Is Now the Best Time to Build a Solar Carport?
Experts estimate that solar PV capacity in the United States is set to double over the next five years. More specifically, it is thought that “by 2024, more than 15 GW of PV capacity will be installed annually.” In addition to the installation of solar panels for homes, one of the biggest products in demand right now are solar carports. By the year 2028, the number of people who own these carports is also expected to increase significantly. However, with this technology being so new, many people are not yet aware of the tremendous advantages they deliver. Learn more about solar carports, and whether or not right now is the best time to hire a contractor to build one on your property.
Why are so many homeowners using solar?
If you are brand new to the idea of installing solar technology for use in your home, you might not be aware of the many benefits. Homeowners across the country are experiencing numerous kinds of favorable results from solar products. One of the biggest draws to the sun-based tech is cost savings. Depending on how much energy your panels or other devices are able to capture, some individuals can save $200-$250 per month on their electric bill. Also, through 2021, the government is issuing tax credits, which can amount to a savings of $5,000 (or more). Some of the other exciting benefits of solar include utilizing a renewable energy source, and inexpensive maintenance costs.
What is a solar carport?
While many people are familiar with the basic concept of solar panels that are installed on rooftops, few are in-the-know about solar carports. In short, a solar carport is similar to a traditional carport, but it has built-in solar cells or panels that can be used for multiple purposes. Not only do they provide the advantages of a regular carport (e.g. shade, protection from inclement weather), but they also capture and deliver solar energy to various areas of your property.
What are the primary advantages of having a solar carport versus a standard carport?
Standard carports can only provide the most basic protection for your vehicle(s). A solar carport uses this basic structure to generate power for electric vehicles, as well as for your home. They are often exceptional alternatives for homeowners who do not qualify for standard solar panels on their rooftops for various reasons (such as the angle of one’s roof/home). Solar carports can be built in almost any spot on an individual’s property, and can be designed in a number of innovative styles. Another positive characteristic of solar carports is that they offer flexible ways to utilize the energy that is being created. Solar.com reports that this energy can be “used in your home, stored in a battery, [or] exchanged for credits in the grid.”
Additionally, if you own an electric vehicle, you can also create a power source directly in your carport for charging. This makes it convenient to safely store and recharge your vehicle’s battery when needed. These carports now offer such a wide range of benefits that they are even being adopted for commercial use in many states. Grocery stores, schools, corporate offices, and many other public spaces in sunny states are now utilizing this practical solar innovation. Not only does this option provide a functional and safe way for customers and employees to park their vehicles, but it can also provide a massive energy savings, and a reduction in a company’s carbon footprint.
How do solar carports compare with other solar installation options?
When compared to ground mounts and installed rooftop panels, solar carports are relatively competitive in how much energy they produce, and in cost. As reported by Big Dog Solar, “a solar carport will cost $3.99 per watt, a rooftop solar system will cost $3.58.” Outside of these numbers, there are not many official average statistics on exactly how much these carports can save homeowners. This is likely due to the many variables involved with the structures. Not only does location and the total amount of sun factor in, but the way in which homeowners choose to use the energy produced (e.g. to power their homes, cars, etc.) is a significant variable. In order to get the best idea of how much a solar carport can save in terms of cost and carbon emissions, it is best for homeowners to ask for these details from their chosen contractor.
How much do solar carports cost (on average)?
Although the cost per watt can be helpful when looking to compare solar options, most homeowners want to know the total amount they can expect to pay for a solar carport. However, since pricing for materials and installation can also vary significantly, there are currently no reliable average figures on how much one of these structures will cost you. As with determining the cost savings and benefits of your solar carport, it is best to speak with multiple contractors for details. Because pricing and designs can vary, it is crucial to compare pricing and offerings among companies providing solar carport building services.
Finding the right contractor for the job
From the current figures and data, now is an excellent time to have a solar carport installed on your property. When looking to find the right contractor for the project, there are some important steps to follow. First, do not settle on the first business that you contact. Instead, reach out to multiple service providers to get the basic details of their solar carport installation process. Ask about factors such as pricing, styles, project timelines, and financing options (if needed). Additionally, take the time to meet with several contractors to ensure that you are making the best choice. Before signing anything, be sure to have all of your questions answered, and read reviews from past clients. Once you’ve conducted research on some of the best local providers of solar carports, you can feel the utmost confidence in your upcoming project. At Billy.com, we make your life easier by saving you time. Simiply fill out our free solar panel quote form and local contractors will reach out to you, so then you do not need to spend your time finding them.
Written by our guest author Ali Porter