Have you been considering solar energy for your home?
At Arbor Builders we have invested in energy efficient solar panels for our office and are eager to tell you what we’ve learned! Solar power is a renewable source of energy and has many benefits including:
Cost effective electricity
It can even add market value to your home!
With the help of Joe Mazzarella, System Design and Sales, of Sunlight Solar Energy, Inc., all of our questions were answered and we gained a greater understanding of solar energy.
Here are some questions we considered before making our decision to go green:
How does solar power work?
Solar power is a renewable source of energy that harnesses the energy from the sun to power your home. Sunlight hits the PV (Photovoltaics) panels and creates direct current electricity. An inverter is installed (typically in your garage or basement, nearest to your circuit breaker panel) to convert the direct current electricity to alternating current electricity. The inverter is wired to a new breaker in the panel so it does not pull from the grid.
The system covers close to 100% of your electric use. During the day your utility meter will slow down or spin backwards, which indicates the solar panels are supplying your house with electricity. You only use the electricity pulled from the grid at night if it’s more than what the solar panels produced during the day.
Sunlight Solar will set up a free site survey to determine if your home qualifies for solar energy. Then they will custom design a premium solar system for your home. Sunlight Solar keeps things effortless by taking care of all the paperwork, permitting, and inspections, while answering any questions you may have.
What is the cost?
There are three different payment routes you can take depending on what is best for you.
Purchase the system directly: which means you own the system. State and federal tax credits are currently available and can cover up to 80% of the system cost.
Sunrun Prepaid Power Purchase Agreement: This is one, upfront payment with a 20 year warranty with no additional costs. All electricity the system produces is yours for 20 years. State tax credits are available up to $6000.
Sunnova Zero Down Power Purchase Agreement: a contract to purchase solar power at a pre-established rate per kilowatt that is locked in for 25 years. You do not pay anything upfront and you buy your own solar power.
Most residential customers will realize their return on investment through energy savings and tax credits between 4 and 7 years, depending on their specific situation. Depending on the size of your system you can save from $538 to $1076 in annual electric savings!
How effective is solar energy?
Solar energy is very effective. Sunlight Solar conducts a site survey where they do a detailed solar access study to determine the tilt, orientation, and shading of the solar array. They are then able to estimate your yearly power production of the system and savings on your electrical bill.
What kind of roof do I need?
The most common roofs to install solar systems on are asphalt shingle or metal roofs. Solar panels can be installed on cedar shingle and tile roofs with enough advanced notice, as it is more difficult to install on these types of roofs. Slate roofs are practically impossible to install a solar system on and it is not recommended. Consider a ground mounted solar system if your new construction home includes a slate roof. Click here to learn more about roof considerations.
Is the integrity of roof compromised at all?
All penetrations into the roof are flashed and sealed similar to a plumbing vent or other roof penetration. Sunlight Solar covers all roof penetrations leaks for 10 years under their standard installation warranty. For TPO roofing, the roofer will seal all penetrations – covered under the roofing warranty. For a standing seam metal roof, the racking is clamped on to the metal seams leaving no roof penetrations aside from the conduit run for the wiring.
If I move can I take the equipment with me?
If you stay with the same utility company you can take the equipment with you. However, it is typically not cost effective. Also, homes with solar systems tend to sell quicker and for a higher price than those that do not, so homeowners generally will sell their home and add a new set of equipment to their new home!
At Arbor Builders we are excited to be thinking about the future and making changes that positively impact the environment!
If you are considering adding solar energy to your home, don’t hesitate to find out if your home is solar ready and the best solar solution for your home!