Frequently Asked Solar Questions
At Small Jobs Electric ®, we work hard to be your electrical resource. We try to provide as much information as possible, to assist you in making the best decisions regarding your electrical needs. We are here to answer any of your solar or electrical related questions. Please browse through the list of Solar Electric FAQ’s below to find some of the most frequently asked questions regarding Solar Panels and installation. If you don’t see your question in the list, please feel free to call our office, and someone will be able to address your questions or concerns: (813) 968-5658.
Thank you for your interest and we look forward to hearing from you!
What does a Photovoltaic solar electric system provided by Small Jobs Electric ® cost?
With low solar installation costs and the federal tax credit there has never been a better time to purchase solar electric in the Sunshine State. The typical cost of a 5kW system is about $30,000. The 30% federal tax credit would be approximately $9,000. Payments on the remaining balance can be as low as $185.00 per month. This allows your family to use clean renewable energy far into the future. Of course, larger systems are available and our solar consultants can assist you in calculating the cost of a larger system.
Who is Small Jobs Electric ® and why should I choose you to install my solar electric system?
Don’t let the name fool you, we do big jobs like solar panel installations too! Because we are a residential service repair company, we don’t rely on solar installations to stay in business – that means our customers save money! We do solar because going green helps our environment and it lowers and/or eliminates our customer’s electric bills!
How much of my energy needs can be produced from solar?
The simple truth is that how much energy you can produce from a solar electric system installed by Small Jobs Electric ® is dependent only upon the space you have available and the amount you are willing to invest.
How does the electricity produced from my system get used by my home or business?
As the sun’s rays shower the next generation silicon cells of our photovoltaic panels these cells release small amounts of electricity. This process is known as the photoelectric effect. This effect refers to the emission, or ejection, of electrons from the surface of a metal in response to light. Sunlight is made up of photons, or particles of solar energy. Photons contain various amounts of energy, corresponding to the different wavelengths of the solar spectrum. When photons strike a PV cell, they may be reflected or absorbed, or they may pass right through. Only the absorbed photons generate electricity. When this happens, the energy of the photon is transferred to an electron in an atom of the PV cell (which is actually a semiconductor).With its new found energy, the electron escapes from its normal position in an atom of the semiconductor material and becomes part of the current in an electrical circuit. By leaving its position, the electron causes a hole to form. Special electrical properties of the PV cell—a built-in electric field—provide the voltage needed to drive the current through an external load (such as a light bulb).
What is an inverter?
Once the sun’s rays have been converted to electricity, that electricity is sent to a piece of equipment called an inverter. The inverter basically changes the DC (direct current) voltage produced by the photovoltaic panels into AC (alternating current) voltage. The inverter channels this AC voltage into your existing electrical system for distribution throughout your home or office. So, all you have to do is… nothing.
What happens when I produce more energy from my system than I am currently using?
Any energy you produce during daylight hours which is above and beyond your current usage (residential or commercial) is sent back to the power company who provides credits to you for this unused power. Generally, you will use these credits up in the evening hours when there is no sunlight to provide electricity from your solar electric system. You can think of the power company as a bank for your extra electricity with debits and credits from your solar electric system as needed.
How do I take advantage of the federal tax credit?
As of January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2012, the federal tax credit for solar electric installation amounts to 30% of the installed cost of your solar electric system and has no cap to the amount of the credit.
Will I still need my power company?
Although complete systems which include battery backup can allow you to operate completely free from the power grid, to qualify for the state rebate, a solar electric system must be grid-tied, or connected to the power company’s power grid. This will allow excess energy produced by your solar electric system to be sent back to the power company and thereby credited to your account with them.
Will there be some way for me to see the power production of my system?
Most installations come with Smart Monitoring, an online performance monitor account. After system installation you may register for an account. Logged into your account you can view your power production in days, weeks, months etc. In addition, most installations also have a handy wireless wall-mount display which allows you to monitor the performance of your system at any time without being logged into your online account.
What happens when the power from the power company goes out?
By design, the typical solar electric system will cease providing power to your electrical system in the event of a power outage. This acts as a safety feature against any electricity being sent back to the power company’s grid during an outage. Such ‘energizing’ of the power lines during an outage could potentially be harmful to any utility worker attempting to restore power to those lines. However, with the proper electrical equipment and battery backup system any solar electric system can be turned into a backup generation source for your home or office.
Can I install a system with backup power?
Yes. There are several factors to consider in deciding how much battery backup power you need, such as how much of your home or office you would like to power, and for how long. Our solar consultants would be happy to assist you in calculating system size and cost for a solar electric system with battery backup.
What if I have a Home Owner’s Association – will I need approval?
Although we strongly recommend working with your Home Owner’s Association and submitting your plans to them, Florida Statutes protect your right to install renewable energy to the most productive part of your roof.
How durable is a solar electric system?
Our panels are designed to withstand hail up to 1″ in diameter and are engineered to meet some of the toughest wind load codes in the country. The design of your solar electric system will be engineered to the specifications of your local county or municipality up to 150 MPH and will be inspected by the local governing authority to that specification.
How long is a typical solar electric system designed to last?
There is a 25 year manufacturer’s warranty on the photovoltaic solar electric panels and Small Jobs Electric provides a 3 year warranty on their inverter.
How long does my warranty last?
Photovoltaic solar electric has come a long way over the last century. A solar electric system is designed to continue to provide you with electricity for the next 25 plus years making this one of the best investments you can make.
What maintenance is required for my solar electric system?
Photovoltaic solar electric systems are essentially hands off. Set them and forget them. However, depending on the environment around your home, occasionally it may be necessary to clean them off like a window. We typically recommend cleaning them off once each year. If your application is in an area subject to excessive leaves, pollen or other environmental debris it may be better to clean them off a little more frequently to maintain maximum translucency.
How long does it typically take to install a complete system?
From the signing of the contract to the final inspection by your county or municipality it may take 4-6 weeks depending on the requirements of your local governing authority.
Can I use my system to charge my electric car?
Yes! Just like will use the energy your solar system produces to run appliances in your home, you will be able to use the power generated by the system to run your electric car.
Please contact us today, for further information about how we can assist you.