What is Sun Number Score and How It Can Help in Finding Suitability of Solar Panels?

During solar research, you might have noticed several technical terms and solar jargon that may confuse you. The sun number is one of the most commonly used terms when looking for a solar panel. It will help you in understanding the benefits of solar energy and more related information. This blog will highlight what the sun number score or rating is, why it is important, and what factors affect this rating. 

What do you mean by a sun number score?

It is a rating that ranges from 1–100 and represents the potential of solar capabilities to homeowners and home buyers. Your home will be more suitable for on ground solar services or other solar systems if the sun number score is closer to 100. The Sun Number company made this tool in collaboration with the US Department of Energy to advance the solar sector. The sun number score is affected based on different factors including –

Building score

The total area, slope or pitch of your roof, shading, roof orientation and size can help in determining the sum number. The building’s solar score should be at least 50. Anything above 60 is ideal, however, it should not be more than 80 points for solar power potential. The solar panels work more effectively when angled at a 30o slant. Less or more roof slopes will make tilt brackets tweak pitch according to the steepness and position of the roof.

Determine the amount of sunlight for every square meter of your residential rooftop. The solar potential of a home is also affected by how much shady area is there on your roof to obstruct the direct exposure of sunlight towards the solar panels. For example, tall trees, nearby buildings, etc.

South-facing direction is perfect on the roof for proper absorption of daily sunshine and production of enough even excess solar energy to power your home. You can store the excess solar production in a solar battery as a backup power supply. The more area your residential rooftop has to install and support solar panels, the better suitability your home has for solar investment.  

Local solar installation cost

The local cost of solar system installations can have an inverse effect on your sun number ratings compared to local energy rates. The lower the local solar panel installation cost is, the more points you will have on your score and vice versa.

Average climatic conditions of your locality

The climate score of your local area should be up to 8 points. You can calculate this score using solar irradiance data from NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory). Total hours of direct sunlight your rooftop solar panel is receiving also matter.The sun number will be lower if you are living in shady areas like large trees, high-rise buildings, etc. An overcast and cloudy sky would also reduce a sun number.

Local electricity rates

Another factor that affects the sun number score is the current average electricity cost in your local area. Higher the electricity cost in your region, the higher the sun number and vice-versa. It is because more electricity rates will provide solar power an increased appeal as a cost-effective measure. You would not see any higher increase in your score if you are living in areas with lower electricity costs.

At present, around 84 million homes have their sun number scores listed on Zillow.

Significance of sun number score

Determining the sun number scores is highly important because it shows the capability of installing solar panels to a building. This will be essential information for homeowners and home buyers interested in a solar-powered property. The higher score represents huge potential energy savings and increased property value. You might not require calculating the sun number score for solar street light installation in a wide street.  

What is a perfect sun number?

As mentioned above, the sun number score is from 0 to 100. Installing solar panels at your home is a wise financial decision if your sun number score is 70 or above because it will guarantee long-term financial savings. However, residential properties with a somewhat lower score may still discover that solar technologies are an excellent investment in some situations.

You may even possibly improve the sun number score of your home like by eliminating the shady areas by trimming some branches of a large tree or cutting that tree completely. Adding a sun-facing roof to your home for perfect solar exposure. However, if your residential rooftop is not strong enough to handle a rooftop solar panel, you could consider installing on-ground solar systems if there is maximum solar power production in your yard.

If your home has a lower-than-average score, go for a more complex solar panel design for higher solar radiation absorption. Moreover, extremely good solar incentives can assist in overcoming a low solar score. For example, if you are eligible for utility rebates or tax credits, you can confidently invest in a solar system, irrespective of having a lower sun number score.  

What if you can’t find your home listed on Zillow?

If your residential property is not listed on the Zillow or market, you still have some options to find your sun number score. Contact a reliable local solar contractor. A trained professional will visit your home and give an estimation of solar panel installation cost and how much electricity bill you will save after installation. You can ask them any solar-related questions you have and how to improve the factors affecting solar panel potential.

Find your sun number to determine if a solar panel is right for your home

Although solar investment is recommended as a cost-effective and cleaner alternative to traditional electricity sources, not all residential properties have good solar potential. So, use the sun number score to figure out if a solar system is a safe investment by rating the cost-saving opportunity and solar potential. For example, having a 70 or more sun number rating of your home means a solar panel system is the right option for reducing carbon footprints and monthly electricity bills.

If your home has great solar potential, then get started with Megamax Solar providing a wide range of solar installation services.

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