Patrick Crowley

Patrick Crowley
Head of Sales & Operations

Rex Kehoe

Rex Kehoe
Director of Installers

What Should I Know Before Going Solar? 

February 9, 2019

In this week’s livestream, we’re covering the ideal characteristics of a home for installing solar.

What Are the Factors You Should Consider Before Going Solar?

  1. High Electricity Bill
  2. No Shading
  3. South or West Facing Roofs
  4. An Ideal Roof Type

Let us dive into each of the factors in detail and decide if your home is good for solar.

High Electricity Bill

  • If you have a high electricity bill, you would want to compensate that higher amount. The more you can produce from your system to cut into those costs, the higher your savings would be.
  • Along with a high electricity bill, high electricity rates are also a factor that can make an ideal scenario for a home to shift to solar.

high electricity rates

  • If your utility charges you a higher rate for a kilowatt hour, going solar may help offset that.
  • Even if you have a low $50 electricity bill that is charged at a higher rate, you still can consider going solar.

No Shading

  • Solar panels will perform better if you don’t have trees around your property that casts shadows on your roof.
  • Your roof can experience shading not only from trees but also from neighboring homes. Let’s consider the following scenario: you are staying in a one-story building adjacent to a two-story building, your roof panes adjacent to that building wouldn’t be a good option for solar.
  • The house shown in the example below has some larger chimneys that can also provide shade apart from the obvious shading from the trees.


  • Trimming your trees below the roofline is an option.
  • You need to make sure you’re clear from all the third party shades before installing panels on your roofs. Nowadays, there is a lot of software that takes in a radiance map of the roof and can pinpoint areas that are not good for solar and areas that are perfect for solar with respect to your roof.

South or West-Facing Roofs

  • A southern-facing roof is always the best option for solar but the west-facing roof can also be considered.
  • A west-facing roof is recommended when you are under the time of rate (ToU) billing. In ToU billing, the peak charges will be in the afternoon where the stress on the grid is at its highest. If you’re producing the energy in the afternoon, you can offset the higher charges as the sun sets in the west.

south and west facing roofs

Ideal Roof Type & Age of the Roof

  • Your roof has to be in good condition while considering putting a big solar investment on it which will produce power for the next 20 to 25 years.
  • Composite shingles, asphalt shingles, rolled composite, and shingles are some examples of good roofs to install solar energy system.

Ideal roof type and age of the roof

  • Concrete tiles that are most common in California is also a good option for the roof.
  • Basically, if your roof type is comparable to a lot of roofs that are around you in the neighborhood, installation of a solar energy system would be relatively easy because the installer would always have the required equipment and experience to complete the installation of the solar energy system.

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