My home aesthetics
Solar panels do a world of good for your energy bill, your home value, and the environment, but many consumers worry about what solar panels will do to their home aesthetics. Many homeowners go back and forth on this, worrying about Homeowners Associations and the opinions of onlookers. If you’re concerned about how solar panels will impact your home aesthetics, here are some things to think about.
It’s a matter of opinion
Whether or not you like the appearance of solar panels is often a matter of opinion. Similar to wind turbines on the horizon, some people see them as beautiful while others find them hideous. Bulky, unsightly and invasive are some of the adjectives that people with aesthetic objections to solar arrays use, but if those words don’t pop into mind for you, then you’re probably good to go.
Additionally, technological developments and price-competitiveness are slowly but surely pushing solar panels toward neater, more compact, and less bulky products. And as a reminder, when you make the decision to go solar you choose where you want the panels to be installed, which allows you to place them where you think they look best on your property.
Regardless of your own opinion on appearance of solar panels, Homeowners Associations (HOAs) and historic districts are one of the few things you do need to worry about when it comes to the aesthetics of a solar array. The aesthetic restrictions that HOAs vary by jurisdiction, and they range from prohibiting panels that can be easily seen by the public, panels that don’t match the roof color, and any sort of ground mounted solar panels.
Aesthetically pleasing solar options
If you want to go solar, but hate the appearance of bulkier standard solar systems, it might be worth considering some of the more expensive, newer solar technology, like building-integrated photovoltaics. Building-integrated photovoltaics integrate solar technology into basic building materials such as roof slates, shingles or even windows.
These newer and neater panels are made to look like they are a part of the building design, rather than an add-on structure. Because of this, they are more easily installed on new homes under construction than retrofitting them onto an existing home. Integrated designs are more expensive than standard solar panels and are not as efficient making them very expensive in comparison to traditional panel arrays.
At the end of the day, unless you’re up against HOA disapproval, the aesthetics of your solar panels is up to you as a homeowner. Some people find ground-mounted panels look better, while other prefer rooftop solar. As the consumer, it’s up to you to choose the panel type and panel placement that you think fit into the home aesthetics you’re going for.