1143 Dryden Rd Ithaca, NY 14853 1.866.669.1786

10 Things You Need to Know When Going Solar

10 Things You Need to Know When Going Solar

Are you interested in going solar? We have compiled a list of the top 10 things to know/ FAQs to make navigating solar easier for you!

1. Unsuitable Roofs

Q: What are my options if my roof is not suitable?  

There are many requirements for a roof to meet in order to be considered a suitable match for solar installation. If your roof is not suitable for solar, you should look into ground mount solar panels. Ground mount systems are built into the foundation at ground level. Without the restriction of the roof, it allows for the perfect alignment that optimizes the sun’s production.

2. Roof Replacement

Q: What if my roof needs replacing after I install solar panels?

Your roof will be evaluated before the installation process to ensure that it would be the right fit for system installation. This inspection makes post-installation roof replacements highly unlikely. Nevertheless, solar panels have a long lifetime so there are still options to explore if something does happen to your roof. 90% of our systems are installed using lag bolts. If the roof needs repairs, we can uninstall the system and reinstall it in the same place after the fix. Another option is to insulate the holes on the roof made by the previous fixings. However, if you are getting a roof replacement, we would act as if it is a new installation.

3. Solar System Size & Cost

Q: How big of a system do I need? (cost & sq feet)  

There actually isn’t a correct answer – solar panels aren’t a “one-size fits all.” There are many different factors to consider: geographic variables, federal and local tax incentives, energy cost in the area, and the energy usage of the homeowner. To get an accurate estimate, contact us, we would love to check your options!

4. Warranties & What They Include

Q: How long is a system warranty for & what does that include?

A system warranty is a guarantee from the solar manufacturer/installer to protect your solar investment. There are two types of warranties: performance and product warranty. The performance warranty ensures that the solar installation will meet and/or exceed a production threshold over a period. Our panels guarantee performance at 80% of its power for 25 years! If the system doesn’t operate at the expected baseline, the performance warranty will support you in repairing or replacing the problematic panels. The software that we use makes it easy for us (and you, the customer) to monitor the system. The product warranty covers equipment failure and defects. A study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory shows that 4 out of 5 systems outperform their warranty!

5. Moving in the Future

Q: What if I want to move in 10-15 years? 

Removal and reinstallation is usually not the way to go. Depending on the location, your current solar system might also not be a good match. However, having a solar installation can be an advantage when trying to sell your house! According to the Department of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, homes with solar options sell as much as two times faster than homes without. Researchers have also found that homes with a solar system were able to sell at $15,000 more than a similar house without one.  

Residential homeowners with solar panels on their roof.

6. Address & Utility Bill

Q: Why do you need my address? Why do you need my utility bill? 

During a consulting session, you might be asked for your address or utility bill. Location has a big impact on solar; therefore, your address is key when figuring out if your property is able to have an efficient system installation. Your utility bill is necessary to determine how much energy you and your family are using annually. This bill is necessary to correctly design a system to help offset the energy charges.

7. Offset Utility Costs

Q: Which utility costs does the solar system offset? What do I still have to pay? 

If you are a homeowner, switching to solar will offset all charges on your bill except the “Basic Service Charge.” The Basic Service Charge is a monthly price (often $10-$15) that covers the cost of maintaining the customer records, transactions, electric meter, wires that bring electricity into your homes, and more. The only option to avoid paying this fee is to go off grid.

8. Financing Options

Q: What financing options are there? 

There are 3 general financing options for you to choose between: loans, power purchase agreements, and cash. Click here to compare the 3 options.  

Human Resource position in solar energy

9. Solar Incentives

Q: What are incentives & how do the incentives work? 

There are many different types of solar incentives that vary between locations. Some key ones to look into are solar investment tax credit (ITC), state-specific policies, and performance-based incentives (PBIs). Click here for a more in-depth explanation of the three. 

10. Checking Solar Panels

Q: How do I know the system is working?

Congratulations on investing in solar! Now you might be wondering whether your solar system is working. You can simply log in to our monitoring portal to check how many kilowatts each panel is producing. We will be notified if your system goes offline or stops working. This way it is easy for us to help and determine where the error happened. If anything happens, we will be there for you every step of the way! 

If you have any other questions about going solar, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are happy and ready to help!