Q. Why is it worth switching to solar?
A. There are many reasons to switch. The cost savings are substantial, equalling tens of thousands of dollars over time. In addition, solar panels can add value to your property, making them an asset rather than just an expense. Solar power is also environmentally responsible. Instead of relying on a power grid that increases the carbon footprint, you'll be using the completely clean and renewable energy of the sun!
Q. Can renters get solar?
A. There are ways to utilize solar power that don't involve putting panels on the property. Community solar installations are available in various locations allowing you to opt-in and participate in the monthly savings and give you the peace of knowing that you are doing your part to promote clean energy
Q. Can solar panels be installed on an old roof?
A. The short answer is yes! The panels themselves require minimal maintenance and are very simplistic. If your roof needs an upgrade, it's best to wait until after the new installation. If you are not looking to replace the roof for another few or more years, it is absolutely possible to have them installed now and reinstalled when the time comes for a new roof.
Q. What kinds of solar panels are available?
A. There are basically two main types of panels. They are silicon and thin-film. Other types are being developed, but have not yet hit the marketplace.
Q. What makes solar panels work?
A. With a silicon solar panel, there are two layers of silicon. These layers are connected by a wire. One layer is positively charged and the other is negatively charged. The simple answer is that when sunlight comes through, it detaches the negatively charged electrons and they travel through the wire. As they go through the wires, the electrons create direct current electricity. Through the use of an inverter in the solar system, the direct current is converted into alternating current (AC) which will be able to power your home.
Q. What's the lifespan of solar panels?
A. Solar panels are highly durable! Most manufacturers claim 30 years or more to be the typical lifespan of solar panels. What tends to break down is the efficiency of the panel. Even then, the panels only lose a fraction of a percent in their efficiency each year. This means that your solar system will be working well for many years!
Q. Are there incentives to using solar panels?
A. The installation costs for solar systems have become more affordable, but there is still a substantial up-front expense. To help with this, there are a number of incentive programs designed to help with the cost and promote greater use of solar power. Several states have solar tax credits available, but the most common is a federal tax credit which provides 30% of the cost to install the system in the year after the initial installation. The states of Delaware, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Oregon, and Connecticut also have solar rebates which pay cash when installing a solar system! In some locations, you can even receive payments for the extra energy you produce and don't use!
Q. Can you use batteries with a solar system?
A. Yes you can, and it's the only way to keep power going if there is a blackout. Home batteries are expensive though, so you have to decide if it is worth the cost.
Q. Will a solar system be cheaper in the future?
A. While this may very well be the case, it isn't a good idea to wait on speculation of cheaper installation costs. The federal solar tax credit will begin phasing out as early as 2020. With the unknown future of solar incentive programs, combined with the substantial annual savings, there is no reason to wait. Contact us to start your solar journey today!
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