Solar is forever! As long as the sun shines, there will be solar power!
Solar is a choice. Choosing between your energy bill and an asset sitting on your roof generating
electricity, there really isn’t a choice. Solar is the only energy producing asset that can be placed on a
residential property without involving the federal government.
Would you like to continue contributing to toxic fumes from generation plants and high-tension wire
induced health issues? I would not either.
Solar is safe. There are multiple reasons for this, but in the end, solar is safe. No toxic fumes from the
generation plant. No high-tension wires causing health issues. (no transformers to replace after a
lightning strike to keep power running), an electrician supervised install, a city inspection after install.
Safe. Safe. Safe.
Solar is clean. No air pollution. No light pollution. No noise pollution. No water pollution. No pocket
Solar Saves. As utility costs continue to rise, your solar system and your electricity will remain a fixed
cost. Electric bills are rising by 5% a year in many markets. With the current push to keep coal plants
open, bills will rise even more. Solar is now a cheaper energy producer than either coal or natural gas.
Most solar panels have a life span of 40 years. Panels installed in the 70s are still producing electricity
today and the panels made today are much better than those made in the 70s. No fumes. Just electric
Solar is durable (long lasting). Solar panels are extremely well made. Solar panels will survive all but the
worst hail storms and even most of those. Solar panels hold up in wind, rain, snow, ice, sleet and other
weather conditions. If your house is still standing, chances are that your solar system will be running just
Solar preserves natural resources. Ever wonder why coal plants are located close to rivers, streams,
lakes, and oceans? They utilize a lot of water. A lot. The typical coal plant is the biggest water user in its
area by far. And the more “efficient” the coal plant, the more water it uses.
Solar is aesthetic. Solar panels are not the blue monstrosities seen in the 70s. NASA is not coming to
your neighborhood! Today’s solar panels and mounting systems are sleek and will fit into nearly any
environment. Many are called black on black and they have no visible lines. They are visually
unnoticeable after the first look and remain visually unobstrusive during their long useful lives.
Solar Has a Federal Tax Credit! If your solar pv system is installed and generating electricity (on line)
before December 31, 2020, you the homeowner are eligible for a 26% Federal Tax Credit! The tax credit
can be carried forward up to five years if necessary! The same tax credit applies to roof replacement
completed for the solar array installation.
I do not hate coal.
We should all be very thankful that coal was available to mine from the ground and fire boilers to
produce steam for turning turbines to produce electricity. Our nation would not have advanced without
it. As a nation, we have all benefitted from coal fire electric plants over the past 100 years.
I believe that its time has come and gone like many things in our society. The cars we drive today are
much more powerful per pound and more efficient than cars made in the 1960s. We now have electric
vehicles that outperform most internal combustion engines vehicles. Our computers are smaller and
more powerful than those made just ten years ago. LED electric lighting uses less energy per lumen than
incandescent lighting and lasts more than ten times as long. Cellular phone technology has turned a
once bulky device only capable of noisy phone calls into a handheld computer more powerful than those
utilized by NASA in the 1960s.
The beat goes on and marches to the beat of solar. Some might argue that coal plants are more efficient
than they once were. This is true. What they do not tell you is that the more efficient the coal plant, the
more water it uses. Less efficient coal fired electric plants produce more smog and use less water. More
efficient coal fired electric plants emit less smog, but use much more water.
March to the Beat of Solar!
The beat of solar is stealth quiet.
The March to Solar has no noise.
The March to Solar has no emissions.
The March to Solar is durable.
The March to Solar is cheap.
The March to Solar is the future
The March to Solar is long lasting.
Walk to the Beat of Solar!
I am Brian Selwa, the Hoosier Solar Guy.
I have been a fan of solar since I was very young. In the past few years, solar array prices have dropped
low enough that solar array installations are affordable for both homes and businesses. When you look
around the Indianapolis area and throughout the State of Indiana, you will see large solar arrays much
like the one found at the Indianapolis International Airport. The airport has the largest solar array found
at any airport in North America.
Solar arrays are being added to homes and businesses all over Indiana. In July 2019, Indianapolis Power
and Light began a net metering program for customers within its service district. Duke Electric Indiana
has a net metering program in place for its service district customers as well.
Many homeowners in Indiana are beginning to find out that a solar array on their homes is possible.
With net metering, a homeowner overproduces during part of the year and underproduces during
other. The grid acts as a distributed battery offering electricity during the overproduction parts of the
year and releases energy back to the net metered homeowner during the underproduction times.
Although net metering is not an absolute requirement for installing a solar array, it does make it easier
for a homeowner to recoup their investment over a shorter period of time.
Send an email or give me a call. I would happy to discuss your solar array and the possibilities for your
home. Even with a lot of shading, solar is usually an option.
What is a Solar Array?
A solar array is a group of solar panels connected together. Nothing more to understand.
Solar panels are what is known as PV or PhotoVoltaic panels. They turn light into electricity. Although
solar heating panels are still common, we will be focusing on solar PV. Solar panels and their efficiency
are affected by several variables including roof direction, roof pitch, available mounting area(s), etc.
Solar PV panels have an output and an efficiency. The output is how much energy the panel generates
and the efficiency measures how much light is required to produce the energy. Solar panels are typically
warranted for 25 years.
Each panel can have an inverter that converts the DC panel voltage to the AC voltage found in your
house. Some systems have a single inverter commonly referred to as a string inverter that all the panels
feed into. Depending upon which solar school of thought your installer comes from will determine the
kind of system you are quoted.
Panel mounted inverters typically have a 25 year warranty and the system as a whole is unaffected by a
performance downturn in any single panel or inverter. A string inverter on the other hand typically has a
10-12 year warranty and the system as a whole is affected by a single panel performance downturn. A
performance downturn can occur due to shading on a panel at a given time of the day. Shading is an
important aspect of system design and careful consideration must be made to avoid unnecessary
performance issues. Sounds like a Viagra commercial.
The array is then connected to the electric service. This is done by a qualified electrician. The electricians
work receives an inspection from the municipality. The work is inspected again by the electric utility at
the net meter installation.
If a solar PV system is installed without battery storage, the system will shut off during a power outage.
This is to prevent electricity from being sent back up the line and injuring an electric lineman working on
If a solar PV system is installed with battery storage, the system will continue to operate during a power
outage, but it will not send power back up the line. The system will provide electricity as long as the sun
is out and/or power remains in the batteries.
Where Can a Solar System Be Installed?
A solar PV system can be installed on almost any house! And if for some reason, the house has too much
shade, it can be installed on the garage!
The roof is a consideration for the install. Preferably, the roof would not need to be replaced for a long
time. Removing and reinstalling a solar array is expensive and if replacing the roof is a foreseeable event
in the near future, the roof should be replaced at the time of the solar installation.
When Can A Solar System Be Installed?
A solar system can be installed most of the year and even in the winter months there is a very good
chance your solar system can be installed. If your roof is clear and dry, it is thumbs up for the install! The
roof must be clear and dry for the installers’ safety and to be certain that no water would enter the roof
during the installation.
How Would You Determine the Appropriate Size Array for My Home?
A solar array size is determined by several variables. Your electric usage is chief among them.
Usage can vary significantly from homeowner to homeowner and that is why a 12 month
lookback on your electric usage is so important.
The other part of determining the appropriate size array for your home is your roof. The surface
area of the roof, how much sun each section receives, and the roof pitch or angle are all
important factors in determining and designing an appropriate solar pv array for your home.
1. How much does solar cost?
This is the number one question asked by people looking at solar. Every roof is different. Electric
usage varies a lot between homeowners. Shading can be different on every house. Unfortunately,
there is no shortcut answer. Only after you submit the last 12 months electric usage and your roof
is evaluated can a valid answer be provided.
2. Will the system stick out on my roof?
Modern solar panel arrays are sleek and understated. NASA is not going to be installing anything
on your roof! Modern solar panels are typically black and many are black on black. No bright
blues or other very noticeable colors.
3. Will I be able to sell electricity back to my utility?
Duke and IPL customers in Indiana take part in what is referred to as "net metering." In these net
metering programs, part of the year your system will overproduce your needs and your
overproduction will be sent back into the grid. In other months, your system will underproduce
and pull your electricity back in from the grid to meet your needs. If you have a 100% offset,over
the course of twelve months your usage will average out to near zero. A special meter is put on
your house after your system is installed to track the electrical comings and goings. ie Your Net
4. How long does it take to install a system?
From the time you agree to a final design, it will typically take three months for a system to be
up and running. Permitting, scheduling, and installation can take several months. Then an
inspection takes place and after that the net meter is installed. Sometimes everything happens
much quicker and sometimes it takes even longer.
5. What tax incentives exist to install a solar system?
SEE YOUR TAX PROVIDER FOR EXPERT ADVICE. I AM NOT A TAX PREPARER.
Homeowners currently enjoy a 26% Federal Tax Credit if their system is installed and running
before December 31, 2020. The tax credit can be applied in the April 2021 filing and carried
forward up to five years if necessary. The residential tax credit drops to 22% in 2021. It is
eliminated for 2022. The tax credit applies to a new roof as well if it is installed shortly before
the solar pv system is installed.
If you have a business, a separate set of rules apply under a different section of the Federal Tax
Code. The rules are too complex to outline here.