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General Solar FAQs


Q: How does the process of going solar work?

A: Deciding if solar is right for you starts with an assessment of your property and electric bill. This we can typically do from our offices as we view your home via satellite and you forward one of your recent utility bills for review. With that we can pretty much determine if going any further makes sense as well as do a preliminary design.

If this basic review looks good we’ll set up a time for one of our solar consultants to visit. At this time we check out all of our assumptions. Are the trees around your home taller or shorter than expected? Do you have a good place to mount an inverter and is your roof structurally capable of holding a new system. We won’t get all the answers in this visit, but we will collect as much information as possible so we typically don’t have to return until the installation. We’ll also explore the goals and objectives you have for going solar so we can better match your objectives.

From all of that information gathering your solar consultant will then be able to generate a proposal for you. They might even give you two or three options. That proposal will include pricing and a model of the financials showing you how the money aspect of your system should play out for the next 25 years. Our goal is to answer all of your questions and give you the system you want – not the system we want to be selling.

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

A: Getting started with us entails signing an agreement and then several application documents necessary for the filing and approval processes. We also generally request a deposit. The key point is we’ll make sure you understand what is going to happen and give you a timeline of what to expect when. Just be aware that every system is slightly different as outlined above. The key point is we’ll get started as soon as we have all of your documents because we’re as eager as you to get started on the fun parts of the installation and clean energy production.

Q: How long do solar electric systems last?

A: Solar electric systems are designed to last more than 25 years and most systems will still be producing power for 30 to even 50 years.  Getting you the right materials and labor is all part of your discussion of goals and objectives with your solar consultant. Our customers are not fans of surprises and I’m sure you are not as well.

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

A: If you don’t also install a solar battery the answer is no, you will not have power during a power outage. That’s because with a straight grid-tied system your system has to shut down when the grid goes down. Why? Because we don’t want to electrocute any line worker repairing lines outside your home and there is also nothing in the system itself to ensure that the power delivered inside your home is appropriately balanced. But, if you do install a battery you can indeed have power during a power outage and better still, your battery will be charged as soon as the sun comes out. Given the right situation, your battery could last for days. What’s the right approach for you? We can help you figure that out.

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. In addition, your system is the local meaning we don’t need big (read massive) power lines to move power from one place to another. You are generating it and using it all in one place. The grid is great, but local generation just makes sense.

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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