FAQs

If you can’t find an answer to your question on our FAQ page, feel free to send us your solar installation questions via our Contact Us form.

Can I get solar panels if I have a Home Owners Association (HOA)?

Sometimes HOAs can pose questions regarding solar panel installation. Every HOA has different rules and regulations, but we will work with you as a partner to create a unique solar system that can work for you. We also assist with completing and submitting all needed permit forms and information to your HOA.

There is a possibility I might move. Should I still get solar panels?

The answer is yes! An investment in solar will save you hundreds on your electric bills while still in your current house. Even better, solar panels can increase your home value by thousands of dollars.

Do we get enough sunlight in this area?

Yes. Ohio, Indiana & Kentucky average between 4.2 and 4.7 peak hours of sun per day on an annual basis. This is in comparison to the world leader in solar power facilities, Germany, at 3.4 peak hours and Florida, the SUNSHINE State, at 5 peak hours of sun per day. Solar is a very viable and smart investment here.

How much will it cost to install a solar system on my house and how much will I save?

Every home and installation presents its own solar power generation characteristics so we can only determine a price and projected savings for your home after consulting with you regarding your solar objectives and completing a site evaluation of your home. We can help you determine the size and location of your solar system to maximize your return on investment, and we will provide attractive pricing and a range of financing options to fit your budget. The prices for systems our residential customers have purchased over the past year average about $25,000 per turnkey installation, before incentives. After incentives, electric savings and using our attractive financing, most of our customers pay an average of less than $50 per month for their solar systems, and for some customers, electric savings and incentives cover the entire monthly payment for the system!

Will I need batteries?

No. Most solar installations are grid tied and do not require batteries. In a grid tied system, any excess energy that your system produces is sent back to the utility and credited to you during the night or other times when your system is not producing enough to power your entire home. For safety reasons, your grid tied solar system will not work if the utility power is off. To continue to power items during utility outages, you would need batteries to store power as a backup electrical system. You would also need batteries if you want to be completely off grid. You can find more information about grid tied, battery backup and off grid systems on our website at www.iconsolar.com, or simply ask one of the Icon Solar representatives.

What is the solar federal tax credit?

The solar federal tax credit is a 30 percent credit on your purchase and installation of solar panels. This is a dollar-for-dollar amount taken directly off your tax payment, rather than as a deduction from your taxable income. So, it’s given to you in addition to any refund you’re owed. Depending on your location, there may also be other incentives such as state tax credits, utility grants or production-based incentives. Icon Solar can help you find all incentives available to you.

Will the Utility send me a check?

When your system produces more power than you are using, you are able to send the excess energy back to the grid and you will receive credit for that excess energy. The credit will reduce your electric bills. Investor owned utilities in Ohio will send you a check for any unused credit you build up upon written request. Utility companies in Indiana and Kentucky, and most cooperatives in Ohio, will not send you a check for excess energy you send to them. Instead, the credit will continue to build until it can be used to offset your electric bill.

Will my panels still work if they are not completely south facing?

Yes! While south is the optimal positioning for a system, site efficiencies are determined by factors in addition to orientation. We have seen very high production from systems that do not face due south, and other factors such as shading or tilt sometimes have more impact on system performance than orientation. Icon Solar’s experts can help you determine the best location for a solar system at your home.

Will my panels work if there is not direct sunlight on them?

Yes! Although, direct sunlight will provide the highest output of your system, in times of low light or inclement weather, the panels are still able to produce power at a lower level.

How efficient are the panels?

Solar panel efficiency is based upon the amount of power produced in one square meter during peak irradiation. A one square meter solar panel would produce 1,000 watts of power at 100% efficiency. Most solar panel efficiencies range from approximately 12-19%, depending on, among other things, the materials used to produce the solar panel. The name plate capacity of a solar panel takes the panel’s efficiency into consideration, so a 270 watt solar panel will produce 270 watts of power at peak irradiation regardless of the efficiency of the panel. A 270 watt solar panel that is 12% efficient would be larger than a 270 watt solar panel that is 19% efficient, but both solar panels would be capable of producing 270 watts of power under standard test conditions at peak irradiation. Efficiencies are also affected by environmental impacts such as temperature or soiling. As solar experts, we coach you on how to keep your system running at its peak efficiency.

Will solar panels damage my roof?

No. Solar panels can actually prolong the life of your roof by protecting it from the ravages of heat, light and weather. Solar panels can also keep your attic space cooler in the summer time by absorbing the sunlight that would normally hit your roof.

Do I need to replace my roof before I get solar panels?

An aging roof will not cause problems for a solar panel installation. If you want to replace your roof, solar panels can easily be uninstalled and reinstalled during that process.

What is the typical payback time of an investment in a residential solar system?

The payback time for an investment in a solar system will vary based upon a variety of factors, including system size, electricity rates and rate of increase, system orientation, shading, etc. Most residential solar systems will achieve 100% payback in 7 to 12 years.

Should I wait for new technology?

In our view, no. Prices are not declining and may even rise as demand heats up closer to the expiration of the 30% Federal Tax Credit, which is currently set to expire at the end of 2016. While research in the field of solar energy continues, there are currently no technologies that have the potential to be commercialized prior to the end of 2016. For these reasons, we believe now is the best time to move towards energy independence and invest in your own solar power generation system.

What happens at night?

Your solar power system will not produce any energy at night, but since you are connected to your utility company’s grid you will not be without power. You will be able to draw power from the grid whenever you need it. This process is seamless to you, so you will have no power interruptions.