Frequently Asked Questions
How much roof space does a PV system need??
A reasonable amount of non-shaded, unobstructed roof space (>100 Sq feet) can accommodate a solar panel system. 400-600ft2 is ideal for an average-sized home. Systems are designed to maximize return on investment (ROI) – determined during your free solar estimate/site visit.
Is south-facing roof space best?
Yes, true south is optimal here in the USA, but east or west-facing panels can still provide a great deal of power. During your free solar estimate, our solar professionals will help determine what configurations will maximize your solar power production & ROI.
What mounting options are available?
Panels are typically mounted on the roof, but can also be mounted on the ground. Ground mounts are good alternatives to consider if your house is shaded or if roof obstructions limit the available space on your roof.
What roof types do you install?
We primarily work with metal and composition shingle tile rooftops. Other roof types can be accommodated but may involve additional material costs.
How large of a solar power system do I need to power my home?
When we do your assessment, we identify how much electricity you use, how much of an investment you want to make, and then tailor a system suited to your specific needs..
How much power will my system produce?
Systems come in many sizes. We work with you to determine the correct system sizing for your home. Solar PV systems generate when you need it most (usually for AC), so most customers experience a substantial reduction in the amount of regular power they buy.
How will cloud cover affect production?
Solar electric output is directly proportional to the amount of sunlight available. That said, even on an overcast day, solar panels can still generate 50 – 70% of its typical output, offsetting the energy your home needs from your electrical provider.
How long will the system last?
There are not many moving parts in the system, so mechanically there is little ‘wear and tear’. The solar panels have a 25-year power warranty from the manufacturer but they can last up to 50 or more years. Not many other home products have that kind of durability or warranty. The other major components (inverters, mounting system, etc.) generally have a 10-year manufacturer’s warranty but might be as high as 25 years. Check with your Solar Consultant.
How durable are the systems ?
PV systems are extremely durable. They are required to pass standards and withstand winds up to 125 mph and 1-inch sized hail. In order to meet these standards, the installation components and solar panels must be installed per the manufacturer’s specifications.
What happens in the event the utility has a power outage?
All of our systems are currently grid-tied,. To ensure safety to the electric provider’s linemen, these systems do not generate power when the utility is out, even if the sun is shining. The majority of our customers experience very infrequent power outages making solar power practical and cost-effective.
Do I need batteries with the system?
No. Because our systems are connected to the utility grid, you have a secure and reliable source of energy day and night. The electrical grid becomes your battery for storage.
Should I install a new roof before the solar panels are installed?
Most installations do not require a new roof. However, if you think you will need to replace your roof within the next five years, you may consider installing a new roof prior to going solar in order to avoid the cost or removing and reinstalling your PV system. Solar panels last decades, and once in place, greatly reduce the wear on your roof by blocking ultraviolet rays.
What is net metering?
Net metering is a policy that permits you to send excess power generated by your system back into the grid to your electric provider. When more energy is sent into the grid than your property consumes, you effectively turn your meter backwards crediting every net kilowatt hour generated by your system. Exact provisions vary by state, but the net effect is to allow you to generate excess power during the day, and use it at night.