F&Q About Solar:

“What should I do about the snow on my solar panels?”

We suggest nothing, to be safe. While your solar panels are built to withstand the heavy snowfall and icy conditions we get in New York we do not recommend getting up on your roof, or raking snow off for extra production. The software we use to calculate your quotes takes the low sun hours you’ll receive in winter into consideration. Because of our awesome net metering laws in New York, you’ll produce plenty of energy during the longer, sunny hours of the summer months to carry you through those dreary winter months.

“Will I still pay an electric bill?”

Long story short; yes. But your main electric charges will be drastically lower. After your solar is installed, inspected, and your net meter is installed, your system will start producing energy. If you begin to over produce energy, it will be sent to your utility company, or battery, to be used at a later time. If you don’t have a battery backup system, the utility will keep track of the excess generation hours for you, as will the monitoring (if you chose to monitor). You will be able to see that each month on your electric bill. You will be charged each month for a service fee to be connected to the grid, which is generally $15-$19; depends on location.

“Can I finance my solar panels?”

Yes! Collegiate Builders offers our solar customers many different types of loans. Some people may even chose to take out a second mortgage or Line of Home Equity to pay for their solar panels. Solar panel investments in New York state have an average payback of 5-7 years, and each year after that you can look forward to saving! Our solar loans are designed to eliminate your current electric charges and replace them with a lower payment to help you start saving from day one! They are the same each month, unlike the bills you receive from the utility company, which makes it easy to budget and plan for future purchases.

“What happens to the extra energy I don’t use in my house?”

Once your solar panel installation is complete and inspected, your utility company will be notified by us and will come to switch your electricity meter. It will be replaced with a bi-directional meter, so any surplus energy your system is creating will be sent back to the utility company. At night time or lower producing months, you will draw electricity from the grid and you will use your “solar credits” before you purchase energy from the utility!

“Will I still have power if the grid goes down?”

No, it is unsafe to have your home generating power and sending it back to the grid while their lines are down. Many states (NY included) are now requiring the inverters installed have Rapid Shutdown integrated into themselves! Collegiate Builders prefers to install the inverter systems that we have recommended to you (Enphase, SolarEdge) for this reason as they have been integrating rapid shutdown for years, and can sense when the grid has stopped responding to the inverter. It is much safer this way for first responders and other safety personnel that may have to respond to your home in case of an emergency.

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