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A man installs rooftop solar panels on a roof.Today's consumers want and expect options, including the type of energy powering their homes. Whether you're looking for a less expensive form of energy with ongoing savings or a green energy source, just these two reasons are why many homeowners explore rooftop solar panels.

The interest in alternative energy sources is also being fueled by decreasing costs for rooftop solar, the availability of financial incentives, and the proliferation of companies offering solar panel installation.

However, as attractive and popular as rooftop solar may appear, it is important to fully understand its true costs, the operational reality of this form of energy, and actual energy savings. A common misunderstanding is the belief that having solar panels will eliminate your electric bill. To decide whether rooftop solar is right for your situation, due diligence is a necessity. This is where Cuivre River Electric Cooperative (CREC) can assist. 

Is rooftop solar right for you?

To help you with determining this, CREC's energy advisors will look at factors including:

  • The overall energy efficiency of the home/building
  • Age and pitch of the roof
  • Orientation of the sun in relation to the home/building
  • Tree coverage near the home/building
  • Weather patterns for the region

A solar company has one goal - to sell its products and services. CREC's "bottom line" is not tied to a sale. We can look at the total energy picture and provide a candid assessment so that you can decide the best options for your home. While rooftop solar certainly works for many people, it's not the answer for everyone.

Are there other financial considerations related to solar panels?

In a word, yes. Before doing anything, CREC encourages members who are looking at rooftop solar to get answers to questions such as:

  • Is there a large, up-front payment needed, or are fees spread out over time?
  • Will the homeowner own the panels, or will they be leased?
  • Are there hidden costs, i.e., does the roof need to be replaced before installing the panels?
  • Are there ongoing maintenance fees?
  • Are there rebates or other financial incentives available?
  • Is the estimated savings worth the investment, or is it more cost-effective to invest in other energy-saving measures?

Considering current energy consumption, the home "envelope," age, and the efficiency of the HVAC system and home site, a CREC energy advisor can help determine whether rooftop solar is the best choice based on the homeowner's goals.

When assessing solar options, it's also an excellent time to examine other potential energy efficiency improvements for your home.

Because consumer interest in green energy sources and renewables is at an all-time high, CREC is ready to help our members determine their best options. Contact our Member Services Department at 800-392-3709 for assistance in getting started.