Many systems come furnished with a monitoring device that shows generation. Some monitoring is provided free by the installer, some may cost you an additional fee. Discuss this with your contractor. Your Pepco bill will always show you any excess power your system generated that was sent back onto the grid and which you received a credit for.
Depends on the number of panels that can fit on your roof. Ultimately the cost is based no a rate per watt installed, and from their calculated on how many panels you want installed.
The time between signing a contract and install is 2 to 3 months for a residential site. The total installation time for a standard 3-kilowatt solar system of about 12 solar panels is a few of hours and is normally completed within one day.
It depends on the installer you choose. If you are buying the system then there is normally a down payment amount, and the balance is paid either after the install is complete, or a portion before install, with a the final payment after the project is up and running. if you are leasing, then there may be an application fee, but the monthly payments for the lease is normally setup after the system is installed and operational.
Each solar panel produces roughly about $50 worth of electricity per year.
If you are buying the system, this is what you should expect from each panel you install.
If leasing, your new utility bill will be lower, and with your new solar payment the total amount will be cheaper than what you currently pay before going solar. This will be discussed in depth with the installer you choose.
99% of all solar PV systems installed in Washington DC do not have batteries. The grid in Washington DC operates as a free battery for you. Batteries normally run in the thousands of dollars, roughly between $6,000 to $20,000 depending on the size of battery you want to install. These batteries normally have a lifespan of 10 years, which means its an extra unnecessary added cost and equipment that could go wrong that you do not need.
Battery backup systems are available, but not all installers install battery backup systems. Check with local installers on who provides this service.
Actually green, energy efficient, and solar homes are in high demand, especially in Washington DC! A study conducted by the Department of Energy in 2015 concludes that homes with a solar PV system installed with increase in value by $20.00 for each $1.00 of electric savings per year provided by the solar PV system.
If you are leasing the solar panels, and are locked into a long term agreement, some new home buyers might be weary and not fond of such agreements of having a company own something installed on your home and holding you liable for payment to something they did not agree to. This is where we have seen negative backlash against solar installed on a home. Check with your local installers on which of them may provide you with a clause to terminate the lease agreement if you were to move from or sell the property.
Yes, but you can also bundle the roof replacement and purchase of the system together. Say, you don't need a new roof for a few years, there are some companies that will remove the solar system and re-install it after the roof has been replaced. Check with your installer.
Glare from the sun bouncing off your solar PV system is an issue from the past. All solar panels since about 2013 are produced with anti-glare glass, which is also meant to reflect all the light inward into the panel making it more efficient for electric production.
It is not necessary for your property to face south. We know that panels produce the best power if panels are facing south. Most Homes in DC are row-houses with flat, or slightly pitched roofs (for drainage), which allows installers to install the panels south regardless which way the house faces. But solar panels can also be installed on the east side, the west side, and yes, even the north side, given that the pitch of the roof is not more than a 45 degree pitch. The output of the system on the north side will be much lower than south, but given the economics of it, with the low cost of solar in DC and the cost of electricity from the utility, installing solar on the north side is actually economically feasible. This might not be the case in other states.
It would take one heck of a storm to be able to knock panels off a roof. Most systems are meant to withstand a minimum of 140 MPH winds sustained for 3 seconds straight, which is hurricane wind speeds. I think at that point there would be much more to worry about than your solar panels flying off. And if there was such a scenario, your property / Homeowners insurance should cover such damage. We have witnessed the Derecho that hit Washington DC in 2012, and with over 1,000 solar PV systems installed in DC during that time we had not heard of any issues from any homeowner about damage to their solar panels or roof.
There is a 26% Federal Investment Tax Credit available which will cover 26% of your project costs and received as a refund when filing your taxes. This amount cannot exceed your tax liability for that year, but if it doesn't, the remaining amount will be a credit that you can roll over for up to 5 years. DC also has another incentive called SREC's. This stands for Solar Renewable Energy Credits, please check that page out on the home page for additional information on this. But you can either receive long-term revenue from SREC's, or receive a bulk upfront amount you can apply towards your project cost.
There are currently no other incentives available in DC at the time.
Yes, you usually need two permits pulled, one electric and one building. Check with your installer; some companies complete all applications necessary for permitting and all other paperwork required by the state and local agencies and electric provider.
Each 300 watt solar panel will produce roughly around 360 kWh's of clean carbon free electricity if installed facing south at 10 degrees in Washington DC. This is equivalent to .3 tons of carbon dioxide emitted into our atmosphere by a gas-fire power plant, and also equivalent to 657 miles driven by a passenger car, 30 gallons of gasoline, 292 pounds of coal burned, 11.2 propane cylinders, and 7.1 tree seedlings grown for 10 years. Now multiply that by 24 panels!Or more! Depending on how many we can fit on your roof!
They have a 25 year production warranty however this varies across panel brands. From what we have seen so far are panels lasting almost 50 years!
Yes, solar systems increase the value of sustainable features in home appraisals. Green, energy efficient, and solar homes are in high demand, especially in Washington DC! A study conducted by the Department of Energy in 2015 concludes that homes with a solar PV system installed with increase in value by $20.00 for each $1.00 of electric savings per year provided by the solar PV system.
As a safety feature to protect your electrical appliances, and workers who may be working on the grid in you neighborhood during an outage, your solar PV system will automatically turn off if it does not recognize that power is coming into your home from the grid. All systems are built in with this special feature. So the short answer, no you will not have power if the power on the grid went out. Except if you had a backup power supply via a generator of battery.
The panels are normally installed on the roof, and from there, the installer runs a conduit cable connecting that power to your breaker panels in your home. Now that power is delivered to your breaker panel, it will be disbursed out the other breakers to power your appliances, and the excess amount will exit your main breaker to go out your meter to the grid where your neighbors could use it.
No, just like everything in your home leads back to your breaker panel which has breakers, which are actually fuses, in the case of any power surge coming from anywhere, the first safety point would be the breakers to trip to protect your system.
No. There are no moving parts on a solar PV system.
No. We are fortunate to live in a n area that does require solar panel cleaning. Annual rain does a good job at keeping our solar panels clean in Washington DC.
Then your homeowners insurance would cover that, just like any other part of your home. If you are leasing solar panels, then that would normally fall under the installers insurance policy, not yours.
A solar PV system will not effect generators. The generators will operate as normal. Your solar PV system however will not produce any power unless it recognizes your house has power coming into it from the grid.
No. Any access amount of electricity produced by your system is exported back to the grid and Pepco will provide you with a credit on your account that will roll over to next month. Only in Maryland will Pepco provide you with a pay out once a year for any excess amount generated upon request by the customer.
Some installers like SolarCity is unable to install on flat rooftops. Most other local installers are able to do so.
Your lease agreement will lock in you in with the panels you have for the lease agreement. Remember you are only paying for the power the panels produce. If a major breakthrough occurs in the technology of solar, the it will be in the best interest of the installer to upgrade your system to increase their revenue from you. At the moment, solar panel efficiency has gradually been increasing, within the past 5 years there has not been any major breakthroughs in technology, and is estimated to continue gradually like that. It is very unlikely that having to upgrade a solar PV system within the lease period would be cost effective for either party. but again that will always remain something to negotiate with your installer down the road it is easier to work with a local privately owned installer in these cases rather than a large corporate owned installer that will have systematic rules and policies that they must follow and implement across all their customers.