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Q & A

We know that getting into solar can be challenging. Here is a brief primer to help you get started on your solar journey. The major components of a typical solar system installed by Homeland Solar include:

  • High-efficiency, monocrystalline solar panels from Tier 1 suppliers

  • Optimizers at each panel that provide optimized power generation across the array and are essential to rapid shutdown in an emergency

  • Inverters – the workhorse of the solar system – converting direct current (DC) from the panels to the alternating current (AC) used in your home and the utility grid

  • Panel racking which varies depending on the roof type or ground-mount

  • Miscellaneous disconnects, junction boxes, and wiring.
The primary solar incentive is the Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC), a dollar-for-dollar credit of 26% of the total cost of your solar system. The ITC will be 26% for 2021 and 2022, and stepped-down in 2023 and beyond.

USDA REAP grants are available for farmers and qualifying small businesses, and various other grants are available for non-profits.
Net Metering is no longer available for Consumers or DTE solar customers. A Distributed Generation (DG) tariff is the replacement program that reimburses solar owners for energy exported to the grid. DG has specific reimbursement rates for kilowatt-hours (kWh) exported to the grid (e.g., $0.08/kWh) that are basically the value of the Power Supply component on your electric bill.
Batteries are talked about a lot as a complement to solar energy. Unfortunately, the cost of batteries is still high. While some tout the benefits of batteries for backup, e.g., quiet, immediate start-up, the reality can be quite different. If you are counting on the solar panels to recharge your batteries during the day, you need to recognize that winter days are not great for solar production, nor is snow covering the panels. Bottomline: using batteries to ride through extended outages is uncertain at best.
Most households are using more energy than ever before, despite the efficiency benefits of EnergyStar appliances and LED lighting. Electrification of appliances and even HVAC units is only going to increase. In addition, the electric utilities have been steadily increasing electric rates for decades – sometimes double-digit increases – and with no end in sight

The simple answer is no. Solar systems automatically shut down when they lose grid power. The only way to avoid this from happening is to add battery storage to your solar system. Unfortunately, this increases your cost of going solar significantly.

There is no one answer to this question since there are so many dimensions – cost, capacity, utility rates,and shade losses. However, there are some truths that will consistently contribute to better financial return including:
  • Lowering $/Watt costs improves financial return
  • Being on the optimal utility rate makes a huge difference
  • Shade makes financial return longer

    • For these reasons, you need a trusted solar consultant to assess your situation and advise accordingly.