Frequently Asked Questions

Solar panels collect the sun’s energy throughout the day then the energy is transported to your inverter and is converted from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) for use on your home or business. A bi-directional electric meter displays the net power usage of your home or business so when you generate more than you use, your meter spins backwards and any excess energy produced by your system flows back to the grid. This will count as a credit to be used later against your electricity bill when you consume more energy than your panels produce.
Ideally it will require a reasonable amount of non-shaded, unobstructed roof space in order to maximize a solar energy system. The system should generally be south-facing, however east and west facing roofs can still capture over 80% of the power of a south-facing roof. EFS Energy also specializes in ground-mounted systems to obtain optimal directional and tilt angles and after a quick site assessment of your property we can determine how solar energy will be an ideal investment for your home or business.
As a Trade Ally Partner of Ameren, we are able to review your previous electric usage with your account number and determine what size solar system would be appropriate for you. If your utility provider is not Ameren, we are able to use a simple calculation to determine the appropriate system size if you provide us with either the amount of an average monthly electric bill you are currently paying or how much electrical usage (kWh) your property uses monthly.
Typically the average weight addition to a structure is around 2.8psf (pounds per sq. ft.) with the solar module, racking, and wire management. Before any solar installation, a full inspection of the current roof structure and condition should be performed to ensure the additional weight load, wind load, and other factors will not harm the current structure. In addition, the areas where the solar array will be located will protect that section of the roof, extending its lifetime.
Our recommended panels and inverters come with 25-year warranties so you can rest easy knowing you will be benefiting from reliable solar energy well into the future. Many early solar panels are still running efficiently after 30+ years and today’s technology has a design life of up to 40 years. It is very likely that the lifespan of your panels will exceed their warranty by a significant margin.
On average, a home in the Midwest has enough roof space to fit 20 solar pv panels equating to a 5kW-6kW system size. Our typical price point is around $4.50 per installed watt and this is before any federal or statewide incentive program applies and includes equipment, labor, engineering and electrical work, backend paperwork with your power company, permitting, and other associated costs of installing a full solar energy installation. Of course, there are many other factors that can alter this amount that may include shading, roof pitches and angles, in-house financing, restrictions with AHJ’s or historic districts, battery backup systems, or your own personal preferences for your system. We offer many solutions for homeowners to aide you in this investment process from in-house financing options to other professionally recommended efficiency solutions to further lower your monthly bills and increase your overall efficiency. To find out more about what an EFS Energy system will cost and the savings associated, get your FREE Solar Quote from one of our Energy Consultants.
Our typical price point for commercial installs ranges between $3.00 and $3.50 per installed watt. This price is before any federal or statewide incentive program applies and includes equipment, labor, engineering and electrical work, backend paperwork with your power company, permitting, O&M charges, and other associated costs of installing a full solar energy installation. Of course, there are many other factors that can alter this amount that may include shading, roof pitches and angles, restrictions with AHJ’s or historic districts, battery backup systems, or your own personal preferences for your system. To find out more about what an EFS Energy system will cost and the savings associated, get your FREE Solar Quote from one of our Energy Consultants.
Just like any other commercial investment, solar is a long term investment that will pay for itself. However, with the current incentives: 30% Federal ITC, potential rebates, depreciation, and monthly energy savings from the utility (many of which are when demand charges and peak-hours are high), the first 5 year savings average from 50-100%. One of the main factors in the energy savings over the lifetime of the system are the rate increases from the utility companies; we historically have seen an average of 7% over the past 5 years.
The amount of power your solar system generates is directly proportional to the amount of sunlight available so it will produce less energy when the weather is cloudy and no energy at nighttime. However, our estimates are based off of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s information and account for the climate based on the location of your property.
You have two viable options if you are considering moving to another home: the first is selling the property with the system as an increased value. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, property values can rise an average of $20 for every $1 your electric bill decreases! The second option is taking the equipment with you; however, this option is costly to both the selling property owner and prospective buyer. It entails removal of the panels and installation at new site, both of which we be added expenses and you may run into permitting, utility, and other AHJ compliances.
RECs are tradable, non-tangible energy commodities that represent 1 megawatt-hour of electricity generated from an eligible renewable energy source. Select markets are participating at different levels so check in with us today about the options in your state.
If you have a grid-tied system, it will automatically shut down until the power is restored. This is for safety precautions and allows the utility company to safely make the necessary repairs. There is a certain inverter that would allow for a backup power outlet to be accessible in case you would like power during an outage.
A properly installed solar power system should require little maintenance. However, any dust or debris that settles on the modules is usually removed by adequate snow and rain. There are instances where tough dirt or stains, such as leaves and bird droppings, which cause part of the system to become shaded, should be removed as quickly as possible. Possible cleaning and other small repairs should also be taken into consideration when calculating operation costs. EFS Energy provides maintenance packages for yearly cleaning, full system inspection, and detailed monitoring to ensure the system is running optimally.
39 states across the U.S. have solar access laws that will protect you from any restrictions your HOA or another entity may have in place. EFS Energy has experience with working with a variety of subdivisions, associations, and other groups and we are confident your system will be installed professionally and appropriately.
There are Federal and Statewide incentive programs to help urge homeowners and business owners to install solar energy on their properties as well as implement suggested efficiency improvements from an energy audit.
There is a Federal Tax Credit for residential and commercial property owners that install solar pv systems that cover 30% of your total costs with no maximum credit. The taxpayer may claim this credit of qualified expenditures for a system that serves the taxpayer’s property. Systems that are in service on or before December 31, 2019 will qualify for this credit.
In the state of Missouri, any taxpayer who paid a certified entity to complete a home energy audit or other efficiency improvements may take a tax deduction of $1,000 maximum per year per individual and $2,000 maximum for joint filing. A home energy audit must be performed before the implementation of any energy efficiency upgrades to be eligible for this tax deduction. Also, homeowners in Missouri are also encouraged to add solar energy systems to their homes with a 100% solar property tax exemption. Markets across the U.S. have noted solar energy adds 50% to the property’s value. Additionally, you will not pay a thing in taxes on all that added value!In addition, different statewide programs and utility company rebates may be in place at the time you are looking to install so ask us today if you qualify for any other incentives!
In addition, different statewide programs and utility company rebates may be in place at the time you are looking to install so ask us today if you qualify for any other incentive!