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703.935.2350 info@skyNRGsolar.com
12020 Sunrise Valley Dr. Suite 100
Reston, VA 20191

Solar FAQ

What type of solar electric systems do you install?

A vast majority of our customers install grid-tied PV systems. Grid-tied systems allow for seamless integration with your utility electric company. This allows you to net meter your energy production, ensuring that all of the electricity your system produces offsets your usage. For clients who desire a battery backup system, Sky NRG Solar offers grid-tied systems with battery backup or night time use of solar power.

What happens if the power goes out?

During any type of power outage, your PV system will automatically shut down and restart once power has been restored. This shutdown is for safety and is required by law. A battery storage system can be used if back-up power functionality is desired.

What size PV system will I need?

During our free site evaluation, we will work with you to determine what size system will meet your needs. Every home is different, so the size of your system will depend on your energy needs, available roof space, and budget. Residential solar power systems are typically 5 to 15 kW. Based on the information that we gather during our site evaluation, we will custom design a solar PV system to meet your specific needs and offset as much of your utility bill as you desire.

How do PV solar cells work?

The creation of electricity using a solar energy system starts with photovoltaic cells, otherwise known as PV cells. These cells include a positive and a negative slice of silicon placed under a thin slice of glass. Sunlight that shines onto the PV cell knocks electrons loose from the silicon. Small wires collect these electrons and, when connected in a circuit, an electric current is formed. The electricity formed is direct current (DC) and is led through wires to an inverter. The inverter changes the current to an alternating current (AC) and is then distributed to the existing electrical circuits in your home. At this point, any excess electricity is sent back to the grid (Utility Power) or to a series of batteries.

How are the solar panels mounted to my roof?

We mount the solar panels using only the highest quality solar specific mounting systems. Every mount is thoroughly attached directly to rafters for additional strength. Roof penetrations are sealed and double flashed and backed by our 10-year warranty. All our designs are carefully vetted by a Structural Engineer for wind and snow loading. The systems we use add a nominal load of under 3 lbs/sq ft to your roof.

What is Net Metering?

Net metering is a billing process that credits solar energy system owners for the electricity they add to the grid at the retail rate. It allows you to use the electricity anytime, instead of only when it is generated. This means that a home can generate power during the day from a PV system and get kWh (kilowatt-hours) credited to be used at night or any other time they may need it. Credits are totaled each month by the utility and credits generated in low usage months may be used in higher usage months. In Virginia, residential solar systems are limited to generating enough energy to offset the average annual consumption with a maximum of 20kW.

What happens if I produce more solar energy than I use?

Excess electricity is exported back to the electrical utility company and the kWh’s are credited. You use these credits when your system isn’t producing enough power for your current demand. This is the concept behind Net Metering. During peak sun hours on sunny days, your system will typically export up to 90% of your solar power generation. Your closest neighbors will be unknowingly using clean, renewable solar power.

Do the solar panels need to face south?

South facing panels are best, but solar panels installed facing south-east or south-west can generate a very high percentage (>90%) of energy as compared to south-facing solar array. We can also design an east-west facing system as long as the roof pitch is not excessive.

My roof is partially shaded. Will solar work for me?

During our site evaluation, we will determine how much of your roof is shaded throughout the year. We can factor this into your estimated electricity production. We offer system designs utilizing module optimization that work effectively to provide maximum performance from partially shaded arrays.

How long will my solar electric system last?

All of the solar panels that we install have power output warrantied for 25 years and product warranty between 10 and 25 years. The lifespan of a PV system is expected to be greater than 30 years. Inverter warranties range between 12 and 25 years.

Will the condition of my roof affect the installation?

Absolutely. We assess your roof’s condition as part of our site survey. A typical three-tab asphalt shingle roof will last an average of 20 years. Architectural shingles can be warrantied for 30 to 50 years. Installing a PV array will shade the underlying roof, protecting it from damaging sunlight and weather, possibly extending the roof’s lifespan. If we determine that your roof needs replacement, we can refer you to a trusted roofing contractor.

Is there any maintenance required on my PV System?

Your PV System has no moving parts, so it requires virtually no maintenance. In most cases, occasional rain will rinse the dust and pollen off the modules. The system is monitored in real-time using a smartphone app and is capable of notifying us immediately should there be a problem.

How long does it take to install a solar PV system?

Typical residential systems typically take 3 to 5 days to install. Ground mount systems and larger systems can take longer. We usually schedule our installations on a first come, first serve basis; however, installations can be scheduled for specific blocks of time. Most installs can be started 3-5 weeks after the execution of an installation contract. This gives us time for careful system design, structural engineering, county permits, etc. As with any construction project, inclement weather may impact our installation schedule.

What is the warranty on my PV Solar System?

The solar modules are covered by a 12 or 25-year manufacturer product warranty and 25-year performance warranty. The balance of the system (Inverter, optimizers, mounting hardware) is covered by a 12-year warranty. Warranty extension up to 20 or 25-years is available if desired. Our installation is warrantied for 10-years against leaks or other installation related problems.

What happens if I sell my home?

Most home-buyers will be thrilled with the prospect of free electricity. This fact increases the value of your home and provides you in most cases with a much higher return on your investment compared to a kitchen or a bathroom remodel. This is not usually the case with leased solar systems. Our company does not recommend and does not market leased solar systems.

What solar rebates and incentives are available?

Solar photovoltaic systems qualify for a 30% federal tax credit. This credit is a dollar-for-dollar tax credit and will reduce the amount of federal income tax owed before any deductions are applied. 2019 is the final year for the full 30% tax deduction, the solar tax credit starts sunsetting after this year.

Can my HOA prevent me from going solar?

Code of Virginia (§ 67-701) makes it illegal for your HOA to prohibit you from installing solar on your property. It does, however, allow homeowners associations to establish “reasonable restrictions concerning the size, place, and manner of placement” of the proposed solar PV systems. Reasonable restrictions include requiring that you first obtain HOA approval before installing the system and concealing wiring as much as possible. We will aid you with the required documentation.

What does a solar PV system do to my property value?

Energy conservation and renewable energy generation adds value to a home. National surveys have shown that for every $1,000 saved per year, $20,000 is added to a home’s value. This additional property value is exempt from property taxes.

Will my PV system work in cloudy weather or at night?

Your PV solar system will still work even in cloudy weather. If it is mildly overcast, your system may produce about 30-50% as much as it would during bright, sunny conditions. Your solar system does require sunlight to work, so the system will not produce power at night. It’s during these hours that your electric utility company will provide electricity.

What about extreme wind and weather?

We only use the highest quality modules and racking systems that are individually tested, comply with UL-Standards and are built to withstand 115+ mph winds and 1-inch hail.

Interested in learning more about our process and what it takes to go solar in Virginia?

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