Your energy comes directly from the most abundant, free, 100% clean renewable source of energy… the SUN! The solar panels collect this energy, that then flows to an inverter where it is converted from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC), the type of electricity used by homes and businesses. Solar systems can be either connected to your utility (grid-tied) or completely independent from your utility (off-grid).
Perhaps the number one question asked! The answer… it depends! The cost of solar is directly related to the “size of your system”. The “size of your system” is directly related to the amount of your power bill (how much energy you consume) and what percentage you of your consumption (bill) you want to offset. Do you want to add batteries to provide energy storage to use during the morning/night, when the sun is not shining and provide back-up power if your utility power goes out? As you can see, there is no canned answer to this question, as it will be unique to your specific needs and budget.
As stated above, system size is directly related to the level of your energy consumption that you want to offset. If you want a roof mount installation, your sun exposure, shading and roof space will be key contributing factors. If we elect for a ground-mount system; we need to assess your available land and shading. We use the best technology to evaluate all these factors and propose to you a solution that will best meet your energy reduction goals and budget.
While the answer is “yes”, your solar system will not be as productive as it is when the sun is shining brightly.
The panels are extremely durable, as they must be to withstand the weather elements. There are no moving parts, you can even stand on the panels! All solar panels must meet UL-1703 test standards; can hold up to 1-inch (2.5cm) hailstones at 50MPH.
While the panel’s production warranty is 25 years; we believe these panels could last upwards of 35 years. The production warranty provides that the panels will produce power no less than 80% of original day 1 production. The inverters warranty is for 12 years, but you can purchase an extended warranty. We encourage our customers not to purchase this warranty, as the technology will likely be much further advanced at a lower cost at the end of that timeframe.
We have a LIFETIME craftsmanship warranty, while many others in the industry provide only 1-year. If you use quality materials, install the right way and never cut corners… why wouldn’t you back up your work?! We want a LIFETIME relationship with all our customers. A service call is just an excuse for us to create another touchpoint with our customer!
No surprises! We offer a complete turn-key solution: site assessment, design, permits & fees, working with codes department & utility, equipment, installation and ultimate commissioning of your system by your utility. We even shepherd you through all the paperwork!
Yes, but only in the case that you add battery storage. If you do not have battery back-up, your solar system (grid-tied) is required to shut down for safety reasons until utility power is restored. You, as the homeowner do not need to do anything in order to shut down your system or turn it back on (utility power restored), as this occurs automatically through the inverter.
Our systems are managed at the discrete panel level. You will have the ability, as we will, to monitor your system online or through your phone. You can actually see the production performance at the individual panel level. If a panel stops working, you will know exactly which panel it is… no matter how many panels you have in your system.
We believe it will substantially. But don’t take our word for it, as there are several “independent” studies and benchmarks that suggest it will as well. The most common benchmark we cite is “20 x Annual Savings”. With this benchmark, the value is commensurate with the amount of savings it will deliver. For example, if you have a 10-kW size system that provides $110 power bill offset, then the increase in value to your home would be $26,400 in theory ($110 x 12 mo. x 20 yrs). If you couple this increase in home value with the 26% federal tax credit benefit, this will decrease your net investment in solar drastically! The follow-on energy savings make this a “no brainer”.
Before you invest a significant amount of time in exploring Solar, make an inquiry to your Homeowners Association (HOA) to determine their rules regarding solar. Most HOA’s will be different in this regard, so do not assume anything. HOA’s should applaud solar, as it helps contribute to the health of our environment.
TVA had a sell-back program that ended in 2019. Many people loved this program, because they liked the idea of “selling back their energy” to the utility. In truth, this was was not a good long-term program for the homeowner! Why – because the $9 cents/kWh credit they gave you stayed that way for 20 years… it never increased! In 20 years, your rates may double, widening the gap for what you pay the utility for the energy you consume versus the $9 cents credit (Commercial – $7 cents) you receive for the solar energy you produce. Your system will last upwards of 35 years. You absolutely do not want a program that doesn’t keep pace with rising retail rates!
Okay, so what are we left with? You directly consume/use the energy you produce from Solar. This means you “own” your energy! Your energy, the energy you consume from Solar… will always be immune from rising utility rates. Why? Because it is “your energy” and you are not using or paying for the utility’s energy!
Is there is a catch? No, but there is something important to understand. Very simply… you can only “consume” energy when the sun is shining, when your solar panels are producing energy. Obviously, you don’t produce energy during morning and evening; consequently, you are forced to pay the utility for morning/evening energy you use. Unless… you use batteries to “store your energy” that you produce from solar and use this energy for your morning/evening power needs. In this manner, you become “independent” from the utility, as you are using your own energy. By the way, these batteries also serve as “back-up” in the event of a power outage, the same functionality you would get from a $5,000-$7000 generator. But with batteries, you get the daily benefit of energy offset, while the generator can only benefit you when your power goes out.
The three programs are listed below – only the first program applies to residential, while all three apply to commercial. For commercial businesses, the combination of these three government programs will typically place your financial payback from 3-6 years… with upwards of 30 additional years of just pure profit! Oh, and did we mention that your property will increase in value… significantly!
- Federal Tax Credit – in 2020, this represents 26% reduction against the entire cost of your Solar System. This is not a “rebate”; rather, this is a “credit” that offsets your tax liability. So, you must earn income in order to utilize this benefit. If you can’t use your entire credit the first year… no worries, it will roll over to next year! Hurry, it goes down to 22% in 2021!
- Depreciation Savings – If you are a small company (spends < $2.5M in capital per year), you may qualify for “Section 179”, allowing you to fully depreciate the cost of your solar system in first year! At the corporate tax rate of 21%, the savings can be significant.
- REAP Grant – The Rural Energy America Program (REAP) is a 25% grant against the cost of your solar system, intended for small, rural businesses. This is a “competitive” grant and not an entitlement. You must initially qualify from both “geographically” and “business type” perspectives. Business Type is generally either Annual Sales or Headcount below a certain threshold… to demonstrate you are a “small business”. Both last year and the current 2020 pace are enabling many companies that “qualify” to receive the grant.
Yes! Solar will reduce greenhouse gases, which in turn reduces our carbon footprint and reliance on fossil fuel… coal and natural gas plants produce air and water pollution that is harmful to our planet and human health.
It is difficult to watch the news, read the newspaper or browse online, and not read yet another article about Climate Change. If you take the time to do your research, we believe you will conclude that Climate Change is a matter of “science” and is very real. In fact, the smartest scientists in the world believe we are “way behind” in the changes our planet must make in order to reduce the catastrophic effects of Climate Change that are already occurring and will increase over time, i.e. rising temperatures, rising sea levels, more frequent/intense hurricanes, wild fires, drought/heat waves, erratic weather patterns & severe storms/tornados.
More and more people are “taking up the cause”, particularly our younger generations. If you are a business, these are your customers! In fact, some of these people care so much about our environment and their future (their kid’s future!), they will not buy products, services or stay at places that don’t demonstrate initiative and action towards helping our environment.
The very first step of our process – get your most current power bill containing a 12-month bar graph (representing the past 12 month’s energy usage) on the front of that bill. If your bill does not contain the bar graph, we will need your last 12 month’s power bills.
You should have your objectives for solar organized and understand the “weight” you put on each, i.e. environment, energy savings, independence. You should have a budget in mind as well.
Think about where you would place the panels… roof or ground-mount. South-facing exposure is the very best for production. East/West will work as well; North is not good for production. Think about shade as well, although we will thoroughly assess this both during our site assessment and through our industry best software.
Call us! We will ask you a few questions and very quickly assess your home on Google to tell you real time if you home is good for solar or not, i.e. south-facing sun, ample roof space (roof-mount) or land (ground-mount), shading, etc. While we are on the phone, we will discuss your objectives and answer any questions you may have.
Next step – provide us your power bill and let us do a preliminary design and schedule a site visit. If solar is for a commercial business, the information required to do a proper preliminary design will be more extensive. Do NOT ever accept a proposal, let alone buy a solar system over the phone from somebody who has not taken the time and diligence to come physically to your home or business to assess your property properly. Our site assessment, initial design and proposal are all NO obligation and NO cost to you!