Solar Power For Home FAQs And Answers

How do solar photovoltaic (PV) panels work?

Solar panels absorb the sun’s energy throughout the day and convert it into direct current (DC) electricity. Most homes and businesses run on alternating current (AC) electricity, so the DC electricity is then passed through an inverter to convert it to usable AC electricity. See how solar panels produce electricity for homes, businesses, and farms.

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.

What are the environmental benefits of solar energy?

Solar is one way to reduce carbon dioxide production by offsetting coal burning for power production. The Midwest is powered largely with coal, so each kWh produced from a solar system may save one pound of coal from being burned. A solar electric system will offset the energy to produce the modules in less than 3 years – that means truly clean energy for the remaining life of the system over the next 25+ years!

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 the systems work and how durable are they?

Solar electric systems are designed last more than 25 years.  Many solar electric systems from the 1970s and 1980s are still functioning today. Solar electric systems need very little maintenance and have a long functioning life. The solar electric panels themselves have a 25-year production warranty and will sustain 1-inch hail impact at 50 mph.

Will it be harder to sell my house and will my property taxes increase?

No, solar tends to have a positive effect on home value. Recent studies have shown that solar homes sell faster and for more than equivalent homes without solar.

In Illinois, there is a special property tax assessment that has been created for homeowners who install solar. Article 10, Division 1 of the Illinois Property Tax Code says solar homeowners in Illinois may file for a special assessment of solar improvements to their property by filing a PTAX-330 property tax form with the local County Assessor’s office.  The special assessment or alternate valuation is the valuation that would apply to the property if the solar energy system had not been installed.

Will solar panels cause my roof to leak or deteriorate?

Rooftop solar installations have secure, leak-proof attachments or ballasted systems designed to withstand local wind forces.  Dispersed roof loads of solar energy systems are quite low, generally 2-3 pounds per square foot.  StraightUp Solar is also proud to offer an industry-leading 10-year workmanship warranty to give you peace of mind in your new clean energy investment.

What are my solar financing options?

StraightUp Solar offers a selection of secured and unsecured loans and financing options and can help guide you through the selection process.

Can I estimate my solar savings?

Yes! Use our solar savings calculator here.

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