Solar FAQ

Answers That Illuminate

Solar FAQ

Solar FAQ: We’ve Got Answers

Questions about Solar Power Systems, Installs And More.

Are you curious about solar power, but don’t feel confident about a few aspects of this rapidly growing energy source? Well, we’ve got your back! Our Solar FAQ section is here to answer all your questions about solar power and make the transition to renewable energy easier than ever before. So, go ahead and take a look – you’ll be surprised at how easy it can be! If you still have questions after reviewing our Solar FAQ page, please reach out to us, and one of our solar energy experts will be happy to help.

How does solar energy work?

Solar energy systems work by converting the sun’s energy to electrical energy with the help of solar PV cells. Photons in the sunlight are used to ionize the solar cell atoms. The electrons from the atoms move through a circuit thereby generating current.

What are the advantages of solar energy?

Below are the main advantages of solar energy:

  1. Provides clean and renewable energy
  2. Increases property value
  3. Qualifies for tax breaks and incentives
  4. Cost-effective
  5. Reduced utility bills
What is the long-term effect of solar energy?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 20 years of solar energy can cut down 320,000lbs of carbon emissions. This will help substantially mitigate climate change and the deteriorating health of the planet.

What is the economic impact of solar energy?

Investing in solar has led to enormous job opportunities, improved trade balance, more reliable energy access and many other benefits for residential and commercial property owners.

How do I claim my solar energy tax credits?

Easy! When you file your taxes, simply fill out this form for your federal credit and this one for your state credit (South Carolina only). For additional information on the South Carolina State Tax Credit, click here.

How do home solar panel installations work?

The solar panels generate electricity in the form of Direct Current (DC) from sunlight. This DC is converted to Alternate Current (AC) in an inverter. This covers all your electrical use in the home, and anything extra is sent back to your utility to be “banked” so that you can use it at times when your system is generating less (night time, for example).

Quick Answer:

  1. Sun hits panels, creating DC electricity.
  2. A solar inverter converts DC power into AC power for your lights, TV, computers, and more.
  3. Excess power is sent to the grid, crediting your monthly bill.

But as they say, a few animations can’t hurt. So, we’ve put together a set of simple videos that illustrate how, when and why solar power flows and solar energy is leveraged.

How much does a solar panel system cost?

Speak with one of our solar energy experts today to get more specifics about how much your solar panel system cost would be.

However, the general cost of investing in home solar panel installations and commercial solar panel systems varies from home to home because no two situations or commercial properties are exactly alike. For example, The size of the system is ultimately what will determine the investment, and this is influenced by several factors including the home’s historical electric usage, the extent to which one can fully realize the available tax credits, and the available space to install the system.

What solar panel system payment options do you offer?

We offer a cash payment option and flexible 0-down loan payment options.

Cash Purchase Option:
Own your solar panel system outright, and enjoy the energy savings immediately! Then enjoy the federal and state tax credits as they come back to you, and any applicable rebates that may also be available to you.

0-Down Loan Payment Options:
All home solar panel installations are unique, so we offer a wide range of financing options to best suit every individual’s needs. Every loan comes with $0-down, and interest rates as low as 0.99%. In most cases, your monthly payment will be less than what you were paying to your electric company, thereby seeing immediate savings from day one!

With solar panels, will I still have an electric bill?

Your solar system will be customized to suit your individual needs. For some homes, this means offsetting a smaller percentage of their electric bill, and for others it can mean saying goodbye to their entire usage charge! Please note that some utility companies will still charge a nominal ‘Basic Facilities Charge’ for some reason. In fact, this charge may apply even if you cover 100% of your usage with solar. For this reason, we highly encourage you to check with our solar experts to find out about your specific utility company. Furthermore, should your utility company be charging a ‘Basic Facilities Charge’ we recommend that you try to learn more about this charge and the need for it.

How will I know if my solar panel system is working?

The first clue is the reduction in your electric bill! But, better than that, we will provide you with free, live monitoring so you can see exactly what your system is producing at any given time of day. In addition, we highly recommend looking into our solar smart home options. By leveraging this technology, you will be able to control when and where your energy is targeted and even automate the process. In this way, you can eliminate wasting energy and save more money be managing your solar panel system confidently and efficiently.

How does a solar panel system work at night or on rainy days?

Your solar panel system is designed with rainy days and night time in mind. We can calculate the energy your system will produce over the course of the year based on average sunlight hours in your area. During the day your system will produce more energy than you are using, and that will be “banked” with your utility to be used at times when you are not generating enough for your needs.

To further enhance your energy independence, check out our solar storage section. Solar battery storage has become the industry standard when designing a solar panel system as this will allow you to remain powered for much longer should unknown situations arise.

How long do solar panels last?

Solar panels come with at least a 25-year warranty as the industry standard lifespan of solar panels ranges from 25 to 30 years. By this time, they have paid for themselves many times over. Furthermore, many people will keep them for a good deal longer than that. Solar panels will still function after this time has passed although their efficiency and output will begin to diminish.

Is cleaning solar panels with hard water recommended?

Hard water can lead to scaling on your solar panels, which in turn can result in a loss in electrical output, reversed polarity, or even the formation of hot spots, which can be fatal for a solar panel.

Is cleaning solar panels with vinegar recommended?

Yes! Vinegar is an excellent solution for cleaning solar panels as the acetic acid it contains is strong enough to remove persistent debris without harming your solar panels.

Still Have Questions?

Get In Touch With A Firefly Solar Expert.

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