August 21, 2019

Your 10 Most Common Solar Energy Questions, Answered

Solar Energy

Here's a riddle for you:

What goes through a door without taking a step?

You guessed it!


And now that you've answered our question, we're here to answer yours. We get lots of solar energy questions from even our smartest clients, and we want to give you a head start on the knowledge that you need to make the change to solar energy.

And for those just shopping around, if you've ever wondered what questions to ask solar companies -- we've got the top ten most common solar energy questions.

Oh, yeah, and -- we've got answers.

How Much Do Solar Panels Save?

Ah, yes. The granddaddy of all solar energy questions. Solar panels might cost money up front, but they can slash your energy bills by more than 80% with proper usage.

The average energy bill in Florida, for example, is just under $130 per month. The average solar energy bill is between $13 and $40 per month.

solar panels can cut your electric bill by 80% or more

Is it Worth Installing Solar Panels?

We certainly think so!

Not only are you lowering your energy costs, but solar energy is better for the planet. The 100% clean energy can make you feel good about saving money.

With many financing options and tax credits available, there will be no cost up front for panel installation. Additionally, you will be saving thousands upon thousands of dollars in avoided costs -- meaning you won't incur bills that you would otherwise.

Over time, the avoided cost compounds, especially due to progressive inflation year after year. The longer you have solar panels, the more money you save.

How Do Solar Panels Work?

This is a tough one. Basically, the solar cell receives heat and light -- energy -- from the sun. These cells are made up of silicon and other materials that add electrons to efficiently conduct energy.

The solar cell processes the sun's rays, turning them into direct current electricity. This electricity is transferred into alternating current energy, which can power a home.

Some of the newest solar panels are much more resilient and less thick than the old standard bearers. They can also produce energy for homes and businesses much more easily.

What's the Reliability of Solar Panels?

Think about it this way: at least half of every calendar year (the daytime half) is spent in the sun. Especially if you live in a place that has more days of sunlight than not, solar panels can be a money-saving addition to the home.

The panels themselves are reliable for use, but you'll want an expert to come to measure your home or offer an expert estimate based on agreed upon calculations. In fact, all of your solar energy questions can be answered by a professional.

Can Solar Panels Make Electricity in the Rain?

The short answer is: It depends.

Solar panels can transfer energy from the air into their cell as look as it is molecularly viable. When there's no sun out (at night, during inclement weather, or eclipses), the panels won't be generating their own power supply.

If it is partly sunny and raining, however, or if there's generally enough light out, solar panels can still make electricity in the rain. It's the same as when you get a sunburn on a cloudy day.

Sometimes, rain can even be good for your solar panels. Dust and debris can accumulate on your panels, and a natural power wash is never a bad thing!

Does Using Solar Energy Mean I'm Off the Grid?

Sorry, hippies and preppers-if you're using solar panels, there's a large chance you're still a member of the electricity grid. And you should stay with your utility company!

Even though you generate your own electricity, you will likely receive a tax break for going solar (this is true in many, but not all, states).

These governmental plans came about years ago to help stimulate local economies that wanted to go solar. Incentives for home and business owners can make it simple, affordable, and environmentally friendly.

In reality, what happens when you generate electricity for your house, especially in surplus, is that you feed that power back into the grid. This does mean that you might not always be technically running your home on solar power, but it's six of one and half a dozen of the other. That's where net metering comes in.

Also, because utilities allow us to NET METER, we are essentially using the grid as a free battery, sending excess in when necessary and pulling from it when necessary.

What is Net Metering?

Net metering is basically the reason you stay on the grid. In essence, net metering is a way to measure how much electricity your solar panels generate versus how much electricity you use.

If you are in a state or area that uses net metering for its solar panel homes, the electricity company will monitor how much power your solar cells create for your home.

While you are generating energy that feeds into the grid, the electricity company also measures your power usage by metering.

To calculate your monthly bill or credit, the electricity company will measure the net usage or generation of kilowatt hours that your home has undergone.

You pay money for power usage. You get a refund or credit for generating surplus power.

When Do I Realize the Difference?

We know it's important to save money on your electricity bill, especially if you are going through the expensive process of buying, financing, or purchasing solar panels. You will see a difference in the amount you pay for electricity almost immediately.

You can also qualify for tax credits for your solar panels, which can significantly reduce the cost of your crossover. Going green doesn't have to break the bank!

Do I Qualify for Tax Credits?

You might qualify for -- dollar for dollar -- an up to 30% tax credit for going solar. The Investment Tax Credit (ITC) allows you to claim part of all of your solar panel purchase. If you are a home or business owner, you will be eligible for this credit.

There is also a residential renewable energy credit program eligible through the Department of Energy. Check with your state to see if there's extra incentive for going solar in your state. Now's the time to go solar -- it's the best bang for your buck with rising quality and lowering taxes.

How Can I Answer My Other Solar Energy Questions?

Quality solar panels are exciting and finally affordable. If you want to learn more and get your solar energy questions answered in Northwest Arkansas, Kansas City and Southwest Missouri, check out our blog and contact us to learn more!

Is solar a good fit for your home?

Find out now!

If you are considering going solar, the first step is to get a solar savings report to determine if solar is right for you and your home. Click the button below to get your solar savings report now!

Get Your Solar Savings Report Now!
Nick Gorden

Nick Gorden is the Co-founder and CEO of Shine Solar. Nick’s energy, enthusiasm, and leadership is contagious and has contributed to attracting a talented and successful executive team. His time is focused on strategic growth, maintaining profitability and creating the optimal customer experience. Nick has started, managed and sold companies within the communications, mortgage lending, insurance and real estate industries resulting in tens of millions of dollars of market value to investors.

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