As we are out in the community talking to you and your neighbors about the benefits of solar power, we get a lot of questions about solar. That’s great! The more you know about solar power and its benefits, the more you can make an informed decision about whether going solar is right for you.
Here are some of our most frequently asked questions.
Why should I go solar?
Solar installation can, in fact, save you a bundle of money on your electricity costs as well as reduce our state’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Financial Benefits of Solar Power
Aren’t solar panels too expensive for most people?
Not anymore! Costs have dropped significantly over the last few years. We offer 0% down financing options on top of the 26% tax credit being offered by the federal government through 2020. See more information about the federal solar tax credit in our blog.
I’ve heard about government tax incentives and rebates – will I qualify?
There are various tax rebates, credits, and green loans for homeowners who choose to switch to solar power. Now is the time to take advantage of these incentives, as they won’t last forever—the federal solar tax credit, for instance, will reduce every year until it expires in 2022. Check out this blog post about why now is the right time to go solar in Colorado.
Will I still receive an electric bill if I have solar panels?
Our aim is to design a system large enough to offset 100% of your annual electrical usage that eliminates any consumption charges from your utility provider (as long as your energy use stays consistent with the utility bill we used to design your system). You will continue, though, to be charged a nominal access fee from the utility company–all homeowners must pay this regardless of their usage.
Can I go off-grid with solar panels?
When you install solar panels on your property, you will still be connected to the grid. This allows you 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 system that includes battery storage, but it will cost significantly more and is unnecessary for the majority of homeowners.
How Solar Works
How do solar photovoltaic (PV) panels work?
Solar panels absorb the sun’s energy throughout the day 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 to convert it to usable AC electricity. At that point, you either use the electricity in your house or send it back to the electric grid
How do I know what size solar system I need?
Whether you are using solar energy for your home or business, the size of your solar system will be determined by your energy consumption. Our Solar Energy Consultant will evaluate your utility bill and design a system tailored to your needs.
How does weather affect solar production?
Contrary to popular belief, weather doesn’t play as big of a role in solar production as you may think. Since technology has improved over the years, panels need only ambient light to keep producing power. Cloudy days and snow are only a small hindrance affecting production by as little as 4.04%. (NAIT Alternative Energy Program 2016 report)
Panel installation and maintenance
Roof-mounted or ground-mounted?
You have choices; roof-mounted tends to be less expensive as they require no support structures and are most often not visible to passersby. On the other hand, ground- mounted systems can usually be oriented and tilted to optimize production. Through understanding your consumption patterns, Steel City Solar will present you a customized solution that fits your needs.
How is it attached to my roof?
We always attach your system securely to the rafters so they are a part of the infrastructure of your house.
How long will my solar installation take?
After a contract has been signed, it typically takes 4-6 weeks to obtain all of the necessary engineering schematics and permit approvals. Once all the necessary paperwork has been obtained, on-site installation and inspection to have your system up and running will take anywhere from two days to a week depending on the system size.
Do solar panels require maintenance?
No! You don’t need to worry about maintenance, as mother nature will keep them clean, and Steel City Solar will keep them producing. In the unlikely event that there is an issue with a component of the system, don’t worry. Most components come with a 25-year warranty and we will come replace the part for FREE!
What if there’s a hailstorm? Can the solar panels withstand hail?
Solar electric panels are built with high‐impact tempered glass. The solar industry standard dictates that panels should be able to withstand golf ball-sized hail. If your solar panels do suffer any hail damage, you can claim the damage via your homeowner’s insurance policy.
The best local solar installer
Why go with Steel City Solar?
Choose the best of the best. As the only locally-based solar installer in Southern Colorado, we have 250+ installations across the area and have the highest inspection-pass rate in the county. We aim to be your lifelong energy partners, here for you over the life of your panels (up to 30 years!)
We’re also proud to have been voted the #1 solar installer by the Best of Pueblo 2019 awards.
We’d love to talk more about these questions with you—or any other questions you have. Visit our website or give us a call to set up a free, in-home visit to find out if solar is right for you.