fbpx

Preparing to Go Solar? Here are Some Things to Know Before Making the Change

Here’s a list of the most important, and commonly asked, questions that we think will be really helpful as you are preparing to go solar, and make your final decision. 

How Solar Panels Work 

Before diving into much else on solar power, it’s important to go over some basic information on how solar panels work. 

The Photovoltaic Effect

The photovoltaic effect is essentially the process that happens when the sun’s radiation is captured or absorbed and then turned into a useable form of energy. Check out our full-length article to learn more in-depth information on photovoltaics and solar energy

Photovoltaic Solar Panels

photovoltaic effect

The photovoltaic effect is a fairly complex process, but for this article we’re going to keep it very straightforward. A solar panel’s job is very simple: it sits on your rooftop and absorbs the energy released by the sun. Photovoltaic solar panels take the sun’s radiation and convert it into electricity through a process known as photovoltaics. 

That energy is first converted to DC (or direct current) electricity, before going through an inverter that converts the DC electricity into AC (alternating current) electricity. The conversion from DC to AC is very important because AC electricity is the electricity used by homes and businesses. 

Surplus Energy

During daylight hours, your solar panels are constantly taking in and storing the sun’s energy. The electricity created by your solar panels is what’s used in your house. However, there’s often a surplus of energy, meaning that your solar panels are capturing and storing more energy than most homes or businesses can use. 

This surplus energy can be stored in backup batteries, which are installed along with your solar energy system. That energy will then be available to use during nighttime hours, or if your home or business has increased energy demands. You’ll also have the option of putting that surplus energy/electricity back into the power grid. 

Solar Panels & Inclement Weather

We mentioned how solar panels are constantly “working” during daylight hours. Bright, direct sunlight is what’s going to make your solar panels absorb and create the most usable energy. However, that doesn’t mean that your solar panels will all of a sudden stop working on cloudy, snowy, rainy, or shorter winter days. 

solar on cloudy days

Solar Panels & Clouds 

One of the more common questions we’re asked is if a solar energy system installation makes sense if you live in a cloudy climate. The answer is absolutely yes! Though solar panels produce the most electricity on sunny days, cloud cover doesn’t stop this production. The sun’s radiation still penetrates through clouds, as most of us can attest to the sunburns we’ve gotten on cloudy days. 

Your solar panels’ energy production will be slightly lower in a cloudy climate than in an ultra-sunny climate. This shouldn’t be a deterrent though, because the cost of standard electricity is constantly increasing. Relying on solar power for all of your energy needs, or just some of them, will still end up being cheaper than paying a monthly regular utility bill. 

What About Solar Panels & Snow

Snow causes a similar issue to clouds, though it can be a little more problematic. If there’s just a light dusting of snow on your solar panels, they’ll still be able to absorb the sun’s radiation. However, the amount of light reaching the panels will be decreased. 

A heavy coating of snow will block the sunlight, but the good solar system installers will set up your rooftop solar system in a way that will almost entirely prevent this issue. Solar panels are typically set up on an angle and that angle is generally steep enough that any snow accumulation will end up sliding off the panels. 

Solar Panels at Night

solar at night

Since the sun doesn’t shine at night, your solar energy system won’t be producing any energy at that time. However, like we mentioned above, that doesn’t mean you’ll have to spend your nights in total darkness. 

Solar Backup Batteries

When you choose to install a rooftop solar energy system, you’ll have the option of purchasing a backup battery system. While a solar backup battery system isn’t essential to the functioning of a solar energy system, it will be a huge help. 

Basically, what solar backup batteries do is take and store the excess energy created by your solar panels. This means that you’ll have accessible power at any time. Backup batteries allow you to go completely off-grid, as well as simply ensuring that the energy doesn’t go to waste if it’s not used. They also allow you to be less reliant on the power grid, even if you’re still grid tied. 

solar battery

Power Outages and Solar Panels

Power outages, or blackouts, are worth mentioning because, although not a daily occurrence, they still happen. During a power outage, the entire power grid goes down, leaving the majority of homes and businesses without power.

Homes with a solar energy system aren’t entirely immune to power outages. If you’re completely off-grid, and your solar panels meet all of your power needs, you’ll be fine during a blackout. 

However, if you’re still grid-tied, your solar panels won’t work during a blackout. This is because your solar system will be shut off temporarily as a safety measure. That said, if you have a backup battery system, you’ll still be able to access that power.  

Going Off-Grid vs. Staying Grid-Tied

As solar power gains popularity, more and more people are hearing about it and looking into it as a viable option for energy and electricity. There’s a lot of talk about “off-grid” and “grid-tied,” but what exactly do those terms mean?

Off-Grid

If you decide that you want to be solely reliant on solar power for all of your home’s energy needs, this means that you won’t use the power grid for any of your energy consumption. This is called “going off-grid.” 

Your Electric Bill When You’re Off-Grid

When you’re off-grid, you won’t have to pay monthly electric bills, and you’ll be relying on a clean, renewable energy source. However, being off-grid means that you’ll want to install a solar backup battery system to ensure you still have access to power and electricity at night and during inclement weather. 

Grid-Tied

Having a solar energy system installed doesn’t automatically mean that you’ll be reliant only on solar power. You can choose to use both solar power and regular, power-grid-supplied electricity. The benefit of this is that you can use power from the grid in cases where your solar panels aren’t producing enough electricity to meet your needs.  

Your Electric Bill When You’re Grid-Tied

Another benefit of being grid-tied is that you’ll have the option of sending any excess energy back to the grid. So while you’ll still receive a monthly electric bill, it will be reduced for a couple of reasons. 

The first is that you won’t have used as much power from the grid because your solar panels will have produced some amount of usable power. The second is that the excess energy you sent back to the grid will show up as a credit, or reduction, on your monthly electric bill. 

Something worth mentioning here is that if you do choose to remain grid-tied, your solar panels might still end up producing sufficient energy to meet your home’s needs. In this case, you’ll still get a monthly electric bill, but the amount owed will be $0. 

The Benefits of Going Solar

Alright, we’ve covered some of the basics of solar panels, such as: how they work; how they’re affected by different weather conditions; off-grid vs. grid-tied; and how your electric bill can be affected. 

Getting a good grasp on the following points will help get you more prepared to make your decision. Let’s look further into some more of the big benefits of choosing to go solar.

Solar is Good for the Environment

Solar energy is renewable and clean. As long as the sun continues shining, there will always be solar energy that humans can make use of. Renewable energy is a hot topic today, and it’s arguably a very important one, as it has the potential to actually help life on earth. 

clean energy

Humans have used fossil fuels as the primary energy source. Fossil fuels are things like oil, petroleum, natural gas, and coal. All of these are non-renewable, or finite, and are incredibly harmful to the environment. Their use requires burning, which releases harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, and plays a huge part in climate change.

When you use solar energy for some, or all, of your home’s energy needs, you’ll be reducing your reliance on fossil fuels, which will help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. You’ll also be helping your own health, as fossil fuel burning also releases harmful particles into the air which are big contributors to many health problems. 

Going Solar Can Save You Money

Though the initial purchase and installation cost of a solar energy system is pretty big, you’ll end up saving money in the long run. Your monthly electric bills will be less, and you won’t be subject to the constant increase in electricity rates.  

A good starting point when you’re trying to calculate potential savings from having a solar energy system is to look at your utility bills and determine the exact amount you’re paying for electricity. This will be a good comparison to help predict future savings. 

Exactly how much you’ll save is going to vary depending on what city and state you live in. This is because the costs of electricity varies greatly around the country. Also, different states have different policies relating to solar energy. We’ll go more in depth on that later. 

Net Metering

Net metering belongs in the benefits of going solar because it’s yet another way that going solar can save you money. Your home’s solar energy system will typically produce more electricity than you can use. However, there will also be times when your home’s energy needs outweigh your solar system’s production ability.

solar net metering

What net metering does is allow solar customers to give any surplus electricity produced by their solar system to the power grid; this electricity can then be used elsewhere. You’ll get a credit that will show up as a reduction in your next month’s electric bill. 

Conversely, during times when your home’s energy needs exceed your solar system’s electricity production, you’ll need to get electricity from the power grid. In these instances, you’ll see this usage reflected on your electric bill.  

Though the rules surrounding net metering vary from state to state, but each state will set a cap on how much the utility companies will pay you for your electricity, and vice versa. For example, the net metering cap for Virginia residential properties is 20kW.  

Increased Home Value

When you purchase a solar energy system for your home, you’re not only helping the environment, but you’re actually increasing your home’s value, should you choose to sell. According to This Old House, a home with a rooftop solar system could sell for $15,000 more than for a completely identical home without a solar energy system. 

It’s worth noting here that while a home with a solar system will sell for more than a home without a solar system, this sales price increase is dependent on you owning the solar system. If your system is leased, prior to selling your house, you’ll need to either buy out your lease or have the lease agreement transferred to the new buyer. 

Solar Panels Have a Long Lifespan

You can anticipate most rooftop solar panels on the market being able to generate sufficient electricity for 25-30 years. Their electricity output will gradually decrease over time, but we can’t think of any other appliance lasting that long. 

Solar Panels Require Little to No Maintenance 

In addition to solar panels having an insanely long lifespan, they also require little to no maintenance. Solar panels are durable and are made to withstand all kinds of weather and environmental abuse. The tempered glass they’re made of is incredibly tough. 

Though they’re tough, your solar panels might still need occasional repairs or to replace a part. This shouldn’t be a deterrent though because all the reputable solar installers provide exceptional warranties. 

Solar Incentives and Rebates

We’ve already talked about how going solar has financial benefits, both in the short term and the long term. Other significant savings you’ll see from going solar come in the form of government incentives and tax rebates, the amount of which will vary from state to state.  

The federal government offers the federal solar tax credit which provides significant tax breaks to homeowners who’ve installed a solar energy system. A 26% tax credit was applied for solar systems installed between 2020-2021, and it was increased to 30% for systems installed between 2022-2032.  

Financing Options for Going Solar

There are three ways you can finance going solar. The first option, if you have the cash at hand,  is to buy your solar system outright. The second is to take out a loan specific to the purchase of solar energy systems. The third option is to sign what’s called a power purchase agreement (PPA), or a solar lease. 

EnergySage is one of the leading experts in solar information, and they have a great solar calculator that uses actual data from your city/state, as well as information you provide about your home’s roof. Also, it’s free to use! Check it out if you want to figure out costs and savings. 

Owning vs. Leasing

Neither option is bad, and the answer to this question depends on why you’ve chosen to go solar. Some people simply want to lower their energy bills in the easiest, most maintenance-free, environmentally friendly way. If this sounds like you, then a solar lease would be a great option. 

Other people are looking to do all of the above, in addition to maximizing their long term financial returns. Because solar energy systems are expensive to purchase and install, if you’re looking for a long term ROI, then it would make more sense for you to purchase your solar panels.

Solar Loan vs. Solar Lease

This is where the fine print comes in and you need to do your research. Both options allow you to install solar panels without worrying about a huge upfront cost. However, what you need to look at closely are the terms and agreements for solar loans and solar leases.

A solar lease is pretty much like leasing a car, in that you’ll make a monthly payment but you won’t actually own your solar panels. A solar loan is like a home loan, in that you’ll eventually own your solar panels and energy system. When you take out a solar loan, you’ll be eligible for more benefits than if you’re just leasing your solar system.   

But no matter how you choose to go solar (outright purchase, loan, or lease), you’ll be helping the environment and decreasing your electric bills. 

Secured Solar Loans vs. Unsecured Solar Loans

You can think about these two types of solar loans in terms of risk, both to yourself and to the lender. A secured loan requires you, the borrower, to put a financial asset up as collateral. This asset is typically your home. Obviously, a secured solar loan represents more risk for you, however the interest rates are generally fairly low. 

An unsecured solar loan doesn’t require any type of collateral, but they come with much higher interest rates. The high interest rates help mitigate the lender’s financial risk.  

For more information on secured vs. unsecured solar loans, check out this article

Choosing the Right Solar Loan

Solar loans are offered by national banks, local banks, credit unions, specialty financing companies, and even solar panel manufacturers. There are financing options for everything from the installers to the equipment.  

The best loan for you might not work for someone else, so you’ll want to compare a lot of different options provided by the different financing institutions. 

So, Am I Ready to Go Solar?

While there’s no cut and dry answer to this question, it’s one that every potential solar customer asks. Here are some questions to ask yourself that can help you decide if you’re ready or not. 

Money

This is a big one. We’ve said it a lot, but the purchase and installation of a home solar energy system is not cheap. The equipment itself is expensive, and a good installer will charge a decent amount. 

However, like we’ve also said, that price tag really doesn’t need to be a deterant. Thanks to $0-down financing options for going solar (think solar leases and solar loans), if you can pay your electric bill every month, you can swing going solar. So, if you’re a homeowner and you have good credit, you can afford to make the switch to solar. 

A Suitable Roof 

In a perfect world, the ideal roof for a solar panel system would be spacious, face south, and have very little, if any, shade. But since most homes aren’t designed with solar panels installation in mind, there are plenty of ways to get around less-than-ideal roof setups. 

sustainable solar roof

Depending on the size, shape, geographic location and orientation of your roof, the number, size, and type of solar panels you’ll need will vary. Check out our full length article that addresses these questions and many more.   

What About Replacing My Roof?

If your roof is in good shape and doesn’t need any repairs or maintenance, then no, you don’t need to replace your roof prior to having your solar panels installed. However, if your roof needs major work, it’s best to get that done prior to having your solar system installed. 

The main reason for this is that solar panels can last 25-30 years, and it would be less than ideal to have to remove them and then reinstall them in order to replace or repair your roof. So it’s best to start with a clean slate, and get your roof inspected by a reputable solar installer prior to a solar installation. 

What Determines My Solar System’s Size?

This is based on a few factors. The main one is going to depend on your home’s monthly electricity usage. The more electricity your home uses, the more solar panels you’ll likely need. Likewise if your home has a huge roof, you’ll probably need more, larger solar panels. 

Let’s say you live in a spot with less sun, or your home has a small or strangely shaped roof. If this is the case, you’ll want to look into higher efficiency solar panels. These panels can harness and produce huge amounts of electricity without needing a big footprint or constant, intense sunlight. 

Types of Solar Panels

Solar panels come in different sizes, styles, and levels of efficiency. However, for simplicity’s sake, you can think about solar panels being classified into two types, which are based on their efficiency.  

Monocrystalline Solar Panels 

Monocrystalline solar panels are the most efficient type of solar panels. Because of their greater efficiency, they do cost more, but you’ll probably need less of them to meet your home’s energy needs. This type of solar panel is also a good option if you’ve got a small, strangely shaped, or not-ideally placed roof.

Polycrystalline Solar Panels

Polycrystalline solar panels are less efficient than monocrystalline solar panels, but they’re cheaper to purchase and install. 

Solar Panel Classification

We already said that there are two types of solar panels: monocrystalline solar panels and polycrystalline solar panels.

Now, let’s go a little more in depth. EnergySage has a solar panel classification, or ranking system. The panels are ranked as: poor, fair, good, very good, and excellent. The solar panel industry strictly monitors and tracks solar panel quality and performance, and customers can easily access this information. This should all be part of your solar panel research.    

Power Inverters

solar inverter

Power inverters are essential parts of solar panels. The solar energy collected by your solar panels isn’t immediately usable. Something needs to convert it into a usable form of electricity. That’s where power inverters come in. There are three different types of power inverters to choose from.  

String Inverters

String inverters are standard issue power inverters. There is one central inverter that’s tied to all of your solar panels. They’re the least expensive and they work best if your roof is ideally situated, and without anything blocking it from the sun. 

Microinverters

Microinverters are built into each solar panel. This allows your solar panels to essentially function individually and independently of one another. If one panel isn’t performing well, it won’t negatively affect the rest of the panels. Microinverters cost more than string inverters. 

Power Optimizer

Power optimizers, similar to microinverters, are in each solar panel. These take the electric current, “optimize” it, then send it to a central inverter. Their cost is somewhere in between string inverters and microinverters. 

Solar Monitoring Systems

A solar monitoring system isn’t a necessity. However, the benefit of a solar monitoring system is that you’ll be able to track, in detail, the amount of energy produced by your solar energy system. 

If you’ve purchased your solar panels outright, you’ll need to pay for a solar monitoring system. But if you have a solar lease agreement, a monitoring system is often included for free.  

Comparing Quotes and Choosing an Installer

As with any big decision, you’ll likely have a lot of information to sift through and choices to make. Choosing the right installer for your solar energy system is an important one. You’ll want to make sure their company is reputable, has good equipment, provides good warranties, and is highly experienced, as well as being licensed and insured. 

The same goes for sifting through the various solar system installation quotes you’ll receive. Quotes will vary depending on where you live and what companies you’re getting the quotes from. Again, EnergySage’s solar marketplace is a great resource to help you get the best quote and not become overwhelmed by information overload.  

What Can I Expect From the Solar Installation Process?

We’ve already mentioned the importance and necessity of finding a good installer and getting multiple quotes. This will guarantee that you’re going to get a solar system that will not only meet your needs, but will fit your budget and be expertly installed. 

After you’ve selected your installer, the right equipment, and made a plan for financing, you’ll be ready for installation. At this point, the installer will come to your house and do a thorough inspection of your property. This will include the house’s roof size, shape, orientation, and any possible issues that might be present or arise at some point in the future.  

After the inspection of your property and roof, your installer will file a bunch of paperwork to make sure that your solar system installation will be approved. Sometimes the approval process can take awhile, but the actual installation of the solar panels and system is quick, usually two days at most. 

Shared Solar

Shared solar is also known as community solar. When most people think of going solar, they’re envisioning a rooftop solar panel system on their house. However, there’s another option that isn’t as well-known, and this is the community solar project

Solar Community

Community Solar Projects

Instead of the solar panels being installed on your roof, the solar panels in a community solar project are set up somewhere else in your neighborhood or community. Just like with a home, rooftop solar system, community solar projects will also save you money on your electric bill. 

Community Solar Saves You Money

Community solar projects are such a great way to save money because they allow you to reap the benefits of solar energy without having to make the large initial investment of purchasing and installing a home solar system.  

Community Solar vs. Rooftop Solar

A good way to think about the difference between a community solar project and a home rooftop solar installation, is that with a community solar project, you’re paying for a portion of the solar energy that’s distributed throughout a community. 

Ownership vs. Subscription

Community solar projects offer ownership options or subscription-based options. When you go with the ownership route, you’re making an initial investment, after which you’ll fairly quickly start to see savings. Subscription-based involvement means that your savings will be spread out over a period of time.  

What Will My Electric Bill Look Like with Community Solar?

First off, when you’re part of a community solar project, your part of your share or subscription is paid directly to your community solar provider. 

Second, remember net metering? When you subscribe to a community solar project, or own a share of it, your utility bill will show what’s called a virtual net metering credit. Since electricity usage is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh), one credit will be equal to one kWh. 

This means that if your home uses 1,000 kWh/month, but your community solar share only produces 800 kWh, your electric bill will say that you owe money for the difference, which would be 200 kWh.  

Moving or Cancelling With a Community Solar Project

In the event that you have to move to a new home, and you’re part of a community solar project, so long as your new house is in the same service area, you’ll be able to keep your solar share. However, if you move outside of the service area, then you’ll have to either transfer your subscription, cancel it (for a fee), or sell it (if you own it). 

Contact Convert Solar Today!

Our Reviews

Convert Solar
4.8
Based on 222 reviews
powered by Google
J Byrd
J Byrd
15:50 29 Aug 22
I called to ask a question concerning my solar panels. Someone named Jordan answered the phone immediately. He was... extremely kind, patient and knowledgeable when he answered all of my questions and explained in a way that was understandable. I have been a convert solar customer for almost a year and I am pleased with the company.read more
Yasmin Valdes
Yasmin Valdes
12:32 29 Aug 22
My experience with this company has been very good. I received a few quotes from different companies and there’s was... very competitive. The sales rep Melissa has been very helpful in providing information but really what has prompted me to write this amazing review is their service rep Jordan. He is amazingly responsive and really on top of our system to ensure we’re getting the maximum output. Right after the install I was hearing some buzzing sounds from our panel and he came out on a Sunday afternoon to get this fixed. Also, While we were on vacation he actually came by the house because he noticed a few of the panels were not performing as they were supposed to. I am very happy we signed out with this company and our panels look amazing! I am awaiting one final thing to be completed for the job to be done but so far I’m very happy with their service and product.read more
John F. Childress, Ph.D,
John F. Childress, Ph.D,
18:49 22 Aug 22
I contracted with Convert Solar to install panels on our roof. From the very first contact, the staff was... professional, responsive, and timely. I was always kept apprised of progress of our project. It was completed on time, on budget, and passed all inspections. Installers, electricians, and staff were all pleasant to work with. I am particularly impressed Dylan Kowal who went above and beyond what could have been expected to make sure our needs were met and we were not sold anything we didn’t need. I cannot recommend this company more highly.read more
William OConnor
William OConnor
17:10 18 Aug 22
I started the solar due diligence process in February. I spoke with four companies and am very happy I took the time... to pick the right solar supplier. Convert Solar made solid commitments and met every one of them. Dylan, the representative, was incredibly knowledgeable and professional; the installation went better than expected; and the system is generating more than I thought it would. The entire team was a pleasure to work with. Convert Solar gets my heartiest recommendation!read more
Mark
Mark
15:03 25 Jul 22
Had the sales person come out. Def not pushy but signed up. Installation was great. I did have a prob from where the... placement of the panels was diff from the plans. I also did not like how line was ran on the side of the building. I mentioned this and they came out and rerouted the wire on my concern.....def a recommended company for meMark Sread more
Bob Marietta
Bob Marietta
13:56 20 Jul 22
I had a great experience with Convert-Solar. Every aspect of the process went smooth. They offered me a great price,... were experts in solar and installed a solar system without issue. The installers went above and beyond. They routed a cable through my attic in such a way to optimize the cosmetic experience from the exterior. Highly recommend this company. After the system was installed, I discovered solar had an added benefit of reflecting or absorbing heat. My house was cooler and the HVAC didn't have to work as hard to keep up.read more
Garry Johns
Garry Johns
16:43 12 Jul 22
Just had my power company come out and change over to my new meter for solar. Immediately called Convert Solar. They... were fabulous! walked me through final process with turning the system on while answering all my questions as well. Finally, they helped me with the application download and setup.Now, I am solar! These guys and Earth Right Mid-Atlantic have been outstanding, prompt, and quick from the very beginning.Thank you very much!!read more
Bruce Frickey
Bruce Frickey
17:09 20 Jun 22
After almost a year of enjoying my Convert Solar installed system on my house I called with a quick question. Jordan... answered quickly, looked up my account and gave me what I needed. The energy production from my roof has been great, along with the continued customer support from Convert. There is a real benefit from choosing a local company established in the community when purchasing a system you expect to use for 30 years!read more
Tyler Ryan
Tyler Ryan
22:43 13 Jun 22
Let me preface and state that I am individual that seeks out local business as opposed to big chains. I had already... made the immediate decision to get solar on our new home the day we had moved in. When we began calling local solar companies, those that we did meet with did not give us exactly what we were looking for. They were either not giving us enough panels, offset, or to much in terms of pricing vs competitors. When I contacted VA energy Solutions not only did they hear us loud and clear they understood our urgency to immediately get the ball rolling.When we had met with Steven I had instantly told him that I wanted as many panels as possible so that we can get our offset as close to if not over 100%. After initial inputs and testing and then coming back later on after they had gotten drone footage, they were able to get 62 panels on our home. This put our offset at ~90% and mind you this is with many many trees around us that were blocking potential energy from hitting our panels. We have since gotten down some of the trees and are still working on getting rid of the other trees that are blocking the panels at sunrise and sunset, once the said trees are down we should easily be at 100% offset if not extraordinarily close.On the day of the installation for the 62 panels the workers had arrived at our home at 7am, and they did not leave until almost 9pm. These workers wanted to ensure that the panels were installed on the day of and not a day later, they worked through such high temperatures. We had given them lots of water, and Gatorade and even snacks for how hard they worked on getting everything done. It was surreal with how much they pushed themselves to ensure that the job was done on the same day. Our installation is an uncommon one with the way our roof is and with how many we had to be installed mind you. Overall the experience has been great and we are looking forward to being able to have our 100% power once we get the rest of the trees down. It is going to be great to see the lack of an energy bill from dominion once we are at that point.read more
Tyler Ryan
Tyler Ryan
22:43 13 Jun 22
Let me preface and state that I am individual that seeks out local business as opposed to big chains. I had already... made the immediate decision to get solar on our new home the day we had moved in. When we began calling local solar companies, those that we did meet with did not give us exactly what we were looking for. They were either not giving us enough panels, offset, or to much in terms of pricing vs competitors. When I contacted VA energy Solutions not only did they hear us loud and clear they understood our urgency to immediately get the ball rolling.When we had met with Steven I had instantly told him that I wanted as many panels as possible so that we can get our offset as close to if not over 100%. After initial inputs and testing and then coming back later on after they had gotten drone footage, they were able to get 62 panels on our home. This put our offset at ~90% and mind you this is with many many trees around us that were blocking potential energy from hitting our panels. We have since gotten down some of the trees and are still working on getting rid of the other trees that are blocking the panels at sunrise and sunset, once the said trees are down we should easily be at 100% offset if not extraordinarily close.On the day of the installation for the 62 panels the workers had arrived at our home at 7am, and they did not leave until almost 9pm. These workers wanted to ensure that the panels were installed on the day of and not a day later, they worked through such high temperatures. We had given them lots of water, and Gatorade and even snacks for how hard they worked on getting everything done. It was surreal with how much they pushed themselves to ensure that the job was done on the same day. Our installation is an uncommon one with the way our roof is and with how many we had to be installed mind you. Overall the experience has been great and we are looking forward to being able to have our 100% power once we get the rest of the trees down. It is going to be great to see the lack of an energy bill from dominion once we are at that point.read more
Lynn Miller
Lynn Miller
18:56 10 Jun 22
I knew for my new home I wanted Solar and I interviewed several companies before deciding on Convert Solar. Why... Convert? First, they educated me on solar not to sell me but to explain how it worked, what questions I needed to ask them and others and where to look for independent information. Then I asked them who their strongest competitor was and they immediately gave a name of a company that i had heard was good. I interviewed the other company and liked them a lot and their pricing was the same. So why again? Because they took multiple steps to educate me. Have had follow up time to talk with me way after the sale. Oh, and my solar works fantastic in that Convert estimated that solar would only cover about 78% of the cost of power at the house, today it is covering 100%.read more
JAMES FAST
JAMES FAST
18:40 10 Jun 22
Excellent experience. No gimmicks of "discounting" the cost by my tax incentive. Everything went according to plan... with exception of needing to get a roof vent moved. I pointed this out to the sales folks and they should have just told me to take care of that before installation rather than saying it was going to be fine. Installers had to stop and come back another day to finish after I got the vent moved.read more
Todd Bollinger
Todd Bollinger
18:25 10 Jun 22
The roofing contractor they use likes to add parts without discussing it with the homeowner before installation. Which... led to an unexpected $1600 bill a month later. Secondly, be sure you review all of the contract. The tax credit is non-refundable, meaning it just reduces how much you owe (if you owe anything to begin with).The solar is great as it just replaces the electric bill which will only increase while this bill will eventually go away. The salesman is responsive. Overall it will be a good investment but the communication could be better.read more
Nash Thakker
Nash Thakker
16:06 10 Jun 22
My experience with Solar Energy was A+ with Convert SolarTony was great and very helpful; he gave me an awesome deal... which was much better than anyone in the solar market. He explained everything and showed comparative data from the start and handled our 1,000+ questions that we had.Convert solar team did an awesome job installing the panels; the crew was very professional and walked me through the entire process during installation and adjusted the solar panel according to the way we were anticipating. Overall, this project required very little from me once I made the initial choices and was managed well from start to finish. The timelines were met, the build was fast, and it looks good. The quality of consulting and professionalism were excellent. The electrician also conducted excellent work (wiring the panel) and explaining all the information. The best part, they also cleaned up everything (inside and outside) the house after installation (left no debris behind). We are happy with the installation and looking forward to many years of solar bliss. I would recommend Tony for Solar needs and his team to anyone. Thank you to everyone on the team. Great job!read more
Joe and Amal Hall
Joe and Amal Hall
16:34 27 May 22
We got solar panels done on our very first home and it was definitely a big risk and and a big decision.We... interviewed many solar companies but eventually found honesty and real customer service with Convert Solar. Our salesperson was Jeremy Davis and my husband and I were so pleased with the work they did. Many solar companies try to confuse you and aren't clear about certain terms in the contract and what they provide. With Jeremy, he proved us wrong. All our questions were answered and explained extremely well (an we were very detailed with the contract). Jeremy provided a customer service that we did not experience with any other solar power company. He truly wanted the best for us and our home and his enthusiasm for solar and his career showed through every conversation.I highly recommend convert solar. They offer competitive prices and strong customer service that puts them above the rest. Our panels have been doing well and we couldn't be happier.If you work with convert solar, ask for Jeremy - he will make your experience 10x better.read more
Dylan Hunger
Dylan Hunger
16:29 17 May 22
I worked with Convert Solar to get a system that was installed five years ago by a different company (that is no longer... in business) repaired. I specifically worked with Jordan, and I must say he was fantastic. The system was completely non-functional due to a "DC Isolation Fault" (it is a SolarEdge system). Jordan had everything up and running again in just a few hours, he cleaned up behind himself, and answered every question I had. Would have went with them initially, if I knew about their business in 2017. Would highly recommend their services to anyone that is seeking them.read more
William Weatherly
William Weatherly
00:46 03 May 22
I would like to start by saying I’m a very Skeptical person with anything new that I don’t fully understand. With that... said I really appreciate the professional approach that Convert Solar had with the initial call and throughout the whole install process. I want to especially shout out appreciation to Freddie(our salesman) who took the time to explain everything so that we felt completely comfortable. I would strongly recommend using this company to take care of all your solar power needs.read more
Xavier Manzeralla
Xavier Manzeralla
23:08 25 Apr 22
I’m leaving a review now, after having my solar panels installed about a year and a half ago by Convert Solar. I am so... happy to have gone with this company for my solar panels! I love that they are a Virginia company, and they have never let me feel like I just spent a ton of money with a company and then was forgotten about. They have been just a call, text, or email away, for any of my questions about my system, and I just wanted to let everyone know - I couldn’t be happier with this company! 😊read more
Pete Kern
Pete Kern
23:46 15 Mar 22
Convert Solar!!! Especially Jordan (Tech Guy) and Mara (spelling? Customer Service). They do a great job!!! I have had... my 28 panel solar array for about two years and I am starting to see a massive impact to my electric bill. Very Happy with Convert!!!Shopped around to a few Solar companies and Convert is the standard!!!read more
Monique Farrington
Monique Farrington
12:29 08 Mar 22
The interactions during my entire process of installation was remarkable! I appreciated the professionalism, work... ethic, timeliness, attention to detail, and responsiveness of this company. Julie, my project manager was EVERYTHING! She was able to quickly get my needs met and questions answered. I am so thankful too to those who were tasked to tend to my needs. After my install and inspection, I had a coincidental (we discovered after troubleshooting, thoroughly) power outage to only 1 section of my home. Hunter and his supervisor figured out the problem and fixed it (unrelated to the solar panel install). They went above and beyond. For this too, I am so grateful! I highly recommend Convert Solar when you decide to go solar! 🙂read more
Jack Kauffman (Vegantreehugger3)
Jack Kauffman (Vegantreehugger3)
20:19 11 Feb 22
We are so happy with our solar system. We have had it for two years and love that we are doing something for the... environment. The system was well planned and we have just a little more solar power than our consumption these last two years. Their service has been above expectation. Twice in the two years our inverter failed and once they came out to replaced it before we were aware that it was not functioning properly. They are just as good with their warrantee service and support as they were with the planning and installation of the system.read more
Chris Long
Chris Long
19:14 27 Jan 22
I'm ecstatic to share my experience and install with Convert Solar! Fred and Pierre gave an awesome presentation to my... wife and I and answered EVERY question and concern that we had! Install was today and I couldn't be more pleased and happy with the professionalism and work done! Roofers/Panel install (Matt and his team (sorry I cant remember all of your names) ) were super professional and explained the process before they started! I hovered a lot (sorry lol) but I had so many "what if's" circling in my head and I didn't want a rush job! Matt and the team didn't mind and continued to make me at ease with their work! The Electricians Robert and Cameron were awesome! The level of anxiety I feel whenever it comes to electricity and the thought of having to do anything inside of my electrical panel were intensified when adding wires, junction boxes and power sources to the mix! But these two gentlemen quickly extinguished those thoughts of uncertainty and doubt with their knowledgeable explanations, installation and all around professionalism! A few more steps are needed before the system is completely up and running but I write this review from my couch, relaxed and without any cares or regrets! Thanks Convert Solar, everyone mentioned and those that were here but I didn't get your names! My wife and I appreciate you all!read more
Heather Gotliboski
Heather Gotliboski
13:30 17 Nov 21
Convert Solar has kept us informed every step of the way, fully and patiently explained the process of going solar, and... have been extremely responsive in each encounter with them to include coming out to our home 1 hour after reporting a panel error and fixing it immediately! They even followed the visit up with a phone call to ensure great service!read more
Andrew Guzman
Andrew Guzman
02:37 15 Nov 21
My experience with Convert Solar has been amazing. Fred MacArthur was a wonderful salesman that explained the entire... process honestly and did not hold anything back. The install crew were super professional and had the install of 20 panels complete within 5 hours. I have had an absolutely great experience with the company and 10/10 recommend it for anyone looking to convert!!!read more
Tal Day
Tal Day
18:55 12 Nov 21
We retrofitted an existing home with a southwest exposure in Virginia's Northern Neck in spring 2021. The first step... in the process was a visit by a sales representative who inspected the site. This included looking at rafters in the attic and running a drone to construct a heat map of the roof surface. He also looked at a year's worth of utility bills. With that information he furnished an estimate which we accepted and the install was scheduled. The installation crew consisted of four people to install roof panels and an electrician and assistant to connect into a home system, through the transfer switch for an emergecy generator. The entire install took 4-hours. This was a well-planned, custom installation that was efficiently implemented on-site. Outstanding!read more
robert caley
robert caley
16:11 11 Nov 21
Sales representative was great , knowledgeable and answered all my questions. The guys showed up on time as scheduled.... My system was installed and operational the same day. I highly recommend Convert Solar. My electric bill is only about $9.00 per month and that is for the utility service and taxes. Love it, Thank you Convert Solar!read more
Samuel Dillon
Samuel Dillon
14:53 11 Nov 21
My experience working with the folks at Convert Solar has been truly awesome! Mara Gianini did a fantastic job leading... me through the many steps in the project from helping with the technical specs through the installation process and the inspection/certification effort. I could not be more pleased. I have to say also that I was particularly impressed by Winston and his installation crew. Their level of professionalism was evident from the moment they arrived at my home until they packed up for the day. They answered all of my questions, were responsive to my concerns, and were incredibly polite and well spoken. My hat is off to the entire Convert Solar team.read more
Rosana OBrien
Rosana OBrien
15:50 25 Jun 21
Installation crew was spectacular! Got all panels and electrical connections nicely done in less than a day! Job... completed looks neatly done and works very efficiently! Finance and price is very affordable. No money out of pocket was needed! Bow i am just enjoying producing my own clean energy and no more power bills! Love it!read more
Next Reviews
js_loader