I’ve Been Told My Roof Isn’t Good For Solar Power…Is That True?
Solar power and one of the biggest misconceptions about the solar industry is that a roof solely determines a home’s solar potential. Roof characteristics such as orientation, tilt, and shading are important, but technology has found a way to overcome such issues. Between high efficiency panels, new inverter technology, tilt kits for flat roofs and available space, almost any roof can be equipped with solar panels. Moving beyond the technical side, there are several different financial options available when purchasing solar panels to make less-than-optimal roofs solar power affordable.
For example, an ideal roof for most companies offering a Power Purchase Agreement would be oriented between 135 and 225 degrees with a pitch between 24 and 45 degrees and absolutely no shading. Most likely, if your roof characteristics are outside these parameters, you may have been told your home is no good for solar. The third party ownership business model requires the solar array to be within these parameters to give the company a guaranteed return on investment. As the roof parameters become less ideal, the roof becomes less efficient and therefore less profitable for the company.
Luckily, solar technology and solar power system ownership have found ways to compensate for a roof with “less than ideal” qualifications. These problems can be solved with greater efficiency panels, additional panels, or various types of inverters. Alternatively, many homeowners look to extra land as an option to put solar panels on a ground mount (instead of the roof) and increase solar production. Essentially, if you own the panels yourself they can be installed wherever you’d like. While a South facing roof will produce solar energy year round, even roofs that face North will harness the vast majority of solar energy in the spring, summer, and fall months. In fact, in the Northeast US, only about 10% of the average home’s annual solar electricity production is harnessed between December and March.
Beyond the technical advances made in the last decade, there are also many financing options available to make solar more affordable for a broader range of people. Most people who plan on staying in their homes long-term have more flexibility to earn a return on their solar investment. In short, a perfect roof would produce the fastest return on your investment; however it is not necessary to have a perfect roof if you plan on owning the system for several years. It is nonetheless a great financial investment for your home whether the payback is 5 or 10 years, given the fact that today’s panels will last for 30-40 years.
Ultimately, roof qualifications are important to a home’s solar potential, but it is not the sole factor. If you have been told that your home is not fit for solar, try again with RevoluSun, and we will work with you to determine how much our solar solutions could save you.