Solar FAQs

Below is a list of frequently asked questions about solar for your home or business. Are there other things you’d like to know about solar?

Why should I go solar?

1. What are the financial benefits of solar energy?

When you install a solar energy system on your property, you save money on your electricity bills and protect yourself against rising electricity rates in the future. How much you can save depends on the utility rates and solar policies in your area, but going solar is a smart investment regardless of where you live.

2. What are the environmental benefits of solar energy?

Solar power, like other renewable energy resources, has many environmental and health benefits. Going solar reduces greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change, and also results in fewer air pollutants like sulfur dioxide and particulate matter, which can cause health problems.

3. What is net metering?

Net metering is the system that utilities use to credit solar energy system owners for the electricity produced by their solar panels. With net metering, you only pay for the electricity that you use beyond what your solar panels can generate. Net metering policies differ from state to state – from Massachusetts to California to Hawaii – so make sure to do your homework ahead of time.

4. How does solar impact my property values?

Studies have shown that homes with solar energy systems sell for more than homes without them. However, your property value will only increase if you own, rather than lease, your solar panel system. In most parts of the country, going solar will actually increase your property value more than a kitchen renovation.

How do solar panels work for my home?

5. Will I still receive an electric bill if I have solar panels?

Unless your solar energy system includes battery storage and you are fully off the grid, you will still receive a bill from your utility. However, you can dramatically reduce your bill, or even cut the amount you owe to $0, with a solar panel system that matches your energy use.

6. Do solar panels work in a blackout?

If your solar panel system is connected to the grid, it will shut off in the event of a blackout. This is to prevent emergency responders and electricity utility repair-people from being injured by your panels sending power back to the grid. However, there are certain inverters you can buy that provide backup power in a blackout when paired with a battery.

7. How much will solar panel maintenance cost?

Solar panel systems are made of durable tempered glass and require little to no maintenance for the 25 to 35 years that they will generate power. In most cases, you don’t even need to clean your solar panels regularly. If something does happen, most equipment manufacturers include warranties, although warranty terms depend on the company.

What are my solar financing options?

8. What are my solar financing options?

There are three solar financing options: you can purchase your system in cash, take out a solar loan to buy your system, or sign a solar lease/power purchase agreement (PPA). Solis Solar’s Instant Estimate Tool can help you assess the costs and 20-year savings of each solar financing option; its calculations are based on your roof plus real quote data from your area.

Am I ready for solar?

9. What size solar energy system should I get?

The size of your solar energy system will depend on how much electricity you use on a monthly basis, as well as the weather conditions where you live. Take a look at your past electricity bills and compare offers from licensed, pre-screened solar installers to determine the best system size for your needs.

10. How long will my solar power system last?

In general, solar panels are very durable and capable of withstanding snow, wind, and hail. The various components of your solar power system will need to be replaced at different times, but your system should continue to generate electricity for 25 to 35 years.

11. What happens if I sell my solar house?

If you own your solar energy system, your solar house will sell at a premium: studies have shown that solar increases property values. However, if you lease your system, that is not the case. You will need to either buy out your lease before you sell your home, or work with your leasing company to transfer the lease agreement to the home’s new owner.

How do I evaluate solar quotes?

12. How do I choose a solar installer?

There are a few criteria that everyone should use when choosing a solar installer. Confirm that they are certified, licensed and insured, have relevant experience, and can provide references. All Solis Solar-approved installers are pre-screened to ensure that they meet these high quality standards. Meet with your solar installer in person before you sign an agreement to ensure that you are comfortable working with them.