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Faq

FAQ

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How-To Information

1. How does solar power work?

2. Where does it need to be mounted?

3. Where should the panels be facing?

4. What if they get dirty?

5. How big of a system will I need?

 

Operational Information

6. What maintenance do these systems require?

7. Can I sell my excess power back to my electric utility?

8. What if my electric utility won’t buy the power from me?

9. Can I get a system that will keep my house powered in case of a blackout?

10. How long does it take to install?

11. Are there any permits I need to obtain?  What about inspections?

12. How long is the Warranty on this equipment?

13. Will it damage my roof?

 

Cost Information

14. How much do these systems cost?

15. Are there any rebates or tax incentives to help pay for the system?

16. When will I start seeing results?

17. How long will it take to pay off?

18. Can I install it myself to save money?

19. Is there financing available?

 

1. How does solar power work?

Photovoltaic (PV) Panels are installed to catch the sunlight.  They generate electricity and send the power they generate into your property.  If there is any left over power after running your property, the electricity gets sold back into the utility grid for other people to use.  This earns you a credit on your electric bill.  At night, when you’re not generating any power, you buy electricity from the power grid, using up the credit you generated during the day.  At the end of the month, you have sold as much as you have bought, and you don’t owe any money.

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2. Where does it need to be mounted?

 Normally, solar electric systems are mounted with the PV panels on the roof and the AC inverter in the garage.  We use only professional installers with years of experience to make sure that no damage is done to your property in the process of installing your system.  If the garage is inconvenient, we can also place the AC inverter outside the home, next to the utility meter.

 

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3. Where should the panels be facing?

We recommend a south-facing array, to catch the most possible sunlight.  However, if your property is simple not able to sustain a south-facing array, due east or due west are also acceptable with a minimum power loss.

 

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4. What if they get dirty?

 Even covered in dust, a PV panel will still generate electricity.  Much the same way that dust in the air seems to sparkle, dust on a solar panel will refract almost as much light onto the panel as it blocks.  However, the PV systems are weatherproof, so if they seem to be very dirty, simply hosing them off will be more than enough.

 

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5. How big of a system will I need?

That really depends on how much electricity you use.  If you have a high power bill, you will need a larger system  –  regardless of how large or small your property is.  The average residential customer will need about 5 kilowatts.  For details, please contact us and we’ll arrange a time to meet with you and discuss your electric needs.

 

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6. What maintenance do these systems require?

 The solar electric system is largely maintenance free.  If you see the PV panels getting excessively dirty, simply hosing them off will be all the cleaning they require.  The systems themselves are controlled by computer, so there is no need to do any adjusting.

 

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7. Can I sell my excess power back to my electric utility?

 Yes!  During the day, unused electric power is sent back into the utility power grid, to be distributed to other power customers who need it.  According to federal law, your utility company MUST pay you the market value of electricity for each Kilowatt Hour (KwH) of electricity that you send to them.  They pay you in the form of a credit on your electric bill, and at night you buy your power back from the utility, using up the credit you earned during the day.

 

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8. What if my electric utility won’t buy the power from me? 

Fortunately, they don’t have a choice.  They may stall you, or keep you on your current metering schedule, but they are federally obligated to pay you for the power you sell them.  And, because of the nature of electricity and how your property is tied into the grid, they cannot even have the option of not buying power from you.  The unused electrical power must go somewhere, and the only place it can go is the grid.  You don’t even need to worry about whether they’ll be honest with you—when you sell power back to them, your meter will spin backward!  At the end of the month, your power used will equal your power sold, and your meter won’t have changed.

In many cases, however, it is in the power companies’ best interest to buy your power. When the electric grid was put into place in the 1950’s, the designers could never have even imagined the amounts of power the grid would be required to carry. Today, the grid is over-stressed by having to carry so much more power than it was designed for. With that in mind, your solar system will generate power right where it is needed – in your neighborhood. All of the power you sell back into the utility will go into your local area to feed the closest demands for electricity. In this way, you are actually helping them by reducing their transmission cost and saving wear-and-tear on the grid.

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9. Can I get a system that will keep my house powered in case of a blackout? 

Yes!  We offer battery backup systems so that in the event of a blackout, you can run your house off of the batteries, day or night, using the solar panels as a changing mechanism for your batteries.  This way, even if your power goes out or is shut down by your utility while they do power-line repair, you won’t even notice.

 

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10. How long does it take to install?

It takes about 3 days to complete the installation, most of it outside.  We may need access to your garage or attic during the installation, but most of the work is done on the roof or on the side of the house.  During the installation, we can send out fliers to your neighbors to let them know what we’re doing and to apologize for any inconvenience.

 

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11. Are there any permits I need to obtain?  What about inspections?

Yes and No.  Yes, there are several permits and agreements that must be filed, as well as a building inspection before installation may proceed.  However, we will take care of everything for you, so that you don’t have anything to worry about.  We take pride in supporting our customers through every step of the process, so that everything is done in a timely manner and installation is done as quickly as possible.

 

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12. How long is the warranty on this equipment?

The equipment is under warranty for 10- 20 years depending on the products, including an 80% guarantee. If any of the panels drop below 80% of normal output, the manufacturer will replace them free of charge under your warranty.

 

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13. Will it damage my roof?

Not at all.  Our installers are trained not only in solar electric systems, but also in all kinds of roofing.  From normal shingles to Spanish tile and even flat-topped shake, we can install solar systems into any kind of roof without doing any damage or creating any leaks.

 

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14. How much do these systems cost?

The cost is based off of the size of the system you need to offset your utility bills and installation. For a more detailed breakdown, please Contact Us and we’d be happy to arrange a meeting to determine your system needs to help create an estimate.

 

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15. Are there any rebates or tax incentives to help pay for the system?

Yes! The California Energy Commission is offering a rebate on new solar electric systems. That works out to about 32% of the cost of your installed system, paid for by the State of California.

16. When will I start seeing results?

Immediately! The very next bill after you install a solar energy system you will see a reduction or elimination of your electric bill. You may not even be billed for a full year, at the end of which your power purchased is compared to your power sold to determine how much to bill you. In many cases, our customers report having absolutely no electricity bill after installing a solar electric system.

 

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17. How long will it take to pay off?

It really depends on what the energy market will do.  If you assume that energy rates will remain the same, then the system will pay for itself within 10-12 years.  However, if you assume that energy rates will increase at all, payback starts to happen much faster.  For the past 6 years, energy rates have been climbing at an average of 10% per year.  At that growth rate, your solar electric system will have paid for itself within 6-8 years, and even faster as energy rates continue to climb faster and faster.

 

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18. Can I install it myself to save money?

 

You can, but we do not recommend it.  Installing a solar electric system takes electrical expertise, roofing experience, and lots of patience in dealing with city, county, and even state officials.  We do all the permit processing, arrange all the site inspections, coordinate with your utility to arrange interconnect agreements, file your warranty papers, and actually do the installation.  If you feel that you would prefer to do the installation and paperwork yourself, we can sell you just the equipment and leave the rest to you.  For most customers, however, we recommend that you allow either us or another state licensed electrical contractor to do the installation.

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19. Is there financing available?

Yes, financing is available! Financing a solar system is a convenient and affordable way to purchase a solar system. For more information on financing your solar system, please Contact Us or check out our Finance page to get prequalified.

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1. Local And Responsive
2. Knowledge
3. Experience With Any Size Project
4. Competitive Pricing
5. Local Owners, Local Crews, Local Business, We Live Here

Address

1719 N 11th Ave, Hanford, CA 93230
phone# (559) 410-8640
fax# (559) 584-4343
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