Malek Service Company - FAQs

Solar Panel Installation - FAQs

  • What is solar energy?

    Solar energy uses the sun’s rays to create heat or electricity. It is an unlimited, renewable resource, valued for its ability to generate energy in a quiet, clean, and reliable manner.

  • What is the difference between solar panels and building- integrated photovoltaic products?

    Solar panels are flat panels of photovoltaic arrays mounted on a roof or a pole to capture sunlight. Building-integrated photovoltaic materials are PV arrays that are integrated into the building material itself, such as windows, roof tiles, or walls. Solar panels work well for retrofits or remodels, while BIPV are appropriate for new construction or a major renovation.

  • How much will I really save on my utility bills from a home electric solar power system?

    There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. It depends on how much electricity you use and how efficient the appliances are that you operate. In general, expect to generate excess electricity in the winter (when usage is lower), which can offset the energy you use from the grid in the summer.

  • Do I need special insurance requirements?

    Standard homeowner’s insurance policies typically meet electric utility requirements. Electric utilities usually require that homeowners who take advantage of net metering sign an interconnection agreement.

  • How much maintenance do solar energy panels require?

    Solar photovoltaic panels require little maintenance – no need to wash or dust. It is, however, important to place panels where they’ll remain clear of shade and debris. Thus, you’ll have to wipe them off if too many leaves fall on them. Solar hot water collection arrays don’t need much attention, either. It does help to periodically use a window wash brush, biodegradable soap, and water to clean the tubes.

  • Can I use a financing to buy a solar system?

    Yes, and we can help. Many of our brands have payment plan options available.  Please let us know you are interested in a payment plan and we can explain some of the options.  Other options may include a home equity loan from your bank or rolling the cost into your construction loan on a new house.

  • Why is it important to get multiple bids?

    As with any major investment, seeking information from multiple professionals can provide constructive advice, set realistic expectations, and help fine-tune the design that will work best for your home.

  • Will I need a building permit to install a solar energy system on my home?

    Yes. We will need to obtain building permits to install a solar system. Similarly, building, electrical, and plumbing codes also apply. That said, residential solar power systems don’t use “radical” building techniques, and most jurisdictions have building codes that fully embrace solar energy technology. Solar professionals roll the price for permits into their cost estimate. We will also work with your Homeowner’s Association to ensure that the system is installed in accordance with their restrictions for your neighborhood.

  • When should I seek a solar professional?

    The earlier the better. Solar installation professionals, like us, can help you determine the type and size of the system that best suits your needs.  If you are building a home, we are always available to discuss some general guidelines with your architect to ensure maximum production.  If your home is already built, we can offer a variety of options to maximize your production and lower your costs.

  • How can I calculate the cost and payback time from a solar power installation?

    To estimate how much a solar electric system may cost, determine your current energy needs and costs, and compare against your future anticipated use. Once you have a sense of how much energy you use, we can help you evaluate the cost and benefits of purchasing solar power. Fortunately, in today’s market, you can take advantage of tax credits, rebates, and other financial incentives that create attractive and competitive prices for solar PV systems in Central Texas.

  • How long will it take to install a solar power system at my home?

    Planning, configuring, and ordering materials for your solar energy system can take up to a few weeks.  We also usually must get permits from the city and approval from your Homeowners Association.  Sometimes those steps can take a month (or longer).  The actual installation at your home can typically be completed in just few days once the paperwork is in place.  There are then inspections that happen before we “flip the switch”…so the total project is anywhere between a few weeks and 2-3 months.

  • What is a net meter?

    Net meters look very much like other outdoor meters, with one notable exception – they “spin” both forward and backward, recording both the power produced and power used.  Within the  Central Texas area, most meters are already capable of measuring power in both directions.  With some of our rural customers we coordinate with your electric utility provider to install this newer meter as part of the project.

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