Going Solar Made Easy -
Frequently Asked Questions

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If you’re considering the installation of solar panels, our team of experienced solar advisors will carefully evaluate your location and energy requirements. By doing so, we can accurately determine the optimal number of panels needed to generate the desired amount of electricity for your specific home or business. Moreover, this personalized assessment enables us to provide you with a tailored quote that aligns with your unique energy usage patterns. Our goal is to deliver a customized solution that maximizes the benefits of solar power for you.

Solar panels convert sunshine into power, so if your panels are covered in snow they can’t produce electricity. However, snow generally isn’t heavy enough to cause structural issues with your panels, and since most panels are tilted at an angle the snow will slide off. If snow does accumulate, your panels are easy to clean. Once the snow begins to melt or slide off, your panels will work again.

If your solar panel system is connected to the grid, it will shut off in the event of a blackout. This is to prevent emergency responders and electricity utility repair-people from being injured by your panels sending power back to the grid. However, there are certain inverters you can buy that provide backup power in a blackout when paired with a battery.

When you install solar panels on your property, you will still be connected to the grid. This allows you to draw from the grid when your system is not producing all of the power that you need, and send power back to the grid when you produce more than you use. It is possible to go off the grid with a solar energy system that includes battery storage. Ask us about adding a backup battery to your system!

Once permits have been approved and your installation is scheduled, the installation of the solar equipment itself is the quickest part of the process. Most solar installers can install a rooftop residential solar panel installation in one to three days, depending on how many panels you’re installing and how complicated the installation is. The process of installing a ground-mounted solar panel installation can take more time because of the additional work required. Your installer will need to trench your land to run the wiring from your solar panel system to your building.

Unless your solar energy system includes battery storage and you are fully off the grid, you will still receive a bill from your utility. The cost will depend on your usage, utility, system size, and more. However, you can dramatically reduce your bill, or even cut the amount you owe to $0, with a solar panel system that matches your energy use.

The easiest way to find out how much you pay for electricity (and how much electricity you use per month) is to take a look at your utility electricity bill.

Net metering, also known as NEM (Net Energy Metering), is the system that utilities use to credit solar energy system owners for the electricity produced by their solar panels. With net metering, you only pay for the electricity that you use beyond what your solar panels can generate. Net metering policies differ from state to state – from Pennsylvania to California – so make sure to do your homework ahead of time.

Studies have shown that homes with solar energy systems sell for more than homes without them. However, your property value will only increase if you own, rather than lease, your solar panel system. In most parts of the country, going solar will actually increase your property value more than a kitchen renovation.

Most homeowners insurance policies cover solar panels. But depending on the type of system you have, you may need a separate policy. If you’re adding to the insurance coverage you already have, the location of your panels and your local climate could impact your insurance premiums. Generally, if your solar panel is mounted on your roof, your home insurance covers it under your dwelling coverage. Solar panels that aren’t a permanent fixture of your home are generally prone to more damage, so your insurance company may require you purchase extra coverage.

The solar panel payback period is a calculation that estimates how long it will take for you to “break even” on your solar energy investment. The typical solar payback period in the U.S. is just above 8 years. If your cost of installing solar is $20,000 and your system is going to save you $2,500 a year on foregone energy bills, your solar panel payback or “break-even point” will be 8 years ($20,000/$2,500 = 8).

Solar panels require little maintenance in order to function. The only thing they need is a periodic light cleaning to make sure dirt, leaves, and other debris aren’t obstructing the sun’s rays. If your panels are tilted, rainfall actually clears away debris that’s accumulated on them. However, during the dry season or extended periods without rain, it’s important to clean them manually. It is recommended that you perform solar panel cleaning between two and four times per year with a leaf blower or a garden hose.

Solar panel systems are made of durable tempered glass and require little to no maintenance for the 25 to 35 years that they will generate power. In most cases, you don’t even need to clean your solar panels regularly. If something does happen, we do offer a 25 year warranty.

Solar rebates and incentives vary depending on where you live. The most significant is the 30 percent federal investment tax cred it (ITC), which allows you to deduct 30 percent of the cost of your solar energy system from your taxes. Some states offer additional tax credits, and certain municipalities and utilities also offer cash rebates or other incentives.

There are two options when paying for solar: you can purchase your system in cash, or you can take out a solar loan to buy your system. Most homeowners choose to take out a loan and pay it back over the years. We offer flexible and affordable financing options as low as 0.99% APR (OAC).

Southerly-facing roofs with little to no shade and enough space to fit a solar panel system are ideal for installing solar. In many cases, however, there are workarounds if your home doesn’t have the ideal solar roof. Register your property on our website to learn more about all of your options; all installation offers are based on images of your actual roof.

The size of your solar energy system will depend on how much electricity you use on a monthly basis, as well as the weather conditions where you live. Take a look at your past electricity bills and compare offers from licensed, pre-screened solar installers to determine the best system size for your needs.

Solar energy systems can last for 25 to 35 years, and it can be costly to remove and reinstall them if you need to replace your roof. If your roof needs maintenance in the near term, you should complete it before you begin your solar installation. One of Green Home Systems’ solar installers will be able to tell you whether to replace your roof before going solar.

Our solar panels are very durable and capable of withstanding snow, wind, and hail. The various components of your solar power system will need to be replaced at different times, but your system should continue to generate electricity for 25 to 35 years.

If you own your solar energy system, your solar house will sell at a premium. Studies have shown that solar increases property values. However, if you lease your system, that is not the case. You will need to either buy out your lease before you sell your home, or work with your leasing company to transfer the lease agreement to the home’s new owner.

Power inverters convert the electricity your panels produce from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) power. There are three types of inverters: string/centralized inverters, microinverters, and power optimizers.

Solar power systems that include solar batteries, known as solar-plus-storage, are increasingly popular. However, batteries are not necessary for most solar homeowners. As long as you are connected to the grid, your system does not need a battery: excess power goes back into the grid, and you can draw from the grid if you need more electricity than your panels can generate.

Just schedule an appointment with one of our expert energy advisers! During your free virtual consultation, they will gather information about your home and energy needs, and come up with a customized solar proposal. Click here to find out how much you could save.