What to do about a roof that needs replacement before the solar panels will!
Do you have the right roofing for solar panels? This is obviously going to be the type of question that you will want to answer early on. The beauty of solar panels for roofs is the fact that they can provide their wondrous cost-saving benefits for a wide variety of homes and other structures. You must make sure that roofing for solar panels is adequate.
Solar companies will quote and determine if you have the correct roofing for solar and if it is positioned to get adequate sun exposure for electric production. It is smart to get two estimates.
Solar companies have various methods of selling/financing the installation. If you are looking at the “no cost up front/ share in savings”, then what follows will not be of help to you.
If you are financing or buying outright in New York City, for maximum long-term savings, then read this carefully:
USEFUL LIFE OF YOUR ROOF AND SOLAR PANELS
Today’s solar panels have a useful life of 30 years. A brand new roof will have the same life. Unfortunately, most roofs are somewhere in the middle of their useful lives so it leaves you with a big decision. Should I replace my roof now or not?
Tax Incentives Make the Decision Easier:
When you add up all the tax incentives for a typical 16 panel installation in NYC, they will be about 65% of the job cost. So you only pay $.35 for every dollar.
Solar companies can also “bundle in” roof work as “Labor” and you will save about 50% of the roofing costs. The reason for the different percent’s is the NYS tax incentive has a $5,000 maximum. The solar will likely use this up.
This Is How To Figure Your Installation:
The solar installation is a constant; your roof is the question.
If your roof has 20 years of life left, then it may pay to install panels on it.
If your roof has 15 or less years- here is the analysis:
Approximate Cost of a complete new 30 year roof – $5,000.
This cost can be higher if layers need to be removed or your sub-roof has soft spots.
Install panels over the old roof:
(Note all figures are in today’s dollars. Future costs will be higher due to inflation)
In 15 years install new roof at full cost – $5,000
Remove and replace panels and support beams – $3,000
Total roof replacement cost (in 15 years) – $8,000
Install New Roof Now before Solar Panels:
Roof replacement after 50% tax incentives – $2,500
This will be good for 30 years
As this example shows, it’s much cheaper to replace the roof now, then in 15 or 13 or 10 years. Most important, when it comes time for solar panel replacement you also replace the roof. This saves to cost of removing the panels and putting them back if you only are replacing the roof. Bundling the roof and solar can save you 50% of the roofing cost.
But most important, your whole roof and solar are good for 30 years! In the 1st case, panel life & roof life are always expiring at different times. Actually, due to enormous tax incentives, it would even pay to replace a 10 year old roof, now.
Another alternative is to replace only the half roof, which the solar is on. But this way you are re-roofing every 15 years, which is a hassle.