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Solar Power FAQ

  1. How much power can a single PV module produce?
  2. How many modules/panels will my home or business need?
  3. Will my PV system take the place of my utility company?
  4. If I start with a small system, is it easy to expand at a later date?
  5. How soon will I realize a return on my investment (ROI)?
  6. Are there federal or state tax incentives?
  7. Will inclement weather harm my panels?
  8. How long is the life span of solar panels?
  9. What is the warranty?
  10. I keep hearing about “Net Metering” or bi-directional. What is this?
  11. Will I need to install a special new meter?
  12. Besides peace of mind, the savings on my utility bill, and the generous tax savings, are there any other benefits to installing renewable energy?
  13. Can I get financing for a PV system?
  14. What are all the benefits of having a PV system installed?

1. How much power can a single PV module produce?

The average PV module produces about 240 watts of power. However depending on the type of panel and manufacturer, a single panel is capable of producing up to 345 watts of power.
 

2. How many modules/panels will my home or business need?

This depends on several factors. It isn't quite as simple as taking the figures above along with your power bill. Here are just a few of the questions we would discuss with you in person.

  1. Is this for your home, business or government project?
  2. What percentage of your electrical bill do you wish to cover?
  3. What is the amount of your monthly bills in financial terms?
  4. What is your monthly kilowatt usage for the previous 12 months?
  5. When are your peak electrical needs?
  6. What creates the major electrical “draws” on your site?
  7. What is the “lay” of your site? (ie. terrain, direction facing, structures, etc.)
  8. Do you have an overall budget in mind?
  9. Will you be installing other forms of renewable energy production?
Depending on your answers to questions like those listed above and others we would ask you in person, we’ll be able to tell you how many panels your project will require. We can give you a range of choices to meet your specific needs.
 

3. Will my PV system take the place of my utility company?

That depends on the type and size of the system you install. Grid-tied PV systems meet a percentage of the home or building's electrical needs. These systems are not meant to handle the entire electrical load usually because the up-front costs are too high.
 

4. If I start with a small system, is it easy to expand at a later date?

Provided you have the space, absolutely. PV systems are made to easily expand.
 

5. How soon will I realize a return on my investment (ROI)?

In Georgia, most commercial/industrial projects should see a ROI in 5-10 years or less. Residential projects may note their ROI in 5-20 years. Other states may differ.
 

6. Are there federal or state tax incentives?

Yes, absolutely! In fact, these incentives improve your ROI considerably!

To learn more, visit our Savings & Incentives page.
 

7. Will inclement weather harm my panels?

No, weather should not be a concern for you. Why? These panels are made with tempered glass and rigorously tested to ensure a long life. They are even hail-tested.

In the rare situation where you experience a rare weather or environmental event, your homeowners insurance should cover replacement. Be sure to double-check that your coverage handles all weather situations, including flood.
 

8. How long is the life span of PV modules?

The typical manufacturer warranty is 25 years. However, the average PV module may last up to 60 years.

The rest of the system has a shorter warranty and life expectancy.
 

9. What is the warranty?

Again, the panels generally have a 25-year warranty from the factory. The length of this warranty is longer than most items you could buy for your home. The remainder of your system’s warranty depends on the item. Remember, your entire solar panel system has no moving parts, and this is one of the reasons it lasts so long.
 

10. I keep hearing about Net Metering* (or bi-directional). What is this?

When your solar power system creates an excess of energy that your site cannot immediately use, you can “push” that energy back in to the main power grid of your electric company (if you are grid-tied) and use it later during the night or on a cloudy day.

Another option is to sell your excess energy to us. We'll literally purchase your excess power. This translates to an income stream for you. Ask us for more details.
 
*"Net Metering" is not a "legal" term, here, in the state of Georgia.  As a result, you'll hear the term "bi-directional" used in its place.
 

11. Will I need to install a special new meter?

Yes, here in Georgia, you will need to have a second meter installed. This installation will be a part of your overall solar installation and will be handled by properly trained technicians.
 

12. Besides peace of mind, the savings on my utility bill, and the generous tax savings, are there any other benefits to installing renewable energy?

Yes, installing any kind of renewable energy system to your property will increase its appraised value, too!
 

13. Can I get financing for a PV system?

If your credit is in good-standing, then in most cases, you can receive financing. Be sure to check in to leasing options as a lease can save you from using your working "cash".  Plus, you may be able to write off your lease payment while enjoying all the tax incentives, too.  Please contact us for more information or click on the image just below.

Clean Power Finance

 

14. What are all the benefits of having a PV system installed?

  • a) Lower or eliminate your energy bill from your utility company by utilizing "free" energy from the sun, instead. Not everyone can afford to install a full PV array system that will completely offset their home or business' utility costs. However, even a small system translates in to savings on your bill. This savings keeps on going and more than pays for your installed system in a few years.
  • b) Arrays installed on your roof act as a shade for your roof because most of the sun's energy is reflected away from your home/building. This reduces the amount of radient heat that is absorbed and translates to your air conditioning system working less in order to maintain interior comfort. So if you have a grid-tied PV system, you will use less from your utility company, as a result.
  • c) Furthermore, you can install arrays in such a way to create new shade in areas where you don't currently have them. For example, create shade for parking your car(s), or use them to shade your patio, deck or balcony seating. There are a myriad of ways you can install PV arrays that blend in with the building or landscape, or you can make them stand-out for an artistic or utilitarian effect.
  • d) You may receive state and/or federal tax incentives. Depending on certain factors, this could reduce the time to experiencing the return on your investment, considerably.
  • d) Excess energy created by your system can be pushed back to the grid (a la "net metering") and reduce your bill, or it can sold back to us. In this case, you would receive a check for that amount.
  • f) Your system helps the environment by reducing your carbon footprint, now, and for years to come. This translates to cleaner air, a slowing of global warming, and less acid rain. Every eco-system benefits. In addition, you reduce the amount of noise pollution in the environment as a whole because your system is completely quiet.
  • g) If you install a UPS along with your PV system, you can be assured of having electricity at all times, even during "local" power outages.
  • h) As noted in the previous question, your property value will increase.
  • i) You get peace of mind. Your decision helps you financially and impacts the world for generations to come.
  • j) Depending on the percentage of your bill you choose to eliminate with a renewable energy installation, you are shielded by the same percentage from fossil-fuel-driven utility company rate hikes in the future.  (These rate hikes are predicted to range from 5-11% per year.)
 
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