When it comes to solar, not all sites are created equal. At Artisan Electric, we pride ourselves on being realistic with our customers and providing conservative estimates on the amount of energy their site could produce. This is how we can guarantee that your system will produce as or better than expected.
We typically recommend that homeowners sign up for a free solar site assessment for specific numbers and expertise on their property’s viability for solar. But to save you time we compiled a list of factors we look for that you can assess yourself:
The most common disqualifying factor is excessive shading. If your home is surrounded by trees or taller buildings, you may not be the best candidate for solar. While solar still works well in gloomy climates, it will not perform adequately under shading.
As you can guess, it’s good to have more room for solar than less. But the bigger roof doesn’t always ensure the most output. It depends entirely on your energy usage and your offset goals. And most importantly, the space on your roof must be usable. A large 12-kilowatt residential system will require around 650 square feet of usable roof space (see Roof Orientation). A smaller system may only require 200-300 square feet.
Do you know which direction(s) your roof faces? The ideal roof surface in Washington faces South or Southwest. However, we can also work with East and West-facing roofs, providing there is minimal shading and a low-angled roofline. North-facing roofs do not receive enough sunlight to be effective, and we will not install on them.
Land Space and Other Surfaces
Your roof may not be suitable for solar, but that doesn’t mean the rest of your property isn’t. Do you have unshaded land on your property? You may be a good candidate for a ground mount. This will cost a little more than a traditional roof system, but it’s an excellent option if your roof won’t cut it.
Other property buildings such as workshops, barns, detached garages and carports are also excellent alternatives that may make solar achievable for your property.
Your house may be suited for custom designs, as well. Solar panels can be placed on houses to create new surfaces, such as awnings.
Free Tools You Can Use
To save even more time, try entering your address into Project Sunroof. This is an excellent tool that will give you an at-a-glance assessment of your roof’s viability for solar. The site will color your roof on a scale from purple (unsuitable for solar) to yellow (ideal for solar).
Because not all addresses are yet registered on Project Sunroof, you can still get a helpful view by checking out your roof on Google Maps.
For accurate projections on cost and performance, always contact a trained International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP)-certified installer like Artisan Electric.
We believe that customers should have all the necessary tools to make informed decisions about what is right for them and their site.
If you are still unsure if your site is right for solar, would like more personalized numbers and estimates, or are simply ready to take the next step, sign up today for a free site assessment.