FAQ’s

View some of our frequently asked questions below. For more information call us at 518-772-2388 or contact us online.

How much does solar energy cost?

Every property is different, but a typical residential photovoltaic installation costs about $30,000 before grants and incentives. An average solar thermal system costs about $10,000.

Do I have to put panels on my roof?

We encourage our customers to consider pole-mounted panels instead because we can place them directly towards solar south and at the optimal azimuth (angle to the ground). Pole-mounted systems consistently produce more AC power than equivalent roof-mounted systems.

Will I still have an electric bill?

Yes. You will continue to receive bills from your utility company. You will see your monthly energy usage as well as the monthly production from your P.V. system on each bill. In the event that you produce more than you use, you’ll be compensated at a wholesale rate by your utility company.

How large is a typical system?

A P.V. system usually takes up about 100 square feet per kW of capacity. Most residential systems require a capacity between three and six kilowatts, so between 300 and 600 square feet.

Can I invest in solar power if I rent?

Yes. If you rent, you can invest in a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). This involves paying for the system itself as well as renting the land on which the system is installed, so it isn’t as lucrative as installing a system on land you own, but is a solution that makes sense for any one who rents or is planning on moving within 10 years.

Can I install the system myself?

Photovoltaic installations are complex electrical systems and carry dangerous, high-voltage D.C. loads. They also require considerable construction and solar energy knowledge. Self-installation also makes your system ineligibile for federal and state incentives.

Is my roof suitable for solar power?

If your roof faces south or south west, it is positioned perfectly for solar energy. The farther your roof strays from that direction, the less power you can produce.

How soon will I regain my investment?

The answer to this question varies by customer, but most P.V. customers regain their investment in 7-8 years. Solar thermal systems are a bit quicker, averaging between 5 and 6 years.

Can I have solar panels on my old, beat up roof?

P.V. systems last 20-25 years, so if your roof will require repairs before then, it is best to perform them before or during your P.V. Installation.

Will I have power at night?

Yes. If you have a grid-tied system, you will continue to use electricity in the same way you always have. The power produced by your system will be subtracted from your bill each month.

How much maintenance is required?

Because P.V. systems have no moving parts, maintenance is minimal. Average rainfall is enough to keep the panels free of dirt or dust. Only in very special circumstances will you need to clean your panels.

How are Grants/Incentives awarded?

Once you have paid for the system in full, you will receive your state and federal incentives either as part of your taxes or in a check. Click here for more info about grants and incentives.

I got two estimates and they are very different, even with the same kW size system. Why?

The cost difference lies mostly in the quality of the panels themselves. All panels are not the same. Some cheaper panels may be warranted for 10-25 years, but due to lack of quality materials and control, they may degrade much faster, affecting their ability to produce power. Saving money up front by using cheap panels could end up costing you tens of thousands of dollars in energy production savings over the life of the system.

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