Questions? Answers.

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 recent study published by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory estimates that a solar PV system adds approximately $3 per watt to your home value. This means that a common 20 panel, 6000 watt (6 kW) residential system - costing $25,000 before tax credits - adds approximately $18,000 in home value. When combined with the 30% federal and $1000 Massachusetts state tax credits, this system adds more value to the home than its initial net investment cost. 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 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 usage.  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 a detailed proposal – usually with two or three optimal system sizes – unique to each 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 electric 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 residential-scale Net Metering.

Do I need to clean solar panels?

Except in unusual circumstances where panels are in close proximity to a dusty or heavily polluted 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. An average solar system takes between 400 and 800 square feet.

Free Solar Assessment

Have SunBug Solar do a no-cost assessment of your home to find out if solar could work for you.  We'll do a complete analysis, factoring in the specifics of your site, the available state and federal incentives, the projected energy savings, and all of the different financing options. Just fill out this simple form.

As The Highest-Rated Solar Installer In Massachusetts,

we are not above tooting our own horn because we work hard for the distinction.  Our accolades and strong partnerships reflect our commitment to quality.

We have multiple NABCEP certified installers and sales professionals.

We are members of Amicus, the nation-wide cooperative of the highest-quality local solar companies.

We are a Certified B Corp.



SunBug Solar

Let’s Talk!

Eastern MA 617-500-3938

Western MA 413-884-1000

Founded in 2009 and a Certified B Corporation since 2018, SunBug Solar has designed and installed over 2400 solar systems from Great Barrington to Cape Cod. We build all types of systems, ranging in size from 1kW to over 1MW, including residential, commercial, carports, and ground-mounts. Our integrated approach - from initial education through consultative design to quality installation and ongoing support - has earned SunBug the highest reputation for customer service and a host of satisfied residential and commercial customers.