Below you will find an expansive list of frequently asked questions we commonly hear regarding residential and commercial solar systems. Solar Power Systems can certainly be confusing if you are not familiar with renewable energy. Please let us know if you have a question that is not answered here:
Regardless of where you live, solar installations will save you money on your electricity bills and safeguard you and your family from paying rising electricity prices years into the future. The average PV system will last for 2 decades or more, producing energy that you don’t have to pay for! Though your unique solar installation will vary in the amount of electricity that it produces based on its size and other factors, your system is guaranteed to save you money in the long run.
Most solar systems have an approximate energy payback of 2 to 4 years, meaning that you will not only see off-sets to your PV system, but potentially large returns over the entire life cycle of the installation!
Just like other renewable energy resources, solar energy has huge environmental benefits. It reduces the amount of greenhouse gas your household is emitting into the environment.
In fact, for every unit of electricity that your solar system produces, you will have curbed 25 times the amount of carbon dioxide in comparison to coal-based electricity!
Simply take a look at your electricity bill to find out the going rate that you currently pay for electricity. Your bill should have information about rates as well as charges and rebates you’re currently paying or receiving. You can also find your meter read date and comparisons from the previous bill.
Net metering allows customers who have solar systems installed on their roofs to sell back electricity they are not using to the grid. Depending on where you live, there might be different policies or mechanisms for compensating solar customers. It can vary widely from location to location. Net metering allows your energy provider to credit you as the owner of your solar system for any unused power. At the end of the billing cycle, you will only be billed for the “net” energy use.
Solar panels work by converting the sun’s UV rays and visible light into DC electricity. solar panels alone are only half of the technology used in a PV system. After the light hits the solar panel, it produces DC power. It goes to the inverter where the inverter changes the electricity from DC power into usable AC. Energy demand in your home is fed by your PV system. Any excess that is produced is sent back to the grid for credit or stored in a battery for later use.
Your solar energy system will not produce any energy at night. It needs the sun in order to produce electricity. It will however still function if it is cloudy or rainy outside. Similar to sneaky sunburns that happen on overcast days, your solar panels are still receiving UV rays onto their surface, and will therefore still produce some electricity, just at a slower rate.
You will still receive an electricity bill from your utility company unless your solar system is completely removed from the electric grid. (This involves a large battery storage and complete disconnection from the grid). Your solar system will still dramatically cut the cost of your electric utility, or even bring down the amount you owe to $0. There are even cases of solar owners that earn money from their PV solution.
There are certain batteries you can purchase with your solar solution that provide backup power in situations like a blackout. Generally speaking, your solar panel system is connected to the grid, so it will shut off in the event of a blackout to prevent injury to emergency responders. Electricity and utility repair workers can injure themselves if your panels are still sending power back to the grid, so it is imperative that there are safeguards in place to prevent workers from being harmed.
Solar panel systems are made incredibly durable and require little-to-no maintenance for their 25-to-35-year lifespan. You may just need to clean your panels periodically. Due to their sturdy nature, and because of excellent equipment and warranties, your solar system will likely require little thought or maintenance dollars for years to come. Of course, it is always a good idea to keep an eye on your systems performance just to make sure nothing has gone wrong and avoid surprises on your next bill.