We have compiled some of the most frequently-asked questions posed to us by current and potential customers.  Take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions and answer section below.

How much will FPL charge me if I get 100% of my energy from my solar power system?

If your roof is big enough or your panels have enough production capacity to produce 100% of your electricity every month, then you will only be responsible for paying FPL $9.00/month!  That is the minimum payment that FPL requires once you sign-up for Net Metering.   Check out this video of house that is actually achieved this:

 

 

Pembroke Pines Net Zero Home

A system this clean… must have been Goldin Solar, LLC. This system has is utilizing LG 315 Watt high efficiency panels, and SolarEdge inverters. Soon to be upgraded with Tesla home batteries once available.

Posted by Goldin Solar, LLC on Sunday, July 24, 2016

Can I monitor my inverter and energy production remotely through my smarthphone?

Yes you can!  ABB and SMA brands both carry optional pieces of equipment that tie into your inverter and connect to your home Wifi network which in turn allows you to remotely monitor your rooftop solar energy system and check energy production and various other features.  Ask about this.

How much maintenance is needed for a rooftop solar energy system?

Very little!  Unlike most other places where dust and grime may fall on the solar panel surface and affect energy production, here in Florida we are blessed to have frequent rains which do a marvelous job at washing the panels.  On occasion, it would be worthwhile to have someone go on your roof to take a look at the panels to make sure no large leaves or branches have fallen on them.  If you notice a pattern of higher electricity bills than usual or your inverter readings don’t show the same level of production, your system may need to be checked.  Call us so we can discuss and if necessary, we’ll arrange for a visit by a specialist.

Can I just use my solar panels to provide power to my house when the grid (FPL) power goes down to due to storm or hurricane?

No, unless you invest in another system to supplement the power provided by your solar energy system.  Remember that in most cases the solar energy system you have will provide anywhere between 50% to 90% of the energy needed.   In addition, your system only produces maximum power when there is no rain or the day is not overly cloudy.  So, when the grid goes down due to a storm/hurricane, it is very likely that the weather is not conducive to optimal energy production, you are at home recovering from the storm watching TV, and running various other electrical components (like your AC) that are drawing a significant amount of energy.   The only way, to power all these other systems in your home and use as much energy from your panels as possible without putting power back into the grid, is to have a battery back-up system that immediately recognizes when the grid is down and allows power from the batteries and your panels to power your house.   These systems are called grid-tied battery systems.   It is very important that your inverters have a system to prevent power from going back into the grid when the grid is down because FPL does not want energized lines while their workers are repairing the lines.  This feature, found in all US inverters, is called Anti-Islanding.  Solimax staff only recommend installing these systems if maintaining constant electricity is absolutely critical (life support, medical reasons) because they can be quite expensive.   Also, remember that solar panels can work concurrently with a back-up generator if you already have one installed.

Won’t my roof look strange if solar panels are installed and they are visible from the street?

Absolutely not! Remember, that the ideal location for solar panels is a south-facing roof.  If your south-facing roof is not facing the street in most cases your panels may not even be visible.  In the event that your south-facing roof is facing street and your panels are visible, we believe that you should be proud to display your commitment to renewable energy and a more sustainable way of living.  We also believe that displaying your solar panels demonstrates your leaning towards effectively employing technology to your benefit so don’t be surprised if visitors ask you about your system and walk away impressed.  Additionally, don’t forget that if you have a flat roof the profile of the panels is barely visible since the in most cases the panels are laid flat (see the picture on the far right below).  Finally, sacrificing a different look on your tile roof when are you saving thousands of dollars of your utility bills seems to be the smart thing to do.  Check out these images of installed solar energy systems and you might agree that the houses look great!

 

Can my HOA prevent me (or limit me) from installing solar panels on my roof?

In short the answer is No.  Florida Statute 163.04 very clearly states that no governing body, including HOAs, can prevent you from installing solar panels on your roof.  The intent of the statute is to encourage adoption of renewable energy.  An HOA may have in place some restrictions that limit where on a south facing roof you can install panels (remember south-facing is ideal) but the location CANNOT impair the effective operation of the system.  Solimax, still recommends getting in touch with your HOA and getting some guidance and providing it to the installers just to avoid any problems later on.  One of the best pieces on how to deal with HOA’s is found here Solar Town – HOAs and Solar Panels.  Below is the actual text of the Statute if you wan to look it over.

163.04 Energy devices based on renewable resources.

(1) Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter or other provision of general or special law, the adoption of an ordinance by a governing body, as those terms are defined in this chapter, which prohibits or has the effect of prohibiting the installation of solar collectors, clotheslines, or other energy devices based on renewable resources is expressly prohibited.
(2) A deed restriction, covenant, declaration, or similar binding agreement may not prohibit or have the effect of prohibiting solar collectors, clotheslines, or other energy devices based on renewable resources from being installed on buildings erected on the lots or parcels covered by the deed restriction, covenant, declaration, or binding agreement. A property owner may not be denied permission to install solar collectors or other energy devices by any entity granted the power or right in any deed restriction, covenant, declaration, or similar binding agreement to approve, forbid, control, or direct alteration of property with respect to residential dwellings and within the boundaries of a condominium unit. Such entity may determine the specific location where solar collectors may be installed on the roof within an orientation to the south or within 45° east or west of due south if such determination does not impair the effective operation of the solar collectors.
(3) In any litigation arising under the provisions of this section, the prevailing party shall be entitled to costs and reasonable attorney’s fees.
(4) The legislative intent in enacting these provisions is to protect the public health, safety, and welfare by encouraging the development and use of renewable resources in order to conserve and protect the value of land, buildings, and resources by preventing the adoption of measures which will have the ultimate effect, however unintended, of driving the costs of owning and operating commercial or residential property beyond the capacity of private owners to maintain. This section shall not apply to patio railings in condominiums, cooperatives, or apartments.

 

 

 

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