Solar Panel Installation FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions about Solar Installations in Sacramento, CA
Q: Aren’t solar panels expensive?
A: Solar panels are commonly thought to be expensive because for so many years they were something only the very rich could afford. Now, however, solar panels are affordable enough for many home and business owners due to recent advances in technology. Also, there are government incentives that can make it much cheaper to make the switch to solar.
Q: Where will my solar panels be installed?
A: Solar panels can either be installed on your roof or on the ground. Roof installation is a good choice for people who have limited yard space. Ground installation is ideal for people with more space, as it allows for the solar panels to move to follow the sun, thus ensuring max efficiency.
Q: How do solar panels work?
A: Solar panels are photovoltaic panels, also known as PV panels. They convert sunlight into electricity, which is generally stored in a battery. An inverter transforms the DC electricity from the battery or directly from the solar panels into AC electricity which can be used for your home or fed into the grid.
Q: How do solar panels help the environment?
A: Solar panels let you produce electricity for your home without relying on dirty, dangerous coal-fired or nuclear power plants. There are no gases released from solar panels and the energy source is unlimited and sustainable.
Q: Will I be ‘off the grid’ with solar panels?
A: If you want to be. You can have your solar panels set up to power your house so that you never have to pay another electric bill again. You can also have your solar panels set up to feed into the grid, in which case your electric company will pay you for the power you supply.
Q: Do we get enough sunlight in Sacramento for solar power?
A: Definitely! In fact, there are very few parts of the US that do not have enough sunlight to warrant installing solar power. For reference, Germany has the largest solar power market in the world, and Germany gets less sunlight than most parts of the US, and definitely less sunlight than sunny Sacramento, CA.
Q: How can I make sure my solar panels are efficient?
A: The efficiency of solar panels depends on the angle of sunlight compared to the solar panels. Solar panels are most efficient at a 90 degree angle to the sun’s rays. Therefore you want to look for a south-facing roof exposure, and our experts will make sure that the panels are installed for maximum efficiency. Ground installation is another great way to maximize your solar panels’ efficiency.
Q: How many solar panels do I need for my home/business?
A: To answer this, you first need to how much energy you use. Take the average of your past year’s usage on your electric bills to know this. Then, the type of solar panel you choose will affect how much energy is produced. Our experts can help you determine the best choice for your budget and your energy usage.
Q: Can I get rebates?
A: There are quite a few rebates available to Sacramento residents and California residents for installing solar panels. Give us a call to find what rebates you personally may be eligible for.
Q: Can I make money on my solar panels?
A: Yes! You can have your solar power fed into the electricity grid, and be paid for all the electricity you produce. You can also get carbon offset credits for your solar panels and sell them to local businesses.
Q: How do I know if solar is right for my home or business.
A: The best way is to contact one of our representatives for a free, no-obligation site evaluation. You may also estimate the size, cost, and savings of a new system using a solar estimator. At this time, solar power technology has achieved a point in its development where almost any building has enough roof or ground space to generate sufficient electrical power to meet the needs of all or most of its occupants.
Q: How long do solar electric systems last?
A: Because solar electric systems are made from high-impact tempered glass, have no moving parts, and require very little maintenance, they can operate for 40-50 years—paying back the initial investment many times over!
Q: Do your solar systems come with a warranty?
A: Yes. In the event that something ever does go wrong, all of our photovoltaic panels come with a 25-year manufacturer’s warranty. In addition, Granite Bay Energy covers all other parts of the system—including roof mounts, conduit, and every last nut and bolt — for 10 years. Q: Do I have to pay for the system up front?
Q: How long will it take to pay for itself?
A: That depends on your method of financing. For more information about financing options, visit our Financing page.
Q: What are the key components of a solar power system?
A: There are basic components to Solar Power:
- Solar Modules convert sunlight to electrical power. Typically, Granite Bay Energy professionals mount them in a steel frame attached to the roof of a home or commercial property or ground-mount them on a piece of land close to the site.
- The Inverter (or power converter) converts the direct current (DC) produced by the solar modules to alternating current (AC), the same type of electrical power supplied to homes and businesses from the utility grid.
- Power travels from the inverter to the breaker box, or electrical service panel, where it is then distributed throughout the home or business for use.
When the solar electric system produces more power than you are currently using (for instance during a work day at a residence or over the weekend at a business), the excess electrical power will flow into the grid through a special bi-directional utility meter, effectively causing the meter to run backwards and generating a credit with the utility company that will offset future usage. This arrangement is known as net metering.
- The utility grid is the state and national infrastructure that links homes and businesses to electricity-generating assets. The grid automatically provides electricity when household or business demand exceeds solar production. For more detailed information about how solar systems work, please visit our Resources page.
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