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Common Solar Electric Questions

How is solar energy produced?

Unlike solar systems for heating water which uses the sun's heat as the energy source, photovoltaic (PV) systems use the sun's rays to free electrons in the semiconductor materials in photovoltaic panels. This flow or electrons produces electricity. PV systems work any time the sun is shining including light cloudy days. Germany is the largest solar energy producing country in the world. Connecticut has 15-20% better conditions than Germany to to produce solar energy.

How much sun does a solar electric system need to generate power?

Solar works best on south-facing roofs, but east or west-facing roofs are also suitable. There should also be little to no shading. Shading from trees, dormers, houses, vents, chimneys can significantly reduce the performance of a system. On average, Connecticut has just as many sunny days as does the state of Florida.

What size of a system do I need for my house?

Electricity production is directly proportional to system size for solar electric systems. Although it is possible for solar energy to meet 100 percent of the energy needs of a typical home on annual basis, customers typically offset 50-80% of their electricity usage. System size is usually determined by available roof space and financial factors.

What happens if my system produces more energy than I need?

The excess electricity flows back to your Electric Company and actually spins your meter backwards. This process is called Net Metering.

Will my system work on cloudy, overcast days?

Yes, though they will produce less electricity.

What happens if the power goes out?

By law, any grid-tied solar electric system must shut down until utility power returns. Your system will automatically turn back on when the power to your home is restored.

When is a good time to install solar panels?

With the current system of State & Federal incentives and State Leasing Program it has never been more cost effective to install a solar energy system. Connecticut residents have the opportunity to purchase a PV System with little or no upfront costs. Sundoor Solar works with the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund and CT Solar Lease to offer Connecticut homeowners solar energy for a fixed monthly payment. The lease is 15 years with a reduced payment for the next 5 years. The money you previously paid to the power company now pays for your lease. As energy prices rise your lease payment remains fixed.  In addition, The Federal Energy Policy Act of 2005 established a 30% tax credit. The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 extended this tax credit for 8 years. In addition, solar systems are exempt from property tax even thought they add considerable resale value to your property.

How much does solar cost?

The cost is dependent on a variety of site-specific factors:

  1. System size
  2. State and Federal tax credits
  3. Utility incentives
  4. After you receive all the rebates and incentives, the total cost of the system will range between $10,000 and $30,000 which can be financed in many different ways. At the present time many homeowners are choosing to finance the solar installation through the CT Solar Lease program in which they do not have any out of pocket fees or expenses. The electricity produced will provide you the equivalent of an annual tax free rate of return of about 8%.

How long will my solar module last?

Solar panels are a proven durable technology. The panels used by the Sundoor Solar LLC have warranties of 20 or 25 years. They are expected to last at least 30 years or more for power output, protecting your investment.

Will a solar installation increase the value of my home?

Yes! A study funded by the EPA and US Department of Housing and Urban Development found that a solar electric system adds $20 of home value for every $1 saved in annual energy costs.

What steps can I take to find out if solar is right for me?

  1. Gather your electric bills and estimate your annual usage.
  2. Fill out our Self Site Survey form online and send to us.
  3. We will then set up a site survey appointment with you and draft a preliminary quote.
Please call us if you have more specific questions regarding solar electric systems.
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