More About Solar

icon-more-1Frequently Asked Questions About Solar Energy


As a local Long Island solar energy company in business for 10 years, we’ve spoken to residents wanting to know more about solar energy for their homes. There are quite a few misconceptions floating around out there and we try our best to set the record straight. One of our most important jobs, quite honestly, is answering your questions and making sure Energy By Choice customers know exactly what is entailed when deciding to go solar.

Homeowners speak about “solar” in a generic manner not seen since the advent of cellular phones and the refinancing boom. It ccan’t be helped. Although solar technology has been around for decades a number of larger, national solar companies have moved in and opened satellite offices on Long Island recently that advertise heavily on TV, radio and may have knocked on your door during dinner. The pitch of “free solar” and “zero out of pocket” are attractive, but their cookie cutter approach to solar has left many homeowners disenchanted as they were not offered choices of design and financing on their solar project. Many homeowners never stopped to think, ‘what do they really want to get out of going solar anyway?’

We’re here to tell you that solar is not just solar. When solar energy is used optimally, it is a marriage of the right technology and financing, installed by an experienced contractor you trust. Below, we’ll explain your options when it comes to solar systems on Long Island, and answer our customers’ frequently asked questions.

more-about-solar-venierWhat Is an Ideal Solar Electric System?

An ideal solar electric system is one that covers 100% of your electric usage. It maximizes roof space and panel production to achieve that goal. Multiple variables should be considered when determining what kind of system is right for you. Make sure you are working with an installer who can guide you through these factors when you are thinking about your solar project.

How Can I Make Sure I Keep My Solar Costs Reasonable?

Solar is the only home improvement that increases the value of a home by repurposing a monthly expense—your electric bill—and turning it into an asset at no cost. For the greatest energy independence remember to:

  • Check with your tax professional and determine if you can take advantage of the tax credits
  • Make sure you understand all the finance options available. Use fixed rate financing with no escalators.
  • Quality doesn’t cost extra—it actually pays dividends in production and resale value. Premium product will save you more over time.
  • Check references and reviews of your solar panel company. This is a long-term commitment, so be sure to interview more than one firm.

Why Should I Invest in Solar Energy?

Electricity produced by solar panels—whether financed, leased, or purchased—is cheaper than electricity from your utility.  Solar energy cuts your electric cost now and in the future, and protects you from rising energy costs when the local power company increases rates every year. With a variety of financing options and leasing now available to homeowners, the ability to choose solar has become easy and affordable.

How Does Solar Electricity Work?

Solar electric power is generated from sunlight using Photovoltaic (PV) Panels. PV Panels are typically mounted on roofs, and they convert the sun’s radiant energy into electricity. Through electronic inverters this energy is converted into 120 volts AC. This solar-generated AC power is connected your home’s electricity system, which supplies power to your home or business.

How Does Solar Hot Water Work?

Solar domestic hot water (SDHW) systems collect and store the sun’s radiant energy to produce and store hot water for use in the kitchen, bath, and laundry. SDHW systems on Long Island use roof-mounted flat plate collector panels. Fluid in the collector, which is heated by the sun, is circulated into the house where it transfers its heat into the domestic water in an insulated tank.

How Do Solar Pool Heating Systems Work?

A solar pool heater works by pumping filtered water from the pool through solar collector panels near the pool. The pool water is heated in the collector and returned to the pool. A solar pool heater can be the sole source of heat for your pool or used in combination with your existing pool heater to reduce fuel costs.

Why Should I Choose Energy By Choice as My Long Island Solar Contractor?

At Energy By Choice, we are a locally owned business that has been serving Long Island for more than 10 years—we’ve stayed around to take care of our customers while many large corporations have come in, installed units while the market was hot, and then left. We believe in no-pressure sales that revolve around an educational experience. We offer both financing and leasing options. We offer responsive, personal service—we’ll keep in touch often, know you on a first name basis, and you’ll be able to reach our management team as soon as you call in.

Above all, by empowering you with information and options and offering customized solutions, we make everything about going solar your choice. Interested in working with us? Contact us online or call us at 631-757-6984!


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  • Matt Wantagh

    Sail and Bruce were awesome, making 5 visits to our home. We wanted to go with a local company instead of one of the big companies. We have not been disappointed with our choice. I highly recommend Energy By Choice! Tell them Matt sent you!

  • Ralph Smithtown

    We are extremely happy with our experience with Energy By Choice. The entire process went smoothly. No pressure sales. Went over all the options. Great customer service. Great installation. Couldn’t be happier!

  • Joe West Babylon

    Great Installation, Great Company, Great People. This is the first time I’ve ever dealt with a contractor and the estimate was exactly the same as the proposal !!!. No out of pocket expense. By the way I interviewed 8 companies. Energy by Choice was a pleasure to deal with. No buying pressure. My solar has been installed for 16 months. My electric bill was $350 a month. My connection charges average $12 a month. I’m saving $338 a month!

  • Mike Bethpage

    Very professional. They helped set up the financing, the permits and gave me the system that I wanted. After all the incentives I paid $16,000, but my bill is still over $100 cheaper than my budget payment. They also follow up with suggestions on how to get the most from your system. Sail’s the best.

  • Kyle Smithtown

    Great company, a pleasure to deal with. Low pressure and high quality.

  • Jennifer East Northport

    We had a wonderful experience with Energy by Choice. They were professional, clean, and extremely honest. Speaking from experience, we researched solar for months and I highly recommend this company. Thank you for everything Sail and team!

  • Laura Huntington

    Sail thank you so much for addressing my concerns so promptly and so completely. I have to tell you that the more my husband and I deal with your company, the more confident we are that we made the right decision in choosing you as our solar company and look forward to working with you.

  • Judy Mineola

    Helpful, honest; enjoyed the experience of the office personnel, (no pressure) from initial phone inquiry to certificate of completion. Getting better than half the cost returned from the State & Federal Gov. helped even more. Only thing left is to reap the rewards of the investment of our home & future. I would recommend Energy By Choice as a preference over the other companies who tried to push & sell their products to us.

  • Mary Massapequa Park

    All staff were very professional, friendly and knowledgeable. Sail is enthusiastic and passionate about the product. I didn’t feel pressured, but I was also given a very complete evaluation and comprehensive plan for the project. Since completion of the project, the company has continued to stay in touch. I feel like a member of a club.

  • Arlene Commack

    We met with Sail and he answered all of our questions and concerns. Sail put together a proposal that was perfect for our home and we’re so glad we had his expertise and knowledge to work from. We interviewed another national solar company who was offering a plan that would not have met our needs and would have been a financial disaster for us. Thanks again to Sail and his team of experts. We love our solar panels and, even more so, we love watching the meter run backwards!

  • Matt Wantagh

    We finally did it! We signed up for a new solar energy system with Energy By Choice. Bruce Howard and Sail Van Nostrand (the sales rep and owner) were terrific to deal with, and I would highly recommend to anyone thinking about converting to solar power!

  • Mike Mazol

    I just had my Solar Panel System installed this week. From the start of the process with Sail, and Steve and his crew at the end, it was totally professional. Steve and his team worked in a clean and safe manner and were definitely one of the best contractor teams I’ve had the pleasure to work with. At times you wouldn’t even know they were here doing the system. If you are thinking about getting Solar Power, I would highly recommend using Energy By Choice as the company to do the work.

  • Ernie Calverton

    I have been extremely happy with the service I received from this company and the way they treated me from the first call. They were incredibly patient, professional, and prompt from the start. The installation took one day, and when I got home the area had been cleaned up and looked good, and the system has been working incredibly well since then, with no problems whatsoever. I would recommend them to anyone.

  • Sue New Hyde Park

    Energy By Choice installed my solar several years ago and have yet to pay more than the mandatory few cents a day service fee by the electric company. While I have had no problems with my system, I have had questions and Sail Van Nostrand is always attentive to me and responds to my inquiries quickly and professionally. I whole heartedly recommend Energy By Choice to anyone looking for a solar contractor.

  • Joe West Babylon

    I couldn’t be more pleased with my experience with Energy By Choice. Sail and his entire staff are professional and compassionate about what they do. They want their customer to be well informed and happy from start to finish…Give them a call…You will NOT be disappointed!

  • Rich Port Jefferson Station.

    Your patience with me and your level of detail in explaining the job to me before, during and after the job was above and beyond the words thorough and professional.

  • Anthony Mattituck

    We were certainly impressed with your attention to detail from your initial presentation and throughout the system installation. Your service and product knowledge has proven to be second to none.

  • Mike Long Beach

    [Sail] designed and installed the right system for our home. His crew was eager to be part of the amazing “revolution

  • Jerry Baiting Hollow

    From the start your approach was professional, and every step of the way you clearly and accurately represented the parameters of the project. The only surprises that we had were positive ones: the neatness of the work was exceptional and the effect of the solar cells on our electric bill exceeded our expectations.