What is the latest on solar energy? I live in Maine and have a south facing roof and could have freestanding panels also.

Asked by Sydney Roberts
Seal Harbor, ME

I may need a new roof soon and would like to do the "right" thing.


Answered by Erik Henry

Brownsburg, IN

ELH Construction LLC

August 22, 2011

There are a number of options when considering solar.

Traditional photo voltaic panels come in a variety of styles and even colors. There are photo voltaic cells designed to mimic roof shingles and lay flat on the roof. No racking system necessary. 

There is a 30% federal tax credit available for the material and labor.

  • If you choose to re shingle your roof that cost can be rolled into the tax credit as well.
  • Depending on the utility companies in your area there will also be rebates available for installing panels on your roof.

You will want to contact your power supplier to make sure they offer net metering in your area. This will allow you to sell any unused solar power back to the power company.

Generally the pay back is still 7 to 10 years, although the price of coal and oil will continue to grow.

You will feel good about not using a sustainable resource and save money in the long run.


For more information:

Read "How much will it cost to install solar panels on my 2,000-sq.-ft. home in San Francisco?" a Q&A answered by Robert and Christine Boles.

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