Does Solar Work in New England?
New England’s climate can be tough at times, but there is plenty of sunlight to support solar energy. In fact, cooler Northeast temperatures make solar electric cells work more efficiently. Much more important than sunlight intensity are programs to make solar cost effective, which is why cool and cloudy Germany is actually the global leader in solar generated electricity.
What about snow?
Solar panels will not produce when covered in snow. However they have a tempered glass surface and dark color, so snow is quick to melt off them once the sun returns. This means that over the course of a year snow cover has an extremely small effect on overall production.
Would a solar system increase the value of my home?
Every home is different, but a study published by the Appraisal Institute estimates that for every utility-bill dollar saved due to an energy improvement, you gain $20 in property value. So a solar system that saves $1,000 per year in utility costs can increase your home’s value by $20,000. Also, the U.S. Department of Energy recently found that even in soft housing markets, a home with solar will sell in half the time as one without.
Are solar panels fragile?
Solar Electric systems are extremely rugged. They have no moving parts to wear out over time. Many solar installations have been producing energy for over thirty years, and today almost all solar panels come with a 25 year warranty. Today’s panels are designed to withstand lightning strikes, hail storms, and 100+ mile-an-hour wind.
What size solar system do I need?
The size of your solar electric system depends on how much electricity you use. When SunBug designs an array, we start by looking at your utility bills to determine your useage. From there we assess the specifics of your site, including building orientation and roof shading to see how much energy you could generate. We then offer our customers a detailed proposal – usually with two or three optimal system sizes - specific to their situation.
What is a net meter?
Usually on the outside of your home, you have an electric meter installed by your utility company. This meter measures how much power you consume, and determines your monthly electric bill. When you install a solar elecric system, the utility company replaces that meter with a new net meter, free of charge. Your new net meter measures the electricity you produce as well as the electricity you use and your electric bill is based on the balance. Learn More about Net Metering.
Do I need to clean solar panels?
Except in unusual circumstances where panels are in close proximity to a dusty or heavily poluted area, solar panels do not require cleaning. In New England there is enough rain to give your panels all the washing they need. If you do want to clean your panels, its best to give them a shower from a garden hose in the morning before they get very hot.
Does my roof need to face south?
The ideal roof slopes towards the south, since southern exposure will maximize the efficiency of your panels. But even if your roof is east or west facing, you can still get strong results. If you have a flat roof we can orient your panels to maximize efficiency.
How much roof space is required for a solar electric system?
For every kilowatt (kW) installed, a solar system takes up about 100 square feet, so an average solar system takes between 300 and 600 square feet.