Frequently asked questions

What are the financial benefits of going solar?


Installing solar panels on your property will save you money on electricity and insulate you from the rising costs of energy from the utility companies. How much you will save depends on several factors, such as local utility rates and how much electricity you're able to offset with solar panels, the cost of the system, etc. Not everyone is in a good position for a solar panel system, but those who are will generally save thousands on the cost of electricity.




What are the environmental benefits of going solar?


Solar energy, like other renewable energy sources, has several environmental benefits. Going solar reduces greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change. Solar also reduces the amount of air pollutants like sulfer dioxide and particulate matter that is produced as a by-product of burning of fossil fuels. Check Out This Infographic!




How do solar panels affect property values?


Multiple studies have shown that solar homes sell for more than their no-solar counterparts. This only applies if you own your system, as opposed to leasing, as some homewoners choose to do. In many cases, going solar will actually increase you home's resale value more than an updated kitchen - and all the while paying for itself in savings and environmental benefits! Check Out This Infographic!




How do solar (photovoltaic) panels work?


Solar, or photovoltaic, panels work by absorbing the radiant energy from the sun and converting it into DC (Direct Current) electricity. Residential and commercial structures, such as homes and business, run off of AC (Alternating Current), so the electricity from your solar panels passes through an inverter that converts the DC electricity into AC to power your home and/or send it back to the utility grid.




What is net metering?


Net metering is a way of selling the excess energy produced by your solar panels back to the utility company in exchange for credits. These credits will be used to power your home when your solar panels aren't producing eletricity, like at night. During the summer months your panels will generally produce much more elecricity than you use, due to the longer days and more radiant energy from the sun. However, during the winter the opposite is true and you will draw from these credits to supplement your energy use. Once a year, the utility company will send you a bill for the difference. Depending on the amount of offset your panels are able to acheive, your electricity bill will be very low, and in some cases nearly non-existent.




Do solar panels produce electricity when the sun isn't shining?


The amount of energy your system can produce is dependent upon how much sunlight they receive. Because of this, your panels will produce no energy at night. Clouds, on the other hand, will decrease that amount of energy your system can produce, but only slightly, due to a phenomenon called the albedo effect.




Do solar panels require maintenance?


Solar panels are composed of tempered glass and have no moving parts, which makes them incredibly durable, requiring little to no maintenance. In most cases, you won't even need to clean them, as long as they get a good rain once or twice a year.




Will I still have an electric bill after going solar?


Unless your system includes a battery storage option, and you are fully off the grid, you will still receive a bill from your utility company. However, going solar can dramatically reduce your bill, or even cut it to $0, with a system that is able to acheive 100% offset.




Do solar panels work in a blackout?


If your solar panel system is connected to the grid (almost all systems are) then you will lose power, along with everybody else, in the event of a blackout. This is to prevent emergency responders and utility repair-people from being injured by your panels sending power back to the grid. There are, however, battery storage solutions and special inverters that allow you to power your home during a blackout, but they are very expensive and most people decide against this option. Let your solar consultant know if this is a major concern of yours, for instance if there are life saving medical devices or special use electronics operating in the home.




How much does it cost to go solar?


The price of a solar panel system can vary wildly, depending on the size of the system and the type of equipment used. Generally, the higher your electric bill is, the more energy you use, thus the larger the solar system will have to be to offset your energy usage. Your solar proposal will have all the details you will need to make an informed decision, such as the total cost of the system, financing options, tax credit incentives, and environmental benefits your system will provide.




Are there any rebates or incentives for going solar?


Although solar rebates vary depending on where you live, the most significant is the federal tax credit, and it is available to everyone in the U.S. The tax credit is in the process of being phased out and will be completely gone by 2022. Currently, the federal government will allow you to deduct 26% of the cost of your system from your taxes. Some states offer additional tax credits, but Texas, however, is not one of them.




What are my financing options?


When purchasing a solar panel system from Solar Home DFW, you have 2 options: purchase them outright with a cash payment, or finance the purchase through a special solar loan. The interest rates offered for solar panel systems are lower than a traditional loan agreements. Solar Home DFW offers 10, 12, 15, 20, and 25 years loan terms, varying from 2.99 - 5.0%.




What is the difference between a secured and an unsecured loan?


The primary difference between secured and unsecured loans is that secured solar loans require that you promise an asset, usually your home, as collateral for the money that you borrow. Unsecured loans don't require this, but their interest rates can be higher due to the increased risk taken on by the lender.




Can I afford to go solar?


If you can afford to pay your electricity bill you can afford to go solar. We offer $0 down financing with low monthly payments that make it easy for homeowners to start saving on their electricity bills. Generally, to qualify for a solar loan you will need to have a credit score of 640 or higher. Proposals are based on individualized data. Results may vary.




Is my roof suitable for solar panels?


Southerly-facing roofs with little to no shade and enough space to fit a solar panel system are ideal for installing solar. East-West facing roofs may also be used effectively, although additional panels may be necessary.




What size system should I get?


The size of your system will depend on how much electricity you use each month and the weather conditions where you live. Luckily, Texas is one of the best places in the U.S. in terms of solar exposure, so chances are good that you will get plenty of sun. Our solar proposal will analyze your roof's solar potential using thermal satellite imaging to help us design the perfect system for your home.




Do I need to replace my roof before installing solar panels?


Solar energy systems are designed to last at least 35 years, and it can be costly to remove them if you need to replace your roof. Luckily, solar panels are incredibly durable, and do a good job of protecting your roof from the elements, which should extend the life of your roof considerably. If your roof need repairs in the short-term, it is recommeded that you tend to them before installing solar panels.




How long will my solar panels last


Solar panels are designed to withstand the elements and most come with a 25 year warranty from the manufaturer, which states that the panels will still be producing at least 80% as much energy from the day they were installed. Realistically, studies have shown about a .4% decline in performance each year, which means that your panels should still be performing well at year 35.




What heppens if I sell my house?


If you own your system, your home will sell at a premium. Studies have shown that solar homes sell faster and for more money than their non-solar counterparts. However, that is not the case if you lease your system. You will either need to buy out your lease or transfer the the lease agreements to the new owners, and you will not see an increase in property value.




What happens during the installation process?


Once you decide to move forward with the project, and after you sign and submit all the paperwork, we will schedule a site survey to take exact measurements of your roof and prepare the CAD drawings. Then we will submit the CAD design to the county and request a building permit. Once approved, the physical installation usually takes a few hours.




What is a solar monitoring system?


A solar monitoring system provides detailed information about how much energy your system is producing. This allows you to track your panels performance and monitor for any potential problems. All of our systems include this feature in the cost.





Want to speak with a solar energy specialist?

AUSTIN@SOLARHOMEDFW.COM

CALL OR TEXT (817)345-7040

MON - SUN: 9 AM - 9 PM

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