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Frequently Asked Questions About Home Solar Panels

How do solar PV panels work?

Residential solar panels are made of solar or photovoltaic cells that absorb the sun’s energy and convert it into electricity to power your home appliances. 

 

Here are steps on how the mechanism of energy production works:

Step 1: Sunlight activates the panels 

Step 2: The cell produces the electrical current

Step 3: DC electrical energy is converted into AC electricity

Step 4: Converted AC electricity powers your home 

Step 5: A net meter measures usage of electricity

Can I afford to go solar?

With generous federal rebates and incentives available, the total cost for a solar power system is getting less expensive year by year. Having a solar PV system will permanently save you money over a long period and help the environment as well.

There are cost saving programs such as:

  • The Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC);
  • Florida state sales tax exemption through Solar and CHP Sales Tax Exemption;
  • Florida Property Tax Abatement for Renewable Energy Property;
  • Net Metering (sell your surplus energy back to the grid);
  • Government backed Florida PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) Loan Program.

Federal and Florida local incentives available can help you in making decisions and affordability determination. Currently, Florida homeowners can take advantage of the 2022 Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). This is the most popular financing program and provides a 26% federal tax credit for residents to purchase solar systems and install them on their roofs. 

Another popular financing option is the power purchase agreement (PPA). Through the PPA, the solar contractor installs the solar PV system on your roof at no cost. The company sells the electricity that your solar system produces back to you, often at a lower price than utility companies. 

There are other ways in which to afford going Solar, such as loans and local rebates.

Florida has several options for assistance in obtaining a residential solar system :

  • In-house financing through a solar installation company, such as PPM Solar;
  • Loans with banks, finance companies, credit unions, etc;

   1. Personal Secured Loans (with collateral);

   2. Personal Unsecured Loans (no collateral);

   3. Home Equity Loans;

   4. Home Equity Line of Credit.

Can you save going solar?

Absolutely YES!  Considering the high increase in electricity costs last year, solar electricity will help you save money during the lifespan of the system. You could possibly make more money when you sell your home.

Why should you install solar panels?

There are plenty of advantages to changing your energy source to solar. Some of the most important reasons are:

Solar power is a renewable energy source. Unlike fossil fuels, it can be harnessed in all areas around the globe. 

Solar energy will reduce your electricity bills. The actual amount saved by the system depends on its size and the usage in your home. 

If your system is connected to the utility power grid, you can sell any extra energy that is generated. This can earn credits to power your home during rainy or cloudy days. 

Solar energy has low maintenance costs. The inverter and batteries are the only components requiring a change in about 5-10 years.

Does the solar system protect you from power outages?

Adding solar energy battery storage to solar panels for homes in Florida, allows the system to capture and stockpile the solar energy during the day. The stockpile is generally used at night, for improved peak-use balancing, and emergency use during utility outages.

Together, solar panels and battery storage create the ideal solar energy ecosystem.

How long do solar panels last?

Solar PV panels are especially durable and require little, to no maintenance. The average lifespan of residential solar panels is about 25-30 years. Some systems can last two times longer! Inverters can last from 10-25 years.

Where can solar panels be installed?

The most common place to mount solar panels is roofing. These positions can provide for maximum sunlight, depending on the conditions and energy required. If your roof is not available for installation, residential solar panels can also be installed on the ground or close to walls.

What size should my solar system be?

The number of solar panels you need depends on your average energy requirements, current energy consumption (in watts), the amount of peak sun hours in your area, the efficiency, and the physical size of solar panels you’re going to install. 

 

The experts at PPM Solar will ensure you have a proper evaluation.

How much does it cost to install solar panels?

Although solar energy generated by panels is completely free, there are costs associated with materials and installation of a solar system. Prices vary depending on the manufacturer, efficiency of the PV system, capacity, and location. 

 

After the federal tax credit, the cost of the solar panel system for an average house in Florida will range from ppm.solar

Learn more about solar panel installation in Florida by contacting PPM Solar. Our team will also give a quote for the solar system you need.

How long does it take to install my solar system after the agreement is signed?

In order do the job right, the typical installation time can take 2.5 to 3 months after all agreements are signed. This time depends on receiving permits, material supply, and interconnection. The solar contractor can’t control these stages. At PPM Solar we do our best to complete your installation within the shortest time frame as possible.

How should I maintain my solar panels?

Solar panels require only minimal maintenance. It is required to ensure your system works properly and produces the maximum energy. The most common maintenance is cleaning dust, debris, and fallen leaves. Dirt can collect on the panels’ surfaces during seasonal storms and also long periods without rainfall. Occasional cleaning will remove the debris from your panels and help get the optimal amount of sunlight needed.

How does Net Energy Metering (NEM) billing work in Florida?

Net Energy Metering stores extra energy your solar system produces and sends it to the grid converting it into net metering credits. When you need more electricity than your PV system produces at that moment, you pull electricity back from the grid. At month or year end, you are billed the net of what you put onto the grid and what you took off the grid.

What are the requirements to go solar?

Solar energy is the real future for all Florida homeowners as it’s clean, abundant, and saves money. Many wonder what the main requirements are to go solar today, 

 

The primary condition is a damage free roof or an area to install ground-mounted solar panels. The second is enough light exposure on the roof or property to produce maximum power. The site should be cleared from shade created by surrounding trees or other objects. 

 

If you are the homeowner and there’s a damage free roof on your home or you have the property to install a ground mount system, you can go solar!

What is the Federal Investment Tax Credit?

The tax liability of either a residential or commercial solar investor. Any investor in renewable energy can participate.

The ITC energy tax credit percentage will lower from 26 percent in 2022 to 22 percent in 2023. The ITC expires in 2024.

Solar roofing in Florida and backup storage systems qualify for the federal ITC.

There is no maximum amount that can be claimed.

How does ITC work?

The Federal ITC is 26 percent of your gross solar investment project. If a system’s gross amount is $10,000, then the ITC amount is equal to a $2, 600 tax credit. (26%) The credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction on income tax owed. 

The “gross” system cost can include electrical work needed for installation, or any needed improvements for the solar system to be facilitated.

We recommend that you consult a financial advisor or accountant to determine if an energy storage investment ITC is suitable for you.

What happens if there is snow on solar panels?

Snow practically has no impact on solar panels because the wind can easily blow it off. Through a thin layer of snow, sunlight can still reach the panel and generate electricity. And as soon as the thicker layer of snow begins to slide, even if it only slightly exposes the panel, power generation resumes.

Will my home solar panels work on cloudy or rainy days?

Adding a battery backup system, such as Tesla Powerwall or Enphase Encharge, provides power during a complete power outage of the utility grid.

A backup battery system automatically recharges from the sunlight, stores the energy, and is operational during power outages. Although backup battery systems are not required, a system can provide peace of mind knowing that uninterrupted power is always ready

Will my system work at night?

If your solar system is connected to the electric grid, the yes, your system will work at night. If the grid is up and running, you will have access to as much electricity as you need. If you are not connected to the electric grid, adding solar energy battery storage should be considered. Since solar panels only produce energy when the sun is shining on them, a solar energy battery storage will allow the system to capture and stockpile the solar energy during the day. This will improve peak-use balancing and allow use at night and for emergency use during utility outages.

Together, solar panels and battery storage create the ideal solar energy ecosystem. The experts at PPM Solar can assist you in making the best decision for your needs.

Is solar energy a reliable source of electricity?

Solar energy is proven to be a more reliable source of energy than fossil fuels. Solar power components rarely fail and are backed by a long warranty. If you invest in and properly maintain a solar battery storage system, you will have solar power even if even if the electrical grid goes down.

Is my home suitable for solar installation?

The easiest way to check your home for solar viability is by requesting PPM Solar. Our experienced team can accurately determine the conditions for solar visibility of your and home and if your house location a good fit for going solar..

How do I start?

Contact PPM Solar to get a free quote.. Our excellent sales team will reach out to you and show you the next steps. 

PPM Solar will not only assist you in getting a quote, but our team can help you select the best financing options for your needs. When you become part of the PPM Solar family, we treat you as such. We are not just here for you at the beginning of the process, but we are with you throughout the entire process.

Can I go off-grid with solar panels?

The easy answer is, YES, you can! However, there are specific codes, guidelines and statues that must be followed. Florida laws encourage you to install solar panels to get clean energy and it advises authorities to aid such steps by the public.

Glossary

AC Power

Alternating current. It is the standard electricity that comes out of power outlets and is defined as a flow of charge that exhibits a periodic change in direction.  

DC Power 

Direct current. ​​In DC circuits, the current is in one direction unlike the alternating current (AC) where the current reverses direction 50 or 60 times a second depending on the frequency of the supply. As the direct current flows, the electrons, which constitute the electric charge, flow from the point of low potential to the point of high potential. They move from the negative terminal to the positive terminal and the resulting current is in the opposite direction 

Grid-Tied 

In a grid-tied system, solar panels connect directly to an inverter, which ties into your main household electrical panel. It sends power into the home to run appliances and turns back the meter with excess energy.

Inverter chargers

An inverter simply converts DC (battery) power into AC power and then passes it along to connected equipment. An inverter/charger does the same thing, except that it is connected to an AC power source to continuously charge the attached batteries when AC utility power is available.

Kilowatt-hours

(symbol kWh, kw·h, or kW h) is a unit of energy equal to 1,000 watt-hours, or 3.6 megajoules. The kilowatt-hour is commonly used as a billing unit for energy delivered to consumers by electric utilities.

Module

A packaged, connected assembly of solar cells.

Net Metering 

Net metering is a billing mechanism that credits solar energy system owners for the electricity they add to the grid. For example, if a residential customer has a pv system at the residence, it may generate more electricity than the home uses during daylight hours. If the home is net-metered, the electricity meter will run backwards to provide a credit against what electricity is consumed at night or other periods where the home’s electricity use exceeds the system’s output.

Panel

Refers to a photovoltaic module or to a set of solar photovoltaic (PV) modules electrically connected and mounted on a supporting structure.

Sun hours

It is a climatological indicator, measuring the duration of sunshine in a given period for a given location on earth. It is a general indicator of cloudiness of a location and thus differs from insolation, which measures the total energy delivered by sunlight over a given period.

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