Is Your House Suitable for Solar?

Check Your Sun Score To Find Out…

If you are thinking about installing a solar system to your home, you are probably also wondering, “How do I know if my house is suitable for solar panels?” Fortunately, there are ways to figure this out.

The demand for solar has grown tremendously in recent years

Homeowners are opting for solar systems and taking advantage of US government tax incentivesThe solar industry in the US installed 6.1 gigawatts of solar capacity in the first quarter of 2023, sufficient to power 4 million-plus homes.

sun score

Is your house good for solar?

Developed with the help of the US Department of Energy, your home’s “sun score” or “sun number” is a rating of between 0 and 100, which identifies the solar potential of your home. A high sun number means your house is conditioned for installing solar panels while a low score makes it less likely that a solar system will provide the benefits a homeowner is hoping for.

A sun number of 70 or higher indicates that solar is a great financial choice. If your score is below 70, you can benefit from a solar system, but you will have a lower energy output.

The Sun Score’s four factors

1. Building:

With a maximum sun score of 80 points, the factors that influence a building’s score are home orientation (does it face South or North, East or West; the roof slope size and shading. This score should not be less than 50 and anything above 60 is ideal. Homes in the US with south-facing roofs, decent square footage, a 30-degree slant, matching the latitude of the house’s location, and zero shading give maximum scope for energy production with solar panels. 

2. Regional climate score:

Here the maximum score is 8 points and concerns the amount of direct sunlight that hits the home roof. Seasonal weather and the environment play a major role. If your house is surrounded by high buildings and lots of trees, your sun number will be low. A climate with overcast skies more often than not will produce a lower electricity output and generate a lower score.

3. Electric rates

The average electricity rates in your area determine whether your home is favorable for solar installation. The sun number is high when electricity rates in your area are high. A high cost ensures that the solar system will pay for itself quickly in utility bill savings. The maximum score is 8 points for electric rates.

4. Solar cost score:

The cost of the solar system determines the points are a maximum of 8. High average costs for solar installation decrease your house’s sun number, and a low cost increases the points in this sector. You want to reach a break-even point as quickly as you can, and lower overall installation costs will help you achieve that.

Enter your home address on Zillow.com and you may find your sun number listed in the home’s details. If not, your solar installer will be able to assess your home for its electricity production potential.

What is the condition of your roof?

Another major consideration for solar installation is the roof. A solar system is designed to last 25 years, so your roof should also have a lifespan of 25 years. If you have broken, sagging, or missing shingles, you will need to consider replacing your roof. Scheduling solar installation and a roof replacement at the same time is the ideal process. Both will have the same lifespan, so you won’t be looking at replacing the roof just a few years after you’ve installed solar.

There are several important benefits to installing solar when replacing your roof. See our blog article about the RSS Formula.

Is your roof type and tilt suitable for solar panels?

Roofs with composite shingles, asphalt shingles, and tile are suitable for solar panel installation. You can install thin film and standard PV solar panels on metal roofs. The ideal rooftop angle for solar installation is south-facing with a tilt of between 15 to 40 degrees.

What size roof is best for solar panels?

Generally, one square foot can generate 15 watts of solar energy. For a small house, 200 square feet of roof space is needed. A large home can use 400 to 500 square feet of area for 18 to 24 solar panels.

How many solar panels do you need?

If you want to offset 100% of your electricity bill, you need an ideal roof facing and tilt and the quantity of solar panels needed to operate at peak performance. Your solar installer will help you to calculate the number of solar panels needed mathematically. 

Another way to look at it …

To answer the question, “Is my house good for solar panels?” — You need to have a roof that provides unobstructed sun exposure throughout the day. When installing the solar panels, a rack system will be used. It adjusts the solar panel orientation for more sunlight exposure.

Meet with Golden Group Solar for a consultation.

Sitting with a professional solar installer is important so that they can ask the right questions and provide answers to determine if your home is suitable for solar panels.

You’ll need copies of your utility bills. Photos of your home with closeups of the home’s roofs will be helpful for your first meeting. Know what type of roof you have – is it tile, composite, shingles, rubber, metal?

You’ll discuss the climate in your area and whether you have buildings or tall trees in the surrounding area that will affect sun exposure. Golden Group Solar will arrange for a time to visit your property to do a comprehensive assessment. They will also provide information on the tax incentives and/or rebates that are currently available in your state.

Have questions about whether your house in greater Boston MA is suitable for solar panels?

If you are thinking of installing a solar power system or have questions about your house being a good candidate for solar, call Golden Group at 508-873-1884 or schedule a one-hour roofing consultation with one of our solar experts.