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FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

How much will it cost me?

All solar energy systems are custom designed to meet the needs of your property and energy goals. We encourage you to call for your personalized quote, whether commercial or residential.  

Is there financing available?

Yes! There is financing available through Michigan Saves for Residential or Commercial projects.

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What are solar tax credits?

The federal solar tax credit, also known as the investment tax credit (ITC), allows you to deduct 30 percent of the cost of installing a solar energy system from your federal taxes. The ITC applies to both residential and commercial systems, and there is no cap on its value. For more information, visit: 

What size Solar System do I need? 

To determine the amount of solar you may need, we will ask for a copy of your current electric bill.   We can size the system according to the Kilowatt Hours used over the previous 12 months.   You can choose to cover all or a percentage of your electric usage depending on the space you have available in your yard or rooftop, and how much you would like to spend.   

What is a Solar Inverter? 

A solar inverter converts the variable direct current (DC) output of a photovoltaic (PV) solar panel into a utility frequency alternating current (AC) that can be fed into your electric panel for use in your home or business. The excess generation can be back-feed into the electric grid.  

What different types of solar systems are available? 

CBS Solar offers 3 main styles of solar systems: 1: Roof Top Arrays  2. Ground Mount Adjustable Solar Tilt Arrays  3. Solar Tracking Arrays.  Systems can be Grid-tied or Grid-tied with Battery Backup.    We do not currently offer sales, service, or installation of Off-Grid Systems.  

What is the installation process? 

See infographic below.

When can my system be installed and how long does installation take? 

Here in Michigan, solar systems are usually installed from Spring through early Winter.  Since each system is custom-designed, the length of the project will vary by the specific details of your site, size of the system, and the requirements of your jurisdiction for the permit approval process.   Battery Backup Systems can be installed year round.  

CBS Solar Installation Process

Grid-Tied Solar System

With a Grid-Tied Solar System, you are connected to the utility grid that distributes power to your local community.  Your solar energy  is used on site and any excess power at time of creation is back feed to the grid.  When the sun is not shining and you need power, you receive energy from the grid.  

Net-metering/Distributed Generation

Net-metering is a billing mechanism that credits solar energy system owners for the excess electricity they add to the grid.  For example, a residential customer's system may generate more electricity than they use during daylight hours. 


"Off-Grid" is a system and lifestyle designed to help people function without the support of remote infrastructure, such as an electrical grid.  An off-grid solar system requires battery storage and management of your energy usage.   



A measure or unit of power.   A solar panel/module is measured in number of Watts.  For example, 395 Watts per panel.   1000 Watts equals a Kilowatt (kW).  A PV system is usually shown in kilowatts.  For example, 18 X 395 Watt Panels = 7.11 kW System. 

AC, Alternating Current

A type of electrical current, the direction of which is reversed at regular intervals or cycles. In the United States, the standard is 120 reversals or 60 cycles per second. Electricity transmission networks use AC because voltage can be controlled with relative ease.

DC, Direct Current

A type of electrical current flows in one direction.   Batteries store DC power.   Solar Panels produce DC power .   A solar inverter is needed to convert the power from the panel or the battery into the AC Power used in your grid-tied home.   

Photovoltaic (PV) Panel/Module

A solar/PV Panel is the complete unit of Solar Cells.  The smallest semiconductor element within a PV module is the  PV or Solar Cell.  The solar cell  immediately converts  light into electrical energy (DC).  

Balance of System (B.O.S.)

Includes all the components of the solar system other than the PV panels, Racking, and Inverter(s).   Examples of the B.O.S included: AC home run wire & conduit, service disconnect, grounding materials, breakers, NEC labeling, and monitoring equipment.  

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