Maine Solar Energy FAQ’s
Is there enough sun in Maine to justify an investment in solar energy?
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (www.nrel.gov) has been collecting nationwide solar radiation data for more than 30 years. According to their data, Maine receives the most sunshine of all New England states, and better sun than half of the U.S. Put another way, Germany is the worldwide leader in solar installations, yet Maine receives 1/3 more sunshine per year! So yes, we have an abundant solar resource and we need to become diligent harvesters.
What kind of state and federal financial incentives are available?
You can find out about the latest available incentives by visiting www.dsireusa.org.
Can I power my home with solar energy?
Grid-tied solar electric systems enable you to decide how much of your household electricity you want to derive from the sun—without the cost, complexity and toxicity of battery-based systems. With a grid-tied system, you simply produce as much electricity as you can during the day, then you receive whatever else you need from your local utility, just as you always have done. Most of our customers have a goal of deriving about half of their electricity from solar, but we can certainly deliver 100% if you like.
How long can I expect my solar energy system to last?
Solar electric panels come with a 25-year warranty and an expected useful lifespan of 40+ years. With no moving parts anywhere in the entire system, grid-tied solar electric systems are the most reliable renewable energy technology.
Solar hot water collectors come with a 10-year warranty and an expected useful lifespan of 20+ years. We engineer our systems to last for 25 years, and if something goes wrong, just give us a call and we’ll promptly send out a professional technician to get your system working again.
How do I know if my system is working?
All of our solar electric and solar hot water systems include digital displays of system performance, so you can simply walk over to the display and see for yourself.
How much does it cost to install solar?
This depends on a number of variables. Please give us a call, or send an email, so we can discuss your situation and give you some cost guidelines based on your specific situation.
What happens when it snows?
We live in a region where heavy snowfall can bury just about anything, including solar energy collectors. Most collectors are mounted at a 45 degree angle on a south-facing roof, allowing the collector surface to clear of snow within a few days of a storm. However, if the snow is deep enough and the cloud cover lingers for days after a storm, it could take longer for the collectors to clear. The good news is that the solar production lost to snowfall occurs during the time of year when the least sunshine is available, so you are not sacrificing a statistically significant fraction of the system’s annual output.