Until now, intergrating solar energy in the residential market has been a challenge since it’s been an expensive technology but costs are coming down. You may also qualify for the tax credit on the purchase of solar electricity. The benefits of solar power are obvious: it provides clean energy with no greenhouse-gas emissions; and it can save people money on their electric bill by 40% to 70%. And since it gets it’s energy from the sun, it has an endless supply! Solar shingles are photovoltaic cells designed to look like and integrate with conventional asphalt roof shingles and because they are wireless and snap together, the shingles can be installed by a regular roofing contractor. However you will need to have an electrician to set up the inverter box. They are less obtrusive than and have become price-competitive with bolt-on panels. Unfortunately, roof tiles are not good for all roof types. Your roof has to be correctly angled to receive sunlight, a roofing substrate that can handle getting hot and have the correct air circulation. Finally, just like ordinary shingles, solar shingles are designed to withstand the elements. However, because they are fairly new, there isn’t a lot of data on how long solar shingles can last. You are most likely familiar with solar panels which are made of sheets of glass with a silicon core. Unlike the shingles, the panels can be angled to receive maximum sunlight even if the roof itself isn’t quite at the right slope or if it’s facing the wrong direction. They can be moved and relocated if necessary, without replacing the roof like you would need to with solar shingles. You will need to know how many panels or shingles you will need to supply your home with enough power to keep it running. This is determined by the amount of insolation in your area. This is the measurement of solar radiation that hits the ground in a specific area during a specified time period and is typically measured in kWh/m2/day. Also, the more hours the panels are exposed to full sun, the more efficient the power generation will be. It is important to make sure there are no shadows on the paneled or shingled area during the sunniest hours of the day (keep in mind of trees or tall homes and buildings) It is also important to keep the panels clean by hosing them down from time to time (1-4 times a year). Going with a solar energy system is relatively low maintenance. Whether you choose the panel or shingle variety, saving money and our Earth is a good incentive to looking toward the sun as an alternative energy source.
J. Philip Real Estate is Westchester & Putnam's premier independent brokerage. Founded in 2005, the firm has grown from a single broker to a strong organization of well over 80 associates despite the housing downturn. The team's commitment to results and client advocacy, as well as our focus on technology and innovation, have positioned us as the "go to" brokerage for area buyers and sellers.