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    SOLAR QUESTIONS

IS SOLAR RIGHT FOR ME?

 What are the benefits of switching to solar? 

Switching to solar energy is more than powering your home with a renewable, clean energy source. It shrinks your home's carbon footprint since it reduces the effects of greenhouse gas emissions. Plus, you help increase the green energy supply to your utility, reducing their demand for dirty fossil fuels.

 

Solar panels and battery storage have become more affordable and efficient. Solar energy can significantly reduces your power bills by up to 50%. This gives you peace of mind by providing energy security with predictable affordable rates over the life of your system. By owning your energy, you are helping to make the future brighter for yourself and our environment.

 How do I know if solar is good for my home? 

There are many factors that we look at to determine if your house is good for solar. We look at the direction your house faces (south-facing roofs are the best for solar), the pitch of your roof, how much shade there is throughout the day as well as the age of your home.


Our Energy Consultants analyze these factors, along with looking at your energy consumption and rates. We then customize a solar panel system to meet these needs.

 Will solar panels increase the value of my home? 

Not only can adding solar panels save you money on energy costs and help our environment, it also can potentially increase your home's value. Plus, it will make your home more appealing to potential buyers. 

HOW DOES SOLAR ENERGY WORK?

 How do solar panels work? 

A solar system is made up of connected solar panels that absorb photons from the sun. The solar cells on the panel surface convert the energy into direct current (DC) electricity. Since this form of electricity is not usable in most homes or businesses, an inverter transforms it into alternating current (AC). The AC electricity is now ready to use. Watch this video to learn more.

 Do solar panels work in any weather? 

Although solar panels need sunlight to create electricity, it doesn’t necessarily have to be direct sunlight. But they will generate electricity optimally on clear, sunny days.

 

Solar panels can still absorb the UV rays even on cloudy, rainy and snowy days. However, note that the production of electricity will be lower during these days as compared to when there is full sunshine. We design our systems with this in mind and account for seasonal fluctuations into your solar production estimate.

 Do solar panels work at night?  

Solar panels need sunlight to create electricity so they won't generate any energy at night. Therefore, you should connect to the grid through net metering or invest in proper power storage.

 Will tree/shade affect my solar performance? 

We design your system to account for existing shade on your roof. But since tree shape or height can increase shade and lead to decreased efficiency over time, we suggest you keep your trees trimmed so that they do not block sunlight from your panels.

 How does net metering work? 

You can connect your solar installation to the grid to enable net metering. When your solar panels produce excess energy, it is sent to the grid for you to use later in the form of credits from your utility company. At night, these credits are applied when you draw electricity back from the grid, so your green energy does not go to waste.

 Do I have power during a blackout? 

Your solar system will not provide power to your house during an outage. Once your utility restores power to the grid, you system will start to work again. You can invest in battery storage that connects to your solar system that will provide back up power to your home during power disruptions.

HOW TO GO SOLAR

 How do I get solar?  

There are 7 steps to going solar and we are with you every step of the way!

  1. In-Home Meeting - We design the best solar plan for you and your home. We also help qualify you for a financial product and rate plan that best suits your needs.

  2. Site Evaluation - Your Project Manager sets up an appointment for the exterior of your home and the interior of your attic to be surveyed. We also verify the structural and electrical specifications in your solar plan.

  3. Design - A final system design is created from the site evaluation. We also complete any necessary paperwork for the remaining phases of the project.

  4. Approvals - We apply to your city and utility company for permission for our installation. We also apply to your Homeowners Association (HOA) if applicable.

  5. Installation - Our team of expert installers manages the installation of your system. Installation typically takes between 1 to 3 days.

  6. Inspection - We perform our internal quality assurance audit of your installation as well as complete all necessary inspections wit the city and your utility company.

  7. System Turn-On - We request final permission from your utility company to turn your system on. Once approved, we schedule a time to start your system and show you how it works.

 What considerations do you use to customize my system?  

We start by looking at how much power your home requires. We look at your historical usage to ensure your system will provide you with the right amount of energy.

 

Next, we look at your roof via satellite imagery to see your available roof space and how much direct sun it gets. This helps determine how many panels we can fit on your roof. Remember that south-facing roofs are the best for solar.

 

Finally, we look at the climate where you live. Since solar panels generate electricity optimally on clear, sunny days; we look at your seasonal weather to factor in how much energy you panels will produce throughout the year.

 Are there rebates or incentive available?  

When you install solar panels on your property, you qualify for a federal investment tax credit (ITC). In addition, various states offer different incentives and rebates, which will also increase your savings. Click here to learn about state incentives. Some municipalities and utility companies also offer some credits and incentives. 

SOLAR INSTALLATION

 What paperwork and approvals do I need for my installation? 

Your Project Manager will complete all the necessary paperwork and submit the documents on your behalf. We will keep you updated on the status of your approvals as we work on scheduling your installation.

 Do I need approval from my HOA? 

Since all Homeowner Associations (HOAs) are different, you should reach out to them to find out about their requirements for solar panels and the approval process. Your Project Manager will complete the necessary paperwork and submit the documents on your behalf for approval.

 Will the installation of the solar panels damage my roof? 

Our expert installers will ensure that your roof is not damaged during installation and is covered by a workmanship warranty. In fact, solar panels can act as shields to protect your roof against damage over time. 

PRODUCTION

 What is kWh? 

kWh stands for a kilowatt hour and a kilowatt is 1,000 watts. The standard unit of measure for electricity is a kilowatt hour. It represents the amount of energy required to power a 1 kilowatt appliance for one hour. Utility companies track how many kWh each household uses.

 Will I notice anything different after my system is turned on? 

You will not notice any difference once your system is up and running. Your lights, tvs and appliances and anything else that uses electricity will work exactly the same as they did before. The one difference you will notice is how you pay for your power. 

 Will my solar system still work after 25 years? 

Your solar panels should continue to produced electricity after 25 years but their efficiency will decrease slightly over time. Your system is designed with the expected decline in performance in the production estimates. 

 What if my solar system doesn't produce enough power? 

Your system is designed to produce the right amount of power to your home during a full year. When your panels don't produce as much energy as you need, you will then purchase any additional power from the grid. If you have net metering set up, you will use the credits that you sent when you had excess production.

 

This does not mean that something is wrong, rather it's part of the seasonal shifts that are common in solar energy production as well as personal energy consumption. An example of higher consumption is if there is unseasonable hot summer weather where you ran your air conditioner more than usual. Your higher than average energy usage will just need a boost from the grid to support it. 

GENERAL

 How long have you been in business? 

Modern Mill Solar has been installing solar panel systems for more than 10 years. Learn more about our company. 

 What states do you service? 

We currently install solar panel systems in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin. Learn more about the solar incentives in these states.

 Are you licensed bonded and insured? 

Yes, we are licensed, bonded and insured for your protection.

 Do you subcontract the crews you use for installations? 

No, all of our installation crews are employees of Modern Mill Solar. 

 Do you install solar panels in winter? 

Yes, we install solar panels throughout the year, weather permitting. There may be delays when there are extreme conditions that prohibit us from working outside.