FAQs

How can I tell if my home is solar eligible?

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How can solar energy help the economy?

Solar energy is generated locally. The energy dollars stay at home, creating economic growth and benefiting your community. In addition, solar jobs are growing at more than 20 times the national average. Every 4 minutes, another American home or business goes solar and every solar panel is installed by a worker whose job can’t be outsourced.

What regular maintenance do solar panels require?

With systems that we recommend, very little. PV systems are inherently very low-maintenance, requiring the system owner only to wash the solar panels down with water when they get dirty so light can get through.

How long will my solar energy system last?

If properly installed, it should last 30-40 years. Systems that were installed in the 1970’s are still fully operational today. Technology has evolved so the systems from the 1970’s may not be as efficient as today’s technology.

How much does a solar energy system cost?

It is impossible to give a simple answer, since this depends on system capacity, home layout, and other variables. Certainly the cost has gone down dramatically in recent years, and now there are many tax breaks, electricity buy-back programs, and incentives. Please contact us for pricing and more information.

How does electricity buyback (Net-Metering) work?

If you generate more electricity than you use, the excess goes back to your utility company, spinning the meter backward and giving you a credit for the electricity your solar panel system generated. In simple terms, net metering allows residential and commercial customers who generate their own electricity from solar power to feed electricity they do not use back into the grid.

Net metering’s billing mechanism then credits solar energy system owners for the electricity they add to the grid. For example, if a residential customer has a PV system on the home’s rooftop, it may generate more electricity than the home uses during daylight hours. If the home is net-metered, the electricity meter will run backwards to provide a credit against what electricity is consumed at night or other periods where the home’s electricity use exceeds the system’s output. Customers are only billed for their “net” energy use. Exported solar electricity also serves nearby customers’ loads.

 “My husband saw our meter run backwards for the first time, and got all excited. We love our solar panels!”  Candice Stankus, Rockville MD, Solar Energy World Customer

“Each year we get a check from BGE for the excess energy we produce – can’t beat that!  Robyn Knopf Needel, Reisterstown MD, Solar Energy World Customer

“I really enjoy watching the BGE meter spin backwards.”  Rich Lechner Pasadena MD, Solar Energy World Customer

If there is a power outage, will my solar system keep making energy?

Many people considering going solar ask if a solar system works during a power outage. If you have a solar battery system as well as a solar PV system, your power will continue to work. However, since your system is grid-tied, for safety reasons, if there is a power outage your solar system will automatically shut off when the power goes out. Solar batteries can add as much as 30% to the cost of a solar system presently, so most homeowners do not go with this option.

Should you wait to go solar until battery back-up is less expensive? Why wait? You can start saving money right now, without battery backup. None of Solar Energy World’s 2000+ Maryland customers have solar battery back-up and they still save 20-100% on their electricity. Homeowners who own their solar systems are  generating extra income  and making profits from the excess energy their system produces. Typical ROI is 125% in 5 years and just keeps going up after that.  Homeowners who choose a Solar PPA, pay $0 for solar panels and installation to lock in an electricity rate that is lower than their utility.

Battery storage will definitely come down in price as manufacturers perfect the technology, and when that day comes, you will be able to add a solar battery back-up system to your current solar PV system – so really, there is no logical reason to wait for battery costs to go down to go solar.  The longer you wait to go solar, the more money you give away to your utility company with no hope of ROI or savings since never-ending utility rate hikes are a fact of life.

IF YOU ARE A MARYLAND OR WASHINGTON DC  HOMEOWNER WHO IS INTERESTED IN GOING SOLAR, CHECK OUT OUR SPECIAL OFFERS: CLICK HERE!

What is a kilowatt hour?

This is what you pay for when you buy energy from the local utility company. A kilowatt-hour (kWh) is a unit for measuring energy. It is, as its name suggests, one kilowatt of power used over a period of one hour.

Why would ANYONE hire a “solar” company to do their Home Performance project?

Fair question! There are many reasons to choose Solar Energy World for your home performance and energy service needs. First of all, our field audits are among the most comprehensive in the industry, going above and beyond BPI (Building Performance Institute) protocol. In addition to checking items related to energy efficiency, we do a quick fire safety check, humidity levels check, and other items related to indoor air quality. We even check the temperatures of your refrigerators and freezers, often saving our customers up to $100 / yr. by making a simple adjustment!

Our field audits allow us to write some of the best reports of any home performance company.

What makes your Energy Audit reports THE BEST?

They are thorough of course. But beyond that, they are easy to understand. Customers who have no prior building science knowledge can easily grasp the information contained within. We actually provide no less than two reports:

1) an overview that includes their energy usage graphed over a year, and 2) a quick read of WHAT we found in the home. This is the basis for a true evaluation, as it gives the customer a ‘snapshot’ of how their home uses energy through 4 seasons. This is important because some homes (and families) use more energy staying comfortable in winter or summer. Our complete report includes pictures, infra-red images, explanations, and recommendations. They typically run 10-12 pages.

Aren’t you REALLY just trying to sell something?

Honestly, no. We are there to gather information about YOUR home. We have performed MANY audit/evaluations where we did not put forth any proposal at all. If it’s not broke, we won’t try to charge you to fix it.

Do you do ALL work in-house?

No. We are partnered with some of the best subcontractors in Maryland. These include Aeroseal of Maryland, Devere Insulation, and a few select others that we have had a good relationship with for years. HOWEVER – We ARE on-site at all times providing quality control, communication with the customer, and YES, we do quite a bit of the DETAIL oriented work in-house.

Ok, so you can insulate a house, big deal, what else can you do?

The Energy Services Division of Solar Energy World is a FULL SERVICE, ONE STOP SHOP for anything related to home performance. In addition to insulation we also provide

  • Air Sealing
  • Duct Sealing
  • HVAC Evaluation
  • Carbon Monoxide (CO) monitors
  • Smoke Alarms
  • Lighting change outs (residential and commercial)
  • Chimney balloons (very beneficial for homes with fireplaces no longer used and or with broken dampers)
  • Dense packing of exterior walls, cantilevered ceilings
  • Insulation and moisture barriers of crawl-spaces

What is Solar Reflective Screening?

It is a material that we install in southern and western facing windows that GREATLY cuts down heat gain in the summertime. We replace the insect screen material in a window frame with a material that reflects up to 90% of the heat gain normally coming through a window in the summertime (customer needs to take them out and store the frames prior to winter).

So bottom line, what can your company really do?

By combining renewable energy systems such as Solar Photovoltaic and Solar Thermal along with sustainable products and practices (making the home more efficient year-round), we are able to take a typical home closer to net zero than any other company in the state of Maryland!

Why should I take your word for it?

Don’t. See what our customers have to say. Read reviews of Solar Energy World at the Maryland Home Performance website.http://www.mdhomeperformance.org/contractors.php?contractors_id=85

Most other companies provide most of these services also. Do you do anything the others don’t?

Glad you asked. Yes we do. We are the ONLY company in Maryland that installs ICE COLD. ICE COLD is a catalyst that greatly improves the performance of central air conditioning and heat pump systems.

We are also the only company in Maryland that installs Solar Reflective Screening.

Can my homeowners association stop me from installing solar panels?

No it cannot. According to DSIRE (Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency)

HOAs are barred from restricting a homeowner’s right to install solar panels. States which have laws that override any HOA contracts seeking to deny the right to install solar PV systems include: Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin.”

For details concerning solar access rights in Maryland click HERE.

Is a PPA transferrable?

If you sell your house, you may transfer the Agreement to the new homeowner or purchase the system. You may prepay the remainder of the payments due under the Agreement to make the transfer even more attractive to the new homeowner. Whichever option you choose, Solar Energy World will guide you through the process.


Do I qualify for any special discounts or offers? Possibly. To find out click HERE.

 

 

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Headquarters - Solar Energy World
5681 Main Street, Elkridge, MD 21075
Phone: 410-579-2009 • 866-856-4580
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