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Solar Energy Solutions: FAQ Service In A Flash®

Solar Energy Solutions FAQ

At Small Jobs Electric®, we work hard to be a premier provider of electrical information and services. Our team is available to provide as much information as possible to assist as you make a decision about your electrical needs. Feel free to browse through the following list of the most frequently asked questions about solar energy conversion. You may find this FAQ answers many of your own questions about solar panels and installation in Hillsborough County.

  • Why should I choose Small Jobs Electric® to install my solar electric system? Don’t let our 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 can lower or even eliminate our customer’s electric bills!
  • How much of my energy needs can be produced from solar? The simple truth is the amount of 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. Don’t worry, though; we will create a solar proposal with various options tailored specifically to your home. You can then decide what you would like to do based on a real solar analysis of your home.
  • How does my home or business use the electricity produced from my system? 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 newfound 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 necessary voltage 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. You basically have to do nothing but sit back, relax, and watch your energy bills go down or be eliminated month after month.
  • What happens when my system produces more energy than I am currently using? Any energy you produce during daylight hours that 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 much federal tax credit can I expect? As of November of 2021, the federal tax credit for solar electric installation amounts to 26% of the installed cost of your solar electric system. Since the tax credit will be decreasing in 2023 and beyond, there’s no time like the present to get your solar system installed.
  • 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, a solar electric system must be grid-tied or connected to the power company’s power grid to qualify for the state rebate. This will allow your solar electric system to send excess energy to the power company, and in return, you get credit to your account.
  • 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 online account where 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 electrical 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 generator 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 Tampa solar energy consultants would be happy to assist you in calculating the system size and cost for a solar electric system with battery backup. What if I have a homeowner’s association–will I need approval? Although we strongly recommend working with your Homeowner’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 one-inch 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 inverter.
  • How long does my warranty last? Photovoltaic solar electricity 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+ years, making this one of the best investments you can make. In addition, Small Jobs Electric provides a 10 year workmanship warranty.
  • 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 four to six weeks, depending on the requirements of your local governing authority.
  • Can I use my system to charge my electric car? Yes! You can use the energy from your solar electrical system to charge or power up your electric car, just as you’d use it to run the appliances in your home.

Still Have Questions?

If you have more questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us here at Small Jobs Electric. We will do our best to help you get the answers you need. Call (813) 652-0565 to schedule a consultation with our solar energy solutions team.

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