You’ve decided to take the plunge by going solar. Good for you! Meanwhile, you can explore the New Jersey Solar Initiative’s page to learn more about various incentives you can tap into to save money on your solar upgrade.
Well then, is your property a suitable candidate for solar power generation? While solar panels are a viable investment, they’re more suitable for some homes. Let’s delve into the details by addressing the various variables that could impact your decision.
1. Local Climate
Sure, solar panels may be great for people living in areas with abundant sunshine, like the Southwest, but they can still work effectively in snowy climates. Solar cells typically sport an anti-icing layer that prevents them from losing efficiency in cold temperatures. But since sunlight is less frequent during winter, the panels may not perform as well compared to warmer climates.
Not sure whether your local climate is suitable for solar? Use a solar checker tool to put the matter to bed – such tools help you figure out the climate’s impact on your solar system. Alternatively, consult a solar expert in your area for guidance; they can provide projections of total energy output and expected savings and help you decide.
And if severe weather is a concern, but you’re still bent on going solar, consider investing in microinverters. These maximize energy production by allowing individual modules within the system to operate independently. Also, go for rugged panels that can withstand harsh weather, and keep an eye on the warranty – some offer coverage for up to 25 years.
2. Roof Orientation And Condition
Solar panels are a long-term investment, and your roof needs to be up to the task. Before investing in solar, inspect your roof to ensure it’s in great condition. Check for signs of damage, like missing or cracked shingles, and get them repaired. The last thing you want is to tinker with your solar panels because the roof leaks.
Also, the angle and orientation of the roof can make a difference – in terms of solar efficiency. Hence, the amount of shade your roof receives matters. The more direct sunlight your panels get, the more electricity they can produce.
In this regard, a south-facing roof is ideal for solar panel placement, especially if you live in the northern hemisphere. Why? Such roofs are sunnier than north-facing ones, allowing the former to produce more power during late afternoons and early evenings when electricity consumption is at its peak.
Google’s Project Sunroof is a suitability checker you can employ to analyze your roof’s shape and area’s weather pattern. In so doing, you can estimate how much solar energy your roof can absorb.
3. Type Of Roof
Consider your roof’s size and weight-bearing capacity before investing in solar. Generally, solar panels require a strong substructure, so a weak and aging roof might not handle the extra weight.
Therefore, the panels are perfect for sturdy and spacious roofs typically made of metal or concrete tile, which can handle an array of solar panels. Even so, ensure you hire a professional solar installer to mount your panels properly to reduce the risk of leakage.
Besides that, be mindful of the roof’s color – light-colored roofs reflect sunlight, reducing the panel’s efficiency. Conversely, darker colors absorb more direct light and are ideal for solar panels.
3. Electricity Cost And Incentives
While electricity is cheap in some areas, some homeowners still incur huge bills due to price swings. Solar panels can help reduce your electricity costs and generate long-term savings if you fall in the latter category. To estimate your energy savings by going solar, use an online calculator – the New Jersey Solar Initiative offers such a tool.
Incentives can also be a key variable when deciding if solar is the right choice for your home. Tax credits and other incentives could make going solar easier on your wallet.
Check with your local and state authorities to determine if you qualify for such incentives. While at it, find out whether the installers in your area offer financing plans so you can spread out the installation cost. Who knows, you might get a great deal you can’t refuse. For instance, a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) lets you buy electricity from a solar system installed on your property without shelling out money for the installation.
4. Property Layout & Zoning Regulations
If you have trees around your home, they’ll cast shadows on the panels, reducing their efficiency. Along the same lines, nearby buildings can obstruct sunlight. Therefore, ensure the layout of your property won’t interfere with energy production.
Also, review the local zoning regulations before installing a solar system. These laws can be complex and vary from one area to another. For instance, they may set restrictions on panel size and placement, so it helps to get acquainted with them before installation.
These variables can help you establish whether to go solar. Consider each and use the relevant tools and resources to decide the way forward. In so doing, you can tap the full potential of solar energy and join the ranks of homeowners who have reduced their electricity costs with this renewable power source.