Frequently Asked Questions
What is Photovoltaics (solar electricity) or PV?
A Photovoltaic system (PV) is an arrangement of components designed to supply usable electric power for a variety of purposes, using the Sun.
How can we get electricity from the sun?
The sun’s light and all light contains energy. Usually, when a light hits an object the energy turns into heat, like the warmth you feel while sitting in the sun. But when the light hits certain materials the energy turns into an electrical current instead, which we can then harness for power.
How do Photovoltaics work?
Here’s the abridged answer: Sunlight on a photovoltaic module produces direct current (DC) electricity which is then converted to usable alternating current (AC) with the help of a device called an inverter. The inverter is then wired into your main service panel where it feeds the internal power grid.
Can I really have no electric bill?
The simple answer is YES! And that is very exciting news.
Can I use Photovoltaics (PV) to power my home?
PV can be used to power your entire home’s electrical system, including lights, cooling systems, heating, and appliances. PV systems today are extremely versatile and offer a variety of installation options, they can be installed on just about any home.
Can I use Photovoltaics (PV) to power my business?
PV can be used to power your business and its popularity on commercial applications is growing daily. Many commercial businesses will use their PV system as a second source of income (comparable to having a tenant on your roof paying rent).
How do I determine the size of the system I'll need?
The size of a solar system you need depends on several factors, such as the amount of electricity you use and the size of your roof. Other factors being, if you want the system to supply your complete energy usage or if you choose to just supplement a portion of your higher cost energy usage. You can contact Greenleaf Solar and one of our system designers will determine what type of system would best suit your needs.
How big a roof do I need? Can I put my PV system somewhere else?
The amount of roof space needed depends on the same amount of electrical energy needed. There are also other types of installation options that do not require the panels to be on your roof at all. Some homes and businesses do not have the adequate roof space to accommodate a roof array. In these situations, we are able to custom design a PV system and install them in locations such as your yard or parking lot. Some examples of these options are a ground mount array or even a multi function ground mount commonly used as a car port or for various protectant shade purposes.
What happens to my solar system on dark or cloudy days?
The PV systems of today work to seamlessly provide you with power. Unlike the early days of solar where systems had to be sized for peak loads, the system you’ll receive today is directly connected to the grid. Therefore, when it’s cloudy and your system doesn’t provide enough energy to support your uses, it will draw energy from the utility grid.
I have plans to expans. Can I plan this for now?
During the process of designing and installing your system, we take into account the chance for growth plans in the future. The type of inverter we choose to install for you can depend on the near-term expectations of power uses and we might decide it’s best to include the excess capacity now rather than in the future. Using this strategy, we can simply add more modules later on when expansion does occur.
What are the rebates available?
Available rebates vary each year depending on the funding for specific programs and the size of the solar energy system installed. We will give you the most up-to-date and accurate information when we meet with you based on the landscape of applicable programs and the scope of the project in mind.
My building's roof is in need of a replacement. Does it make sense to do both installations at the same time?
If you’re planning to replace your roof, it does make sense to complete both the roof installation and PV system installation at the same time.
Will installation interfere with normal business operations?
Because most of the work is conducted on the site of the array installation (ground or roof), therefore your normal business operations will most likely not be affected. We coordinate our work and efforts with your team, from deliveries, securing equipment and crane usage. We will always try to schedule our work around you as to not interfere as much as possible.
What are the maintenance procedures and costs?
Solar energy systems are solid state technology; they have no moving parts and require no maintenance.
How do I apply for a rebate?
Don’t worry about this one; we’ll take care of it for you. As always we are here to help you along with every step of the process, and attaining the maximum amount of rebates you can for your PV system is definitely part of that process with GreenLeaf Solar. We handle all the paperwork, you receive your rebates. It’s that easy.
What is the impact of a PV system on my property taxes?
Photovoltaic systems are exempt from your property taxes.
I don't own the property on/in which we operate. Can I still install a PV system?
Absolutely. While it depends on the particular landlord, it’s common for property owners to allow their tenants to make improvements in their facilities.
I understand that I can make money back by selling power back to PSEG. Can I be sure this energy will be accurately accounted for?
The power you generate is always metered by your inverter. In addition, your utility meter measures the power in both directions; both the power you use and buy from PSE&G and the power you sell back to PSE&G for solar credits. On top of this, you can track the production of power from your PV system using our online monitoring system, Solar Edge. Lastly, you’ll receive a monthly statement from PSE&G detailing the amount of energy you used by their means and the energy they bought back from your PV system.