Five Reasons Not To Go Solar
Whenever a homeowner is faced with wanting to save money and generate cleaner electricity there are always factors that are considered prior to signing a lease or loan agreement — but the pros tend to outweigh the cons if you're an eligible candidate.
Whether it’s lowering your electric bill, helping fight climate change, or increasing the value of your home, going solar tends to be quite desirable among qualified homeowners. When we say "qualified" — that means there are many that DON’T, or solar just simply doesn’t make sense for them financially, so we’ve identified those reasons below. Read more to find out if you’re one of the lucky ones, you may not qualify, or if solar just doesn't work for you right now.
Take a look at your roof from your yard and from satellite imagery on Google maps. How much sun does your roof get? Is your roof shaded more often than not during the sun’s peak hours? Anything causing shade on your panels will affect the electricity it can generate, so your offset won’t be optimal. Unless you really feel strongly about going solar, we wouldn’t recommend removing trees if that’s what is causing the shade. Either way — sun exposure is key. If your roof receives too much shade and you still want to go solar, you may want to look for an installer that could potentially qualify you for a ground mount (if your yard receives ample sunlight).
Roof space is important when considering solar. If your roof gets a lot of sun — that’s great! Solar professionals must assess the size to ensure that enough panels can be installed and you can properly offset your current electricity production. The more space for more panels — the better it is for you and your electric bill — as well as your clean energy production. If savings are important to you, than roof space is integral here. If you can only install a few panels but are okay with not saving any money, than you can just feel better about producing cleaner electricity.
Roof Work or Replacement
Before considering solar installation, you should assess whether or not you need roof work (or roof replacement) in the near future. If so — you should either take care of the roof work/replacement first, or put your installation on hold. If you went through with the installation prior, keep in mind that you would be charged for removing the system prior to the replacement or repairs.
Conveniently, there are some solar installers that will offer roof work done "at cost", meaning two things:
1: The installer won’t benefit.
2: It will be the best price you can get — you won't be able to get a new roof at the wholesale price otherwise.
We can help you find an installer that offers this roofing option within their business model, and then it’s “game on” — complete roof work done at a reasonable price, and then complete your solar installation.
You’re Not a Homeowner
Do you own your home?
If you do, your first step to qualify for solar is already completed before factoring in electricity usage, roof space, azimuth (the direction your roof is facing) and shading. Unfortunately, if you are a renter in a multifamily home or apartment building, you can only "go solar" if your landlord agrees to install it on the entire building. If you own a condominium, the housing association would have to be open to offering solar installations — and a lot of them do, but not all, so you'd have to do some research.
Your Roof is North-Facing
When you choose to install solar, you need to make sure that your roof azimuth is positioned to optimize your offset. Ideally, your roof would be southerly-facing or at least east/west facing. Unfortunately if you have a 100% north-facing roof, your solar electricity production will be significantly less. If your roof is northeast or northwest facing, though, it’s still worth considering if you get decent sunlight.
Solar professionals can help you calculate savings based on this roof direction, as well as the roof space, shading, and electricity usage you currently have. They’ll break it down for you simply to let you know if going solar will allow you to save any money. Again, if it's only your roof that's the issue but your yard receives ample sunlight, then you may want to consider working with a company to install a ground mounth (a solar system in your yard).