Solar Rooftop Panels Or Community Solar

Solar Rooftop Panels Or Community Solar

Which Solution Is Best For You?

If your goal is to help the environment, utilizing a clean energy source like solar energy is a good idea. Whether it is solar rooftop panels or shared community solar, they both have a significant impact on our planet. Generating energy from renewable sources like solar instead of fossil fuels can help us enjoy cleaner water, reduce hazardous waste and improve air pollution which is a major contributor to global warming.

The question we’re going to answer is which solar solution can benefit you the most. Some people cannot take advantage of solar panels because of a variety of reasons. If you don’t own your home, your roof doesn’t have enough sun exposure, or the cost is too prohibitive – you can still take advantage of community solar programs.

Many people are not aware that even if they rent their home, they can still get benefits from solar power. In fact, with Community solar programs, you don’t even need a roof. If you pay a utility bill, you qualify. It gives you savings on your electric bill each month without making any upfront investment.

Is It Sunny Where You Live?

If you live in a state like Florida that gets more sunshine than others, it might be to your greatest advantage to put solar panels on your rooftop. With more sun, comes more solar generated energy and thus more savings in terms of electricity. Even though the upfront costs may be substantial, the increased sunlight enables you to recoup your costs quicker. But, if you live in a state like Maryland, it may take longer to recover the initial costs.

Can Solar Panels Be Installed On Your Roof?

While solar can be safely installed on most homes, some rooftops are less effective than others. If you have a south facing, broad area on your roof, this is the most effective. Shaded rooftops can be less than optimal. Shade can be the result of nearby buildings, your own chimney, or from trees that surround your house.

One other consideration is the age of your roof. Since solar panels can last for 25+ years, you want to make sure your roof has some longevity. The last thing you want to do is install a new solar panel system and then have your roof replaced shortly thereafter.

Do Your Research

A good solar company can help you with these decisions, however, this is a big investment so you should research as much as possible yourself. A good source is this online estimator from Google Project Sunroof. This will let you visualize your roof’s surface and tell you the average costs, what to expect in savings and how many years until your recoup your investment.

Some people just don’t like the look of panels attached to their roof. In this case, you could inquire about a free-standing solar unit or look for a shared solar program in your area. Even though a solar panel system may add to the value of your home, if you plan on selling your home soon – it may not be the way to go.