By Samantha J. Majka
We tend to want answers to our questions as quickly as possible. Today, popular technology usually makes it simple to get the answers that we need almost immediately, so it may seem frustrating to some people when we tell them that they need an analysis to determine the cost of solar panel installation.
Some other websites offer solar calculators online. Why don’t you?
An online calculator cannot account for all of the variables that an in-person solar analysis will; for example, it may not consider the shading or direction of your roof. Your result may also be unnecessarily discouraging, as, unlike one of our professional solar analysts, an online tool cannot come up with a solution for obstacles that may be detected. You may simply need to trim a few trees to increase sun exposure, or opt for a pole mounted system elsewhere on your property, but an online tool may not inform you of these easy options. A qualified solar analysis will point you in the right direction.
Why do I need a solar analysis?
The cost of a solar panel installation, and therefore the introduction of solar power into a home or building, depends on several different variables. The amount of sunlight that hits your roof depends on the amount of shade, such as shadows cast by nearby trees or structures, and direction that the roof faces. A south facing roof collects the maximum amount of sunlight, meaning it generates the most solar power.
We also need to consider the usable surface area of the roof, to see how many solar panels can fit. This, combined with the direction of the roof and the amount of direct sunlight it is exposed to regularly, will determine just how much electricity can be generated. A look at the structure and property will also tell us if a different option, such as a pole-mounted system that does not sit on the roof, is a better fit for you.
We would also to consider how much electricity the building needs. An examination of your electric bill helps us gauge the typical usage, and our solar analysts can work with you to come up with a solution that will provide enough solar power for your home and household needs. Plus, we will be able to tell you which incentives are available for your area, which may decrease the initial cost of installation.
What can I do to improve my energy efficiency?
The size of a home does not necessarily correlate with the electricity usage, as energy efficiency varies widely. A home energy audit can help detect places where improvements in energy efficiency can be made. By reducing the amount of electricity wasted (and therefore, decreasing energy usage overall), your solar panel system will not need to produce as much electricity.