Going Solar

Roof With Solar Panels

Are you looking to make a positive impact on the environment while also saving money?

Look no further than solar energy! It’s easier than ever to make the switch to solar, with numerous benefits that make it a smart choice for homeowners and businesses alike. By reducing your carbon footprint, you’re doing your part to protect the planet for future generations.

Plus, with solar energy, you’ll enjoy significant cost savings on your energy bills over time. And don’t worry about any lingering questions or concerns – we’ve got you covered. Our comprehensive resources include answers to all of your solar-related inquiries.

So what are you waiting for? Make the switch to solar energy today and start enjoying the many benefits it has to offer!

Is solar right for me?

Solar panels are designed to work in all climates, but in some cases, rooftops may not be suitable for solar systems due to age or tree cover. If there are trees near your home that create excessive shade on your roof, rooftop panels may not be the most ideal option.

The size, shape, and slope of your roof are also important factors to consider. Typically, solar panels perform best on south-facing roofs with a slope between 15 and 40 degrees, though other roofs may be suitable too.

You should also consider the age of your roof as we recommend a roof replacement if your roof has less than 10 years of useful life remaining.

How does solar work?

Today, solar energy costs less than traditional electricity in many markets.

While the greatest savings occurs from an upfront purchase, many customers are able to reduce their monthly electrical cost even after the price of financing.

Actual savings will depend on several factors including utility rates, electrical usage, and available sunlight.

How much does solar cost?

Solar energy is harnessed through the use of photovoltaic cells, commonly known as solar panels, which convert sunlight directly into electricity. When sunlight (photons) strikes the surface of the solar panel, it excites the electrons in the silicon cells, causing them to become loose and create an electric current.

The loose electrons flow through the material to produce an electric current. This current is in the form of direct current (DC) electricity. Since most homes use alternating current (AC) electricity, the generated DC electricity needs to be converted into AC electricity by an inverter. 

The converted AC electricity is then used to power appliances, lights, machinery, and other electrical devices in the home or business.

What are the pros and cons of solar?

Pros: Solar energy is a renewable and sustainable energy source reducing both electricity bills and carbon footprint, with low operating costs and little to no maintence. Solar also offers various incentives. 

Cons: The upfront costs of purchasing a solar system can be high (which is why we offer solar financing). Production can be affected by weather conditions like heavy cloud cover and snow. Space requirements can be a constraint for some properties as solar panels require adequate space and a suitable location with unobstructed access to sunlight. Overall, solar energy offers various financial and enviromental advantages.

Solar Panels On A Roof

“The sun doesn’t send us a bill, and we don’t send the sun a check, but it is easy to take energy from the sun and turn it into electricity for all of our nation.” 

– Alex McDoonough

How do I know I'm not getting scammed when choosing a solar company? 

Solar panel scams are very real and have a negative effect on the solar industry. We recommend considering the following steps:

Research

Research multiple companies in your area. Check their websites, read reviews from multiple sources (like Google, or BBB), and ask for recommendations from friends, family, or neighbors who have installed solar systems.

Credentials and Certifications

Legitimate companies should have proper licenses, certifications, and insurance. Look for certifications like NABCEP (North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners) for installers, which demonstrates a high level of expertise.

Transparency

A reputable company will be transparent about the entire process including costs, warranties, equipment specifications, and potentional savings. Get quotes from several companies. Compare the proposed system sizes, equipment, warranties, and pricing. Be cautious of significantly lower-priced quotes that seem too good to be true, as they might compromise on equipment quality or installation standards.

Avoid High-Pressure Tactics

Be cautious of companies using high-pressure sales tactics or offering limited-time deals that require an immediate decision. Legitimate companies won’t rush you into making a decision without giving you time to consider all the details.

Trust your Instincts

If something feels off or too good to be true, trust your instincts. Take your time to make an informed decision.

Solar Panel And Inverter

Do I need a battery? 

No, grid-tied solar energy systems operate without batteries. Excess electricity generated by panels during the day is sent back to the grid. In return, you can receive credits or compensation for this surplus energy through net-metering. If your solar panels aren’t producing enough energy, you can draw power from the grid. Battery technology is expected to improve within the next few years, reducing current issues with price, reliability and availability.

Solar Panels

Do I still need to be hooked up to the utility?

Yes. Most grid-tied solar installations are designed to remain connected to the utility grid. With net metering, excess electricity generated by your solar panels during the day is sent back to the grid, and you receive credits for this surplus energy. In times when your solar panels aren’t producing enough electricity, you can draw power from the grid using these credits. This setup allows you to offset your electricity bills and provides a reliable backup when solar production is insufficient.

Man Installing Solar Panels

What incentives can I get with solar?

There are many incentives with solar that vary depending on your location (state, county, city, and even utility provider). The single most important incentive available to anyone considering solar is the Federal Renewable Energy Tax Credit. This credit pays new solar owners 30% of the total cost of their systems via a personal income tax credit. Property tax exemptions, net metering, clean energy grants, and SRECs are some other common solar incentives. You can request a free quote to find out what incentives you qualify for!

What add on's should I include?

The solar add-ons you might consider depend on your specific needs, location, and type of solar system you are interested in. We recommend things like EV Chargers if you have an electric vehicle, monitoring and control apps, critter-guard, etc. Other add-ons, like solar attic fans and battery storage, aren’t recommended. Find out more here

If I haven't paid off my solar system can I still sell?

Absolutely- solar loans can be transferred to the new owners or the existing owner can use the added value from their home to close out the loan as part of the sale.

Jefferson Chao Dumfries Va

Does getting solar mean that I am off grid?

No, it doesn’t. Solar panels can be used in different ways. Grid-Tied Systems: In most cases, solar panels are connected to the traditional electricity grid. When your solar panels generate more electricity than your home needs, the excess electricity is sent back to the grid.

Adversely, if your panels aren’t generating enough electricity, you still draw power from the grid. Off-Grid Systems: On the other hand, an off-grid system means your home is entirely powered by solar energy, typically with the help of batteries.

We, like most other companies, do not offer off-grid systems due to the signficant cost difference, limited technology of batteries, maintence and lifespan cons, as well as the complexity and low reliability of independent systems.

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