The key factors that influence the cost of installing a solar panel and battery backup system are:

  • System size: The size of the solar panel system and battery capacity directly affects the cost. Larger systems with more panels and higher battery capacity generally cost more.

  • Installation complexity: The complexity of the installation process, including factors like roof type, shading issues, and electrical system upgrades, can affect costs. More complex installations may require additional labor and materials.

  • Location: The geographic location of the installation influences the amount of sunlight the solar panels can capture. Areas with more sunlight generally require fewer panels, potentially reducing costs.

  • Incentives and rebates: Government incentives, tax credits, and rebates can significantly reduce the upfront cost of installing solar panels. Availability and amounts of these incentives vary by region.

  • Financing options: The method of financing the solar panel system, whether through cash purchase, loan, or lease, can impact the overall cost. Interest rates and terms of financing also play a role.

  • Maintenance and warranty: Some systems may come with additional maintenance or warranty costs. Considering the long-term benefits and potential savings, it's essential to evaluate the overall value of the system.

The return on investment (ROI) for a commercial solar system can be as low as 3-5 years, making it a smart financial decision for many businesses.


The amount you can save on your electricity bills by installing solar panels depends on various factors, including the size of the solar system, your energy consumption, local electricity rates, and the efficiency of the solar panels. Here are some key considerations:

  • System Size: Larger solar panel systems can generate more electricity and offset a greater portion of your energy consumption. The size of the system is typically measured in kilowatts (kW) or megawatts (MW).

  • Energy Consumption: The more energy your business consumes, the greater the potential savings from a solar panel installation. Conducting an energy audit to understand your usage patterns is a helpful step in determining the appropriate system size.

  • Local Electricity Rates: Electricity rates in the northeast United States are relatively high. Solar panels can provide substantial savings by generating your own electricity and reducing reliance on grid power.

  • Solar Panel Efficiency: Higher efficiency solar panels can capture more sunlight and convert it into electricity, maximizing the energy production of your system. Buffalo Solar only uses Tier 1 products.

  • Incentives and Rebates: Taking advantage of government incentives, tax credits, and utility rebates can significantly reduce the upfront costs of solar installation, improving the overall financial return.

  • Net Metering: Many regions, including the northeast United States, have net metering programs. With net metering, any excess electricity your solar panels generate is fed back into the grid, and you receive credits on your utility bill. This can further enhance your savings.

  • Electricity Price Trends: Consider the long-term trends in electricity prices. While rates can fluctuate, installing solar panels provides a measure of insulation against potential future price increases.

To get a more accurate estimate of potential savings, you may want to consult with Buffalo Solar. They can provide a customized analysis based on your business's unique circumstances and the most up-to-date information on incentives and electricity rates in your area.


Solar panels typically have a lifespan of 25 to 30 years or more. However, their efficiency may gradually decline over time. Regular maintenance and monitoring can help optimize performance. Battery backup systems, including lithium-ion batteries commonly used with solar installations, usually have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years. The actual lifespan can be influenced by factors such as usage patterns, depth of discharge, and environmental conditions.  This means that investing in solar and battery backup can provide a reliable source of energy for your business for decades to come.


The amount of energy a solar panel and battery backup system can generate for your business is influenced by various factors. Here are some key considerations:

  • System Size: The capacity of your solar panel system, measured in kilowatts (kW) or megawatts (MW), is a crucial factor. Larger systems generally generate more electricity. The size of the battery backup system also affects the amount of stored energy available during periods without sunlight.

  • Sunlight Availability: The amount of sunlight your location receives plays a significant role in energy generation. Areas with more sunlight will produce more solar energy. Seasonal variations and local weather patterns can impact the system's performance.

  • Roof Orientation and Tilt: The orientation of your roof and its tilt angle can affect the efficiency of solar panels. Ideally, solar panels should face south in the northern hemisphere to maximize sunlight exposure, but east and west-facing orientations can still be viable.

  • Solar Panel Efficiency: The efficiency of the solar panels themselves influences the amount of electricity they can generate from sunlight. Higher efficiency panels can convert a greater percentage of sunlight into electricity.

  • Shading: Shading from nearby structures, trees, or other obstructions can reduce the efficiency of solar panels. It's important to minimize shading to optimize energy production.

  • Battery Capacity: The capacity of the battery backup system determines how much energy can be stored for later use. This is critical for maintaining a stable power supply during periods without sunlight.

  • Local Climate: The local climate conditions, including temperature and humidity, can impact the overall performance and efficiency of solar panels.

To get a more accurate estimate of the energy generation potential for your business, consider consulting with Buffalo Solar. They can conduct a site assessment, taking into account your specific location, energy needs, and other relevant factors. A professional assessment will provide more accurate and personalized insights. Even a small commercial solar system can generate enough energy to offset a significant portion of your energy usage.


The installation process for a solar panel and battery backup system generally follows several key steps. The team at Buffalo Solar takes care of each stage to ensure a seamless experience for commercial customers. Here's an overview of the typical installation process:

  • Site Assessment:

    • A site assessment involves evaluating your property to determine its solar potential. Factors such as roof condition, orientation, shading, electrical capacity, and available space are considered. This assessment helps in designing a system that maximizes energy production.

  • Design and Engineering:

    • Based on the site assessment, a customized system design is created. This includes the placement and configuration of solar panels, the capacity of the battery backup system, and other relevant details. Engineering calculations ensure that the system meets safety and performance standards.

  • Permitting:

    • Obtaining the necessary permits is a crucial step in the installation process. This involves submitting the system design and other documentation to local authorities for approval. The permitting process varies by location and may include zoning, electrical, and building permits.

  • Installation:

    • The physical installation of the solar panels and battery backup system takes place during this phase. This involves mounting the solar panels on the roof or ground-mount structure, installing the battery storage system, and connecting the components.

  • Electrical Wiring and Connection:

    • Electrical wiring is carefully installed to connect the solar panels, inverters, and the battery backup system. This includes ensuring that the system complies with local electrical codes and safety standards.

  • Grid Connection (if applicable):

    • For grid-tied systems, the solar installation is connected to the electrical grid. This allows excess energy to be fed back into the grid, and the business can draw power from the grid when solar production is insufficient.

  • Testing and Commissioning:

    • The installed system undergoes testing to ensure that all components are functioning correctly. This includes checking the performance of individual solar panels, the battery backup system, and the overall integration of the system.

  • Inspection:

    • Local authorities or utility companies may conduct an inspection to verify that the installation meets safety and code requirements. Once approved, the system can be officially connected and put into operation.

  • Monitoring and Maintenance:

    • After installation, ongoing monitoring helps ensure the system operates efficiently. Routine maintenance may be recommended to optimize performance and extend the lifespan of the equipment.

It's important to have a professional and experienced team, like Buffalo Solar, to manage each step of the process and address any challenges that may arise. Their expertise ensures that the installation meets all necessary requirements and provides reliable solar energy and backup capabilities for commercial customers.


The permits and regulations required for installing a solar panel and battery backup system can indeed vary based on your specific location, as regulations are often determined at the municipal or state level. It's excellent that your team at Buffalo Solar is knowledgeable about the requirements in the northeast and can assist with navigating the permitting process. Here are some common permits and regulations you may encounter:

  • Zoning Permits:

    • Zoning permits are typically required to ensure that your solar installation complies with local land-use regulations and zoning ordinances. These permits address issues such as setbacks, height restrictions, and land use compatibility.  There are times when Buffalo Solar may have to represent you in town hall meetings to get approvals.

  • Building Permits:

    • Building permits are essential for the structural aspects of the installation, ensuring that the solar panels and any related structures are installed safely and in compliance with building codes.

  • Electrical Permits:

    • Electrical permits are necessary to confirm that the electrical work associated with the solar panel and battery backup system installation adheres to electrical codes and safety standards.

  • Utility Interconnection Agreements:

    • If your solar panel system is grid-tied, you may need to establish an interconnection agreement with the local utility. This agreement outlines how your system will connect to the electrical grid and may involve technical specifications and safety considerations.

  • Environmental and Land Use Permits:

    • In some cases, environmental and land use permits may be required, particularly if your property is in a sensitive environmental area. These permits address concerns such as impacts on wildlife habitats and water resources.

  • Historical Review (if applicable):

    • If your property is in a historically designated area, you may need to undergo a historical review to ensure that the installation complies with preservation requirements.

Your team at Buffalo Solar will play a crucial role in guiding you through this process, ensuring that all necessary permits are obtained and that the installation complies with local regulations in the northeast.


The maintenance requirements for a solar panel and battery backup system are generally minimal, but regular inspections and some routine tasks can help ensure the system's optimal performance and longevity. Consult with Buffalo Solar for a plan that best fits your needs.  

Here are common maintenance tasks for solar panel and battery backup systems:

  • Solar Panel Maintenance:

    • Visual Inspections: Periodically inspect the solar panels for any signs of damage or defects. Check for loose wiring, physical damage, or other issues that may affect performance.

    • Trimming Vegetation: If there are nearby trees or bushes that may cast shadows or drop leaves onto the panels, consider trimming them to prevent shading and debris accumulation.

  • Battery Backup System Maintenance:

    • Testing and Calibration: Test the battery backup system regularly to ensure it operates as expected. This includes verifying that the batteries charge and discharge properly. Some systems may have automated testing features.

    • Checking Connections: Inspect electrical connections to ensure they are secure. Loose or corroded connections can affect the efficiency and reliability of the battery backup system.

    • Battery Replacement (if applicable): Depending on the type of batteries used, they may have a limited lifespan. Check with the manufacturer's recommendations and replace batteries as needed.

  • Monitoring System Performance:

    • Utilize monitoring systems, if available, to track the performance of both the solar panels and the battery backup system. Monitoring can help detect any anomalies or issues that may require attention.

  • Professional Inspections:

    • Schedule periodic professional inspections by your solar installer or a qualified technician. They can conduct a more thorough examination of the entire system, ensuring that all components are functioning correctly.

  • Software and Firmware Updates:

    • Keep the system's software and firmware up to date. Manufacturers may release updates to improve system performance or address potential issues.

  • Weatherproofing:

    • Ensure that all seals and weatherproofing components are intact. This is particularly important for the electrical components and connections to protect them from the elements.

Having a maintenance plan in place, as offered by Buffalo Solar, is crucial for the long-term success of your solar panel and battery backup system. Regular inspections and proactive maintenance can help identify and address issues before they impact system performance. Additionally, they contribute to the overall reliability and efficiency of the system, ensuring that your business can benefit from clean and reliable energy.


 The space required for installing solar panels and a battery backup system varies based on several factors, including the system size, the efficiency of the solar panels, and the capacity of the battery backup system. The characteristics of the available space, whether on the roof or the ground, also play a significant role.  The  team at Buffalo Solar can conduct a site assessment to provide specific details for your solar project. Here are key considerations:

  • Solar Panel Space Requirements:

    • The space required for solar panels depends on their efficiency and the amount of electricity needed. High-efficiency panels can generate more electricity in a smaller space. On a roof, factors such as shading, roof angle, and orientation also influence the space needed.

    • The system size is typically measured in kilowatts (kW) or megawatts (MW). As a general guideline, a small residential system might require a few hundred square feet, while a larger commercial or industrial system may need thousands of square feet.

  • Roof Space:

    • On a rooftop, the available space determines the maximum capacity of the solar installation. The orientation and tilt of the roof can impact the efficiency of solar panels. Flat roofs may require additional mounting structures to optimize panel angle.

  • Ground Space:

    • Ground-mounted solar installations offer flexibility in terms of system size and orientation. The amount of available ground space will influence the capacity of the system. Ground-mounted systems may be more suitable for larger installations.

  • Battery Backup System Space:

    • The space required for the battery backup system depends on the capacity and type of batteries used. Some battery systems are designed to be compact and wall-mounted, while others may require a dedicated space.

    • The capacity of the battery backup system is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh) and determines how much energy can be stored. The space requirements will depend on the number and size of the batteries.

  • Local Zoning and Setback Requirements:

    • Local zoning regulations and OSHA may have specific requirements regarding setbacks and the distance between the solar installation and property lines. These regulations can influence the size,  layout and spacing of solar panels. 

By conducting a thorough site assessment, Buffalo Solar  can provide you with a precise understanding of the space requirements for your solar panel and battery backup system. This assessment takes into account your energy needs, available space, and local regulations to design an efficient and compliant solar energy solution.


  During a power outage, a battery backup system can provide electricity to your business to keep critical systems running. This can be especially beneficial for businesses that rely on refrigeration or other equipment that requires a constant source of power. Without battery backup, power outages can cost businesses substantial amounts of money in lost revenue and productivity. During a power outage, a battery backup system serves as a crucial component to maintain electricity supply for your business. Here's what typically happens during a power outage with a battery backup system:

  • Continued Power Supply:

    • The battery backup system detects the power outage and automatically switches to providing power from the stored energy in the batteries. This transition is seamless and occurs almost instantly, ensuring that critical systems continue to receive electricity.

  • Critical Systems Remain Operational:

    • Essential equipment and systems, such as refrigeration units, servers, security systems, and other critical infrastructure, can continue to operate. This helps prevent disruptions to business operations and safeguards sensitive equipment.

  • Uninterrupted Power During Transition:

    • The transition from grid power to battery power is designed to be uninterrupted. This is particularly beneficial for sensitive electronic equipment that may be affected by abrupt power interruptions.

  • Duration of Backup Power:

    • The duration of backup power depends on the capacity of the battery backup system and the load it is supporting. The batteries are designed to provide power for a specific duration, allowing businesses to bridge the gap until grid power is restored or alternative arrangements are made.

  • Automatic Recharge (if grid-tied):

    • If the battery backup system is grid-tied, it will automatically recharge when grid power is restored. This ensures that the batteries are ready for the next power outage.

  • Energy Management:

    • Some advanced battery backup systems offer energy management features, allowing businesses to prioritize certain loads or schedule when to use stored energy. This flexibility helps optimize energy usage during an outage.

  • Reduced Downtime and Financial Loss:

    • By having a battery backup system in place, businesses can reduce downtime and financial losses associated with power outages. This is especially critical for industries where continuous power is essential for revenue generation and customer service.

It's important to note that the effectiveness of a battery backup system during a power outage depends on its design, capacity, and maintenance. Regular testing and maintenance of the system ensure that it functions as intended when needed. Buffalo Solar will  design a battery backup system that meets their specific needs and provides reliable power during outages.


The warranty for a solar panel and battery backup system can vary based on the manufacturer, specific components, and the terms and conditions outlined in the warranty policy. Here are some general considerations:

Solar Panel Warranty:

  • Performance Warranty:

    • Solar panels typically come with a performance warranty that guarantees a certain level of power output over a specified period. Common performance warranties guarantee around 80-90% of the panel's original power output after 25 years. This means that if the panels don't meet the specified performance levels, the manufacturer may provide compensation or replacement.

  • Product Warranty:

    • The product warranty covers defects in materials and workmanship. This warranty period is usually shorter than the performance warranty and commonly ranges from 10 to 25 years. If a panel fails due to manufacturing defects during this period, the manufacturer will repair or replace the faulty panel.

Battery Backup System Warranty:

  • Capacity or Throughput Warranty:

    • Battery backup systems, particularly lithium-ion batteries, often come with a capacity or throughput warranty. This warranty guarantees a certain amount of energy storage capacity or the number of cycles the battery can undergo before its capacity significantly degrades. Common warranties range from 5 to 15 years, depending on the manufacturer and battery technology.

  • Product Warranty:

    • Similar to solar panels, battery backup systems have a product warranty covering defects in materials and workmanship. This warranty typically ranges from 5 to 10 years.

Always consult the warranty documentation provided by the manufacturers of your specific solar panels and battery backup system to understand the terms, conditions, and coverage details associated with your particular equipment.  Buffalo Solar also includes a workmanship warranty along with the warranties the manufacturer offers.


Determining the right size of a solar panel and battery backup system for your business involves a comprehensive analysis of various factors. It's excellent that your team at Buffalo Solar can conduct a site assessment and provide a custom proposal. Here are key considerations in determining the appropriate size for your solar and battery system:


Solar Panel System Sizing:

  • Energy Consumption:

    • Analyze your business's historical energy consumption patterns. Understanding your electricity usage over time helps estimate the size of the solar panel system needed to offset a significant portion of your energy needs.

  • Roof or Ground Space:

    • Assess the available space on your roof or ground for solar panel installation. The amount of space will impact the capacity of the solar system. Factors like shading, orientation, and tilt of the panels also play a role.

  • System Size (kW or MW):

    • Solar panel systems are typically measured in kilowatts (kW) for smaller installations or megawatts (MW) for larger commercial and industrial projects. The system size should align with your energy consumption goals.

  • Financial Considerations:

    • Consider your budget and financial goals. The size of the solar panel system can be adjusted based on your budget constraints and the financial return you aim to achieve.

  • Incentives and Regulations:

    • Factor in available incentives and regulations that may influence the system size. Incentives such as tax credits, grants, and rebates can impact the financial feasibility of a larger system.

Battery Backup System Sizing:

  • Energy Storage Needs:

    • Assess your business's critical loads and determine the amount of energy storage required during power outages. This helps size the battery backup system appropriately.

  • Duration of Backup:

    • Consider how long you want the battery backup system to provide power during an outage. The duration of backup required will influence the capacity of the battery system.

  • Type of Batteries:

    • Different types of batteries have varying capacities and characteristics. For example, lithium-ion batteries are known for their high energy density and longer cycle life. Choose a battery type that aligns with your requirements.

  • Integration with Solar System:

    • If the battery backup system is integrated with the solar panel system, consider how the two systems complement each other. The solar system can recharge the batteries during daylight hours.

  • Manufacturer's Recommendations:

    • Consult with the manufacturer or installer for specific recommendations regarding the capacity and sizing of the battery backup system. They can consider factors such as the discharge rate and depth of discharge.

Professional Site Assessment:

  • Engage with your team at Buffalo Solar for a professional site assessment. This involves evaluating your energy needs, analyzing available space, and considering other site-specific factors to provide a customized proposal.

  • The site assessment will help ensure that the solar panel and battery backup systems are sized appropriately for your business's unique requirements and conditions.

By combining these considerations and working closely with Buffalo Solar, you can determine the optimal size for both the solar panel and battery backup systems, creating a reliable and efficient energy solution for your business.


Yes, it is common to connect solar panel systems, including those with battery backup, to the electrical grid. This type of system is known as a grid-tied solar system with battery backup. Here's how it typically works:

  • Grid-Tied Solar System:

    • In a grid-tied solar system, solar panels generate electricity when the sun is shining. This electricity is then used to power your business's electrical loads. Any excess electricity generated by the solar panels is fed back into the grid.

  • Net Metering:

    • Many regions have net metering programs, allowing businesses to receive credits for the excess electricity they feed back into the grid. During times when the solar panels produce more electricity than the business is using, the surplus goes to the grid, and the business receives credits on their utility bill.

  • Battery Backup System:

    • The battery backup system is integrated into the setup to store excess solar energy generated during the day. This stored energy can be used during periods when the solar panels are not producing electricity, such as at night or during cloudy days.

  • During a Power Outage:

    • In the event of a power outage, the battery backup system can automatically supply electricity to critical loads in your business. This feature ensures that essential equipment remains operational even when the grid is down.

  • Grid Connection for Charging Batteries:

    • The battery backup system can be designed to recharge from the grid during periods of low solar production or when electricity rates are lower. This ensures that the batteries are adequately charged and ready to provide backup power when needed.

  • Grid Connection for Redundancy:

    • Having a grid connection provides an added layer of redundancy. If the battery backup system is depleted and the solar panels are not producing enough energy, the business can draw electricity from the grid to meet its power needs.

  • Regulatory and Safety Compliance:

    • When connecting a solar panel and battery backup system to the grid, it's essential to comply with local regulations and safety standards. This may include obtaining necessary permits and ensuring that the system meets interconnection requirements.

  • Advanced Energy Management:

    • Some advanced systems offer energy management features that allow businesses to optimize their energy usage. This may include the ability to schedule when to use stored energy, when to draw from the grid, and when to feed excess energy back into the grid.

Connecting your solar panel and battery backup system to the grid enhances the flexibility and reliability of your energy setup. It provides the benefits of clean, renewable energy from solar panels while ensuring a continuous power supply through the battery backup system during grid outages. Working with experienced solar installers, like your team at Buffalo Solar, can help ensure a seamless integration and compliance with local regulations.


Tax incentives and rebates for installing solar panels and a battery backup system can vary depending on your location and the specific programs available. Please note incentives may change.

Federal Incentives (United States):

  • Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC):

    • The ITC allows businesses to deduct a percentage of the cost of installing a solar energy system, including battery storage, from their federal taxes. The ITC is set at 30%- 50% for commercial systems as a tax credit.  It's crucial to check for any updates or extensions to this incentive.

  • USDA REAP Grant:

    • The USDA REAP grant can provide up to 50% of the cost for agricultural and rural small businesses.

  • Bonus Depreciation 

    • Bonus Depreciation allows an investor to recognize 100% of the depreciation in the same tax year the system is placed in service.  

State and Local Incentives:

  •  Investment Tax Credits:

    • Some states offer their own investment tax credits for solar installations. The availability and percentage of these credits vary by state. 

    • The NYS Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) offers NYSERDA's NY-Sun initiative provides various incentives for solar projects, including small commercial and large commercial installations.

      • Incentives are typically provided based on the size and type of solar installation.

      • Buffalo Solar has achieved Gold status as a quality NYSERDA Installer

Utility-Specific Incentives:

  • Utility Rebates:

    • Some utility companies offer rebates for installing solar panels and battery backup systems. These rebates can help offset the upfront costs of the system.

Environmental Credits:

  • Renewable Energy Credits (RECs):

    • Businesses may earn RECs for the renewable energy produced by their solar panels. RECs can be sold or traded, providing an additional source of income.

Federal and State Grants:

  • USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP):

    • The REAP program provides grants and loan guarantees to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems, including solar installations.  Buffalo Solar has streamlined the process of applying for REAP grants that can provide up to 50% of the project costs.  To date, we have had a 100% approval rating on our submitted applications.   

  • State Grant Programs:

    • Some states offer grant programs to support renewable energy projects. These grants may be administered by state energy offices or other relevant agencies.There are also advantages to being in a low income community as well as being located in an energy community.  

It's important to note that incentive programs are subject to change, and new programs may be introduced. Additionally, the availability of incentives can vary by region, and some programs may have specific eligibility criteria. It's highly recommended to consult with the team at Buffalo Solar to get detailed and specific information about the incentives and rebates available in your area. As part of our service offerings, we process the applications and ensure that you take advantage of all applicable financial incentives for your solar panel and battery backup system installation. 


14. How do I monitor the energy produced and consumed by my solar panel and battery backup system?

Monitoring the energy produced and consumed by your solar panel and battery backup system is essential for optimizing performance and understanding your energy usage patterns. Here are common methods for monitoring:


Solar Panel System Monitoring:

  • Inverter Monitoring:

    • Most solar panel systems use inverters that convert the direct current (DC) generated by solar panels into usable alternating current (AC). Many inverters come with built-in monitoring capabilities. You can access data such as energy production, system voltage, and current through the inverter's display or a connected device.

  • Manufacturer's Monitoring Platform:

    • Solar panel system manufacturers often provide online monitoring platforms. These platforms allow you to track real-time and historical energy production, monitor system health, and receive alerts for any issues. You can access these platforms through a web portal or a mobile app.

  • Third-Party Monitoring Systems:

    • In addition to the manufacturer's monitoring platform, there are third-party monitoring systems that can integrate with a variety of inverters. These systems may offer additional features and analytics to help you understand your energy production and system performance.

  • Energy Meters:

    • Installing energy meters can provide more detailed insights into your energy consumption and production. These meters can be placed at critical points in your electrical system to measure the flow of electricity.


Battery Backup System Monitoring:

  • Battery Management System (BMS):

    • Battery backup systems are equipped with a Battery Management System that monitors the state of charge, voltage, and temperature of the batteries. This information is critical for ensuring the optimal performance and longevity of the batteries.

  • Inverter/Charger Monitoring:

    • If your battery backup system is integrated with an inverter/charger, monitoring features may be available through the inverter's display or a connected device. This can include information on battery status, charging, and discharging.

  • Manufacturer's Monitoring Platform:

    • Similar to solar panel systems, battery backup system manufacturers often provide online monitoring platforms. These platforms allow you to track battery performance, energy storage levels, and system health.

  • Third-Party Monitoring Systems:

    • Some third-party monitoring systems are designed to integrate with battery backup systems, providing a consolidated view of both solar production and battery storage.


Integrated System Monitoring:

  • Comprehensive Energy Management Systems:

    • Advanced energy management systems can integrate solar panel and battery backup system monitoring into a single platform. These systems offer a holistic view of energy production, consumption, and storage, allowing for more informed decision-making.

  • Smart Home or Building Automation Systems:

    • Some smart home or building automation systems provide energy monitoring features. These systems may integrate with solar and battery systems, allowing you to monitor and control your energy usage through a centralized interface.

By regularly monitoring your solar panel and battery backup system, you can identify any issues promptly, optimize energy usage, and ensure that your system is operating at its full potential. installer or the Buffalo Solar can advise you of your system components to understand the available monitoring options and how to set up and access the monitoring features.


  • Lower Environmental Impact of Battery Backup:

    • While batteries have environmental considerations in their production and disposal, the use of battery backup systems can enhance the efficiency and reliability of your solar power system. It helps store excess energy for use during periods of low solar generation or power outages, reducing the need for backup generators that may rely on fossil fuels.

  • Public Perception and Sustainability Goals:

    • Installing solar panels and battery backup systems aligns with growing consumer expectations for businesses to operate sustainably. It can be a positive factor for public perception, attracting environmentally conscious customers, and helping businesses achieve sustainability goals.

The environmental impact of installing a solar panel and battery backup system is generally positive, contributing to a more sustainable and low-carbon energy landscape. Here are key points to consider:


Positive Environmental Impact:

  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction:

    • Solar panels generate electricity without emitting greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide. This results in a substantial reduction in the carbon footprint of your business's energy consumption.

  • Renewable Energy Source:

    • Solar energy is a renewable resource that doesn't deplete over time. Utilizing solar power reduces dependence on finite and environmentally impactful fossil fuels.

  • Reduced Air and Water Pollution:

    • Solar power generation does not produce air pollutants or water pollutants during operation, contributing to improved air and water quality.

  • Energy Independence:

    • Adopting solar power contributes to energy independence by diversifying the energy mix and reducing reliance on fossil fuels, which often involve environmental risks in extraction and transportation.

  • Climate Change Mitigation:

    • By generating clean energy and reducing reliance on fossil fuels, solar panels contribute to mitigating climate change, a crucial environmental challenge.

  • Lower Environmental Impact of Battery Backup:

    • While batteries have environmental considerations in their production and disposal, the use of battery backup systems can enhance the efficiency and reliability of your solar power system. It helps store excess energy for use during periods of low solar generation or power outages, reducing the need for backup generators that may rely on fossil fuels.

  • Public Perception and Sustainability Goals:

    • Installing solar panels and battery backup systems aligns with growing consumer expectations for businesses to operate sustainably. It can be a positive factor for public perception, attracting environmentally conscious customers, and helping businesses achieve sustainability goals.


Solar panels can be installed on various types of commercial roofs, but the feasibility and approach may vary depending on the roof material, structure, and other factors. Here are considerations for common types of commercial roofs:

  • Flat Roofs:

    • Flat roofs are commonly found on commercial buildings. Solar panels can be installed on flat roofs using different mounting systems, including ballasted racking or tilted supports. Proper engineering and drainage considerations are essential for flat roof installations to prevent water ponding.

  • Metal Roofs:

    • Metal roofs, often found on industrial and commercial structures, are well-suited for solar panel installations. Mounting systems can be attached directly to the metal seams or roof structure. Metal roofs provide a durable and stable platform for solar panels.

  • Built-Up Roofs (BUR) and Modified Bitumen Roofs:

    • Built-up roofs and modified bitumen roofs are types of flat roofs. Solar panels can be installed on these roofs using ballasted racking systems or penetrating mounts. Proper waterproofing measures must be taken to prevent leaks.

  • TPO and PVC Roofs:

    • Thermoplastic Olefin (TPO) and Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) roofs are common in commercial buildings. Solar panels can be installed on these single-ply membrane roofs using non-penetrating mounting systems designed to avoid damage to the roofing material.

  • EPDM Roofs:

    • Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) roofs are another type of single-ply membrane roofing. Similar to TPO and PVC roofs, non-penetrating mounting systems are used to install solar panels on EPDM roofs without compromising the roof's integrity.


Important Considerations:

  • Structural Analysis:

    • Before installing solar panels, a structural analysis of the commercial roof is essential to ensure it can support the additional weight. This analysis is often conducted by a structural engineer.

  • Orientation and Tilt:

    • The orientation and tilt of the roof impact the efficiency of solar panels. Proper alignment can maximize energy production.

  • Shading:

    • Shading from nearby structures, equipment, or other obstructions should be considered during the design phase to optimize energy output.

  • Wind Exposure:

    • Commercial roofs are often exposed to wind. Solar panel mounting systems must be designed to withstand wind loads, and local building codes may have specific requirements.

  • Roof Age and Condition:

    • The age and condition of the roof should be evaluated to ensure it can support a solar installation. If the roof requires replacement soon, it may be advisable to address roofing needs first.

  • Local Codes and Regulations:

    • Compliance with local building codes and obtaining necessary permits is crucial. Regulations may vary, and adherence to safety standards is essential.

  • Installer Expertise:

    • Hiring a qualified solar installer with experience in commercial projects is critical. Professionals can assess the specific conditions of the roof, provide tailored solutions, and ensure a safe and effective installation.

Buffalo Solar can evaluate your roof and provide you with an engineered solution for your commercial roof.


While solar panels are most efficient in direct sunlight, they can still generate power on cloudy days. Cloud cover reduces the amount of sunlight reaching the panels, which decreases their efficiency but doesn't eliminate power generation entirely. Modern solar panels are designed to capture diffused sunlight, allowing them to produce some electricity even in overcast conditions. However, the overall energy output on cloudy days will be lower compared to sunny days.

To overcome the challenges posed by cloudy or snowy days in solar power generation, a well-designed system and strategic use of net metering can be implemented. Here are some considerations for system design and net metering to optimize solar energy production during adverse weather conditions:


System Design Strategies:

  • Tilt and Orientation:

    • Optimize the tilt and orientation of solar panels to capture the maximum amount of sunlight throughout the year. Adjusting the angle of the panels can enhance energy production during different seasons and under varying sunlight angles.

  • Tracking Systems:

    • Consider using solar tracking systems that adjust the position of the solar panels to follow the sun's path. While more complex and expensive, tracking systems can improve energy capture by ensuring panels are directly facing the sunlight.

  • High-Efficiency Panels:

    • Invest in high-efficiency solar panels that can capture more sunlight and convert it into electricity, increasing overall system performance.

  • Energy Storage (Battery Backup):

    • Implement battery backup systems to store excess energy generated during sunny days. This stored energy can be used during periods of reduced sunlight, such as cloudy or snowy days, ensuring a continuous power supply.

  • Snow-Shedding Design:

    • Design solar panels with a tilt or angle that allows snow to slide off more easily. This design feature can help minimize the impact of snow cover on energy production.

  • Efficient Inverter Technology:

    • Use efficient inverter technology that allows the system to perform optimally even under low-light conditions.


Net Metering Strategies:

Accumulate Credits During Sunny Days:

  • Take advantage of net metering policies to accumulate credits during periods of excess energy production, such as sunny days. Excess energy is fed back into the grid, and the credits earned can be used during times when the system produces less energy.

  • Flexible Use of Credits:

    • Work with your utility to understand how net metering credits can be applied. Some utilities allow for the banking of credits, enabling businesses to use them during months with lower solar production.

  • Energy Load Management:

    • Implement energy load management strategies to align energy-intensive activities with periods of higher solar production. This can help maximize the use of on-site solar energy and reduce reliance on the grid during adverse weather conditions.

  • Seasonal Adjustments:

    • Plan for seasonal adjustments in energy use based on historical weather patterns. During months with lower solar production, businesses can rely on net metering credits accumulated during sunnier periods.

  • Demand Response Programs:

    • Participate in demand response programs offered by utilities. These programs may provide additional incentives for businesses to adjust their energy consumption during peak demand periods.

  • Hybrid Net Metering Systems:

    • Explore hybrid net metering systems that combine solar with other renewable sources. This can provide a more stable and reliable source of energy throughout the year.


By combining effective system design strategies with thoughtful utilization of net metering, businesses can mitigate the impact of adverse weather conditions on solar energy production. The goal is to create a resilient and sustainable energy system that maximizes the benefits of solar power throughout the entire year. Consulting with a solar professional and working closely with your utility can help optimize the design and operation of your solar energy system.