How does solar work?

When sunlight hits the solar panels they produce clean, renewable electricity that powers your home. If your system produces more energy than your house needs on a given day, that energy flows out of your home onto the electric grid.

How much will a solar installation cost?

The cost of solar varies widely based on your roof size and sun exposure. You may be eligible for a Federal Investment Tax Credit for 26% of the total cost of your installation. Your installer will provide you with a free quote specific to your home and will provide you with materials so you can apply for the ITC. Solar panels typically pay for themselves in about 10 years through the savings on your electric bill. 

How do I pay for it?
The most common way to finance solar is through a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit, and your installer will provide at least one financing option. You are also free to secure your own financing to pay for the solar installation. In most cases, we have found that the monthly loan payment is equal to or less than the monthly savings on your PECO bill.

How long until my home is solar-powered?
Once you have signed the contract, your installer will apply for a permit from the City and permission from PECO. After receiving these permits, typically within 30-60 days, the company will install the solar array on your roof, which takes 1-3 days. A couple of weeks later, PECO will give the final go-ahead for you to flip the switch and turn on your solar array!

Is my roof a good fit for solar?
The ideal roof for a solar installation is one that is unshaded and in good condition. Your installer will do a free assessment of your site to find out whether it has enough sun exposure to be a good fit for solar. It is possible to remove panels if roof repairs are needed, but it is best to have any needed major work done before the solar is installed.

How will solar change my electric bill?
Your installer will provide a proposal that shows how much you can expect to save. The solar energy produced will flow into your home and any extra electricity will flow out onto the electricity grid. PECO will credit your bill for this excess production, through a process known as “net metering.” When your solar array is not producing (e.g. at night), your house will consume electricity from the grid and your bill credits will be applied toward the cost of this grid-based power.

Didn’t answer your question?

Feel free to reach out to us at the Philadelphia Energy Authority at 215-686-4483 or solarize@philaenergy.org with any other questions!