Frequently Asked Questions
Eversource and EnergySage have identified some of the most important questions customers often have about installing solar for their home or business.
Are solar panels worth it?
Solar can help property owners save thousands of dollars on their electricity costs over the life of the system (usually 25 years or more).
The amount of savings depends on a few factors, including the cost of the solar panel system, the amount of solar irradiation at your location, and how much you spend on electricity.
Loans and leases are often available for financing solar installations to help homeowners solarize without the upfront cost.
Head to Energy Save for more information about whether solar is a good choice for you, and why many homeowners in the Northeast see thousands of dollars in savings over the life of their solar panel system.
How do people with solar panels power their home when the sun isn't shining?
Net metering is a solar incentive that allows you to send excess electricity back to the electric grid, banking a credit for use when the solar system is producing less than your needs.
Eversource will add a credit to use on a future bill if your solar panel system produces more electricity than you use in a billing cycle.
Alternatively, if you use more electricity than your solar panels generate, you can draw the extra you need from the grid and pay standard rates for it. Find out more about net metering, and how your property can benefit from this policy when you have solar.
What is the average solar panel cost in the United States?
The price of a solar panel system can vary depending on a number of factors, including, but not limited to, location, type of equipment, and size of the system. Similar to looking at dollars per square foot when shopping for a home, one of the most useful ways to compare solar panel systems costs is on a dollars per watt basis ($/watt).
This is calculated by taking the total cost of the system and dividing it by the system size in watts (one thousand watts equals one kW). Take a look at this article to learn more about the average $/watt in your state.
How do I calculate the solar potential of my property?
EnergySage’s Solar Calculator will show you costs and savings estimates for solar on your property.
Simply type in your address, confirm your property, and enter your average monthly electric bill cost (taking into account your summer and winter bills) to generate quick numbers to evaluate.
The calculator uses current pricing data from the EnergySage Marketplace and factors in available financial incentives that help decrease the upfront cost of a solar panel system. You’ll be able to see quick snapshots of what your potential 20 years savings, payback period, increased property value, and net cost would be with various financing options.
Should I buy or lease my solar panel system?
Installing solar with a lease, loan, or upfront purchase can save you money on your electricity bill. Solar financing options can vary in regards to terms, incentives available, upfront costs, and overall savings.
The good news is that whether you choose a lease or a loan to finance your system, there are $0 down options available to you.
Regardless of whether you’re looking to purchase or lease solar panels for your home or business, you can read about the advantages and disadvantages of both options and help determine which is best suited for you.
How to claim the solar tax credit?
The federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) is one of the biggest incentive options available for purchasing a solar panel system. When you file your taxes for the year you install solar, you can claim a credit equal to 30 percent of what you paid for the solar panel system (a credit not a deduction).
This incentive won’t last forever; the ITC is scheduled to decrease after 2019 and be eliminated entirely for homeowners installing solar after 2021. It’s a good idea to explore solar sooner rather than later to benefit from this tax credit.
Head to EnergySage for additional information on the ITC, what to keep an eye out for when it comes to the credit, as well as important steps to take at tax time.
How many solar panels do I need?
There is no “one size fits all” for solar; the number of solar panels an installer will recommend for your property depends on several factors.
Your geographic area, the amount of sunshine the panels will get on your roof or land, the type of equipment, as well as how much you spend on your electricity bill will all help determine how many panels are right for you.
Head to EnergySage to learn more about a quick way to estimate the number of panels your property will need in order to meet your electricity needs.
What is the best solar panels technology?
It may be surprising to hear that there are thousands of different types of solar panels available. These panels come from different manufacturers and have a variety of warranty offerings, efficiencies, and performance qualities.
Premium panel options are typically more expensive, but can be worth it depending on your personal preferences and the needs of your property.
The number of options available can make it difficult to compare, so check out this guide to learn about the best solar panels on the market today, and factors to consider when making a decision for your home or business.