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FAQs General Solar

Q: What is involved in a typical solar panel installation?

A: Solar electric installations are quite simple – that’s part of their beauty and why they are virtually maintenance-free. Click here to see photos of typical installations. The panels are mounted on the roof or in the yard and connected to an inverter mounted near the main electrical panel in the house. View our video series on going solar for a more detailed explanation. (It says it’s for Mass., but is relevant to other states, too.)

Residential Solar Panel Installation

(Photo courtesy of customer Tony Jagodnik)

Q: How long does it take to get solar?

A: The actual installation is quick, a few days usually. The paperwork and approvals take a bit longer. But don’t worry, we will handle most of the work, and keep you apprised of the timing every step of the way. We will agree on a specific timetable for your project with you.

Q: How does the process of going solar work?

A: First, we gather some basic information on your electric bill and property. We look at your roof online to determine if it’s solar-friendly.

If it is, a sales consultant, via phone and/or in person, talks solar with you. This entails gathering more information from you, and answering your questions.

If a Home Assessment takes place, the sales consultant will measure your roof and its shade, evaluate your roof rafters and electrical panel, and create a custom proposal for you, complete with economics including electric bill savings, any performance-based income, and payback time frame.

Q: What happens after I sign an agreement with Clean Energy?

A: We’ll provide detailed information on the next steps and your responsibilities. Although the process varies a little state to state, the general process is the same, so you may want to have a look at this video series on Going Solar in Massachusetts. Our YouTube channel also has several videos showing the installation process.

Q: How long do solar electric systems last?

A: Solar electric systems are designed to last more than 20 years, and most systems will still be producing power in 30-50 years. The panels we use come with a 25-year warranty.

Residential Solar Installation CompleteQ: Will I have electricity during a power outage?

A: No. With a straight grid-tied system without batteries, even on a sunny day, you will not have power in the home if the utility experiences a power outage. This is to protect the linemen working on the utility grid.

Q: Can you install a battery back-up system for me so I can have solar power during an outage?

Yes, we do install battery systems, which are increasingly popular and very cool. When combined with a solar energy system, you can use the battery to store your solar energy for use during a power outage, or anytime you’re not producing solar but need power. This is particularly useful for people served by utilities who don’t give you full value for solar electricity you send into the grid. But, we’re not gonna lie – batteries are pricey. Another option is to install a back-up generator if you’re worried about having electricity during a power outage.

Q: Will I be helping the environment if I install a solar electric system on my home?

A: ABSOLUTELY! You will be producing your own non-polluting power instead of relying on power from the utility, which is usually produced from fossil fuels in a process that emits carbon dioxide – a greenhouse gas – into the air.

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SunPower Solar Panel Tilted“New England Clean Energy has done an excellent job. I have no reservations about recommending them and would consider you foolish not to consult with them. They were not the first company I interviewed but I clearly saw the difference when comparing the two. If I move, they will be installing at my next home. Thank you, Clean Energy.”

—Michael Omiccioli of Natick, MA