Solar energy system FAQs
Now that you have a basic idea of how solar power works, we’ll answer some commonly asked questions about solar energy.
Are home solar energy systems expensive?
There are several factors that will determine the cost of solar panels for your home. Whether you choose a model with a single inverter or multiple microinverters, the amount of energy you need your system to create, and the size and design of your home can all have an impact on the cost of your solar energy system.
When you reach out to Vivint, we’ll connect you with a specialist who can provide you with a free quote for a system that will fit your needs. They’ll also tell you about our financing options that can make the switch to solar energy easier.
Are home solar energy systems hard to install?
It’s possible to DIY PV panel installation. Some panels are even designed for you to install yourself. However, DIY solar installation can be risky, as you’ll be working on the roof and with electrical equipment. Some areas also only offer solar energy tax rebates if your panels are installed by a certified professional.
A professional installer will also know things like what angle to position your panels so that they receive the most sunlight. Many certified companies will even offer warranties if your panels need to be fixed or replaced. These warranties might be voided when you perform your own installation.
There’s a lot that goes into the installation of a solar panel system even before you start the physical installation process. When you purchase solar panels with professional installation, a specialist will come to your home to survey your property and decide on the best design and location for your panels.
The installation expert might suggest for you to do things like remove trees on your property that could block sunlight, fix up your roof, or make upgrades to your home or electrical system.
The expert will then create a design plan for your panels and send it to your local permitting departments and utility company to make sure the plan is code compliant for your area. Codes can vary greatly from city to city. It can take a few months for your panels to be designed and approved by all the necessary departments.
Actually installing a solar energy system takes a lot less time than preparing to install one. PV panels can be installed in as little time as a few days. Here are the steps for actually installing your solar energy system.
Set up the base structure for your panels. You might have roof-ground mounts or flush mounts. Usually, these will be set up so that your panels face south to get the most sunlight possible.
Secure your solar panels into your mounted base structure using bolts.
Perform the necessary electrical wiring. Typically, you’ll use a universal connector, like an MC4, to connect your PV panels to your electrical system.
Attach your solar energy system to a solar energy inverter.
Attach the solar inverter to the grid input and to your solar battery, if you have one.
Activate the solar inverter.
Can solar energy be created on a cloudy day?
Your solar energy system can generate power on cloudy days. However, it won’t create as much energy as it would on a sunny day. The more direct sunlight your PV panels are exposed to, the more energy they’ll be able to produce.
Is solar power considered "clean energy"?
The sun is one of the best clean energy sources. Unlike other forms of energy—like fossil fuels—solar power is carbon-free, renewable, and sustainable. And it doesn’t emit any greenhouse gasses.
Are solar panels a good home investment?
Solar panels are a long-term investment. A set of panels can require a substantial initial investment, but the expense can be offset by your energy savings over the next 25 to 30 years, or however long your panels last.
The government also offers tax incentives to people who use solar energy. The federal tax credit for solar energy systems built in 2022 currently sits at 26% (and 22% for solar energy systems installed in 2023). That means if you spend $10,000 on solar panels for your home in 2022, you can reduce your taxes for the year by $2,600.
Going solar can even increase the value of your home. Panels are trendy items that appeal to both environmentally conscious home buyers and those looking to cut down on their energy costs.