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Solar Energy FAQ

Does solar really work in Michigan?

Michigan is a great state for solar because of its cooler climate. The efficiency of solar panels decreases with the higher temperatures, like those in Florida or California. Michigan's climate almost offsets the sunlight hours compared to sunnier states.

How can I get financing?

You can apply for a home equity line of credit to finance your solar project. The HELOC can be paid at the homeowner’s discretion over ten years. The homeowner must at least make monthly interest payments on the HELOC.

What rebates or incentives are available in my area?

To see what incentives are available in your state, visit our Rebates and Incentives page or Contact Us for more information.

What is net metering?

Net metering allows any utility customer to gain credit for electricity generated with solar energy and sent backwards through the utility meter. Effectively, it allows you to generate excess power during the day, and use it at night without the use of batteries.

Where do I find out more information about financial incentives in my area?

To find out more on incentives and grants in your area, please visit the DSIRE website and click on your designated location to find out more. Each home owner who installs a PV system or solar water heating is eligible for a 30% federal tax credit.

What happens if the panels are covered with snow?

Very little electricity is generated when the panels are covered with anything, including snow. The panels will melt small amounts of snow with the heat that they generate, but heavy snow fall will need to be swept off in order to produce power.

How long will the system last?

The solar panels have a 25 year warranty form the manufacturer. The inverter comes complete with a 5 year warranty with an option for 10 years.

How long does it take to install a solar electric system?

Typical residential systems can be installed in 2-4 days. Commercial systems, depending on their size, can take anywhere from several weeks to a month or more.

Where should I put the inverter?

In a cool, dry location. Excessive heat will reduce the lifespan of the inverter.

Are roof flashings required for my system?

Some states, cities and utility companies require that flashings are installed with the system, however most do not.

Will flashing increase my output?

By creating more space between the solar module and the roof and allowing more airflow, flashings can increase total output up to 3%.

How much solar electric power do I need to power my home?

Each home is different, and the amount of electricity that you use is dependent on where you live, your lifestyle and your appliances, etc. To gain a better idea of what size system would work best for you, please contact us for a quote.

What happens to panels when they are shaded?

Even the smallest amounts of shading on the solar modules can significantly reduce the output. Shading can be reduced by trimming nearby trees or shrubs.

Why should I install solar?

It’s simple. Electrical rates are increasing at an average rate of 5% per year. By installing a solar electric system you are locking in your electrical rate for the next 25 years. Why buy electricity from the utility company when you can own it!

Do I need a combiner box?

In most residential or small commercial systems, a combiner box is not needed. In larger, more elaborate commercial systems, a combiner box may be necessary. Your renewable energy specialists will be able to determine your requirements in the design process.

What type of electrical service do I need in order to install a system?

In the United States, most residential and small commercial service voltage requirements are 120/240 and 120/208 respectively. The spec sheet for each inverter identifies the different voltages relating to each service. Therefore, any service in the United States is compatible with this type of system as long as you are connected to the grid.

My roof faces east; can I still install solar?

To maximize output, the panels should be facing magnetic south. Please contact Hartland Electric LLC, your expert installer, to determine if your roof is suitable for solar.

I can’t put solar on my roof. What do I need to do to install a ground-mounted system? Is there an additional cost?

We need to determine what works better; a pole mount array or a racking system that rests on the ground. Either way, the additional cost for a ground mounted system is the structure needed for the ground-mount (basically, what your roof provides as a structure).

How should I string the panels?

Each system is different. Please contact our renewable energy experts to determine the maximum and minimum numbers of panels needed for each inverter.

What materials do I need to buy that are not included in the kit?

Nothing by hiring Hartland Electric LLC and its renewable energy experts; everything is taken care of. It’s a complete turn key operation. Solar done right.

How much space do I need to install a system?

Rule of thumb, 100 sq. feet (conservative – 120 sq. feet) of usable roof space can facilitate 1kw of solar.

What if my roof needs fixing first?

If your roof needs fixing first, contact a local roofer then call us.

Solar Specials

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