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Solar energy doesn’t have to be confusing or complicated. If you’ve been looking at solar systems for your home, business or school, you probably have questions. We’re here to help by providing the most common solar power questions broken down into 5 main categories: About Solar Panels, Solar Installation, Financial Questions, How Solar Works and Legal Questions. You can also reference our solar terms glossary if you find any terminology that you haven't heard before.
What is net metering?
Several US states have laws in place that require utility companies to track both the production and consumption of power at a customer’s home.
What happens to my utility bill?
Once you go solar, you will have two bills: Your new, dramatically reduced solar energy bill, and a smaller utility bill for any energy leftover that you need to use from the grid. Depending on the size of your system, your utility bill could be offset by up to 99% ─ but most utility companies charge a minimal fee that you are still responsible for paying.
How do solar panels withstand inclement weather conditions?
Most high-quality solar panels are built to withstand snow piles and up to one inch of hail. You can confirm this with your solar representatives during the enrollment process to ensure you are receiving the best products the industry has to offer. With energy storage as a service, you’ll be able to control your home’s energy efficiency to further reduce your monthly electricity expenses.
What happens at night or on cloudy days?
Solar panels produce energy when the sun is shining. At night or when it’s cloudy, the system will use credits from excess power that was overproduced from the system during the day. This is the primary reason that on-grid solar solutions rely on the utility grid and net metering laws to provide supplemental power when the system isn’t producing.
What happens if the power goes out?
For the safety of grid workers, your system is required to turn itself off if you lose utility power. Once the power is restored, the system will automatically turn itself back on. An off-grid power system or one with battery backup would continue to run during the day if you lost power.
When is my solar power system producing power and how reliable is it?
Solar power systems produce power when they are exposed to sunlight. Depending on how the system is engineered, it will start operating at sunrise and shut down at sunset. The intensity of the solar rays determines how much power is produced by the solar power system.
Solar power is an extremely reliable source of energy. The technology has been around for several decades, and there are installed systems that have been producing viable energy for over 25+ years.
What size solar power system do I need?
The size of your solar power system is determined by your current electricity consumption and monthly budget. Additionally, the amount of roof space or ground space you have available for installation will also gauge the percentage of solar capacity your home’s energy use can fulfill.
Will my roof leak if I install solar panels on it?
Our quality of products, types of flashing, and racking methods help prevent your roof from leaking as a result of solar system installation. Suntuity Solar also assesses the age and condition of your roof prior to scheduling an installation – so if you are in need of roof replacements or repairs, we will work with you on the logistics to ensure it is ready for solar panels. In the rare instance that your roof does leak due to our installation of the system, we have a workmanship warranty in place that is disclosed in your solar agreement.
Do I need a new roof before I get a solar power system?
If your roof is over 10 years old, it’s wise to replace or repair it while preparing your home for a solar installation. This due diligence ensures that the roof will last as long as the solar system that is installed. Suntuity Solar can assess the age and condition of your roof prior to installation and may be able to assist with some of the work.
What are the advantages of installing a solar power system on the ground?
Ground-based solar power systems have several advantages over rooftop systems, including higher outputs, better tilt and orientation, and easier maintenance. The installation itself is a bit more invasive of your property, and not every homeowner has enough yard space ─ which is why the majority of solar customers choose to install panels on their rooftop.
I belong to a homeowners’ association. Can I still install a solar power system?
Most homeowners’ associations allow the installation of solar power systems, provided that certain requirements are met. Your solar representative should review these requirements carefully before installing a solar power system on your roof or property.
I own a townhome. Can I install a solar power system?
Most likely, yes. Most townhomes qualify for solar power system installation.
What kinds of performance guarantees are offered as part of the lease?
As part of our lease, we offer a system performance guarantee throughout the entire length of your solar agreement. If the system does not perform as promised, we will compensate you for any electricity losses.
What happens to the solar power system after my solar lease agreement ends?
As part of our lease agreement, you retain the right to extend it or purchase the system. We can also remove the system when the lease term is complete, if preferred.
What happens if I decide to sell my house during the lease term?
Our leases, as well as our buyout option and production guarantees, are fully transferable to the new property owner. Solar can increase your home’s resale value by up to $15,000, and the new owner will be inheriting monthly electricity savings.
How does solar leasing work, and what benefits do I get from leasing my system?
Solar leasing offers a lower monthly electricity bill for $0 down. The rates are locked in and will never fluctuate, so you know what you’ll be paying today, tomorrow, and for the entire length of your solar agreement. Once the lease expires, you’ll have the option of purchasing the system, extending the lease, or removing it. You can also choose a prepayment option upfront which will reduce your monthly lease payments even more.
Do you offer financing options for solar power systems?
Yes! In addition to the traditional $0 down solar leasing option, we also offer power purchase agreements (PPAs) for zero upfront costs. PPAs allow you to pay for the power your system produces every month, while leasing is a flat monthly rate that does not fluctuate.
If you’d like to own your solar system, we offer $0 down loan payment options which will allow you to take advantage of the 26% federal tax credit.
What kind of environmental benefits can I expect from an average solar power system?
An average home consumes approximately 10,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year. Installing a solar power system that offsets the same amount of usage will reduce 15,000 pounds of CO2 each year. This is the equivalent of the carbon eliminated by 1.5 acres of forests.
When is it a good time to get a solar power system?
The best time to get a solar power system is, simply put, as soon as possible. With federal, state and local solar incentives at some of the highest rates they have ever been, the financial benefits of implementing a solar power system is a no-brainer. The federal ITC is set to expire at the end of 2021, so it makes sense for homeowners to make the switch now and get the most out of the financial benefit.
Do my property taxes or property insurance rates change if I install a solar power system?
The increase in property value is due to a renewable energy solution, so your property taxes cannot increase ─ but your insurance will increase marginally to cover any losses that may occur due to your newly installed system. The increase is usually around $75-$100 per year for a typical residential system.
What kind of maintenance is needed?
Solar power systems, if installed correctly, require minimal maintenance. There are no moving parts. Most high-quality panels and inverters have warranties of up to 25+ years.
What if I already have a system installed by another solar installer?
Suntuity Solar offers energy storage even if you already have a system installed. With storage as a service, you can increase your power savings while enjoying reliable, uninterrupted power despite any weather conditions.
How is Suntuity Solar different from other installers?
Every Suntuity Solar system is customized and engineered for the needs of each homeowner. Our mission is to deliver the best quality products and services that maximize both solar output and electricity savings. Qualified homeowners typically save up to 30% or more every month with Suntuity Solar.
What is “EV”?
“EV” is an acronym for Electric Vehicles. These vehicles can either run on 100% electric power or function as hybrids that use a combination of gasoline and electricity. With EV adoption on the rise across the US, many states have started offering incentives for EV purchases.
Suntuity offers affordable installation for charging stations in your garage or driveway. Visit https://suntuityhome.com/products/ev-charging-stations/ to get a free estimate.
How does energy storage work?
Battery storage keeps your lights on when the power goes out, allowing your home to operate autonomously from the grid. It stores the energy your solar system overproduces so that you can have continuous, uninterrupted power when you need it.
Suntuity Solar offers battery storage with $0 down solar enrollment as part of our Solar Storage Program. We also offer battery storage for homeowners that already have solar installed and homeowners that do not qualify for solar. Explore your options here: https://suntuitysolar.com/battery-storage
How does solar actually work?
There are five main steps to how solar power works after your system is activated:
1) Sunlight hits the solar panels on your rooftop and creates DC (Direct Current) electricity.
2) Solar energy inverters convert DC power into useable AC (Alternating Current) electricity.
3) The electrical panel distributes clean power throughout your home that reduces harmful carbon emissions.
4) Any excess power produced is sent back to the electrical grid to build credits on your home’s utility account in a process called net metering.
5) Your utility company will power your home with the stored credits at night or during inclement weather ─ so there is never a gap in your energy usage.
What can solar energy power do?
Outside of providing solar electricity to the home, here are some of the most innovative solar energy run items and appliances.
What are the best residential solar panels available?
We’ll break down the most popular solar panels available, but be sure to discuss your options in more detail with your installer.
How long should my solar panels last?
Solar panel systems are an investment, so one of the first questions that people ask is how long they can expect their panels to last.
What is “Vampire Power”?
Don't let your electricity bills trick you this Halloween. Standby power, also known as 'vampire power', 'vampire draw', 'phantom load' or 'ghost load', refers to energy that is consumed by appliances and other equipment when turned off.
How is solar energy stored?
Curious to know where your energy goes once it has been generated by your solar panels? This is a good question, because on cloudy days and nights, the energy your system produces is little to none. Therefore, your solar system must be able to tap into stored energy to continue providing power to your home.
Where can I put my solar panels?
There are a number of factors that solar panel installation companies take into consideration when making this decision. Let’s take a closer look at the two places you can put your home solar panels - the roof or the ground - and the benefits of each.
What is solar energy?
Solar energy is the power that comes from the sun. It is the most abundantly-found, renewable energy resource on earth. This is because the sun does a lot more than just provide light during the day. Every single constituent particle of the sun’s rays (known as photons) has the capability to provide a clean source of energy to our planet.
What is solar energy technology?
The technologies that help us to harness the true potential of solar power are known as solar energy technologies. They enable commercial industries and households to make use of heat and light from the sun.
What is solar energy used for?
Every day our planet receives energy from the sun that’s around 200,000 times the global daily electricity generation capacity! A number of possibilities for what to do with solar energy exist, as long as we’re ready and willing to take complete advantage of them. The main use of solar energy is for the generation of electricity.
What are the benefits of solar energy?
Among the renewable sources of energy, solar energy has risen in popularity for both residential and commercial purposes. This is because significant technological advancements have been made in harnessing solar energy. It is both environmentally friendly and economically viable for households and businesses to use this clean form of energy.
What is the future of solar energy?
Before 2008, solar panel installations were very costly, discouraging people from shifting to using a clean form of electricity generation. However, this has become a thing of the past. Between 2008 and 2013, the installation cost of solar panels declined by more than 50%. With a continued decline in costs and an increasing awareness of the benefits, solar power is expected to meet around 20% of our total energy needs by 2027.
How do solar panels work?
Solar panels are currently being used on rooftops, in PV power stations, solar planes, solar vehicles, and by many devices. These panels use a phenomenon known as the photoelectric effect to generate electricity from solar energy.
What are solar panels made of?
Solar panels have given a new ray of hope to the field of alternative energy. The ability to transform radiant energy to electrical energy has greatly contributed towards a green environment.
What is the process of harnessing solar energy?
The sun is a storehouse of clean energy, and the earth receives a huge amount of it every day. Technology can now harness solar energy, tapping into the most inexhaustible supply of power that we know today. Following years of research and innovation, solar panels have evolved into a convenient and economically viable way of harnessing energy from the sun.
What type of energy is produced by a solar cell?
A clean, alternative source of energy is becoming more urgent. The growing use of solar energy has been propelled by the declining cost of installing solar panels and easy maintenance.
Financial and environmental benefits of residential solar
Solar power is the earth’s most abundant resource of energy. As one of the cheapest forms of electricity across the United States, solar dramatically reduces greenhouse gas emissions and is proven to help slow climate change.
Cost of solar energy
Solar costs have dropped more than 70% since 2010 and is considered the cheapest form of electricity worldwide following a report released in early 2016. Renewable energy is the future.
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*Suntuity is a registered trademark of Natural Power Sources LLC D|B|A Suntuity. A solar power system is customized for each home, so pricing and savings vary based on location, system size, roof condition and roof space, azimuth, tree location, government rebates, and local utility rates. Savings on your total electricity cost is not guaranteed. Financing terms and warranties vary based on location and are not available in all areas.
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