Get answers to your frequently asked solar energy questions from our green energy experts. 

Empowering Your Solar Ambitions

Making the transition to a new energy source is exciting and intimidating in equal measure. Every technological advancement comes with its share of questions. Fortunately, solar energy has a proven track record of helping home and business owners save money and reduce their carbon footprint. 

At Lumina Solar, we’ve made it our mission to simplify green energy concepts that may seem complex at first. From the basics of solar to how solar is incentivized in the Mid-Atlantic, our FAQ is a comprehensive collection of going solar need-to-knows.

The Solar Experience

At Lumina Solar, providing insights into the process of going is a key part of our identity as a team. We want to make the solar transition as accommodating as possible. Hear from team members and recent clients about the journey of going solar. 

The Basics of Solar

Solar panels harness the power of the sun to generate renewable energy. Panels contain photovoltaic cells, which absorb photons from sunlight as energy. These cells are commonly built from semiconductor materials such as silicone. Electrical equipment called an inverter is then used to change the raw direct current (DC) energy into usable alternating current (AC) electricity

Solar is a clean, renewable form of energy. That means the energy you use generated from solar creates no CO2 emissions. Using solar energy to power your home or business substantially reduces your carbon footprint. 

Additionally, solar energy brings other environmental benefits. Because there are no emissions, solar adoption can reduce air and waterway pollution, creating a healthier environment for us all.

Solar panels are built to last for decades. Most solar panels continue producing energy for up to 25-30 years after installation. Different factors can impact the lifespan of your solar system, including proper maintenance and care, and the severity of weather conditions in your area.

It’s a common misconception that frequent cloud cover can make solar non-viable. However, solar panels can generate energy through clouds, rainstorms, and other forms of indirect sunshine. It is important to keep in mind that the panels may be less efficient during these periods, but they will continue to produce energy.

Solar panels are built to withstand constant exposure and tough weather conditions. The biggest risk to your solar panels comes from fallen debris that can damage the surface of the panels. If your property has tree cover, we recommend regular trimmings to ensure torn branches don’t make contact with your panels during storms.

Going Solar

Solar, like any home improvement project, can vary quite a bit in cost. Your costs will be influenced by the size of your system, the market you’re located in, labor costs, and more. While prices can vary by state, the national average for a 6kW system is $18,000. This average comes before any federal, state, or local incentives are applied, meaning your actual total will likely be lower.

Yes! In addition to the environmental benefits, going solar can result in significant savings. For instance, in Pennsylvania, the average lifetime energy cost savings from going solar is nearly $40,000. Your savings will vary based on the size of your system, site conditions and utility costs in your area. 

The number of solar panels that fit your roof will depend on the amount of energy you need, as well as the size, design, make-up (includes dormers, skylights, vents, chimneys, etc) and slope of your roof. Our team performs a thorough survey and design to determine how space can best be utilized.

Yes! At Lumina Solar, we provide financing options that allow you to spread your installation costs. With solar financing, you can go solar for as little as $0 down.

If you’d like to lease your solar panels, you can enter into a Solar Power Purchase Agreement (Solar PPA). A PPA is a contract with a solar installation company. They will install panels on your property free of charge, and bill you for the reduced-cost energy you use from the solar system.

Installing solar panels is considered a home improvement project in most municipalities. Each individual state, county, and neighborhood may have its own permitting requirements when conducting home improvement projects. Our team works to facilitate all necessary permitting so you can proceed without getting bogged down in paperwork.

HOAs may have the power to restrict solar installation projects. Be sure to refer to your HOA bylaws for specifics. If your HOA restricts installation, you may be able to petition them to change the bylaw to embrace a clean energy future for you and your neighbors.

Solar panels are exceptionally resilient. However, like any piece of your home, they do need upkeep to ensure they can maintain optimal output throughout time. It’s important to regularly clean your panels to ensure dirt and grime don’t prevent contact between the sun and the PV cells. Solar maintenance companies such as Fusion Solar Services help you maintain your solar system over the years, protecting wiring from pests, and your cells from efficiency loss. 

Yes, even flat roofs can be viable for solar. Flat roofs lack flexibility for how you can orient your solar panels, but panels can still be installed at a proper angle to make the most of your flat roof space.

Your roof is integral to both the structure of your home and your solar system. Before completing a solar installation, we’ll assess the state of your roof. Your roof will need to be in good condition to support a solar system. If your roof is significantly aged or damaged, it will need repairs or replacement prior to solar panels being installed.

Keeping track of your solar production is easy thanks to digital monitoring apps. After installation, we’ll ensure you’re set up to monitor your production over time.

Yes! Solar panels are highly desirable for home buyers. As such, property values increase by 4.1% on average after making the switch to solar.

Solar batteries are used to store excess power generated by your system instead of sending it back to the grid. Solar batteries are an optional add-on and are never required. We can help you determine if battery storage would be the right choice for you.

Solar Incentives

Solar incentives are given by federal, state, and local governments or organizations to encourage wider solar adoption by improving the affordability of going solar. They come in a variety of forms, including rebates, tax breaks, property tax exemptions, and more.

The Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit is an incentive offered by the US government for residential and commercial solar projects. In 2022, the government renewed and expanded the ITC. Through 2032, you can receive a tax credit on 30% of your project’s installation costs, and there is no maximum amount that can be claimed. It’s a significant credit to make going solar more affordable.

Each state has its own incentive structure. These can range from net metering and SRECs to property tax exemptions, state tax rebates, and more. To find specific solar incentives in your state across the Mid-Atlantic, you can learn more here.

Net metering are energy savings you receive by generating excess electricity. When you generate more energy than you use, the excess energy is sent back to the grid. When this happens, your utility company will give you net metering credits. These can be used to receive discounted energy costs from the utility company during periods when your system may generate less energy than you need. 

In many states, utility companies are required to generate a certain percentage of their energy through renewables. One method to supplement this requirement is by subsidizing the energy produced by individual solar properties. For every megawatt of solar energy you generate you earn one SREC. These credits can then be sold on an SREC marketplace with the help fo an SREC broker.

Hear From Our Customers

Customer experience is at the forefront of our process. For us, it starts with a foundation of strong communication. We take the care and time to listen to your needs and deliver solutions that will fit what you’re seeking. If you’d like to hear from previous customers about their experiences working with Lumina Solar, check out our video testimonials.

Solar Installation Near You

As a top solar installer across the Mid-Atlantic, we understand the value of working with a company that understands your community. Our team is composed of people from across the region, all unified by our shared goal of making solar work for your neighborhood. With offices in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, the Lumina Solar team is helping the Mid-Atlantic embrace a clean energy future.

Solar Installation Near You

As a top solar installer across the Mid-Atlantic, we understand the value of working with a company that understands your community. Our team is composed of people from across the region, all unified by our shared goal of making solar work for your neighborhood. With offices in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, the Lumina Solar team is helping the Mid-Atlantic embrace a clean energy future.

Learn About Going Solar With the Lumina Team

At Lumina Solar, we believe clean energy is for everybody. Our Solar Consultants will take an honest look at your property to determine if solar is the right choice for your needs. If you’re interested in saving money and reducing your impact on the environment, reach out to us today.