If you’ve been considering adding a solar system to your home, do you even know if it’s a real option for you? At Wolf River Electric, we will help you evaluate your home to be sure that going solar will be the right decision for you. We’ll ask you a number of questions to get the right answer, like:

1) How much is your energy bill? If you live in an area with high electricity costs, solar may save you hundreds of dollars per month. A utility bill of $75 is the threshold at which residential solar customers will see solar savings. We’ll want to make sure that the investment you make in solar will ultimately save you money.

2) How much sunlight does your roof receive? We can offer you a tool to evaluate your roof. Go to Google’s Project Sunroof. There, you will get an idea of just how much solar you’ll need and how much of your energy bill you can offset. Next, set up a solar consultation with one of our experts, who will inspect your home for orientation, roof angle, and tree shading to see if your roof will receive enough sunlight to meet your family’s energy needs. The more direct sunlight there is, the more power the panels will produce.

3) What kind of roof do you have? Solar panels work best on strong, durable roofing materials, such as composite or asphalt shingle, concrete tile, or standing seam metal. But with the proper installation by a professional solar installer, roofs made of wood shake and slate tile are also good candidates. The mounting hardware can make a difference. SunPower Equinox™ uses InvisiMount™ hardware that is designed to work with most roof types and is visually attractive.

4) Is it time for a new roof? If your roof is nearing the end of its life, it should be replaced prior to investing in a solar installation. But when you consider the savings you’ll achieve with solar panels, you could pay for the new roof in just a few years.

5) What is your local climate like? Solar energy can be generated in lots of environments, from bright, sunny areas to those that are often overcast. High-efficiency solar panels convert direct and indirect sunlight into electricity, so they work even on cloudy days. A solar consultant will estimate the amount of energy your system will produce and your potential savings before you decide to go solar.

This post originally appeared on the SunPower Resource Blog.