Solar Energy Questions & Answers
HOW DOES SOLAR WORK?
Your home solar panels collect the sun’s natural energy. That energy is converted into usable energy (DC to AC). AC is what powers your refrigerator, TV, lights and other appliances. You save money every month by producing your own power.
IS NOW A GOOD TIME TO GO SOLAR AND SWITCH TO A SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEM?
Right now, solar prices are favorable, as are the current solar rebates and federal tax credits. Find out how these forces affect the timing of your decision to go solar.
ARE HOME SOLAR PANELS A VIABLE OPTION FOR ME?
Solar power makes up three-quarters of new U.S. electricity generation. More than half a million U.S. homes and businesses have now gone solar. New panels are added every 3.2 minutes. Solar has quadrupled in the past four years. Solar cell technology has proven itself over decades, so you can bet the home solar panels you install today will stand the test of time.
CAN I COMPLETELY ELIMINATE OR DRASTICALLY REDUCE MY ENERGY BILLS BY INSTALLING A SOLAR POWER SYSTEM?
Electricity costs can make up a large portion of the overall budget for your home. One of the many benefits of installing a solar power system is that you’ll be generating free power over your system’s 25-30 year life cycle.
WHAT ROI CAN I EXPECT WITH SOLAR POWER?
Solar panels aren’t an expense. They’re an investment that pays handsome returns often rivaling those of more traditional investments such as stocks or bonds. Substantial savings as well as the potential in some areas to generate revenue result in ROIs of 20% or more, making solar one of the best ways to invest your dollars.
WILL GOING SOLAR PROTECT AGAINST RISING COST OF MY ENERGY BILLS?
Because energy prices are so unpredictable, they make managing your budget very difficult, especially for businesses or homeowners whose cash flow fluctuates from month to month. By making these costs more predictable, solar power systems have the added benefit of improving a home or business owner’s expense management capabilities.
BY ADDING SOLAR PANELS TO MY ROOFTOP TO MY HOME INCREASE MY PROPERTY VALUE?
Studies have found that homes equipped with clean energy systems have higher property values, selling twice as fast and at a premium of 3-4% over similar homes in the same neighborhood. Appraisers are increasingly taking solar installation into consideration as they value the home at the time of a sale. As appraisers and consumers become more educated, homes or commercial properties equipped with solar panel systems will be more in demand and may even get even a higher premium.
DOES SOLAR POWER WORK AT NIGHT?
Home solar panels convert sunlight to electricity during the day while the sun is shining. Excess energy created that you don’t use is put back on the grid, generating credits that you then use during the nighttime hours. This results in reduced energy cost to you both during the day and nighttime hours.
HOW LARGE OF A ROOF DO I NEED TO INSTALL SOLAR?
Palmetto Solar will design a custom Solar Power System specifically for your home. How many panels it can accommodate will be determined by your previous year's energy consumption.
DO YOU HAVE TO PUT HOLES IN THE ROOF TO INSTALL SOLAR PANELS?
Solar mounting frames are attached directly to the rafters of your roof through the shingle and covered with a specially designed 12×12 flashing and a double gasket sealing system. To put this into perspective, we generally make 36-40 attachments on the roof for the entire array, each using this specialty flashing. When your roof was installed, your roofer puts in 400 nails for every 10 ft x 10 ft section of your roof, covered only by the overlapping shingle.
HOW LONG DO SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEMS LAST?
A well-designed and properly installed PV system (photovoltaic system) can last for many decades. PV systems installed in the 1970s are still in operation. Since solar modules have a 25-year power output warranty, most people plan on at least 25 years operation, but the first silicon solar cells made by Bell Laboratories in the 1950s are still operational so 40 to 50 year lifetimes for the early PV systems are not unusual.
DO HOME SOLAR PANELS REQUIRE A LOT OF MAINTENANCE?
Solar Panels require very little maintenance. You don’t even have to wash your panels – normally, natural patterns of wind and rainfall will do most of the work.
WHAT IS NET METERING AND HOW DOES IT WORK WITH A PHOTOVOLTAIC PV PANEL SYSTEM?
Net Metering is a special billing arrangement that provides credit to utility customers with Photovoltaic PV Panel Systems for the full retail value of the electricity that their Photovoltaic PV Panel System generates. Your utility meter keeps track of how much electricity you consume how much excess electricity your PV system generates that is sent back into the utility grid. You pay your utility only for the net amount of electricity used. During the day, your Photovoltaic PV Panel System can produce more electricity than you use. The excess power automatically goes through the electric meter into the utility grid, literally spinning your meter backwards to credit your account. Excess solar production is carried over from one month to the next on an annual basis and in some cases can zero-out your annual electric bill.