Top 5 FAQs about Solar Power

You may know the basics of how solar energy works, but you’re likely missing quite a bit of key information. Whether you’re new to solar energy or you’re doing some more research before investing in solar paneling, you probably have many questions. In this post we’re going to walk through the top five frequently asked questions about solar power for your Maryland home or business.

1. What are the Benefits of Going Solar?

When you have a solar energy system installed by a professional roofing contractor, you’re going to reap the financial benefits of the technology. You’re going to save money on your electricity bill, and you’ll be protected against rising electricity rates down the line. The exact amount you’ll save by switching depends on a number of factors, including utility rates, solar policies in your area, and the efficiency of the solar paneling that was installed. Regardless of where you live and how much you’ll save, going solar is a smart investment. Solar power has benefits beyond the financial, however. Like any other renewable energy resource, solar power has a number of environmental and health benefits. Going solar will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change, and it will also result in fewer air pollutants, like sulfur dioxide and particulate matter, all of which can contribute to health problems.

2. How Do They Work?

Solar panels absorb the sun’s energy through sunlight throughout the day, and this energy is converted into direct current electricity. Most homes and businesses run on alternating current electricity, so the DC current must be passed through an inverter to convert it into usable AC electricity. Once this has been done, you can either use the electricity in your home or business or you can send it back to the electrical grid. The amount of power your solar array can generate is dependent on sunlight. As a result, your solar panels are going to produce less energy when the weather is cloudy, and will produce no energy at night. You’re still going to be saving money even if you live in a cloudy city, making solar a good investment no matter where you live.

3. What Are My Financing Options?

There are often rebates and incentives offered for installing solar paneling, depending on where you live. One of the most significant incentives is a 26 percent federal investment tax credit, which allows you to deduct 26 percent of the cost of your solar energy installation from your taxes. Some states will offer additional tax credits, and some municipalities or utility companies offer cash rebates or other incentives. When you’re ready to purchase, you have a few options. You can always pay cash to have your solar power system installed by a local roofing professional, you can take out a solar loan, or you can sign a solar lease/power purchase agreement. Generally speaking, if you can afford your current electricity bill, you can afford to go solar.

4. Am I Ready For Solar?

The size of your solar energy system is going to depend on how much power you use on a monthly basis, as well as the general weather conditions where you live. South facing roofs with little or no shade are ideal for installing solar, so long as there’s enough room to fit a solar panel system. If you don’t have the ideal roof for solar, there are always workarounds. Talk to your local roofing contractor to discuss what your options are. While you’re speaking with them, it might not be a bad idea to discuss replacing your roof before having the solar array installed. Solar energy systems have a lifespan of 25-35 years, and it can be costly to have them removed and reinstalled should you need to replace your roof in the meantime.

5. How Do I Choose a Solar Installer?

There are a few criteria that everyone should use when choosing a solar installer. As with any roofing contractor, you want to confirm that they are certified, licensed, and insured, that they have relevant experience, and that they can provide references. When you’re looking for a quote, you’re going to see references to equipment choices, financing options, and reviews. When you settle on a company you’re happy with, the installer will conduct a site visit to assess your property. When ready, the installation will only take a day or two to complete.

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