Will solar work on my house?
You can put a solar system on almost all roof types including composite, wood shake, slate, cement tile, S-tile, tar & gravel, and metal. It may be more expensive to install a system on some roof types than on others.
For every kilowatt (kW) installed, a solar system takes up about 100 square feet, so an average solar system takes between 400 and 1000 square feet.
Shading is a critical factor in determining the effectiveness of a solar system. When solar panels are obstructed by tree shade, they cannot produce optimum energy. If your house has light shading, a solar system may still make sense. Heavier shaded properties will require cutting trees down. A Geoscape Solar advisor can review your home and determine quickly if solar will makes sense for your home.
Solar energy systems need unobstructed access to the sun's rays for most or all of the day. Climate is not really a concern because solar PV systems are relatively unaffected by severe weather. In fact, some solar modules actually work better in colder weather. There is enough sunlight to make solar energy systems useful and effective almost anywhere in the world. We can give you a quick assessment by looking at satellite photos of your property.
Solar electric systems usually add less than four pounds per square foot.
No. While roofs are usually good locations because they are high enough to be above any shading from trees, and many times they are facing south, there are many different mounting options for these systems. Detached structures, garages, covered patios, trellises, and ground mounts are a few other installation options.
Every home is different, so the size of your system will depend on your energy needs, roof space and solar goals. Residential solar systems are typically 4-10 kW. Geoscape Solar will custom design a system to meet you and your community's specific needs and offset as much of your utility bill as is needed and physically feasible.
No. Geoscape Solar makes it easy to switch to solar. We will get your solar system up and running as quickly and smoothly as possible so that you can start saving money and using clean energy. You won't experience any changes inside your home.
As part of our Solar Easy Installation™, Geoscape Solar will obtain all building permits and design your system to meet your local building codes. We’ll arrange the electrical, building and utility inspections to ensure that everything is up to code. Geoscape Solar takes care of your project every step of the way.
Can I afford solar?
NO! Solar is actually far more economical over the long term than buying your power from the utility. After the state incentives, federal tax credits, and your SREC income, solar pays for itself in less than 5 years. The cost of solar panels continues to decline and Geoscape Solar passes these saving directly to our customers. As well, no one has more options to finance solar than Geoscape Solar. Let us show you how to make solar affordable.
Geoscape Solar Choice Financing™ gives you the most options to get solar for your home. Our innovative solutions include loans, pre-paid leases, same-as-cash programs, and leases. No one has more ways to bring solar into your life.
You earn one SREC, or Solar Renewable Energy Credit, for each 1000 kWh your system generates. These SRECs are traded on a market ensuring the highest price possible. A typical homeowner will generate between 7 and 12 SRECs per year. SRECs are in addition to your energy savings. You will generate SRECs for 15 years after installing your solar system. This is income that your solar system will produce year-after-year. SREC Easy Trade™ service for trading your SRECs is included at no additional cost as part of Geoscape Solar Easy Care™.
New Jersey is the fastest growing market for solar in the country, and second only to California for installations. When you combine the generous federal incentives with the NJ SREC program, no one has a better combination of financial benefits than New Jersey.
Now is the perfect time to buy a solar system. The Federal government and New Jersey are offering generous incentives to go solar. The federal investment tax credit is legislated until 2016 and the NJ SREC program will be in place for 15 years. There has never been a better time to go solar.
Geoscape Solar was the first in New Jersey to offer residential solar leases. While you will get your best return by buying a solar system, a solar lease can make sense if you are looking to reduce your out-of-pocket expense. Geoscape Solar advisors will work with you to help you find the best method to get solar and start saving.
What are the benefits of solar?
If you are able to purchase a solar electric system that covers your entire electricity usage (and you have the roof and/or ground space available), you won't ever have to pay for power again. Investing in a solar electric power system is like buying insurance against future rate hikes; you’ll never get another electric rate increase for the next 30 years and you become your own power company. You’ve bought the PV system, now the fuel (sunshine) is free!
Not necessarily. Many people buy systems that only eliminate part of their electric bill. The utilities have adopted a rate structure that increases the cost of electricity as you use more of it. Many people choose a system that will only eliminate the most expensive electricity. This increases the return on your investment.
Geoscape Solar’s grid-tied solar electric system for your home still has a “line-coming-in” from the utility, just like before, only now you also have a “line-out” to send your extra electricity back to the utility grid. The net metering law in New Jersey requires the local utility company to credit you for the amount of solar electricity your system produces and feeds into the grid.
The utility meter measures the difference between the electricity you buy from the utility and the electricity you generate with your solar electric system. When you are making more electricity than you are using, like typical summer days, your extra electricity automatically gets metered back out (sold) to the utility grid and your meter literally goes backwards. You receive credit for this power at the same rate they sell it to you. Net metering allows you to use the electric utility grid like a bank account. You can put electricity into it that you don’t use immediately and you can withdraw the same amount later on at no net cost to you.
Solar can significantly increase the value of your home. A recent study found that homes with solar sell 20% faster and at a 17% premium over homes without solar.
Our planet has a limited supply of fossil fuels, like petroleum, coal, and natural gas, and this supply will someday run out if we continue to use these traditional energy sources like we are today. In addition to being non-renewable, fossil fuels emit harmful greenhouse gases into the environment. Solar energy is a renewable energy source that is safe for the environment.
For a growing number of users, particularly those who are environmentally aware, PV is the clear choice. PV provides sustainable energy, operates silently, produces no toxic emissions or greenhouse gases, and causes no hazardous waste. PV systems generate electricity using the sun's free energy, so the ongoing costs are minimal.
What do I need to know about solar?
Your solar energy system requires very little maintenance, largely because it has no moving parts. All your system requires is minimal shade, occasional cleaning and inspection. We suggest that you keep an eye on trees that may shade your system and keep them trimmed. Annual maintenance and cleaning are included as part of Geoscape Solar Easy Care™.
A typical residential roof installation takes about 3-5 days. The length of time depends on the complexity of your roof and the number of panels that will be installed. The estimated installation time will be included in the design proposal presented to you by Geoscape Solar.
Since the amount of power your solar system generates is a direct result of sunlight, it will produce slightly less energy when the weather is cloudy. Your system will not produce any energy at night. Your Geoscape Solar power system will be interconnected to your local utility grid, so that you can automatically begin to draw power from the grid whenever you need it. You won’t experience any power interruptions—the switch between solar system power and the utility grid happens seamlessly, with no effort on your part.
Right after a snow storm, when your panels are covered, they won't produce power. But because solar panels are installed where there's the most sun, that's where the snow will melt first. Plus, snow easily slides off of panels and the reflection off the white snow can even increase how much power your system makes.
Most solar panels are guaranteed to withstand 3/4 inch hail balls at 120 miles per hour.
Almost all solar panels are designed to withstand lightning.
Ideally, you should install solar panels on a roof that is in good condition. When a Geoscape Solar site engineer comes out to inspect your building prior to installation, he or she will check to make sure that your roof is suitable for a solar installation. Once the solar panels are installed, they actually help to protect your roof from the elements. If you should ever need to make repairs on the roof, the solar panels will need to be removed and re-installed. Geoscape Solar offers this service for a reasonable fee.
No, now is really the best time to invest in a solar system with the combination of technology and cost. The underlying benefit of turning sunlight into electricity will not change for as long as we still use electricity to power our homes and businesses! Geoscape Solar offers multiple solar panel solutions to our customers. We continue to evaluate new technology and will offer it to our customers once it becomes a reliable and cost effective option.
Today, solar systems for your home are very reliable. They have proven to be dependable sources of energy for homes, large office buildings, mass retailers and governmental agencies, supplying megawatts of energy. Some of the largest companies in the world have buildings powered by solar energy, including eBay, FedEx, Wal-Mart, Whole Foods, and the US Air Force. Geoscape Solar has incredibly high quality standards and all of our panels are guaranteed for at least 25 years.
Battery systems are expensive and are not recommended. All Geoscape Solar PV systems are connected to the utility grid so you always have access to a power source. You never have to worry about “running out” of power.