Frequently asked questions


What is net metering?
True net metering is an agreement between you and your electric utilitity that allows you to sell excess electricity, generated by a solar or wind system, back to the utility to offset your usage. In most cases, the utility will only credit you the cost of the energy you use. You will still pay a monthly connection fee which can not be offset by your energy production. Partial net metering, works the same way, except the utility discounts the power you generate, limiting your ability to offset your cost. Self consumption is the best way to achieve savings in this scenario. Installing an electric battery would be a good strategy for maximizing self consumption


How does solar power work?
Solar arrays consist of solar panels mounted on racking systems, connected by wire to an inverter. Depending on the type of inverter, the electricity generated can be used in the home, sent out to the grid, or stored in a battery for later use. Simply put, solar panels convert sunlight into electricity, and the Inverter determines what to do with that electricity and where to send it. If the electricity is going to a battery for later use, the inverter will not change the current but will pass it through directly from the solar panels. If it is going into the home for immediate use, or out to the utility grid, the inverter will convert the direct current(DC) from the solar panels into alternating current(AC). Alternating current is what the electric utility sends you, and that is what is required to operate all household appliances.
How do I determine my power consumption?
The first step is to locate you energy use history form your power utility documents. Some utilities keep a running annual total of kilowatt hours used, on your monthly bill. In this case, you just have to add up your use for 12 months. If they only show a partial history, 1 or 2 months, then you will need several months of billing documents. These should be readily available from your utility in any case. The final consideration is whether you will be adding or losing any equipment or appliances that use significant amounts of power. Are you planning on adding a heatpump, spa or pool. Or maybe you are getting rid of a spa. These are all big energy users and need to be considered. You can easily find typical consumption rates for these appliances on the internet, or you can ask an installing company.   


What components make up a solar system?
Solar installations are designed to meet the needs of the owner, and specific to location of the installation. These are typical components that may be used in an installation: Solar modules(panels), Optimizers, string inverters or micro-inverters, solar mounting rails and hardware, DC and AC cabling, Equipment disconnects, batteries, load centers.
How many steps are there to getting a solar system?

The main steps to installation are: 1-Apply for any rebates and subsidies available, 2-Obtain pricing and designs to determine an installing contractor. 3-Installing contractor applies for electrical permitting and design approval, 4-Installing contractor prepares site with solar mounting hardware and electrical wiring, 5-Inspection may be required by utility. 6-Solar modules(panels) mounted and connected 7-Final inspection by utility, 8-System is commissioned by installer, 9-Rebates and Subsidies completed and paid out.

What kind of equipment do you offer?

SolarU installs equipment that will deliver the most cost effective solution for our customers.  Currently, we offer Hanwha and Longi modules and SolarEdge, Fronius and Megarevo inverters. We are also offering 14kW lithium power wall batteries. Equipment changes, based on availability and upgrades. We are always willing to discuss the equipment with our customers.

Financial, Warranty, and Insurance

Will solar panels affect my home insurance?
Most home insurers are comfortable with solar installations. They may, however, limit the size of the system. They may also require various installation documents for their records. It is recommended that you talk to your home insurer before you undertake an installation, and at the conclusion of the installation, proactively supply your insurer with supporting documentation.
Do solar panels really save you money?
YES!!! Utility power rates are rising every year. And the infastructure upgrades required to handle the increaseing electricity use will force the increases to be larger than in the past. When you install solar, you freeze the cost of a kilowatt hour.   
Is solar a good investment?
Solar energy is a good investment if you own a home and price stability is important to you. Having a vegetable garden gives you food independence and security. Think of solar as a garden on your roof giving you some energy independence and security. And for a limited time, rebates and loans will make this an even more attractive investment. . 
What kind of financing options do I have?
Canada Greener Homes offers 0% financing for loans up to $40,000!  Fourteen towns in Nova Scotia and several towns on Prince Edward Island have PACE programs with low rates. PACE (property assessed clean energy grants)  allow you to pay for your system through your local property tax program, See our Atlantic Canada Guide to Affordable Solar Installation for more details.
We are retiring soon. Is solar appropriate for us?
Solar is excellent for people who want to ensure their fixed income is paying for predictable costs.  Electricity prices have increased by 30% over the past ten years.  Investing in solar eliminates utility kilowatt hour usuage charges immediately. This cost certainty is very attractive for retirees.  Plus, if you decide to downsize, solar increases the value of your home and helps the home sell faster.

Weather & Maintenance

Will a grid-intertied solar system power my house during a power outage?
The Short answer is no. Grid tied inverters only operate when they sense voltage from the grid. They operate this way so that when there is grid power failure, the people doing the repairs are not at risk of electrocution from a house producing electricity from solar. If a grid tied solar installation has a hybrid (grid tied – off grid) inverter and an electric battery, it is possible to use solar during a general grid failure.
Do I need to clean snow off my panels?
No. You might damage the panels. And it is also a more dangerous time to be on the roof. The reflection from snow on the ground with increase your solar production. But snow on your panels will definitely degrade your output. But don’t despair, it is important to remember that you will generate 75% of your annual power production during the months when there is no snow. So, for the days or even weeks when your panels are covered, it won’t have that much effect on the annual production.  
Will solar panels damage my roof or cause leaks?
Proper installation will ensure that no damage occurs. The technologies used in solar installations have been developed with a focus on maintaining the integrity and impermeability of roof structures. There are equipment warranties which cover installation as well as many online videos demonstrating the efficacy of these products. .
How long will my system last?
Although most solar panels are warrantied to last at least 25 years, the predominance of current systems will last over 35 years (with normal degradation of power).  Less costly and easier to install components of the system, like inverters or batteries, have 10 year lifetimes.  
How do I clean my solar modules?
In most cases, snow or rain will be enough to keep panels clean.  If rain is an infrequent visitor, a hose sprayed onto the panels will suffice. 
Can my system and roof be protected from animal damage?

Pest protection is generally required by code in Atlantic Canada.  SolarU installs materials that protect the system and the roof from nesting and gnawing.