Below are the answers to a list of frequently asked questions about solar energy and the different options provided by Smarter Energy Services.

Common questions about rooftop solar

What do solar panels cost?

The price of a solar-powered system gets determined by your usage. After we learn how much energy you use regularly, we will examine your roof for necessary repairs or alterations. Then we can determine the cost. These consultations are free.

Do solar panels have a warranty?

Solar panels have a manufacturing warranty of 25 years. In other words, if they stop working before the 25 years are over, then your warranty is still valid.

What if my roof is too old or damaged to install solar panels?

Rest assured that we can help with roof repairs and house alterations necessary for your solar installation. The cost of these alterations gets added to the overall installation cost.

Will solar panels damage my roof?

The likelihood of roof damage from solar panels is low. Roof damage might happen if panels are installed incorrectly. If the roof is already damaged, then the weight of the panels can make matters worse. No need to worry, though. We always do a roof inspection to ensure your roof is safe for an install.

Will I run out of energy on a rainy/cloudy day or at night?

No, you will not run out of energy. In New York, solar-powered systems are set up with Net Metering. This means that the energy taken by your solar system gets put into your electric grid, and your utility distributes it to you as you need it. If you need more energy than your solar supply, your utility will then provide traditional electricity. For more on net metering, click here.

Common questions about solar energy

Does solar hurt birds or the environment?

While some solar farms (great arrays of solar panels) have occasionally negatively impacted wildlife due to being placed in unwise areas, that damage is minuscule compared to non-renewable alternatives. The estimated amount of birds killed by solar farms is 4% of the recorded number of birds killed by non-renewable energy operations (oil farms and fossil fuel plants).

Additionally, solar farms are commonly built on open fields or territories, not destroying wildlife habitats.

What happens to used or dead solar panels?

The preferred fate of used solar panels is that they are recycled. Some countries such as Australia, Japan, India, and parts of Europe have set up or are in the process of setting up legal requirements or incentives for recycling solar panels.

Are there tax benefits for using solar energy?

Yes! New York has several tax incentives for using solar panels, for both businesses and residences. These include:

  • Discounted solar energy through Community Solar
  • A tax credit for up to 20% of solar installation costs
  • Real Property Tax Exemption and Tax Abatement Programs

Note: there is also a 30% federal tax credit given for solar installations.

For more information on how to save with green energy and solar power, visit

Common questions about Community Solar

Can you run out of energy with Community Solar?

No, Community Solar will not cause energy outages or blackouts. 

All the power you receive from Community Solar gets supplied via your utility through your electricity grid. If the solar energy allocated for Community Solar customers is less than the previous month, traditional electricity will cover the rest. Community Solar will never be the reason you’re left without power.

Doesn't Community Solar cost more than electricity?

Nope! Due to New York State’s solar incentives, Community Solar energy is discounted and costs less per kWh than your electric rate. If you are eligible for the program, you’ll pay more if you don’t sign up.

What happens to my Community Solar if I move?

Community Solar participants can transfer the solar energy services to new addresses if they still live within the same utility area and are using the same provider.

Who do I pay for Community Solar?

There are two ways to pay your Community Solar bill. Sometimes, both your traditional and electric costs are charged to one bill, paid either to the utility or the Community Solar provider. This is called Utility Consolidated Billing, or UCB for short.

If your bill is Non-UCB, then you will pay both a solar provider and a utility for the supplied solar and traditional portions, respectively.

How does the government rebate work?

In the case of Community Solar, the government rebate is the discount you get on your solar energy each month. You aren’t rebated for the energy after you use it – it’s already taken care of when you pay your bill.

With Community Solar, will I stop using electricity altogether?

No. Currently, Community Solar replaces just a portion of your electricity usage but not your entire energy usage. That will still come from your utility as normal.

Still have questions? Contact us, and we’ll get back to you within the next two business days.


Don’t let another day go by without tapping into the immense potential of commercial solar. Take control of your energy costs, boost your profitability, and show your commitment to sustainability. Join countless businesses across New York that have already made the smart choice.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

you’ll pay more if you don’t sign up