Will Solar work for my home or business?
Here are the factors that you will want to consider, for a proper Solar Power Application:
1) South-facing, East or West orientation:
For solar installations in northern Florida, along the Gulf Coast, a south facing roof surface is always preferred. This will optimize the energy produced by a Solar Photovoltaic Power System. East and West facing rooftops are also suitable, provided they have a bias/tilt towards the South.
2) Minimal Shading/Foliage:
Is there significant shading from nearby trees or buildings, which may block your rooftop area? Consider anything that might obstruct the Suns full power from hitting your roof. If there is tree shading, would you be willing to remove the foliage, in order to accommodate a Solar PV Power System?
3) Minimal Obstructions & Surface Area:
How suitable is your rooftop area for a Solar PV Power System? Do you have Dormers, Peaks and Valleys, or any other obstructions? The more open area the better, however, we can still work around your immovable vent pipes, chimneys, and skylights. A Solar system can be mounted to any type of roofing material, and it will not impact the integrity of the roof.
If I would like to put solar on my home, where would I start?
Going solar is one of the best investments you can make for your home or business, and the planet. In times when there is little or no benefit in “parking” your money in a bank account, a Solar PV Power System is an investment that will yield tangible payback for many years to come! To start, through the end of 2019, you can take advantage of the 30% Federal Tax Credit, when filing your taxes the following April! Thereafter, not only will you produce your own clean energy, reducing your electric power bill, you will increase the value your home.
Understanding your overall electricity consumption, is a good place to start. This is measured in kilo-watt hours, or kWh. Refer to your most recent electricity bill, which will give you how many kWh you purchased the previous month, year ago and across the current year. Knowing the kWh used will allow a solar contractor to know how big your system should be, and provide a fairly accurate idea of how much it will cost.
Once you determine your usage, understand that a Solar Power System is an investment and could run several thousands of dollars. The investment will be offset, and paid back, over many years, in the form of cheaper monthly power bills, and the 30% Federal Tax Credit. For a typical home, they could range from $5,000 to over $30,000. A Commercial property will also vary, based on Energy Usage, and your specific goals to offset the Energy that you purchase from your Electric Utility supplier. Last, make sure you do your homework on solar contractors in your area. We suggest that you work with a local company, like SunFarm Energy, with an excellent reputation, references and NABCEP Credentials (North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners - PV Installation Professional - Murphy Allen # PV-042217-015332).
How long will it take to do a solar upgrade?
Once you make your smart decision to install solar, your first step will be contacting a local solar contractor, like SunFarm Energy, signing contracts, designing and engineering the system. The reputable Contractor should provide full service, taking between two to four weeks, from contract signing to completion. For the average residential installation, once on site, when the job commences it will be complete within the week, barring inclement weather. SunFarm Energy provides a “turnkey” service, from permitting, through installation, to completion. The final step for installation is Utility approval of an “interconnection agreement”. We help to expedite the process, however, the individual Utility power company must sign off in order to start producing your own energy.
I have a 2,500 sq. ft. home, how much will my Solar PV Power System cost?
The size of the home isn’t as important as the electric consumption. For example, a 1,000 sq. ft. home with no insulation, single pane windows, old appliances and lighting, running a 20 year old AC compressor, at low temperatures all day long, will peak the electricity consumption. Conversely, a 3,000 sq. ft. home with energy-efficient appliances, LED lighting and new AC Compressor, will consume much less power than the smaller home. Consequently, the bigger home will need a smaller Solar Panel Array on the roof, than the smaller home.
Not to say that the square-footage of the home is irrelevant; available roof area is another big factor when designing a solar system. There needs to be enough space to place the right number of panels on your roofing surface. Most solar systems are limited to the amount of appropriate space for the solar panels, not the cost. With current technology, each square foot can yield 15 watts of power. Meaning a 500 square foot rooftop area can produce 7.5kW (7,500 kiloWatts) of power or enough to provide the majority of the power needed for most homes in Florida.
What makes a house ideal for solar?
Solar panels should be facing south and free from any shadows and shades. Ideally, a solar system should be away from trees or anything else that may block sunlight from reaching the panels. Same goes for ground-mounted systems; anywhere that faces south and no obstructions is the way to go.
Many homes can choose to install solar facing east or west. The penalty to not face true south is only 10% so do not be discouraged if all you have is east or west facing space. Call a solar professional who can show you the output for these cases.
What’s the best way to choose a solar contractor/installer?
Do your homework, and research! SunFarm Energy is a State of Florida Certified Solar Installer, and our Lead Technician, Murphy Allen, is a NABCEP Accredited Solar PV Installer. While making an investment in solar is a smart choice, you’ll want trust and have a positive experience with your solar installer. Your solar installer should be someone who is clear, transparent in their quotes and communications, and be willing to answer all of your questions in a timely manner. The most important thing to know is their work history, references and reviews. Checking into their quality standards and record is a good thing. SunFarm Energy has consistently earned 5 Star Reviews from our Clients, over the past 5 years. We are a proud partner of Guild Quality, who contacts every one of our Clients when their installation job is completed, and gets their specific feedback on our work. Check out the following link: https://www.guildquality.com/SunFarmEnergy, for reviews of our work. From the contract signing forward, we welcome each of our Client’s into the SunFarm Energy family!
What happens when the power goes out?
Unless you are in a remote location, residential and business solar installations are grid-tied, meaning that you are always connected to your local utility company. Therefore, when the power goes out, your solar system automatically shuts off. This feature is designed to protect the servicemen who come and repair the service line. When power is restored, your solar system will automatically begin working again.
How reliable is a Solar PV Power System?
Solar Energy reliably powers hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses each day, across the Country. The Solar Panels have a 25 year linear power production warranty, and the Inverters that we install are covered for 12-25 years (extended warranty options are available). SunFarm Energy monitors our installed systems weekly, and provides a real time monitoring platform by computer or a Smart Phone App, for our Clients to keep tabs on their hourly, daily, weekly, monthly and yearly power production.
What is the status of the Federal Tax Credit?
The 30% Federal Investment Tax Credit is still available through December 31, 2019, with no maximum credit limit. In 2020 the Federal Investment Tax Credit will drop to 26%, and in 2021 it will adjust to 22%. There is no Sales Tax on a Solar PV, or Thermal, upgrade, and thanks to Florida Amendment 4, the value of an upgrade cannot be added to your annual property taxes.
Will my television and appliances work any differently after a solar upgrade?
The power Optimized String Inverter we install will convert DC electricity produced from the solar panels into the AC electricity used in your home. All of your home appliances will work and operate as they always have… you just won’t be paying as much to use them!