Although folks out west have the perfect climate and conditions to install solar panels on the roofs of their houses, homeowners in the northern parts of the country haven’t had such luck. Between cloudy skies and fickle weather, most people tend to dismiss the thought of solar panel installation as a passing fantasy.
However, changes and innovations in the solar energy industry are dispelling such cloudy doubts, allowing homeowners in capricious climates the opportunity to invest in this alternative energy form. Efficiency is on the rise; costs are on the decline;and thanks to financial incentives, the return-on-investment of solar energy is better than ever.
“It absolutely does work here,” said Jake Wade, of Washington based Puget Sound Energy. While there’s no substitute for direct sunlight, he explained, summer’s long days and lower energy needs allow solar panels to produce more power than homes actually need.
Plus, high temperatures actually reduce the efficiency of photovoltaic cells, which means that the cooler days in northern areas will allow solar cells to produce more energy.
“I’m cranking out the watts right now,” said Dave Watterson, who has an expanded solar panel array that’s brought his $250 monthly electric bill down to just $70.
Solar panels are now cheaper to install, too, thanks to the federal government offering tax credits of up to 30% of the cost of a homeowner’s solar system.
All this being said, solar panels aren’t perfect for every roof. The condition of a house’s roof is an important element. In order to work safely, a roof shouldn’t be in need of any repairs or replacements.
“As solar power becomes increasingly popular and more importantly affordable for the average homeowner, I think a lot of people will be seriously considering investing in solar panels for their roofs.” says Dymitri, Owner of DVR Roofing.
Once repaired or replaced, though, the roof will actually prolong the solar system’s lifespan, giving homeowners one more reason to take care of the roofs.
When considering what home improvements to make this summer, consider making roof repairs and having solar panel systems installed, even if you live in a part of the country with capricious weather.