Find the answers to the most frequently asked solar questions our customers have for us. While every customer has their unique set of questions, these are the ones that come up most frequently and are most common among all of our customers.
How does solar power work?
Solar Energy from Photovoltaic Technology Solar panels capture the energy from the sun. This energy captured by the silicon in the panels is Direct Current (DC). Our homes run on Alternating Current (AC). The energy captured by the panels is then converted to the usable AC by the parts of the system called the inverters. Any energy that can be consumed will be used at the home, then all of the excess energy created can be sent back out onto the grid. When you use energy, your electric meter will tick forward like a clock. When your panels produce energy, your meter will simply run backwards, thus subtracting from your energy consumption. The agreement between your utility company and your household to credit for over production during the day to offset night time consumption is called “Net Metering”.
What is the difference between grid-tied and off-grid?
The difference between a grid-tied system and an off-grid system is the fact that a grid-tied system is still able to utilize the same service you currently receive. This is great news for most people who can still enjoy the same reliability of the grid and have a virtually zero maintenance system. The greatest benefit is that no batteries are needed, leading to a much lower cost and reaching grid parity. The benefit of off-grid is that you will be completely self-sufficient. However, this comes with much more maintenance and a much higher cost.
Is solar right for my property?
90% of homes in the United States would be considered “solar eligible.” What this means is that more than likely a solar array could be installed on your property to offset the majority of your electric usage. Give us a call or email today and we will give you a free solar consultation.
How will my solar investment impact the environment?
Installing an average residential solar array is the equivalent of planting 88 trees a year. This means that you will offset thousands of pounds of CO2 emissions and are taking an active role in reducing the effects of climate change. There is no better way to invest in the future of your local communities and the world than to invest in solar for your home.
How much does a solar panel system cost?
Every house is very different and each house uses a different amount of energy at a varying per kilowatt-hour price. Each estimate that we create is custom for your property and is 100% free. We offer no-haggle pricing and educated professionals to answer your questions. Give us a call today to set up a consultation.
What incentives are currently available for solar installations?
Through 2019, the federal government is offering a 30% rebate on the total cost of a solar install. This is a huge help to many of our homeowners and makes it very affordable. The main incentive in Ohio is of course Net Metering (process explained below). State and local incentives may also be included, such as a property tax freeze in Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky.
How long does it take to recover my initial investment?
A typical rooftop solar system takes 5-7 years to have a full return on investment. After that, you have 20-30 years of full energy savings. However, with financing options that include zero ($0) dollars down, you can start saving money day one, resulting in an infinite return.
How long does it take to install a typical solar array?
The typical solar install takes 1-3 days.
How long does a solar array last?
The systems we install are warrantied to last 25 years at 90% efficiency. The system will be producing decades after the warranty period. The IRS lists a solar array as an asset with a usable life of over 35 years.
Why is now the best time to install solar panels?
The number one reason is because every time you pay your electric bill, you are paying almost double what you should for your electric! The cost per watt installed for a solar array has never been cheaper, and never will be again. With increases in utility rates from traditional utilities and increased demand, the cost will continue to rise. Also, the 30% Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is only available through 2019. Now is the most affordable time to go solar.
Will I lose power when my panels aren’t producing?
The short answer for this is no. Being “grid-tied” means that absolutely nothing is changing in terms of electrical service and reliability. Your energy provider is putting electricity into your home the same way that it always has. What’s changed is that you are now putting electricity back into the grid. We design our systems to put the same amount in as you take out, resulting in a $0 net bill from your utility company.
What are my payment options?
Solar Is Freedom offers a number of payment options including cash purchase, financing, and a blended model. Our finance team can consult with you on the best way to move forward with the project based on your priorities.
How does the system work during the winter or at night?
The systems we design offset 100% of your electric usage. However, solar PV systems do not produce at night and the efficiency is affected during the winter when there is less sunlight. How is this possible? We design our systems to over produce during the day, so when the sun goes away you will have made enough electricity to offset any electricity you use while your panels aren’t producing.
Will I need batteries?
The short and exciting answer is: NO! In Ohio, we are fortunate to be a state that allows Net Metering. This means that your PV system can be tied to the grid, and your utility provider has to give you credit as long as your system is approved by that utility. This means that you do not need any storage of any kind, but instead will simply feed back into the grid as your system produces. Our systems are designed to give back the grid the same amount you take from the grid now, leaving you with little to no bill without the excess cost of batteries.
What is grid parity?
Grid parity, simply put, is what there is an alternative energy source that is capable of producing energy at a lower cost to the average home owner than purchasing from the grid. Our grid-tied systems have reached this level, which makes going solar an easy decision.