How does solar work?

Solar cells in each panel convert photons from the sun to DC power creating high voltage pressure. The power is then stepped down and inverted to AC power before being connected to the home’s existing breaker box. Solar power first supplies the home’s power needs, and then any additional power is then exported to the grid and credited on your utility bill through Net-Metering.

What is Net-Metering?

Net-Metering is a solar crediting system used by most utilities to help encourage solar adoption. Solar is stored on the utility bill as an energy credit and the customer is only billed for the net amount of power metered after their solar credits are applied. Net-metering protects solar customers from paying higher rates for power at peak times of use.

Is Net-Metering going to be around forever?

Once solar is installed, customers are grandfathered in and can net meter their power for 20 years. NY State has already replaced net-metering for new solar customers in 2020 with VDER (Value of Distributed Energy Resources), which places a monetary value on a solar credit based on the time and location it was produced. Customers who install solar this year still have the opportunity to qualify for net-metering, but time is running out.

Will I still get a utility bill?

Yes. You remain connected to the grid so that you can store your solar credits. Our job is to provide as much of your energy with solar as possible, because it is cheaper than buying power from the grid. The utility company will only bill you for the basic service charge for connection to the grid, plus any power you don’t produce with solar.

What happens when solar isn’t working, like at night or when the weather is bad?

When solar isn’t working, your home will import power from the grid like usual. You’ll use any solar credits you’ve generated before the utility company bills you for power. This is why we design your system with your annual energy usage in mind, to provide solar credits for times when power isn’t being generated by the system.

What happens in the event of a blackout?

In a blackout, workers from the utility may be working on grid infrastructure. Solar power cannot be exported to the grid as it could seriously injure a worker. Energy Storage Systems can be charged with solar power and store it for blackouts.

How do I see how much energy my solar panels have produced?

Your utility company will provide you with a net total of your production and consumption on each bill, but we provide you with a monitoring portal to see real time energy production. You can login remotely from anywhere on earth to see how much you’ve produced that day or over the lifetime of the system.

What if I decide to move or sell my home?

Solar, just like your water, gas, and internet bills, will simply transfer to the next homeowner. The new owner will get all the same advantages of solar like cheaper electricity and no cost maintenance, without the hassle of having to install it themselves. We can even help by putting you in touch with one of our “Solar Friendly” realtors who specialize in selling solar powered homes.

How do I qualify?

As contractors, we can often correct and repair many of the issues that prevent customers from installing solar. We can replace roofs and build custom structures to catch more sunlight with our panels. The amount you save will depend on what upgrades are needed to complete the installation. The most important factor is your current energy usage; solar makes sense because we are replacing the cost of power. If your electric bill is over $75, you use enough power that solar will make sense.

If this is so great, what is the catch? Why haven’t more people done this?

The truth is you may not be able to qualify. One in three who apply for solar are denied. Like signing up for home internet or your electric bill, a credit check applies for solar too.

The real twist is that you’ve been paying for your neighbors to install solar for a few years now, see for yourself! Your utility company has been mandated to get more electricity from renewable resources, and they passed this on to you with a charge on your electric bill to fund upgrades to renewable infrastructure. This is why we can offer installation to those who pass credit with $0 out of pocket.

Am I really going to save money?

Yes, customers who install solar and utilize the Federal, State and local incentives that are available to them stand to save thousands of dollars in addition to increasing the value of their home. You can find out how much you’ll save and have any of your other questions answered by one of our solar experts:

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