Availability is another potential issue homeowners should plan for. “During night time and low irradiance periods, there is typically low to no production of energy, so the grid or batteries are needed as back up, said Ramon Rosquete, senior project manager at CREADIS, an engineering consulting firm that specializes in renewable energy.
Further, Rosquete says you can have long-term issues like water leaks and roof damage. “This is typically due to improper installation and shortcuts by a poorly trained contractor,” he explained. Another potential problem, depending on your taste: Rosquette says some homeowners don’t find solar rooftops aesthetically pleasing.
However, sometimes, it’s not up to you to determine if the solar roof is attractive or not. “It takes up some roof, and some HOA’s don’t like that,” Fouhy said. However, he admits that perceptions among HOAs and beginning to change since there’s more mainstream interest in solar.
Also, Fouhy pointed out another potential con. “In certain regions with a great deal of snow, your panels could be covered if mounted a few inches off your roof,” he said. “If you do have this system, ask for Bifacial panels and offset the distance, this reduces snow blockage by 70%.”
Terri Williams is a freelance journalist with bylines at The Economist, USA Today, Yahoo, the Houston Chronicle, and U.S. News & World Report. Connect with her on Twitter or LinkedIn.