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Solar Q&A
Solar panels are an increasingly popular way to generate electricity, and it's not hard to see why. They're environmentally friendly, relatively low maintenance, and can even save you money on your energy bill. But how do solar panels work? It all starts with the sun. Solar panels are made up of a series of individual cells that convert sunlight into electrical current. The amount of electricity generated by a solar panel depends on the size of the panel and the intensity of the sunlight. The cells are usually made from silicon, a material that is exceptionally good at absorbing sunlight. When sunlight hits a cell, it knocks electrons loose from their atoms. These electrons flow through the cell and into an electrical circuit, where they can be used to power appliances or recharge batteries. In order to generate enough electricity to power a home or business, multiple solar panels are usually required. However, the initial investment can quickly pay for itself in energy savings. So if you're looking for a green way to power your home or business, solar panels are definitely worth considering.
The answer depends on a number of factors, including the size and location of the solar panel system, the amount of sunlight it receives, and the efficiency of the panels. A typical residential solar panel system can save homeowners more of 80% on their electricity bill. However, some homeowners may see even greater savings. For example, those who live in sunny areas and have large roof surfaces may be able to generate enough power to completely offset their energy costs. And as solar technology continues to improve, the savings are likely to increase. As a result, installing solar panels is a smart investment that is sure to pay off in the long run.
Solar panels have become increasingly popular in recent years as a way to save money on energy costs and reduce environmental impact. However, there are a few things to consider before making the switch to solar. The initial cost of installing solar panels can be high, and it may take several years to recoup the investment through lower energy bills. In addition, solar panels require regular maintenance, such as cleaning and snow removal, to function properly. Finally, solar panels are most effective in areas that receive direct sunlight for long periods of time. However, for those who are able to take advantage of solar power, the benefits can be significant. Solar panels can provide free energy for decades with minimal upkeep, and they have the potential to drastically reduce household energy costs. For many people, solar panels are a worthwhile investment that helps save money and protect the environment.

In a word, yes. Solar panels can, and do, generate electricity on rainy days. However, it’s important to understand that the amount of electricity generated will be significantly less than on a sunny day. This is because solar panels rely on sunlight to generate electricity, and the sun is usually hidden behind clouds during rainstorms. Nevertheless, even on a cloudy day, there is still some sunlight that penetrates the clouds, and this is enough to generate a small amount of electricity. In addition, solar panels are often equipped with a feature called “maximum power point tracking” which allows them to continue generating electricity even when the light levels are low. As a result, while solar panels may not generate as much electricity on a rainy day as they would on a sunny one, they can still make a significant contribution to your overall energy needs.

The short answer is no. Solar energy is a renewable resource, meaning it can be replenished naturally and does not run out. However, solar panels still need to be connected to the grid in order to work properly. The grid provides a consistent source of power, even when the sun isn't shining. This way, you can still have access to electricity at night or on cloudy days. In addition, the grid can act as a backup in case your solar panels are damaged or produce less power than expected. Ultimately, solar energy is a great way to reduce your dependence on fossil fuels and lower your carbon footprint. However, it's important to remember that you're not completely "off the grid" when you switch to solar power.

Net metering is a billing mechanism that credits solar energy system owners for the electricity they add to the grid. For example, if a residential customer has a PV system on their home, it may generate more electricity than the home uses during daylight hours. If the home is net-metered, the electricity meter will run backwards to provide a credit against what the customer uses at night or when their system isn’t producing enough power to meet their needs. Customers are only billed for their “net” energy use.

In short, net metering is a way to make sure solar customers are only paying for the electricity they use, while also being compensated for the extra power they add to the grid. It’s an important tool to help spur investments in renewable energy and move us towards a cleaner, more sustainable future.

There are Pros and Cons to both. This is a very important piece of going solar and a professional will lay out both options, and let you decide which one will work best for your situation.

Some companies only offer one or create some bias towards the one they offer. Another reason bias may creep in, is they are getting incentivized more for one or the other.

A true solar professional will give you options and let you decide which is best for your situation. One isn’t really better than the other. What matters is what’s best for you.
If someone were to decide to purchase a system over leasing one, the next step is to look at how they will purchase it. If they finance, there are dealer fees making the system more expensive. If they go cash, no dealer fees to worry about and makes the system less expensive.

WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR! There are companies that will show finance pricing and if a person decides to go cash, the company may take $1,000 or $2,000 off but that doesn’t mean that is a good deal.

Dealer fees can go up into the 20-30% range of the system cost. For example, a $30,000 solar system could cost $7,500 in dealer fees at 25%. Companies/reps may only offer a couple thousand off to go cash, giving them more money in their pocket. Is that a terrible thing? If they do their job right and build the system appropriately to save, maybe not. However, the purpose of Ask Anything Solar is to be transparent.

Are dealer fees terrible? Depends how someone looks at it. They are high, but at the same time without the finance companies, there would be no low interest rates or NO money down opportunities to get into solar and save. Even with them, people can still save with solar. After all, the finance companies are taking a high risk in financing the solar projects. So there must be some give and take. The nice thing about solar financing is the interest rates can be low if that makes sense for you at the time. Why not use that and hold on to your cash? People will need to see what is most beneficial for their finances.

One more thing to look at. The higher the interest rate in a solar loan, the lower the dealer fee. So in some instances, it is better to take a higher interest rate loan because it actually saves you more. We have to look at all the variables and that’s what Ask Anything Solar does.

Another option, look into refinancing the home and putting the solar system under the refinance to dodge that large dealer fee. Of course there are usually fees when refinancing but they should be less. The goal is to get a lower mortgage rate, lower payment and solar. WIN! However, everything is situational with what’s happening with interest rates and of course all the numbers MUST make sense.

Normally, it’s because you have the right roof or your area holds a good chance to save with solar through the current available programs. With “Door Knockers”, it’s hard to trust right off the bat because we don’t know them, but at the same time, sometimes without them, we wouldn’t be aware of products and services that do exist that we do need or use.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of sketchy characters knocking doors for solar. Like many industries, there are always those characters who only care about money and will say anything to get it. Below are a few red flags to watch for.

Pushy - Aggressive or pushy. If they are pushy and make you feel comfortable, close the door. Of course, in some instances we need to be pushed a little bit. However, if someone is pushing too hard or being rude, it’s time to close the door.

A professional solar door knocker will be easy going and patient. They won’t push you over the edge, lie or be rude making you feel uncomfortable. They will be able to communicate that they know their stuff and really want to help.

False Promise - If they claim they can save you money without knowing anything about you. There is a process to see if your home or business can save money with solar. There is data needed in order to determine if it’s possible.

Fake - If they try to position themselves as your utility company. If they are claiming to be with the utility company, make sure it’s actually the utility company. Is there a badge, apparel or do they have a marked vehicle. If you are concerned, request their supervisors' information. Another option is to ask them for their email. If it’s not the utility company email, then they are not with the utility company.

Others may try to get you to perceive they are with a “green initiative” or “clean energy initiative”. It’s all word play or manipulation to get you to let them in.

Be aware and cautious with these type of sales people.

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