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Frequently Asked Questions

Expert advice at your fingertips! Find all the answers to your frequently asked solar questions.

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How Solar Panels Work


  • What Is Solar Energy?

    Solar is a renewable form of energy that produces power from sunlight.

  • How Do Solar Panels Work On My Home?

    When the sun shines on your solar panels, it creates an electric current that flows from your panels to your solar inverter. Next, the solar inverter converts the energy into alternating current (AC) and sends it to your breaker box, which you can use to power your home.

  • What Is A Solar Inverter?

    Solar inverters change the direct current (DC) from your solar panels into alternating current (AC) that your home can use for electricity. When we install your solar panels, we attach PV links that run from your panels to the inverter. Solar inverters can help you identify any potential issues with your panels.

  • What Happens If My Panels Produce More Electricity Than I Use?

    You can store the excess energy in your Generac battery backup for later use during a power outage or at night. Depending on your state, you can also participate in a net metering program and potentially be credited for the excess energy that your solar panels generate.

  • What Is Net Metering?

    Net metering is a program that measures the electricity you receive from your utility, as well as any excess energy your solar system sends to your utility. Your utility will supply your net meter to keep track of what you consume from and export to the grid. You may receive credit for exported energy to help offset the cost of the utility electricity you consume. Programs/availability differ from state to state, so please be sure to do your homework.

  • How Efficient Are Solar Panels?

    Solar energy is one of the most plentiful forms of energy found on Earth! But it isn’t 100% efficient. That being said, there are various factors that can change the specific efficiency of your solar panels, including average sun exposure, weather patterns, type of panels and routine maintenance.

  • What Are The Benefits Of Solar Energy?

    Short answer -- lots! When you install solar, you not only potentially save money on your electric bills each month and protect against future rising electricity rates, but you are able to contribute to the environmental benefits, which include, among other things, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants.

Did You Know?

If you were to cover all of the state of Georgia with solar panels, in one hour, you could potentially generate 30,584,749 megawatts of energy. That’s enough power to potentially light Times Square for 520 years*!

When Do Solar Panels Work?


  • Do Solar Panels Work At Night?

    Solar panels do not work at night because the sun does not shine. However, with a Generac battery backup you can tap into your supply of unused solar energy and use it to power your home when your panels aren’t producing, like during the night.

  • Do Solar Panels Work On Cloudy Days?

    Yes. The sun still shines on cloudy days, which gives your solar panels plenty of opportunities to generate energy. Although solar panels are at peak performance on sunny days, you can still generate enough energy on cloudy days to power your home.

  • Do Solar Panels Generate Energy When It Rains or Snows?

    Generally speaking, solar panels generate less solar energy when it rains or snows. However, you can use your Generac battery backup to power your home on the days your panels underperform.

  • Do Solar Panels Work In the Winter?

    Yes. Solar panels work in the winter the same way they work in the summer! There may be a slight difference in energy production due to a reduction in sunlight hours, but they will still produce solar energy for your home.

Solar Panel Financing


  • How Much Do Solar Panels Cost?

    The number of solar panels and installation fees both factor into the overall cost. At POWERHOME SOLAR, we offer $0 down, 100% financing2 for qualified homeowners and discounts for military and veterans. Visit our Cost of Solar page for more info.

  • Is Solar A Smart Investment?

    There has never been a better time to harness the power of the sun. Over the life of the system, a solar system has the potential pay for itself (and then some) by, among other things, potentially reducing your electric bill. Also, depending on your electric company, you may be able to sell excess energy back to the grid!

  • Are Solar Panels Worth It?

    Absolutely! We’ve seen firsthand how solar energy changed some of our customers’ lives. But don’t just take it from us. Check out our reviews to hear more from homeowners just like you who decided to go solar.

  • When Should I Expect To See Savings?

    Our estimates are based on annual solar production, so while savings will vary based on various factors, we anticipate you will see savings on your electric bill over the life of the system.

  • What Tax Credits, Rebates And Incentives May Be Available For Solar?5

    Solar rebates, tax credits and incentives vary depending on where you live. The most significant is the 26% federal investment tax credit (ITC), which allows you to deduct up to 26% of the cost of your solar energy system from your taxes and is currently available through 2022. Some states even offer additional tax credits, and certain municipalities and utilities also offer cash rebates or other incentives. These amounts are subject to change, so consult with a tax professional if you have any questions.

  • If I Finance My System, When Do My Loan Payments Start?

    It depends on your lender, but generally, loan payments begin 60 days after install. Contact your lender for more details.

  • Will Solar Impact My Property Value?4

    Glad you asked! A study conducted by Zillow® concluded homes with solar panels sold for 4.1% more on average than comparable homes without solar power. While sale premiums vary by market, it is great to know that solar is attractive to many buyers.

  • What Happens If I Sell My House?

    Great news! Because solar can add value to your home, most solar owners simply add the cost into the listing price of their home and, if they used financing to go solar, pay the balance off at closing. The other option is an assignment of the solar lending agreement, which may be allowed by our lending partners. Contact your lender for details.

Did You Know?

A solar panel the size of Michigan could potentially produce enough electricity in one hour to power the Eiffel Tower for 6,199 years!*

Solar Panel Installation And Upkeep


  • How Are Solar Panels Installed?

    We can install your solar panels on the roof of your home or on the ground on your property (preferably facing a direction with the best southern exposure). The basic installation procedure includes installing metal rails on your roof, attaching the solar panels to the metal rails and connecting the panels to the solar inverter. For a more detailed overview of the installation process, check out our blog.

  • After Contract Execution, How Long Does It Take To Install Your Solar System?

    Depending on the state you live in, it typically takes 45 to 60 days, which includes design, permitting, utility interconnection agreements, scheduling and install.

  • What Are Solar Panels Made Of?

    At POWERHOME SOLAR, we only use premium, monocrystalline solar panels that have among the highest efficiency ratings. Furthermore, monocrystalline panels have a sleek, black appearance that blends seamlessly on your roof.

  • How Many Solar Panels Do I Need?

    This answer is different for everyone and depends on a combination of factors such as the size of your home, your savings goals, your roof’s sun exposure and your current energy usage. For more information, read our blog.

  • How Long Will My Solar Panels Last?

    Important question! Solar panels produce electricity at a warrantied level for at least 25 years. Panels will generally continue to generate electricity after 25 years, but at a decreasing rate.

  • How Do I Clean My Solar Panels?

    To clean your solar panels, use water, a sponge and a cleaning solution. Cleaning your solar panels can help them maintain maximum efficiency. Fortunately, you only need to clean your solar panels once or twice per year. But remember, be careful, caution and safety equipment should be used anytime you are going on your roof.

  • Will Solar Panels Damage My Roof?

    When your solar panels are installed correctly, they will not damage your roof. At POWERHOME SOLAR, our solar panel installers have a proven track record for successful installations, including commercial projects.

  • Do Solar Systems Come With A Warranty?

    Solar panels generally have two types of manufacturers warranties: performance and product. The solar panels we install come with a minimum 25-year performance warranty and up to a 25-year product warranty. Other parts of the system, like batteries, inverters and other parts have warranties from 1 to 15 years (these vary widely depending on technology, model, and manufacturer). Lastly, we also offer a labor warranty. Refer to the warranty agreements for complete details.

  • Why Are My Solar Panels Producing Less?

    The biggest reasons why solar panels may produce less are the orientation of the panels, weather and shading. In the U.S., north-facing roofs get less sunlight over the course of the entire year than south-facing rooftops. Clouds, haze and other changes in weather may cause less sunlight to reach the panels. Obstructions that create shade, like trees, lamp posts, chimneys or other buildings, can also impact how much sunlight your system receives. If there are any concerns about your production, please contact our Customer Solutions department.

  • What If There Is Snow On My Solar Panels?

    Solar panels convert sunshine into power, so if your panels are covered in snow, it is difficult for them to produce electricity. However, since most panels are tilted at an angle, the snow should slide off. If snow does accumulate, your panels should be cleaned.

Generac Battery Backup


  • What Happens To Extra Solar Energy Created By My Solar Panels?

    Any unused power generated by your panels can be stored by your Generac battery backup for later use, such as during power outages or nighttime hours.3

  • How Do Backup Batteries Work?

    When your solar panels harness power from the sun to power your home, they may generate more than you need. Your Generac battery backup can store this excess energy and use it later to keep your home running during an outage, at nighttime or whenever your panels aren’t producing.3

  • When Can I Rely On My Backup Power?

    Anytime your solar panels aren’t producing enough energy to power your home and the grid fails, your Generac battery backup will pick up the slack and keep your home running.3

  • What If There Is A Power Outage?

    If your solar system is connected to the grid, it will shut off in the event of a power outage for the safety of emergency responders and utility repair personnel. But good news, we offer a solution for when the grid goes down – a battery backup. A battery backup should allow you to power certain loads in the event of a power outage.3

  • What Are The Battery System Modes?

    Your Generac PWRcell inverter can be set in four different modes. In Clean Backup mode, the inverter prioritizes keeping your solar battery energized in case of a grid outage. In Priority Backup, the battery can be charged using solar panel power or the grid. In Self Supply Mode, your inverter prioritizes powering your home’s needs using energy from your solar panels or your battery. In Grid Tie mode, your inverter acts just like any other conventional inverter. That is to say, the electricity generated by your solar panels is used by your home first, and, if applicable, any excess is sent back to the grid for a credit on your electric bill.3

Did You Know?

If you covered all of Texas in solar panels, they could potentially produce enough energy in 1 hour to produce the next 9,216 Super Bowls*. Who do you think will play that halftime show?

SMARTPWR360º™


  • What Is The SMARTPWR360º™ Package?

    Our SMARTPWR360º™ Package features a suite of energy-saving upgrades engineered to help your home consume energy more efficiently. This is an essential piece of our best-value package because it allows you to potentially maximize your savings with solar by utilizing the energy that your panels generate in a more efficient way.

  • What Comes With The SMARTPWR360º™ Package?

    Our SMARTPWR360º™ package includes 9 energy-saving upgrades: 1) Nest Thermostat, 2) LED Light Bulbs, 3) Shower Head, 4) Smart Power Strips, 5) Faucet Aerator, 6) Air Sealant Tape, 7) Blown Insulation, 8) Attic Staircase Cover and 9) Hot Water Heater Blanket.

  • Will The SMARTPWR360º™ Package Help To Reduce My Energy Needs?

    Potentially, yes. The 9 energy-efficient solutions are designed to reduce your home’s overall energy consumption and potentially increase your electric bill savings by up to 25%.4

  • How Does The SMARTPWR360°™ Program’s Energy-Efficient Package And Tips Reduce My Current Consumption?

    If you get the full package and adopt our suggested energy-saving tips, it should help to reduce your current consumption by up to 25%. This percentage will vary based on multiple factors, and you should review your estimated energy savings report for additional details and disclosures.4

  • How Does The SMARTPWR360º™ Package Support My Solar Panels And Generac Backup Battery?

    The SMARTPWR360º™ package helps make the interior of your home more efficient, which reduces the amount of power needed to keep your home running. When your home uses less power, the energy generated by your solar panels and stored in your battery backup potentially stretches further, covering more of your home’s power needs and maximizing the benefits of your solar system and battery backup.

Best-Value Package


  • What Is The Best-value Package?

    Our best-value package bundles solar panels, a Generac battery and SMARTPWR360º™ solutions into one cost-effective investment to meet your clean energy goals. It’s our top-selling package for a reason!

  • How Do The Solar Panels, Generac Battery Backup And SMARTPWR360º™ Work Together?

    When combined, these solutions complement each other to reduce overall energy consumption, increase potential savings and enhance the performance of your solar system. Your solar panels will harness the sun’s energy to power your home. Your Generac battery then stores any excess power generated for later use. Meanwhile, the SMARTPWR360º™ solutions help to optimize the way your home uses the power produced by your solar panels.

Billing


  • If I Add Solar, Will I Still Get A Bill From My Electricity Company?

    Yes, because most solar systems are integrated with the main electrical grid. As a result, connection fees, taxes and ancillary charges may apply and will vary by power company.

  • What Are The Different Fees And Charges On My Electric Bill?

    Your electric bill may include a few important line items:

    • Service charges and fees – this is a flat rate charged to all utility customers regardless of usage. It is the fee you pay for being connected to the grid. It may appear as one charge or various, but it will not change when your solar panels are up and running.
    • Taxes – these may be separate line items or included in your utility rate. Generally, they are tied to grid usage, so the more you depend on electricity from your solar panels, the less you should pay in taxes.
    • Energy use – your provider charges you a rate for the number of kilowatt-hours (kWh) you use. Your bill will only show the kWh you pull from the grid. It does not show your solar panel production.
    • Net metering – if offered by your provider, you may see net metering credits on your monthly bill or as a total sum at the end of the year.
  • Why Are My Electric Bills Higher Than Expected?

    To get an accurate analysis of your bill, we require at least 12 months of post-solar install usage. Our estimates are based, in part, on annual average solar production, so we really need to see a full year to get a complete picture. Also, often utility companies may add additional fees when a customer decides to go solar. Lastly, anytime you have a lifestyle or energy consumption change, you may see an increase.

Using Your Solar System


  • Will My System Work Without Internet?

    Yes, your system will still produce. However, you will not be able to use the app to monitor how your system is working, and certain manufacturer warranties may be impacted.

  • How Do I Know My System Is Working?

    Check the color lights on your inverter box during daylight hours, since this is when your system should be running. A green light on your inverter means your system is operating correctly. A red or orange light during daylight hours means there is a system incident or error. Tips: (1) Check the weather, (2) Inspect your inverter, (3) Read your solar meter, (4) Examine your bill, and (5) Check with us.

  • How Do I Check If My System Is Working?

    For systems with Generac inverters, you will need to go outside and view your inverter and verify on the home screen that there are moving numbers next to the panels. Contact us for assistance.

  • Who Do I Contact If My Solar System Is Not Working?

    If you have received permission to operate (Post-PTO) from your utility company, you would contact the Customer Solutions team at 833-423-1132, option #3. If you have not received permission to operate (Pre-PTO), contact your Concierge at 833-423-1132, option #2.

*Based on source material from:
Energy Sage - Average Solar Panel Size
Energy Sage - Average Solar Panel Output
IGS Energy - Super Bowl Energy Usage
Business Insider - Times Square, Eiffel Tower Energy Usage