Switching to a Solar Energy System: Everything You Need to Know Part II
Making the decision to switch to a solar energy system for your home or business can take a lot of time and research. But the decision to invest in a new system is worth it. Solar energy system installations can be affordable and have lasting benefits that will save your wallet and the planet. Below is Part II in our Solar FAQ series, and be sure to read Part I in case you missed it.
What happens to solar panels in a hailstorm?
With no moving parts, PV solar panels are one of the most durable technologies exposed to the elements. Most solar panels today have a protective tempered glass over the PV technology to protect from adverse weather conditions, including wind, hail or snow. Tempered glass is a very durable substance; in fact, many solar panels designed during ‘70s (the inception of solar technology) are still functioning today. Most solar panels are tested to withstand 1” hailstones at a 52 mph terminal velocity. Due to the tilted angles of PV solar roof installations most hailstones glance off of the panels. For a more detailed analysis you can read Are Solar Panels Hail Proof?
Does my solar energy system need batteries?
There has been a lot of discussion recently about new battery add-ons for solar energy installations. However, most people who switch to a solar energy continue to use the grid system as a back up. As batteries can be expensive, most solar energy experts do not recommend adding a battery backup system unless the residence is in a remote area or long-term outages are a problem. For a more detailed analysis you can read Where Do The Batteries Go?
Will my electricity meter run backwards?
It depends on your individual utility company. Some allow straightforward ‘net metering’ where any power produced from solar will offset your bill, regardless of when the power is consumed. Others require you to consume power produced instantaneously. Talk to one of our experienced consultants about what owning a solar energy system could mean for you. For a more detailed analysis you can read Will The Electricity Meter Run Backwards?
What warranties does my system carry?
Most solar panel manufacturers provide warranties for 25 years. The inverters typically carry 10-15 year warranties that can be extended for up to 25 years. With this in mind, it is important to ensure that you select components from companies that will be around to service your system in the future. It is also important that your system is installed and maintained properly to ensure compliance with warranties.
Will my solar system supply power during a power cut or blackout?
Solar panels continue to generate electricity from sunlight every day. However, if your system is tied to the utility grid, you may still experience a power outage during a blackout. This is because the electricity generated by the solar panels on a grid-connected solar energy system returns back to the grid unless you have an energy storage system in place. If regular outages are a problem in your neighborhood, battery back-up systems can help to mitigate the issue.
Will my HOA allow me to install a solar energy system?
Under Texas Law, Homeowner’s Associations are not allowed to prohibit or restrict homeowners from installing a solar energy system. However, HOAs may prohibit a device if it is found by the court that the system violates public health and safety compliance standards. Most HOAs do not have policies against solar systems, but they will want to make sure that the system is designed in keeping with the neighborhood aesthetics. Ensuring that your solar energy system is installed by a certified and professional solar provider will help to prevent any mishaps with HOAs. Find out more about HOAs and solar energy systems.
Does my homeowner’s insurance cover my solar energy system?
Most home insurance companies will insure your solar energy system. In many cases, it shouldn’t impact your premium, however some may charge a few extra dollars per month. It is important to contact your insurance company before buying a solar energy system to make sure they will continue coverage.
How will this affect my electricity bill?
The average 6kW solar system will save approximately $1,000 on your annual electric bill. The percentage offset of your bill varies by house. Additionally, Alba Energy’s financing options (from as little as 0% down) mean you start seeing savings on Day 1.
Still have questions about solar? Click the links below for more in-depth answers to frequently asked questions.
Solar Power FAQs: How Much Power Can A Solar Panel Generate?
Solar Power FAQs: Is My Home A Good Candidate?
Solar Power FAQs: What Types Of Solar Technology Are Available Today?
Solar Power FAQs: How Long Do Solar Panels Really Last?
Solar Power FAQs: How Strong Are Solar Panels?
Solar Power FAQs: Will The Electricity Meter Run Backwards?
Solar Power FAQs: Where Do The Batteries Go?
Solar Power FAQs: Can I Finance It?