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Solar Panel Facts

We understand that the decision to go solar is a big one. You likely have many questions: Do solar panels need maintenance? How long do solar panels last? How much money will I save?

This is your resource for solar energy facts. Our team is knowledgeable of the entire solar process. We have compiled the most asked solar questions. If you don't find the answers that you are looking for below, reach out to us at any time. Whether you end up converting to solar energy or not, we are always here to help and happy to chat.

Q:  Can commercial solar panels generate enough electricity to power my entire business?

A:  With proper planning and solar system sizing, most likely yes. Each system meets the specific energy needs for each commercial or industrial property.

Q: What solar panel system size will work for my business?

A:  At Smart Roofs, we help you determine the best fit solar installation for your property. It depends on the size of the facility, the average energy usage month to month, and many other factors. Get your free analysis.

Q:  What if we lease our building?

A:  If you don’t own the building, we can discuss options with the building owner. We'll go over the savings in your energy bill and the increased value of their property. More and more portfolio property owners are looking for ways to keep tenant leases. We provide full funding and options for landlords' consideration.


Q:  Should I replace my roof before installing solar panels?

A:  It depends. Solar systems have a lifespan of 25 to 35 years. We offer free roof inspections. If repairs are necessary, we will provide you with quotes from qualified commercial roofers. You can bundle roof repairs and a solar system under one loan. Learn more about that here.

Q:  What if I just got a new roof?

A:   Post installation of a new roof is an ideal time to install solar panels. The life length of both roofs and solar panels are 25 to 35 years.  All the equipment associated with your solar array comes with a 25 year warranty.

Q:  Does solar work in cold climates?

A: Yes, solar panels work on sunlight, not heat. Solar energy production may be lower during the winter months in colder states due to the shorter days. It is a valuable and reliable source of renewable energy all year long. 


Q:  Will a solar array impact the appearance of my business?

A: Each solar array is unique to the building. Most commercial systems are out of sight on flat roofs. If not, our engineers design custom solar arrays that will complement any facility. We work with you to design a solar energy system that looks great.

Q:  What are the financial benefits of going solar?

A:  Solar panels generate energy from the sun, saving you on energy costs.  Solar power eliminates the stress of rising electricity rates. It also increases your property value. Federal and state solar incentives put money back into your business as well.

Q:  What time and resources does a solar project need?

A:  Our solar installation process results in very little impact on your operations. We follow a logical and thorough process and you'll know when and what to expect every step of the way. We handle over 150 steps, minimizing impact to your time and business.

Q:  How long is the solar installation process?

A:  Each installation is unique and requires different factors specific to the project. Here is a rough estimate on the typical solar installation timeline.

Q:  How does commercial solar energy work?

A:  Solar panels capture sunlight and convert it into direct current (DC) electricity. The DC electricity is then converted into alternating current (AC) through an inverter. The AC current matches the electricity requirements of the property. This conversion offsets the need for grid-supplied electricity.

Q:  Does solar power operate during a power outage?

A:  In the event of a power outage, the solar energy system will shut off due to power grid outage. This automatic safety feature protects utility workers and first responders from potential injury. Special solar inverters can supply backup power during a blackout.


Q:  Is there solar panel maintenance?

A:  Solar panels need little to no maintenance throughout their 25 to 35 year lifespan. Wind and rainfall clean off any debris that may accumulate. If your solar panels do happen to need maintenance for some reason, we’ve got you covered.

Q:   How long do solar panels last?

A:   25 to 35 years. Solar panels are very durable and designed to generate electricity and big savings. All the equipment associated with your solar array comes with a 25 year warranty.

Q:  How do I calculate my energy bill to compare my savings with solar?

A:  Each state and region experiences different energy prices. If your electricity bill is over $800 per month, solar energy is a better option. With one electrical bill, our team of engineers can see your annual electricity usage. With that, they will design the perfect sized solar PV system to offset up to 100% of your energy costs.

Q:  What is net metering?

A:  When a solar panel system produces more electricity than is being used, the extra power feeds back to the grid. The extra electricity gets credited back to the solar system owner's utility account. This arrangement is "net metering."

Q:  How much will I save by switching to solar?

A:  With a recent utility bill, we can determine your annual savings for you. We'll send you a free quote based on your energy usage and requirements.

Q:  Is switching to solar expensive?

A:  Solar installation requires little to no upfront cost when financing. When paying upfront, the return on investment is about two to four years. Our team is transparent with all expenses. We work with you to ensure the most beneficial plan for you and your business.


Q:  What are the financial incentives for businesses to go solar?

A:  Federal and state solar incentives offset the cost of a solar installation. One, The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), gives you a credit on your federal income taxes, equal to 30% to 50% of the project. Our team ensures that our customers take advantage of all available incentives.

Q:  What are the different options for installing solar?

A:  There are 4 main approaches to investing in solar. You can:

  • Own the system outright by investing with cash

  • Get a special solar loan

  • Get a power purchase agreement. You pay a solar provider for your electricity, and that provider owns the solar equipment

  • Lease your roof to a solar investor and get paid (rate is size-dependent)

There are many perspectives to consider. We review all options and solar incentives available for each business situation.

Have more questions about solar that we haven't answered here? Reach out to us.

Solar panels on top of a commercial buidling roof
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