Why should I install a solar system on my roof?
- Solar power is not a fuel; it’s a technology. Solar power is considered a clean energy and produces no pollution. Unlike natural resources, that are reduced year after year, the sun provides a never-ending supply of energy. That energy is converted into electricity, which can power everything from your air conditioner to your toaster. By installing a solar system, you save money, help reduce your carbon footprint and harness the power of the sun.
How do I get started?
- Contact Elevation Solar to request a proposal and FREE on-site analysis. Providing us with your electrical usage for Kilowatt hours and the amount of your average electric bill will help us in preparing your bid.
Do you build my solar system based off my highest month of usage or somewhere in the middle?
- We take an average of your total usage from the previous 12 months. Some months you’ll use more electricity than others, but building your system based on a 12-month average ensures that we don’t overbuild or under-build your system.
What will my bill be like every month?
- Instead of receiving one large bill every month from your local utility provider, you will receive two smaller bills: one from Elevation Solar’s financial partner to cover the loan payment, and one from your local utility provider for the power you pull from the grid during times when your panels are not producing electricity. Assuming your usage remains consistent, these two bills together will always be less than your current power bill.
How much does a solar system cost?
- The easiest answer is that the cost will vary depending on the size of your solar system; the bigger the system, the greater the cost. System costs range from a few thousand dollars up to tens of thousands of dollars. Each rooftop is different so we’ll design and engineer a tailor-made system to fit your roof. The best news is that we provide easy and affordable solar loan financing if you don’t have upfront cash to pay for your system.
Is a solar system really cost effective?
- Yes. Part of our mission as a company is to save our customers money. This is accomplished by selling rooftop solar systems at an affordable price that will provide our customers a return on investment within a reasonable timeframe. Once the system is installed on your roof, you own it. By “locking” the price of your electricity you’ve protected yourself from the constant rate hikes imposed by utility companies. If the system is financed, your monthly costs, in most cases, will be less than your current electric bill. We will run a comprehensive analysis for you based upon your current energy usage to find out if solar is right for you. If the numbers don’t work, we’ll be the first ones to tell you. This isn’t magic, its just math. Either the numbers make sense to switch to solar or they don’t.
What financial incentives are available?
- Homeowners can benefit from Federal and State tax credits, as well utility rebates and incentives in varying markets. Where you live will determine what incentives you are eligible to receive. • Currently, there is a Federal Tax Credit, which covers 30% of the cost for installing a solar system on your home or business with no maximum dollar amount. This credit is set to reduce to 10% on December 31, 2016. • Multiple states offer tax credits in addition to the Federal Tax Credit. These tax credits vary from state to state, some are much more aggressive than others. • Some utility districts also offer rebates to their customers who choose to “self-generate” (install a solar system) These rebates typically are offered for fixed periods of time or until their funding for rebates has been exhausted. Upon meeting with one of our Energy Consultants we will let you know exactly what tax credits and rebates are available in your areas. These incentives will be factored into the solar proposal that we provide free of charge. For more information on Federal & State Tax Incentives, please go to www.dsireusa.org
What size system should I get?
- The answer varies depending on needs, wants and available space. Our goal is to offset 100% of your utility bill with solar electricity. We first need to see how much available space you have on your roof. Once we determine the amount of available space we can let you know how many panels will fit into that space and tell you how much that will offset your electric bill each month.
Can a solar system increase the value of my house?
- According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, for every one dollar you save on an annual basis from your utility bill, your home value rises by up to $20 per watt. Meaning that if you save $50 per month ($600/yr) on your electric bill due to solar, your property value would increase in value by $12,000. Keep in mind that the amount of value added to your home will vary from market to market as real estate appraisers better understand how to take in consideration how much value a solar system adds to your home.
What happens if I move?
- No problem, because you decided to own your solar instead of leasing it, you have flexible options which can make your home more attractive to a buyer. There are no prepayment penalties, so remaining portion of the loan can be easily incorporated into the home purchase, or the loan can be easily assumed by the new buyer. Either way, our team is ready to guide you through the process to ensure you get maximum value.
What is Net Metering?
- Net-Metering allows you to use the electricity you generate through your solar system first, reducing what you would normally buy from your utility company. If your solar system produces more electricity during the day then you are currently using, then the excess electricity is sent back to the grid–through your meter–literally turning your meter backwards and generating a credit. Depending on your electrical use each month, the net-metering arrangement should produce a credit, lowering your monthly electric bill. The credit you receive is known as net-metering.
Do I have to be connected to the grid?
- Unless you are interested in a “stand-alone” system with batteries to store excess power that your system generates during the day, you need to remain connected to the grid. Although your solar system will generate electricity during the peak hours of daylight, your utility company will seamlessly take over to supply your electricity at night and on very cloudy days.
If I get solar panels installed and the power from the utility company goes out, will I still have power?
- Only if the solar panels are tied into a battery backup system. Adding a battery backup system will run a number of appliances for a few hours in the event that power from the utility company fails.
What happens if it’s cloudy, rainy or snowing out?
- Your system will produce some power, even on snowy, rainy or cloudy days. If the power produced is not as much as you are using, you can still pull power from the electric grid. Keep in mind that part of the analysis we do for your property consists of calculating your annual energy usage, so we factor in all types of weather into our estimates.
How long do solar panels last?
- All solar panels that we install have a 25-year manufacturing guarantee, but are expected to last much longer. Climates with cooler weather and higher altitudes lend to panels lasting longer than climates with hot weather and low altitudes.
How much maintenance is required?
- Although solar typically requires little or no maintenance, Elevation Solar continuously monitors your system to ensure it’s running smoothly.
Do the solar panels have to be installed on my roof?
- No. We can install a system on the ground or on a pole mount, provided that you have the yard space. There may be additional costs associated with ground mounts compared to rooftop installations. All costs will be disclosed as a part of your proposal.
Will I have to buy new appliances or change anything if I have a solar system install?
- No. Solar panels produce DC (direct current) power and your inverter converts the DC into AC (alternating current), which is fed back into the grid through Net Metering. Your appliances will never know the difference.
Do I need a permit to install a solar system at my house?
- Most likely, but don't worry - we have it all covered. Elevation Solar will include the cost of the permit in our bid and will take care of filling out all the paperwork.
What if my roof needs to be repaired after the solar system is installed?
- The solar panels will need to be removed and re-installed. Elevation Solar offers this service for a nominal fee.
Will the weight of the solar system affect the structural integrity of my roof?
- No. A typical system weighs approximately 2.5 pounds per square foot, which is not a problem for any roof with trusses set at 24 inches on center.
Can I get started now with a few panels and add more at a later date?
- Yes, provided you have the available roof or yard space.
How long does the installation take?
- It depends upon your system size and specific system details. Typically, residential projects can be finished within a few days to a week after the permit is received.