Why the Marriage of Solar Panels and Metal Roofing Matters to Building Product Marketing

AugustBlog1Happiness, for most homeowners, means never having to replace your roof—or any other part of your home, for that matter. Realistically, that’s simply not possible.

What is possible, however, is helping your sustainably focused customers maximize efficiency, recognize how to get the longest service life possible out of their roofs and identify overall cost savings. A great way to do that is to educate your customers on the advantages of metal roofing particularly when they are also considering adding solar panels, also known as a photovoltaic (PV) system.

According to the Metal Roofing Alliance, 5 million new roofs are installed annually, with 47 percent of U.S. households willing to consider metal roofing. Although metal roofing is the No. 2 roofing choice behind asphalt shingles, it offers far more value, particularly when paired with a PV system.

Dynamic duo

The energy and life cycle cost savings your customers can potentially realize with PV systems that use solar panels on metal roofing are tremendous. More and more green-conscious customers are looking toward PV systems as an efficient heating and cooling solution that captures free, renewable energy. Customers can realize significant savings on energy bills with these systems—up to 40 percent in the summertime, for example.

PV systems also offer customers low life cycle costs. On average, these systems have a service life of 30-plus years. When marrying PV panels to a metal roof, the service life is extended even further.

That’s because a properly installed metal retrofit roof can last up to six decades. That means PV systems can even be installed on 8- to 10-year-old metal roofs since the service life of the average metal roof (40-60 years) is longer than the life of most PV systems. In contrast, conventional asphalt shingle roofs have a service life of 15 to 25 years.

For those customers who need a new roof and are also planning to add a PV system, going with metal can make a lot of sense—and cents.

Why metal?

Although upfront costs for metal roofing are higher, it’s still a sound investment for your customers, and it’s important that they understand this. Metal roofing affords customers a list of long-term savings, including:

  • Low to no maintenance
  • Harsh weather resistance, including wind and fire resistance
  • No need to tear off the existing roofs in most cases

Metal roofing also contributes to greater efficiency and lower cost since it’s able to lower air temperature by 12° F, which means your customers:

  • Spend less money on utilities
  • Depend less on energy resources
  • Reduce general air pollution

As an added bonus, since metal roofing can often be added to existing roofing, less materials end up in landfills. When a metal roof reaches the end of its useful life, it can be recycled, since many of the panels of a metal roof are largely made up of recyclable content.

Encourage your customers to consider metal roofing and a PV system as a single asset. Then have them consider the total life cycle cost of ownership over the life of this asset. The market is primed and your customers are ready and willing to listen. All that’s left for you to do is show them why the metal roof and the PV system really are the perfect couple.

Photo credit:  Thinkstock.com

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