Physical Considerations for a Solar Application
- The first consideration in choosing where to install a solar system is on the South facing roof. West can be almost as good if South is not an option. North and East usually are not suitable for solar installs.
- Shading is the biggest enemy to solar. You must know if the surrounding trees, roof dormers, chimneys, or other structures are going to cast shadows on the solar array.
- You will need to know how close the solar array will be to the electrical meter. It´s not necessary to measure it down to inches, but you also don´t want to be off by 25 ft.
- You will need to know how accessible the attic space under the solar array will be. If possible it´s best to run the wires from the bottom of the array to the DC disconnect inside the attic and walls. If the attic and interior walls are inaccessible the wires can be easily run on the outside. The entire wring of a solar system is the electrician´s job. It is usually best to bring him into this decision early.
Incentives and Tax Credits
- You must understand what the rebates and incentives are from the local utility provider, the State, or you´re local Government. They vary greatly by each individual utility/state, and will affect the financial prospective. The Federal Standard for all fifty states is a 30% income tax credit for the entire installed cost of the solar system. Some local energy providers have a system called Net Metering.
- For us to help you decide if a solar roof is right for your house you will need to provide us with:
- The name of the incentives and policies that promote renewable energy by your electric provider, state, or local district. These incentives come in different forms they could be called Renewable Energy Credits (REC´s), Performance-Based Incentives (PBI´s), Green Building Incentives, Utility Rate Discounts etc. This information is provided by DSIREUSA.org which you can find by selecting your specific state in the drop down list at the bottom left hand corner of this page.
Electrical Energy Usage Information
- You will need to collect at least one year´s worth of electrical energy usage information. It usually appears on the back of your bill under Current Billing Information, (see following example). When you have this information, (yellow highlight), add up each month´s usage to arrive at the usage for the whole year then simply divide by 12 to arrive at the average monthly kilowatt hour (KWH) usage.
- You will also need to know the actual cost of your electricity. This will be found under Total Current Charges at the bottom (blue highlight). Once again, add the bills up for an entire year and divide by 12 to arrive at an average monthly total electric bill cost.
How LUMA can help you:
- The drawing below is meant to act as an example of what we need to help you figure out your solar roof system. When you can send us the information , we will run it through our software and tell you approximatly what the system will cost you.