Join Login Search
For Electric Cooperative Members
For Electric Cooperative Members

Trinity Valley EC News

Interested in Solar? Let’s Talk

Research is key when considering an installation

Q: Is rooftop solar a good option for me?
A: Maybe. Whether and how much you will benefit from a residential solar array depends on:

  • How much you pay for electricity and how much you use.
  • Your roof, its orientation and any trees or shading on it.
  • Federal, state and local incentives for solar development.
  • Your rooftop solar provider.

Q: Is my house suitable for a rooftop solar array?
A: Maybe.

  • Will you need to replace your roof sometime during the life of the panels? If so, you should replace your roof first.
  • Have you explored all of your energy efficiency options? Some upgrades like heat pump HVAC units and insulation may pay for themselves more quickly than solar.

Q: Will solar panels provide electricity during an outage?
A: No. Without a battery system and a smart inverter, most rooftop arrays cannot provide power during outages.

Q: What should I know before I sign a contract?
A: It depends on whether you purchase or lease an array. If you’re purchasing a rooftop solar array, be sure to ask:

  • What is the total installed (turnkey) cost of the system?
  • What is the payback period? What are the assumptions underlying that estimate? Are those assumptions consistent with my situation?
  • Are tax credits available? If so, how much and who gets them?
  • Does the company offer warranties on panels and inverters?
  • What are the details of the service contract?
  • What type of maintenance do the solar panels need? Who is responsible for that?
  • What are the interconnection requirements with my co-op?

If you are leasing panels in a rooftop array, be sure to ask:

  • What is the upfront cost of the system?
  • What are the interconnection requirements from my co-op, and who is responsible for meeting them?

Q: How can I protect myself and my investment?
A: Research.

  • Are the installers certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners to install photovoltaic systems?
  • Ask for all details, promises and claims in writing and take time to review them before signing any contact.