6 of the Most Common Solar FAQs

By Sam Baker
26 December 2017

Solar is now more affordable and practical for the consumer than ever before, and because of this, it is starting to make sense to think about having your own system installed. Aside from the environmental benefits that come from going solar, there are also significant ways for solar owners to benefit financially. All of these qualities make solar an appealing option.

Before transitioning, it is important to understand some details about the process, the costs, and the hardware itself. In this post, we are going to look at some of the most frequently asked questions that our customers have regarding solar to help you along your way!

How Do Solar Panels Work?

Solar panels work by converting sunlight into electrical energy through a collection of photovoltaic cells. When photons, or particles of light, hit a solar cell, they knock off electrons from their atomic orbitals. With the right hardware, this process will form an electrical circuit that leads to the generation of electricity.

A solar panel is made up of multiple cells. When multiple panels are attached, they form an array. The larger the solar array, the more energy can be generated.

How Many Panels are Needed for a House?

The electricity that is generated by rooftop panels is integrated into the existing electrical grid. It first will supply a homeowner’s on-site needs, and once those needs are met, any additional electricity will be fed back into the grid. In most cases, the homeowner who produces excess electricity will get credits that they can use in the future for more electricity use.

On the other hand, if a home does not generate enough electricity to meet all of their needs, they will still have to purchase some from the grid. Different companies will offer solutions for all kinds of customers. If you only want to install a few panels to cover half of your electricity use, that is fine. In most cases, however, it is recommended that you install enough panels to meet all of your needs.

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Do Solar Panels Completely Eliminate my Electricity Bill?

A big reason to go solar is that you can significantly reduce or eliminate your electric bill. The amount of money that you will save on your bill depends on the system that you have installed. Some other factors include how much electricity you use and what the local rate is for electricity. In any case, it is very possible for you to almost completely eliminate your electricity bill (you will still have basic monthly fees, however).

How Long do Solar Panels Last?  

A solar array is a significant investment for most households. This is why it is important for the system to function properly over a long period of time. Luckily, most solar panels last for over 25 years! This is also the number of years that the average performance guarantee warranty is for the majority of panel manufacturers.

These warranties typically guarantee 90% of maximum output at ten years and 80% at 25 years. Some manufacturers also offer a workmanship warranty to cover defective panel parts for the first ten years. What is even better is that many of Pick My Solar’s installers offer more than the industry standard with a 20+ year workmanship warranty, and Pick My Solar even offers it's own production guarantee as part of it's TriGuard Guarantee.

How Much Does it Cost to Install?

The short answer to this question is that it depends on location, array size, hardware selection, and who the installer is. No matter the case, you can always take advantage of the federal tax credit for residential solar installations. This is a 30% tax credit “for a system that serves a dwelling unit located in the United States that is owned and used as a residence by the taxpayer.” The solar tax credit is one among many incentives that can help you make your solar purchase.

How Does Solar Impact Property Value?

According to a study conducted by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), the average increase in resale value of a home is $5,911 for each 1 kilowatt of solar that is installed. A typical, small system that is installed medium-sized home in California, for example, would add anywhere from $15,000-$40,000 to the value of that home. This value is only added if you own the panels, however.

Adopting Solar

There are several factors that influence the way in which an individual can adopt solar. It is usually dependent of things like location, local suppliers, installers, and energy rates. After finding solar providers near you, you can refer to this list of common FAQs to help you along your journey! You can easily get started by using our instant solar savings calculator to explore estimates for your home.

View our 2018 Solar Starter Guide

👋 - We're Pick My Solar. Our mission is to empower communities to adopt sustainable technologies through transparency and choice. We've built an online platform where you can get competitive solar offers from top-notch providers.

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