Frequently Asked Questions
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Below you can find some of the most commonly asked questions we receive. Click on the questions to display the answer.

What happens with the excess energy that is produced?

The extra solar energy is fed back into the grid through your production meter to the nearest loads(your neighbor’s houses through their utility meters) and you pay a net usage fee each month. So for example, if you used 1000 kwh and produced 1000 kwh your net energy usage would be $0. We Energies and other utilities have service fees each month regardless of what kind of billing you have, so you would only offset those fixed service costs by producing more than you use. Most utilities credit you about 1/3rd of what you produce over and above your net usage. We Energies is $0.04642/kwh So if you used 1000 kwh but produced 1250 kwh, you would get a credit that month for $11.605. Because of this, we suggest that you size your system for your usage or slightly higher as the panels do slightly degrade in production over 30-40+ years. If you produced 750 kwh and used 1000 kwh in a month, your energy charge would be $42.885 (250 x $0.17154). Once your credit with We Energies gets over $100, you receive a check from them, otherwise any amount less than that is applied to your account balance the following month.

How well do the panels hold up to the weather? High winds, hail, etc.

They hold up well to high winds since these systems are used in areas prone to hurricanes. When we are required to get a structural analysis, the rating is usually 115 mph for residential homes. If an installer does a poor quality installation by not hitting a rafter with a lag bolt, or they forget to tighten an end or mid clamp then I’m sure there is some margin for error. The guys that are on the roof are previous roofers and one is now an electrician and co-owner of the company. They respect the importance of mounting the system’s rails to a rafter. We have uninstalled and reinstalled panels on hail damaged roofs for insurance claims where the shingles were damaged, yet the solar panels were not. The insurance company still paid for the installation of new panels and flashings, but everything else was able to be reused.

How long would you estimate that it would take for me to break even on the investment?

If you used 13,693kwh annually x 0.17154, your annual avoided energy cost would be $2,348.90. Assuming you qualify for the income tax credit and the focus on energy rebate it would be roughly 8.1 years with energy costs and production staying the same. Rates will likely go up and the panels will slightly degrade, but I think realistically the rate increases will have a larger impact and will reduce that simple payback period.

How long does the installation take?

A system like the one in our proposal without batteries would take about 4-5 working days. With batteries, it would be about 6-8 working days. A more solid plan and estimate could be provided after a site visit to your home.

How far out are you scheduling?

Between 2-3 Months from when a contract is signed and the system is functioning. The season and demand can adjust this timeline.

Does the inverter need to be in the house or can it be placed in the garage?

We usually mount them outside, in the basement, or in the garage.

Is there a battery back up for essential outlets or even the entire house in case of power outage?

Most of the battery systems that we install are capable of powering the entire house during an outage, in some cases it is to backup a sub-panel of essential loads if the house has a large energy usage or the customer wants to maximize their battery capacity.

How do I check my energy usage as a We Energies customer?

If you are on your we energies account online, there is a way to get to your monthly electrical usage history in kilowatt hours for the past year. Once you have logged in go to “my account” then click the “view bill history” tab. Scroll down and select the “download” button to get a copy of the CSV file or any other file type.

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