Here’s an easy formula to estimate system size based on your real electric usage:
Take your highest electric usage month (for example August at 2000kWh)
Divide that by 185. (2000 / 185 = 10.81)
You will need roughly a 10-11kW size system to cover your peak usage with solar
We’ll go over different options and figure out together what’s the best fit for you.
Net Metering means any excess energy your system generates will pass back through your meter to the grid, and you will receive credit.
These credits will be used before any charges are issued from your utility company
For example: you generate excess energy in the summer. Those credits will bank and roll. When we get to winter time, where daylight hours are shorter and there is more weather (like snow in some areas) your production will drop considerably. These spring/summertime credits will fill in the gap between your usage and production until the credits are exhausted.
It is important to note that not all states/utilities offer net metering
A leased solar system will not add any value to your home.
However, a solar system you own reliably increases home value.
In our experience, a purchased solar system (in Colorado for example) generally increased home values by 3.4%. For example, a $500,000 home with solar would list for $517,000.
According to the Appraisal Journal, your home value increases $20 for every $1 reduction in your yearly energy bills. This means that if your solar system helps you save $400 in a year, your home value increases by $8,000.
According to Zillow, this will result in a higher asking price when you sell your home. In the 2021 Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report, 67% of potential home buyers ranked energy efficiency as a “very to extremely important” feature for a home.
These buyers were willing to pay an average of 4.1% — or $9,274 — more for homes with solar panels than for comparable homes. Averages were higher in some markets, such as New York, where solar-powered homes sold for 5.4% more, adding an extra $23,989 to the sale price. In the largest solar home study to date, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) found that buyers were willing to pay $15,000 or more for solar-powered homes.
That depends on your weather & climate.
Colorado,Utah, and generally speaking inland areas – no annual maintenance is needed.
Texas, Florida, and coastal areas you will need to rinse the metal components with fresh water periodically to eliminate salt build-up to avoid corrosion.
Micro inverters provide one small inverter per panel up on the roof. These are easier for engineering, multiple system expansions and for shaded roofs
String inverters or central inverters will have one large inverter for the entire system located on the side of the house. Modern string inverters will have MPPTS or Optimizers eliminating the problem of one panel failure resulting in the loss of the entire system or array
Either way…your solar energy gets inverted! (from DC to AC power)
If photons cannot reach your photovoltaic panels, there will be no solar production. Accumulated snow makes it difficult for photons to reach the panel.
If you live in an area that has net metering, you will be able to use any excess energy credits generated earlier in the year to off-set the usage during these times
Alternatively, if you have battery back-ups, you may be able to use this energy in lieu of incurring charges from the grid.
If you’re really fanatical, you can carefully brush snow off the panels, but that means climbing on your roof in the snow, so BE CAREFUL. (Don’t use a shovel, as you can damage the panels, use a soft-bristle broom.)
Loan – You own the system. The tax credit belongs to you.
Lease – Fixed monthly price for energy generated by a 3rd party system. The tax credit belongs to that 3rd party (owner of the system)
PPA – This is a lease from a 3rd party agreement. You have an agreed-upon price per kWh, per season for production. This will reduce your monthly electric costs, but you will still have a bill due each month to the solar energy provider.
If your roof is damaged due to age or a storm, it may be best to replace your roof prior to going solar. In some cases with certain lenders, we may be able to roll your roof deductible into your solar loan.
If you are unsure about the condition of your roof, get a free roof inspection done by a reputable local roofer (we might know one if you do not).
Solar: You stop paying your electric company for energy and you make your own energy. You will no longer be subject to their ever-increasing rates.
Batteries: The return on investment here is the security of your family when the electric company fails you (in price or service). Keeping your lights on during a major event provides calm. In the winter, you need power to your blower fan to distribute heat throughout the home (if you have a gas furnace). You still need electricity.
No. (but kinda, yeah, to get the most out of it…)
If your Utility offers Net Metering, excess power generated will get “sold” to the grid and you receive credit.
If your Utility does not offer Net Metering, excess power generated is simply lost.
When the power goes out, in most states, you will not be able to utilize your solar generated energy during the power outage. Weird, right? Nah, it’s safety. This is in place to protect the workers on the line from any excess energy production passing through the lines while they are actively being worked on which could result in serious injury or worse.
Excess power generated is stored in your batteries.
If the power goes out, your house will run on battery – you might not even notice your neighbors lost power!
If you have batteries, you will likely not even know the power went out! You can keep doing what you’re doing.
If you’re connected to the grid with Net Metering, during a grid failure, in most states, you will not be able to utilize your solar generated energy during a power outage. Weird, right? Nah, it’s safety. This is in place to protect the workers on the line from any excess energy production passing through the lines while they are actively being worked on which could result in serious injury or worse.
Typically 9-15 years.
It basically depends on two things:
Length of financing (thus, your cost of interest)
Future utility prices
Every time your utility raises rates, your ROI gets shorter. 😉