FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can I lower my electricity bill?
Solar panels can produce enough power to offset anywhere from 25 – 100% of your household’s electricity usage. This means that each month you would receive substantial discounts on your bill and, with your states net metering laws, sell any excess solar production back to the utility at market value. Why pay the utility for power when it could be the other way around?
How big of a solar energy system do I need?
The size of solar system you need depends on several factors such as how much electricity or hot water or space heat you use, how, the size of your roof, and how much you're willing to invest. Also, do you want the system to supply your complete energy usage or to supplant a portion of your higher cost energy usage? You can contact us to get a free consultation with one of our design engineers.
What happens to solar panels when it’s cloudy or raining?
Photovoltaic 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. Rain actually helps to keep your panels operating efficiently by washing away any dust or dirt. If you live in an area with a strong net metering policy, energy generated by your panels during sunny hours will offset energy that you use at night and other times when your system isn't operating at full capacity.
What rebates and incentives are available for solar energy?
There is a 30-percent federal investment tax credit (ITC) for solar energy systems in place until December 31st, 2019. Both residential and commercial customers can take advantage of this tax credit, and it applies to all three major types of solar technology; photovoltaic, solar heating & cooling, and concentrating solar technology.
In addition to the federal ITC, many states, counties, municipalities and utilities offer rebates or other incentives for solar energy technologies. We will be able to provide the most up-to-date information on solar incentives. The Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) has a comprehensive list of solar incentives by state, as well as more information and maps showing solar policies across the U.S.
What companies use solar panels to power their businesses?
SEIA tracks companies using solar on their facilities in the U.S. in the Solar Means Business report.
As of September 2012, the top 20 (in terms of on-site solar capacity deployed) are: Walmart (WMT), Costco (COST), Kohl’s Department Stores (KSS), IKEA, Macy’s (M), McGraw-Hill (MHP), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Staples, Inc. (SPLS), Campbell’s Soup (CPB), Walgreens (WAG), Bed, Bath & Beyond (BBBY), Toys ‘R’ Us (TOY), General Motors (GM), FedEx (FDX), White Rose Foods, Dow Jones (DJ), Snyder’s of Hanover (LNCE), ProLogis (PLD), Hartz Mountain Industries, and Crayola. It’s pretty obvious the big names in business are aware of the potential for solar energy to provide a return on their investment.
Combined, the Top 20 corporate solar users’ installations generate an estimated $47.3 million worth of electricity each year.
Other companies that are significant users of solar include Apple, Bloomberg LP, Del Monte Foods, GE, Google, Intel, JC Penny, Kaiser Permanente, Lackland Storage, Lord & Taylor, L’OREAL USA, MARS SNACKFOOD, US Foods LLC, Stop and Shop, Merck, REI, SAS Institute Inc., and Tiffany & CO.
See the full report at
How much does a solar energy system cost?
Every rooftop and ground based deployment is different, and Renewable Solar Resources can provide the best information on what it will cost to go solar for your home or business. Once potential solar customers begin exploring their options, they often find that the total up-front cost of solar is less relevant than the financing terms, return-on-investment, and cash flow calculation. Solar leases and other innovative financing models mean that many people can go solar for little or no money down. Some solar customers save more on their electricity payments than they're paying for their panels, meaning that their investment is cash-flow positive from day one. Call us to learn more about the cost of solar photovoltaics (PV) and the growth of the solar market in the U.S.
What factors influence the cost of solar for my home or business?
Your available, unshaded roof or ground space. In the U.S., roofs facing south receive the most sunlight.
The current energy usage in your home or business. Your current energy costs will affect how quickly you recoup your solar investment. Also, the more energy you use, the larger system you'll need to fully offset your energy use. We can also help you install energy efficiency improvements. The utility net metering policy in your area. Net energy metering affects the value of the energy your PV system feeds back into the electricity grid. This can provide a payment from your electrical utility in many cases.
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