Family holding a house model with solar panels alongside Auto Draft text about solar-ready homes.

Solar Powered Homes: 7 Ways to Tell if Your House is Solar Ready

More and more Californian’s are switching to renewable energy by putting solar panels and battery systems in their homes, so how do you know whether you can too? Unfortunately, not all homes and rooftops are suited for solar panels; considerations such as shading, roof age, and home orientation must be considered when determining how to minimize your carbon footprint and energy expenditures.

Is my House Solar Ready?

So, what should you know before asking for a solar panel installation quotation for your home?

The Condition and Age of Your Roof

Rooftop solar panels require a strong and stable roof that is in good shape. Depending on the age of your existing roof, you may need to replace it before adding solar panels. Residential rooftop solar panels are normally anticipated to last 25 years or more, so you need ensure that your roofing can do the same.

The Orientation and Angle of Your Roof

In California, rooftop solar panels perform best when mounted on a roof that faces north. However, because California is known for having a lot of sunshine, roofs facing east and west may still be quite effective.

The Shading on Your Roof

Since rooftop solar panels need direct sunshine to operate properly, you should consider about the shades from any buildings, trees, or other structures that can impede the sun's rays, especially in the morning and afternoon.

Your Household’s Energy Consumption

Your energy costs can be lowered with rooftop solar panels, but it's crucial to assess how much of your energy use you can balance with solar electricity. Have you thought about adding a battery to assist store any extra energy as well? This might be a terrific way to keep your expenses low year-round, learn about the benefits of a home battery, and become eligible for California's Virtual Power Plant (VPP) programs.

Your Local Zoning and Building Codes

Before installing rooftop solar panels, it is critical to check the specific installation requirements in each Californian state and territory. These requirements differ, thus ensuring compliance with the relevant policies is critical for a seamless and legal installation.

Your budget

Rooftop solar panel installations can be expensive, so set a reasonable budget and look into any rebates or financing options available to you. If you believe a renewable energy loan is the best option for you, you should consider the loan amount, loan terms, rates, fees, and other factors. Your installer may be able to provide you with some of these facts, such as the expected installation cost, or they may be affiliated with lenders who specialize in renewable energy loans and may assist you in submitting your loan application.

Consult with a solar panel expert

You may assess if adding rooftop solar panels to your house is feasible and cost-effective with the assistance of a professional. Along with assisting you with connecting your system to the grid and obtaining distributor approval, they may also help you determine whether you need to upgrade your roof first. To ensure a seamless transition to renewable energy, find a reliable and respectable solar installation company.

Solar Ready Factors That Affect Your Home’s Sun Number Score

Although the word "Sun Number Score" may not be recognizable to everybody, it is a concept that solar panel buyers are acquainted with. The Sun Number Score was developed by the firm Sun Number, which aims to increase public awareness of buildings' solar potential through a grading system. You may use its web platform to find out your score and find out how much energy you could save by switching to solar power by entering your location. Your Sun Number Score is determined by several elements, which we will examine now.

What Does a Sun Number on a House Mean?

A Sun Number Score is a numerical rating ranging from 0 to 100, indicating your home's potential for solar power generation. A higher score, closer to 100, signifies that your home is well-suited for harnessing solar energy, while a lower score, nearing 0, suggests a lower solar power potential. In essence, the Sun Number Score serves as a measure of how effectively your home can generate solar energy.

The Significance of Sun Number Scores

Sun Number Scores are important because they show if installing solar panels on a structure is feasible. Both homeowners thinking about adopting solar energy and those looking to buy a house with the goal of adding solar panels will find this information to be very helpful.

The need for Sun Number Scores is growing beyond the conventional factors like square footage, yard size, and number of floors. This score is already available for almost 84 million properties on websites like Zillow, demonstrating its increasing significance in the real estate market.

In addition to suggesting possible energy savings, higher Sun Number Scores are also associated with higher property values. This becomes especially important for homeowners who intend to rent out or sell their house in the future.

What is a Good Sun Number Score for a Solar Ready Home?

The Sun Number Score scale goes from 0 to 100. A score of 70 or higher is considered excellent. If your score is 70 or higher, installing solar panels in your house is a prudent investment with practically certain long-term financial savings.

While unusual, a score of 100 indicates that your property is ideal for solar panels. It couldn't be much better.

Although almost no homes qualify for a perfect score, this does not indicate that solar panels are not suitable for your home. Even if your score is less than 70, you may still profit from a home solar system. However, the energy production will be reduced.

And if your score is lower than normal, your system may simply need a more complicated solar panel design to collect as much sunlight as feasible. Meanwhile, an above-average score does not imply that you should install solar panels. However, it's a critical factor to consider if you intend to sell your home in the future. Homes with better solar ready ratings often have greater property values since they already have solar panel installations.

Factors Impacting Your Sun Number Score

Your Sun Number Score is determined by four key factors:

  • Building Score (Maximum 80 points): Evaluates the architectural characteristics of your building, influencing its solar potential.
  • Regional Climate Score (Maximum 8 points): Assesses the local climate conditions, impacting the efficiency of solar energy generation.
  • Electricity Score (Maximum 8 points): Reflects the current electricity usage patterns in your area, affecting the overall solar energy potential.
  • Solar Cost Score (Maximum 4 points): Considers the cost-effectiveness of solar installations, influencing the overall viability of adopting solar energy for your property.

Solar Ready Building Score

Your home's Solar Ready building score is determined by its roof slope, orientation, and size. A building score of no less than 50 is ideal, while a score of 60 or more is regarded as excellent for your home's solar power potential.

The more space your roof has to accommodate and install solar panels, the better. Furthermore, the direction your roof faces is critical. South-facing roofs receive the greatest sunshine, generating more than enough solar energy to power a home. There is also a bigger possibility for extra energy generation. A generator can store extra energy in a battery for use as a backup power source. Alternatively, you can return extra energy to your city's grid and receive credits.

The roof's slope is also crucial. Solar panels work best at a 30° angle. Tilt brackets allow you to adjust your pitch based on the steepness of your roof and its location.

Taking the Next Step…

Solar energy has multiple benefits, including cheaper energy costs, greater energy independence, and a less environmental imprint. However, not all homes are appropriate for solar panels, so before making a choice, take into account issues such as roof orientation and angle, roof space and condition, shading and obstacles, and temperature and geographic location.

By analyzing the financial factors and getting a professional assessment, you may evaluate whether your house is a suitable candidate for solar panels and take a significant step toward a more sustainable future.