FAQs About Solar Energy

How long has Alder Energy Systems, LLC been in business?

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

What are the financial benefits of solar energy?

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.

What are the environmental benefits of solar energy?

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.

What is net metering?

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.

How does solar impact my property values?

Studies have shown that homes with solar energy systems sell for more than homes 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.

How do solar photovoltaic (PV) panels work?

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 house or send it back to the electric grid.

Do my solar panels produce power when the sun isn’t shining?

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.

How long will my solar power system last?

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.

Do I need to replace my roof before installing solar?

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.

Will the solar array put holes in my roof, or be too heavy?

We mount solar panels on a purpose-built aluminum rail system that is fastened about every four feet by penetrations into roof rafters. On a standing seam metal roof, these attachments are made directly to the standing seams, with no roof penetrations. On asphalt roofs, each mount is sealed with 50-year Tripolymer sealant to prevent any leaks. 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.

How many panels do I need?

That varies from home to home (or business to business) based on energy usage, solar exposure, and the size of the building, alongside a few other factors. For a very quick estimate of your particular need please contact Eleanor at 843.410.4417.

How will I know if the solar array is working?

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.

Will I see a difference in my lights or in how appliances run with solar?

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

What happens to my solar array when the power goes out?

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 endanger line-workers. However, a new generation of battery backup technology is available, providing clean backup power in the event of a power outage.

How long will an installation take?

Our typical residential solar power job takes us about 40 hours of installation time on the roof and about 10 hours inside the house. We typically send two technicians, so most jobs are completed in 2-3 days. That said, our installation queue is typically 6-8 Weeks out, sometimes longer, so contact us as soon as you are interested if you have a sense of urgency about your solar project.