Residential Solar FAQs
Can my home be solar powered?
Many types of residential buildings can benefit from solar power systems.
There are, however, very important factors to consider. Items such as roof size and condition, sun exposure, and your home’s energy requirements are just a few examples. Con Edison Solutions can work with you to determine if your home is a good candidate for solar power.
Why should I invest in solar power?
Purchasing or financing your solar array may be a great investment for you:
- Solar power systems save money
- Solar power provides a hedge against future electricity rate hikes
- A solar power system can increase the value of your home
- Rebates and incentives can pay up to 60% of the cost to install your system
- Solar power installations produce clean, safe, and reliable energy every day
How much do I need to invest to own a solar power system for my house?
No money down programs are available! While some people elect to pay cash for their solar system, the most popular way to go solar is by using a solar loan. The actual cost for a solar power system for your home is dependent on your needs, preferences and the impact of the available rebates and incentives. Con Edison Solutions has a team of experts who can discuss the benefits of different financing options, including solar loans, and show you how affordable solar can be.
How do I estimate my potential savings?
The design, size and orientation of your solar power system, as well as the efficiency of the equipment you select, will impact the output you can expect. Your energy needs and the cost for electricity supply in your area are some of the factors that can influence how much you can save. Working in your area for over a decade, Con Edison Solutions has the expertise to properly evaluate your home, and create a custom solar power system that maximizes savings for you and your family.
Isn’t it quite costly to purchase a solar power system? Why should I invest in solar?
Solar power is affordable. In fact, it’s less expensive than many people think. With the decline in the cost of solar panels, as well as generous federal and state rebates and incentives, the total cost is within the budget of most homeowners. A variety of financing options allow some customers to install a system with no upfront cost. The savings from the electricity that the solar power system generates can be used to offset your loan payments, essentially having solar pay for itself. The experienced team at Con Edison Solutions can help you learn how much your solar power system may cost, and how much you can save before you agree to purchase a new solar power system.
Why shouldn’t I wait until later to invest in solar?
Timing is everything. Electricity bills aren’t going away. Every year you wait is another year of potentially paying more for the electricity you use. Diverting that money into paying for a solar system ensures that you get the maximum benefit from your energy budget. It’s also important to note that while solar panel efficiency has increased over recent years, solar panel costs are near their all-time low. In addition, some incentives and rebates are scheduled to expire so you do not want to miss out on any of the financial benefits of purchasing now. Con Edison Solutions stays on top of all technical developments as well as any legislative impact on the solar industry, and can help you understand how these may impact your decision to go solar.
Are rebates/incentives guaranteed?
Rebates vary for each state, and rebate and incentive programs can change with little notice. So there is no guarantee incentives will be in effect in the future. However, Con Edison Solutions guarantees to evaluate and access residential incentive programs in effect at the time you agree to have us install your new solar power system. If an incentive program is eliminated after you have signed our agreement and before we have installed your system, we will either compensate you for the amount that incentive would have provided or we will return your deposit and you will not be obligated to move forward with your solar power project.
In terms of financing, is there a long- and short-term loan option?
Con Edison Solutions can help you evaluate 5 to 20 year loans through financial companies such as Dividend Solar, Smart-E, and Sungage. These solar financial companies offer non-secured 5 to 20 year loans with fixed interest rates. To learn more about solar loan options in Connecticut, New York or Massachusetts, please contact our office at (877) 273-5066. Con Edison Solutions will design your system and provide information on how to get qualified for financing.
Con Edison Solutions is prepared to answer any questions you have regarding financing your new solar system.
How long will my solar system last?
You can choose from a variety of solar panels with 25-year performance warranties. Other system components (racks and inverters for example) may not carry as long of a warranty. Con Edison Solutions only uses quality components to maximize the life of your solar system, and solar panels are built to last for more than 35 years. We also guarantee our work for up to 10 years, and even offer a guarantee on the output your solar power system will generate. Contact Con Edison Solutions to learn more about all of the ways we stand behind our work.
What happens if my solar power system produces more energy than I need? What happens to the excess electricity?
We will size a solar system that is appropriate for the energy needs of your home. However, there may be hours on a given day when the system produces more than your household is using at that time. Because the excess electricity you generate is not useful to you but may be useful to your neighbors and community, bi-directional meters are installed in states that allow net metering. Net metering is the process of delivering the excess electricity you produce into the power grid and giving you a credit for that electricity. This ensures that you get the maximum benefit from your solar power system, even when you’re not at home to use it. Each participating state adjusts credits and charges differently. Con Edison Solutions can advise you on what programs are available in your area.
What happens if the solar power goes out from a storm or rolling blackout?
In this case, your solar power system will automatically turn off, and when the power comes back on, your system will turn itself back on. No action from the home owner is necessary. Homeowners who want to have power available during storms or blackouts can invest in a battery backup system. All of our solar power systems are designed to accept batteries so Con Edison Solutions can design and install a battery backup system with your new solar power system if desired or leave the option open for you to add batteries in the future. Designing a system to be compatible with battery backup ensures our customers are never locked out of future innovations in energy production and storage.
How much sun does a solar power system need to generate electricity?
Solar will produce energy under a wide range of circumstances. Our highly efficient systems are designed to work very early in the morning, and stay on late into the evening — squeezing as much energy out of the day as possible. The overall performance of your solar power system will vary throughout the year. The average length of each day and time when the sun is out is different in each area, especially in winter. Solar panels will produce some power even under cloudy skies. Even snow doesn’t necessarily present an obstacle to the value and effectiveness of a solar power system. Being based in the northeast, Con Edison Solutions understands the biggest factors that can influence the solar output at your home, including snowfall, and can make accurate predictions on what you should expect from your system.
What happens to solar panels when it snows? Do I need to manually clean the snow off the panels?
Solar panels are designed to resist accumulation of contaminants including snow. Sun can penetrate thinner layers of snow, and a tiny exposed corner eventually warms the panels and melts the snow. Some solar companies will sell maintenance programs, at an additional cost, for the panels they install, but Con Edison Solutions does not recommend manually clearing solar panels of snow as it can damage the panels, and can be dangerous to do in slippery conditions.
Can batteries be added to a home’s existing solar power system?
They can. However, not all residential battery systems are compatible with every solar power system. Speak to a Con Edison Solutions battery expert about your needs, and we can design an energy storage system that is configured to work with your home’s current solar power system.
Does the Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) apply to new solar batteries?
If you are purchasing a new solar power system and have it designed to include batteries, the entire cost of the new system may qualify for the ITC. The I.R.S. also has ruled that a tax payer can claim a renewable energy tax credit to offset the cost of a battery system integrated with existing solar power equipment. As tax regulations often change, Con Edison Solutions strongly advises that you speak with your financial/tax advisor before making your decision.
What can I power in my house with a solar battery?
A solar battery system can be designed to meet a variety of needs. In fact, many battery systems allow batteries to be tied together to increase capacity. The greater the capacity, the more things you can power with your house’s energy storage system. Speak with a Con Edison Solutions power expert to discuss your specific needs and budget. We can then design a custom solar battery solution to meet your goals.
If I install a battery system, can I go completely off the grid?
It’s possible that if you have a solar power system with storage large enough to meet all of your electricity needs, you could disconnect from the electricity grid. However, by remaining connected to the grid, you have grid-supplied electricity as an additional option if/when you need it. Additionally, if you remain tied to the grid, you may continue to qualify for a net metering credit – since any excess power produced by your system that is not stored by your battery can flow out to the grid. Talk to your Con Edison Solutions battery expert to learn what may make the most sense for your situation.
Can a battery replace my generator?
Certainly, one of the advantages of a solar battery is that you can draw from the stored power in the event of a blackout or system outage. Depending on the size of the battery and your power requirements, it is possible to design a solar storage solution that could eliminate the need to have a generator.
How much does a solar battery system cost?
The cost of the storage system depends on the make and model of the battery, the capacity requirements, as well as other system related factors, all of which are influenced by your needs and goals. It is also important to remember that, with batteries, the need to purchase additional electricity from the local utility is lessened – minimizing or eliminating those costs. It’s best to speak to a Con Edison Solutions battery expert to get a better understanding of what system will best meet your goals and budget.
How long will my solar battery last?
How long a battery lasts is dependent on a variety of things. Major battery manufacturers rate the lifespan of their battery based upon how often it is charged and discharged. Warranties are typically available that tie to that estimated lifespan. Speak with a Con Edison Solutions battery expert to learn what battery system may best meet your needs and the lifespan of the battery and warranties will be part of that conversation.