Going solar is one of the most effective ways to drive your house’s carbon footprints down. A high-performance solar panel system is a viable investment because the sun’s energy is abundant and free. Since solar panels are designed to resist the harsh elements, they can also protect your roof from the weather and enjoy an extended service life.
Any honest SunPower contractor, however, would confess that adopting solar technology wouldn’t guarantee excellent results to everyone. Without putting a lot of thought into your project, it might take forever to recoup your initial investment. Actually, you might spend more money in the long run due to periodic maintenance.
To get what you expect from your solar roof, avoid the following costly mistakes:
Underestimating Your Energy Usage
A solar panel system can only move the needle of energy cost; you should produce more than you consume. You may catch all of the sunlight your location possibly allows, but you should trim your usage in every way you could. Doing so is challenging when you don’t know how much energy you need to sustain your lifestyle in the first place.
It’s imperative to invite a qualified professional to perform a thorough energy audit of your house. The assessment can also reveal the necessary improvements you need to do in order to make your house truly energy efficient.
Misunderstanding Net Metering Benefits
Net metering is the practice where your utility only charges you for the electricity you use from the grid after consuming the energy you produce. The benefits of net metering, however, vary among states. Some don’t compensate solar-power-producing residents that much while others are more generous. Research your state’s policies regarding net metering first to manage your expectations and make an informed decision.
The amount of solar energy you can harness depends on how much sun your solar panels can catch on a regular basis. Structures and trees taller than your house can reduce the exposure of your rooftop solar panels to the sun. Let an experienced contractor evaluate your property to find the best location to install your solar roof and determine whether it’s worth installing.
Assuming That Your Roof Can Support Solar Panels
The collective weight of solar panels may be too much for an old roof. Moving forward without conducting structural modifications to your house can result in roof collapse at worst or drooping at best.
Furthermore, obtaining the necessary building permit is a must to ensure safety and code compliance. If the government learns about your solar roof installation that has no permit, you may be asked to re-do everything and face a stiff fine.
Miscalculating That You Need a New Roof
Installing a solar panel system to a roof nearing the end of its life is a disaster waiting to happen. If your aging roof is likely to be due for replacement in five years, you should consider getting a new one first before going solar. Otherwise, you would need to spend a ton of money on solar-panel removal and re-installation to replace your faulty roof.
Adopting solar technology has clear benefits, but it comes with numerous caveats. Discuss your project with a reliable contractor to determine the feasibility of your project and identify the potential pitfalls.