There are so many reasons why homeowners may want to go solar: energy costs, environmental concerns, the desire to become energy independent. Whatever the motive, a home solar electric system will provide you with a clean, unlimited, and energy source. Yet, before you decide to go solar, you may have a few questions. We’ll address some of your concerns in this blog. Will I need to net meter? Net metering is a billing mechanism that credits solar energy system owners for the electricity they add to the grid and allows consumers to use the energy they have generated whenever it is needed. In some states like California, net metering allows any electricity that is generated at your residential property to be delivered back to the utility grid, providing the homeowner with a credit at the same price that you pay for the electricity you take from the grid. With the new solar roofs, the roof actually becomes a profit center. Do I need batteries for power storage? The best storage solution for you depends on where you live and whether you experience a lot of blackouts. SolarCity has a PowerWall™ that can be used as a backup power solution that ensures that homeowners will have energy through any outage, day or night. The new solar roof has the potential to increase efficiency and produce more energy at higher temperatures. Again, in states where net metering occurs, any excess power can be sold back to the grid, which is cost effective and beneficial. Will my electricity remain on if the grid in my neighborhood goes out? If the grid goes out in your neighborhood, the PowerWall™ is a first generation battery that can power an average two-bedroom home for a full day. The PowerWall™ is one solution for minimizing power loss when there are power outages from storms or other possible natural disasters. What happens if it snows? The dark surface of the solar panel gathers sun and helps melt the snow, causing it to glide right off the glass surface. However, it’s important to consider the average snow accumulation for your area when choosing the right solar panels. Be sure to check with the manufacturer to make sure the panels can stand up to heavy snow, if that’s a concern. What happens if I move? This all depends on if you have leased the system that you are using or if it happens to be one that you own outright. If you lease your solar energy system, you can either tell the future homeowner that they will need to take over the lease or buy out the lease (which will increase the value of your home). If you own the system outright, then this will be an easy transfer. It has been proven that in certain markets solar panels/roofs increase the value of the home. Should your home be newly fitted with solar, or if you have maintained the existing system and it’s in good shape, then you will get more value for your home. Contributor James Link
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