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Solar Power System FAQ

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With the ever increasing prices on electric power, its no wonder that many people are considering a solar power system. Once installed, solar power provides endless clean, electric power at no cost. In fact, if you live in an area with an abundance of sunlight, the power company can actually pay you a check each month for the excess electricity you produce. There are many questions homeowners have prior to installing a solar power system, and here are the top 4:

1. Will the power company actually pay me to produce electricity?

The answer here is yes! In most municipalities and states have passed laws that make the power company pay you for excess power generated from your solar power system. This power is then sold back to them at a profit to you. Remember though, most people do not live in an area which has enough direct sunlight year round to make that a reality all the time. Most of the time you get payments in the summer, which offsets lower production in the winter months.

2. Is it possible to get financing to pay for the solar panels?

Yes, it is quite easy to get financing for your solar power system, because they enhance the value of your home once the installation is complete. Most of the solar power companies offer decent financing rates. Another alternative is to refinance your home and take cash out to pay for the solar installation. Most of the time you can get your house re-appraised afterward and realize an immediate jump in the value for the approximate cost of the solar installation.

3. How many quotes should I get?

Installing a solar power system can be a big undertaking, and should be treated like any other major investment. It is suggested that a consumer shop around for at least 3 separate quotes first prior to making any decisions. It is important to look at the quality of the panels each company is suggesting to install to try to normalize the value so that they can be compared. Another key aspect is the length of warranty offered and the reputation of the company. Beware of unusually low quotes, that is usually a red flag something is off.

4. How can I tell how many panels I might need?

Many consumers like to do some research online prior to talking with a professional so that they have a good handle on things. Each solar panel is rated in kilowatt hours. If you take your average kilowatts used per day (from your electric bill), and then divide that by 9 (approximate strong sun hours per day), you can get a number which is what your panels need to produce to eliminate your power bill. You simply take the rating on each panel, figure out how many added together would equal that number you just computed, and you have an approximate answer. Of course, the true number will be computed by a professional prior to installing your solar power system, and will be presented in an appraisal for the job.