Frequently Asked Questions
How much does solar energy cost?
Today, solar costs less than traditional electricity in many markets, whether you choose to pay as you go or purchase the system. We offer a range of financing options, which makes going solar simple and affordable.
How will solar panels look on my roof?
In a word: fabulous. Our modern, low-profile design and premium front trim integrate elegantly into your roof. It’s a look that never goes out of style.
How does solar power work?
Our panels capture the sun’s energy, channel it through discreetly placed wires to an inverter, where it’s converted to electricity to power your home. When your solar power system produces more power than you need, it feeds the power back into the electricity grid.
What’s the environmental impact and benefit of solar energy?
It’s big: the average SolarNation solar power system will offset 178 tons of CO2 over 30 years. That’s like avoiding 390,300 miles driven, planting 10 football fields full of trees or eliminating 174,907 pounds of burned coal.
What are Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs)?
Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) represent the environmental benefits of an energy source and are created by state law. They can be sold in a marketplace and a buyer of RECs can use them to offset their carbon footprint.
What if I want to sell my solar home?
We get it. You might not stay in your home for the next 20 years. And that’s okay. If you move, we’ll be there to help transfer your solar power system’s contract to the new owners.
ADDITIONAL SOLAR QUESTIONS
Is solar power less expensive than electricity from my utility?
Solar power often costs less than traditional power from the utility company. When homeowners ask themselves if solar panels are worth it, the increasing cost for electricity is often what drives them to explore clean, renewable solar energy. What they find is that installing a solar panel system is a relatively simple way to take control of affordable energy rates over time. When electricity rates associated with fossil fuels – oil, coal and natural gas – inevitably go up, the solar power savings increase too.
You can lower your energy costs when you buy or lease solar panels, but many homeowners find that leasing is the better option. With a solar lease, the benefits – including savings – kick in as soon as the newly installed solar panel system is switched on. If you’d rather not think about monthly bills, you can prepay some or all of your solar electricity rates. For customers who are able to invest and buy a solar energy system outright, there may be no bills at all. In some cases, utility companies may even credit you for the excess electricity your solar panel system generates.
How much energy can a system on my home produce?
Producing solar energy is as easy as harnessing the sun’s rays or photons and converting them into electrical energy. This is done through solar panels composed of photovoltaic (PV) or solar cells that are installed on your roof. When the sun hits a cell, the photons are converted to electrons of direct current (DC) electricity that flow through an inverter where they are then transformed into an alternating current (AC) power. Electricity produced from solar panels is then used to power your home or business.
How does solar power work at night or when I’m not home?
Solar panels installed on your roof work best during daylight hours. When the sun is shining directly onto them, sunlight can be converted into electricity. Your solar panel efficiency drops at night because there is no sunlight to convert to electricity and solar panels can’t generate power in darkness. However, SolarCity has designed a solution to power your home in an affordable and environmentally friendly way, even at night. Your solar panels generate so much power during a sunny day that any excess power you don’t use immediately is conserved and put into the utility grid. The surplus power generated by your solar panels offsets the energy you use at night.
What are solar inverters and how do they work?
Solar power inverters are a part of solar electrical systems that help convert the sun’s energy into usable power. The solar panels on homes and businesses are made up of small groups of semiconductors that react to sunlight by freeing electrons. But while those free electrons can travel through an electrical circuit, they can’t be used to power most appliances until they have passed through solar inverters. The photovoltaic (PV) cells in solar electrical systems convert sunlight into direct current (DC) electricity. An inverter converts that DC voltage into the alternating current (AC) electricity that people can use to meet some or all of their energy needs.