When a roof is [NOT] adequate for solar.

Updated: Feb 28, 2021

Scoping out a neighborhood to find the right customers for solar systems can be tricky if you're starting in this business and don't know what you're doing. I remember my first time out door knocking for solar out in the Texas summer heat was not a lot of fun. I would cover entire blocks, home after home, just to find out once I got a homeowner's attention, that they already had a solar system (easily visible from the street); or their usable roof surface was in the wrong direction or covered in trees. So, what is the best roof for solar?

The fact is that every home is different and we can always find better ways to find out when a roof is adequate for solar. Moreover, we should only target those homes we are most certain would yield a profitable solar investment so we don't waste our time and the customer's.

The clues I look for when out screening neighborhoods are mainly the following: I look for newer neighborhoods with mostly young trees that will not affect the solar energy output; I also look for developments with rooftops with low pitch and minimal roof shapes. South facing rooftops are best for solar, followed by east or west; whereas north facing roofs are typically not good, especially if the pitch angles are above 30 to 45 degrees.

Bad Solar Installation in San Antonio, TX
Bad Solar Installation San Antonio, TX

I have found that ideal homes are mostly one story buildings with long saddle roofs in the right direction and the right angles. The reason is that multiple arrays on sharp inclines could significantly increase installation costs. Optimal power output occurs when solar panels face south at a tilt equal to 30 degrees. However, even if the tilt is all the way down to 5°, production only decreases by a mere 10 percent.

A very useful tool I use when scoping out rooftops and neighborhoods is the Live Street Route app or Google Earth. Also driving through neighborhoods to check out homes with solar installations and interviewing homeowners that have gone solar will help you determine the area's eligibility for solar, so you can zoom in on those homes that will most likely benefit from our product.

Here in Texas, as well as Florida, Nevada, Arizona and California we experience long periods of sunshine and heat waves, which in turn significantly increases electricity costs for their residents. Depending on location and utility charges, the main point to remember is that even if solar arrays aren’t installed at the ideal tilt, they can still deliver significant financial returns.

MANOLO BARDEGUEZ - Welcome to my Blog. I hope the articles on this site inspire you and I encourage you to discover the benefits of going solar for yourself by clicking Go Solar. By clicking Join you can also learn how you can join our movement to connect the world to sustainable technologies and get paid handsomely by the fastest growing solar company in America. If you have any questions, contact me directly at ManoloBard@SunbrightNet.com or call me by clicking the phone icon above.

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