Thinking about rooftop solar? Remember these considerations

March-April 2019

Today’s consumers want and expect options, including the type of energy powering their homes.

Many homeowners are looking for less-expensive forms of energy with ongoing savings. Some are looking for a green energy source. These two motives are why some homeowners are exploring rooftop solar panels.

The interest in alternative energy sources is also being fueled by decreasing costs for rooftop solar, the availability of financial incentives and the proliferation of companies offering solar panel installation.

However, as attractive and popular as rooftop solar may appear, it is important for consumers to fully understand its true costs, the operational reality of this form of energy and actual energy savings.

To determine whether rooftop solar is right for their particular situation, homeowners should undertake their due diligence.

When assessing solar options, it is an excellent time to examine other potential energy-efficiency improvements for your home. For example, it may make sense to insulate the attic at the same time as installing solar.

This total energy picture can help you determine the best options for your home. While rooftop solar certainly works for many people, it’s not the answer for all objectives.


Anne Prince writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the national trade association representing more than 900 local electric cooperatives. From growing suburbs to remote farming communities, electric co-ops serve as engines of economic development for 42 million Americans across 56 percent of the nation’s landscape.