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Alex Graham asked:

Feb 17, 2014
Should I install solar panels on my new home?
We live in Atlanta, and have just started construction on a new custom home. Once finished, we don't plan to move for quite a long time.
Mar 12, 2014

Alex,  

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

Jeff Shaw of Gulf South Solar PRO answered:

Feb 18, 2014

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/

Feb 18, 2014

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.

Good luck!

Apr 17, 2014

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

Feb 18, 2014

Solar panels are a great "green" addition to any home. That said, the roof underneath the solar panels is just as important. With an asphalt roof, the homeowner is going to be removing the solar panels to replace the asphalt roof long before the solar (PV) needs to be replaced. This wise choice would be to install a lifetime aluminum energy star rated roof and attachthe PV solar to the new metal roof. When the PV needs to be replaced or removed the roof will still be in service. In fact will last for many years beyond the life of the solar panels. On a different note, if you decide to install solar be sure you have a landing area for the snow slides coming off the panels. It is a little known problem that is just coming to light by the industry. Snow slides coming off a roof with solar can cause significant damage or injury. Be sure to address this issue with your solar contractor.

Feb 20, 2014

+1

If you can amortize it into the long term loan on the home, it is a 100% no brainer.

Yes!!

Jan 19, 2015

Alex, the region you are in is crucial and consider the cost vs time of recapitization

Robert Shaw of Solare Energy PRO answered:

Apr 28, 2014

Alex,

Solar is one of the best home improvement opportunities available to homeowners today.  The return-on-investment is over 100% (unlike most of home improvements).  See immediate cash flow savings by "zeroing-out" your energy bill.  The increase in value and decrease in time-on-market will also help when it comes time to sell.

There is still a 30% federal tax credit available, as well as other incentives depending on the state where you live.  Financing options range from cash purchase to lease/PPA.  You'll see the best rate of return on a cash purchase, though any option is usually better than the price you pay for utilities.

Solare Energy has been serving San Diego for 25 years and provides our customers with a free energy audit and rate analysis before designing a solar panel system for their homes.  This allows us to accurately size the system to your energy consumption needs and get you the best value for your investment.

Learn more at www.SolareEnergy.com or call 858-547-4300 for San Diego area solar installations.

Rob Shaw
Marketing Manager
Solare Energy, Inc.
San Diego, CA

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