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Get the answers to some frequently asked questions about solar.

How Does the Federal Solar Tax Credit Work?

The federal solar tax credit allows eligible homeowners and businesses to take 26% of the total cost of their solar panel installation from their federal taxes due, and to roll over any remaining balance into subsequent tax years. The amount of this solar tax credit in 2020 is 26%, but it will drop to 22% in 2021, and be completely eliminated for residential solar in 2022 (but will be reduced to and remain at 10% for commercial solar moving forward).

What Arizona State or Utility Solar Rebates and Incentives Are Available?

There are a number of solar rebates and incentives available through the state of Arizona, including a state personal tax credit (25%, $1,000 max), a property tax incentive, and a sales tax exemption. There are incentives available through your local utility as well, and while the amount will vary depending on the company, some cover up to 30% of your solar installation costs.

What is Net Metering, and Is It Available for Solar Panels in Arizona?

Net metering is a system where your grid-tied solar energy system sends the excess electricity it generated but doesn’t immediately need back to the grid for a credit on your bill. This gives you the opportunity to offset the cost of your electricity used at night or when your panels aren’t producing enough energy. Unfortunately, as of 2020, Arizona does not have a net metering program though utilities such as Arizona Public Service (APS) and Tucson Electric Power credit homeowners that export power to the grid at a lower ‘export rate’.

What are the benefits for buying a solar electric system?

There are many incentives for purchasing solar. These vary from state-to-state. Some common incentives include:

  • Providing clean and renewable solar generated electricity for your home
  • Stablize your cost of electricity
  • There are many financial and tax incentives for going solar
  • Lower your carbon foot print because of climate change
  • For your children’s future
  • Create secure electric source for your family
  • Political statement for a renewable energy future
  • You strongly dislike buying electricity from the utility
  • You feel of empowed providing your own energy source
  • Sending electricity back to your utility helps stabilize the electrical grid
  • Higher resale value for my property
  • Solar energy just makes sense
  • Installing solar; feels good to do your part
How Much Do Solar Panels Cost?

The total cost of solar panel installation involves a number of variables that make it hard to give a general answer on how much it costs to upgrade your home to solar energy. A solar company near you like Energy Solution Providers will take into account factors like the layout of your roof and property (including how many trees or other obstacles might partially block the sun during the day), the amount of electricity your home uses over the course of a year, and whether you’re interested in solar battery backup. What’s the best way to get an accurate cost estimate for solar? Reach out to our crew today!

How Long Do Solar Panels Take to Pay For Themselves?

While the payback period for a solar energy installation will vary from system to system, depending on the number of panels installed and the home or business’ energy usage, the average 6 kW system would take roughly 10 years to pay off, and based on the average lifespan, you’d be left with another 15 years of completely free electricity—a savings of over $17,000!

How long does it take to install my solar system?

Typical residential systems take from 2 to 5 days to install while commercial systems may take several weeks to over a month to install. Systems mounted on the ground are more complex, and may take longer. Most of the installation work is done outside of your home, so there is little disturbance to you.

How much space does the system need?

Our smallest system only requires 183 square feet of space to install. Larger systems will require more space and this will be determined during your free home enery evaluation.

Do the solar panels need to be mounted on my roof?

Panels are often mounted on the roof, but can also be mounted on the ground. Ground mounts are great if your house is shaded, or if roof obstructions limit available space on your roof.

What’s the Difference Between Grid-Tied, Off-Grid, and Ground Mounted Solar Panels?

Grid-tied systems are connected to the power grid, while off-grid systems are completely independent, through the use of solar batteries (though you don’t have to have an off-grid system to benefit from solar batteries). And while most solar panel systems are mounted on roofs, they don’t have to be—a ground-mounted system is just as beneficial (and in some cases, even more) to homeowners and businesses.

Do the panels needs to face south?

South is best, but panels facing east or west can still provide a great deal of power for you. There are a lot of factors that determine if your roof is right for solar. The best way to determine what makes sense for you is to have one of our solar professionals come out to your home. Contact us today to schedule a Solar Evaluation.

How Many Solar Panels Does My Home Need?

Each home or application is different, and the amount of electricity you use is very dependent upon your lifestyle, how your home was built, and your appliances. When you contact us for a Solar Evaluation we will help you identify how much electricity you use and tailor a system that makes sense for your particular needs.

Do I need to install a new roof before the solar panels are installed?

Generally, if you think you will get another 5 years out of your roof, you're OK to install the solar system. If you think you will need to replace your roof within the next 5 years you may want to install a new roof before your install your new solar system. Solar panels will last many years and after the panels are in place, they will greatly reduce the wear on your roof by blocking ultraviolet rays. Most installations do not require a new roof prior to solar installation.

How much power does the system produce?

Systems come in many sizes, and we will work with you to determine the correct size system for your specific needs. Many of the systems we install produce a portion of the home's required power leaving room for additional solar expansion in the future.

How long will the system last?

The solar panels have a 25-year power warranty from the manufacturer but they can last up to 50 or more years. What else have you ever purchased for your home with that kind of warranty? The other major components (inverters, mounting system) generally have a 10 year manufacturer's warranty.

Do Solar Panels Work on Cloudy Days?

Just like it’s possible to get a sunburn when it’s cloudy, yes: solar panels do work when it’s not totally sunny. But they aren’t as efficient—you won’t generate as much electricity as you would on a completely clear day. Adding solar batteries to your system is a great way to store up excess energy generated when conditions are perfect and use it when they aren’t.

What happens if the panels are shaded?

Solar panels should be installed in areas where they get significant direct sunlight every day. Even small amounts of shade can significantly reduce the output of your system. Our designs and installations also seek to minimize the impact of any shade issues through selection of the proper equipment and good engineering. Part of our service during a site visit is to provide a full shading analysis for your location which will help us determine the best placement free of shade.

Can Solar Provide 24 Hour Electricity?

With the right solar panel set-up, solar can provide enough electricity to power your home 24 hours a day, but you’ll need solar batteries to pull it off—otherwise, as soon as the sun goes down, your panels will stop producing electricity, and a grid-tied system will revert back to your utility powerline to get the juice needed to keep your home running.

What happens when the utility has a power outage?

If you have opted for a solar only system with no battery backup your power will go off when the utilities experience a power outage. If you have decided to install a solar system with battery backup power you will have continuous power even when the utility company power is off.

Do I Need Back-Up Solar Batteries for My Home?

If you want a truly independent power supply installing solar power with battery backup will give your family a continuous and unstoppable power supply allowing your home to be energy self-sufficient.

How does the solar power get stored?

If you have opted for a solar installation without battery backup no power gets stored; it is either immediately used or sent back to the grid and depending on your utility, you may receive a credit for that energy. If you have decided on a solar system with battery backup power you excess power will be stored in your batteries.

Can Solar Help Me Save on Summer Electricity Bills?

Tired of high electricity bills from running your air conditioner all day during the summer? Solar is particularly beneficial during the hottest months of the year because the days are longer and your panels will get more daily electricity production. Plus, rooftop solar panels can also act as shade for your home, reducing the need for as much AC in the first place.

Are Solar Panels Good for the Environment?

Solar panels have a number of environmental benefits: they reduce air pollution from the burning of fossil fuels and don’t result in the water pollution and water usage that coal-burning power plants create. Installing a solar energy system in your home or business will lower your home’s carbon footprint, and help fight climate change.

Do I need to clean the panels periodically?

Most of our customers do not clean their panels. In most areas of the country, there is sufficient rain to clean your panels. However, if you are in a dusty or dry urban area you may see a performance gain from cleaning the panels as needed. If necessary, a hose stream is usually sufficient for cleaning. Do not spray water on the panels when they are very hot.

If I sell my property, what effect does solar have on the sale price?

Energy conservation and renewable generation adds value to a home. Surveys have shown that for every $1,000.00 saved per year, $20,000.00 is added to a home's value. Solar energy can be one of the best home improvement investments you make.