Solar Dreams - Need Dose of Reality
Hello. I live in Kansas City, where we get all the weather it's possible to have (right now it's 13 degrees out, with snow on the ground). For years I've dreamed of PV roofing, but I have no hope of net metering (my electric company says absolutely not and do I have any idea how much space it would take to generate ANY electricity AT ALL????). Well, I don't, but I'd love to learn. From my phone book, I glean that there is only 1 company, Power Tomorrow, that serves KC (as well as GA, NM and CO). Information on their website is general and basic, tho they claim my investment in solar would return 12 - 25% (and their example includes net metering, so clearly they're not talking about MY area).
The only south-facing roof I have is an unobstructed porch roof, perhaps 15 X 25 feet. I would love to generate enough power for hot water (perhaps using an electric tankless?) and radiant flooring for my sunporch and bathroom. Is that reasonable?
The Power Tomorrow website says they warrant their roofing for 5 years but expect it to perform for 20 years. Seems a bit of a gap, there. How reliable is solar roofing? How much do we have know about the longevity of pv roofs? A recent post here spoke of deteriorating south-facing pv cells used for outdoor lighting. Is this also a problem for the pv shingles? I keep reading here about advances in pv technology that are just around the corner but never read any specifics. How far around the corner? Are these new shingles worth waiting for or might these advances be vaporware? I've read about 2 or 3 different shingle systems. Is there a material difference between different companies' pv roofing systems?
I've probably had snow on my roof for about a week so far this winter, given our recent spate of ice and snow storms. I assume a pv system wouldn't generate any electricity without my shoveling off the roof (which I could do for snow but won't for ice)? How well do these shingles hold up to weather extremes? In fact, how successful are they as just plain ROOFING? Any problems with leaking?
And then the biggie: How much should I expect a 15 X 25 roof system to cost? Is it possible to DIY a porch roof? Given what I have to work with, obviously off-grid, is solar feasible for me?
I am confused and ignorant, but I appreciate any and all guidance you have to offer me. Thank you.