Solar electric systems are a clean, efficient way to utilize the abundant energy of the Sun.
Why purchase a solar electric system now?
Utilizing solar power allows you to generate clean, responsible energy while insulating yourself from the rapidly inflating cost of utility-provided electricity. With the aging of the grid’s infrastructure, utility costs will continue to sharply rise for the foreseeable future - purchasing a solar electric system now locks you into an affordable, sustainable form of power that is easy on the planet and your wallet.
How does a solar electric system work?
Solar panels absorb energy-containing particles found in sunlight (called photons), and with the help of an inverter, convert that energy into useable electricity for your home or business.
What is an inverter? Are there different kinds?
An inverter basically takes the electricity from the solar panel (DC power) and converts it to the type of power we currently use in our homes and businesses (AC power). The two main types of inverters are called string inverters and microinverters - we often use micro-inverters because they allow for maximum array output and per-panel monitoring.
Can I easily monitor my solar electric system’s output and environmental savings?
We offer a state-of-the-art monitoring system with every solar electric system installation. Coupled with the microinverters, this system allows you to view what each panel is producing, right from your computer or smartphone. The software also provides summaries of your system’s total output, cost savings, and carbon footprint reduction.
How reliable are solar electric systems? What about maintenance?
Solar electric systems are extremely reliable and very low maintenance, since the systems having no moving parts. As long as you keep them clean and out of the shade, they will output electricity for decades to come.
What size solar electric system would be best for me and my home/business?
A system will vary in size depending on your energy goals - a 25% reduction of your energy bill will yield a different system than a 100% offset. Additionally, the size and orientation of your home/business may determine the size of your system - most residential systems range from 3 to 20kW in total size, while commercial systems can range from 10kW to 1000kW.
Will going solar add value to my home or business?
At minimum, your system will retain the cost of the raw materials, however recent studies show that adding a small solar electric system to your home can increase its value by up to $15,000 - roughly the cost of an installed 4kW system.
Can I run out of power?
Unless you plan to go entirely off-the-grid with a battery backup system, your system will be connected to the existing utility grid, giving you the power you need at all times.
What if the utility power goes out? Will I need a battery backup system?
As a safety precaution, utility companies require that solar electric systems be automatically deactivated during a blackout. If you want to have power during a utility blackout, an energy management system with battery backup is required.
Do solar panels work during overcast weather or at night?
Since solar panel output is directly related to the amount of sunlight being absorbed, your solar electric system will produce slightly less power during overcast days, and produce no electricity during the night. If you have a battery system, the solar electric system can charge the batteries during the day, giving you clean, affordable power day and night.
Do I have to modify my electrical wiring? Do I have to use electricity differently?
You only have to upgrade your wiring if your wiring is old or the size of system you want is to big for your current electrical panel. Other than that, you won’t know your system is there. Generation systems are easily integrated into your existing wiring, and the additional electricity is used the same as your energy from the grid.
How much should I expect to pay for my solar electric system?
While several factors will affect the price per Watt of your system, most residential, roof-mount systems average around $4/Watt, prior to government incentives. Generally, the larger the system, the lower the $/Watt.
How will a solar electric system change my monthly electricity bill?
Your electric bill savings are heavily dependant on the size of your system and the amount of power you use. Savings can range from 20% of your electric to bill all the way up to 100%. With net metering and a correctly-sized system, the utility company will credit you every month that you generate a surplus of energy.
What is the payback period of my investment?
Several factors determine how quickly your system can pay for itself, including: government incentives and tax credits, current technology, scale of your system, and the electrical inflation rate. When factoring in the 30% federal tax credit and a yearly electrical cost inflation rate of 4%, most solar electric systems can pay for themselves in 7-12 years, with large commercial-scale systems taking even less time.
What financial incentives are available for solar projects? Are there financing options?
Nationwide, there is a Federal Tax Credit of 30% available for eligible home and business owners - this is a credit, and can be directly deducted from your tax liability. In Ohio, there is also the ECO-Link program, which offers reduced-rate loans to individuals completing residential renewable energy projects.
Is there a warranty on my solar electric system?
Most solar panels and micro-inverters are covered by 25 year warranties from the manufacturers, and regularly last 30+ years.