As we do research for this blog, we come across interesting tidbits which we think will be useful for us as well as our readers. We are investigating how we can get on the solar or wind power generation wagon and possibly reduce our own carbon footprint. So far I am finding that although it is technically possible, the costs make Solar Power Generation financially not viable. But we have to begin with first steps and we came across these questions which I thought were good questions to address to see if we really qualify as possible solar power users or generators. These are general questions and if you get through these, then talk to an expert.

Here they are:

  • Would you like to reduce or even eliminate your electric bills?
  • Does a good portion of your roof get unshaded sunshine for most of the day throughout the year?
  • Are you interested in making your own electricity, pollution-free, with fuel provided free of charge by Mother Nature?
  • Would you like to lessen our country’s dependence on fossil fuels?
  • Do you want to take advantage of LIPA’s Solar Pioneer cash rebate?
  • Is your roof in decent condition?
  • Do you own your own home?

Solar Power Generation

We will try to answer each of these based on were we live and our situation. They are looking for yes or no answers, however I thought it would be a good idea to put a little bit of explanation with the answers we give and why the questions are important.

Would you like to reduce or even eliminate your electric bills?  Yes of course, this is a silly question in our minds. Who does not want to reduce their energy bills?

Does a good portion of your roof get unshaded sunshine for most of the day throughout the year?  Yes in the summer time, however in the winter much of the roof is covered in snow, so we think that this solar solution is only really going to work from about March through to end of Nov, unless someone gets up on the roof to clear the snow away. Also we liver pretty far north, so days are short in the winter time and we should only use the south facing roof to maximize exposure to the sun.

Are you interested in making your own electricity, pollution-free, with fuel provided free of charge by Mother Nature?  Well of course, another no brained answer, as long as you do not take into account the energy that went into manufacturing the solar panels. No idea if this is significant or not.

Would you like to lessen our country’s dependence on fossil fuels?  Yes another answer that you do not have to think about, even if we are one of the countries with lots of oil. Using solar power should decrease some of the pollution as well.

Do you want to take advantage of LIPA’s Solar Pioneer cash rebate?  Not sure were this is offered, so sounds like you must do your own research to see if a rebate or incentive is offered in your state or province.

Is your roof in decent condition?  Yes, this is important. Your roof must be able to support the weight of the panels, but also if you need new shingles in five years you probably want to replace them now before you install the panels on the roof to save extra cost later. This may impact the financial analysis that you will do to evaluate if this is a good idea or not.

Do you own your own home? Another important question. If you rent, your landlord may not want you messing with his roof. As well you may not want to invest in solar panels only to find that you need to move in a couple of years. Payback for the investment is probably going to be longer than 5 years from what we have read so far.

A Difficult Financial Decision?

So a couple of areas which will impact the financial cash flow and may swing the business case in a negative direction. We will have to research this some more before making a final decision on solar panels. first of all we need to collect all of the costs associated with this installation  for the solar power equipment as well as the upgrade costs of our home.

For example our roof is approximately 10 years old. Should we do anything about it or should we just go ahead and install the solar panels knowing that in 10 or 15 years we will need to remove the solar panels and replace the roof? This is a big question for us which we need to address.

For more solar related posts, click here.

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