Frequently Asked Questions

We believe education is the first step to bringing solar power into more homes and businesses throughout the region.

Read our responses to the most frequently asked questions about solar power!

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Solar power is the conversion of energy from sunlight into electricity, either directly using photovoltaics (PV), indirectly using concentrated solar power, or a combination. Concentrated solar power systems use lenses or mirrors and tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight into a small beam. Photovoltaic cells convert light into an electric current using the photovoltaic effect.

A photovoltaic power system, or PV system, produces direct current (DC) power which fluctuates with the sunlight’s intensity. To power a home requires conversion to certain desired alternating current (AC) voltages through the use of inverters.

Multiple solar cells are connected inside modules. Modules are wired together to form arrays, then the arrays are tied to an inverter, which produces power at the desired voltage, and for AC, the desired frequency/phase.

Yes.

If your system is connected to the grid, you save money on your electric bill through a process known as Net Metering. Net metering allows residential and commercial customers who generate their own electricity from solar power to feed electricity they do not use back into the grid. It is a billing mechanism that credits solar energy system owners for the electricity they add to the grid.

For example, if a residential customer has a PV system on the home’s rooftop, it may generate more electricity than the home uses during daylight hours. If the home is net-metered, the electricity meter will run backwards to provide a credit against what electricity is consumed at night or other periods where the home’s electricity use exceeds the system’s output. Customers are only billed for their “net” energy use. On average, only 20-40% of a solar energy system’s output ever goes into the grid. Exported solar electricity serves nearby customers’ loads.

Your solar array will continue to produce electricity during cloudy weather; the energy output will simply be reduced to 10 – 25% of typical. However – this doesn’t matter, what matters is how much sun you get year-round. Cloudy days will come an go, but on the average, it’s not going to effect the return on investment of solar panels at all.

Clouds affect your photovoltaic panels’ ability to harness the optimal amount of energy, but solar cells are designed to capture any available light — even if it’s not direct sunlight.

When the weather turns cloudy, the sky may be grayer and darker, but the solar panels in your photovoltaic array will take whatever light there is and convert it into electricity for your home.

If the system does not generate enough power to meet your needs an a particular day, the grid will supply you with the extra energy you need.

Most solar panels used in home solar arrays come with a warranty for some 25 or 30 years. A recent study undertaken by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), which looked at the ‘photovoltaic degradation’ rates of some 2000 solar installations, showed that the average solar panel loses about half of a percentage point (0.5%) of efficiency per year, which means that a panel at the end of its 25-year warranty period should still be operating at about 88% of its original capacity.

Save Money With SolarThe cost of installing solar for your house or business depends on how much electricity you want to generate. Obviously, a bigger system will cost more, because you’ll need to buy more equipment and more labor will be needed to install it.

The typical price paid per watt ranges from $2.71 to $3.57, and the average U.S household system size is 6 kW (6,000 watts).

While bigger systems may cost more, they also result in more savings.

If you install a 10kW solar energy system to cover all of your electricity use, you might have to pay more out of pocket, but you’ll be cutting a significant monthly expense – your utility bill – and saving more money as a result. $0-down, low-interest solar loans are becoming increasingly common, making it even easier to buy a solar panel system and maximize your solar savings.

Solar Power System Monitoring and MaintenanceA properly built system requires little maintenance to stay in excellent shape. An annual cleaning is generally all is all a system needs.

We monitor your system constantly for any deviation in performance through our on-line portal. We will know of any anomalies in system performance as soon as they occur, perhaps even before you know.

If your system is not easily accessible for cleaning, or you would like regular inspections, we provide annual maintenance services.

Solar Power System Periodic Maintenance

Yes! Certainly!

Our overall objective is to enable as many folks as possible to enjoy the benefit of renewable energy. Our service technicians are willing and qualified to maintain any system to keep it running at peak efficiency.

Solar electricity systems are designed to meet strict “wind load” building standards. They will withstand winds up to 110MPH.

Yes!

Solar is one of the best investments you can make to add value to your home. No other home renovation or enhancement increases value this substantially. (Not to mention it produces power and income until you sell the home.) Many of our customers install solar because they want to sell their homes. Installing solar will increase the home value and asking price, while also making it stand out in a competitive housing market.

Duke Energy has a new program, begun in of May 2018, which offers a rebate of 60 cents per kilowatt hour rebate for rooftop solar systems up to 10 kilowatts in size, or $6000. Homeowners can install a larger system, but the rebate will only apply to the first 10 kilowatts.

In addition to incentives from power companies, there is also a rebate available through the Federal ITC which will cover 30% of the remaining cost of the system.

You can find the most up-to-date information for your area at www.dsireusa.org.

There are many financing options available, and we will help you find the financing plan that best meets your needs.

Each electric utility has its own programs for crediting customers any surplus power sent to the grid. We can help you to understand those programs, and choose the one best for you.

Most residential systems can be isntalled within one to five days, depending on the system size, location, and complexity.

We can install solar on nearly any type of roof. The easiest roof types are flat, standing seam metal and composition roofs. More challenging roofs, such as cedar shake roofs and roof pitches greater than 30 degrees, require a little more time and cost.

If your roof has less than 10 years of life left, you should replace it before the solar PV system is installed.

For most homes where the roof is facing in a southerly direction and unobstructed by trees or other shade-producing structures, that is the optimum place to mount solar panels. Onterwise, ground-mounted panel arrays are recommended for optmum system performance.

Solar panels are installed facing a southerly direction as closely as possible and at the proper angles to capture and collect the maximum amount of solar energy during the day. The panels do not typically move to track the sun as it crosses the sky.

Because 85% of all US power comes from burning fossil fuel, the impact of generating your own solar power goes far beyond saving you money every month. Every kilowatt-hour of energy produced by solar means one less produced by fossil fuels. This directly helps to reduce pollution, preserve natural ecosystems, and fight climate change. The average home solar system in North Carolina will offset more than 216 tons of carbon emissions over 30 years. That’s the equivalent of not driving 480,000 miles or planting 5,000 trees.

Do you have a question that was not answered here?

Give us a call at 704 662 8783 or visit our contact form to send us a quick email. You can also schedule a free site evaluation for your home or business.

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