1. Solar modules (panels) react to sunlight, creating a flow of electrons ( DC electricity).
2. The inverter converts the raw DC electricity to grid standard (AC electricity).
3. AC electricity is sent to the electric panel to be used in the home.
4. When the system produces more power than the home is using, the excess is sent to the grid. A bi-directional meter keeps track of the flow to and from the grid.
- How much does a solar electric system cost?
The cost of your solar investment will vary greatly depending on: the size of your system, your location, and available incentives. To find out what a PetersenDean system will do to your electric bill, by using our Solar Savings Calculator.
- Can my electric bill really be $0?
Some solar power systems produce more electricity than is used each month, bringing net-electricity costs to $0. However, there is still a minimal connection fee (typically about $100 per year) to remain connected to the electrical grid.
- What incentives are available to me?
PetersenDean Solar4America systems sold in the U.S. are eligible for a 30% federal tax credit. Additional state, local, and utility incentives exist in many areas; further lowering the net cost of your investment. Call Us to find out the incentives available in your state.
- Do I get paid for my extra energy production?
Currently, most of America is under a system known as Net Metering. Net Metering allows your electricity bill costs to be reduced to zero, but no further. In a select few areas in the U.S., you can be paid for any excess electricity you create, in what is known as a Feed-In Tariff system.
- Can I install solar panels myself?
It is not recommended. The process requires both licensed electrical skills and roofing expertise to ensure the solar power system is safe and optimally designed for its 30+ years of operation.
- How does a solar system affect my roof integrity?
With proper design and installation following industry best practices, your roof should maintain all its pre-solar integrity. PetersenDean audits and trains all our Installers on best practices so that you can have peace of mind about your roof.
- How much maintenance does a solar system need?
Little to none. With no moving parts and at least a 30-year expected lifespan, solar panels require very little maintenance. In fact, their design ensures that they remain relatively clean as long as they are exposed to rain or a quick rinse with a garden hose every few months.
- Is solar a viable option in cold climates?
Yes. A general rule of thumb is that if you can clearly see your solar panels, they can produce electricity. In fact, given equal sunlight, a solar panel on a cold day will out-produce a solar panel on a hot day.
- How does snow affect a solar system’s performance?
While snow will decrease production while it is on your panels, it should not damage your system when designed and installed properly. Given the angle of the panels and their tendency to produce some heat, the snow will fall off your panels faster than it would fall off your roof, quickly returning your system to its full potential.
- How do solar systems fair in extreme weather conditions?
High-quality solar panels can withstand high wind and snow loads.
- Will my system still generate power during a blackout?
For the safety of workers attempting to fix power outages, solar systems that are connected to the electrical grid are required by utility regulations to shut off during blackouts. PetersenDean recommends battery backup or traditional generators in places where blackouts occur regularly.
- Can I take my home off the electrical grid?
Yes, provided you install optional battery-backup systems to provide power when your demands exceed your production, such as at night.
- Can solar panels heat my pool?
Most pools are heated by natural gas, so solar electric power will not be able to assist in heating outdoor swimming pools. However, an upside is our solar panels can offset the power used by a pool’s electric pump.
- Can my HOA or neighbors prevent me from installing a solar system?
In most cases, no. Currently, 39 states have solar access laws that provide varying degrees of protection against restrictions that can be imposed on you. Your local PetersenDean consultant will be able to discuss the laws and policies in your area.
- I don’t plan on being in my home for 30 years. Why would I add solar?
People move more frequently now than ever before, but that shouldn’t impact your solar decision. A solar system can save you money today and even pay for itself in as little as five to seven years. Even if you move before your solar investment is completely paid off, studies show the cost will likely be returned in added value to your home.
Plus, your home will most likely sell faster. Who doesn’t want a home with a guaranteed low electric bill? Our warranty is even transferable one time to a new owner.