Should You Invest In A Solar Carport For Your Home?

by zoya

Rooftop solar panel systems are a common sight across many U.S. neighborhoods nowadays, but while they might not be present in quite such high numbers, solar carports are growing in popularity, too.  

Giving you access to clean, green energy and providing you with a shaded area to park cars, could a solar carport be a wise investment for you?

Should you choose a traditional solar installation or a solar carport?

Carports are a relatively common sight, and are a fantastic addition to any home that doesn’t already have somewhere to store and protect vehicles. Solar carports simply have solar panels installed on their roof; performing a dual function of solar production, and protection from the elements.

Let’s look at the pros of both:

Pros of a solar carport

Because we’re talking about adding a dedicated structure to your home, instead of simply placing panels on top of an existing roof, solar carports do tend to cost more, but they also have a number of distinct advantages:

  • A parking space that produces nothing, can be converted into a system for producing renewable energy
  • Vehicles are afforded protection from the elements
  • It’s easier to access the panels for cleaning and maintenance work
  • They can easily and effectively be designed to maximize electricity production

Pros of roof-mounted panels

The go-to option for homeowners wanting to make the switch to solar, roof-mounted panels are more traditional and offer these advantages:

  • Installation costs are reduced since the roof already exists
  • Installers are more used to fitting rooftop panels
  • No extra land space is required

It’s worth remembering, however, that not all roofs are suitable for solar panels and solar generation, in which case a carport might be a viable option.

What does a solar carport cost?

Research has shown that the average solar carport costs around $3.31 per watt, while at a cost of $2.81 per watt, traditional roof-mounted solar installations are less costly when compared to a solar carport of the same capacity. 

If we use these figures, it means that you might be expected to pay an estimated figure of $19,860 for a 6-kW solar carport, and around $16,860 for a 6-kW roof-mounted solar system. It’s worth remembering, however, that in the U.S., solar power systems are eligible for a number of incentives, helping to reduce their cost upfront. Costs will of course also depend on the company you choose to work with and the panels you choose, among other factors.

When talking about federal solar tax credits, though, these apply to all manner of solar projects, including solar carports, irrespective of where they are in the country. If you park vehicles outside of your home on a regular basis and have the space to be able to create a carport in a sunny area to protect them, then having a solar carport installed could be a worthy investment. Although they do cost more than a rooftop solar system, their design can be oriented in such a way as to maximize solar production, giving you a much higher output of electricity. To discuss your options in more detail, schedule a consultation with a local solar installation company.

You may also like