Utah Solar 101

 
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Solar Modules

Solar Modules (panels) are placed on your roof or configured as a ground mount. The panels collect sunlight to make DC (direct current) electricity.

Therefore, access to sunlight is very important to ensure your panels generate electricity efficiently.

Luckily, Utah gets over 5 hours of direct sunlight daily, making it a great location for solar.

The first step our solar experts will take during your consultation will be to locate the best places on your roof with the most sun exposure and least shade.

 
 

Inverters

Inverters convert the DC electricity produced by your solar panels into AC electricity that your home uses. 

 Inverters are tied directly to your electrical panel to power your home or business.

Your inverter will let you know how much power is being generated by your solar array.

 
 

Utility Meter

If your solar array is generating more power than your home uses, the excess electricity flows through the meter back to the utility company as a credit on your account, Currently, Rocky Mountain Power is matching each watt 1 to 1, which has a huge impact on your bill. 

 
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Power Bill

As your solar panel system starts to produce it's own power, you'll begin to rely less and less on the local utility company to provide power for your home.

That means a substantial decrease or elimination of your monthly power bill.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Costs

Isn’t solar expensive?

Solar technology has come a long way since it was first created. If you look back to 2008 you can see the massive improvement in technology and price reductions.  In 2008, a typical solar system, 6 Kilowatts, would have cost a homeowner $52,920.

In 2017, the same size of system would cost between $18,000 and $21,000 (before tax incentives) depending on whether the system was paid in cash or financed.

The cost of switching to solar has been reduced by over 60% in just 9 years making solar more affordable than ever.

Is my home eligible for solar?

Good news, according to Google’s Project Sunroof, 84% of homes are eligible for solar. If your home has open roof space that is unobstructed, you can produce solar power.  

A good initial assessment that can be done at home is to open up the compass app on your phone and check if you have roof space that is pointing South, West, or East.  

South faces are the most efficient but you can still produce solar energy if you have West or East faces.

Should I buy or lease my solar system?

You should buy your system. It saves you more long term and adds value to your home. 

Is financing available?

Thanks to the nationwide adoption of solar, there are now great financing options available. Financing options can be discussed with your solar consultant to assure the you pick the option that fits your needs.

Tax credit vs tax deductions

Tax deductions reduce taxpayer’s taxable income. Tax credits reduce owed taxes.

What happens if I produce more energy than I use?

Your system is designed to produce more energy than you use during day.  By selling back the excess power that you produce during the day, you build up credits that will be used to power your home while the sun isn’t shining.


Function

Will a solar power system generate enough electricity for my home/business and does the electricity work differently?

Electricity produced from your solar array is the exact same as getting it from your utility. There is no need to do anything different.  Your solar array will connect with your home seamlessly.

The amount of your power bill that can be offset will vary depending on how much roof space is available, what your electrical usage is, the direction your home faces, and your homes efficiency.

Rather than simply putting panels on your home, we also make recommendations on how to make your home more efficient to ensure the best results.

Will I still need my utility?

Yes, typically. Your solar power system generates electricity when the sun is out, during the peak hours of demand. But your utility will continue to supply your electricity at night and at other times when you are using more electricity than you are generating.

How does snow or other weather affect my solar panels and power production?

It doesn’t have to be completely sunny for your panels to produce electricity. In bad weather, your panel production won’t be 100%, but they will still be producing power. The exception is a snowstorm. If it snows enough for there to be a significant accumulation on your panels, no energy will be produced.

However, snow slides easily off the panels, and panels are typically located where your roof gets the most exposure. Snow days will be factored into your system’s projected production. In Utah, there is an average of 5.26 daylight hours. This factors in snow and cloudy days.

Solar panels can handle some pretty tough weather. Most solar panels are guaranteed to withstand one-inch hail at 155 miles per hour. They are also built to withstand direct lightning strikes.


Product & Warranty

How long do solar panels last?

Simple answer, a long time.  Most quality solar panels offer 25 year performance warranties but can last up to 50 years.  

The efficiency of solar panels does go down over time.  The cells inside of the panels degrade causing them to produce less power.  So a 20 year old panel would produce less power than if it were new.

What happens if the power goes out?

For safety reasons, your home solar power system will automatically shut off if the power goes out. This is to protect utility workers who might be working on power lines.  If you have a battery backup, then your home will begin to use the power that is stored in your battery.  

Do solar panels degrade over time?

Solar panels do in fact degrade over time at about .4% per year.  This is caused by exposure to UV light.  Solar panels now carry linear production warranties, meaning that they are guaranteed to not degrade more than the stated amount per year for 25 years.

 When preparing a bid, we take into account the panel degradation, ensuring your savings are calculated properly.