What makes a good site for solar?

Some rooftops are better than others for hosting solar panels, as are some states and municipalities.

If you're interested in installing solar panels on your roof, there are two main factors in whether your property is a good site: whether your rooftop is itself a good location for solar and whether you live in a state that is favorable for solar.

Is my roof right for solar?

A few factors determine whether a home or business is a good location for solar:

  • Buildings with south-facing roofs make the best sites, as they usually have more access to sunlight. However, roofs facing east or west can be used as well
  • The location for solar should be largely unshaded by trees or rooftop obstructions like chimneys.
  • The roof should be in good condition and not in need of replacement in the near future. If your roof needs replacement, it's best to wait until you're ready to do that before you install solar.

Solar installers through WePowr communities will be able to determine whether your roof is a good fit for solar through using cutting-edge aerial surveying technologies and conducting a free, in-person site visit.

Do I live in the right place for solar?

There are more factors than your roof in determining whether to go solar: the same house with the same features and sun exposure in two different states might look very different in terms of suitability for solar.

  • Electricity prices. Electricity generated by solar panels will displace the electricity you buy from your utility. Home and business owners in states with higher electricity costs will save more money from going solar.
  • Incentives and policies. Every state in the U.S. has a different attitude towards solar. States like California, New York, and Massachusetts have strong incentives and favorable policies that support home and business owners in installing solar. These states have installed most of the solar in the U.S.: 3/4 of all solar installed in the U.S. has been installed in just five states. Other states with less favorable policies have installed very little by comparison. Policies and programs from municipalities and local utilities may also affect the favorability of solar.
  • Sunlight. It might be surprising, but while the amount of sunlight your region as a whole gets does affect how much electricity your panels generate, electricity prices and policies actually play a greater role. Read more about how your geographic location and annual sun exposure affects your solar installation here.
  • Regional panel prices. A homeowner may pay more for the same solar installation in in one state over another (even between cities in the same state) due to a wide range of factors that range from hardware costs to "soft costs" like permitting, inspection, and financing.