Solar energy as an alternative to traditional electricity is becoming more popular each year. Many homeowners are choosing to add solar panels to their rooftops to harness the clean energy of the sun. LifeStyle Homes alone has built over 120 solar homes along Florida’s East Coast.
Still many people wonder: How practical is clean energy?
The answers can vary. How effective solar energy can be for you depends on a few key factors. Two questions many are asking is whether it’s possible to run an entire home on solar power, and if doing so really does cut electricity bills.
LifeStyle’s extensive experience in the solar arena has proven the answer to these questions is “yes” under the right conditions.
Consider the following:
- How big is your roof?
The average LifeStyle home requires around an 8 KW to 9 KW solar system to produce enough energy to achieve a zero-energy performance. (A zero-energy performance is achieved when a home produces as much energy as it consumes over a year’s time.) Currently, LifeStyle’s rack-mounted panels each produce 305 watts, meaning a homeowner would need to install somewhere around 26 to 29 panels to run their entire home on solar power. However, there is no one-size-fits-all formula. Your roof’s square footage will determine exactly how many panels are possible, and a portion of your roof around the edges will be unable to support panels. In addition, certain homeowner associations have restrictions on solar panels in street view.
- Is it shaded?
In order to achieve the best results from your panels, it is important that they be fully exposed. Ideally, your roof should receive direct sunlight between the hours of 10am and 3pm, so a few trees may need to be trimmed back in order to reach your goals.
- Which direction should it face?
Your panels will need to be placed in a southward facing direction in order to gather enough sunlight to support your home on solar power alone. Facing them east or west will also work, but this could result in a reduced effect.
If your home is able to match the above criteria, achieving full reliance on the sun for electricity is a goal within reach. With the power accumulated throughout the day, and a conservative finger on the light switch, you can look forward to watching your power bill plummet each month.