SOLAR ENERGY INFORMATION TO HELP YOU MAKE INFORMED DECISIONSfrequently asked solar questions

If you’re anything like us here at SI Solar, you like to get all your questions answered before making a big decision.

That’s why we’ve supplied you with these frequently asked questions and answers regarding solar power and solar systems in Staten Island and New Jersey.

Our FAQs give you straight forward answers to commonly asked questions about solar energy for homes. However, if you would like anything clarified, please contact us or give us a call at 844-747-6527.
We would be happy to speak with you directly.

Why should I consider solar panels for my home?
By installing your own solar system, you can save money on your costly electric bills and lock in your utility rate for an extended period of time. Plus, you can take advantage of government tax incentives and rebates, which can save you even more money.

Exactly how much money can I save with solar power?
While many different factors impact your direct savings from solar, a typical homeowner may be able to eliminate between 70-100% of their current electric bill. However, since everyone’s home and personal situation are so different, results may vary.

Are there any factors that impact how much money I can save with solar power?
Yes, how much you can save depends on a variety of factors, including your current electric rates, the size of your solar system, how much sun your roof gets, how much electricity you produce, and how much electricity you consume.

Why is solar power so popular?
By harnessing the power of the sun, solar systems offer a safe, reliable, less expensive way to provide energy to homes and businesses. Secondly, solar energy is good for the environment because it comes from a renewable energy source, the sun. That means it does not contribute to global warming or harm the ozone layer like coal, oil and gas. Additionally, it’s relatively easy to do with very little work required for a homeowner.

How difficult is it to install solar on my home?
Installing solar on your home is easy. To see if you qualify, just call us at SI Solar, at 844-747-6527 for a free, no obligation assessment of your home. Once you say “yes” to solar, we will handle everything for you, from permits to installation. While the paperwork can take several months, the actual installation can be accomplished in just a few short days.

What are some of the benefits of going solar?
Essentially, you can save money by paying lower utility bills, lock in your electric rate for as long as the system is on your roof, increase your home’s resale value, and help the planet by burning less fossil fuels and reducing our dependence on costly foreign oil. More benefits…

How do solar panels work?
Solar panels convert sunlight into DC electricity, which is then converted into AC electricity by an inverter that is installed somewhere outside or inside your home (typically the garage or basement). AC is the form of electricity used in your home. The inverter then sends the AC electricity directly your electric service panel and any excess energy is sent to your utility company. You receive credit for any excess energy you produce. More details…

How can I determine if my home qualifies for solar?
Several factors need to be examined, including:

  • Whether you own or rent your home
  • The size, shape and age of your roof
  • Which direction your house faces (north, south, east or west). Roofs facing south are typically the best candidates for solar because they tend to get the most sunlight during each day; although east and west roofs also work well
  • Whether there are trees or any other obstructions that make shade on your roof
  • How much your current monthly electric bills are
  • How much electricity you use each month
  • Your credit score (if you are interested in leasing or obtaining a loan for your solar system)

What types of government incentives are available to me if I go solar?
The federal government offers homeowners certain tax credits to utilize renewable energy. These incentives are continuously changing. Contact us

[link to contact us] for more details about what is currently available. Until December of 2019, Federal tax payers could receive an income tax credit for up to 30% of the cost of a solar system. Some states, for example New York, provide state tax credits as well.

What is an inverter and why do I need one?
An inverter is an electrical device installed in your basement, garage or outside your home that converts the DC power created by solar panels into AC power for use in your home.

What is an SREC?
As you generate your own electricity, you produce SRECs (Solar Renewable Energy Certificates) which, in some states like New Jersey with an SREC market, can be sold back to your utility company for extra cash. Essentially, for every 1,000 kwhs you produce, you receive one SREC. Exactly how much you are paid for each SREC depends on the market rate for SRECs on the day you sell them.

How long does it take to install a solar system on someone’s roof?
The actual installation process only takes a few days. However, it does take several months to obtain permits, complete the necessary paperwork with the utility company, local and state agencies, and arrange for the city/town inspections.

How long will it take to get a return on my solar investment?
Most solar systems give you a return on your investment within 5-10 years, depending on a variety of factors, including your utility provider, your location, your current utility rates, whether you purchase or lease your solar system, and how much power your system generates vs. how much power you actually use.

Aren’t solar systems expensive?
Most people can get a solar system for $0 down. In fact, with our lease programs, we install the system for free. If you prefer to purchase, consider how much money you will save over the life of your solar system. Most people believe the investment is definitely worth the payback.

What will solar panels do to the value of my home?
Solar panels will actually increase your home’s value because they lower the amount of money you pay for your monthly electric bills. Plus, your real estate taxes likely will not increase because most states provide for property tax exemptions for solar system installations.

What happens to the solar system on my roof if I sell my home?
If you sell your home, you can transfer the rights to your system to the new homeowner, just as you would any other accessory that comes with your house, such as a swimming pool.

Will I need to get a new roof before I install solar panels on it?
That depends on the age of your roof. Typically, if your roof is less than 15 years old, you can install solar panels without any changes to the roof. However, if your roof is older than that, you may want to consider installing a new roof first. Why? Roofs typically last for 25-30 years and solar systems typically last for about the same time. If you install a solar system on a roof that may need to be replaced in a few years, then your solar system would need to be taken down in order to install the new roof. That would involve an additional cost to disconnect, remove and reconnect the solar system.

What types of financing options are available to pay for a solar system?
There are two ways to pay for a solar system. You can purchase the system outright; the cost will depend on the scope of your roof and the size of the system that can be installed. Or, you can lease a system, much like when you lease a car. In this case, the system is installed for free and your monthly lease payment would be less than your current utility rate. Request a FREE quote on a solar system for your home today.

If I lose power, will my solar system supply power to my home?
Unfortunately, you cannot access power from your solar system during a blackout, unless you have battery backup. Solar inverters have safety devices that turn off solar power to homes if a particular area loses power from the power grid. Since your solar system is still connected to your utility company, it would need to turn itself off in the event of a power outage to prevent back feeding to the grid.

How long does a solar system last?
Today’s solar systems last for approximately 25-30 years. In fact, many systems are still operating at about 80% of their peak efficiency in their 25th year.

What type of maintenance is required on solar panels?
Very little or no maintenance is required. Your solar panels should be sufficiently cleaned by the rain and snow which fall naturally and frequently enough in the northeastern part of the United States. If not, a simple washing periodically should suffice.

What is net metering?
When you install a solar system for your home, a new meter will replace your existing one. The new meter allows you to track any excess power you send to the utility company. If you generate more power than you consume, the meter will spin backwards (not forward) showing how much power you’re giving back to the electrical grid. The utility company bills (or credits) you for the “net” energy consumed, which is the difference between what you provided to the utility vs. what you took in.

Who is Frank Ficazzola?
Frank Ficazzola is a certified and experienced solar consultant in the New York/New Jersey area and the owner of SI Solar. He grew up on Staten Island where his family settled after migrating from Italy. After working in the financial services industry in Manhattan for most of his career, Frank began investigating the power of solar. Convinced of the many benefits that solar power offers individuals, businesses and the environment, Frank decided to become a champion for solar technology. Through his company, SI Solar, Frank brings the benefits of solar power to Staten Island and New Jersey.

What is SI Solar?
SI Solar is a small, local solar company that knows the NY/NJ area, its people, their needs and the communities in which they live. The company’s priority is to ensure that people have all the information they need to determine if solar power is the right choice for them. How? By giving them expert advice, straight forward answers, a caring attitude and prompt customer service. So if you want expert solar advice from someone you can trust, contact the team at SI Solar.

What is AC power?
Alternating current (AC) power is the form of energy used in your home to power all your lights and appliances.

What is DC power?
Direct current (DC) power is the form of electricity produced by solar cells.

What is a solar cell?
Solar cells are contained inside solar panels that convert the sun’s rays into DC power.

What is solar energy?
Solar energy is a safe, reliable way to use the power of the sun to generate electricity for homes and businesses.

What are solar panels?
Solar panels containing solar cells are installed on rooftops to capture the sun’s rays and convert the rays into electricity.

What is green energy?
Green energy, also called renewable energy, does not have a negative impact on the environment. Solar power and windmills are examples of green energy because their supply will never be depleted.