FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
When you install a solar energy system on your property, you save money on your electricity bills and protect yourself against rising electricity rates in the future. How much you can save depends on the utility rates and solar policies in your area, but going solar is a smart investment regardless of where you live.
Net metering is the system that utility companies use to credit solar energy system owners for the electricity produced by their solar panels. With net metering, you only pay for the electricity that you use beyond what your solar panels can generate.
Studies have shown that homes with solar energy systems sell for more than homes without them. In most parts of the country, going solar will actually increase your property value more than a kitchen renovation.
Solar panels absorb the sun’s energy throughout the day and convert it into direct current (DC) electricity. Most homes and businesses run on alternating current (AC) electricity, so the DC electricity is then passed through an inverter to convert it to usable AC electricity. At that point, you either use the electricity in your house or send it back to the electric grid.
The amount of power your solar energy system can generate is dependent on sunlight. As a result, your solar panels will produce slightly less energy when the weather is cloudy, and no energy at night. However, because of high electricity costs and financial incentives, solar is a smart decision even if you live in a cloudy city.
Solar panels convert sunshine into power, so if your panels are covered in snow they can’t produce electricity. Snow generally isn’t heavy enough to cause structural issues with your panels, and since most panels are tilted at an angle the snow will slide off. If snow does accumulate, your panels are easy to clean.
When you install solar panels on your property, you will still be connected to the grid. This allows you to draw from the grid when your system is not producing all of the power that you need, and send power back to the grid when you produce more than you use. It is possible to go off the grid with a solar energy system that includes battery storage, but it will cost significantly more and is unnecessary for the majority of homeowners.
Unless your solar energy system includes battery storage and you are fully off the grid, you will still receive a bill from your utility company. However, you can dramatically reduce your bill, or even cut the amount you owe to $0, with a solar panel system that matches your energy usage.
If your solar panel system is connected to the grid, it will shut off in the event of a blackout. This is to prevent emergency responders and electricity utility repair-people from being injured by your panels sending power back to the grid. However, there are certain inverters you can buy that provide backup power in a blackout when paired with a battery.
Solar panel systems are made of durable tempered glass and require little to no maintenance for the 25 or more years that they will generate power. In most cases, you don’t even need to clean your solar panels regularly. If something does happen, our systems are warrantied for 25 years.
If you can afford to pay your electricity bill, you can afford to go solar. $0-down solar financing options make it easy for homeowners with good credit to start saving almost immediately on their electricity bills by going solar.
In general, solar panels are very durable and capable of withstanding snow, wind, and hail. The various components of your solar power system will need to be replaced at different times, but your system should continue to generate electricity for 25 years or more.
Solar power systems that include solar batteries, known as solar-plus-storage, are increasingly popular, but can be pricey. You only need battery storage if you plan on going off the grid completely. Luckily, batteries are not necessary for most solar homeowners. As long as you are connected to the grid, your system does not need a battery. Excess power goes back into the grid, and you can draw from the grid if you need more electricity than your panels can generate.
Solar panels are made up of photovoltaic (PV) cells made of silicon. When the sun’s rays hit them, these cells convert sunlight to electricity. Individual cells are wired together to form a solar panel. Panels are typically three feet by five feet. They are coated in tempered glass, which allows them to withstand harsh weather.
The electricity produced by a single solar panel is not enough to power a home or business, so multiple solar panels are needed. The number of panels varies by installation, but every solar system (also called an “array”) will include a series of panels mounted and wired together. This array may be installed on a roof (“rooftop solar”) or on the ground-level (“ground-mounted solar”).
Solar panels can be installed on almost any kind of roof material and almost any roof structure (flat roof, pitched roof, etc.). Panels are attached to your roof with a racking system. The best racking system for your home depends on how your roof is structured and what type of roofing materials you have. Your installer will recommend the racking system most appropriate for your property.
In some cases, your roof may not be suitable for solar. This can be due to obstructions on the roof (i.e., dormers, peaks, chimneys, HVAC vents, etc.), the roof’s integrity, shading, orientation, or other structural factors.
If your roof isn’t a good fit for solar, you may be able to install a ground-mounted system. For a ground-mounted system, you’ll need to have access to a clearing far away from trees and other objects that cast shadows. Most ground-mounted systems are composed of aluminum and stainless steel racking and are mounted on concrete footings in the ground.
It typically takes one to two months for an installer to design your solar array and secure initial permits (from your municipal government) and interconnection agreements (from your electric utility company). Depending on your exact solar permitting office and utility interconnection team, this could take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. Once initial permits and interconnection agreements are in hand, your installer will typically need only one to two days to physically install your array (panels, inverter, racking system, and wiring). The installer will then need to get final approval from the municipal permitting office and secure final interconnection approval from the utility.
Yes. Our panels come with a 25 year manufacturer warranty.
Solar rebates and incentives vary depending on where you live. The most significant is the 30% tax credit, which allows you to deduct 30 percent of the cost of your solar energy system from your taxes. Some states offer additional tax credits, and certain municipalities and utilities also offer cash rebates or other incentives.
Solar power, like other renewable energy resources, has many environmental and health benefits. Going solar reduces greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change, and also results in fewer air pollutants like sulfur dioxide and particulate matter, which can cause health problems.
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