Listen Up: Questions You May Ask About Rooftop Solar

I’ve spent a lot of time over the past 15 years talking to homeowners about rooftop solar. More kitchen table chats and walks around the house than I can count. Some of the basic questions I hear again and again. Because they are new to solar, some of the most important questions do not even occur to homeowners.

On this week’s Energy Show we’re going to address some of the more obscure questions that homeowners should ask… and installers should be prepared to answer:

  • Why do I need a building permit for solar?
  • What happens if I run my electric meter backwards and don’t tell my utility?
  • Can I use the power from my solar system during a blackout?
  • Who covers the warranty on my solar installation and solar equipment?
  • Is 3% or 4% or 5% a reasonable projection for electric rate escalation?
  • If I sell my house, how will the new buyer value my solar installation?
  • Will that tree to the south of my roof shade the system and reduce its output?
  • Do I need to clean my solar panels?
  • Is there a catch with a “no money down” deal?
  • How much will I save with my solar system?
  • I had a little roof leak last year? Is it OK to put solar panels on my roof?

For answers to these and other home solar questions, Listen Up to this week’s Energy Show on Renewable Energy World.


About The Energy Show

As energy costs consume more and more of our hard-earned dollars, we as consumers really start to pay attention. But we don't have to resign ourselves to $5/gallon gas prices, $200/month electric bills and $500 heating bills. There are literally hundreds of products, tricks and techniques that we can use to dramatically reduce these costs — very affordably.

The Energy Show on Renewable Energy World is a weekly 20-minute podcast that provides tips and advice to reduce your home and business energy consumption. Every week we'll cover topics that will help cut your energy bill, explain new products and technologies in plain English, and cut through the hype so that you can make smart and cost-effective energy choices. 

About Your Host

Barry Cinnamon is a long-time advocate of renewable energy and is a widely recognized solar power expert. In 2001 he founded Akeena Solar — which grew to become the largest national residential solar installer by the middle of the last decade with over 10,000 rooftop customers coast to coast. He partnered with Westinghouse to create Westinghouse Solar in 2010, and sold the company in 2012.

His pioneering work on reducing costs of rooftop solar power systems include Andalay, the first solar panel with integrated racking, grounding and wiring; the first UL listed AC solar panel; and the first fully “plug and play” AC solar panel. His current efforts are focused on reducing the soft costs for solar power systems, which cause system prices in the U.S. to be double those of Germany.

Although Barry may be known for his outspoken work in the solar industry, he has hands-on experience with a wide range of energy saving technologies.  He's been doing residential energy audits since the punch card days, developed one of the first ground-source heat pumps in the early ‘80s, and always abides by the Laws of Thermodynamics.

Lead image: Green microphone via Shutterstock


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