Until recently, solar roofing was an option only available to the wealthy. Recent developments and financing options have made solar roofing systems much more feasible for business owners and even homeowners. A major reason for their popularity is its ability to save money on electricity bills. It is a roof that literally pays for itself over time.
New technology has been able to decrease the cost of solar panels by 51%. The total cost of a photovoltaic (PV) solar system by 46%. This decrease in price combined with new financing options that further decrease upfront costs is giving homeowners and business owners the opportunity to take advantage of a solar roof. 2010 saw a doubling in solar roof installations and 2011 saw another doubling. There are currently enough solar panels in the US to power almost a million American households.
A challenge for contractors
The sudden growth in popularity of solar roofs presents a challenge for contractors. Because the demand spiked so sharply, contractors have had little time to prepare to meet the demand. Also, solar roofs present new problems to contractors. For example, the installation of solar panels causes more roof penetrations. Contractors need to be up to date on flashing and waterproof code and know how to properly use flashing and sealants when installing a solar panel roof.
Considerations for homeowners
Despite the growing trend, solar roofs aren’t for everybody. There are a number of considerations home and business owners need to make. First of all, the roof needs to be south facing. Second, the roof should also be at an angle between 10 and 20%. Another consideration not as important is the amount of shade on the roof. A roof overshadowed by trees would be a poor choice for solar panels unless the trees are removed or cut back.
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