Homeowners and business owners searching for green roofing methods that help reduce the strain on Clearwater’s electrical grid will quickly discover solar roofing. Whether for a low-slope roofing for a small business, or solar panels for residential applications, green roofing can be part of your overall energy conservation plan. Still, for all the hyperbole and publicity surrounding solar cells, are they the ideal green roofing solution?
The Sky Is the Limit
Here in the Clearwater area, we are bathed in approximately 361 sunny days every year. A lot of that energy can be freely tapped with solar cells or passive solar heating systems. Although the technology is continually improving at a rapid pace, the break-even point of these systems is not yet on a par though with mature energy industries like coal or nuclear energy
Consider, though, the benefits: green roofing solutions incorporating solar energy add no greenhouse gases, use no fossil fuels, and can operate effectively for a decade. As technologies improve, costs will drop and useful lifetimes will extend.
At Imperial Roofing, we suggest that the right time to consider solar roofing is when you face roof replacement anyway. For low-slope roofing, using cool roofing techniques can reduce your business’s energy use by cutting central air conditioning costs. To maximize savings with solar roofing, only consider green roofing when you need roof replacement.
Solar panels or passive solar heating systems can be mounted on existing tile or shingle roofs, and are easily adapted to low-slope roofing. Though the added weight of solar panels is generally less than the weight of a layer of shingles, Imperial Roofing can inspect your existing roof before you bring in a solar panel installer.
For Clearwater businesses whose low-slope roofs feature parapets, solar panels are nearly invisible from the street. On residential homes, the panels must be put on the back side of your roof if you prefer to keep them from view.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) shares data that shows photovoltaic solar energy, averaging around $0.20 per kilowatt-hour, is still significantly more expensive than just about every other energy source. The return on expense is good enough, however, that some 9,370 megawatts of U.S. energy is provided by solar roofing.
Whether your answer to green roofing is solar panels, skylights (which are available with solar benefits), or simply recycling your Clearwater home’s old shingles, we all benefit from reducing our impact on the environment. Whatever the immediate costs of solar roofing, leaving Clearwater a nicer place for our children and grandchildren is priceless.
Contact an Imperial Roofing contractor when you would like a cool roof installed on your business, or for an inspection before having solar panels installed on your Clearwater home. As a GAF certified Green Roofer, we would love to help with your projects, and are able to provide more information, specific to your needs.