EPL Solar FAQs: Understanding Solar Energy Benefits

Will the government pay for my solar?

Misleading advertising has led to a misconception that the government will cover the costs of your solar installation. In reality, there is a 30% federal investment tax credit (ITC) available, allowing you to deduct 30% of the cost of your solar energy system from the federal taxes that you owe.

How does solar energy work?

Solar panels convert sunlight into electricity through the photovoltaic effect. Solar cells in the panels absorb sunlight and generate direct current electricity, which an inverter converts into usable alternating current electricity.

Why should I go solar?

From substantial financial savings to minimizing your environmental footprint, the advantages of solar energy are vast. By incorporating a solar system into your home, you can enhance its value significantly while lowering your long-term utility bills.

What are the financial benefits of solar energy?

By installing a solar energy system on your property, you can lower your electricity bills and shield yourself from increasing electricity rates in the future. The amount you save will vary based on your location's utility rates and solar regulations, but switching to solar power is a wise financial decision no matter where you reside. On average, homeowners can save thousands of dollars over the life of their solar panel system.

What are the environmental benefits of solar energy?

Solar power and other renewable energy sources offer numerous environmental and health advantages. By transitioning to solar energy, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions that worsen climate change is achieved, leading to a decrease in harmful air pollutants, such as sulfur dioxide and particulate matter, that are known to provoke health issues.

How do I find out how much I pay for electricity?

The easiest way to find out how much you pay for electricity (and how much electricity you use per month) is to look at your utility electricity bill. Need help? Contact us today with a copy of your bill, and we will guide you.

How does solar impact my property values?

Studies have shown that homes with solar energy systems sell for more than homes without them. Going solar will increase your property value more than a kitchen renovation in most parts of the country.

What is net metering?

Net metering allows utilities to provide homeowners with credits for the electricity generated by their solar panels. Through this system, homeowners are only billed for the excess electricity used beyond what their solar panels produce.

How do solar photovoltaic panels work?

During the day, solar panels collect sunlight and transform it into direct current electricity. Since most homes and businesses operate on alternating current electricity, the DC electricity is converted into usable AC electricity using an inverter. This electricity can be used in the home or sent back to the electric grid.

Will solar panels work on my home?

Solar panels can work on most homes as long as they have access to sunlight. Factors such as the size and angle of your roof and any shading from trees or buildings can affect the performance of your solar panels

Do my solar panels produce power when the sun isn't shining?

The power output of your solar energy system is dependent on sunlight, meaning that your solar panels will generate less energy on cloudy days and none at night. Despite this, the cost savings and financial incentives associated with solar energy make it a wise choice, even for those living in cities with less sunshine.

Will I still receive an electric bill if I have solar panels?

If your solar energy system doesn't have battery storage and you are still connected to the grid, you will still get a bill from your utility company. However, you can dramatically reduce your bill with a solar panel system that matches your energy use.

Can I install solar panels myself?

While some homeowners may be able to install solar panels themselves, it is recommended to hire a professional solar installer for this task. Solar panel installations involve working with electrical wiring and can be dangerous if not done correctly.

Can I go off-grid with solar panels?

Installing solar panels on your property allows you to remain connected to the grid, enabling you to access additional electricity when needed and sell excess power back. Going completely off the grid with a solar system and battery storage is costly and usually unnecessary for most homeowners.

Do solar panels work in a blackout?

If your solar panel system is grid-connected, it will automatically shut off during a blackout to avoid safety hazards for emergency personnel and utility workers. However, there are inverters available that, when combined with a battery, can provide backup power during a blackout.

How much will solar panel maintenance cost?

The cost of solar panel maintenance will vary depending on several factors, including the size and type of the system, as well as the level of maintenance required. In general, routine maintenance costs for solar panels are relatively low, with most homeowners spending around $100 to $200 per year for inspections, cleaning, and repairs. It is recommended to budget for annual maintenance costs to ensure the long-term performance and efficiency of your solar panel system.

What size solar energy system should I get?

The size of your solar energy system will depend on how much electricity you use every month and the weather conditions where you live. Ultimately, EPL will be able to assess your property and advise you on the correct system size for your needs.

Is my roof suitable for solar panels?

South-facing roofs with little to no shade and enough space to fit a solar panel system are ideal for installing solar. However, there are workarounds in many cases if your home doesn't have the ideal solar roof.

Do I need to replace my roof before installing solar?

Solar energy systems can last for 25 to 35 years, and removing and reinstalling them can be costly if you need to replace your roof. If your roof needs maintenance soon, you should complete it before you finish your solar installation. ELP will be able to tell you whether to replace your roof before going solar, and we have roofing companies that we work with regularly for homeowners who need to replace their roofs before going solar.

How long will my solar power system last?

Solar panels are generally very durable and capable of withstanding rain, wind, and hail. The various components of your solar power system will need to be replaced at different times, but your system should continue to generate electricity for 25 to 35 years.

Will I have power from my solar panels if I lose power from the grid?

Not necessarily. Most grid-tied solar panel systems are designed to shut off when the grid loses power to prevent back-feeding electricity into the grid, which can be dangerous for utility workers. However, you can install a battery backup system to store excess energy generated by your solar panels for use during power outages

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