Solar Power FAQ

Is my roof suitable for solar?

Only a solar installer can say for sure if your roof is ready for solar, but in general solar electricity works best on roofs that have plenty of space for panels and plenty of access to the sun throughout the day. Depending on the age and condition of your roof, we may work with an engineer to see if any repairs are needed before the solar system can be installed. Most often, your roof will work with solar. Contact us today to find out for sure!

What is net metering and why is it so important?

Net Metering is an electricity billing arrangement under which solar panel owners are credited on a 1-to-1 basis for the energy their panels produce and send to the grid. For example, if your solar panels generate 10 kilowatt-hours (kWh) and send them to the grid while you’re at work during the day, then you come home and use 10 kWh of electricity at night, your bill for that day would be $0.

Essentially, net metering is what people are talking about when they say solar “makes your electric meter run backwards.” It’s a deceptively simple concept, but there are lots of rules and regulations that have an affect on how it works. And it’s the single most important policy that makes solar financially viable over the long term.

Will adding solar electricity impact my property value?

As solar electric systems become more popular in Massachusetts and across the country, more research is being done to determine the impact the systems have on property values. While there have been no Massachusetts-specific studies completed, the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) has published several studies demonstrating that solar electric systems have increased the value of homes across the country. From a study by Lawrence Berkeley Labs, “for a new solar system installed and sold within 2015 and 2016 (using the average income value), the mean value was $2.12/Watt and $2.17/Watt respectively. For a 3-year old system that sold in 2015 and 2016, the mean value was $2.09/Watt and $2.09/Watt, respectively.” That calculates to an average resale value increase of approximately $15,000!

We’ve had a solar assessment in the past and were told that we didn’t qualify – can you help?

We see this often. Your assessment can depend on many subjective factors determined by the salesperson that came to see you. Oftentimes, “not qualifying” to them means that your project isn’t one where they can make the most money. Our salespeople are trained in site assessments and have years of experience in the solar industry. We love to help homeowners go solar and have been able to give good news in these situations.

We were told our roof can’t handle the load of solar panels – what can I do?

About 10% of homes can’t pass engineering as currently constructed. In almost every situation we are able to upgrade your existing roof structure according to the recommended engineering requirements at very little cost.

What if our roof is too old?

We work with a roofing contractor and integrate the roof replacement into your financing and solar process. Oftentimes, the savings from the solar pay for the roof!

The incentives aren’t as good as they were. How does it still make sense to go solar?

As incentives have been reduced, so has the cost of solar. Additionally, utility rates have gone up 5-7% per year for the last decade. These factors combine to ensure that NOW is always the best time to go solar. The alternative is to relinquish all control of your costs to the utility companies.

More questions? Want to talk about next steps?