Solar 101

1. Solar modules react to sunlight, creating a flow of electrons (electricity).
2. The inverter converts the raw electricity to grid standard (AC).
3. AC electricity is sent to the electric panel to be used in the home.
4. When the system produces more power than the home is using, excess is sent to the grid. A bidirectional meter keeps track of the flow to and from the grid.


How Solar Works


  • How much does a solar electric system cost?
    The cost of your solar investment will vary greatly depending on the size of the system, your location and available incentives. To find out what a Solar4America system will do to your electric bill, go to our Solar Savings Calculator.
  • Can my electric bill really be $0?
    Some solar systems produce more electricity than is used each month, bringing net electricity costs to $0. However, there is still a minimal connection fee (typically about $100 per year) to remain connected to the electrical grid.
  • What incentives are available to me?
    Solar4America systems sold in the U.S. are eligible for a 30% federal tax credit. Additional state, local and utility incentives exist in many areas, further lowering the net cost of your investment. Browse benefits of solar in your state.
  • Do I get paid for my extra energy production?
    Currently, most of America is under a system known as Net Metering, which allows your net electricity costs to be reduced to zero, but no further. In a select few places in the U.S., you can be paid for any excess electricity you create, in what is known as a Feed-In Tariff system.
  • Can I install solar panels myself?
    It is not recommended. The process requires both licensed electrical and roofing skills to ensure the solar power system is safe and optimally designed for 30+ years of production.
  • How does a solar system affect my roof integrity?
    With proper design and installation following industry best practices, your roof should maintain all its pre-solar integrity. Solar4America audits and trains all our Installers on these best practices so that you can rest easy knowing that your roof will be okay.
  • Is solar a viable option in cold climates?
    Yes. A general rule of thumb is that if you can clearly see your solar panels, they can produce electricity. In fact, given equal sunlight, a solar panel on a cold day will out-produce a solar panel on a hot day.
  • How does snow affect a solar system’s performance?
    While snow will decrease production while it is on your panels, it should not damage your system when designed and installed properly. Given the angle of the panels and their tendency to produce some heat, the snow will fall off your panels faster than it would fall off your roof, quickly returning your system to its full potential.
  • Will my system still generate power during a blackout?
    For the safety of workers attempting to fix power outages, solar systems that are connected to the electrical grid are required by utility regulations to shut off during blackouts. Solar4America recommends battery backup or traditional generators in places where blackouts occur regularly.
  • Can I take my home off the electrical grid?
    Yes, provided you install optional battery-backup systems to provide power when your demands exceed your production, such as at night.
  • Can my HOA or neighbors prevent me from installing a solar system?
    In a lot of cases, no. Currently, 39 states have solar access laws that provide varying degrees of protection against restrictions that can be imposed on you. Your local Solar4America consultant will be able to discuss the laws and policies in your area.
  • I don’t plan on being in my home for 30 years. Why would I add solar?

    People move more frequently now than ever before, but that shouldn’t impact your solar decision. A solar system can save you money today and even pay for itself in as little as 5 to 7 years. Even if you move before your solar investment is completely paid off, studies show the cost will likely be returned in added value to your home.

    Plus, your home will most likely sell faster. Who doesn’t want a home with a guaranteed low electric bill? Our warranty is even transferable one time to a new owner.