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What Roofing Material Is Best for Solar Panel Installation?

You’ve made the decision: new roof, new solar panels. But can solar panels be installed on your style of roof? Here’s more good news. You can install a solar energy system on nearly any type of residential roof:

  • composite
  • wood shake
  • cement tile
  • tar and gravel
  • metal

The best roof for a solar energy system is made of composite shingles; fortunately, because of their durability, versatility, and reasonable price, they are also the most common material for residential roofs.

Roof Angles for Solar Panels: More Important than Material

Even more important than the type of roofing shingle is the angle and orientation of your home’s roof. The more sunlight your roof gets — maximized with a south-facing roof — the more efficient your solar energy system will be. It’s okay if your home faces southwest or southeast, too.

Roof pitch is another important consideration. The ideal angle for a solar installation is between 10 and 20 degrees. However, if you have a flat roof, your solar panel installer can create a special frame on which to mount the panels, providing an even greater degree of flexibility to get the right positioning for the solar panels to maximize efficiency.

Plan Ahead for Your Solar Installation
If you are buying a new home and solar power is important to you — either for the cost savings or the environmental impact — talk to a solar installer before you ink the contract to determine your new home’s potential for solar power.

Similarly, if you’re considering a new roof, the time to install the roof is before you install new solar panels. (Well, that’s obvious, right?) You can expect the panels to last at least as long as the new roof, and sometimes longer! Bring in a solar contractor to advise you on the best roof for a solar panel installation to get the most out of your investment.

Post Written by
A full-time freelance writer, Dawn frequently covers energy efficiency, green living, and topics like LED lighting and whole home control systems for a number of blogs and technology trade magazines. Dawn is proud to live in New York as the state vies to beat out New Jersey as the East coast top dog of solar energy and is waiting for the Solar Renewable Energy Certificate legislation to pass before installing solar panels on her Long Island home.

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