We will continue to update this FAQ. If you have a question you would like us to add to this FAQ, just send it to Info@AcademySolar.com. We will respond directly to you and post your question here with your permission!
How do I determine what size Solar Energy System my house would need?
Review your last 12 months of electric bills. Your usage will be influenced by the number of people in the household, the usage of air conditioning, usage of heat pump for heating, the use of HDTVs, computers, and other high use electrical appliances. The average for a medium size house in America has been reported to by 9,000 to 12,000 kilowatt hours per year. Larger homes may use significantly more energy. We recommend that you try to install a solar system that will replace at least 50% of your electrical usage and more if your roof can accommodate a larger number of panels.
Will my utility pay me for the excess power I produce?
North Carolina has approved "buy all sell all" for NC Solar Installations and homeowners can connect to the grid. When you are generating more Clean Solar Energy than you are currently using, your excess energy is fed back to the energy grid for use by others. You get a credit for that energy. When you need extra energy, you draw on those credits from the electrical utility! You only pay only for what you use from the utility company.
What types of permits are involved to install a solar system to generate electricity?
All cities and most counties require an electrical permit be obtained before a system is installed. Also, the local utility will require an interconnection and buy all-sell all agreement. Your system will be inspected by local officials. Academy Solar takes care of all these permits and agreements for you. We will do all the paperwork and bring for you to sign. We will do all the work with the utility company and the governmental entities to get your system installed.
What is my payback period for a solar PV system?
It’s dependent upon your buy all-sell all contract, costs of electrical energy, incentives and real estate market for sustainable features. For a 5-kilowatt system, it’s typically a 7- to 10-year payback period. Payback is affected significantly by the size of the Solar incentives when you do your install and the price increases we all expect to continue over the next 25 years.
With the recent energy crisis for gasoline, the events in the Gulf of Mexico, and the Federal government’s continuing interest in establishing Cap and Trade pricing, we can only expect energy prices will raise 7-12 percent per year! Your Solar Installation will lock in your price for amount of energy your Solar Installation will produce. No price increase for that energy after you get the system installed!
How can I heat my home or water with solar power?
Solar hot water panels are different from those that produce electricity. Solar air and water panels capture heat from the sun on their surface and transfer the heat to a holding tank or vent. Academy Solar is focused on photovoltaic electric energy production at this time. We have associate companies that we have checked out and can refer you to those companies for home heating and home hot water systems.
Pros and cons of a Clean Solar Energy System
Solar Energy is Free after initial investment.
No pollution is produced by your Solar Energy System. The only pollution produced is from the manufacturing, transportation and installation of the Solar System components.
Growth in Solar Energy systems reduces dependence on the world’s fossil fuel supplies.
Tax credits and rebates are available from Federal and State governments.
Annual rebates for Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SREC) are available in North Carolina and may even increase over time.
Solar Installation by you could be a bureaucratic hassle. Luckily Academy Solar has all the forms, all the contacts with the right agencies, and knows how to take the hassle out of the bureaucracies for you!
Although most cities and homeowners associations have no problem with Solar Installations, some do. Academy Solar will work with you and your homeowners associations to meet any of their requirements. We will also offer discounts to any homeowners association who would like to get multiple installations in their community and would be glad to come to the homeowners association to present the benefits and costs of Clean Solar Energy!
Incentives for solar energy systems
Tax credit: 30 percent of cost with no upper limit. Expires Dec. 31, 2016.
Includes: Photovoltaic panels, water heaters, attic fans and air warmers.
Tax Credit: 35% up to $10,500 for price of Solar Installation system.
Some local communities also have incentives.