Louisiana Solar Solutions


Servicing The State of Louisiana Since 2007
Call 337.298.0011

FAQ

Solar doesn’t have to be confusing.

We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions/answers to help you better understand solar! If you still have question please feel to contact us from the contact page.Confused

How much are the tax credits?

A Federal Tax Credit of 30% has been extended until 2020.

 

 

How much solar electricity do I need?

This is determined by the amount of kilowatt hours you use per year. The maximum amount of solar electricity that can be efficiently generated usually is determined by the amount of appropriate roof exposure available which remains completely unshaded most of the day. Solar electric systems produce power intermittently because it only works when the sun is shining. This is not a problem for solar electric systems connected to a utility grid, because additional electricity you need is automatically delivered to you by your utility.

Is my home a good place for a solar system?

Is your roof free from shading by trees, nearby buildings, or other obstructions? Solar panels should face as close to south as possible and have a clear “view” of the sun for most or all of the day. Shading will substantially reduce the amount of electricity produced.

What would happen if I were to relocate? Are the solar power systems portable?

To receive the tax credits for your system, the system must stay at the original residence for at least five years. After the five years the system can be moved anywhere. The systems are very portable. However, if you sell your house you may want to offer to the buyers the option of keeping the system at its value.

What does it mean that a system is “1200 watts”? Is that per hour?

A “1200 watt” system refers to the photovoltaic peak watts. For example, seven (5) 200 watt panels = 1Kw peak system. When you multiply this(1Kw)  times the average hours of sun in a region (New Orleans = 5) you get the watt-hours/day, multiply that by 90% for weather. Multiply by 30 and you get watt-hours/month, the same units shown on utility bills.

No one is home during the day. How is the power saved for later use?

A grid tied system uses the grid for storage. You get billed for the net usage per month. The excess amount generated will be credited to your next month’s bill.

How many solar panels can I install on my roof?

Using a rule of thumb, a 100 watt panel is 10 square feet. The width x length of your front roof divided by 10 will tell you how many 100 watt panels.

Does our roof support structure need to be changed?

Absolutely not. The mounting structure bolts through the roof to the joists and also comes with a flashed leak proof mechanism, which is also sealed with a 30 year leak proof sealant. If on a standing seam metal roof, we can use a non penetrating mount.

Are there additional insurance costs due to the installation of the panels?

You should add the investment amount of the solar system to the value of your home for full coverage. Additional insurance costs vary over different insurance companies.

Do the solar panels need to be mounted on my roof?

Panels are often mounted on the roof, but can also be mounted on the ground. Pole and Ground mounts are great if the house is shaded, or if dormers or other obstructions limit available space on the roof.

Do the panels need to face south?

South is best, but panels installed facing east or west still generate a very high percentage of possible power. It is usually more effective (and more attractive) to install the panels in the same plane as the roof direction, rather than build an awkward mount to angle them.

Are the panels fragile?

No. While the panels are made of tempered glass, it is quite strong. They pass hail tests, and are regularly installed in Arctic and Antarctic conditions.

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

Each home is different, and the amount of electricity you use is very dependent upon your lifestyle, how your home was built, and your appliances. As part of our services, we work with you to reduce your electrical consumption in easy ways.

How much power does the system produce?

Systems come in all sizes, and produce as much or as little power as required. Many systems produce a portion of the home’s required power, leaving room for additional conservation or generation in the future.

How long will the system last?

The solar panels and inverters have power warranties from the manufacturer ranging from 10 to 25 years. This is longer than almost anything else you can buy. Typically, systems last upwards of 40 years.

What happens when the utility has a power outage?

Most systems we sell are “clean power” systems, without batteries. These systems do not generate power when the utility is out, even if it is sunny. If backup power is desired, a battery system can be added. This increases the complexity and cost. Most people find that what they want is Clean Power, and find that the very occasional outage does not bother them, so they do not purchase the battery option.

Do I need batteries with the system?

Batteries are only required if you want backup power when the utility is out of service. Without batteries, the system has no way to store power, and for safety reasons cannot produce power without the utility in operation.

What is Net Metering?

Net Metering is the regulatory ability to get credit for electricity you generate with solar energy and send backwards through your utility meter. Exact provisions vary with each state, but the effect is to allow you to generate excess power during the day, and use it at night, without needing batteries.

How does the solar power get stored?

In a Clean Power, non-battery system, power is not stored. It is either used immediately in the house, or sent backwards through the meter, creating a credit. If storage is needed, large batteries and other equipment are added to the system.

Do I need to install a new roof before the solar panels are installed?

Solar panels will last many years (over 25). Because of this, we want the roof to be in decent condition, as it does not make sense to remove and reinstall the panels after only a few years. However, after the panels are in place, they will greatly reduce the wear on the roof by blocking ultraviolet rays, keeping most snow and ice off the roof, and keeping anything from hitting the roof. Most installations do not require a new roof prior to PV installation.

What happens if the panels are shaded?

PV panels should be installed in areas where they get significant shade-free sun every day. Even small amounts of shade can significantly reduce the output. Our designs and installations also seek to minimize the impact of any shade issues through selection of the proper equipment and good engineering.

Do I need to clean the panels periodically?

Most of our customers do not clean their panels. In most areas of the country, there is sufficient rain to clean the panels. However, if you are in a dusty area (very near a busy dirt road, very urban area, etc.) you may see a performance gain from cleaning the panels monthly. If necessary, a hose stream is usually sufficient for cleaning. Do not walk on or over the panels to clean them. Do not use metal, hard, or abrasive methods for cleaning. Do not spray water on the panels when they are very hot.

Does solar power work for commercial buildings?

We can install solar on office buildings, retail buildings, schools, and government facilities. Anywhere electricity is used, solar electricity can be used.

Are there financial incentives for buying solar electricity?

There are many incentives for purchasing solar. These vary from state-to-state. Some common incentives include:

  • Clean electric generation
  • Stable electric cost
  • Backup power for utility outage
  • Fight climate change / global warming
  • Take care of my children’s world
  • Create secure electricity supply
  • Political statement for a renewable energy future
  • Strongly dislike buying electricity from the utility
  • Feeling of empowerment
  • Remote site with no electric service
  • Sending electricity back to the utility (net metering) is cool
  • Solar energy just makes sense
  • Higher resale value for my property

If I sell my property, what effect does my solar investment have on the sale price?

Energy conservation and renewable generation adds value to a home. Surveys have shown that for every $1,000.00 saved per year, $20,000.00 is added to a home’s value. Solar energy can be one of the best home improvement investments you make.

How long does it take to install a solar system?

Typical residential systems take from 2 to 5 days to install. Systems mounted on the ground and systems with batteries are more complex, and may take longer. Most of this time is spent outside your house, so there is little disturbance to you. Commercial systems take several weeks to over a month to install, depending upon size and type of installation.

Louisiana Residential Solar Energy System Property Tax Exemption

Any solar equipment (This includes solar space heat, solar water heat, photovoltaics, solar pool heating,etc.) attached to an owner-occupied residential building or swimming pool as part of a solar energy system is considered personal property that is exempt from ad valorem taxation. 100% of the cost of the equipment is exempt and there is no limit on the eligible amount.

For more information or to speak to one of our professionals, please contact us.

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