There are many benefits to using solar power over other energy sources, like gas or electricity, which is why solar energy is growing in popularity. In fact, there are enough solar panels in the United States to power over 12 million homes. Solar energy is so popular that it accounted for 1/3 of all new electric capacity installed in the year 2018.
It's well-known that solar panels can reduce energy costs, but there are many other reasons why homeowners are choosing to install solar panels on their roofs. If you're a homeowner considering solar energy for your home, it helps to know the pros and cons of solar panel installation. Understanding these factors will help you make an informed decision about the new up-and-coming energy source.
Pros of Residential Solar Panel Installation
For most homeowners, solar panels offer many benefits to their homes. Below are just some of the most commonly named benefits of installing solar panels.
The biggest benefit of solar panel installation is the financial savings. After solar panels are installed, homeowners immediately see the monetary savings. The amount homeowners save on their utility bills depends on a variety of factors, including the solar panel installation cost, energy costs in the area, and how much energy is used by the household each year. States like Massachusetts and Rhode Island receive the quickest ROI from residential solar panels.
Improve Home Value
In addition to saving money, homeowners can also expect their home values to increase once a solar panel system has been installed. A home’s value can increase as much as $20,000 to $30,000 depending on the location, the number of solar panels installed, and the square footage of the home. For homeowners who want the highest ROI when they sell, solar panels are an excellent investment.
Reduce Carbon Footprint
Climate change and an increasing interest on living green has caused many homeowners across the United States to seek ways to help preserve the environment and lower their carbon footprint. According to a recent study, California and North Carolina are the top two states leading the way in solar energy use. Studies show that installing solar panels on your roof yields the same effect as planting 150 trees.
The federal solar tax credit enables homeowners, property owners, and even business owners, to deduct 30% of the cost of installing a solar energy system from their federal taxes. This tax credit can provide thousands of dollars worth of savings for a solar panel installation.
Potential Cons of Residential Solar Panel Installation
While solar energy is clearly advantageous for a variety of reasons, most homeowners still hesitate to make the switch to solar panels. Before making a commitment to purchase a solar panel system, homeowners should be aware of the full list of potential drawbacks associated with solar energy. Understanding the potential issues can help homeowners make an educated decision on whether residential solar panels are right for them.
Solar Panels Don't Work for Every Roof Type
Solar panels are installed on roofs through structural attachments that anchor to the structural members of the home, like the rafters. The structural attachments are then flashed to prevent leakage. If you have slate or wood shingles on your roof, these attachments do not work well and solar panel installation may not be recommended.
Up-Front Costs Can Be High
The most debated factor when it comes to investing in solar panels is the initial cost of installation. Solar panel installation can range in price between $6,000 and $75,000, depending on multiple factors like the size of the panels, roof type, and the company that's installing them. DIY solar panels are almost nonexistent, so homeowners who want solar panels on their home depend on the solar panel companies in their area to have reasonable prices. Homeowners who don't have this kind of money on hand may find the cost prohibitively expensive, even with the tax write-off.
Solar Panels Increase the Cost of Roof Repair
Solar panels add a level of complexity that can make roof repairs more expensive. Homeowners who want to get their solar-paneled roof repaired must hire experienced professionals who either specialize in solar panel roofs or feel comfortable working on the project.
What’s Next? Contact an Expert
If installing solar panels on your roof sounds too intimidating, but you still want to reduce your carbon footprint and save money, try installing solar panels elsewhere on the property. Many homeowners find success installing solar panels in their yard, where they can be easily maintained and installed.
If you're a homeowner who wants solar panels installed on your roof, be sure to contact an expert to install the solar panels. If you have trouble finding an experienced roofer who works with solar panels, contact your residential roofing expert for a referral.
At Pickard Roofing, we think Design. Craft. Renew. We are experienced in all types of roofing systems- and provide the right roofing design and selective craftsmanship for renewing our customer’s assets. We invite sustainable building customers to give us a call for your free evaluation. For over 90 years Pickard Roofing Company has installed countless metal, tile, slate, TPO, EPDM, and all types of shingle roofing in the Triangle. Our services include residential, commercial, custom architectural metal fabrication, and historical renovation.