There are a few general considerations that may determine whether you should consider installing solar panels. Some may be obvious but some are less so. We won’t rule out based on current electric bills in this post as pricing and costs are very dynamic. We will cover that in our financial analysis post. Things to consider include:
- You should own the property
- Condition and location of your roof
- Does your community have a Home Owners Association (HOA)?
- Is your community a Property Owners Association (POA)?
- What is your power companies policy on buy back
You Should Own the Property
The investment and payback for solar is typically more then the term of a lease and making capital improvements to a property you do no own is not recommended or even allowed in most lease agreements. You would also miss out on the federal tax credits for solar if the you don’t own the property.
Condition And Location Of Your Roof
You can mount your solar panels on the ground but most residential homes have solar panel on their roofs. The estimated life of your roof should be similar to the estimated payback for installing solar. You don’t want to install solar panels on your roof and find out you need a new roof next year.
Does you roof receive sun or is it blocked by trees or other obstructions? Some obstructions can be removed, such as trimming or removing trees, and other can not, such as a blocking building.
The ideal positioning of solar panels is a southern exposure with east and west also working out almost as well. Northern exposure is not a good situation. Your ideal location should have all day exposure to the sun.
Another roof consideration that we will cover in the financial analysis is where or not you have enough room to mount enough solar panels to be an acceptable cost savings.
What Is Your Power Companies Policy On Buy Back
This is a consideration we will factor in when we conduct our financial analysis and solar panel system design.
Solar Panels and Home Owners Associations
Approximately 53% of households are in an planned community of Home Owners Association (HOA). Home Owners Associations are not always up on all the state and federal laws and might try to deny your right to install Solar Panels.