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Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to the most common questions among solar clients.

Can I sell my surplus electricity back through the grid?
Yes. Net metering keeps track of all the power your solar system produces. Any solar energy that you do not use simultaneous with production will go back into the electrical grid through the meter. Your utility will bill you for the “net” consumption for any given billing period and provide you with a dollar credit for any excess during a given period.
Can you install solar on a flat roof?

Yes! We provide a specifically engineered racking system designed for flat roofs that angles the solar panels towards the sun. This increases the productivity and efficiency of the system, yielding greater savings and a faster ROI.

Do you install battery back up systems?

Yes, we custom design battery storage solutions to meet the needs of our clients.

Do you install ground mounted system?

Yes! We offer turnkey, ground mount installations. These are great solutions for homeowners with land, small businesses with limited roof space, and of course, farms!

Do you offer financing?

Yes, we provide a renewable energy loan (FICO >650) with low fixed rates, flexible loan terms, no prepay penalty, and 100% upfront funding.

Do you uninstall/reinstall panels if I need to replace my roof that has existing solar panels?

Yes, most of the time we can provide this service to homeowners needing a roof replacement.

Does Celestial Solar Innovations offer a solar lease or PPA?

No. Our company’s goal is to offer solar as a safe and savvy investment for your home and business. Renewable energy production is an enormous asset that can only be fully rewarded through system ownership. We do provide a $0-out-of-pocket financing program that is custom built for solar home improvements and often generates positive cash flow within the first year!

How does solar energy (photovoltaics) work?

You can change sunlight directly to electricity using solar cells. Sunlight hits a solar panel with photons (particles of sunlight). The solar panel converts those photons into electrons of direct current (“DC”) electricity. The electrons flow out of the solar panel and through an inverter and other electrical safety devices. The inverter converts that (DC) power (commonly used in batteries) into alternating current or (“AC”) power. (AC) power is the kind of electrical current that we use to power our homes.

How does solar work at night and when I’m not home?

At night or on cloudy days, when your system is not producing enough power to match your consumption, you will draw electricity from the utility grid as normal.

How long will my system last?

A solar photovoltaic (PV) system that is designed, installed, and maintained properly will operate for more than 25 years. The basic PV module has no moving parts and can last more than 40 years. The best way to ensure and extend the life and effectiveness of your solar system is by having it installed by NABCEP trained professionals. Experience has shown that most problems occur because of poor or sloppy system design and installation.

How much does a solar system cost?

The upfront costs of solar vary greatly depending on the system’s size, hardware selection, and purchasing model. The majority of our customers will recover their investment in 7-10 years, leaving them with 15-18 years of free electricity!

I can’t install solar on my roof, can I put it in my yard?

Yes. We offer ground mounted solutions when applicable. Ground mounts are an excellent option for farms or homes with a lot of property.

Is solar power a good financial investment?

Yes! The combination of incentives, savings, and home value increase makes solar power a very attractive investment. The majority of our clients will at least triple their net investment over the lifespan of the system. Why gamble in the stock market or lock up capital in low earning annuities or CD’s when you can yield a much larger return from solar with less risk?

Is solar power a good fit for my home?

Solar is cost effective for the majority of homeowners but here are a few things that determine how well solar will work in your home:

  1. You own your home
  2. Your roof is southern facing, with minimal shading, and in good condition (east and west orientation will work too)
  3. You have your own capital or good credit (if you are planning on financing your system)
  4. You plan on living at your current residence for at least the next 7-10 years
  5. You have the tax liability to utilize the 30% ITC
Should I replace my roof before installing solar?

There are three main factors to consider — age, condition and cost. The solar (PV) system is built to last at least 25 years, so it’s best to have a roof that will last as long as the system. Shingles are warrantied to last anywhere from 25-50 years. We evaluate the condition of every roof we install panels on during the survey process. We also provide uninstall and reinstall services for systems if the shingles need replacing during the system’s 25 year lifespan.

What are the components of a roof mounted solar system?

Solar panels, racking system, inverter, disconnect, net meter.

What are the current solar incentives in the state of Maryland?
What does an inverter do?

A solar inverter converts the variable direct current (DC) output of a photovoltaic (PV) solar panel into a utility frequency alternating current (AC) that can be fed into the electrical grid.

What if the sun isn’t shining?

During cloudy or overcast days the system does produce power, although less efficiently. Our solar technologies help to increase productivity in low sunlight as well as extreme temperatures.

What is a solar lease and/or power purchase agreement (PPA)?

Solar programs that charge their customers for the electricity generated by the solar system, usually at a lower price per kilowatt-hour than the utilty rate. Power purchase agreements and leases usually require $0 out of pocket, and usually have 20 year terms, with compounded annual escalators built in to their contracts.

What is a SREC?

Solar Renewable Energy Certificate. SRECs are tradable credits that represent all the clean energy benefits of electricity generated from a solar system. Each time a solar system generates 1,000 kWhs (1MWh) of electricity, an SREC is issued which is sold or traded separately from the power. SREC aggregators are often consulted to maximize and monetize your SRECs on your behalf. Currently in Maryland, the SREC program is available for net metered solar systems through 2030!

What is NABCEP?

North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners. It is the most respected and well-established national certification organization for renewable energy professionals in the country. Our installation teams are all highly knowledgeable and experienced NABCEP certified experts.

What is net metering?

Net metering is a policy that allows homeowners to receive the full retail value for the electricity that their solar energy system produces. The term net metering refers to the method of accounting for the photovoltaic (PV) system’s electricity production. It allows homeowners with solar systems to use any excess electricity they produce to offset their electric bill. As the homeowner’s system produces electricity, the kilowatts are first used for any electric appliances in the home. If the solar system produces more electricity than the homeowner needs, the extra kilowatts are fed into the utility grid.

What kind of maintenance will my solar system require?

Solar (PV) systems have no moving parts, so they require little maintenance. The components are designed to meet strict dependability and durability standards so they can stand up to the harshest of elements. Rain will help keep your solar panels clean and clear, but occasionally washing the modules will prevent soiling and maximize their energy production.

Will adding solar to my home increase my property’s value?

Solar energy adds tremendous value; your home will become a source of power generation for the next 25+ years, and will provide tens of thousands in savings. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory offers a useful guide when determining how much your property’s value will go up. According to its research, each additional $1 in solar energy bill savings adds $20 to your home’s total value.

This rule of thumb varies depending on a number of factors, including:

  • The location of your home. Installations in active solar markets like Maryland typically yield higher returns than comparable installations in less developed markets.
  • The size of your installation. Property value increases are directly proportional to the number (and quality) of solar PV panels installed.

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