Q: What if my project does not consist of solar? Are there rebates and incentives available for other energy efficiency upgrades?
A: The answer to this is YES! There are multiple rebates and incentives available for projects other than solar. With so many being available and with many of them being sensitive or relative to the area in which you reside, we welcome you to visit some of these links to see what will fit your specific projects/upgrades. . Often times, your best source for this information is your utility provider or their website.
Please note: We are not affiliated with any of these companies or sources. Please verify and research any and all information found on these sites:
Q: Will I qualify for the investment tax credit (ITC)?
A: A consumer must have a federal tax liability to take advantage of the solar investment tax credit.
Q: What is an ITC?
A: This is a one – time credit, but may be carried forward, if not completely useable in the system installation tax year. Please consult a tax professional for current rules, as this may vary.
Q: Is there a cap on how much is given for the ITC?
A: Currently, the solar ITC for residential solar system owners is 30% of the total system cost with a no cap limit.
Q: How long will the 30% ITC be available to homeowners?
A: It is uncertain to say for sure, however, currently it is said to be that the tax credits for Solar Energy Systems are available at 30% through December 31, 2019. As of the year 2020, the credit will decrease to 26% and as of the year 2021 the credit will decrease again to 22%.
Q: Where can I find the current IRS federal tax form for the Investment Credits?
A: The form you would need is referred to as Form 3468 and is available at http://www.irs.gov/formspubs.
Q: What if I do not qualify for the solar tax credit?
A: Often times, parties without a federal tax liability will use third-party system owner arrangements to install solar so that the third party can take advantage of the solar ITC, passing the savings to the solar system host customer.
Q: What is a cool roof? Do they qualify as energy efficient?
A: They do qualify as energy efficient. A cool roof is one that has been designed to reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat than a standard roof. Cool roofs can be made of a highly reflective type of paint, a sheet covering, or highly reflective tiles or shingles. Nearly any type of building can benefit from a cool roof. Standard or dark roofs can reach temperatures of 150°F or more in the summer sun. A cool roof under the same conditions could stay more than 50°F cooler and save energy and money by using less air conditioning. Energy efficient roofing is indicated by its Solar Reflective Index (SRI). The SRI designates a roofing material’s ability to stop the material from absorbing the sun’s heat by how it reflects the sun.
Q: What should you consider with Cool Roof Technology?
A: Cool roofs achieve the greatest cooling savings in hot climates, but can increase energy costs in colder climates due to reduced beneficial wintertime heat gains. In warm, moist locations, cool roof surfaces can be more susceptible to algae or mold growth than hot roofs. Some roof coatings include special chemicals that prevent mold or algae growth for a few years. In cold climates, roofs can accumulate moisture through condensation, and it is possible that cool roofs might be more susceptible to accumulating moisture than dark roofs of the same design. Condensation can be avoided using proper design techniques.
Q: How much money will I save by making the transition to solar?
A: Unfortunately, there is no single or simple answer. Savings depend on how much you pay your utility and how much your utility will pay you for any excess power that you generate with your solar system, also known as Net Metering.
Q: What is net metering?
A: Net metering is a policy that allows homeowners to receive the full retail value for the electricity that their solar energy system produces. The term net metering refers to the method of accounting for the photovoltaic (PV) system’s electricity production. Net metering allows homeowners with PV systems to use any excess electricity they produce to offset their electric bill. As the homeowner’s PV system produces electricity, the kilowatts are first used for any electric appliances in the home. If the PV system produces more electricity than the homeowner needs, the extra kilowatts are fed into the utility grid.
Q: Do we provide Solar Thermal to homeowners?
A: Currently, we are not offering any solar water-heating systems but we are looking to be able to provide this to our homeowners in the near future.
Q: What type of panels do we provide to homeowners?
A: We provide home owners with what is called a photovoltaic system. This is also known as a PV system.
Q: What is a photovoltaic system?
A: A PV system is made up of different components. These include PV modules (groups of PV cells), which are commonly called PV panels; one or more batteries; a charge regulator or controller for a stand-alone system; an inverter for a utility-grid-connected system and when alternating current (ac) rather than direct current (dc) is required; wiring; and mounting hardware or a framework.
Q: What manufacturer is used for our solar panels?
A: Our panels are proudly made in the U.S.A. We only use and provide SolarWorld panels. These panels come with a 25 year manufacturer warranty.
Q: What types of guarantees or warranties are offered for SolarWorld panels?
A: Module manufacturer SolarWorld has doubled the duration of its workmanship warranty on its entire portfolio of solar panel products to 20 years. The extension comes on the 20th anniversary year of SolarWorld’s 1997 establishment of its 25-year performance guarantee, which declined from 90% of nameplate power to 80% at 10 years. SolarWorld was among the first to offer a 25-year linear guarantee, which provided better protection because the percentage of output protection declines by no more than 0.7 percentage points each year after the first year. SolarWorld’s Sunmodule Protect solar panel, which features glass on the front and back, was introduced with a 30-year linear guarantee, with annual degradation of no more than 0.35 percentage points.
SolarWorld also offers a Linear Performance Guarantee. This guarantees a maximum performance reduction of a fixed percentage over a period of 25 years. A minimum value is set for the output of the SolarWorld modules every year for a 25-year period. This means that the guaranteed performance of the solar module is higher at every point in time than with the standard tiered guarantee and therefore provides real added value.
**Please refer to http://www.solarworld-usa.com/products-and-services/sunmodule-solar-panels/american-made-solar-panel-warranty
Q: How big a solar energy system do I need?
A: The size of solar system you need depends on several factors such as how much electricity or hot water or space heat you use, how, the size of your roof, and how much you’re willing to invest. Also, do you want the system to supply your complete energy usage or to supplant a portion of your higher cost energy usage? You can contact a system designer/installer to determine what type of system would suit your needs.
Q: How long will it take to complete my project?
A: The time frame will vary based on the project specifically. Often times, designing and engineering plans are individually customized so to ensure a smooth installation, a standard estimate is approximately 3 months for services such as solar or anything that would require city permits and metering. However, most jobs are completed within 7-14 days, if not sooner.
Q: How would I find the right finance company?
A: We are here to handle every step from beginning to end to make certain everything runs smoothly for you and that the process is hassle free. We are privileged enough to be able to work with multiple financiers in house to ensure we can provide a solution to all financial situations. We can even be of assistance if you have had a bankruptcy previously.
Q: Will we have to pay any extra fees for permits, engineering, or installation?
A: The contact amount is to include all costs for installation, engineering, and permits.
Q: What is considered a low bill when looking into making the transition to solar electricity?
A: There is no such thing as a “low” bill. Typically speaking, it is homeowners paying $100 – $150 or more a month for their electricity that see the most benefits and savings from making the transition to solar. That being said, homeowner’s paying less than that still qualify for solar and will still see a savings. The only difference is that you simply need a smaller solar system than most others.
Q: What is an inverter and why do we need one?
A: An inverter’s basic function is to “invert” the direct current (DC) output into alternating current (AC). AC is the standard used by all commercial appliances, which is why many view inverters as the “gateway” between the photovoltaic (PV) system and the energy off-taker. The conversion is performed by a solar inverter; also known as a grid tied inverter.
Q: What types of inverters do you offer?
A: We offer an array of inverters ranging from micro inverters, central inverters, as well as string inverters.
Q: Do you sell or lease your solar systems to homeowners?
A: We only work on a purchase basis being that it is most beneficial for homeowners. After all, you are the only one who should receive any and all rebates and incentives that are pertinent to your specific project or upgrades. We do not and will not sell a system on a lease or PPA.
Q: How do I clean my solar system?
A: With limited maintenance, your solar system will operate at peak performance for many years. Cleaning intervals will vary depending on site-specific factors such as annual rainfall, roof tilt (some arrays mounted at steep tilt angles in locations with hard rains will somewhat self-clean), and proximity of factors causing dust or debris on the array (such as trees or a frequently-traveled dirt road). It is best to consult your solar installer for a recommended cleaning schedule. SolarWorld recommends annual servicing to inspect electrical and mechanical connections for cleanliness, tightness, possible damage, and to ensure that the PV system is operating properly
Q: Will my system still generate power during a black out?
A: For the safety of workers attempting to fix power outages, solar systems that are connected to the electrical grid are required by utility regulations to shut off during blackouts. If you wish for your system to generate power during a blackout, you must purchase a battery backup or a traditional generator.