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Frequently asked questions

Net metering allows homeowners to use credit for power generated earlier in the day/year so they don’t pay for power used at night or when there is snow on the panels. Maryland is one of many states that have adopted this method of crediting solar customers for the power they produce. It is an easy and straightforward solution to ensure you benefit from every bit of sun that hits your panels.

We offer many solutions, most of which will allow you to own your system with $0 out of pocket. Payment plans that often amount to less than what you are currently paying while also locking in those reduced rates. Eventually, when the system is paid for, you get to benefit from free power provided by the sun.

MD has one of the highest electric costs in the country.

Save money, save the environment, energy independence, increase property value, one less bill

There are so many benefits to going solar. The most obvious one would be savings. This is because MD has some of the highest electrical costs in the country. Wiping out this bill adds up to a savings of over 100k for the average resident. The environment is another excellent reason to consider transitioning your home to solar. A single residential system will offset the same amount of CO2 as 4,000 trees. Our ecosystem is very fragile due to the stress of so many people living in such a small area. These kinds of improvements ensure the air that we and our children breathe is healthy and free of pollutants. Today homeowners have an opportunity to make the transition with no upfront cost to them. Speaking with a specialist and having your home reviewed is the only way to find out if your home is a good candidate for the program.

There have been two in-depth studies done on this topic. Both included MD in their data set. The findings were clear. Homes with solar sell for more money and faster than homes without it. It’s not hard to understand why. Who wouldn’t want to wipe out one of their biggest monthly bills outside of the mortgage? 

Reducing pollution, mitigating climate change, and reducing pollutants that can cause unnecessary health costs are just a few of the environmental benefits of going solar. Achieving the SunShot-level solar deployment targets—14% of U.S. electricity demand met by solar in 2030 and 27% in 2050—could reduce cumulative power-sector emissions by 10% between 2015 and 2050, resulting in savings of $238–$252 billion while saving an estimated 25,000- 59,000 premature deaths. Maryland is so focused on achieving this success that it has committed to 50% renewable energy. With your help, we can make that a reality.

Simply put, a solar panel works by allowing photons, or particles of light, to knock electrons free from atoms, generating a flow of electricity. Solar panels are comprised of many smaller units called photovoltaic cells. (Photovoltaic means they convert sunlight into electricity.) Many cells linked together make up a solar panel. The DC power they produce is converted by the micro-inverter attached to each panel into AC power that can be used to power your home.

Winter months are actually good for solar energy production, as long as your panels aren’t covered by snow. Like most electronics, solar panels function more efficiently in cold conditions than in hot. This means that your panels will produce more power for each precious hour of sunshine during the short days of winter. Our designs take into account the average snowfall in the area and assume they will not be working while the snow is on them. The good thing is the panels are made of a smooth glass covering on an angled roof. This means the snow will fall off and often produce anyways which means more power production for you.

People who lease their solar systems save far less than those who buy them outright or with a loan. They also miss out on federal tax benefits which can be worth 10’s of thousands of dollars. Many leases contain an escalator clause that can further reduce savings by increasing payments 3 percent per year. This means on a standard 30-year lease, the payment at the end will be over 2 ½ times what it started at.

When you own your system, not only does the payment never go up, but it goes away often a decade or more before the lease comes up for renewal. Since your warranties come from the panel manufacturers and the installation company, there are no benefits to indefinitely leasing a solar system.

Our goal at MD State Solar is to make it easier for anyone looking to go solar and get them the maximum value from their system. It is for this reason that MD State solar will only promote ownership of solar modules. Our primary focus is allowing homeowners to own their system with 0 money out of pocket and replace their regular electric bills as a path to solar ownership.

If you install a battery system it is possible to go “off-grid” or a simpler version allows you to at least have a backup in the event of an emergency. Speak with your Program Manager if you are interested in this option. 

This is one of the most common questions homeowners have when it comes time to go solar. In virtually all cases, the answer is no. Roof leaks after solar panels are extremely rare. When roof leaking after the solar panels are fitted does occur, however, it usually becomes evident very quickly after the installation process is finished. Almost always, homeowners will notice the leak within the first year, when it begins to rain or snow.

Fortunately, these leaks are quite rare, and there are things you can do to find the root of the issue and address it quickly – before it does lasting damage to your home. MD State Solar uses the only solar mounting system that will not void your roof warranty. On top of that, we warranty all of our penetrations and have a $4,000,000 per job insurance policy to protect you in the event damage were to occur.

If your system is not covering 100% of your power consumption the utility will provide the balance and bill you for it. Even after it is paid for there is still a minimal grid connection fee which can vary from $8 – $13 dependent on your current utility provider.

If your system is installed correctly, there should be little to no maintenance required. Here on the east coast, we don’t get big dust storms and the rain will wash off anything that does settle on the panels. We would recommend trimming back any trees that directly hang over the home to ensure leaves don’t block the sunlight. Just like a properly installed roof, a solar system should be able to run for decades with little to no maintenance. Each system we install comes with a 25-year production guarantee from the panel manufacturers and a matching 25-year warranty from the inverter company as well. We use the best materials throughout the system so you don’t have problems down the line. Each system comes with a production tracking app so you will know if anything is not working properly and our service team is available around the clock to help with anything that does come up

While solar panels shouldn’t damage your roof, they can in the very rare case that they’re installed incorrectly.

For most people experiencing solar panel problems, the issue is as simple as incorrect wiring, dirty materials, or reduced panel efficiency. In the case of panels that cause leaking, however, the problem can be a bit deeper.

Since well-installed solar panels should never cause a roof to leak, the culprit here is typically incorrect installation or shoddy workmanship. In both cases, the leak can usually be fixed but might be more extensive than, say, resolving a wiring issue.

Because of this, it’s essential to look for a solar installer that offers an extensive warranty on their workmanship.

One of the keys to an effective solar system is a proper installation. The roof is the foundation of every system. We will do an in-depth investigation into your roof to ensure it is in the best condition to give you the most life out of your solar system. This means checking both the quality of the roofing materials and having our professional engineering team look into the structural integrity of your rafter construction. We stand behind each of our jobs and have no problem passing on a project if we feel it is not advisable.

Batteries are an excellent add-on to any system. They provide added safety for your family in the event of an emergency. Speak with your program manager if you would like to find out more about this option for you.

It is possible to build an “off-grid” solar system, though it can be expensive and complicated. Generally, the systems we build are for residential solar systems in the suburbs of MD and are not designed to work off the grid. Batteries are an option to power your home in the event of a power system failure. They are a good “middle ground” for the average home in Maryland looking to provide this added security feature.

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