If you’re thinking about going solar, you’re probably wondering: Is solar cost-effective? Is my roof suitable for solar panels? Will solar energy generate enough electricity to power my home? Who makes the best solar panels? But first, it's important to explore if solar panels for your home make sense. Here are some key questions to ask yourself if you are interested in buying or leasing a solar energy system to make sure your home is best suited for making power with solar panels.
Do I Have the Right Roof? The proper installation of solar panels will depend on the type of roof you have. The ideal roof materials are composite, asphalt type shingles, tiles made of concrete or a metal roof. You can still have solar panels installed if you have other materials like tile, wood, or clay, as long as they’re sturdy. It is also important to consider the amount of sunlight you get per day. South, east or west-facing roofs are the most desirable. The roof should also be free of any obstructions such as vents, antennas, chimneys, or even wooded areas in the parts where your panels are being installed.
Will it Help Save Money? Having solar panels installed won’t necessarily mean you don’t have to pay an energy bill, but it will certainly lower your monthly costs. Typically, solar panels will decrease your energy bill, but you are also eligible for a tax deduction. The federal solar tax credit, also known as the investment tax credit, allows you to deduct 26 percent of the cost of installing a solar energy system from your federal taxes.
How Many Panels Will I Need? The square feet of suitable roof space you need to install solar panels will vary by the size of the solar system you need. This, in turn, will vary with the amount of power you consume and the utility company. You can work out how many solar panels you need for your home using a solar panel calculator.
What if my Roof isn’t right for Solar Panels? There are other solar options available if your roof isn’t ideal for installing a solar panel system, including:
Installing a ground-mounted solar panel system elsewhere on your property
Building a solar panel carport to simultaneously power your house and provide shade for your car
Invest in a share of a solar garden, which offers you the benefits of rooftop solar panels sourced from a large solar panel array in your community
All of this could sum up to a great choice for the environment and an even better choice for your wallet!