Chances are you’re hearing about solar roofs more and more often. For most people, the image that comes to mind is an unappealing solar apparatus up on their roofs, that costs a lot and kills the roof’s aesthetic.
A lot has changes since those days – we sat down with Spencer Killette from GAF Energy to discuss all there is know about solar roofs. Spencer has been working with homeowners for years and understands the concerns and misconceptions a homeowner can have about solar roofs.
Here’s everything you need to know if you’re considering getting a new solar roof!
How would you describe solar roofs in a nutshell?
A solar roof is a roof that protects the home from the elements and generates clean energy. Unlike a traditional rooftop solar installation, a true “solar roof” uses the same materials to do both of those important jobs. Instead of a roof with solar on top, you have a truly integrated solution with solar and roofing materials commingled, resulting in better aesthetics, better leak protection and a superior customer experience.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about solar roofs?
I think there are many people who are interested in solar roofs, but falsely assume that they are financially out of reach. Given the incentives available and the massive price decline we’ve seen in the solar industry over the past decade, solar is within reach for more homeowners than ever before.
When’s the best time to get solar?
The best time to get solar is when you get a new roof. Why? Because you have the opportunity to build the solar directly into the roof itself at that point, offering better protection for your home, an integrated aesthetic, and a simplified installation process (it’s one home improvement project versus two!). If you wait a few years post reroof and decide to go with a traditional rooftop solar option, the installer will need to put 50 holes in what was otherwise a nice roof with lots of warrantied life left. As a result, you run the risk of voiding the warranty on the shingles the solar attachments touch. For your peace of mind, curb appeal, and busy schedule, a solar roof is the only way to go.
How can a homeowner plan for a solar roof?
When considering a reroof, homeowners should really seek out a local contractor that offers GAF Energy solar. Head to https://www.gaf.energy/homeowners and submit your information for a free estimate and consult.
What happens if I don’t use the energy my roof generates?
The good news is, you don’t actually have to use all the electricity you generate from your solar roof to get the full value from your clean energy investment. During the day, if you don’t use all the electricity the solar roof generates in your home, you can feed electrons back to the grid. Your utility company will likely give you credit for that electricity you send back to them, and you can use that to lower your monthly electricity bills. Virtually every utility company operating in the United States gives credit to homeowners with solar for excess power they feed back into the grid. This excess generation is credited at different rates; you should always consult with a professional before making a purchasing decision.
Are solar roofs as good as regular shingle roofs?
They’re better! They protect the home just like shingles. Unlike a shingle-only reroof, they also allow you to power your home with clean energy and reduce your utility bills for decades. They’re a great addition to your home and can be a sound financial investment.
What’s the one thing you wish more people knew about solar?
I really wish, as I said above, that people understood how solar, and solar roofs, are really a sound money decision. What other home improvement actively pays for itself while also contributing to positive change for our communities in how we power our lives? Solar roofs are smart financial machines!