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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.
Here's the scoop:
It all depends on your usage and how much room you have for panels, but we routinely knock out 100% of our clients' electricity bills.
However, the system will almost certainly be what we call "grid-tied", meaning that you will still be connected to your utility. This is important as solar tends not to work so well at night. So what will happen is you will produce more during the day than you need, pouring the extra power back into your utility and running up a credit, essentially using the utility like a "power bank". You then pull power from the "bank" at night. Note that this may happen on a daily level, or over the year, with your system producing a net surplus some months, and using that surplus in months where production is less.
The upshot is that, while your net consumption of power from your utility over the year may be zero (or close to zero), you will still "need...power from your local power company" in order to compensate for variances in solar production.
In addition, different financing methods may work best with different production goals, due to the way your utility prices the power you use, i.e. in a tier structure, versus how your solar is financed. This is a bit more complicated, but I'd be happy to walk you through it if you want to give me a call - John Cook, (888) 603-4255.
I hope that wasn't too technical or convoluted, but I wanted to make sure you had the facts. Good luck!
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