If you’re building a home and thinking about going solar, there’s no better time than during construction. When you incorporate solar into your new home’s design, you not only take advantage of solar’s environmental and financial benefits right from the start but make the process easier, less costly, and more aesthetically pleasing.
Building Your Solar-Powered Home
Many of our new construction customers are building high-efficiency, net-zero homes. Often they are well insulated, all-electric homes with the latest technology like heat pumps, energy-efficient appliances, and heat pump hot water heaters.
In many cases adding a solar electric system to your new home allows you to bundle the cost of electricity, heating, and hot water into your mortgage payment. Adding solar to an efficient all-electric home will enable you to have one fixed monthly payment that covers the cost of your home and the power that it takes to operate it. After your solar array is paid for, a properly designed solar system will significantly reduce your energy bill or eliminate it almost entirely for 25+ years.
Plan Ahead for a Seamless Solar Installation
When designing a solar-ready home, there are design features to pay attention to, such as roof space with the proper orientation with limited obstructions, conduit runs to the electric panel, and leaving room for future components (such as preparing for an electric car charger or battery backup). At Maine Solar Solutions, we work directly with the customer, architects, electricians, and builders to ensure the site and home design are best suited for present and future energy goals.
While your solar energy system doesn’t need to be at the center of all your home design decisions, anticipating and eliminating potential issues at the time of construction can help save time and money later. If you aren’t quite ready to add solar right from the start, we can help ensure that the design is aesthetically pleasing when installing the solar panels later.
One more benefit of adding solar to the new home you may not have considered is an increase in your property value. Research has shown that homes with solar panels sell significantly more than similar homes without them. Buyers see the benefits of buying a home that can generate its own electricity, so installing solar panels can help you sell your home faster and likely at a significantly higher price. In a
study conducted by Lawrence Berkeley Labs, homebuyers were willing to pay a premium
of $15,000 more for a home with an average-sized solar system. People see their value when
deciding to purchase homes, and it’s been shown homes with solar panels sell faster.
How to Get Started with Solar for New Construction
We are always happy to have introductory conversations as you are thinking through your initial design. However, where we usually start is when a client has a set of building plans and a site map, if possible. The things we’ll need to see on the building plans include:
- The home’s front, side, and back elevations.
- Roof plan (from a top-down view).
- The home’s measurements.
- Roof pitch should also be included, and which way on the site map points south.
When sizing a home’s solar system, we typically look at the homeowner’s historic electric bills to understand their energy needs. The information won’t be available for a brand new home, but we can still gather other details to estimate your energy consumption and appropriately size the solar system. During our intro call, we will talk in more detail about your desired electrical and mechanical systems and how solar might fit into the design for the home. We will also likely address any potential shading with a visit to your site.
Building A Solar Ready Home with Maine Solar Solutions
If you are considering going solar for your new construction home, the best time to let us know is now. The sooner we can take a look at your site plans, the better, so we can discuss the possibility of wrapping solar into your mortgage and sync with your build schedule.
We have worked on hundreds of new construction projects throughout Maine and bring our expertise to every project. Our reputation, professionalism, and extensive new construction experience will put both you as the homeowner and your builder at ease. We will work together to make the solar process straightforward, easy, and cost-effective.
If you have any specific questions about your new build + solar, we’re happy to answer them, so please do not hesitate to reach out to our team.