One of things that has always fascinated me is the concept of going green, eco whatever, LEED this and that. And for all the purported talk on why everyone should do, in reality, hardly anyone does it when it comes to their real estate, and more specifically, their house. I’ve always wondered why………until…………about two years ago.
While on one of my numerous Home Depot pop in to buy this or that, there was a solar company touting roof top panel systems…..so I filled out the card, one thing lead to another…….fast forward to now, we have a 10 kW system on our roof. Unless you know what that means, and frankly, I’m not exactly sure what that means…..but I know what I see…….(40) 2 by 4 foot panels on our roof. An interesting blue hue to them on a sunny day, and the way our roof is set up, it’s a bank of 32 panels, and a second bank of 8 panels. The really interesting part of the setup, is the house faces mostly east but slightly tipped to the south……and the panels are on the east half of the roof!
For those that haven’t ever done this, what “they” do is set light meters on your roof to measure the sun, tree effect and so on….and in our case, I thought for sure the panels would be on the west side of the roof……but not so, and it seems to be working out just fine, thank you very much, because even though we long term leased the system, we haven’t paid much of an electric bill in a long time……..so in short, the math is well in our favor, we are doing the green thing so I guess that is a plus too. And it sort of looks cool as far as our roof is concerned, because when you pull into the driveway, that roof bank of blue panels is looking straight at you, a cool high tech look to my minds eye anyway!
Now lets go back to why doesn’t everyone do this…..first off, it’s super complicated, so many documents to sign, read, I finally just said…..”what the heck” and started click signing everything sent to me. I can easily see why most folks would just fall apart at this point with so much contract minutia to deal with. Second issue, I guess not everyone thinks the panels look great or even OK, one of our neighbors down the street said she’d never do those because she wants to entertain in her house…….and I’m like…..er……they can’t see the panels from inside your house………..
The real reason why I decided to do this isn’t to save the polar ice cap, or not pay an electric bill, although those are part of reasons why we did………but I just wanted to see if a system like this could really work. Oh, and I did some research of California homes who have solar systems on their roof………and their values are considerably higher……some studies suggesting $8k higher value per 1 kW of system installed…..now that is food for thought too………
As I sit and reflect while typing this blog entry, we did this for looks, curiousity, save the planet, get part of our roof paid for brand new, add real estate value, and not pay an electric bill. And again I ask myself…….why doesn’t everyone do this and why can’t the solar companies out there get every house on the block using a solar system?