Below are answers to the most common questions about going solar.
You save money on your electricity bills and protect yourself against rising electricity rates in the future when you install a solar energy system on your property. How much you can save depends on the federal 30% Tax Credit, local incentives, and kWh needed for production. Regardless, going solar is a smart investment for almost any homeowner.
Like many other sources of renewable energy, solar power has direct environmental and health benefits. Solar energy does not emit any greenhouse gases. These gases contribute to climate change. Furthermore, the less gas and coal being burned, the less air pollutants like sulfur dioxide and particulate matter there is the less health problems we'll see.
The easiest way to find out how many kWh you use per month is to take a look at your utility electricity bill. A similarly easy process is to call your utility company and ask them to read off the past 12 months of usage data.
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, but don't worry, we've done the research for you. Click below to get started.
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 does solar work for my home?
Photovoltaic (PV) solar panels absorb the sun's energy and convert it into direct current (DC) electricity. Most homes and businesses run on alternating current (AC) electricity, so the DC electricity is then passed through an inverter and converted into usable electricity.
While accumulated snowfall can cover panels and temporarily halt production, your system is designed with your annual energy consumption in mind. We use the past 10 years of weather data gathered from local airports to design your system.
You may actually see an increase in production after the snow clears from your system. Solar panels perform better on cold sunny days than hot ones, and in some cases snow cover might even help production by reflecting sunlight.
Also, don’t worry about shoveling snow off your solar panels. Their dark surface will gather sun and actually help melt the snow, causing it to slide off the system’s glass surface. Raking off snow could harm the panels by scratching them or worse, harm you
You will still be connected to the grid even after you install solar panels. Net metering is dependent upon you being able to draw from the grid when your system is not producing all of the power that you need, and send power back to the grid when you produce more than you use.
It is possible to go off the grid with a solar energy if you use a battery storage such as the Tesla Powerwall. But it will cost you more money and most battery technology (excluding Tesla) is not where it needs to be to be a viable option.
Unless your home has battery storage and is fully off the grid, you will still receive a bill from your utility company. That being said, you can practically eliminate your bill by cutting the amount you owe to $0 with a solar panel system that matches your energy use.
Unless your solar energy system includes battery storage and you are fully off the grid, your system will shut off during a blackout. This is to prevent anyone from being injured by your panels sending power back to the grid.
Our Tier-1 monocrystalline panels are made of the most durable tempered glass and require little to no maintenance for the 25 to 40+ years that they will generate power. On top of that, you should almost never have to clean the panels.
Ask about our warranties, most systems in most states are guaranteed for the first 20-25 years.
What are financing options for solar?
Solar rebates and incentives vary depending on where you live. The one available to all homeowners and that is usually the most significant is the 30 percent federal investment tax credit (ITC), which allows you to deduct 30 percent of the cost of your solar energy system from your taxes. Some states offer additional tax credits, and certain municipalities and utilities also offer cash rebates or other incentives.
Offset Solar knows how to get the most out of the incentives in your state. Click the image below to get started.
Offset Solar supports two solar financing options: you can purchase your system in cash or you can take out a solar loan to buy your system.
Most people take out solar loans due to the low interest rates (3.75%-4.75%) and because Offset Solar pays for the first 12-16 months of payments. Furthermore, we require no down-payment and make sure that you get the best deal for your family.
If you are interested in maximizing the financial returns of your solar energy system, buying the system upfront is most likely the best decision for you. That being said, if you desire an easy, maintenance-free way to reduce your energy bills and help the environment, you should consider a solar loan.Click here to learn more.
Applying for a Puget Sound solar loan has never been easier and it is essential that you do it right. By following the walkthrough on the link below, you can complete you solar loan application and ensure your funds are properly delivered.PSSCU Application Walkthrough
How do I know if I'm ready for solar?
The size of your solar energy system is dependent upon the number of kWh your system needs to produce to offset your current energy consumption.
Your monthly energy consumption, as well as the weather conditions where you live, influence the system size you need. Offset Solar designs all of their systems to get your home to as close to 100% energy offset as possible while maximizing your ability to take advantage of solar incentives.
Solar energy systems can last for 25 to 40+ years, so if your roof needs maintenance in the near term, you should complete it before you finish your solar installation.
If you do need to replace or do maintenance on your roof, Offset Solar will take down the system for a small charge usually between $500-$750.
When you get your system through Offset Solar you own the system. This means that the system can either be sold with your house at a premium or we can take it down and move the system to your new home for a small fee.
How can I evaluate solar quotes?
If you have multiple quotes from different solar installers, comparing them can be difficult. Not all solar installers use the same underlying assumptions and metrics when they provide equipment and financing options to homeowners. Offset Solar will help you make easy side-by-side comparisons to ensure that you understand the costs and benefits of each option. Homeowners with preexisting solar quotes can review them with our staff of trained professionals.
While every solar panel brand and product has unique specifications, Offset Solar has grouped solar panels into three tiers: Tier 3, Tier 2, and Tier 1.
Offset Solar only uses Tier 1 premium monocrystalline panels that are made in the USA. Monocrystalline perform the best and last the longest. Many companies will offer a cheaper solution by using lower tier polycrystalline panels that come from China and outside the USA.
Power inverters convert the electricity your panels produce from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) power. Offset Solar uses the USA made Solar Edge inverter because it is the best inverter on the market.
Our inverters allow for both on-site and remote monitoring of your system.
Offset Solar allows for both on-site and remote monitoring of your system to ensure you are appraised of your system's performance at all times, should you desire.
Interested in a Free Sun Analysis?
Request a sun analysis to get a true cost quote for your home.