Going solar is one of those major decisions many homeowners are making today owing to the rising energy costs in the US. During its lifespan, using solar energy will save the household thousands of dollars in terms of saved electric bills. Of course, other benefits like tax credits are also available.
However, the initial cost of solar panel installation could be quite high. Solar installation on an existing roof will involve the process of roof inspection and possibly even reinforcing the roof to ensure that it can hold the additional weight of the solar panels. There is also the cost of other associated equipment, especially if you are thinking about backup and selling extra solar power to the grid.
That said, one way to reduce costs is to combine it with reroofing that you’re already planning on doing. Installing a solar panel system along with a new roof has a lot of benefits. We will explore this in this blog and see what are some of the key benefits of going solar when you reroof.
Why is Now a Good Time to Opt for Solar Power?
Let’s first understand why opting for solar now is a great idea. That is the starting point, isn’t it? There are of course quite a lot of aspects that are in favor of solar energy. Here are the top advantages
- Increased home values
- Lower carbon footprint
Costs are the most critical of these, and the main consideration for a lot of people. Energy costs have been going up across the country owing to various factors. Energy costs have a way of seeping into everything really soon.
Solar energy helps you reduce the dependence on the grid for your electricity needs, especially on days when the sun is shining. If you are opting for power backup along with the solar installation, it further reduces your dependence on the grid and saves you a whole lot more in the long run. There’s even the possibility of leveraging solar arbitrage to get paid for the energy you generate using solar.
Another reason to opt for solar is regarding home values. Installing solar panels ups the value of your property considerably. How much the value goes up depends on where you are and how much is the installed capacity. It’s however quite clear that home buyers are willing to pay a premium for houses already installed with solar panels.
Sustainability and reducing carbon footprint is also a serious consideration for homeowners. We are already seeing the devastating effects of climate change in various parts of the world and the US. Local, state, and federal governments are pushing for more renewable energy sources to be used. Solar energy is ideally suited for this in a residential setting. The advancement in technology has brought down solar installation and maintenance costs considerably, making it more affordable for families.
Even with concerns around NEM 3.0 coming to effect in California, there are significant benefits to opting for solar power. It saves energy costs, cuts down the dependence on non-renewable energy, and increases home values.
Why Opting for Re-roofing with Solar Panels is a Smart Idea
If you have chosen of embracing solar energy, the next step is to figure out how to install and get going. Choosing the right solar panels is indeed the first step. After this comes the question of the roof!
Any solar panel installation would involve some work on the roof. You would need the help of a roofing contractor along with the solar installation companies to make sure that the roof can hold the solar panels. It would also include some level of roof repair. This would be the additional cost that most homeowners don’t account for when considering a solar installation.
However, if you are planning to re-roof, it presents an opportunity. Roof replacement would mean that you are already working with a roofing company to re-do the entire roof. Combining it with the installation of solar roof panels will save you some additional costs.
Why Retrofitting May Not be Ideal?
The first thing that most people would consider is just fitting solar panels on the existing roof. If you have done re-roofing recently say within the last 5-6 years, it may be a good idea to install solar panels independently. But if your roof is older and needs re-roofing soon, the costs may spiral.
You would need a full inspection of the roof before the mounting hardware and the photovoltaic solar panel arrays can be installed. You may have to take up significant repairs to the roof and despite that, your roof may end up developing leaks or cracks post installation.
You are also restricted in terms of the roofing material you are using. Some roofing systems are inherently not compatible with solar panel installation and this would mean you will have to find other arrangements or end up re-roofing any way.
You should also consider other costs that you are likely to incur down the road. When you are choosing to re-roof down the road, you would need to remove and reinstall the solar panels. Solar panel removal is going to cost you some additional amount, and you’ll also have to pay for reinstalling the solar array on the roof.
Saving Costs by Installing Solar Along with Reroofing
Typically, roof installation is something you do once in like 20-25 years depending on the roofing material you’re using and the quality of the installation. Solar panels are also essentially designed to last around 20 years. This means that you have to worry about changing the panels roughly when it’s time to reroof again.
One important consideration is of course the cost. Solar panel installation on average costs you somewhere around $19,000. Re-roofing would cost you around $10,000, again depending on the material you use and the size of the roof. When done together, the combined cost would come to $25,000 according to National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
When you are re-roofing, you also get to design the roofing system to house solar panels as well. If you are going for a shingle roof, there are options to use solar shingles instead of asphalt shingles. However, this would increase the upfront costs and are not as efficient as normal solar panels.
While reroofing, you can select the right roofing materials including underlayment and decking that can house solar panels without any problems and do not create structural issues. You can also use a lower-cost shingle as it is essentially shielded from the sun and elements by the solar panel and hence would last longer.
It’s also common to find roofers and solar panel installation companies partner to provide customers with roofing services along with solar installation at lower prices. These tie-ups are a great idea to explore as it lowers your installation costs and both these companies would work together well without having to delay one thing for the other if you are contracting them independently.
Re-roofing presents homeowners with a unique opportunity to consider installing solar panels to supplement their energy needs. Installing a solar array would anyway include some roof costs as we explained above. Re-roofing allows you to combine expenses and plan your new roof while keeping the solar panel system as well.
While there are clear benefits, you need to keep some things when you opt for re-roofing with solar. Make sure that your warrant for the roof covers damage that’s occurring due to the additional weight of the solar panels too as it will be done together. As always it’s important to check the certifications and qualifications of both the roofer and the solar panel provider to ensure the best results in the long run.
Thinking about being more energy efficient with solar power? Enlightened Solar is the leader in residential solar installation! Get in touch with us for a quote!