Frequently Asked Questions
Why go solar?
Here are a few of the benefits of going solar:
- Reduce energy cost by 40-60%
- Increase your home value
- 26% Federal Tax Credit
- Return on investment within 8-10 years
- Protect the environment
How does solar work?
Your solar panels absorb sunlight by their two layers of semiconducting silicon wafers. This causes electrons to break loose from the atom and create an electric field, which can travel through wires in the form of DC electric power. Inverters, attached to your solar panels, then convert the DC energy to AC for use in your home. From there, the solar electricity your panels have generated can either be used to power your home, returned to the grid, or stored in batteries for later use, usually to avoid high peak rates by the utility company.
How much can I save on solar?
For the remainder of 2020, there is a 26% Federal tax credit on the cost of a solar system installation in Georgia. Essentially, this amounts to a 26% discount on all solar installations in the form of a tax credit.
Many electric companies in Georgia offer generous rebates to their solar customers. Some examples:
- Jackson EMC ($450/kW, $4,500 max)
- Snapping Shoals EMC ($350/kW, $3,500 max)
- Central Georgia EMC
What is my payback period?
Every day, your solar system will generate free, renewable energy and save you money on electricity costs. When solar companies in Georgia talk about the “payback period,” they are referring to the number of years your solar panels will have to generate electricity before your savings surpasses your initial investment (the cost of a solar installation).
The payback period is determined not only by the cost of installation but also the price of electricity in the future which of course we do not know with certainty. Assuming that future increases in electricity prices will not exceed past price increases, the average solar system installation has a payback period of 8-12 years in Georgia.
When can I schedule my free solar consultation?
If you are interested in going solar in Georgia, our team of experts would love to chat! We can work with you to schedule time for an initial consultation – a process which usually takes around 30 minutes. Our initial consultations can be done on-site or remotely – the choice is yours!
From there, we will put together an initial proposal using measurements we take of your roof with satellite technology. During this process, we will get your input and tailor a solar system optimized to your house, consumption patterns, and goals.
Get solar panels for your home or business in Georgia and see savings for decades to come – schedule a consultation today!
Can I go fully off-grid with solar?
The intermittency of solar power means that those who want to go off-grid will have to purchase enough battery capacity to sustain their usage through not just night time when the sun does not shine but also periods of cloudy and rainy days when sunshine might not be enough to satisfy demand. This requires a large battery bank to ensure uninterrupted power. Off-grid solar is only recommended in highly remote areas where grid access does not exist or requires significant costs.
What about my roof?
Each Better Tomorrow Solar project comes with a 10-year workmanship warranty to put your mind at ease. Yet, after hundreds of solar installations, our head installers have never damaged a roof. Our professionals have solid footing and they use top of the line mounting technology so you will never experience leaks or damage due to your solar array.
A solar array can last from 25 – 35 years. Removing and reinstalling your array in order to perform roof repairs can be costly, so complete any near-term roof maintenance before you have your array installed.
Can I afford solar?
If you can afford to pay your power bill, you can afford solar. Better Tomorrow Solar makes solar energy available to all who want it through innovative means of financing. With Better Tomorrow, you could go solar for as little as $0 down.
We work with several finance firms that specialize in solar to ensure that you find the financing solution that is right for you.
What is net metering?
If a solar system produces more power than the building is using and there is either no battery or the batteries are full the excess power goes back into the grid. In Georgia, utility companies are legally obligated to purchase that excess power. The law, however, does not specify a price the utility company has to pay. Net metering is the policy whereby a utility company pays the same rate whether it is selling power to the customer or buying power off a customer’s solar system. The customer’s account is therefore charged for the net amount of energy that passes through the meter, that is, the amount the customer draws from the grid minus the amount it gives back the grid.
Without net metering, a utility company can buy a customer’s excess power at a lower rate (usually called avoided cost) than what it sells power to that customer.
Keep in mind that net metering affects only the consumption part of a customer’s bill. It does not alter the base charges and other so-called junk fees found on power bills.
To illustrate suppose a customer has to pay $25/month in base charges and junk fees, consumes 1000 kWh at 10 cents/kWh and gives back 500 kWh back to the grid from her solar system. Suppose further that the utility company’s avoided cost is $0.03/kWh.
Here is that customer’s bill without net metering:
Base fees: $25
Consumption charges: 1000 x 0.10 = $100
Production credit: 500 x -0.03 = - $15
Total bill: $110
Here is the customer’s bill with net metering:
Base fees: $25
Consumption charges: 1000 x 0.10 = $100
Production credit: 500 x -0.10 = - $50
Total bill: $75
That difference is repeated each month. Net metering is a significant advantage for solar owners.
How will solar affect my home value?
A solar system lowers your monthly power bill. But there is a growing body of evidence that a home solar system increases the resale value of a home more than the initial investment in the system. Follow the links below for some of that evidence.
- Berkeley found home solar increases the value 1 of a home by $3.00 per system watt.
- Zillow2 says home solar increases resale value by an average of 4.1%.
- The Appraisal Institute found that homes increase $20 in value for every $1.00 in annual energy savings3 that solar can provide.
In addition, some lenders include in their calculation the cost of living in a home to determine a customer's ability to keep with mortgage payments. Those lenders will naturally be willing to lend more to solar homeowners since living costs in those homes are lower. This makes solar homes easier to sell and so possible to sell for more.
Please see resources section below for additional info.
Will having solar mean that my house will not experience a blackout?
During a blackout utility company, line workers will often be working hard to restore power. A grid-connected solar system may at the same time be feeding the power it produces from the sun into the same power lines that are being worked on. That may produce a hazardous condition for the unsuspecting worker who does not expect the lines to have power. By electric code, therefore, solar system must be equipped with a device that cuts it off from the house and the grid if a power failure is detected. So during a blackout solar power even if it is being produced will not be available to the homeowner.
A solar system with a battery pack can be equipped with a device to cut off the system from the grid and thus not create the potential hazard to line workers. In that case, the homeowner will have power during a blackout. That is to say, a solar system with battery storage can supply power to the homeowner during a blackout, just a fossil fuel generator can.
The difference between a fossil fuel generator and solar with battery storage is that the latter operates without toxic fumes, pollution, noise, and carbon emissions. In addition, fossil fuel generators need frequent and periodic maintenance and upkeep. In addition to providing backup power, solar and storage can easily be used to manipulate different rates to save the homeowner money.
How long will a solar system last?
Without any moving parts, solar panels last a very long time and require next to no maintenance. They continue to perform for 40+ years. Their performance degrades slightly over the years, usually around 0.3% per year. Solar panels are typically warrantied to perform at 80 to 85% of their nameplate rated production capacity after 20 to 25 years.
The inverter is the only major component of a solar system over which the question of maintenance is a concern. Today’s inverters are warrantied for 12 to 15 years and manufacturers are now beginning to offer extended warranties up to 20 or 25 years.
What is the warranty on my solar array?
• All the panels and microinverters have a 25-year performance warranty
• All batteries have a 10-12 years performance warranty
• Better Tomorrow Solar offers a 10-year workmanship warranty
Is Storage right for you?
Solar battery storage is a great option for people who want to lower their monthly power bills and hedge their energy supply against potential blackouts and time of use rates.
How Often Should I Clean Solar Panels?
Based off our years of expertise and experience, we at Better Tomorrow Solar recommend that you simply leave your solar panels alone. The slightest bit of rain is sufficient enough to wash any dirt and debris away.
What to Expect at a Solar Consultation
A Step-by-Step Guide
Send 6-12 months of electrical bills to the solar provider
State needs and wants
(battery storage, EV charging station, etc.)
Consultant evaluates that the home is solar viable
Consultant walks you through the solar proposal and lets you decide your solution