Questions From Customers

How does a solar electric system work?

It’s simple. Sunlight excites electrons in solar panels, and the electricity flows to an inverter where it is converted from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC), the type of electricity our homes and businesses use. As there is no net metering in your area, so instead of selling your excess solar to the grid, you can store your extra solar in batteries to use at night-time and for backup power during grid outages.

How much solar and how many batteries do I need?

How much does solar cost?

The cost of solar depends on many variables, but a typical residential solar + battery system cost range is dependent on the system capacity. Our turnkey price includes everything required to provide a fully installed system. Additional costs would be required for a ground-mount system, long distance groundwork, concrete work, or extended travel.

What are the financing options?

Our recommended lender for residential solar projects is: (pls request info separately), a not-for-profit financial services cooperative, local commerce bank or building society that’s focused solely on clean energy lending, including residential solar loans. Another good option is a home equity loan through your mortgage lender or your banker.

What are the available incentives?

  • Homeowners, businesses, and tax-exempt entities can claim incentives, such as (TBC, if any) for solar and battery storage systems. Tax-exempt entities like non-profits and local authorities may be eligible to receive a reimbursement via direct pay for 30% of total system cost.
  • For businesses: Accelerated Depreciation, known as Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS), is a method of depreciation in which a business’s investments in solar property can be recovered through tax deductions. MACRS benefits can be taken all in the 1st year and equal about 20% of solar project costs. Taken together, tax benefits for commercial solar projects reduce costs by about 50%.
  • For eligible rural businesses: REA offers a grant for solar systems up to 50% of project costs.

What if I need a new roof or I am building a new house?

You want your roof to be in the best condition possible because the average working life span of a solar system is around 30 to 40 years. Thus, we don’t recommend installation on composition shingle roofs over 10 years old.

Can a solar system increase the value of my home?

Yes! A solar system reduces electric costs and adds security and independence which can make it a valuable asset to any homeowner. According to a 2015 Berkeley Lab report, solar (without storage) adds at least $15,000 to the value of a home. The report shows an average selling price increase of $3.75/watt ($18,750 for 4kW system).

Do I need approval from my homeowner’s association?

Some homeowners associations have rules regarding the installation of anything on your roof or grounds. If you belong to a homeowner’s association, contact them, and ask about neighbourhood guidelines. In our experience, most homeowners’ associations decide in favour of solar system installations. If necessary, we can help educate your HOA on the benefits of a solar system.

When there is a grid outage, will my whole home be backed up?

It depends on your home’s existing electric service, as well as how much solar and storage you add. Generally, if your home has only one electric service panel, solar and batteries can back up your whole home. If you have more than one service panel, solar and batteries can back up part of your home. If you have two or more service panels, installers can move your most important circuits onto the same panel, so your desired loads are backed up.

How long will I have backup power?

Depending on sunlight, battery charge level, and your consumption, your home will have backup power for as long as you need it. With a mobile app, you will be able to keep an eye on these variables to ensure your system meets your needs. If you happen to deplete your batteries overnight, you will have more power as soon as your solar panels receive sunlight the next morning.

Will my system work on cloudy days?

Yes! But it will be less productive. Production is proportionate to the thickness of cloud cover.

How will I know if my system is producing what it should?

Our systems include a real-time display or online production efficiency monitoring so you can see your system’s performance on any computer or smartphone. You can compare your solar production to our estimates to ensure your system is on track.

How long does it take to install the system?

For a typical residential system, it takes about three days to install the PV panels and equipment. Then, the system must pass a final State electrical inspection which normally occurs within 10 days of completed installation. Then, we coordinate system activation with your local power company.

What are the panel, inverter, and battery warranties?

The solar panels we install have a product warranty for 25 years and a power performance warranty for 25 years. The power performance warranty means that by the end of year 25, the panels’ actual power output will be no less than 80% of the labelled power output. Most of the inverters we install are warrantied for 10 or 15 years, and many brands offer an extended warranty. Tesla Powerwall batteries have 10-year warranties.

Can the solar panels withstand high winds and hail?

The panels are supported by high quality stainless steel and aluminium racking systems designed and mounted based on International Society of Civil Engineering wind load provisions. All solar panels are tested to UL-1703 standards and are capable of withstanding one-inch (2.5cm) hailstones at 50MPH. They are covered with tempered glass, akin to a car windshield. Additionally, we recommend adding your panels to your homeowner’s insurance. In our experience, hail often causes damage to asphalt shingles around solar panels but does not damage the panels.

What do I need to know about solar system installation?

We mount solar panels on your roof or on a ground-mount structure and run wires through conduit to an inverter. Wires from the inverter’s output go through conduit to an exterior-mounted solar disconnect. From there, we run wires through conduit to your breaker panel, which allows your home to use the electricity flowing from your solar panels. Whenever possible, we mount all gear close to your utility meter, and it occupies a space about 3′ tall x 4′ wide. To store solar power for consumption at night or during a grid outage, we incorporate batteries into your system. Each battery is about 45” tall x 30” wide x 6” deep, and we recommend installing batteries indoors, such as in a garage or utility.