Questions about going solar?

Let us answer them for you so you can start soaking up the sun.
  • What if I want to sell my home?

    Even if you’re not planning on staying in your current home for 20 years, it doesn’t mean you can’t go solar. We make moving simple.

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    What if I want to sell my home?

    Even if you’re not planning on staying in your current home for 20 years, it doesn’t mean you can’t go solar. We make moving simple. You can easily transfer the solar power system lease to the new homeowner, as long as the new homeowner qualifies and agrees to assume the lease. (Most people who qualify for a mortgage quality to take on the lease as well.) You may also have the option of purchasing the system. An NRG Home Solar specialist will be there to help you every step of the way.

    Call 1-888-432-6741 to learn more.

     

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  • What factors go into determining the perfect solar installation for my home?

    It truly depends on your home. Our team prides itself in determining and engineering the perfect solar fit. Here are some factors we use to determine your specific solar solution:

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    What factors go into determining the perfect solar installation for my home?

    It truly depends on your home. Our team prides itself in determining and engineering the perfect solar fit.

    Here are some factors we use to determine your specific solar solution:

    • Your current energy usage.  If you use more energy, you will need a bigger solar system.
    • Your state’s net metering policy.  Net metering policy determines whether (and how much) you can feed your excess energy back to the electricity grid.
    • Your eligibility for tax credits, rebates, or incentives.
    • Your decision to lease or buy your solar system. With utility prices on the historic rise in most markets, you can save over the long term with solar.
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  • What are the steps to going solar?

    We like to break the process of going solar into eight simple steps. This starts with your initial phone call with one of our solar specialists and ends with solar panels on your roof.

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    What are the steps to going solar?

    We like to break the process of going solar into eight simple steps. This starts with your initial phone call with one of our solar specialists and ends with solar panels on your roof.

    1. Consultation – One of our solar specialists will call you to ask a few questions. To put you on the path to savings, we start by learning about your electricity costs and rooftop to develop the best solution for your home.
    2. Proposal – After your initial consultation, we’ll schedule an in-person appointment. Your solar specialist will connect with you to review your customized solar options and answer any questions. They’ll also provide you with potential electricity bill savings. We’ll then work with you to propose a custom plan that’ll best fit your home.
    3. Assessment – Once you’ve agreed to move forward, we’ll schedule a time for one of our site assessors to meet you at your home, where we’ll take a deeper dive into establishing the perfect solar fit for your home. During the assessment, they’ll evaluate your roof’s age, angle and sun availability and begin taking measurements to create your custom plan.
    4. Design – After your assessment, our design team will create the system design. We’ll work with you to finalize the design documents and ensure a solar solution that’s built for your home’s needs. Once we’ve engineered an efficient system for your home, we’ll send you the final system and drawings for approval.
    5. Permitting – Now that your design is ready, we’ll coordinate with your local municipality to get approval. You won’t have to do anything during this step, because our team will prepare and submit all of the paperwork. Due to the approval process being in the hands of the local municipality, this step could take some time. We’ll let you know as soon as everything is approved so that we can schedule the installation.
    6. Installation – Now that your permitting is approved and paperwork has been signed, our team will get to work on your solar installation. We’ll coordinate with you to determine a schedule for delivering equipment and completing your home’s installation. Our installers will need access to your home and breaker boxes, so we ask that you’re there during the first two days.
    7. Inspection – After the installation, we’ll work with your utility to make sure the system complies with energy standards and is grid-connected. The inspection will also help us ensure long-term quality and performance from the system. We’ll let you know when the municipality inspection will take place.
    8. System Activation – We’ll do the heavy lifting by applying for permission to operate from your local utility. Once approved, we’ll call or email you and provide instructions on activating the system. Review the instructions and start generating solar power at your home. Now the system is live and ready to harness the power of the sun.. And we hope you spread the word of the power of solar. Through our referral program, we’ll even reward you for every person you refer that goes solar.

    We work with you at every step to make the process as seamless as possible. Questions? Ready to get started? Let’s talk.

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  • How does weather affect my solar power production?

    Contrary to popular belief, Mother Nature doesn’t play a huge role in solar production. Take a look below at how solar panels work in different weather scenarios.

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    How does weather affect my solar power production?

    Contrary to popular belief, Mother Nature doesn’t play a huge role in solar production. Take a look below at how solar panels work in different weather scenarios.

    Will solar panels produce energy when it’s cloudy?

    Photovoltaic solar panels will produce energy on cloudy days and will produce significant energy through the clouds. Although it might seem counter-intuitive, consider that solar panels on a rooftop in foggy San Francisco produce nearly the same as the ones in nearby sunny Sacramento. Consider too that Germany leads the world in residential solar right now, and it is generally an overcast climate.

    Will solar panels produce energy when it’s rainy?

    As we just talked about, the cloudiness that comes from a rain shower doesn’t hinder solar production. Furthermore, think of rain as a free wash. Rain actually rinses away dirt that may have accumulated on the solar panels, which allows the solar panels to work more efficiently.

    Will solar panels produce energy when it’s snowy?

    Automatically, you may think that if snow covers the panels, you won’t generate energy. The snow’s life cycle on a solar panel is usually very short-lived. The panels’ dark surface will gather sun and actually help melt the snow, causing it to slide off the system’s glass surface.  In an effort to not scratch or damage the panels, it is recommended to not shovel the snow off of your roof.

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  • Solar Myth 9: Solar panels require a tracking system to follow the angle of the sun.

    Fact: Though tracking mechanisms can provide efficiency gains for your solar panel system, they typically do not increase efficiency enough to justify the additional expense and maintenance of moving parts in residential situations.

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    Solar Myth 9: Solar panels require a tracking system to follow the angle of the sun.

    Fact: Though tracking mechanisms can provide efficiency gains for your solar panel system, they typically do not increase efficiency enough to justify the additional expense and maintenance of moving parts in residential situations. Simple, cost-effective and stationary panels on your roof can quickly help you take control of and start saving on your energy.

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  • Solar Myth 8: Solar will look ugly on my roof.

    Fact: In the last 10 years, there’s been a growing awareness of how smart renewable energy is from both environmental and economic perspective. So solar panels are finally coming into their own and being regarded as an enhancement instead of an eyesore.

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    Solar Myth 8: Solar will look ugly on my roof.

    Fact: In the last 10 years, there’s been a growing awareness of how smart renewable energy is from both environmental and economic perspective. So solar panels are finally coming into their own and being regarded as an enhancement instead of an eyesore. Homeowners’ associations that used to be steadfastly against solar have changed their policies and are now going solar in groups. For homeowners who don’t like the look of traditional solar panels, there are now many options and styles, including thin-film and non-reflective solar panel roofing shingles. These styles are discreet and lower-profile than the panels of the 1960’s.

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  • Solar Myth 7: When the power goes out, my home is still powered.

    Fact: When the power goes out, grid-tied systems go out too. That’s because it’s not safe to be pushing electricity back out onto the wires while workers may be trying to fix the problem.

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    Solar Myth 7: When the power goes out, my home is still powered.

    Fact: When the power goes out, grid-tied systems go out too. That’s because it’s not safe to be pushing electricity back out onto the wires while workers may be trying to fix the problem. Your inverter (the big box near your meter that turns DC electricity created by the panels into usable AC current) recognizes that the grid is out and shuts your system off. A possible solution is a generator, which reduces the worry of ever losing power.

    Learn more about our generators

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  • Solar Myth 6: Solar is still so expensive that it will never be able to pay for itself.

    Fact: Many customers notice excellent savings when they go solar. Furthermore, they enjoy the price predictability throughout their lease. Modern financing options have all but eliminated the barrier to entry for solar, so many households are now able to go solar for little to no money down.

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    Solar Myth 6: Solar is still so expensive that it will never be able to pay for itself.

    Fact: Many customers notice excellent savings when they go solar. Furthermore, they enjoy the price predictability throughout their lease. Modern financing options have all but eliminated the barrier to entry for solar, so many households are now able to go solar for little to no money down. Solar is one of the very few household purchases that could actually offer you short-term and long-term savings.

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  • Solar Myth 5: Solar panels will cause my roof to leak, deteriorate, or collapse.

    Fact: Solar panels actually protect and preserve the portion of the roof they cover. Plus, most solar panels are not attached directly to the roof itself, but rather to a mounted railing system.

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    Solar Myth 5: Solar panels will cause my roof to leak, deteriorate, or collapse.

    Fact: Solar panels actually protect and preserve the portion of the roof they cover. Plus, most solar panels are not attached directly to the roof itself, but rather to a mounted railing system. Solar engineers add sealants to fill in any gaps and often the mounts are surrounded by metal coverings that act as an extra barrier from the elements.

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  • Solar Myth 4: Solar panels require maintenance.

    Fact: Solar panels have no moving parts and do not require regular maintenance. Typically, we recommend hosing them off once a year or so, but many panel owners actually never clean the panels and instead rely on the rain to do the job for them.

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    Solar Myth 4: Solar panels require maintenance.

    Fact: Solar panels have no moving parts and do not require regular maintenance. Typically, we recommend hosing them off once a year or so, but many panel owners actually never clean the panels and instead rely on the rain to do the job for them. Rain and rinsing will cause only a very slight loss in efficiency (about 5%). Furthermore, our team offers 24/7 system maintenance and monitoring, so you can rest easy knowing that your solar system is shining at its brightest capability and if it is not, we have a performance guarantee to cover underproduction.

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  • Solar Myth 3: I will have an excess of energy that will go unused and will be wasted.

    Fact: Nearly all modern solar panel systems are connected to the conventional electricity grid. When this happens, your meter spins backwards and your utility company credits you for that power.

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    Solar Myth 3: I will have an excess of energy that will go unused and will be wasted.

    Fact: Nearly all modern solar panel systems are connected to the conventional electricity grid. When this happens, your meter spins backwards and your utility company credits you for that power. This grid tied method tends to be the most convenient for homeowners. In many states, you could be paid for your power in a process called net metering. Batteries are an option for those who want them as well, but they tend to be less-reliable and take up unnecessary space.

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  • Solar Myth 2: Solar doesn’t work in cool, cloudy, or foggy climates.

    Fact: Solar panels work great in ambient light and will produce significant energy in the fog or on overcast days. In fact, solar panels are almost equally as efficient at cooler temperatures than hot ones.

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    Solar Myth 2: Solar doesn’t work in cool, cloudy, or foggy climates.

    Fact: Solar panels work great in ambient light and will produce significant energy in the fog or on overcast days. In fact, solar panels are almost equally as efficient at cooler temperatures than hot ones. Although this might seem counter-intuitive, consider that solar panels on a rooftop in cool, foggy San Francisco produce nearly the same than a home in nearby Sacramento, where it’s sunny and hot. Consider too that Germany leads the world in residential solar right now, and doesn’t have a sunny climate.

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  • Solar Myth 1: Solar will get more efficient, so I should wait.

    Fact: We’re still using the same solar technology we did back in the 1960’s. Since then, solar has become only moderately more efficient (unlike computers or cellphones which experience dramatic improvements in short periods of time). When panels become more efficient, it simply means you wouldn’t need as many, because they’re better at converting.

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    Solar Myth 1: Solar will get more efficient, so I should wait.

    Fact: We’re still using the same solar technology we did back in the 1960’s. Since then, solar has become only moderately more efficient (unlike computers or cellphones which experience dramatic improvements in short periods of time). When panels become more efficient, it simply means you wouldn’t need as many, because they’re better at converting. Given stable technology profile and various state and federal tax incentives and rebates, solar is more affordable than ever and makes sense right now. Once installed, the panels will continue to work for decades.

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  • Watt

    A watt is a unit of power, and power is the rate at which energy is produced, implemented or consumed. Watts are a measure of electrical flow from one device to another.

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    Watt

    A watt is a unit of power, and power is the rate at which energy is produced, implemented or consumed. Watts are a measure of electrical flow from one device to another. Technically speaking, it’s equivalent to one joule per second and equal to the power in a circuit in which a current of one amp flows across a potential difference of one volt.

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  • Solar Photovoltaic (PV)

    Photovoltaic (PV) devices, such as solar panels, take sunlight and turn it into electricity that you can use in your home. It was made from silicon, a material derived from sand that is naturally photovoltaic.

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    Solar Photovoltaic (PV)

    Photovoltaic (PV) devices, such as solar panels, take sunlight and turn it into electricity that you can use in your home. It was made from silicon, a material derived from sand that is naturally photovoltaic. Today, most solar PV is still silicon-based, though the technology is much more efficient than the first solar cells.

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  • Solar Cell

    A solar cell is a device that converts sunlight into electricity using certain materials with semiconducting properties, like silicon. These materials use the “photovoltaic effect.” That means that when light hits a material like silicon, it knocks tiny electrons loose; when those electrons start to flow, that produces electricity.

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    Solar Cell

    A solar cell is a device that converts sunlight into electricity using certain materials with semiconducting properties, like silicon. These materials use the “photovoltaic effect.” That means that when light hits a material like silicon, it knocks tiny electrons loose; when those electrons start to flow, that produces electricity. Solar cells assembled together create solar panels. The photovoltaic effect was first discovered in the 1800s, and the first solar cell was actually made in 1883, though it was only 1% efficient. It wasn’t until 1954 that the modern, efficient solar cell was created.

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  • Solar Inverters

    A solar inverter converts the electricity from your solar panels into power that can be used by the plugs in your house for your TV, computer, and other wired products. Panels can’t create AC power by themselves; they need the helping hand of a solar inverter.

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    Solar Inverters

    A solar inverter converts the electricity from your solar panels into power that can be used by the plugs in your house for your TV, computer, and other wired products. Panels can’t create AC power by themselves; they need the helping hand of a solar inverter.

    AC vs. DC

    In DC power, the current of electricity flows in one direction. In AC power, the current moves in both directions along a wire– both forwards and backwards. Some products, like light bulbs, can run on either DC or AC power. But because AC power can be sent long distances easily, electricity networks in the U.S. were set up to use AC. (AC electricity can easily change between higher and lower voltage levels, and high voltages allow long-distance transmission.)

    What are the different types of solar inverters?

    Most homes have central inverters, which make the conversion from DC to AC from a box in one location, like your garage wall. A newer type of solar inverter, called microinverters, works directly and independently under each solar panel.

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  • Types of Solar Panels

    Monocrystalline Silicon (Single Silicon)

    Right now, these are the most efficient types of solar panels. When sunlight hits these panels, more of it turns into electricity than the other types below. You can tell if you have a monocrystalline solar panel by its square-ish cells.

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    Types of Solar Panels

    Monocrystalline Silicon (Single Silicon)

    Right now, these are the most efficient types of solar panels. When sunlight hits these panels, more of it turns into electricity than the other types below. You can tell if you have a monocrystalline solar panel by its square-ish cells.

    BIPV (Building Integrated Photovoltaics)

    BIPV’s can look like real roofing tiles (solar shingles are an example). However, they’re less efficient than conventional photovoltaics, which means you need a sunny spacious roof to make a dent in your electric bill. Finally, they may not last as long as regular panels.

    Solar Thermal Panels

    Solar thermal panels don’t technically deal with electricity directly. Instead, they concentrate the energy in thermal storage systems, and they’re used to heat things up. So, instead of paying the gas company to heat your hot water tank, solar thermal panels produce hot water for your home and/or your pool. Some systems can even provide heat and air conditioning.

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  • Solar Panels

    Solar panels are devices that turn sunlight into electricity. They’re made up of many smaller solar cells connected together; each cell generates electricity when sunlight hits it, and then that power flows into an inverter and finally into your house. Because each panel only creates a certain amount of energy, solar panels are typically grouped together into an array.