Solar Power For Home FAQs And Answers

How are roof solar panels installed?

Rooftop solar panels are installed with mounting systems either attached to the roof or ballasted with heavy blocks. Ballasted installations are used on flat roofs and require no penetration from the roof. For tilted or pitched roofs like asphalt, a small pilot hole is drilled into the truss of the roof frame. This pilot hole allows the mounting bracket to attach to the roof and the plate that holds the panel is flashed with the rest of the roof to prevent leaks. For metal roofs, clamps are used to hold the panels in place. In both cases, the panels and mounting system can withstand very high-powered wind loads and storms.

What are the financial benefits of solar energy?

Home and business owners may realize a 10% ROI or better. Given their longevity, the systems may pay for themselves well within their lifetime. As energy prices continue to rise, the return on investment should also improve.

How does solar help the environment?

Expanding solar energy in our electrical supply is vital for a transition from a fossil fuel-based grid to renewable energy. Solar panels are mainly silicon, glass and wires. It is estimated that in just two years, the renewable energy produced by your solar PV system will exceed the embedded energy used in the production of the modules. The glass, wiring, and metal used in solar panels can be recycled for raw materials for future construction projects.

How do I know what size solar electric system I need?

Your best starting point is to determine how many kilowatts of power you need is to look at how many  kWhs (kilowatt hours) home, business, or organization used in each of the previous 12 months. With this, we can compare expected monthly solar energy production to your electricity usage. Annual electricity usage total is also a good start. You’ll find your monthly kWh records via paper copies of your utility bills, a phone call to your utility provider, or through your online utility account.

What is the best location for a solar array?

A south-facing area that gets sun from approximately 9 am to 3 pm is best. Solar systems also work well even when facing west or east, if that’s your best option. We can mount the systems on the majority of roof types, including a variety of materials used on pitched and flat roofs. Systems can also be ground-mounted.

How long do solar panels last?

Solar panels can last between 30-35 years, with manufacturers’ warranties typically lasting 25 years. Each year, the panel’s efficiency degrades by a small percentage. Yet after 25 years, high-efficiency panels produce 85-92% of the energy as they did in year one.

What happens when you sell or buy a house with solar panels?

Your home with a solar array will be more attractive to a future homebuyer. Recent analysis from Zillow showed in mature solar markets, homes with solar were 4% higher in value than a comparable home without solar. When you buy a house with solar, you are getting an energy generation system that pays for itself. No other appliance in the house can create a positive cash flow. Contact StraightUp Solar when you sell or move into a home with solar. Our service department can show you how to hook up your system and ensure years of smooth operation.

How do solar panels work for residential homes?

Like plants and photosynthesis, solar panels take the power of the sun and turn it into energy. Here’s how it works. The photons from the sun shine down on the panels, they excite electrons in the panel’s cells, which then move to its circuits. This direct current energy travels from the roof to an inverter which converts the direct current (DC) energy to alternative current energy (AC) for your home’s energy use. The inverter connects to your home’s electrical system at the panel box or at the meter. In the installations StraightUp Solar completes, your home is always tied to the utility grid to receive power when the sun goes down. Alternatively, the energy can be stored in batteries to be withdrawn at night. Your bi-directional meter tracks the energy generated from your array that exits your home as well as the energy your home consumes from the grid. When the grid is down, and if you have no batteries, your inverter will not allow energy to exit your home to protect the utility workers repairing the lines.

How much may I save with solar panels?

It depends on how much your system costs, how much energy your array produces, and the cost of electricity in your area. This will determine how much money will need to be offset (the costs) and how much will be saved via lowered energy costs (savings). Some homeowners can reduce their energy bills by 50% or more in the course of the year. The paybacks for solar systems can range from 8 to 15 years, depending on the type of incentives offered and the size of the solar PV system.

Does homeowner’s insurance cover solar panels?

Homeowners policies typically cover solar arrays, but check with your insurance agent if you need additional coverage. In some cases, additional coverage may be necessary as you are adding value to your house. Your electric cooperative may also require proof of insurance before setting up your array.

Is my roof suitable for solar panels?

Solar can be placed on a variety of roofs, roof types, and buildings. While south facing roofs are the best place for a solar array, east or west facing roofs can also be suitable. However, it will produce slightly less energy. It is not advised to put solar on a north facing roof. Similarly, ground mounts should face the south and have no tree obstructions or shading if possible. We install arrays on asphalt shingle roofs, metal roofs and TPO-covered flat roofs, just to name the more popular roof types. We do not install on slate or tile roofs.

Can I afford solar panels for my home?

Purchasing a solar PV system is similar to buying a car. Purchasing an array with cash or financing depends on your current situation and goals. Financing allows you to spread out the payments of the system over several years, but you do pay for service and interest charges. StraightUp Solar is a proud partner of the Clean Energy Credit Union who can make long-term loans for your solar PV system. Plus, financial incentives are available in both Missouri and Illinois.

How much is my electric bill with solar panels?

It depends on how much energy can be offset with your solar PV system. A typical solar homeowner offsets about 70% of the energy with a solar PV system. In many cases, this amount of energy can provide all the energy needed for the high solar months of April to September. With net metering, you may only pay the customer charge during those months.The baseline customer charge will vary utility from utility.

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