For Solar Systems

  • How much sun do I need?
    The more sun your solar system gets, the better return you'll get on your money. We can often tell by looking at a satellite image if your roof gets enough sun to make solar cost-effective. Other times you have to have our professional team to check out your roof in person.  

  • How long do solar electric systems last?
    Most solar systems are predicted to last anywhere between 25 and 35 years. Most manufacturers guarantee that, in 25 years, your panels will make 80% of the electricity they did in the first year. 

  • If the power goes out, will my solar system keep making energy?
    No. For safety reasons, your solar system will automatically shut off if the power goes out. You can get around this by having a battery backup or a generator, though they aren't usually recommended. 
  • Can I add panels later?
    Adding panels is possible but it can be complicated. Inverters and solar panels are designed to "fit together" like puzzle pieces. Because there's an ideal number of solar panels that should be hooked up to a specific inverter, a whole mini system - solar panels and inverter - would most likely need to be added if you want to add panels. And, you'd probably need to add at least 2kW. In many cases it's better to oversize your system a bit if you think you'll need more electricity in the next few years. 

  • Can solar be installed on multi-unit buildings?
    Yes, but it may be too complicated to make financial sense. Each utility meter needs a separate solar system. So, if the units are small and each has a separate electricity meter, it may not be cost-effective. 

  • Whats the typical voltage of a solar panel?
    The voltage of a single panel is usually between 20 and 60 volts. When solar panels are wired together in a high voltage string they have an open circuit voltage between 200 and 400 volts. 

  • What size system do I need?
    The solar system size you need depends on how much electricity you use. 
  • What if most of my utility bill is comprised of natural gas charges?
    Solar electric systems offset only the electricity part of your utility bill    
  • What if I just moved and I dont know how much energy I use?
    If you can wait just two or three months to see how much electricity you use, that helps us figure out what size solar electric system you need. Sometimes having the old homeowner`s electricity usage can help too. 

    What kind of roof do I have to have?
    You can put a solar system on almost all roof types including composite, wood shake, cement tile, S-tile, tar & gravel, and metal. It may be more expensive to install a system on some roof types than on others. 
  • How much roof space is required?
    For every kilowatt (kW) installed, a solar system takes up about 100 square feet, so an average solar system takes between 300 and 600 square feet. 

  • How much weight will the solar electric system put on my roof?
    Solar electric systems usually add less than four pounds per square foot. 

    My roof has dormers/gables. Can I still install solar?
    It depends on your roof and your electricity bill. A solar system can be built next to gables if there's enough room but the panels have to be far enough away so they don't end up in the shade. 

  • What is a payback period for solar?
    The payback for your solar system depends on lots of variables. Your payback could be anywhere between 5 and 12 years depending on how much energy you use and how much sun your roof gets. 

  • What`s the best weather for my solar system?
    The best weather for making the most solar power is a sunny but cool day. 

  • What happens in rain and fog?
    It doesn`t have to be sunny for your panels to work because it`s the UV rays that do the trick. In fog or on a cloudy day, your system will produce 25%-30% of what it normally would. 
  • What happens if lightning strikes a solar panel?
    Almost all solar panels are designed to withstand lightning.