For most people, when they try any new technology, a first – and valuable – questions is, “Is it a good investment?” Or put another way, “What is the return on investment (ROI)?” Especially is you are consider spending a significant amount of money on something that is relatively new on the market – although solar technology has been around for some time, solar roofing is somewhat new – you are wise to consider if the money you sink in now will come back to you later.
With solar roofing, the first thing most people think is that they will have to cover their entire roof in solar panels. Actually the first step of a solar roofing system is to take a look at your energy bill, and then calculating how many solar panels you will need to equal the power you expend. Interestingly, most people end up with an energy surplus after installing solar panels as they tend to become more energy conscious. For an average sized house (2500 sq. feet), typically half of the roof space is needed to account for energy consumption. However, a few factors can affect the amount of panels you will need. For example, a south facing roof will typically put out more power than a north facing roof, as well as roof that are in states that receive a high level of sun every year.
Once you and your solar roofer have estimated the amount of panels you will need to cover your energy bill, you can then divide the total cost of the roof by your yearly energy bill to figure out your roof’s ROI. For example, let’s say that you spend $10,000 on your roof and your yearly energy bill is $2500. It will take four years for your solar investment be realized. In other words, after four years, your system will be making money.
However, here again, there are several other factors to consider when calculating your solar ROI. For one thing, many states offer tax credits, and even rebates for energy efficient upgrades to your home. For example, Colorado, which offers no tax credits, offers many rebates – some directly form the energy companies. A quick visit to the Solar Power Rocks website can help you figure out what you qualify for. Also, the Federal tax credit for energy efficiency is 30% of total cost, which adds additional savings.
Then setting aside the energy savings, rebates, and Federal tax credit, you also need to consider the value that solar roofing adds to your home. According to a 2011 Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) study, researchers estimated that each 1-kilowatt (kW) increase in rooftop solar system size adds $5,911 to a home’s resale value. For a system putting our 5 –kilowatt hours, that’s almost an additional $30,000! Considering you might have only paid $15,000 for the solar system, it seems the ROI needs no calculating.
While the up-front costs of a solar roofing system can be a deterrent, considering the ROI, solar roofing seems to be a pretty good bet. And according to Clean Technology, solar panels were installed on more American residential rooftops in the 3rd Quarter of 2013 than any other quarter in history, meaning that, for many people, the answer of whether or not to go solar, was a pronounced yes.
This article was brought to you by ASAP Roofing, a national leader on hail damage, weather restoration, and exception al customer service.