How Long Do Solar Panels Last?

solar panels on house

solar panels on house

Solar panels are a long term investment, so it’s normal to weigh the pros and cons to determine whether or not they are worth it. One of the first questions many curious homeowners ask when they come to Solartime USA is how long will their new solar panels last. Will they last 2,5, 10 or even 15 to 20 years? That last estimate would get you excited, right? That would certainly make your investment well worth it. So how long do solar panels last? Below, we’ll delve into the lifespan of solar panels and how they degrade over time.

Average Lifetime of Solar Panels

We have fantastic news for you! Most solar panels have a 25-year warranty and, even better than that, 4 out of 5 panels are known to last well past their 25-year warranty. The long lifespan of solar panels makes investing in them here in North Texas even more attractive. In fact, there are not many other add-ons or appliances for your home as durable as solar panels. While there are a few solar panels that carry only a 10 or 15 year warranty, even those are likely to last well past the warranty end date and you always have the option to choose one of the many solar panels that do have the 25 year warranty. 

Solar Panel Degradation Rate

There is such a thing as a degradation rate for solar panels, which just means that as time goes on, your solar panels start to produce less energy. However, this should not happen before their warranty ends. Even then, it’s important to realize that, according to a study done by the National Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy, the average solar panel energy output only falls by about .8% each year.

Standard Solar Panel Warranties

The standard warranty period for solar panels is 25 years and, during this time, the manufacturer guarantees that the solar panels will work at peak efficiency. The warranties that are attached to solar panels give buyers an expectancy of their solar panel lifespan based on how much it is expected to degrade each year. So, in essence, the warranty attached to a solar panel matches its life expectancy. 

What Types of Solar Panels Last the Longest?

Of course, as with so many products you purchase, quality makes a big difference. High-quality equipment solar panels can make a huge difference in the performance and longevity of your solar panels. 

Here are some of the solar panels that are known to be high quality:

  • SunPower                             
  • Q CELLS
  • Canadian Solar
  • JinkoSolar
  • Trina Solar
  • REC Solar
  • LG
  • Panasonic
  • Silfab

Out of these solar panels, SunPower, LG, and Panasonic make the best solar panels in 2020 due to their high efficiency, competitive pricing, and the great 25-year warranty offered by each brand. These companies’ solar panels provide durability and reliability with premium protection and fair prices, making them the brands with the best solar panels available.

How to Make Your Solar Panels Last Longer

There are no moving parts involved in operating your solar system, which means there is nothing that will break down from wear and tear. The likelihood of your solar panels getting damaged by hail or other storms is slim to none, however,  solar panels do deteriorate slightly over time. Though they do experience some deterioration over time, our panels will continue to function very well and you most likely won’t even notice the slight decrease in production. But is there something you can do to make sure your solar panels last longer?

Have Solar Provider Come for Regular Checks

Just like you take your car in to get the oil changed in regular intervals, it’s a great idea to have your solar panel installer come on a routine schedule to check up on your solar system. Our experts here at Solartime USA perform an inspection of all connections between the main service and inverter as well as all connections between the solar panels and inverter. We also clean the inverter and perform an analysis of systems compliance with current building and fire code. A routine checkup like this can ensure that your solar system is running at peak performance.

Replace Central Inverters After 10 Years

It is important to point out that while your solar panels have a 25 year warranty and are expected to last well past that time, the average inverter warranty given to homeowners is about 10 years. The average inverter lasts 10-15 years which means you may have to replace your inverter at least once before your solar panel warranty ends. So you may want to consider investing in a warranty extension for your inverter. Another option is to invest in a micro inverter. A micro inverter is a new alternative to the common central inverters and they have a lifespan of about 25 years, which lines up with the lifespan of your solar panels. 

Keep Solar Panels Free from Debris and Other Materials

Some simple maintenance you can perform yourself is keeping your solar panels free from debris and other materials. When you first install your solar panels, your installer should be sure not to put your solar panels under large trees that cast shade or drop branches on top of the panels, so this shouldn’t be a huge concern in the beginning. There are some homeowners who also invest in solar panel critter guards to keep animals from damaging the panels.

Ready to Go Solar? We’re Here to Help!

Our solar consultants here at Solartime USA are specialists in their field. We have the expertise to offer you solar panels that we know will last the course of their warranty and beyond and the experience to back up our choices for you. Solartime USA has been a Dallas solar company for a little over four years, however, our parent company has been in the business of installing solar panels in Europe for well over 12 years. In that time we have helped over 21,000 families and businesses to go solar. 

Give us a call at (972) 675-7725 to schedule a free consultation and get a free quote or fill out the online contact form. We are happy to meet with you however you feel comfortable. We can meet virtually via Facetime or Zoom, we can meet over the phone, or we can even meet in your front yard to stay safe.

How to Save on Electric Bill During Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Family in living room

So much has changed over the last several months. To adjust to a new normal, we look to creative solutions to new challenges – especially the economic ones. 

Higher utility costs have families seeking ways to reduce expenses including how to save on the electric bill.

Family in living room

How Will Coronavirus Change Our Lives?

Due to the public health concerns of the current situation, most companies have decided to have their employees work remotely. 

This is a responsible way to handle the workforce as a preventative measure to protect people in our efforts to contain and isolate the spread of the virus. 

With schools, stores, restaurants, and offices closed, whole families spend entire days at home on their electronic devices. This means an increase in electricity bill costs.

Will The Coronavirus Epidemic Have An Impact On Higher Electricity Bills? 

These days working from home is the most reasonable accommodation an employer can offer to his or her employees. Thankfully, companies across the country are able to continue to work as usual – only the work location has changed. 

Some may love working from home and some may not, but the reality for everyone working full-time from home instead of at the workplace is higher energy consumption that leads to higher electricity bills. 

Because we spend more time in our homes, we consume more energy with the increased use of electric appliances, lights, cooling, or heating. 

On top of this, children are consuming more energy. Distance learning means that kids rely on information technology and the internet more than ever. Studying, working, or watching movies means heavy use of electronics such as laptops, computers, and handheld devices. This significantly contributes to an increase in energy costs.

Seeing a sharp increase in utility expenses causes families to look into how to save on electric bills.

How to Save Money on Energy Bills

Those who have their own solar system installed enjoy energy independence. Because they produce their own electricity, they don’t have to be concerned about higher electricity bills. This is particularly helpful now that families are at home more and consuming more energy.

Solar panel systems allow us to reap the benefits of the best renewable energy source – the sun. It’s one of the top ways to save money on energy bills.

Watch this fun video made by one of our customers! It shows how solar energy is a part of their everyday family life spent mostly at home and also how they save energy costs.

In these uncertain times, abrupt changes and restrictions have caused many goods to be in short supply. Rest assured that we have all the necessary tools and parts on hand to install your new solar energy system. 

We offer contactless consultations by phone or video. After the consultation is complete, we will design a system specifically for you. Our entire installation process is safe. There’s never been a better time to go green and save money on energy bills! 

For more information, call us at (972) 675-7725 or contact us online to schedule your appointment today!

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Solar Panel Damage?

Solar Panels on House

Does homeowners insurance cover solar panels? This is a common question among prospective solar panel buyers, and if you yourself are looking into the solar panel market and are interested in installing panels to your home, you’ve likely had this question cross your mind. Luckily, we’re here to answer. 

The average cost of a 10KWh system is about $28K (before your 26% Federal Tax Credit), which is a hefty price tag for most homeowners. The cost of repairing or replacing damaged solar panels can add unwelcome financial strain for homeowners, so it’s only natural to worry about potential damage to your solar panels caused by hail or other weather conditions. You know that protecting your investment is important, but how do you go about insuring your solar panels? Don’t worry, we’re here to help you navigate the waters of solar panel insurance.

 

Solar Panels on House

What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?

Good news! Solar panel insurance coverage is actually included in most homeowner’s insurance plans and policies. Most homeowners insurance policies cover the solar panels themselves and, because the rooftop mounts are considered a permanent structure on the house, they are also covered. If you find out that your insurance company doesn’t cover solar panels, it may be time to shop around for a new policy.

If you live in Texas or an area known for hailstorms, you might be wondering whether your current insurance policy will cover hail damage to your solar panels.

We can put your mind at ease for two reasons: most insurance policies do hail-damaged solar panels. The second reason you shouldn’t be too concerned is that solar panels are actually extremely durable and difficult to dent or break. Solar panels are very sturdy, and the likelihood of them getting damaged during a storm by hail falling from the sky is slim to none.  

The news a day after a hail storm hits will likely show an endless cycle of situations where hail knocked out car windows, house windows, damaged roofs – but believe it or not, solar panels are often left completely intact.  In fact, when Solartime USA gets called to remove the solar panels from a hail-damaged roof while the roof is being replaced, the panels usually end up being unharmed and reinstalled later. You can rest easy knowing that this prized addition to your house is safe and covered by homeowners insurance in the event they do get damaged in a storm. Solartime USA’s solar panels are monitored 24/7 so chances are we would most likely know of any damage to your panels before you are even aware. Our solar panels also come with a 25 year warranty on the off chance anything does damage your panels. 

While your solar panels are probably covered by your homeowners insurance for damages related to hail, most insurance plans won’t cover a defective inverter that has stopped working. Luckily, the inverters and solar panels are covered by manufacturer’s warranties, which will take care of repairing or exchanging your inverter in case of malfunction. So, now that you know that your solar panels are most likely covered by homeowner’s insurance, you’re probably wondering whether this will drive up your premiums.

 

Do Solar Panels Increase Home Insurance Premiums?

It’s important to check with your homeowners insurance policy but, generally speaking, your premium shouldn’t go up after installing solar panels. If you end up getting a ground mount or installing your solar panels on a car port or other structure, your policy may increase. Depending on the size of your solar system, you may need to increase your policy limits; however, the increase is usually minimal. In fact, Solartime USA’s customers with ground mounts have reported that their homeowners insurance only increased between $3 and $5 a month!

Because we are local to the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, our knowledgeable Solartime USA consultants can give you more detailed information about solar panel insurance coverage in the area. Once you are ready to install your solar panels, we will check with your insurance company and provide the necessary paperwork to add them to your policy. However, it’s always a good idea to inquire with your insurance company ahead of time. 

Solartime USA is your One-Stop-Shop for Solar Panels

The professionals at Solartime USA are happy to assist you with the entire solar system process, from the original free quote and personal design, to coordinating the entire process with all trade professionals, inspectors, electric companies, to getting all your permits. Solartime USA is your complete “one-stop-shop” for solar panels. We are a family owned and operated company serving Dallas/Ft Worth with the ability to service your solar panel purchase from beginning to end and well beyond. We aim to have you become part of our Solartime USA family. Give us a call at (972) 675-7725 or fill out the contact from and we will call you within 24 hours to set up an appointment that is convenient for you.

Best Emergency Power Systems

Standby generator

If you currently have solar panels installed on your home or business or are considering investing in a solar power system, it is worthwhile to consider adding a home energy storage system as well. There are multiple benefits to having both a solar system and an energy storage system in use. Depending on where you live or work, one of the main perks of having your own energy storage system is avoiding disruptions in service during a natural disaster or storm. Using a combination of solar panels and an energy storage system also provides protection against electricity prices, which continue to rise. 

Standby generator

The typical solar system is designed to supply energy while the electric grid is running and switch off when the grid does not work. If you want to have power even in a situation when the grid goes down, you need additional equipment like battery storage. Every home has different needs so if you are looking for backup power, it’s crucial to choose the most suitable system. We’ve put together what we think are the best emergency power systems to ensure your home or business still has power during a power outage.

 

Lithium-ion Battery Systems

There are many solutions available on the market. Lithium-ion battery systems, which are one of the most expensive options, average about $30,000 to back up an entire house and an average $15,000 to power basic devices such as refrigerators or washing machines. Unfortunately, this solution can work only for one day during bad weather because Lithium-ion battery systems need routine energy supply from the sun to recharge the battery. 

 

Portable Generators

For residents who need necessary load backup at a reasonable price, portable generators can be a suitable emergency power supply option while the grid is unavailable or inaccessible. Portable generators can back up larger devices like dishwashers, refrigerators and sump pumps for approximately two to three days and may work even longer, but you will need more fuel. Portable generators are not only easy to operate, but also reliable and the most cost-effective solution.

 

Standby Generators

Another one of the more cost-effective options is a standby generator which can provide your whole home with backup power for a very long time and it costs around $10,000. This option is great value, which can back up essential loads for the more useful appliances in your house at a lower price. Standby generators can operate regardless of weather conditions, so there is no need to worry about powering your home during a blackout. Generac’s line of standby generators are a popular option, with about 70% of homeowners choosing them for their emergency power needs. 

 

Portable Batteries

Homeowners who only want to charge essential electronics like watches, phones or tablets and don’t want to waste money on large storage systems can use solar technologies too. SMA’s Secure Power Supply only costs about $500, but it turns off if solar production is too low. But solar homeowners have better options too. To charge small electronics in your residence, the best solution is a portable battery such as the Goal Zero Yeti. The Yeti costs $400 or less and can provide backup power 24/7. This option is not tied to whether the grid is running or not, instead it draws power from a portable solar panel or an electrical outlet and stores enough power for about three days of charging.

 

Taking everything into consideration, possessing solar panels and one of these emergency power systems lets you remain independent and have your own power station during power outages. For more information call Solartime at (972) 675-7725 or contact us online!

How Many Solar Panels Does It Take To Power a House?

Solar panels to power a house

With the growing desire to take care of our planet and make the world a greener place, there is a lot of conversation about adding solar panels to your home these days. When you’ve finally decided that you want to take the next step to creating a greener home, how do you know where to find the right information? 

Solar panels to power a house

If you’re looking to add solar panels to your home, it can be confusing and overwhelming to figure out what regulations there are, and how you can go about getting them installed. Once you’ve gotten deep enough into the process, you’ll also have to determine how many solar panels you’ll need to power a house and how much it will cost you.

Hopping on the internet, there seems to be a crazy jungle of information. You land on a site that you think will answer some of your questions, but instead, you receive a bunch of technical information that ends up making you even more confused. Inside paragraphs upon paragraphs, you find promises of reduced energy costs and a great investment on your money, but you don’t know exactly how much these savings are. It is completely understandable if you are skeptical or confused, maybe a little of both. Let’s look into these questions and give you some easy to digest information that will help you determine if adding solar panels for your home is worth the investment.

How Many Solar Panels Supply Enough Energy for the Average Household?

The size of the average house equates to about 1500 square feet. So how much do solar panels cost for a 1500 square foot house? A house of this size usually comes along with an electric bill of around $150 per month, which would need 16 solar panels to generate 10 kw, the average amount of energy this home would consume. That 10kw system would cost about $28,000. 

If this sounds like a whole chunk of money to you, there’s good news. With the federal solar tax credit, which allows you to deduct 26% of the cost of installing solar panels to your home from your federal taxes offered through December of 2020), the system’s price would essentially drop down to $20,700 which can be financed over five, ten, fifteen or even twenty years. Depending on where you live, there may be other rewards or offers from your energy provider or city for taking the initiative and going solar.

Considering that electricity prices continue to rise, the decision to purchase a solar system makes sense. Even if, in a perfect world, the price for electricity remained around $150 a month over the next 20 years, you would still save about $16,000 in comparison by installing residential solar panels.

What Can Affect How Many Solar Panels Your House Needs?

Remember that the above is a scenario for the average 1500 square foot house. Depending on the actual size of your home and the location, your electricity needs vary and the situation might be different for you. To determine how many solar panels you need to power your home, you first have to factor in the size of your home and the amount of electricity you and your family actually use. Then you must consider the orientation of your roof, how much southern exposure your roof has, and the amount of shade cast on your roof. Even where you choose to install your solar panels on your property affects the number of solar panels needed and the cost involved. Do you want solar panels on your roof or would you prefer them on a car port, a pergola or a ground mount? All of these variables affect the design and cost of your solar system, and the experienced professionals at Solartime take each one into account during the design phase.

How Long Does it Take to Make a Return on Investment From Installing Solar Panels?

Since you’ve decided to make the decision to move in on such a big purchase, you probably want to know how long it will take before you finally make a return on your investment. The return on your investment starts early on. 

How?

It is our opinion that the biggest return on your investment is that you will be making a positive impact on the environment right away. Not only will you stop using electricity that was produced using burning fossil fuels which pollute our environment, you will also help by sending any extra electricity that you over produce back into the grid. Also, the moment you switch to solar, you are immediately independent from the inevitable rise of electricity prices. 

With solar panels for your home, there is no upfront cost. The payments for your panels are locked in at the same price each month. Many of our Solartime customers finance their solar panels for the monthly amount their average electric bill was – essentially swapping one bill for another, while taking a huge step to help save the planet. In addition, your solar panels have a 25 year warranty, but studies show that the average lifespan of a solar panel is about 30-35 years and require little to no maintenance.  

 

Solartime Can Install Your Panels and Help You Know How Many Your House Needs

At Solartime, our professional advisor who assesses your roof, electric needs, and installation location, is well informed of the local and government incentives for going solar. We pride ourselves on being honest and upfront, so if our advisor determines that solar panels are not a good option for you, he or she will let you know. We only work with professional installers and our professional design team ensures that the system is designed specifically for the needs of your home. We are truly your one-stop solar installer. We are a local Dallas/Ft Worth family owned and operated company, and can’t wait to make you part of our Solartime USA family. 

Solartime USA can take the guesswork out of how many panels you need, and how much it will cost. It’s time to gain your independence from high energy costs by going solar! Call us at (972) 675-7725 or contact us online and we will be in touch with you within 24hrs to schedule your completely free consultation.