FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Going solar is a huge decision, so it’s understandable to have questions. Below you will find some of the most commonly asked questions that we receive.

Top 15 Solar Related Questions

Solar can save you money. Traditional energy costs have gone up over 500% since 1971, and that trend is likely to continue. On the other hand, the cost of solar has dropped more than 250% in the last two decades. Almost 80% of U.S. homeowners can now jump on board with solar for no money down, while paying less per month than they currently spend for electricity.

Once your panels are installed, your system will be wired to a meter and inverter. Your meter keeps track of your solar system’s power generation and will be attached to your home alongside your utility meter. Your inverter is an integral part of your solar system. It converts the power your solar system generates (direct current power) into power that can be used by your home (alternating current power).

 

Net energy metering means that your utility tracks both power you use and power you produce. Your new utility bill will be the net difference between the two. When you produce excess power (defined as producing more than what is consumed at the time it is produced) that power is banked with your utility as a credit. Any time you draw from utility power – such as during the nighttime – you will draw on your banked credits before drawing on billable utility power.

 

With net energy metering, you can be sure that you are getting the most out of your solar system and only drawing from your utility to fill in any gaps.

Your solar PV panels are made to withstand year-round climates and conditions. Solar panels produce power based on the amount of sunlight the panels are exposed to, so they are unaffected by temperature. Those sunny, yet cold days in winter could generate comparable amounts of solar energy to a hot, summer day. Although you won’t be producing as much solar power in the winter as you do during the summer months, your system is designed so that you can draw on the electricity credits you generated during the summer.

If your roof is in good condition, it will be perfect for solar. If it is older than 15 years, it may need to be replaced. Your local installer will inspect your roof and advise you on this.

Yes. Real estate studies have found that, by reducing electricity costs, solar increases a home’s value, and solar homes also sell faster.

Yes. ValuSolar+ offers free solar consultations for anyone interested in going solar. We also offer solar education to inform our clients on the processes of going solar as well as the benefits.

Homeowners will use their homeowners insurance to cover the repair of the roof structure. There will be fees involved to remove and reinstate the solar panels on the repaired roof (which is typically a fraction of the cost of the system) and in some instances, installers who also offer roofing services, will do the removal and replacement at no charge on the contingency that they are doing the roof replacement. Note: All fees associated with going solar are typically a fraction of the cost the average homeowner pays to “rent” electricity on a monthly basis and even less over the course of time.  

Solar panels absorb the sun’s energy throughout the day and convert it into direct current (DC) electricity. Most homes and businesses run on alternating current (AC) electricity, so the DC electricity is then passed through an inverter to convert it to usable AC electricity. At that point, you either use the electricity in your house or send it back to the electric grid.

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, but it will cost significantly more and is unnecessary for the majority of homeowners.

If your roof is in good condition, it will be perfect for solar. If it is older than 15 years, it may need to be replaced. Your local installer will inspect your roof and advise you on this.

Unless your solar energy system includes battery storage and you are fully off the grid, you will still receive a bill from your utility. 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.

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, most equipment manufacturers include warranties, although warranty terms depend on the company.

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.

Solar rebates and incentives vary depending on where you live. The most significant is the 26 percent federal investment tax credit (ITC), which allows you to deduct 26 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.

In general, 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.

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