Get answers to some of the most common questions about how solar energy can provide clean and affordable energy for your home or business.
Q- What is your service area?
A- Midwest Solar Inc covers a large portion of South Dakota and Minnesota.
Q- How big of a system do I need?
A- The size will be determined by the size of your roof, how much you are willing to invest and how much of your electricity you would like to offset. A smaller system can help to cover the hours of day when your home or business is at a higher electrical peak rate to help reduce costs. The other option would be a system that can produce enough electricity so that you have little to no electrical bill.
Q- Can I have solar if I have trees covering my house?
A- The solar panels need to have direct sunlight so shading from trees would decrease system efficiency. A ground mount system could be used in a case where the rooftop is shaded.
Q- How much does a solar system cost?
A- Solar panels range in cost depending on the application. The end cost will be determined by the size of system and number of panels needed. Size of system and estimated cost will be determined prior to starting the project.
Q- How can I save money on my utility bill and save energy?
A- Conserving electricity is rather simple and very important. Things as little as shutting off the light when you exit a room or installing occupancy sensors will show instant results. Replacing light bulbs throughout a home or business to energy efficient LED bulbs is the simplest and cheapest way to save. Replacing old inefficient appliances will save you money. These suggestions will reduce the usage of electricity needed for your home or business and therefore will reduce the size and the cost of the solar panel system.
Q- What will I need to do to start the process?
A- To start the process you will need to:
- Provide information regarding your energy use (i.e. your electrical bill)
- Approve the system design
- Sign contract and tax forms
- Have payments as noted in contract
- Meet at the end of the project to review system details, monitoring and setup
Q- What is net metering?
A- Net metering will allow you to sell back electricity to your electrical provider if your panels produce more than you use.
Q- Is now the right time to install a solar panel system?
A- Yes! Electrical rates have risen an average of 5.4% per year over the last 39 years. The sooner you get a system installed the more money you will save based on average energy rate increases. Rebates are available that will decrease the cost of a system. Electrical production is moving toward the use of renewable energy sources. Installing a solar panel system will put you on the cutting edge of modern energy.
Q- How long does it take to install a solar panel system?
A- This is completely dependent on the size and scope of the project. However, installation is typically much faster than you might think and averages 1-3 days.
Q- What incentives are available?
A- Homes and businesses will benefit from a 30% federal tax credit for solar panel systems installed prior to 2019. The federal tax credit is available to anybody except a nonprofit organization. There are other government programs and rebates available. We will evaluate to see if you qualify for any other incentives to lower the cost of the system. Businesses can do an accelerated federal depreciation of the final cost of a system.
Q- What happens on cloudy/dark days?
A- Your system will produce less on cloudy/dark days. However, there are enough sun rays penetrating the clouds for your system to produce electricity even when there is cloud cover. The system will be sized according to the average hours of sunlight in your location.
Q- What happens if there is a shortage of energy provided by my solar panel system?
A- Because the solar panel systems that we install are connected to the grid you can rest assure that you will always have access to power through the conventional grid system or your energy efficient solar panel system.
Q- Is financing available?
A- You are welcome to use whoever you are comfortable with for financing needs. If you need a recommendation, we are happy to provide contact information to a reputable banker upon request.
Q- What are the maintenance procedures and costs?
A- The majority of the maintenance is just keeping the panels clean. Panels that are soiled with dirt or covered in leaves will not produce as much or be as efficient. The Midwest is well known for having plenty of rain and snow so soiling is not generally an issue. Cleaning twice a year with water is generally enough. We will go over the steps of cleaning at the end of the project so you are comfortable with the process. If you would like, we can set up a bi-annual cleaning and inspection for a fee.
Q- What type of warranty is available?
A- Every panel manufacturer has its own standard, but typically you can expect a 20-25 year warranty on the solar panels. Inverters typically have a 15-25 year warranty.