Net Zero can be explained as your solar panels producing enough power from sunrise to sunset on a given day to power your home & offset the power used overnight.
Net Zero is a way to design a solar system for the most common billing method in the US and especially Texas. It works a lot like "roll-over minutes" did for cell phones before unlimited plans became the norm. Greater Texas Solar designs the system to generate a percentage of your yearly kWh (kilowatt hours) usage. Since daylight varies throughout the year the system will generate a lot more kWh's during the summer than in the winter, and this extra generation rolls over as a credit to be used during times when the system is not generating as much (such as on cloudy days).
Your utility company keeps track of each kilowatt-hour of electricity generated by your solar panels and takes each kilowatt hour off your electric bill at full retail rates. You build credit during the day and use the grid at night. Most utility companies will tally the credits and refund you any overage at the end of the year, although this may vary depending on your provider.
The Business Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC) & Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit was approved in Congress in 2015 which extended the solar panel tax credit.
Your bill depends mainly on how your specific utility handles solar interconnections. Most utility companies have small fees for which they bill regardless of how much solar you generate. An example would be your "meter charge." However, in all cases, you will see a decrease in the energy you purchase from your utility on your bill. This is because the power generated will be used by your house before any excess is fed back into the grid. This excess generation is what becomes "Net Zero" billing.
Panels can be roof mounted on a home or barn, carport or other buildings. Once a roof location is chosen, Greater Texas Solar will look for any issues such as tree or chimney shadows that require attention before installation.
South or Southwest facing roofs are the most effective. East and West facing roofs will work well but may require more solar panels to compensate for the orientation. Ground-mounted panels are also an option, either with a fixed tilt.
The lifespan of solar panels can exceed 40 years. Most manufacturer's warranties cover 25-30 years with an industry standard of 25 years for a certain percentage of power production.
We have found a good rule of thumb to be; if it mounts on the roof, it will have a 25 to 30-year warranty, this includes panels, racking, micro-inverters, and power optimizers. The items that are mounted elsewhere like string inverters, safety disconnects, and monitoring systems have warranties that can vary quite a bit. Greater Texas Solar provides a 2-year workmanship warranty with every install.
Homes with Solar power sell for more money as an industry standard. To calculate how much solar has increased the value of your home, multiply the savings (example $250) by 12 months and then multiply that by 25 years. This calculation does not account for inflation or rising energy rates, which would add more to the value. Bottom line, the long-term savings over 25-years is about $75,000 and the value of your home is automatically increased at resale.
Texas offers a total exemption for solar, so property taxes cannot be raised based on solar panels being added to your home.