Should you replace your roof with solar shingles?
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Any homeowner who’s concerned about carbon footprints and energy costs has considered solar power — usually, in the shape of solar panels. But now there’s another option: an entire solar roof.
Solar roofs are composed of solar shingles, aka solar tiles, that can fit over existing shingles or be installed on their own. So the energy-harvesting ability is baked into the roof itself. The shingles do everything regular shingles do, roof-wise (protect your house from the elements), are fire-resistant, and are quite durable. Plus, they look a lot more sleek and seamless than solar panels.
If you’re considering replacing your roof (or are building a new one for a new home), solar shingles may be a particularly timely choice. The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August 2022, offers enhanced tax credits of up to 30 percent of the cost of installations, increasing the incentive to go solar.
Let’s shed more light on the subject.
What are solar shingles?
Solar shingles or tiles are like regular roof shingles. But instead of being made of asphalt, clay or slate, they are made of glass that contain photovoltaic cells. Photovoltaic cells act as semiconductors and transfer energy collected from the sunlight into electrons, which can then become electrical current to power your home. Each shingle typically produces between 13 and 63 watts of energy, depending on the brand (one of the latest, by industry leader Tesla, claims to have a max power of 71 watts). While they both convert sunlight to energy, solar shingles are quite different from the solar panels (we’ll dig into the differences later).
The first solar shingles were developed by DOW Chemical Company, rolling out in 2011. But the concept began to get serious traction in 2016, when Tesla purchased manufacturer Solar City and began offering what it deemed the Tesla Solar Roof. Today, there are several brands of the solar roof tiles available through manufacturers like CertainTeed, GAF Energy, Luma, SunTegra and of course Tesla. (Dow dropped out of the game.)
The average size of a solar shingle or tile is about 12 inches wide by 86 inches long. It takes about 350 solar tiles for a standard-size roof. Tiles weigh about 13 pounds per square foot, so most roofs can handle them without additional reinforcement.
What do solar shingles cost?
Although the have been dropping of late, as more makers enter the market, solar roofs are expensive. On average, the cost to install solar roof shingles runs 21 to 25 per square foot or 2,100 to 2,600 per roofing square. So a total project could easily average 60,000 to 75,000 — at least. That’s considerably higher than the cost of a conventional roof (between 5,646 and 12,031. according to HomeAdvisor). Even expensive traditional materials like clay or slate (800 to 1,800 per square) cost less than solar tile.
What solar roof tiles will cost you depends on several factors including:
- Roof size: The bigger the roof, the more shingles needed.
- Roof pitch/slope: As is the case with any roof, the more extreme the angling, the more difficult/risky the installation will be, which affects the overall cost.
- Home location: Labor (installation) costs vary by city and state.
- Energy needs of your home.
- Particular manufacturer/brand of shingle or tile.
Still, solar shingle have dropped since their introduction, and they may continue to do so, given the Inflation Reduction Act’s significant incentives and grants for solar implementation, for builders as well as consumers. The Solar Energy Industries Association believes that the IRA’s investment in clean energy will spur “a renaissance in American solar manufacturing,” driving down costs. as its recent “Catalyzing American Solar Manufacturing” report put it.
What do you save in energy costs?
While expensive to install, a solar roof can save in the long run. Depending on the number of tiles on your roof, solar shingles can reduce energy costs by anywhere from 40 to 60 percent, according to the consumer education site SolarReviews. Additionally, you may be eligible for federal and state tax incentives.
Helping the immediate bite a bit: Per the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act, eligible homeowners who install solar shingles will qualify for a 30 percent tax credit on the installation cost. Starting in tax year 2023, this credit continues through 2032 (and then at a reduced percentage through 2034). Several states offer credits, rebates and other incentives as well.
Solar shingles vs solar panels
Both solar shingles and solar panels can be a great option to take your home energy efficiency to the next level. But which is best for you? The advantages of each in a nutshell:
|weather-resistant and durable||Can be more energy-efficient depending on roof slope, sunlight exposure|
|Greater energy-bill savings||Shorter installation time|
|aesthetically pleasing (fewer potential HOA issues)||inexpensive to install|
What are the advantages of a solar roof?
When compared to conventional roofs and solar panels, there are some advantages to investing in solar shingles.
- They are projected to be long-lasting (30-40 years)
- They reduce energy use/carbon footprint and bills
- They blend in better and resemble traditional roof materials
- They are more cost effective per watt of solar energy than solar panels
- They are easier to maintain than solar panels
What are the disadvantages of a solar roof?
Downsides of solar shingles relate to their being such a new technology.
- Availability is more limited
- They are more expensive than conventional roofs and solar panels
- They have fewer style and color options
- Since part of the roof itself, they cannot be installed at an angle like solar panels can, to produce maximum energy
- They are not conducive to a DIY installation
The final word on solar shingles
Solar shingles are still pretty new, which means experienced installers and contractors may be limited in your area. And their exact lifespan and durability is still something of a question mark, of course: None have been around long enough to prove the current projections. Nor is there much sense, as yet, as to how they’d affect a house’s resale value (though eco-friendly features, in general, are getting more popular with homebuyers).
Still, if you’re an environmentally-conscious homeowner in need of a full roof replacement or a roof for a new build, solar shingles are worth considering. With some states now requiring that newly built homes be solar power-equipped, and enhanced federal tax credits in effect starting in 2023, the time to go solar may be now.
How Solar Panels are Attached to Your Roof
Roofs have an important job. They keep warmth in and keep everything else out. However, they can’t do much else. and unless you have a swanky rooftop restaurant, your roof probably isn’t making you any money.
But for many, there’s a pretty easy way to put your roof to work and have it save you money. a rooftop solar system. By producing free and clean electricity for decades, solar energy can be a worthwhile investment.
But how do PV panels attach to roofs, and does it matter what kind of roof you have? Will they cause any damage? What happens if you need a new roof after the solar panels are installed? We’ll answer all those questions and more so you can decide if a rooftop solar system is right for you.
What We’ll Talk About:
Solar Panel Attachments for Different Roof Types
The solar industry came up with solutions for installing solar panels on nearly all roof materials. Be it the typical asphalt shingles that cover many of the homes in America, or sturdy commercial-grade metal roofs, there’s likely a tried and true way to securely mount the panels.
Asphalt Shingle Roofs
Solar panels have been mounted to thousands of homes across America using a lag bolt and flashing. The bolt is attached to the rafters of the roof, tightly securing the solar panels and the racking system.
To ensure there is no possibility of leaking, a piece of flashing is placed underneath the shingle.
Standing Seam Metal Roofs
Standing seam metal roofs are great for installing solar. Not only are they incredibly long-lasting and durable, but there’s no need to make any penetrations in the roof when installing the roof mounts.
How’s it done? A U-clamp is attached to the raised seam, and the solar panel racking is then attached securely to the clamp.
Corrugated Metal Roofs
Have a metal roof that isn’t standing seam? There’s an effective way to install solar on that, too.
Solar panels and their racking are attached to corrugated metal roofs with a bracket designed specifically for that roofing type. The bracket fits over the rib and is held into place by the same galvanized screws that your roofing company used to install the roof.
Flat Roofs and Rubber Roofs
Whether EPDM rubber, TPO, or another material, solar panels can also be installed on your flat roofs. without any penetrations. These are called ballast mounts. The solar panels and their racking are held in place on the roof from the weight of cinder blocks.
An added benefit of a ballast mount system is that the panels themselves can be oriented and tilted to maximize production, which isn’t possible with other mounting types that are dependent on the angle of the roof they’re being installed on.
Are Solar Shingles Worth It?
As manufacturers get closer and closer to making solar shingles widely available, there’s been more and more buzz around the topic.
One thing is for certain, solar shingles really look great and can even be indistinguishable from regular roof tiles. However, they are much less cost-effective than solar panels.
According to SolarReviews.com, it would cost 66,000 to 78,000 to install solar shingles on an average 3,000-square-foot roof. In comparison, you could typically install a 20-30 kW system in that price range.
While solar owners in some states may pay high enough rates and use enough electricity to allow the solar roof to eventually pay for itself, it cannot, for now, compete with the cost savings that come with solar panels.
If you’re looking for ways to keep your home or business’s curb appeal while installing solar panels, check out our blog: “ How to Design an Attractive Solar System.”
Can Your Roof Support the Additional Weight from Solar Panels?
Solar panels aren’t exactly big heavy bricks, but they do weigh something. around 2.5 to 2.7 pounds per square feet. Before installing your system, it’s a good idea to make sure your roof can support the added weight. In the vast majority of cases. let’s say about 95%. solar panels can be installed on roofs that don’t need any additional support.
However, to ensure solar panels aren’t installed on any of the 5% of roofs that can’t support the weight, a third-party structural engineer will evaluate the roof and give their stamp of approval. If needed, additional support can be added.
Can Solar Panels Damage Your Roof?
Most people are wary of holes in their roofs. and that’s fair. With the exception of standing seam metal roofs and flat roofs, penetrations in the roof are required to properly mount the solar panels.
However, a properly installed solar system should not cause any leakage, even if penetrations are needed. The industry has been installing rooftop solar for a few decades, and proper measures have been developed to minimize the risk of any water damage happening because they had solar panels installed.
There’s even an added benefit. your solar panels can actually protect your roof.
Solar panels act as a shield to the common and unavoidable wear and tear. They’re durable and built to withstand much of what Mother Nature throws their way, keeping your roof dry and clean underneath.
The important thing to note is to work with a reputable solar installer. This will ensure you’re backed by their warranties, and they’ll work to maintain the warranty of your roof.
What Happens If You Need a New Roof?
If you need to replace your roof after you have solar panels installed, you will need to remove and reinstall the solar panels.
Your solar installer should take a look at your roof before beginning the project to ensure it’s in good shape. If you need a new roof, you’ll want to get that out of the way before installing the solar panels.
While a new roof is never something we get excited about buying, your future self will thank you. If you need a new roof or repairs to the roof that need to be made, your solar panels will have to be removed and reinstalled. This should cost less than the actual installation itself but is best to be avoided if possible.
Will Your Panels Be Secure in Severe Weather?
Yes, your solar panels will be secure in most severe weather. Solar systems will be designed and installed to withstand winds based on your local code wind loading requirements. Most systems are designed to take winds of 90-120 mph.
Your solar system will have to be installed according to local building codes, which are based on your local weather patterns. These codes will dictate a specific speed of wind that solar systems need to be able to withstand
Partnering with a reputable, well-experienced solar installation company will ensure you get a quality system that’s backed for years and even decades. You’ll be sure to get a solar system that works properly and safely and generates free electricity for 30 years.
How to Install Solar Panels on a Home Roof and Connect Them
Solar energy is quickly establishing itself as the quintessential modern way to generate power. It’s green, renewable, and can reduce (or even eliminate) your monthly electric bills.
There are numerous advantages and benefits to installing your own set of solar panels on your roof rather than paying for professional installation.
But how do you go about doing it?
Well, you’re in the right place.
In this guide, we’re going to take you through all the benefits of installing solar panels on your roof and how you can DIY it all by yourself!
Why You Should Install Solar Panels on the Roof
There are numerous pros to installing your own solar panels. To make them easier to digest, we’ve broken down the key points below for you to review.
Solar Panels Are a Renewable Source of Green Energy
Over the past two decades, the damage caused by climate change has become clearer and clearer. Life on our planet is in danger, and we all feel the pressure to change our habits and live greener.
Generating your own clean, renewable energy from the sun is an excellent way to do this, and that’s exactly what solar panels provide you with!
If you’re looking for a greener way to live, solar is a fantastic place to start.
Solar Panels Can Help You Save Money
Living greener isn’t just about saving the planet. You can also keep more green in your wallet.
Generating your own energy means less (or zero) reliance on the grid. You can reduce your electricity bills or eliminate them altogether. The initial investment can be significant, but over time you will certainly start to see the financial benefits.
With the world’s fossil fuel supply diminishing and an unpredictable geopolitical situation — not to mention the natural disasters exacerbated by climate change — the price of on-grid electricity is likely to keep climbing.
At the same time, an aging energy infrastructure has made the grid less reliable than ever.
With the rapidly declining and improving technology of solar power, there’s never been a better time to take the plunge.
Solar Panels Are Easy to Install
Installing your own solar panels on your roof might seem like a massive undertaking, but it really isn’t.
You may be entirely capable of doing it yourself!
We’ll walk you through a DIY solar installation step-by-step a little further down. Home renovations don’t have to be stressful or excessive, and solar panel installation is neither.
Solar Panels Are Low Maintenance
Not only are solar panels easy to install, but they also require next to no maintenance. Once the panels are set up on your roof, you can essentially just forget about them. Solar power systems require no refueling and — if purchased from a reliable manufacturer — are highly durable. The Rigid Solar Panel from EcoFlow features an IP68 weather resistance certification, making it totally waterproof! These panels are designed to last with minimal intervention. You may need to clean them once or twice a year, but the rain will generally take care of that.
What to Consider Before Installing Solar Panels on Your Roof
Now that you know why solar panels are such a good idea, we’re sure you’re eager to purchase your own.
Don’t rush to the stores (or your laptop) just yet — there are some key considerations to make first.
You don’t want to invest in technology that doesn’t meet your electricity generation needs or install the incorrect equipment.
Consider the following factors carefully before jumping into solar.
Location isn’t just about the amount of sunshine you receive on a daily basis. Peak sun hours have an impact, but solar panels can pick up energy even in low-light situations. You don’t need to live in a desert for your solar panel to generate adequate power.
However, if your roof is positioned under heavy shade, you won’t reap the same benefits as a solar panel that receives direct sunlight.
Do some research on how much sunlight your location receives on average and consider factors like shade. It pays to know how worthwhile your investment will end up being before committing.
How Much Energy Does Your Home Use?
Numerous factors affect how much energy your home consumes. The number of people in your house, how many devices you have running concurrently, and your home’s size all contribute. Make sure you review how much electricity your home consumes, with specific reference to the wattage of essential devices and appliances, before purchasing solar panels and a solar power system.
Doing the math will give you a clearer insight into how beneficial the switch to solar will be for you!
The Condition of Your Roof
Solar panels do not typically damage your roof, but they do exert additional weight on the existing structure. This is because they are usually mounted via panel hooks or similar devices.
If your roof hasn’t been inspected in a few years or has shown signs of degradation (rot, woodworm, rust, etc), it might not be the best time to invest in roof-mounted solar panels.
The last thing you want is to splash out on a set of solar panels only to find your roof can’t support them.
Besides, portable solar panels are also a more than viable option. You can set them up in your backyard — and take them anywhere.
The Brand You Purchase From
Last but perhaps most importantly, you need to consider which manufacturer to purchase your solar panels and the solar power system that converts and stores electricity from.
Not all brands (or solar panels) are created equal — and reputation matters!
You should always read up on the brand you’re investing in before proceeding through checkout. You might think you’ve found a bargain, but if you’re purchasing subpar technology, it will likely need to be replaced much sooner than you’d like.
How to Install and Connect Solar Panels on a Roof – Step by Step
Now let’s get into the nitty gritty: installation!
When it comes to installation, rigid solar panels are somewhat similar between brands. But there are some unique differences.
This step-by-step guide is a generalized approach, but it should still apply to your installation.
It isn’t as complicated as you may think, so let’s get into it already.
Attach the Solar Panel Mounts
Once you are safely up on your roof, the first thing you will need to do is secure your solar panel mounts. Mounts are what your panels will attach to and ‘hang’ from, so you must ensure they are completely stable.
Also, consider how you’re going to maximize sunlight exposure throughout the day. Attach your mounts to the side that receives the most daylight at an 18-36 degree angle.
Secure the Solar Panels in Place
Once your mounts are securely in place, it’s time to place the panels themselves.
EcoFlow offers both rigid and flexible solar panels to suit your rooftop installation needs. No matter how sloped or unusual your roof may be, you should have minimal difficulty fitting them in place.
Just make sure all of the nuts and bolts are tightly fastened, securing the panel to the mount. This will help ensure that they stay precisely where you put them, no matter the weather.
Wire the Solar Panels to the Inverter or Portable Power Station
Next is the wiring. This may be the part you find most daunting, but it’s actually a relatively simple process. In most cases, MC4 cable connectors are used because they are compatible with all kinds of solar panels. You should only attempt this when the household electrical supply is entirely shut down, or you run the risk of electrifying yourself rather than your panels.
Install the Solar Inverter or Use a Portable Power Station
The inverter converts the sunlight your panels absorb into electrical energy you can use and store. EcoFlow’s portable power stations and solar generators have the inverter built in, as well as everything else you need for a true plug-and-play solar power system.
Your inverter should usually be installed near your main electrical panel, ideally in a cool location.
If you choose to install the solar inverter outdoors, make sure it’s out of the direct sun.
Connect the Inverter to the Consumer Unit
Finally, you need to connect the inverter to the consumer unit (fuse board). You will also need to connect solar batteries to your consumer unit to store the electricity you generate.
This step is unnecessary with EcoFlow Portable Power Stations and Solar Generators, which are both all-in-one solar power system solutions.
A generation meter alongside can tell you how much energy your solar panels are generating.
With many of EcoFlow’s products, you can access this information and much more using the EcoFlow app on your smartphone.
Congrats, you’ve completed your very first installation!
NOTE: Your solar panels should always arrive with a specific installation manual for your system. Our guide is a catch-all for numerous solar panels, so make sure to refer to it as a high-level guide alongside your product manual.
Do I Need Permission to Install Solar Panels on My Roof?
In most cases, no, you do not need to apply for planning permission to install solar panels on your roof. Typically, it’s considered permitted development and shouldn’t affect neighbors in any meaningful way.
After all, you aren’t expanding your property. You’re just adding to what’s already there.
However, some exemptions to this may apply depending on your location and local regulations. Particularly if the following criteria are breached:
- The panels rise higher than 8 inches (200mm) from the roof
- Your home is a listed or landmark building
- You live close to a listed or landmark building
Check your local and national guidelines for specific information relating to your home, but for the most part, you should be good to go!
If you are denied planning permission for a rooftop solar installation for whatever reason, don’t worry, it isn’t the end of your solar journey. EcoFlow offers a range of portable solar panels that can be used with portable power stations (such as the DELTA Pro) to generate power no matter where you are — and you don’t have to ask anyone’s permission!
Installing solar panels on your roof can seem like a huge undertaking, but it can prove highly worthwhile.
Not only do you get energy independence, but you also do your part for the environment and save money on utility bills in the long run.
Consider purchasing your own solar panels today and see for yourself why so many people and businesses are turning to solar power.
EcoFlow is a portable power and renewable energy solutions company. Since its founding in 2017, EcoFlow has provided peace-of-mind power to customers in over 85 markets through its DELTA and RIVER product lines of portable power stations and eco-friendly accessories.
What Is the Best Roof Design for Solar Panels and What If Mine’s Not Perfect?
If you’re looking to go solar at home, chances are you’re going to put those panels up on your roof. Ground-mounted solar is a great option, but it’s uncommon to have enough space to put up a decent-sized system in your yard. So that begs the question, what is the best roof design for solar panels?
Let’s get this out of the way first: Almost no one has the perfect roof for solar. Although some roof shapes and angles are better for solar production than others, solar panels are extremely versatile and can provide energy cost savings and carbon footprint reduction in a wide range of configurations.
In other words: Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.
In this article, we’ll explore that makes a good roof for solar panels and some frequently asked questions.
roof design traits that effect your solar production
There are several roof characteristics that effect how much your solar panels will produce. Here is the top six:
Also known as azimuth, orientation is the direction your roof faces. For North American solar systems, the best roof design for solar panels is one with a large, unshaded south face (an azimuth of 180 degrees).
Not having a south-facing roof is not a deal-breaker. However, many roofs are multi-faceted, and if your roof is mostly west- and east-facing, you’re likely to only see a 10-20 percent reduction in the amount of energy you’re generating.
There’s been an ongoing debate about south-facing vs. west-facing panels over the last couple of years. While south-facing panels will generate the most energy, west-facing panels generate the most energy when demand is highest. That’s why some big proponents, including the California Energy Commission, encourage builders to include some west-facing solar panels in their developments.
In the end, south is best, but west and east are also good; having panels facing south and west will help you generate energy throughout the day.
Along with orientation, the size of your roof will determine how many solar panels you can install. The average US home solar system size is 5 kilowatts or 12-13 panels with a rating of 400 Watts. With solar panels requiring about 15 square feet each, you need about 200 square feet of (south- or west-facing) roof space to fit 13 panels on your roof.
Big surprise: Solar panels only work when the sun is shining directly on them. If you’re surrounded by tall trees and your roof and yard are shaded most of the day, your choices are limited to either:
- Taking down trees
- Buying clean energy from a community solar system instead
- Opting for a clean energy mix from your utility (if available)
It’s important to note that shading doesn’t always come from trees and outside objects — sometimes roofs can shade themselves. The best roof design for solar panels is one with minimal tiers and overhangs that could cause shading.
What is your roof made of? The most common type of roofing material is asphalt shingles, but solar installers can put panels on just about any of the most common types of roofing materials, including tile, metal, slate and even wood shingle.
Some roof types are more difficult to install on than others, and if your roof is made of trickier materials it may add to the cost of your solar installation.
important than the roof type you have is how old your roof is. According to a study by the National Home Builders Association, an asphalt shingle roof should last for around 20 years, while slate, copper, tile, and metal roofs can last 50 years or more. Meanwhile, most home solar systems are guaranteed to last for 25 years, and will likely last much longer.
So if your roof will need to be replaced in the next 10 years or less, consider doing so before your solar panels are installed. You can always replace the roof after your panels are in place, but it involves removing the panels and racks, replacing the roof, and then re-installing the panels, which adds more cost to the project.
The slope of your roof isn’t as important as the orientation, but it can affect your solar energy output. The ideal roof angle for power generation is about 30 degrees, but roofs that are too steep make installation difficult, while flat roofs mean that you can set the panels at just the right angle, but you’ll be paying extra for the required racking.
As a rule of thumb, your panels should be tilted at about the degrees as your latitude. So if you live in Los Angeles at 34 degrees north, then your panels should face south and be tilted about 34 degrees.
What if I don’t have the best roof design for solar panels?
Not everybody has a large, unshaded, south-facing roof. So what happens if your roof design is less than perfect for solar panels?
In these scenarios, there are two ways to increase your solar output:
Use panels with a higher power rating – Solar panels are rated from 250 to 450 based on how many Watts of DC electricity they can produce per hour. So, if you don’t have enough space for 16 250W panels, then you can achieve the same output with 10 400W panels.
Increase the number of panels – If you have limited sun exposure due to shading, pitch, orientation, or location you can simply add more panels. For example, Los Angeles averages around 6 peak sun hours per day while New York City averages around 4.5. That means it would require 15 panels to achieve 27,000 kWh per day in New York City, and around 11 panels to achieve 27,000 kWh per day in Los Angeles.
In both cases, you can expect your project to cost a little more than if you had a perfect roof for solar. However, the solar panels themselves make up a small fraction of your project cost, and adding or upgrading will have little effect on your energy cost savings over 25 years.
Bottom line: There is no perfect roof
Although it’s tempting to want the best roof design for solar panels, solar panels are extremely versatile and can provide energy cost savings and clean energy in many applications.
Between the falling costs of solar equipment and the 30% federal solar tax credit, there’s never been a better time to go solar. Get started by comparing multiple quotes from vetted local installers.
Best roof design for solar panels FAQs
What type of roof is best for solar panels?
A south-facing composite asphalt shingle roof with plenty of space is typically considered the best roof design for solar panels. However, solar systems can be very versatile and provide clean energy and cost savings in a wide variety of applications.
What is the best roof design for solar?
It may sound simple, but a large square roof with a standard pitch between 20-30 degrees is ideal for a simple solar system. Roofs with lots of tiers with little extended space can create challenges for designers and installers.
What type of roof is not good for solar panels?
We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you have a slate or wood roof, your options are limited. Many solar companies will refuse to install on these materials, which can limit your options.
Some work-arounds include re-roofing with a new material or installing the system on the ground.
What if my roof is old?
Most roofs must be replaced at some point, but you have a couple options when assessing your roofs current state before going solar. If your roof is too old, some solar installers will replace your roof as part of the same project, which can help you save by combining the projects.
If your roof is getting old but not quite at point of replacing, it may be worthwhile to install the solar panels knowing you’ll need a roof replacement at some point down the road. In this case, re-roofing requires the added cost of having your solar company un-install and re-install the panels.
Solar panels can help aid the longevity of your roof, because they help protect against a lot of nature’s elements.
Will my roof have issues with leaks?
Leaks after solar installation are extremely rare. Yet, if they do happen it’s important to be covered by a warranty. Good installers offer extended warranties on workmanship, which means you won’t have to worry about being on the hook for any issues that could arise during an install.
If your roof seems like a fit, use Solar.com to receive free, no-obligation bids on a solar installation for your home.