Solar panels spanning the length of a residential roof

If you're looking for a more environmentally friendly way to use energy, you've come to the right place.

Solar panels help produce electricity from sunlight, which can then be used in your home. By going solar, you can reduce the demand for fossil fuels, limit greenhouse gas emissions, and reduce your carbon footprint. Using solar energy may also help you save money on your electric bills each month. Here are 7 things to consider before installing solar panels on your roof.

1. How Do Solar Panels Work

Solar panels that are installed on your home's roof are made up of photovoltaic (PV) cells, which harness sunlight and transform it into energy. PV cells are typically made from silicon, surrounded by a protective material, and connected into panels. To learn more about how solar panels work, please go to .

2. How Much Power Will Solar Panels Generate

This will vary based on the type of panels installed on your roof, how they are positioned, the area that you live in, and any surrounding obstacles (trees, etc).

3. How Do I Know If I'm a Good Candidate For Solar Panels

To generate maximum solar energy, sunlight should hit your roof directly during peak hours, on a flat surface, facing South. If there are trees in the way, branches or the trees themselves, should be cut down to get maximum solar energy. If there are buildings in the way of sunlight hitting your roof, you are not a candidate for solar panel installation.

4. How Are Solar Panel Installed

Solar panels should be installed by a professional who can help you navigate the steps of the process. This may include obtaining permits, choosing the equipment that is the right fit for your home, ensuring proper positioning and security on your roof.

5. Are There Ways I Can Save on Solar Panels

As of 2019, the Federal government offers a tax credit of 30% off your total solar project, while the State of New York offers a tax credit of 25%. In addition to the federal and state savings, if your electricity is through Rochester Gas & Electric (RG&E), you may be eligible for a $1k savings.

If you need to remove trees from your property in order to install solar panels, your solar project package may include this.

A home with permanently installed solar panels, like GAF's SOLAR DecoTech System may add value to your home when the time comes to put it on the market.

6. Do I Need Backup Power

A home with solar panels can do one of two things. It can either go off the grid, where solar energy becomes the sole source of electricity, or have a grid-connected system, where solar energy and regular electric utility are both used in the home.

If you opt for a grid-connected system, your electricity will be powered by solar energy on sunny days, and any excess power your solar panels generate will feedback into the grid. If your solar panels don't produce enough electricity, you'll get power from the grid, just as you did without solar panels. If your solar panels produce extra power that is returned to the grid, many electric companies, like RG&E, will credit you for the contribution, further reducing your utility costs. Estimate how much you can save with RG&E's calculator.

If, for whatever reason, you decide to go off the grid, your electricity will come solely from the solar power produced by your panels.

Another option to consider is installing a battery storage system that will store excess power created by your solar panels during the day.

7. Solar Panel Warranties

Solar panel manufacturers typically offer warranties. Check with your manufacturer to learn about its warranties for the panels and other components.

If you think solar panels are a good fit for you and your home, it's very important to do your homework before moving forward. Knowing all the facts to be considered, you may be better prepared to decide whether they make sense for your home or not. If you are interested in learning more about what Graves Bros. has to offer, contact us today.