About

FAQs

What available incentives are there for adding solar to my home or business?

  • Take advantage of a 30% federal tax credit and up to $1,000 in Montana state tax credit. Where applicable there may be utility grants available as well. The cost of solar has been reduced over 25% in the last few years alone.
  • Increased Home Value -  National studies produce clear data that home with Solar Electric systems sell faster and for more money.
  • Sound Financial Investment - As sure as the sun will rise, your solar electric system will create energy and keep money in your pocket. A penny saved is not only a penny earned but one you can monitor, calculate and keep track of in real-time.
  • Sound Financial Investment - As sure as the sun will rise, your solar electric system will create energy and keep money in your pocket. A penny saved is not only a penny earned but one you can monitor, calculate and keep track of in real-time.
  • Energy Independence - Free yourself from dependence on the utility and volatile rate increases. Lock in your electric rate for 30 years or more.

Do I need to worry about hail damaging my panels?

Of all the things on your home, solar panels might well be the most resilient. If your panels do break from hail damage, then you are certainly going to need a new roof. Insurance adjusters will include the cost of removing panels and re-installing them when they assess the damage to your roof.

For anyone who installs solar, we advise you to add your new system to your insurance policy.  This addition will incur a very minimal bump to your premium. While coverage policies vary, in most cases, it is only a few more dollars more per month.

All of the panels we use are rated to withstand 1-inch diameter hail falling at a rate of 50 miles per hour.

What kind of maintenance will my system require?

The beauty of grid-tied solar is lack of maintenance. With no moving parts, once a system is installed, all you have to do is sit back and watch it go to work for you. Rain and snow help to remove dust and grime from the panels, and your monitoring system allows you to continuously track system performance.

What about Snow?

System performance is based on 30 years of local historic weather data. It is true that your panels will be covered in snow at times, but this has been accounted for when designing the system and its annual production estimates.

If the power goes out, will I still have electricity?

Most grid-tied systems do not have batteries, and therefore have no way of storing their electricity. Consequently, if the grid goes down, so does your home power.

Because your system can feed energy onto the grid, safety mechanisms are in place to protect utility lineman while they work hard to restore power. It is critical that no net-metered systems are feeding the grid when the grid is down.

If you are concerned about power-failures, Harvest Solar can design a battery-backup system that will allow you to provide power for critical loads such as well pumps, refrigerators and heat sources.

What exactly is net-metering?

Net-metering is an electricity policy for utility customers who operate their own power systems using Solar (PV). PV systems are “tied” to the utility grid via your main service panel and meter.

When generating more power than is needed at your site, excess electricity is shipped to the grid through the power meter, reversing the meter from its usual direction. When you put power onto the grid, you receive a credit for each kilowatt hour (Kwh). To achieve “net-zero,” your system will be designed to generate the same amount of Kwh that your site uses over the course of a year.

Net-metering policies are typically determined by the utility. Head over to our our blog post, “Net Metering in Montana,” to learn more.