We do our best to answer all of the questions interested homeowners and businesses have about solar. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions and the answers to them!
Is solar energy a smart investment?
Installing solar on your property will certainly save money on your electricity bills. You also will not need to worry about rising electricity rates for that portion which you cover with your panels. Currently, we are seeing between 7%-12% annual returns on solar. Where else can you get that constant rate of return?
What is the grid and can I go off it?
On-Grid Systems are solar systems that only generate power when the utility power grid is available. 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. You can go off-grid if you have a solar energy system that includes battery storage. However, adding batteries to your system will increase its cost by a factor of 2 or more and we don't recommend it.
Will a solar system add value to my property?
There is only one way to go with solar – and that is to own your system. Studies show homes with solar energy systems sell for more than homes without solar. The Maryland Department of Energy states that for every $1 you invest in energy improvements in your home, the value increases by $1.18. It's like taking money out of one pocket and putting it in another – like adding a garage to a home.
Will I need to replace my roof prior to solar installation?
If your roof is old and needs repair, then you should consider replacing it before installation of solar panels. However, it's not as big a deal as you might imagine as the panels and racking can be taken off in a day and re-installed in a day. A good rule of thumb is if you think your roof will need to be replaced in five years, do that first. Our Solar team will be able to advise you if your roof should be replaced first.
Will I still receive a utility bill?
You will still receive a bill from your utility company if your system doesn't include battery storage for energy collected or you are not completely off the grid. However, with a solar panel system that matches your energy use, you can dramatically reduce your bill or have a $0 balance.
Will my roof accommodate solar panels?
If your roof has little to no shade and enough space to fit a solar panel system, it should work. Solar panels no longer require direct light and the efficiency per panel keeps improving so ambient light also powers them. There are workarounds if your home doesn't have the ideal solar roof. Contact us for a consultation and we will evaluate your property for a solar solution to your energy needs.