Roofs - they come in all shapes, slopes and sizes and can range widely in a variety of other critical aspects when considering installation of a rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) home energy system - all of which will affect the cost of having a solar home energy system installed.
Roof size, pitch, materials, geographic orientation, unobstructed surface area, structural strength and integrity (i.e. age, wear and tear) - all these and other variables come into play when calculating the cost of installing a solar PV home energy system. For example, do you have a metal-seam or corrugated metal roof inclined at a low angle? With southern exposure? Your roof may be ideal for installing a solar PV system.
The solar energy industry has and continues to devote a tremendous amount of resources towards developing a wide range of solar PV mounting assemblies and systems that can be installed quickly and efficiently at the lowest possible cost. More importantly, they are designed to be durable, long-lasting and secure – secure enough to withstand whatever nature throws at them, from blistering sun and high humidity to blistering cold, snowstorms, torrential downpours and even hurricane force winds.
Solar Reviews Solar-Estimate Calculator
When it comes to getting a better handle on what it would cost to install a solar PV home energy system on your rooftop in particular, our Solar-Estimate Calculator is an excellent place to start. https://www.solar-estimate.org/
By keying in just a small amount of information – including selecting an image that represents the type of roof on your home – the Solar-Estimate Calculator will take you through a brief, 2-5-minute process. Zooming in on your particular rooftop and based on your estimated monthly utility bills and the actual rates charged by your utility, our Solar-Estimate Calculator will give you an estimate of the optimal power capacity of a prospective rooftop solar PV system for your home.
Our Solar-Estimate Calculator will also provide you with, an estimate of monthly and lifetime savings, and the payback period for your investment, all based on live or estimated price quotes provided by qualified local solar PV home energy system installers.
To give you a better idea of how all this works, we'll walk you through the process of using the Solar-Estimate Calculator to obtain an estimate of the cost from solar PV home energy systems providers in your local area to install an ideally sized solar PV system on the rooftop of the most famous address in the U.S. - the White House at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C.
1. We start by entering our ZIP code, which for 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. is 20500, then clicking on the "Get Started" button.
2. We are then asked to provide how much we pay for electricity on a monthly basis. The White House is no small establishment, so we'll max out by sliding the button up the sliding scale (from left to right) to $650. Then we click on Continue.
3. We then asked if this is a residential or commercial solar PV installation. Now the White House fits both, but we are interested in a residential installation, so we'll click on Residential.
4. Next, we'll choose our utility provider. In this case, it's PEPCO.
5. Now this is really neat. The Solar-Estimate Calculator taps into detailed satellite images of cities and neighborhoods across the U.S. - right down to the level of individual rooftops. We enter in our address - 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW - and then click the Search button to zoom in.
6. The Solar-Estimate Calculator asks us to confirm that the roof pictured is actually our roof. If it isn't we simply move the target marker to the correct rooftop, then click Continue.
7. Next up, we choose the type of roof on our home based on the images provided, which include metal, shingles, concrete, clay or terracotta tiles, a ground mount solar PV installation or some other type. We'll choose Other.
8. Unsurprisingly, the extent and degree to which your rooftop is shaded will have a significant impact on the design and performance of your solar PV home energy system. In our hypothetical example, we'll choose Unshaded, 9am to 3pm.
9. The slope, or pitch, of your roof is another critical aspect of designing and installing a solar PV home energy system. We'll choose flat.
10. Voila! Here's our estimate. As you can see, the Solar-Estimate Calculator suggests having a solar PV system with a power generation capacity of 42.7 kilowatts (kW) installed on the rooftop, or in this case, rooftops.
According to our input and actual weather data for our geographic area, the calculator estimates this rooftop solar PV system will produce an average 54,166 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy per year.
Now we get to the bottom line. The Solar-Estimate Calculator calculates our rooftop solar PV system will generate a profit (savings less the cost of the system installed) of $594,858 over its estimated useful life.
We click on Now let's get live pricing to move on to the next step.
11. Solar-Estimate wants to make sure you are a real person and not some type of Internet so I enter a first and last name, Donald Trump, then an email address: email@example.com
If you want live pricing from a professional solar PV home energy systems installer in your area enter your phone number, then click Continue. We'll skip this step and proceed without verifying our phone number.
12. I choose the maximum number of solar installation companies 4 on this screen.
13. On the next screen, Preferred payment option, I choose Compare all.
14. Next, I click on the middle-range credit score from 650 to 680.
15. I skip the Best time to call screen, as well as the following, Request roof inspection time. We don't want to take this too far now.
16. Our results are in. As you should be able to see, the Solar-Estimate Calculator estimates we need a 42.65 kW rooftop solar PV energy system for the White House. In terms of annual energy generation that amounts to 54,166 kWh.
Estimated payback period is 2 years and 10 months, while the estimated cost per watt (having taken advantage of the 30 percent federal solar investment tax credit and local incentives) is $2.30.
Given the specific details described on this screen, the Solar-Estimate Calculator predicts an estimated cost savings over the rooftop PV systems life of $487,940. Additional valuable details regarding the installation, such as equivalent return on investment (41.9%), are provided as well.