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October 2, 2023

Rooftop Solar FAQs

By Partner ESI

Frequently Asked Questions about Establishing Rooftop Solar Systems

When exploring the possibility of installing a rooftop solar system, individuals and businesses often have several questions to ensure a clear understanding of the process, benefits, and potential challenges. Here are some frequently asked questions about getting rooftop solar systems:

Is solar more expensive than other energy efficiency measures?

Solar is generally considered a cost-effective energy efficiency measure in the long run, despite initial upfront costs. It might be more expensive initially, but it can lead to significant savings over time due to reduced electricity bills.

What is the payback period for rooftop solar?

The payback period for commercial rooftop solar varies depending on factors like location, system size, local electricity rates, and available incentives. It typically ranges from 5 to 10 years, similar to residential systems.

Is rooftop solar safe?

Rooftop solar installations are generally safe when installed properly by qualified professionals. Adequate safety measures, such as proper grounding and secure panel mounting, are essential to ensure safety.

What if I need to replace my roof after I install solar?

If you need to replace your roof after installing solar, the solar panels can be removed and reinstalled on the new roof. However, this process might incur additional costs.

Does rooftop solar damage your roof? Is my roof warranty still valid?

Properly installed solar panels typically do not damage your roof. Many solar companies offer installation methods that do not void your roof warranty. It’s essential to work with reputable installers and discuss warranty implications before installation.

How long do solar systems last?

Solar systems can last 25 to 30 years or more with proper maintenance. While energy production might decrease slightly over time, modern solar panels have warranties that guarantee a certain level of performance over their lifespan.

Does rooftop solar require operations and maintenance (O&M)?

Rooftop solar systems generally require minimal operations and maintenance. Periodic cleaning of panels and monitoring of system performance are recommended to ensure optimal energy production.

How do I know if my roof can support the weight of a solar installation?

A structural engineer or solar professional can assess your roof’s load-bearing capacity to determine if it can support a solar installation. Factors like roof material, age, and construction play a role.

Is it worth it to install rooftop solar when I can just purchase green electricity through the utility or a community solar program?

Installing rooftop solar offers benefits beyond purchasing green electricity, including potential cost savings, energy independence, and environmental impact. Evaluating the financial benefits and environmental impact is essential when deciding between the two options.

It’s essential to conduct thorough research, engage with professionals, and carefully evaluate the feasibility and benefits of a rooftop solar installation for your specific circumstances. To learn more about options available to CRE owners on how to financially structure rooftop solar, click here.

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