Solar pergolas are becoming a popular choice for homeowners who want to enjoy the benefits of solar power and add a special feature to their landscape. But what’s a solar pergola? If you’re not familiar, read on to get up to speed!

What is a Solar Pergola?

A solar pergola is a type of pergola that has been outfitted with solar panels. Solar pergolas are a great way to add solar power to your home while also enjoying shade and protection from the elements. Basically you can get all the benefits of a covered porch or a gazebo, along with the ability to generate your own solar power.

The Benefits of Solar Pergolas

Solar pergolas offer a number of great benefits, both for your home and for the environment. Perhaps the most obvious benefit is that solar pergolas can help you save money on your energy bills. Solar power is a renewable resource, so using it to supplement the electrical power for your home can help you avoid the rising costs of traditional energy sources. While you probably can’t fit enough solar panels on an average pergola or covered porch to power your whole house, it is a step toward energy-independence. Additionally, solar pergolas can increase the value of your home by adding an attractive and functional outdoor living space.

Many homeowners opt for a solar pergola when it is not possible to put solar panels on the roof of their home. Your solar pergola can be free-standing anywhere on your property or attached to your home or outbuilding on one side. A free-standing solar pergola can make a beautiful focal point for your landscape, along with solar power production.

It is usually easier to install, service and maintain solar panels on a solar pergola verses solar panels installed on a roof. Not all roof types can accommodate solar panels, and a steep roof pitch can make panels tricky and dangerous to install and service.  Additionally many homes are surrounded by shade trees that cast shadows on the roof and would make it impractical for solar panels. These issues are solved by using a solar pergola instead.

Off-Grid Power For Your Office Pod, She-Shed, or ADU

While it probably can’t power a full-sized house, in most cases a solar pergola can provide all the power needed for a small structure. Small, prefabricated backyard buildings have become popular with homeowners everywhere, especially as more and more people work from home and need dedicated space to focus on work or hobbies. However, connecting an outbuilding to municipal power is often a daunting and expensive process. Creating your backyard office pod, she-shed or accessory dwelling unit (ADU) to be off-grid and solar powered can be a creative and practical solution.

Note: you will need to check with your local municipality to determine if you can get permitting for the particular setup you have in mind, as there are different rules in different areas.

Where Should I Put My Solar Pergola?

One of the great things about solar pergolas is that they can be placed just about anywhere on your property. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when choosing the placement of your solar pergola.

  1. First, you’ll want to make sure that the location gets plenty of sun exposure throughout the day. Usually a South-facing location is best.
  2. Secondly, you’ll also want to consider whether or not the location is obstructed by trees or other objects that could cast shadows on the solar panels.
  3. Finally, you’ll want to choose a location that is convenient and practical for how you want to use the pergola and that will fit nicely into your landscape and overall plan for your property. For example if you want to create an outdoor eating area under the pergola, then it should be located close enough to your home that it is easy and convenient to use on a regular basis. If you want to create a quiet, secluded nook, then further away from your home would be better.

Expert Installation for Your Solar Energy Solutions!

If you’re interested in adding a solar pergola to your home, OHM is your go-to for installing solar panels and the other components, such as batteries and inverters, for your solar power system. If you’re just getting started, we can help you plan your project so it suits your needs now and in the future. If you already have a pergola or patio covering in place, OHM can install your solar panels and all your solar components. Contact OHM today to get started!