Learn more about solar, including qualifications, benefits, installation, incentives, and rebates by reading the responses to our frequently asked questions.
Are there rebates and tax credits?
Yes, there are state rebates in various states but the rebate amounts per watt are always going down. The federal government currently offers a 30% tax credit the first year of purchasing a solar system.
For more information about your state rebate program, go to Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) website.
Do panels store energy from the sun?
The electricity generated by your system is used directly by your property when it is produced. Any power generated in excess of your home’s requirements is sent out to the utility grid, spinning your meter backwards. This establishes an economic credit that is used to buy back the utility’s power at night, or any other time that your home’s electricity demand is greater than your system’s production. A non-grid tied system has batteries that would store energy from the sun.
How do I know if my system is producing what it is supposed to?
We use a conservative 20 year historical sun data from National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) when estimating your system production. Your inverter has an LCD display that provides a readout of your system’s production, which makes it simple to compare our estimates to your actual production.
How do you attach the system to my roof?
First, it’s important to select a contractor that has experience installing solar electric systems, as we do. We use the highest quality racking system on the market today made entirely from anodized aluminum and stainless steel for long life without rusting. The racking system attaches directly to the roof rafters and there are several ways for us to do this.
How long does it take to install?
It takes 2-3 days for our qualified installers to install a typical residential system. With rebate paperwork, utility interconnection agreements, permits etc., our turnaround time is 4-8 weeks. A commercial solar electric system will depend on the system magnitude, location, and other variables.
How long will my solar system last?
Most solar panels come with a 25 year power output guarantee and are expected to last at least twice that long. The power output guarantee on the solar panels in provided by the manufacturer of the panels and states that at the end of the 25th year, the solar panel will still produce a minimum of 80% of their original power output.
How much roof space is needed to power my home?
A good rule of thumb is to allow 100 sq. ft. per every kilowatt (kW) of electricity the system produces. A typical solar electric system for a home will require approximately 300-500 square feet. A typical solar electric system for a business will require approximately 5,000 square feet.
How will solar affect the value of my property?
The general rule of thumb is any energy conserving measure can add $20 of home value for every $1 of yearly energy cost savings.
Is there enough sunlight for solar energy in New England?
Contrary to what some might assume, solar energy is totally viable in New England.
My roof gets sun for most of the day; will that be enough for a solar system?
Even though your roof gets sun for most of the day, it may or may not be enough to make a solar electric installation cost-effective. On a site evaluation, we’d be able to determine this for you. If there is not full access to the sun year-round, it may take longer for the system to pay for itself, which would decrease the return on your investment. Removing or trimming back some trees around your property can help with better access to the sun.
What can a solar system power on my property?
The electricity generated by your system will be used to power any and all devices and appliances plugged into your home’s electrical service. Solar systems are not designed to provide power for a single device, e.g. an air conditioner, but to offset the total sum of your electricity usage.
What is an inverter?
An inverter converts the DC (direct current) power produced by solar panels to common household AC (alternating current) power.
What is net metering?
Net metering measures the difference between the electricity you buy from your utility company and the electricity you produce with your solar energy system. Any excess electricity produced by your solar energy system spins your existing meter backwards, effectively storing the electricity in the utility grid until it is needed. Your meter then spins forward when it is not producing all the electricity you are currently using and tracks the “net” difference as you generate electricity and take electricity from the utility grid.
What is the payback?
If you were to pay cash for your system at today’s rates, you will often recover all your investment within the next 5-10 years for home owners and 3-6 for businesses, if not better. However, as rates increase, the time it will take to fully recoup your investment will improve.
What is the voltage of a typical solar panel?
It depends on the panel. A single panel has an operating voltage between 20 and 60 volts, depending on the model type. When the solar panels are wired together in high voltage string, they have an open circuit voltage between 200 and 400 volts.
What will it cost to get rid of my electric bill?
The cost for this will depend on your electric usage. The more panels you place on the roof, the more you will be saving in electricity costs.
Who fills out my rebate forms?
We take care of your rebate forms, every step of the way.
Will the federal tax credit apply every year?
No, the 30% federal tax credit is a one-time benefit.
Will the panels create a glare that can disrupt planes flight path?
No. The panels have a glare resistant tempered glass cover that minimizes reflected light.