How does Solar Work?Solar panels absorb the sun’s energy throughout the day and convert it into direct current (DC) electricity. Most homes and businesses run on alternating current (AC) electricity, so the DC electricity is then passed through an inverter to convert it to usable AC electricity. At that point, you either use the electricity in your house or send it back to the electric grid.
Does solar work on cloudy days?Solar panels can use direct or indirect sunlight to generate power, though they are most effective in direct sunlight. Solar panels will still work even when the light is reflected or partially blocked by clouds.
Is solar dangerous?When your solar energy system is professionally installed and maintained, solar panels and how they generate electricity should not pose any danger to your home Issues that do arise, are relatively uncommon but are typically related to the installation and operation of a solar energy system.
Does solar work at night?The amount of power your solar energy system can generate is dependent on sunlight. As a result, your solar panels will produce slightly less energy when the weather is cloudy, and no energy at night. However, because of high electricity costs and financial incentives, solar is a smart decision even if you live in a cloudy city.
Will solar power my home in the event of a power outage?If your solar panel system is connected to the grid, it will shut off in the event of a blackout. This is to prevent emergency responders and electricity utility repair-people from being injured by your panels sending power back to the grid. However, there are certain inverters Simple Solar offers that provide limited backup power in a blackout when paired with a battery.
What is the difference between Grid-Tied and Off-Grid solar?Grid-Tied (or On-Grid) systems is one in which the solar power system is connected to the utility’s power grid while being Off-Grid means the system works independently and the consumer is not connected to the utility’s power grid.
Can I afford solar?If you can afford to pay your electricity bill you can afford to go solar. $0-down solar financing options make it easy for homeowners with good credit to start saving on their electricity bills by going solar.
How much does solar cost?According to the Center for Sustainable Energy, the average cost for solar panels is $3–$5 per watt, totaling $15,000–$20,000 for a typical 5-kilowatt (kW) system.
How long is the warranty on solar?A typical workmanship warranty from a solar contractor can range anywhere from 1 -10 years term, while Simple Solar offers a 25-year workmanship warranty. The workmanship warranty covers any defects in workmanship, like loose screws, firmware updates that were not installed upon installation, and roof penetrations. Contractors are typically responsible for any damage caused to the home during installations, such as broken tiles, damage to the roof, stucco, etc. The manufacturer parts warranty totaling on solar panels is anywhere from 10-25 years. Most panel manufacturers also have what is referred to in the industry as a Linear Output Warranty, typically for 25-30 years. This means that the panel will not degrade more than .05% per year over the 25-year period, leaving the panel’s efficiency somewhere around 85% typically in year 25.
Does solar increase my homes value?Studies have shown that homes with solar energy 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 increase your property value more than a kitchen renovation.
How do I know what size solar array I need to power my home?The size of your solar energy system will depend on how much electricity you use monthly. Simple Solar will look at your electric bills for the last year and estimate a custom-sized solar array that fits your specific needs based on annual production and usage. If you do not have annual usage, Simple Solar will create a power profile for your home to make an estimate of the homes average consumption to properly size your system.
Should I get solar plus battery storage?Solar power systems that include solar batteries, known as solar-plus-storage, are increasingly popular, but can be pricey. Luckily, batteries are not necessary for most solar homeowners. If you are connected to the grid, your system does not need a battery: excess power goes back into the grid, and you can draw from the grid if you need more electricity than your panels can generate.
Does solar with batteries save more money?Technically, yes. A solar energy system with batteries does have advantages and strategies that can marginally increase savings. However, the large investment of batteries makes an ROI almost impossible within the life expectancy of the battery. Most solar customers are viewing solar as an investment and main goal is a good ROI. Right now, batteries do not align well with this strategy. Simple Solar designs all systems to be battery ready, so when the time is right, storage can easily be added to your system.
How long does installation take?The actual installation of your solar panels is going to be the shortest part of the process. For most residential solar installations, it will take about 1 to 3 days to complete. The more complex the project is, the more time it will take to complete. In general, your solar installation will not take more than 3 days unless unforeseen issues arise during the installation. But those worst-case scenarios are exceedingly rare.
Will installing solar on my home damage the roof?As long as your solar panels are properly installed, they should not do damage to the exterior or the infrastructure of your roof. If you are working with a qualified licensed professional like Simple Solar and your roof is in good condition, your solar panels will not affect the integrity of your roof.
What maintenance is required for solar?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 do not even need to clean your solar panels regularly. If something does happen, most equipment manufacturers include warranties, and Simple will take care of the service side of these needs.
What are the current Federal and State tax credits for solar?The most significant is the 30% federal investment tax credit (ITC), which allows you to deduct 30% of the cost of your solar energy system from your taxes in the form of a dollar-for-dollar credit. The state of Arizona also offers a $1,000 income tax credit. Additionally, businesses can depreciate the solar like a normal investment in equipment.
Can I get “Free” solar?There are not currently any federal or other programs that provide free panels and/or incentives checks or grants. Some homeowners may be eligible for the Federal and State tax credits, but they do not cover the whole cost of solar.
Will I still get a utility bill when I have solar?Unfortunately, APS does not offer a net metering program. However, they do have a billing program, which provides slightly lower savings than full-retail net metering. Despite net billing providing lower savings than a net metering program would, homeowners can dramatically reduce their bill, or even cut the amount you owe to $0, with a solar panel system that matches your energy use.
What are the financial benefits of solar energy?When you install a solar energy system on your property, you save money on your electricity bills and 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.
How do I choose a solar installer?There are a few criteria that everyone should use when choosing solar services. Confirm that they are certified, licensed and insured, have relevant experience, and can provide references. Contact and meet with your solar installer in person before you sign an agreement to ensure that you are comfortable working with them.
Can my HOA prohibit the installation of solar on my property?Arizona law prohibits HOAs from outlawing the installation of solar panels. HOAs can create some limits with regard to solar panel installations. These limitations cannot prohibit solar panels outright or effectively prohibit them by making solar too expensive or complicated to install. Courts have upheld this law. Simple Solar manages all approvals on your behalf, including from your communities HOA.
Frequently Asked Questions”
Solar panels can use direct or indirect sunlight to generate power, though they are most effective in direct sunlight. Solar panels will still work even when the light is reflected or partially blocked by clouds.
A typical workmanship warranty from a solar contractor can range anywhere from 1 -10 years term, while Simple Solar offers a 25-year workmanship warranty. The workmanship warranty covers any defects in workmanship, like loose screws, firmware updates that were not installed upon installation, and roof penetrations. Contractors are typically responsible for any damage caused to the home during installations, such as broken tiles, damage to the roof, stucco, etc.
The manufacturer parts warranty totaling on solar panels is anywhere from 10-25 years. Most panel manufacturers also have what is referred to in the industry as a Linear Output Warranty, typically for 25-30 years. This means that the panel will not degrade more than .05% per year over the 25-year period, leaving the panel’s efficiency somewhere around 85% typically in year 25.