FAQs

Can my electric bill really be $0?

Some solar systems produce more electricity than is used each month, bringing net electricity costs to $0. However, there is still a minimal connection fee (typically about $100 per year) to remain connected to the electrical grid.

DOES THE TAX CREDIT EXPIRE?

A tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction in the income taxes that a person or company claiming the credit would otherwise pay the federal government. The FTC is based on the amount of investment in solar property. Both the residential and commercial FTC are equal to 30 percent of the basis that is invested in eligible property which have commence construction through 2019. The FTC then steps down to 26 percent in 2020 and 22 percent in 2021. After 2023, the residential credit will drop to zero while the commercial and utility credit will drop to a permanent 10 percent.

SHOULD I WAIT FOR SOLAR PRICES TO DROP?

While it is likely that prices will continue to decline slowly, a much bigger impact on the final price you pay are the incentives. The biggest and most effective incentive is currently available only until the end of 2018.

WILL IT MAKE MY ROOF UGLY?

Having solar panels installed raises the value of your home, saves you money, and gives a modern look to your house. Besides the traditional blueish color panels, there are the black on black panels for those who desire a more aesthetically pleasing look while maximizing efficiency.

WILL I BE “OFF THE 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.

WHAT IS “NET METERING”?

Net energy metering, or “NEM”, is a special billing arrangement that provides credit to customers with solar systems for the full retail value of the electricity their system generates. At any time of the day, a customer’s solar system may produce more or less electricity than they need for their home or business. When the system’s production exceeds the customer demand, the excess energy generation automatically goes through the electric meter into the utility grid, running the meter backwards to credit the customer account. At other times of the day, the customer’s electric demand may be higher than the renewable energy system is producing, and the customer relies on additional power needs from the utility. Switching between solar system’s power and the utility grid power is instantaneous-customers never notice any interruption in the flow of power.

HOW DOES SOLAR HELP MY WALLET?

When you install a solar energy system on your property, you save money on your electricity bills and more importantly protect yourself against rising electricity rates in the future. How much you can save depends on the utility rates and solar policies in your area, but going solar is a smart investment regardless of where you live.
Numerous studies have shown that homes with solar systems sell for more than homes without them. However, your property value will only increase if you own, rather than lease, your solar panel system. In most parts of the country, going solar will actually increase your property value more than a kitchen renovation.
[+] View New York Times Article

HOW MUCH DOES MAINTENANCE COST?

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