade most of the day throughout the year, it is not favourable enough as the “solar window” might be small to even think of justifying the costs of panels. That’s a key point you’ll want to make keen assessment before you move forward. If your rooftop solar idea and the real scenario won’t cut it, or considering you can’t make the call due to a rented apartment with a multi-unit building, you can’t give up on solar power. We have a solution for you. Consider installing shared or community solar. This approach allows many customers to buy a stake in a solar installation and benefit by receiving credits on their electricity bills.

In cases where the rooftop is well lit, Weissman says, ensure it’s in good condition structurally. You can call up an engineer friend to help with assessing the roof. Note that solar installations these days should come with warranties drilling into 20 or 25 years of your solar life. When you notice that the roof might need a renovation within a few years down the solar life, it’ll be easier to take care of that before the array goes up. In that way, you reduce extra cost of removing and reinstalling and you save on time.  Hey! While you’re at it, make sure you won’t run afoul of any homeowners’ association covenants that ban rooftop solar for aesthetic reasons.

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Lastly, have a vision for a good number of year ahead of the state of your yard. Considering that the rooftop is unobstructed now, and that some renegade squad of leafy oaks around your property are growing fast, you might run in to trouble a few years down the road. Huh! Prune your foliage to keep the panels clear.

Have you exhausted the checklist of avenues you use to improve efficiency?

Solar power watts hours that you need for your home depends on how energy is used up in your home. Of course, it makes sense to trim your usage as much as possible before paying for all those panels. Clean energy is a lifestyle. Preference is that you start with a comprehensive home energy audit and equip efficiency upgrades then draw up blueprints. Cities, suburbs, industrial parks are changing fast. Keep up with the Academic Companion Daily newsletter. That is the best way to follow issues that will care for you. Subscribe.

Have you considered which kind of solar makes sense?

There are two dominant solar technologies that you can pick. The options includes photovoltaic approach where arrays of cells are used to turn sunlight into electricity, and thermal, where sunlight is used to heat water or air for use inside. In case your home uses a lot of energy for heating, or whereas you live somewhere where the cost of heating fuel is expensive compared to electricity, a solar thermal investment will work for you. Breaking even is close by. I know that.


How do you connect to the grid?

The approach vary based on where you live, but the engineers know that the logistics that go into such assessment and installation is substantive. Consider whether you will have to pay a fee. How long will it take for hooking up the utility? Eureka! And ones connected, have you determined how and when you will be credited for the electricity you generate?

Technically, the last concern is referred to net-metering. It is a vital practice by which utilities reimburse rooftop solar using the same rate that they charge their clients for electricity. This is politically fraught territory. Keep up with the academic companion Daily newsletter. That is the best way to follow issues that will care for you.


Make conscience considerations. Is your installer trustworthy?

Because solar system will be installed in your home, this question is relevant. It will apply any time you hire someone to come into your home. It’s a trade-off between improving your home and the risk of electrical installation. As a rule of thumb, the installer should have credentials and references. “You wouldn’t hire an electrician who had never done electrical work to come into your house and change things around,” says Kelly Larson, who happens to be one of the highly sought for electrical contractor in California having a track record running 20 years of solar installations. I would advise that you look for accreditation from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). Oops! This one is a big expense, so don’t panic or fall for fear as you can benefit from a few different quotation before you ink a contract.

roof solar example with stable roof

From experience, it is a hard call to make, it’s harder to predict, yet, ideally, you want a company that sticks around for the solar life of your installation. Solar panels need little maintenance, they self-clean, some solar track, and are important for your life. Still, in the event that anything does stop working during the warranty period, you don’t want to realize that the installer you used is no longer around to make a fix.

Lease or buy?

As a household, run a cost-benefit evaluation. By buying your own system costs will be higher upfront. Wait for it, it pays bigger dividends with time. By leasing your solar energy, you access cheaper electricity with little. You can also lease. The company which owns the system who issues an invoice. The downside is that they make take away the system and you miss out on cheap energy. It is easy to see that when you own the system, it will keep working for you during its solar life including after it pays off the initial cost. Make comparison of the total lifecycle cost of the lease and weigh the savings against the benefits you would get from ownership.


In your financial analysis, keep in mind that the panels can function for decades, Wilhelm says, but other electronic equipment in the system, like the power inverter, has a shorter lifespan. Don’t forget to factor in replacements for those other system components when budgeting the cost of the project. The cost of solar is dropping across the nation. To see prices, keep up with the academic companion Daily newsletter for current cost. That is the best way to follow issues that will care for you.

How much has the price of solar for residential dropped in recent years?

This is for optimists. The cost of solar when reading from statistics for the past decade shows a decline in prices for solar panels in UK, US, Europe and Australia. The drop in installation cost has dropped by more than 70 percent. The residential cost specifically dropped by a 5 percent margin. Hey! There is no need to continue questioning whether solar has reduced because the energy has evolved from a simple energy alternative and now almost being mainstream as home upgrade for millions of Americans is going on. Play your part. Choose to install solar now. That will be the smartest decision you make in this age.


What is the difference between solar for business and solar for home use?

When a solar project is considered for commercialization within a town, then energy levels are a key focus. Scaling and cost are parameters to consider when seeking to answer the difference. The residence solar is designed with size consistency (say 5 kilowatts on average). In that regard, the size considered is thus small and fit right into the rooftop solar panel installation. For commercial solar, the investment is huge and requires collective bargain and group investment to realize. A space for installation of solar panels might be required.

large scale solar installation

What do residential solar panel systems typically cost?

The state one resides in and the size of installation one is considering is essential in answering this concern. Data is a great place to start. You might not need a data scientist though for a rooftop solar installation. To make sense of the cost of solar, sizes are mentioned in terms of dollars per watt and it is an indication of how many dollars solar will cost per watt on the available production. For the year 2019, homeowners are paying up $2.8/w. while in 2008, the cost was at $8/w for a system rated as 6 kW. In 2019, tax credit attracted by such a system is $17,900 and its rebates. For more of taxes consider reading response to question 12.

reducing cost of solar

How long does a residential solar system take to install?

Once one has an agreement with an electrician/installer, and the site visits have been accomplished, actual installation of the solar home system takes up only a few day to setup and launch. For exactitude, the time will be dictated by issues like net metering consideration, which requires additional time to setup properly. Laying the solar panels take up quite some time of the overall time required to install the solar system. One the rooftop panels have been laid, the wiring of the system takes a very short time. It is even shorter when home wiring is integrated with the already existing system.


Can you get a solar panel system for your home if your roof doesn’t qualify?

Maybe one of the most invigorating ideas of the private solar installation is the rundown of alternatives for property holders who need to go solar yet don’t have an appropriate rooftop. Ground mount solar establishments and network solar gardens are two normal approaches to access power from the sun without really introducing anything on your rooftop. Largescale community solar includes interfacing with individuals from a gathering or your neighbourhood to share a solar system, while ground-mounted exhibits panels are a simple path to possess and introduce your very own system while bypassing any material obstacles.

What are the tax credits for residential home solar systems? Who qualifies?

Consider two simple approaches when thinking about tax credits for solar panels. For major tax credit that is associated with installation of solar panels for home, consider the federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC). Usually referred to the home solar system tax credit. To quantify, the ITC segment offers one a tax credit equal to 30 percent consideration for their total cost of the home solar system. The second alternative is considering State solar tax credits, such as New York State’s tax credit. The tax alternative cuts cost by up to 25 percent off the residential solar system.  Depending on which state you live in, the opportunity for beneficial tax breaks and solar programs could be significant. Some states and municipalities also offer other more complex options that will be case specific – do some research into SRECs and other location-specific solar rebate programs. The bottom line is, with solar everybody qualifies sought of.

largescale solar roof installation

Does solar make sense if I don’t plan on being in my home for 25 years?

You are not alone, the concern you have is a round concern for most other homeowners who are considering solar energy. One key question is, “What happens if I move after installing solar panels?” Huh! A typical solar panel system will serve you for 25 to 30 years and it will keep rising as the technology unfolds. When one perceives that they might not spend a longer time within their home, they consider the sense in which solar will help them or make sense of it. On the bright side, in real estate, a property with solar home system sells for more and faster than a home without one such system.  The housing market is filled with buyers excited by the prospect of acquiring a solar home that comes with the benefit of zero utility bills.


What percentage of your home can you power with solar electricity?

The ideal answer will be 100 percent. However, although a solar panel system can theoretically offset all of your energy use, it’s not realistic to expect that level of panel production every day of the week. Leading U.S. solar manufacturer Tesla made a recommendation that homeowners should make an adjustment by a factor of about 25 percent when calculating their target for solar panel offset. This idea was for Tesla rooftop tiles. It applies to all other panels. It is informed by the fact that solar panels cannot operate at maximum efficiency throughout the day. This might be caused by inclination angles, dirt on the solar, cloud conditions etc. There will be certain days when grid connection is necessary to fully cover your power usage. Even so, the beauty of net-metering is that you can benefit from surplus production days on end and never pay anything to your utility while still relying on the grid for backup storage.

When will your home solar system reach the “break-even point”?

This is a critical concern. Homeowners and solar optimists are very interested in calculating their solar panel payback period. Break-even point is the amount of time it takes for electric bill savings to offset the cost of solar panel installation. The exactitude on the expectation to breakeven varies across the country. On average, U.S. homeowners’ break even on their system cost is after 7 years. Figures like this illustrate why the residential sector might be the hottest in the solar industry. When solar panels are installed for home, the return on investment is high and the payback period can be very short despite the upfront cost. Play your part. Choose to install solar now. That will be the smartest decision you make in this age. To see prices, keep up with the academic companion Daily newsletter for current cost. That is the best way to follow issues that will care for you.