Frequently Asked Questions

What is solar power?

Today we’re able to harness sunshine using technologies that either heat water or generate electricity. Solar thermal technology uses the sun’s energy to warm water through a variety of uniquely-designed solar panels. Solar electric technology uses photovoltaic panels to directly convert the sun’s light into electricity.

What is solar electricity (also called photovoltaic energy)?

Photovoltaic (PV) systems – also known as solar electric systems — convert sunlight directly into electricity that can be used to power your home, office or factory. Today’s solar electric technology can be harnessed to either augment power supplied by your utility company or to take you completely off-grid from the utility. Off-grid systems use battery back-up systems to store power that’s needed at night or on cloudy days. Missouri Solar Solutions can customize your solar electric system to supply as much solar energy you want or can afford.

What is a solar panel?

Solar water heating and solar electric (photovoltaic) systems receive solar energy in rectangular-shaped panels – also known as “collectors”. These solar collector panels are mounted on a building’s roof or ground-mounted in special situations. In solar water heating panels, water is heated by sun energy as it circulates through. Solar electric panels contain the materials that convert sunlight directly into electricity. Solar panels are engineered to operate in very high winds and withstand environmental damages.

How long does it take to install a solar energy system?

Most home systems can be installed by a Missouri Solar Solutions crew in 2 or 3 days. Installation follows a thorough site survey and engineering review. Larger commercial or business installations can take longer depending on size, complexity and special mounting.

Does a solar panel need to be on my roof?

For most home installations, that’s the optimum placement for solar panels. Unobstructed by trees or other shade-producing structures, facing toward the south and able to be securely attached. If the homeowner has adequate yard space and/or many panels to be installed, Missouri Solar Solutions can review the option of ground mounting. This technique includes a reinforced heavy-gauge rack for the panels that angles the panels to the most effective orientation, typically affixed to a concrete pad.

Do I have to angle solar panels at the sun all day long?

Solar panels are installed in a fixed arrangement. They typically don’t move to track the sun during its movement through the sky. Mounting the panels to face south at the proper angles enables them to capture and collect the optimum amount of solar energy during the day.

What happens if there is no sun that day?

Lack of sunshine limits the solar energy potential of any solar energy system. However, some of the sun’s solar radiation will penetrate clouds to heat water or generate electricity.

How much maintenance is required?

Missouri Solar Solutions solar energy systems require less maintenance and service if the owner strictly follows guidelines. In most cases, these guidelines require owners to not adjust, maintain or repair the systems themselves. Missouri Solar Solutions warranty programs provide for regular service visits, which should be all the maintenance a solar energy system needs. Of course, if a problem arises with a Missouri Solar Solutions system, call the service team immediately.

How long do solar panels last?

Missouri Solar Solution customers will benefit fully from solar panels installed on their property for several decades. While warranties last up to 25 years on some solar components, their practical use far exceeds that.

Can I upgrade a solar panel?

Solar panels themselves can be replaced with newer panels, different size panels or more energy efficient panels. Or a homeowner can add more panels to increase the solar energy potential of a system. However, the panel itself can’t be upgraded.

I heard that the electric company has to pay me for surplus power. Is this true?

Each electric utility has its own programs for crediting customers who supply them with surplus energy (solar electric / PV power generated by a Missouri Solar Solutions system that exceeds the home’s needs). Missouri Solar Solutions solar energy specialists can help you understand those specific utility programs and how each affects the financial picture of your solar energy system.

Can I get a payment plan?

Missouri Solar Solutions can help you find available loan programs to meet your needs.

How do I get incentives from the government or utility company?

How do I get incentives from the government or utility company?
Programs from state, federal and utility companies have been dynamic – changing frequently. Ask your Missouri Solar Solutions solar energy specialist for the latest information and requirements. Missouri Solar Solutions can apply for all incentives and rebates on your behalf. Or check this link for new updates. DSIRE: Database of State Incentives of Renewables and Efficiency

How much does a residential solar system cost?

Keep in mind there are numerous local, state and federal incentives and rebates available to help offset the costs of installing solar systems. Learn more on this website.

DSIRE: Database of State Incentives of Renewables and Efficiency

It’s important to understand all factors of properly specifying, sizing and planning for a solar energy system – and fitting it into a budget. Missouri Solar Solutions can help you identify what incentives apply, then calculate your true net costs. Here’s a rough overview of entry costs for solar energy — before subtracting all available tax credits and rebates:

- Missouri Solar Solutions water heater system typically costs $7500 and up, installed.
- Missouri Solar Solutions PV solar electric system typically costs $8,000 and up, installed.
- Keep in mind you get the 30% tax credit off the cost of the system

Can solar energy lower my electric bill?

Yes, in every home or business application. Solar power can be harnessed to support any type of energy needed to power a home or building. You can “own” the energy at a fixed rate instead of “renting” it from a power utility company at fluctuating and increasing rates.
Photo-voltaic Solar electric systems can greatly reduce your electric bill. Whether you choose to augment your existing power or to go completely off-grid, photo-voltaic panels can have a dramatic effect in lowering or eliminating your electric bill. Missouri Solar Solutions Photo-voltaic Solar electric systems offer the fastest return on your solar investment.
A solar water heater typically reduces your electric bill by approximately 25-30%. Because they are so affordable and offer such a dramatic reduction in utility costs, Missouri Solar Solutions water heaters offer an excellent return on your solar investment.

How can solar energy reduce reliance on fossil fuels and foreign oil?

Because 85% of all US power comes from burning fossils, much of which comes from unstably priced foreign oil, anytime you lessen your dependency on utility power you’re helping our country reduce its reliance on energy from energy sources that are environmentally-unfriendly and financially unstable. Solar energy comprises an alternative solution; e.g., less reliance on traditional resources.

Can I adapt solar energy systems for my business?

Due to higher incentives and rebates for businesses, solar energy systems make just as much if not more sense for business owners. Add in the depreciation factor for a solar energy system capital expense, and the financials become even more attractive.

How can solar energy lower my carbon emissions?

85% of US utility power is created by burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas. Not only are fossil fuels non-renewable (meaning they’re in limited supply – when we run out, we can’t get more), they also emit dangerous gases into our atmosphere when burned. Whenever you lessen your use of power coming from your utility company, you help our country reduce its carbon emissions. Since solar energy is completely pollution-free, you’re making a personal contribution to the reduction of these gases.

Missouri Solar Solutions

Saving you money, sun up to sun down!
Company
2513 Oakmeadows Dr, Columbia, MO 65202
(573) 999-0841
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