Solar Panels Maine | Customer Success Center | Maine Solar

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Our customer success page is designed to house everything you may need access to over the lifetime of your solar system and provide quick answers to many of our customer’s most frequently asked questions. Please save this page in your bookmarks for future reference.

The Customer Success Center Includes:


Customer Frequently Asked Questions

understanding your electric bill as a solar customer

A Few Important Notes:

  • Net metering credits will show on the first full billing cycle after your CMP meter reconfiguration date. For most people, this means you will see about a month and a half of solar production on this first full billing cycle.
  • As a grid-tied solar customer, you can expect to pay the monthly delivery charge (currently at $15 per month for solar customers) no matter how much energy/credits you generate.
  • In the summer, you can expect to have Generated more than you have Used, in which case any excess generation will pass over into your Banked Generation.
  • In the winter, when you Use more than you Generate, the difference will be made up by drawing out of your Banked Generation.

The SolarEdge monitoring system shows the total number of kWh being produced by the solar electric system.

The CMP bill shows just the excess kWh being exported to CMP.  The CMP meter is not measuring your solar electric systems production. 

CMP confuses the issue by labeling the excess exported solar power as “generation” or “gen.”  This is not accurate.  It really should be labeled “exported.”

The difference between the two is the amount of solar-produced power that your home is using while it’s being generated.

Recall that the way that the system works is that when your solar electric system is producing electricity, that electricity first goes to operate any electrical loads running in the house.  If the electrical loads in the house are less than the solar production, the excess is sent out to CMP and measured and reported as “generation.” 

So, if you run a report on the SolarEdge monitoring platform (via a web browser on your laptop) for a date range that matches your CMP billing cycle you will come up with the total production in kWh for the billing period.  Then subtract CMPs kWh number for generation. The result is the amount of power your home used that was directly produced by the sun!

This is also the amount of power that you avoided buying from CMP.  The rest of the value in the solar-produced power is the credits that you build up with CMP to offset your future bills.

  1. Log into your SolarEdge monitoring platform on your desktop computer. 
  2. Click on the Dashboard button
  1. Click on Billing Cycle
  1. A new screen pops up or can be found on the left-hand side.:
  1. Click on the Rolling Days Range
  2. Pick the date from your electric bill your billing cycle ends.
    For Every: pick how many days are in your billing cycle.
  3. Hit Save.
  4. Now you are able to set your energy production cycle to match your electricity bill. 

If you run a report on the SolarEdge monitoring platform (via a web browser on your laptop) for a date range that matches your CMP billing cycle you will come up with the total production in kWh for the billing period.  Then subtract CMPs kWh number for a generation.  The result is the amount of power your home used that was directly produced by the sun!

This is also the amount of power that you avoided buying from your electric provider.  The rest of the value in the solar-produced power is the credits that you build up with your electric company to offset your future bills.


Tax Credit and municipal Tax Exemption

After you make your final payment, Maine Solar Solutions will send you a copy of your statement showing your system as Paid in Full. This usually suffices for your accountant in regards to receiving your solar federal tax credit. Customers have also used their solar contracts. If you need us to resend your statement or contract please email us at info@mainesolarsolutions.com.

A new law in Maine, LD 1430, is impacting solar system owners. This solar bill passed in 2019 and offers an exemption on increased property taxes related to solar systems and components.

Who needs to fill this out?

Any owner of a solar energy system wishing to enjoy the property tax exemption will need to fill this out regardless of the age of your system. If you live in one of the many towns in Maine that have not been assessing/taxing solar energy systems, you should still file an exemption as your town may begin to at some point.

How do I file this?

Per the instructions on the form, this needs to be filed with your local Tax Assessor (or with the State Tax Assessor if the property is in an unorganized territory).

Do I need to fill this out every year?

No, just one time for the life of the system.

Taxpayers must apply for the credit by April 1 of the first year the exemption is requested. You only need to file this once and not on an annual basis. Here is a link to the form.

Please reach out to our team directly with help on filling out the form. However note that this is not official tax guidance, and any questions should be guided to Maine Revenue Services or call them directly at 207-624-9784.


MAINTENANCE AND TECHNICAL SUPPORT

Most of the time if your online dashboard is down, your system is still working normally. Unlike the internet, solar panels are very reliable.

Below are some of the most common reasons your solar array is not showing on the monitoring platform:
Wired internet is disconnected. Make sure to check everything is plugged in!
Have you changed either your internet provider or password on your router recently – or maybe you purchased a new wireless router. Update the wireless password for your solar communications device and that should do the trick!


The software in the communications device glitched, and you should try rebooting the unit


The WIFI extender we provided isn’t connecting or needs to be rebooted
We have found that if you changed any info or are having trouble connecting it is usually easiest to simply reset and start from a clean slate.  With the unit plugged in and powered up, insert a paperclip or such into the pinhole on the bottom of the device, holding the reset button for a few seconds.  After the unit resets, it will broadcast a wireless network “NETGEAR_EXT”.  Connect to this network and open a browser such as Safari or Chrome. Go to “www.mywifiext.net” and it will walk you through the process of setting up the device.  It will ask you to set up a new email and password for the device.  You will need to select “Set up a new range extender” and then select your wireless network and enter your password.  Then the unit should be connected to the internet.  

Here is a user’s guide for the WIFI extender.

We have found that if you changed any info or are having trouble connecting it is usually easiest to simply reset and start from a clean slate.  With the unit plugged in and powered up, insert a paperclip or such into the pinhole on the bottom of the device, holding the reset button for a few seconds.  After the unit resets, it will broadcast a wireless network “NETGEAR_EXT”.  Connect to this network and open a browser such as Safari or Chrome. Go to “www.mywifiext.net” and it will walk you through the process of setting up the device.  It will ask you to set up a new email and password for the device.  You will need to select “Set up a new range extender” and then select your wireless network and enter your password.  Then the unit should be connected to the internet.  

You might see your system production plateau on SolarEdge. This is common and expected during certain times of the year. This occasional output energy plateau is referred to as “Power Clipping”, and there are many articles about this available online (Search “Solar Power Clipping”). 

Ultimately, power clipping is not an issue and common design practice for two main reasons: 

First, customers only lose a few percent of power a year, as occasional clipping only accounts for a small portion of energy. This is because solar panels are rated for ideal conditions, which are rarely if ever, seen on any site. Your array will seldom reach its fullest capacity, therefore limiting the time when your system would power clip over the year.

Secondly, the increase in price to upsize the inverter to avoid any power clipping does not warrant the small increase in production, and can push the return on investment for the system back years!

As an investment, we design solar arrays that are the best for your budget and energy needs. While power clipping may not look appealing on your monitoring, it saves you cost on the system and shortens the time it takes for your system to pay for itself while still being designed to meet your production target.

Fortunately, there is nothing you need to do with your solar array during an outage.  As soon as your home loses power, the inverter automatically shuts down, and as soon as it gets power back, it will start right up! 

SNOW ON SOLAR ENERGY OUTPUT:
Many of our solar customers are concerned about the impact of snow on solar electricity production during their first winter. Unfortunately, when solar panels are covered with snow, they produce little to no electricity. The good news is that in Maine, most of your solar generation—and net metering credits—come from the spring and summer, and your system is designed for peak performance during those times. That means that even if you lose a few days or more in the winter, your system makes up the difference during the sunnier days. 


DO NOT RAKE SNOW OFF OF SOLAR PANELS:
At Maine Solar Solutions, we do not recommend raking snow off solar panels. Removing snow can be dangerous and even damage the solar panels or the roof (and void your panel’s warranties). Instead, we recommend waiting for the sun to do the work for you. Snow also slides easily off the panels, much like a metal roof, and warms quickly under the sun with their darker color. Additionally, our solar panels are built to withstand heavy snow loads—so no need to try to get the snow off your roof. 


If you are determined to remove the snow, consider trying a rubber or sponge-edged roof rake with a telescoping pole, and please be safe! Again, be careful doing this as any damage will void the warranty for your panels. A few extra hours of production when it’s already the shortest daylight time of the year are not worth injuring yourself or voiding your warranty. Once spring hits, you will see production increase and be collecting those credits. 

One of the great things about panels is they are pretty hassle-free. If they do accumulate dirt (for example, dust or pollen), they will get washed off the next time it rains here in Maine. Any scratches on the panels made by you, void the warranties, so we recommend leaving them alone and letting the rain wash them for you.

For more information, you can visit our blog: Do I need to clean my Solar Panels?

Clicking noises are common and happen twice every day. You will most likely hear them click when your system physically turns on in the morning (as it starts to produce energy) or click off in the evening (when your system shuts down for the day). If you hear clicking throughout the day, it’s more than likely a cloudy day or you have snow on your panels and your system is adjusting


INVERTER Equipment

SolarEdge Inverter

You can access your SolarEdge account HERE.

Maine Solar Solutions sent you an email from SolarEdge inviting you to establish a username and password to access the system monitoring portal (make sure to check your junk mail). The SolarEdge monitoring portal allows you to monitor the performance of your system and run reports on electricity production.

Yes, below you will find links to some of the most helpful videos online so you can grow comfortable with your online monitoring and use its full potential.

System Monitoring Dashboard Overview: click here

You can also monitor your panels on the go by downloading the App on your tablet or phone. Just go to your phone’s App Store and type in SolarEdge Monitoring.

Direct link for Apple users here
Direct link for Android users here

Your inverter has a switch and three colored LEDs that indicate system information, such as errors or performance. The following tables detail the possible LED and switch combinations, and what they mean.

Red Light: Indicates there has been a fault. Please contact Maine Solar Solutions.

Green Light: Your system is producing. 

Blue: Most likely your system is still producing but not communicating to the monitoring app. See below for the most common reasons this blue light comes on and how to troubleshoot it.

For more information about LED lights and their codes, you can also visit: https://www.solaredge.com/us/leds


Sol-Ark Inverter

In this video, Sol-Ark goes over how to use the Powerview web portal for monitoring here.

This video walks you through how to use the PowerView ES for monitoring here.


Tesla Powerwall


Powerwall 1: Owner’s Manual
Powerwall 2: Owner’s Manual


LUMIN


Yes, find out more with these quick tips for getting the most of Lumin’s platform by following this link.


I still can’t find the answer to My question?

Not to worry! Maine Solar Solar Solutions is always here to help. Here are a few ways to get in touch with us:

491 US Route 1 Suite 20
Freeport, Maine 04032

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