FAQ – Solar Electric System

Solar Electric Questions and Answers

What is solar energy?

Solar energy uses the sun’s rays to create heat or electricity (Solar Electric System). It is unlimited, renewable and known to generate energy in a clean, reliable manner.

How much does a residential solar home system cost?

An average system size to reduce electrical consumption is a 5kW. This solar electric system will cost approximately $15,000 before tax credits and $10,500 after solar tax credit. That total includes the cost for all components – solar panels, panel mounts, and inverter – and labor associated with installation. Be sure to keep in mind all the money you’ll save in lower electric bills and tax credits. Pricing is becoming more competitive than ever among suppliers and installers so these numbers may drop by the time you read this.

How much can I save on my utility bills from a home electric solar power system?

You could be left with a $0 electric bill or reduce it to 25%, 50%, 75%. Factors that will ultimately determine the outcome are budget, access to sunlight and roof/property size. There are no one-size-fits-all systems. Other factors include how much electricity you use and how energy efficient your home and appliances are.

How much maintenance do solar panels require?

Solar panels require very little maintenance. It is important to install panels where they will be away from shade and debris. We suggest this so you won’t have to clean them off if too many leaves fall on them. It does help to periodically use a window wash brush, biodegradable soap, and water to clean the solar array. If you follow these few minor maintenance steps for your solar panels they will continue to operate at peak performance for years to come.

If the power goes out do I still have electricity?

Unfortunately, if your homes solar system is grid-tied you most likely will lose power as well. The reason i say most likely, is because some solar inverters on the market today have backup power supply. These unique inverters allow the inverter to produce power for your home (not at full output) but enough during an emergency situation to help with charging, cooking, fans etc. without the use of batteries during the daylight hours.

Why do my solar panels stop working when the utility goes down?

There are a few reasons for this. First, being the safety of the utility workers. The same way you sell/ or get credits to your utility company from your solar electric system by backfeeding into the utility grid. Could be the same way a utility worker gets injured from a power line they thought had no power. In addition to the safety concern it would not benefit your homes appliances either.

There is too much potential for unstable electrical service. This could cause major damage to appliances and electronics. Although, with the integration of batteries and safety devices to your current homes PV system you can continue to produce and use power safely and effectively.

Does solar power work when it’s cloudy?

Yes, it does.The ambient and UV lights still manage to get through the clouds to produce electricity. It doesn’t work as well during cloudy weather… But it still works.

How is solar mounted to my roof?

There are so many solar mounting products we use that are designed specially for the roof type you have. We always take our time and attach the mounts securely to the homes trusses/ rafters. Every attachment method is approved and designed by a professional engineer to meet or exceed wind codes and waterproofing methods.

We use a high grade sealant along with stainless lag bolts and aluminum flashings on each attachment point to insure no water intrusion. Not all contractors use the same installation practices as we do.

At the end of the year if I produce more solar power than I use does the utility company pay me?

Most likely you will not. If by chance you do, it will be a small fraction of what you normally pay for a kWH.. For example, if you produce more power than you use in one month, you can use that as a credit for later months. The solar system should be sized as closely as possible to what you actually use. You are not going to make profit off the utility company anytime soon.

Does my home have to be rewired?

When having a home solar electric system installed no rewiring is usually necessary. The solar panels produce electricity and then through the central inverter or microinverters and then to most commonly your main service panel on 240 volt circuit breakers which back feed into the utility company leaving your homes original wiring untouched.