Common Solar Power Questions
Common Questions About Solar Power
There’s a lot of information about solar energy available, and we know it can get overwhelming. Here are answers to some of the most common questions we hear at McDonald Solar in Sacramento, CA.
Why is installing solar on my home or business a smart choice?
Solar power is an environmentally friendly, energy efficient way to meet your home or business’s power needs. Solar energy can give you an amazing sense of electricity security and independence. We are all under pressure to protect the environment of our beautiful planet for future generations. Starting today with an investment in solar panels is an excellent way to invest in our future today.
Why is now the right time to invest in solar?
We know that solar power provides amazing results today. You could wait for new and untested technologies, but you’d be losing out on savings you could realize from systems that are already available. In addition, with energy prices only going up and never down, investing today will ensure that you are not under the thumb of the traditional utility companies and their price increases.
Can solar be installed at all homes and businesses?
Most homes and businesses can take advantage of solar power. Solar panels can be installed on building roofs, car ports, as well as be set up to stand independently if there is enough available ground with proper sun access.
How long does it take to install a solar system?
Residential solar array systems generally take about 40 hours to install. We send several technicians so that we can complete residential installations in two to three days. Bear in mind that the size of your property and your solar needs influence installation time.
How much roof space is needed?
The amount of space needed for a solar array system depends upon how many kilowatts (kw) of solar are used. The typical residential system with a 3kw array takes up a space of about 11 feet by 20 feet. The size of your solar system will be determined by one of our solar engineers, who will review your energy bills, the orientation of your property, and the size of your available roof and ground area to determine the optimal solar energy system.
What if I don’t have enough roof space?
If your roof can’t accommodate a solar array, we may be able to mount panels on concrete pads or on poles.
Will solar panels damage my roof?
When installed properly, a solar array won’t damage your roof. Each square foot of the array weighs only about five pounds, so there’s no risk that the system will be too heavy for your roof. And most installation crews are licensed, bonded , and ensured contractors to protect you from shoddy work.
Do solar panels work when it’s raining or cloudy?
Yes, photovoltaic panels can use indirect sunlight to generate power. Rain even helps to clean your solar panels and keep them efficient.
Do solar systems really pay for themselves?
Many consumers have heard that solar energy pays for itself over time. In a sense, this is true. If you pay cash for a solar system, you’ll realize an internal rate of return (IRR) of 8 to 12 percent over 20 years. If you finance a system, you’ll realize an immediate cash-neutral or cash-positive return.
Can solar increase the value of my home?
Yes, in many cases solar energy systems contribute to increased home values, especially if you can show before and after utility bills so the buyer will see the actual monthly savings amount.
What is a solar renewable energy credit (SREC)?
One SREC is created for every megawatt hour of electricity that a solar array produces. Utility companies generally buy SRECs from consumers with solar arrays to meet state-mandated renewable energy goals.
Are there other incentives for installing solar?
A 30-percent federal investment tax credit (ITC) for solar is available until December 31, 2016. County and state agencies in and around Sacramento also offer rebates and incentives to homeowners who install solar. Contact us for more information on current incentives.