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SOLAR FAQS

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YOUR SOLAR QUESTIONS ANSWERED!

Have you been Googling “what is solar power?” or “can solar energy lower my electric bill?” Find the answers to your frequently asked solar panel and solar power questions here.

Our Energy Advisors are ready to help with any further questions you may have! Click here to contact us

Is solar right for my home?

If your home has a south facing roof that gets plenty of direct sunlight, then your home is probably solar viable. East/West can work as well, but anything past due west/east will not be viable. You can see if your home gets enough sunlight by using some basic online assessments that utilize satellite data such as Google Project Sunroof.

Click here for more tips to help you decide if solar is right for you!

Can I put a solar system on my townhome?

Yes, SuperGreen Solutions of Charleston can install a solar system on a townhome as long as you own the roof. Read more here.

How much does it cost?

The cost depends on the number of panels installed and whether your site is suitable for rooftop solar or ground-mounted solar. Ground-mounted systems typically cost more. On average, rooftop solar panels cost between $25,000 – $45,000 before tax incentives. Read more about solar panel costs here.

Is there a tax credit?

Federal: 30% for systems placed in service by 12/31/2019

State: 25% tax credit (for SC) of solar installation costs

*visit www.dsireusa.org for more information and consult your tax professional

How does solar impact my property values?

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 actually increase your property value more than a kitchen renovation. Click here to learn more

When will it pay off? What’s the return on investment?

On average, payoff is around 9-12 years. However, with some financing options, payoff can begin immediately in that the monthly payment on your solar loan could be less than the amount of money you currently pay on your electric bill. The estimated annual returns for solar are around 6% which over 20 years comes to a double in return on investment. An additional savings bonus for solar is that it’s estimated that there will be a 3% annual increase in the cost of electricity.

Find out the real cost of leasing vs. buying solar panels here.

How will I power my home when the sun’s not shining?

Your system will be “grid-tied”, you will purchase electricity from your electric utility to power your home just as you do now.

If the power goes out in the neighborhood, will I still have electricity?

If a power outage occurs, your solar PV system will automatically shutdown to protect utility workers.

Does installing a solar system increase my Homeowners Insurance?

Typically, solar systems do not increase homeowner’s insurance premium, however, it is possible for a small increase. We always recommend that you notify your insurance provider of the new solar system addition so that it will be covered in the case of any damage. Click here to learn more.

What happens if a solar panel is damaged?

Solar panels are constructed to be durable and are rigorously tested. If a panel is damaged in a weather event, a homeowner’s insurance claim will need to be filed to cover the repair cost.

Will my solar system require yearly maintenance?

There is no recurring maintenance required.  We receive enough rain in the Lowcountry to provide the needed minimal cleaning of the solar panels. Click here to learn more about solar panel maintenance. 

What’s the lifespan on a solar panel?

Solar panels lose about 0.5% of production every year. However, even after 25 years, systems can still perform at 87.5%. Generally, solar panel warranties guarantee that performance will not go below 80% before 25 years. Click here to learn more.

Can the solar installations damage my roof or cause roof leaks?

When installed correctly, solar installations will not damage your roof or cause leaks. Learn more here

What happens when I need to replace my roof? Do all the solar panels need to come down?

When re-roofing, the solar panels will have to come down. Though depending on the roof set up, the actual mounts may be able to stay in place while re-roofing, unless boards and/or joists have to be replaced as well. For this reason, if you are within the last third of a roof’s lifespan, then either wait to get solar panels or go ahead and replace early.

Check out our Re-Roof ~ Produce ~and Reduce program to save money when you both install new solar panels and replace your roof. We have partnered with New Beginnings Construction to make this process easy and affordable. For more information about this program contact SuperGreen Solutions of Charleston at (843) 790-4365 or email us at info@sgscharleston.com.

How much do the solar panels weigh?

How will I know how much electricity my solar system is producing?

We offer production monitoring through our inverters.  This allows you to track your solar production each day!

Can my electricity rates rise in the future?

Your monthly payments for solar will never increase, protecting you from utility rate increases. You can expect your system to perform efficiently for 25 years or more, providing you with decades of free electricity.

One of solar power’s many advantages is that the sun will always be free. It’s like buying a house instead of renting an apartment. Your mortgage won’t ever change, even as landlords constantly increase their rents. Once your panels are installed, you never have to worry about the price for your solar PV system going up.

Can I still use a generator after installing a solar system?

Yes, a generator can still be used after installing a solar system.

What is an inverter?

Your solar panels generate direct current (DC) electricity. The DC electricity travels to your solar power inverter, which converts it into the alternating current (AC) electricity used to run your home’s appliances.

What is net metering?

Net energy metering is a special metering and billing agreement between you and your electric utility. Normally your electric meter spins forward as it measures how many kilowatt-hours of electricity you buy. With net metering your meter will run backwards and you get credit for each kWh you produce.  In SC most utilities offer dollar for dollar net metering. Dollar for dollar net metering means your utility keeps track of all the energy your system creates and subtracts that from your bill at the same at the same rate they charge you.

Click here to learn more about net metering.

What is Solar Power?

Solar power is the resultant conversion of sunlight into electric current via the use of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. Additionally, it can be heat energy that’s generated from solar thermal systems which concentrate sunlight into receivers to heat water.

Read more about other sources of alternative energy!

What is solar electricity?

Photovoltaic (PV) systems convert sunlight into electricity that can be used to power your home, office or industrial facility. Today’s solar electric technology can be harnessed to either supplement power supplied by your utility company or to take you completely off-grid from the utility company. Off-grid systems use battery back-up systems to store power. Solar Energy USA design systems that best fits our customer’s needs.

Click here to learn more about how your solar panels create electricity 

What is a solar panel?

A solar panel is an assembly of solar cells that can convert light directly into electricity. By combining the capacity of several solar panels, part of a family’s electricity needs can be covered. At the moment, depending on the type of panel, 5 to 19 % of the light energy can be converted into electricity. This is known as the “output” of the panel. Using solar panels you can convert sunlight, which is free and inexhaustible, into electricity. This conversion is achieved thanks to the so-called “semiconductor” material from which each solar cell is made.

Can solar energy lower my electric bill?

Yes, solar panels are used to convert the sun’s energy into electricity that can be used by your home or business. The rate you purchase your solar system at will be lower than the rate you purchase your electricity and will never go up!  While electricity rates rise your solar bill stays the same, saving you thousands! Click here to learn more about lowering your electric bill via solar.

Can solar energy reduce reliance on fossil fuels and foreign oil?

Because 85% of all US power comes from burning fossils, much of which comes from volatile priced foreign oil, anytime you lessen your dependency on utility power you’re helping our country reduce its reliance on energy from energy sources that are environmentally-unfriendly and financially unstable. Solar energy provides an alternative solution: less dependency on foreign oil. Read more HERE

Will a solar panel get destroyed during a storm?

With high wind speeds and heavy rain, solar panels may be at risk of being dislodged from their spot or damaged by high volumes of water. However, similar to hail, solar panels are typically tested by manufacturers to ensure that they can survive hurricanes. Most solar panels are certified to withstand winds of up to 2,400 pascals, equivalent to approximately 140 mile-per-hour (MPH) winds. Additionally, the typical aluminum and glass casings that hold solar cells and constitute a solar panel are highly waterproof, even during extreme rain.

Click here to learn more about preparing your solar system for a storm.

I heard that the electric company has to pay me for surplus power. Is this true?

Each electric utility has its own programs for crediting customers who supply them with surplus energy. SuperGreen Solutions of Charleston solar energy specialists can help you understand those specific utility programs and how each affects the financial picture of your solar energy system.

Learn more about solar vs. utility companies here.

How long does it take to install a solar energy system?

Most home systems can be installed in 1 day. Installation follows a thorough site survey and engineering review. Larger commercial or business installations can take longer depending on size, complexity and special mounting.

To learn more about the solar panel process from quote to installation, CLICK HERE

Does a solar panel need to be on my roof?

For most home installations, the roof is the optimum placement for solar panels. Unobstructed by trees or other shade-producing structures, facing toward the south and able to be securely attached. If the homeowner has adequate yard space and/or many panels to be installed, SuperGreen Solutions of Charleston can review the option of ground mounting.

Do I have to angle solar panels at the sun all day long?

Solar panels are installed in a fixed arrangement. They typically don’t move to track the sun during its movement through the sky. Mounting the panels to face south at the proper angles enables them to capture and collect the maximum amount of solar energy during the day.

Wondering if solar panels work in cloudy weather? CLICK HERE
Curious about roof angle affecting your solar performance? LEARN MORE

Can I adapt solar power systems for my business?

Due to higher incentives and rebates for businesses, solar makes just as much if not more sense for business owners. Add in the depreciation factor for a solar energy system capital expense, and the financial incentives become even more attractive. Find out what type of commercial solar installation is right for your business here.

What’s the difference between solar photovoltaic and solar hot water systems?

While both types of solar systems capture energy from the sun, solar photovoltaic systems use photovoltaic panels to produce electricity. Solar hot water, or thermal, systems capture sunlight to heat water for domestic use, to heat a swimming pool, or for a radiant heating system.

Eager to learn more? CLICK HERE to read on about concentrated solar panels. 

Will I need a building permit to install a solar energy system in my home?

Yes. You’ll need to obtain building permits to install a solar photovoltaic system. Similarly, building, electrical codes also apply. That said, residential solar power systems do not use “radical” building techniques and most jurisdictions have building codes that fully embrace solar energy technology. SuperGreen Solutions of Charleston will help you with all of the permits you need. To learn more click here.

Do I need battery backup for my solar panels?

Probably not – a backup battery bank can add as much as 25% in cost to a residential solar PV system. It’s not necessarily more efficient either – a same sized solar array will yield about 7–10% less energy if it’s battery-tied than its grid-tied counterpart.

Though you will remain tethered to your local utilities’ grid, you will not have to worry about not generating enough power. You also gain the advantage of offsetting rising utility costs. Most solar photovoltaic experts do not recommend adding a backup battery system unless there is concern about a long utility outage or the residence is in a remote location.

How much space do I need for a solar photovoltaic system?

In bright sunlight, a square foot of a conventional photovoltaic panel will yield 10 watts of power. That’s a helpful rule of thumb for calculating a rough estimate of how much area you might need. For example, a 1000 watt system may need 100 – 200 square feet of area, depending on the type of PV module used.

How many solar panels do I need for an electric solar power system?

The size of the photovoltaic system is correlated to your home’s energy-use needs, available space for a system, and overall costs for the system components and installation. SuperGreen Solutions of charleston will help help determine the best size for your solar photovoltaic system.

What are the environmental benefits of solar energy?

Solar energy creates clean, renewable power from the sun and benefits the environment. Alternatives to fossil fuels reduce carbon footprint at home and abroad, reducing greenhouse gases around the globe. Most of the electricity generated in the U.S. comes from fossil fuels like coal and natural gas. Extracting and using fossil fuels is expensive and harmful to the environment. By contrast, solar energy is free and readily abundant – if we could capture all of the sun’s energy shining on the Earth for just one hour, we could power the entire world for one year! By investing in solar energy, you can help reduce our reliance on fossil fuels in favor of one of the most abundant, consistent sources of energy we have available: the sun!
Read more about the additional health benefits of going solar

Will I still receive an electric bill if I have solar panels?

In most cases you will still have a small grid connection fee. However, you can dramatically reduce your bill by going solar and the thousands you save will far outshine the the small connection fees.

Can I afford to go solar?

If you can afford to pay your electricity bill you can afford to go solar. $0-down. SuperGreen Solutions of Charleston has many solar financing options to fit your needs including options with 18 month no payment period. 

Read more about how to pay for your solar power system here.

What happens if I sell my solar house?

If you own your solar energy system, your solar house will sell at a premium: studies have shown that solar increases property values. However, if you lease your system, that is not the case. You will need to either buyout your lease before you sell your home, or work with your leasing company to transfer the lease agreement to the home’s new owner.

Clic here to read more about the effects solar panels have on the resale value of your home.