The solar revolution is here, and it’s happening fast. Every day, more people are deciding to go solar for their homes or businesses. But before you decide to make the switch, there are a few things you should know. Here are three reasons why you should hold off going solar for the time being.
Your roof is not ideal for solar panels.
- If your roof is more than 25 years old, it’s time for a new one:
Solar panels can be installed on almost any type of roof, but they’re not advised on a weak or damaged roof; it would just make matters worse. Additionally, if a roof is scheduled to be replaced, you’re far better off waiting until then; if not, you’ll have to take down the solar panels and reinstall them after.
- Your roof is too small:
If you have a small roof, there are only so many panels it can support. You wouldn’t want to waste your time or money on solar equipment that won’t produce enough power for your home—or will be too difficult to install in the first place!
- There’s too much shade on your roof:
The shading cast by nearby buildings or trees might reduce the amount of solar energy your roof absorbs.
- The roof’s layout is unfavorable:
Solar panels will produce less electricity than they would if your roof faced the correct direction (away from the sun) or was at the proper angle.
There isn’t anywhere else to put solar panels:
If you have a small roof, it might not be big enough for solar equipment. Or perhaps your building doesn’t face the right direction (south is ideal). It is also possible that you have a great deal of shade on your roof which will mean less solar energy.
Ground-mounting isn’t possible for you:
If your property doesn’t have enough room for a ground-mounted solar system, you’re out of luck—for now. It may be possible to purchase an offsite array, or add panels onto your leased space when that agreement expires.
No other structure available:
If you don’t have a structure on your land to install solar equipment, it will need to be built. This adds considerable cost and time to the project, so if you can find an existing building for sale or lease (or build something yourself), that might make more sense in this case.
You plan to move or sell your home:
When you decide to go solar, your energy needs will likely be the same for the next 20-30 years. If you plan on moving or selling within this time frame (or even in a few years), holding off might make sense: what good is investing in solar panels if you’re going to leave?
Your electricity costs are already low.
Some homeowners spend relatively little on electricity. This might be because of one or a combination of the following reasons:
- You have a tiny home;
- You have a small household size;
- your home and appliances are energy-efficient;
- your local utility’s electric rates are low
You’re not eligible for incentives and rebates
Solar energy may not be appropriate for you if you don’t meet the requirements for incentives — such as the federal solar tax credit, which only applies if you pay federal taxes in the first place.
Your solar quote appears too good to be true.
Solar energy systems are not that expensive to purchase, but they take time and money to install. If your quote is too good to be true (or offers a 100% rebate), it probably is.
Despite these things, you may save thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your solar panels — make sure this is the case before you dive in.