FAQs About Solar Energy

Most frequent questions and answers

Alder Energy Systems has been specializing in the planning, design, and installation of solar PV energy systems for businesses, development, and utility since 2008.

When you install a solar energy system on your property, you save money on your electricity bills and protect yourself against rising electricity rates in the future. How much you can save depends on the utility rates and solar policies in your area, but going solar is a smart investment regardless of where you live.

Solar power, like other renewable energy resources, has many environmental and health benefits. Going solar reduces greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change, and also results in fewer air pollutants like sulfur dioxide and particulate matter, which can cause health problems.

Net metering is the system that utilities use to credit solar energy system owners for the electricity produced by their solar panels. With net metering, you only pay for the electricity that you use beyond what your solar panels can generate.

Studies have shown that properties with solar energy systems sell for more than properties without them. However, your property value will only increase if you own, rather than lease, your solar panel system. In most parts of the country, going solar will actually increase your property value more than a kitchen renovation.

That varies from business to business based on energy usage, solar exposure, and the size of the building, alongside a few other factors. For a quick estimate of your particular need, please Contact Us.

Today nearly all solar systems come with built-in monitoring that varies based on manufacturer. You can monitor your system from your computer or the official app.

Solar panels absorb the sun’s energy throughout the day and convert it into direct current (DC) electricity. Most homes and businesses run on alternating current (AC) electricity, so the DC electricity is then passed through an inverter to convert it to usable AC electricity. At that point, you either use the electricity in your building or send it back to the grid.

The amount of power your solar energy system can generate is dependent on sunlight. As a result, your solar panels will produce slightly less energy when the weather is cloudy, and no energy at night. However, because of high electricity costs and financial incentives, solar is a smart decision even if you live in a cloudy city.

In general, solar panels are very durable and capable of withstanding snow, wind, and hail. The various components of your solar power system will need to be replaced at different times, but your system should continue to generate electricity for 25 to 35 years.

Solar energy systems can last for 25 to 35 years, and it can be costly to remove and reinstall them if you need to replace your roof. If your roof needs maintenance in the near term, you should complete it before you finish your solar installation.

On composite shingle roofs, we mount solar panels on a purpose-built aluminum rail system that is fastened about every four feet by penetrations into roof rafters. Each mount is sealed with 50-year Tripolymer sealant to prevent any leaks. On a standing seam metal roof, these attachments are clamped directly to the standing seams, with no roof penetrations. For flat membrane roofs, we can often install a ballasted system without roof penetrations. We guarantee all roof work will be free from leaks. As for the weight of the array, it is less than 5 pounds per square foot, so a typically framed roof is more than adequate to carry the weight.

Traditionally, when the grid power goes down, the grid-tied solar electric system goes down too. This is to prevent any accidental back-feeding of solar electricity to the grid, which endangers line-workers. However, battery backup technology is available, providing clean backup power in the event of a power outage.

Solar electricity is identical to grid power, so you will never notice that the building is running on solar power. What you will see, of course, is a smaller electric bill!

Landowner FAQs

Solar farms are large solar arrays in a field that supply electricity to the power grid. They create inexpensive, renewable energy that benefits local communities by creating jobs and helping the environment by harvesting clean energy from the sun without burning fossil fuels.

Companies such as Alder Energy Systems lease part of your land to establish a solar farm, which provides efficient, clean energy to local communities or companies.
Hosting a solar farm provides a consistent, passive, and long-term income stream. When the solar farm is ready to be removed from the property, the land will be returned to its natural state in order to be farmed or developed once again.

Think of community solar as a remote solar farm that offers solar memberships to individual and business “Subscribers,” who are unable to install solar on their own buildings. With community solar, people who don’t qualify for on-site solar—perhaps they live in an apartment, rent their home, or have too much shade—can subscribe to the energy generated by the community solar farm. The subscribers then save money on their energy bills and go solar without having to install a system.

There are several ways you’ll be contributing to the prosperity of your local community. Besides helping to provide clean energy that will be less expensive for local businesses and homeowners, you’ll also create jobs for local residents.

Lease payments are generally made quarterly at an agreed-upon rate. Leases terms are a minimum of 25 years with two five-year optional extensions.

Ideal properties will be cleared of trees, have no wetlands, have level ground, and be located nearby a utility’s 3-phase electric poles.

We’re actively looking for land in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, and Delaware. However, if you have land elsewhere you’d like us to consider, feel free to Contact Us.

Commercial FAQs

There’s no question that a solar system will save you money by reducing your operating expenses. Not only will you reduce or eliminate your monthly energy bill, but you also will be eligible for income tax credits and deductions.

Having a sterling reputation in the community is an invaluable commodity for any business, regardless of the products and services you offer to your clients and customers. Customers and employees will appreciate the fact that you are making a commitment to helping the environment and working toward eliminating harmful carbon emissions.

You must own your property and have space to mount panels on the roof or on the ground. And, since solar panels last for 30 years or more, they should be installed on a roof that is relatively new and in good condition. In addition, it’s best to install panels in an area that receives direct sunlight for at least six hours a day.

Making Solar Simple