Working in the solar energy sector comes with its share of challenges and triumphs. You’re helping your friends and family reduce their dependence on foreign oil, you’re making clean energy technologies more available, and you’re doing your part to halt the effects of climate change. But not everyone understands solar panel technology the way you do.
As a solar sales partner with Palmetto, you’re likely to get more than your fair share of questions about the technology, its benefits, and how to install it on a home or business. While you don’t need to have an in-depth answer for each of your client’s questions, you should know enough about your work and products that can confidently address any of their concerns. That’s why we’ve assembled this handy list of frequently asked questions along with their answers below.
Is it Really Worth it to Go Solar?
Yes! Solar technology offers a slew of benefits and advantages that traditional energy systems simply can’t offer you. An obvious value of solar technology is the money you save on your monthly utility bill. In some cases, you can even make money of a solar array by selling excess power back to the utility company. Not only that, you’re investing in sustainable energy that reduces your impact on global climate change.
Will I no longer have an electric bill with solar panels?
If you make use of a larger solar array and a solar battery, you can go “off the grid” and you will no longer need to receive power from the local utility company. However, if you maintain a connection to the utility company, you will still receive an electric bill. That said, you can dramatically reduce the cost you pay each month thanks to your solar panels. It’s not uncommon for people to receive a $0 monthly utility bill.
How do solar panels work?
Within each panel, there are solar cells that capture the sunlight and convert it to direct current electricity. This charge is then converted to alternating current by the inverters within the panel. The AC electricity is then used to power your home. Multiple solar panels can be added to, or near a home to create a larger array that can harness more energy in less time.
But what happens on cloudy days or at night?
It’s a common misconception that if there are clouds in the sky or as sun as the sunset, your home will suddenly go without power. In reality, your solar panels are working in these conditions as well. During cloudy days, your panels will produce less energy than on clear days. At night, your home will still have power thanks to the energy produced throughout the day. If you choose to use a solar battery, your home can store energy for use at a later date, ensuring you have power even during a particularly cloudy week.
What tax incentives and rebates are available?
At the federal level, there are numerous tax credits that allow you to deduct a percentage of your solar panel installation costs. These tax credits can also be applied toward solar batteries and even in-home electric vehicle chargers.
Incentives and rebates at the state level vary from state to state. Typically, most states will offer tax credits that can be stacked on top of your federal tax credits. Indeed, even some counties and cities offer other incentives. It’s best to check your state and local government websites to find out more about these programs.
How do I prepare my roof for solar panels?
Before you agree to install solar panels on your home, it’s best to have your roof inspected. Solar panel arrays can last 25-30 years without the need for repair or replacement, so it’s important the roof beneath it is in good shape. Removing and then reinstalling these panels to fix a roof can be costly and time-consuming. In some cases, it may be advisable to have your roof repaired or replaced entirely before the installation of solar panels can begin.
What if I need to sell my home after I’ve installed solar panels?
It’s possible to move your solar panel installation with you, but in reality you may benefit from selling the home with the panels in place. Real estate agents often note that solar panels are an attractive feature for potential home buyers and can actually improve the market value of the home itself. If you are leasing your solar panel array, you’ll need to buy out your lease or transfer it to the new homeowner.
Are solar panel monitoring systems useful?
For those interested in collecting detailed information about their energy production and usage habits, a solar panel monitoring system is a valuable tool. Using this data, you can make informed choices that help you cut your energy usage, saving you yet more money. It is also a great way to keep track of how much energy your panels are producing, and can indicate when your array may be in need of repair.
How can I pay for my new array?
There are numerous ways you can pay for your solar panel installation. Some choose to use a solar energy loan, which are similar to the home loans used to carry out home improvement projects. Others use an energy efficiency mortgage which are specifically meant to help homeowners and buyers update homes with new fixtures and features. Property Assessed Clean Energy programs are available in some states, which grants homeowners the funds for the array, which they then repay over time through higher property taxes. Finally, paying for the solar array outright with cash is another option.
Is it easy to care for solar panels?
Yes! Maintaining a solar panel array is surprisingly simple. All you really need to do is make sure that the panels are clear of debris year round, then rinse them at the beginning and the end of the summer season. Other than that, any advanced maintenance can be performed by the same contractors that installed them in the first place.
Can I install my own solar panels?
While it is possible, it’s not advisable. The materials are more expensive, it can be difficult to determine the best position for the panels, and the electric work requires special training to complete. Additional, a DIY installation may void any warranties on the solar panels, and you could miss out on any tax incentives that your installer knows about.
How do I get the most out of my solar panels?
You can make your solar energy supply go further by wisely using your energy. For instance, do your chores like laundry and the dishes on sunny days so you don’t drain the batteries as quickly. By utilizing smart home features and devices, you can cut down on your energy usage in a big way. All of these strategies can further reduce your need to stay connected to your local utility grid.
There’s so much more to cover when it comes to understanding solar power and the positive impact it can have on your customer’s lives. If you’re interested in a career in the solar energy field, then Palmetto has the job for you. We’re hiring a new generation of Alchemists, our dedicated and passionate sales consultants. With flexible hours, great compensation, and the ability to work all over the country, there’s never been a better time to become a part of the green energy revolution! Find out more about our work then apply for a solar energy job!