frequently asked questions

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grid-tied systems & net metering

off-grid systems

How will a solar energy system affect the value of my home?

A growing body of research confirms that installing a solar energy system increases home value by 3-4%. The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (affiliated with the Department of Energy) and Fannie Mae both published rigorous studies confirming this answer in 2016. EnergySage summarizes their findings well. The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory analyzed sales of over 20,000 homes in Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, Maryland, North Carolina, New York, Pennsylvania, and of course California.

Is Maine a good place for solar?

The Bangor Daily News recently put it well, “The great thing about solar is it works anywhere. As long as there is sunshine, even with clouds, solar can work. More sunshine (i.e., in California and Arizona) will produce more energy over time, but there are actually some efficiency gains in colder climates because solar panels lose energy in heat. Maine’s solar resource is nearly identical to Massachusetts and Vermont, two states with very active solar industries and programs. In fact, there is more sunshine in Maine than one of the global leaders in solar energy installations – Germany.” Klein, Sharon. "5 Myths People Hold about Solar Power in Maine." The Bangor Daily News, 28 Apr. 2016.

How much does it cost to install a solar panel system? How long will it take to pay for itself?

This depends on the size and type of installation, and how the installation is financed. Contact us for a free estimate and site evaluation for your home or business!

how does a solar electric system work?

Solar electric systems use photovoltaic (PV) solar panels to convert the sun’s rays into electricity. The word “photovoltaic” comes from the Greek “photo”, which means light, and the word “volt”, which is a unit of electrical force.

When sunlight strikes the PV panel, the panel starts to produce electricity. The electricity travels through specially installed wires to a piece of equipment called an inverter. The inverter then feeds the electrical energy into your main circuit breaker panel, where it is distributed to the rest of the house.

In a grid-tied system, any electricity that is not immediately needed by the house is pushed onto the electrical grid. You receive a credit from the utility company for this excess energy. See also How does net metering work?