FAQs About Plug In Solar

If I move, can I take my plug-in solar system with me?
What incentives/rebates/tax deductions are available for plug-in solar systems?
Do I need batteries or any additional equipment?
Where can I buy plug-in solar panels?
How much will plug-in solar panels: 1) save on my electricity costs? 2) take to pay for themselves.
Do I need a building permit to install plug-in solar?
Do I need permission from my utility company to install plug in solar?
Will the power company credit me if I make more power than I use?
Do plug-in solar panels work during a power outage?
Can plug-in solar overload my house’s electrical system?
How many plug-in solar panels can be plugged into an outlet?
Do I really need a dedicated circuit? What happens if I plug in other devices to the same circuit?
I rent an apartment. Can I use plug-in solar panels?
How long do plug-in solar panels last?
Do I need to clean my plug-in solar panels?
What if I want a professionally installed system that powers everything in my home?
Have more questions?

If I move, can I take my plug-in solar system with me?

Yes! The beauty of plug-in solar is that it’s easy to install, and easy to remove.

What incentives/rebates/tax deductions are available for plug-in solar systems?

Home owners can receive a 30% federal tax credit available for plug-in solar systems. Your state may offer additional incentives. Visit U.S. Department of Energy’s database of state incentives. Visit our tax credits & incentives page for more information.

Do I need batteries or any additional equipment?

Batteries are not needed for plug-in solar panels. Simply install the panels on your lawn, patio, or roof, and plug them into a dedicated circuit. If you don’t have a dedicated circuit, you’ll need to have one installed, which typically costs of around $250 (more or less, depending on the location of the panels relative to your circuit breaker box).

Where can I buy plug-in solar panels?

Please see our Where to Buy page.

How much will plug-in solar panels: 1) save on my electricity costs? 2) take to pay for themselves.

This depends upon many factors including the number and size of panels, how many sun hours you receive, the orientation and shading of your system, the cost of electricity, etc. The PluggedSolar 1.5kW system will pay for itself in around an estimated 8.2 years based on average energy production and costs, but this amount may vary considerably, based on your location and installation specifics. Try out a few of the solar calculators to check your situation.

Do I need a building permit to install plug-in solar?

Varies greatly by location. Check with your local building/electrical inspector or code enforcement officer.

Do I need permission from my utility company to install plug in solar?

Yes, any power producing appliance requires permission from the local electrical utility for grid interconnection, just like any solar electric system. The paperwork is often available on their website and some manufacturers mention they will assist with paperwork.

Will the power company credit me if I make more power than I use?

Many states have laws that require utility companies to credit customers for excess power produced by their solar systems. Called net metering, this means that when you generate more power than you use at any point in time, your power meter runs backwards, crediting your electricity bill by the amount you produce. For net metering laws in your state, visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s list of net metering regulations.

Do plug-in solar panels work during a power outage?

No. In order to operate safely, plug-in solar panels automatically switch off and stop producing electricity when unplugged or during a power outage. If you want a system that also functions during a power outage, we recommend finding a system that isn’t plug and play through EnergySage.

Can plug-in solar overload my house’s electrical system?

When installed and operated correctly, a plug-in solar panel should not pose an threat to overloading your home’s electrical system. There is, however, the potential to overload your home’s electrical system if the system is not installed correctly. Always be sure to 1) have a properly sized dedicated outlet installed by a qualified professional, 2) follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the system, and 3) follow the local electrical utility’s requirements for grid interconnection.

How many plug-in solar panels can be plugged into an outlet?

Typically no more than a total of 1500 watts per dedicated outlet, but follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and if you have concerns consult a qualified electrician. Your electrician may be able to install additional dedicated outlets to accommodate additional panels.

Do I really need a dedicated circuit? What happens if I plug in other devices to the same circuit?

Your plug-in solar panels should always be on a dedicated circuit, with no other devices plugged in. Plugging more devices into the same circuit runs the risk of overloading the circuit and is a potential fire hazard.

I rent an apartment. Can I use plug-in solar panels?

Potentially, but keep the following points in mind:

  • You will need permission from your landlord, and permission from the utility

  • Installation requires a dedicated circuit.

  • Renters may not qualify for the current federal tax refund, however there may be state incentives available.

How long do plug-in solar panels last?

Warranties for solar panels typically state that their efficiency decreases by less than 1% per year. After 20-25 years panels generally still produce 80% or more of their initial rated output. Many solar system can easily last over 40 years. Check with the manufacturer to see what their warranty terms are.

Do I need to clean my plug-in solar panels?

Your plug-in solar panels will continue to produce power when dirty, but at a reduced amount, so periodic cleaning is recommended. Depending on your region’s climate, your panels should be cleaned around four times per year. Cleaning can be done with a hose, mild soap and a gentle brush. Do not use a pressure washer or any harsh chemicals which could damage your panels.

What if I want a professionally installed system that powers everything in my home?

Then plug-in solar might not be for you. We recommend finding a system that isn’t plug and play through EnergySage.

Have more questions?

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