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Solar panels are a great long term solution for energy savings. The average time frame for recovering the initial cost of the panels and installation is about 5 years, so if you are planning on living in the home for longer than 5 years, you will begin to see a return on your investment around year 6 and beyond. Also a big bonus is that tax credits are available to homeowners on both the state and federal level for solar currently!
Hope this helps! Good luck with your new home =)
Eric Consuegra, Arocon Roofing and Construction
Solar Panels are increasing in energy generation and energy storage is getting better and better. You definitely need to make sure that your dwelling is positioned on the property to maximize benefits. While it is way down the road, make sure to investigate the implications of what happens when the day comes to replace your shingles. I would make sure you also have adequate insurance in the event the panels are damaged by hail, trees etc. and that you have a comprehensive maintenance program in place should you elect to have panels installed. You may want to check with your local building code authority and see if you are able to have solar panels on your property other than on the roof if you have enough space. Just like the VCR, solar panels are coming down in cost and going up in efficiency, so you may want to wait. If you could have many less panels in the near future, that produce more output, that may be the best choice. Here is a link of many residential applications https://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;_ylt=A0LEVzpL309ThhkA45xXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTB0YXQwZXBpBHNlYwNzYwRjb2xvA2JmMQR2dGlkA1ZJUDQxNl8x?_adv_prop=image&fr=yfp-t-745-s&sz=all&va=solar+panels+homes
Get with a local solar company and have them look at your plans. You may be building a home that cannot work with solar due to your roof pitch, orientation or shade. Let them give you a site assessment and run the financials based on your available incentives. You can look them up here: http://dsireusa.org/
The shape of your roof will definitely have an impact, but generally speaking, solar pays for itself in spades.
The other thing to consider is that solar is ideally tailored to your personal electricity requirements, which you won't know for sure until you've been in the house a few months (a year, for a complete picture). You're probably safe installing a smaller system (which is what you usually find on new construction), but you'll likely find it won't cover everything. If you decide to go forward now, just make sure the system is expandable down the line; this is one of many reasons you'll want microinverters as opposed to a string inverter.
There are options available to go solar and be completely independent of you local utility provider. However, this type of set-up (solar+storage) is much more costly than the traditional "grid-tied" system mentioned by Mr. Cook. There are significant developments in the works for the energy storage industry and speculation suggests that batteries will become more reasonably priced in the next 3-5 years or so.
Until then, many folks are opting to install a grid-tied solar panel system, which can often offset 100% of your utility bill (minus a nominal monthly interconnection fee of $5 or so). In some cases, fully offsetting your electric bill isn't possible because of shading or roof complexity. When battery storage becomes more affordable, you can add storage and truly become energy independent!
Solar shingles are expensive and unproven. I recommend Sun Power photo voltaic solar. An average home is $20,000 to $30,000 and the return on investment is 4 to 6 years on a 25 plus year system.
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