FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

30% Federal tax credit available through 2019 
What are the financial benefits of solar panels?

When you install a solar energy system on your property, you save money on your electricity bills and protect yourself against rising electricity rates in the future. How much you can save depends on the utility rates and solar policies in your area, but going solar is a smart investment regardless of where you live.

How do I find out how much I pay for electricity?

The easiest way to find out how much you pay for electricity (and how much electricity you use per month) is to take a look at your utility electricity bill. 

Do my solar panels produce power when the sun isn’t shining?

Solar panels produce power, as long as there is sunlight; including cloudy days and overcast weather.  As soon as the sun sets, the panels will no longer continue to produce power.  The system shuts down until the next sunrise.

Do solar panels work in a blackout?

When there is a black out, your power from your solar will also shut down.  This is how the system operates.  Because power is constantly coming in to your home, and going back to the “grid”, it would be dangerous to linemen, electric utility workers if power was continuing to feed back into the system.  So, it is a safety precaution that all solar PV systems do NOT feed power back, however; there are alternatives to keep power in your home during blackouts.  That would be through a battery back-up system.

How much will solar panel maintenance cost?

To keep your panels working optimally, we recommend you have your panels cleaned quarterly.  This is something you can do yourself, or there are window washing companies that provide this service.  You will recoup the cost of the cleaning through your solar pv production!

Should I repair or replace my roof before going solar?

We recommend you have your roof inspected and/or repaired if necessary before you have solar installed.  It is not necessary to replace your roof, unless you had wood shingles or are experiencing leaks.

How long does it take to install a system?

Installation typically takes 2-5 days for residential roof/ground-mount systems.  For commercial/agricultural applications, it may take 1-3 weeks, depending on the system size, electrical or structural needs.

Do systems come with warranties?

Systems do come with warranties:  10 year warranty on inverters, 25 year warranty on panels (modules) from manufacturers.  We are mandated by California Solar Initiative to warranty your system for 10 years for defect/service repairs.  

What should I do if I’m a member of a homeowners association?

HOAs have varying rules/regulations for homeowners.  Usually, notifying your HOA of your intended solar installation and schedule is all that is needed. 

What happens if I produce more electricity than I use?

We will size your solar pv system to offset approximately 100% of your current electrical usage (consumption).  This is based on your 12-month average; so keep in mind- some months you will over-produce and some months you will under-produce.  When you over-produce, your excess goes back to the “grid” and you will see a decrease or negative bill from your utility company  (See your utility company’s Solar overproduction rates).