A typical fiberglass-asphalt shingle roof will last around 20 to 30 years. What if, during all that time, it actually paid you for the privilege of protecting your possessions, home, and family? With solar roofing, and especially with solar roofing built into your home’s new shingle roof, you can enjoy that reward.
Ask a scientist and you will quickly realize nothing comes for free in this world. Take energy. We only have seven forms of energy in the universe, and every time one type (electromagnetic radiation, for example) converts to another type (electricity, for example), some energy is lost to friction (heat). Energy efficiency, then, is never 100 percent.
If a sales representative tries to sell you a gadget or technology for your North Port-area home and claims it is 100 percent energy-efficient, you now know the representative is … misrepresenting reality. So just how energy efficient is solar roofing?
The answer is, extremely efficient! How much do you spend on sunlight? Nothing!
Factors Affecting Energy Efficiency
With the “raw material” costing nothing, solar energy already has an advantage over other energy producers. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, these additional factors affect the energy efficiency of your home’s embedded solar panels:
- Precise, correctly angled installation by a qualified installer
- Exposed, not shaded, roof area
- Operating temperature
- Keeping solar panels clean and clear of dust
The actual energy efficiency of most installed solar panels is in the range of 18 to 25 percent.
Suppose you must have a new roof installed, due to storm damage, age, or lack of maintenance by a previous owner. Suppose your roofer also offered you a coupon for some percentage off the total cost. Would you decline a discount? Probably not! Solar roofing is, in one way, like getting a new roof at a discount.
Why? With an embedded solar roof (one in which the panels are integral with the shingles, not racked on top), you build in embedded savings. The roof works for you, sending electricity into your home or onto the Florida power grid for the life of the solar panels.
For the cost of the panels and installation (done at the time your new shingle roof is installed), you get at least a decade of return on your investment. Money literally comes to you in the form of steady savings, day by day, for weeks, months, and years. Your electricity bill drops. You could be sending electricity back to the electric company if you collect more than you use!
For the embedded cost spread over a shingle roof’s lifetime of your new roof and solar panels you get consistent savings.
While we all live under one sun, we do not all live in identical houses. Florida receives more sunlight year-round than, say, Minnesota. With sleek, efficient solar panels incorporated into the profile of your new shingle roof, you can benefit from abundant sun. Yet, even in Florida, your energy efficiency can be different from your neighbor’s.
Nobody can say that you will get 38.19 percent energy efficiency — or 41.3 percent, or 23 percent or any number from 0 to 100 — without an on-site assessment. Consider all the variables:
- Which compass direction does your home’s dominant roof face?
- Do you have a clean and clear 14′ x 34′ roof for the GAF panels?
- How well insulated is your home?
- How old is your home?
- What kind of heat pump or central air conditioning do you have?
Though we have the one sun to provide us with free solar energy, every home has unique features that will add to or detract from energy efficiency. A site visit is a must. A discussion of your potential energy efficiency and savings will be part of that site visit.
Florida’s P.A.C.E. Program
You get additional savings and efficiency by tapping into Florida’s P.A.C.E. program, which rewards smart Floridians for making the move to solar.
You can earn up to 26 percent of the cost of solar installation through a solar energy tax credit under Florida Property Assessed Clean Energy (P.A.C.E.) financing.
The special financing is for qualified property owners for work on energy efficiency, renewable generation, and wind resistance improvements and repairs. You get a lower energy bill, a tax refund, a more comfortable home, and the great feeling of knowing you are helping to preserve the Florida environment. Talk to your financial planner or tax advisor for more information before making a decision.
Mark Kaufman Roofing knows Florida roofs and knows solar roofing. We have been installing roofs for the Florida environment and climate for years. We have expertise in solar roofing and have established strong relationships with leading providers of solar technology. We are the folks to contact today to learn the pros and cons of solar roofing for your North Port-area home.