Elon Musk has many ideas. From colonizing Mars within a decade to turning humans into androids, he is as brilliant as he is audacious.
So when we heard Musk declare during his TED conference in April that in 15 years from now, ‘it will be unusual for a house to not have solar roofs”, we couldn’t help but wonder how much would it cost an existing home to rip off his roof shingles and replace them with solar panels? For now, that answer is a lot.
Fortunately for new home builders, installing solar panels on a new roof is price competitive with standard residential roofs. In other words, it may actually cost you less to install solar panels on a new roof than it would install a standard roof.
Let’s go through some other advantages of going solar while building a new home.
Built-in Financing through a Mortgage
You can include a solar energy system as part of your mortgage when you’re building a new home. In this case, the additional monthly payments that you make will be offset by the savings on your electricity bill. This is helpful because instead of making two separate payments - one for your home and one for your solar panel system - you only have to make one.
Increase the value of your house
When you build a house, the land appreciates in value. On the other hand, the house’s value depreciates. In this case, adding solar panels can be a good way to increase the value of the house. According to National Renewable Energy Laboratory, each $1 in additional energy savings from solar panels contributes to a value of $20 in the value of your home. This figure is dependent on a few factors:
- The location of your home. Depending on how active the solar market is in your area. The value added to your property will vary.
- The size of your solar panels. Property value is directly proportional to the number of panels installed
- The size of your home. Larger houses will receive higher value boosts but, these won’t seem too high when compared to the actual house price.
Build a Solar friendly home
Building a new home while keeping in mind that you want to install solar panels has some benefits that cannot be overlooked:
- Your home can be built in a south-facing direction. This is important because it allows your solar panels to capture maximum sunlight.
- Your roof can be designed to accommodate maximum solar panel arrays.
- The venting and other obstacles can be placed keeping in mind the position of the panels.
Increase the shelf life of your roof
A question we get asked quite often is “will the solar installation process damage my roof?” The answer is absolutely not, in fact, solar panels actually protect your roof. Here’s how:
- Solar panels are attached to mounting rails, not the roof surface.
- These rails are connected to the shingles - installation to secure the rails are sealed to avoid any leaks.
- Solar panels act as an extra layer of protection on your roof that helps prevent damage from harsh weather conditions like hail storms.
In case you're not a fan of drilling holes in your roof, a ballasted solar energy system can also be installed in less windy areas.
Building a new home with solar panels isn’t hard but it does require some persistence, forward-thinking and legitimate caring for your home.