Why solar?

The benefits of installing rooftop solar are numerous, including reducing your electric bill and carbon footprint, increasing your property value and taking advantage of tax incentives.

According to the Building Energy Data Book developed by the Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, commercial and residential buildings account for about 40 percent of energy consumption in the U.S. Subsequently, commercial and residential buildings account for a similar amount of overall carbon dioxide emissions.

Reducing energy use and the associated emissions are primary objectives of the sustainable design and construction movement. Using energy efficiently and producing energy from renewable sources help reduce harmful emissions. One of the best ways to use energy efficiently is to have an energy-efficient building envelope, and a building's roof system is an important component. Greater energy efficiency means less energy use, and when it comes to electricity, the cheapest kilowatt always will be an unused kilowatt.

NRCA recognizes not all buildings can upgrade a building envelope's energy efficiency in conjunction with installing roof-mounted, energy-producing devices; however, installing energy-producing devices on rooftops is a viable step toward reducing energy made from nonrenewable sources. A rooftop can provide a significant amount of secure, out-of-sight and generally unused space that can be made appropriate for a roof-mounted solar system. The electricity is produced where it is needed—at the building—resulting in little or no extra cost for additional infrastructure, such as above-ground transmission lines and support structures, which are needed to transport electricity long distances.

Depending on a rooftop's size, a solar system's efficiency and the amount of electricity required for building operation, it is possible to significantly reduce or even eliminate a building's need for electricity from conventional sources (such as coal-fired power plants). Use of roof-mounted, energy-producing devices such as rooftop solar systems reduces dependency on nonrenewable energy sources and reduces the negative effects of carbon-based emissions.

The following resources will provide more information about rooftop solar installations and why you should consider them for your home or building.

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