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Frequently Asked Questions

How do solar systems work?

Solar electric panels use sunlight to generate power. Think of it as your first source of power then the power company adds what the solar cannot.

How long does a solar array last?

The panels can last for up to 40 years or more. The inverter may need to be replaced during that time.

How do I decide how big my system should be?

The system is sized based on how much electricity you use annually. We try to match what you use from the power company with solar panels.

How do I get credit for my solar electricity production?

It differs depending on your power company. The most common credit happens when you Make more solar than the house can use you’d get a “credit” on your power bill.

Will my system need maintenance?

System maintenance is not required for solar electricity. Though a bi-annual system check would not hurt.

What is solar water heating?

Solar water heating heats all the hot water you use in your house. We add a solar water heater to your existing water heater. More than doubling the amount of hot water you have. Heated by the sun year-round saving you money.

On what roof materials can solar be installed?

Excluding slate or cedar shake…all other roofing materials are suitable for solar.

What if my roof isn’t good for solar?

Roof condition should always be evaluated before solar installation.  A reputable installer would recommend replacing the roof shingles before installing solar when the roof is in poor condition.

What happens when the power goes out?

If you do not have a battery backup then you will not have power during an outage. When the power goes out the solar will automatically turn off as to not send power back out to the powerlines which could be fatal to linemen and women.

How do batteries work with solar?

If the power goes out and you have solar with a battery then you will have power. The battery will feed only emergency items. I.e., your refrigerator and other small items it’s connected to. Batteries are not made to run AC or heat. Emergency items only.

Can I install solar panels now and add battery storage later?

Yes. When properly designed you can add batteries at a later date.

Installing Solar

Will solar work on my roof?

Solar will work on almost any roof. Roof direction, size and shading would determine the systems production.

How long does it take to install a system?

Installation normally takes 2 to 3 days. The permitting inspection and approval process can take up to 90 days.

What should I look for in an installer?

Longevity, proper licensing and that they are truly a local company.

Do systems come with warranties?

Yes. Typical warranties on products are 25 years.

What if my system has problems?

Call your installer. If it’s a warranty issue you will have to pay the labor to get it resolved.

What should I do if I’m a member of a homeowners association?

Be nice. Work with them to understand what the guidelines are. Laws have been passed supporting residential solar installations in HOA neighborhoods.

What if I live in a historic district?

A design showing the solar panels on your home presented to the committee and following their guidelines should be acceptable. When the array is installed aesthetically pleasing to the eye it would not be a distraction.

What is the process to get my system permitted?

Your installer should submit all the required documentation to your city or county and to your power company as well.

Can I install solar on a mobile, manufactured, or modular home?

No. Most permitting offices will not allow it.

How can I put solar on my RV camper or van?

You can. That’s a do it yourself project.

Solar Economics

How do I read my electric bill?

The amount you owe every  month is based on the kilowatt hours you use.

What happens if I produce more electricity than I use?

In most cases you’d get a credit on your monthly bill.

What factors affect system pricing?

The system size. Whether you have a battery or not. The type of installation. A solar ground rack is more costly.

How much will my solar energy system cost?

The cost will vary. Depending on your roof space and the amount of panels you need. Adding a battery increases the cost dramatically.

What financing options are available to me?

There are several zero down options we can offer…or you can finance it yourself. Cash and check are the most common forms of payment.

What are the benefits of owning my system?

Making your own electricity frees you from power company increases and lessens pollution.

Will going solar affect my insurance?

No, it shouldn’t. Check with your insurer to be certain.

How will solar affect my home value if I want to sell?

If you sell the home, it will sell faster, and you’ll get every penny you invested in the solar back.