Learning Center

Are Solar Carports Worth the Cost?

3 min read

If you’ve ever used a carport or driven by one, you’ve likely noticed it too—there is a lot of unused surface on that metal top. While a typical carport provides protective shade for your vehicle or RV, it’s pretty one-dimensional otherwise. Sure, you could practice your painting skills and design a mural on your carport, or you could jump on board with the latest technology trends and get a solar carport.

What is a solar panel carport?

Solar carports are pretty straightforward: car canopies with solar panels on top. They’re commonly found in commercial parking structures or larger residential driveways.

Technology-wise, solar carports are most similar to solar ground mounts, with the design of both the carport and the ground mount designed to get the most optimal sunlight exposure. The advantage is that if you need vehicle storage or covered patio space anyway, solar carports allow you to use less of your land.

Where do you find solar panel carports?

Solar carports are commonly found in commercial properties rather than residential properties. Part of it may be due to the convenience of having a large parking structure with plenty of solar potential. As far as residential properties, rooftop and ground-mount solar energy systems are much more common and widely accepted than solar carports.

Solar Carport vs. Rooftop Solar

There are a variety of differences between solar carports and rooftop solar energy systems. The good news is that because they are both so unique, it is easy to determine which one is better suited for your home.

Rooftop solar panels are on your roof and mostly out of eyesight, making them the better choice if curb appeal is high on your list. Also, they are often the most cost-efficient solar system per kilowatt compared to solar carports and ground mount solar. The disadvantage, however, is that rooftop mounts require certain angles and orientations for optimal sunlight. If you’ve determined your roof isn’t the right fit for a solar energy system, a solar carport makes a lot more sense.

With solar carports, these roof constraints are eliminated. Plus, with the installation being more similar to a ground mount than a roof rack system, installation is often a quicker process.

The Takeaway

As you’re in the process of deciding how to go solar, we recommend educating yourself as much as possible. Get familiar with your options, how solar works, and don’t be afraid to compare prices as well as system types. If you’re in need of an RV or vehicle carport and believe a solar carport is right for you, you’ll find plenty of options. And if you want to get a quote for a rooftop energy system to compare price, size, and kilowatts, let us know. We’re happy to help with any questions you might have along the way.

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