Have you been thinking about using solar to reduce your electric bill? Whether for your home or business, solar can be great way to cut your energy bill and reduce your carbon footprint. But first, you need to find out if your roof is “solar friendly”? Your roof must meet the following criteria:

  • photovoltaic panelsOwn the building: This one is a bit obvious, but if you live in an apartment or condo or rent your home, you roof won’t qualify.
  • Minimal shade: Your roof needs to have direct sunlight. If you live in the middle of the woods and your roof doesn’t have direct sunlight, then you likely won’t qualify.
  • Minimal Obstructions: The construction of your house plays a big role on whether or not you can mount solar panels. If your roof has a lot of dormers or is too angular, you’re out of luck, too.
  • South-facing orientation: In the northern hemisphere the rule of thumb is the more south facing surface, the more energy the system will produce. For flat roofs technicians install solar panels with a south facing tilt. But if your roof is neither a south facing nor flat, you don’t qualify.

Given that only about 25% of rooftops in the US meet the above criteria, it’s great that initiative have sprung up to allow the other 75% to utilize solar. With the advent of community solar initiatives (aka solar gardens), those of us without “solar friendly” roofs can buy into what is essentially a clean energy power plant and reap the benefits on our electric bills.

So what exactly is a solar garden? It is a centralized photovoltaic system that delivers renewable energy to local residents and businesses. In fact, as a company, Amadeus Consulting owns over 100 panels through the Clean Energy Collective. Whether it’s for home or business, solar gardens are a great option even if you do have a “solar friendly” roof. When you’re part of a solar garden you don’t have to worry about maintenance or cleaning of the panels or taking time out of your day to have the panels installed.

Thanks to these solar gardens, all of us can participate in renewable energy while seeing a decrease in our electric bill. That sounds like a win-win to me.