Solar Faq's

FAQ

Why install a solar energy system?

Grid-tied solar electricity offers a way to fix your electricity rate for more than 25 years. The maintenance-free panels come with a 25-year production warranty and the expected useful lifespan is up to 50 years (output starts to slow down over time but is still significant). A grid-tied PV system can protect you from electricity price increases for decades. That’s a feeling of energy security that is hard to duplicate. Many of our clients feel better knowing that they are producing their own electricity without any environmental harm – that they are part of the energy solution and no longer part of the problem.

Why go solar now? Aren’t new technologies on the way?

Simply put – the sooner you get solar, the sooner you will enjoy its benefits! If you wait for some unproven technology down the road, you will have missed the opportunity to generate your own power now. Solar is like saving for retirement – the sooner you start doing it, the better.

How long does an installation take?

Our typical residential solar power job takes us about 40 hours of installation time on the roof, and about 10 hours inside the house. We typically send two technicians, so most jobs are completed in 2-3 days.

Will it really pay for itself?

Many customers feel that the pride and peace of mind of solar ‘pays for itself’ as soon as the system powers on. From a financial point of view, solar will recoup the outright cash investment in roughly 7-11 years depending on specific incentives that may be offered in your area as well as the cost of electricity from your utility.

What incentives are available in Colorado?

Currently, the Federal Investment Tax Credit (FITC) is in place at a value of 30% of the cost of the PV system. The FITC is set to ramp down to 26% in 2020 and then to 22% for 2021 at which point it ends for residential clients, but remains permanent for commercial clients at 10%. Please consult your tax professional to determine how this will affect your personal tax situation. Incentives change periodically, we keep up to date on all current incentives offered by utilities within our service territory and can answer any questions you may have concerning them.

Does the installation surface (roof) need to face directly south?

The ideal roof orientation in our area of Colorado is 167 degrees on the compass (known as ‘solar south’), but an installation of +/- 50 degrees (117-217) is also fine. Within this range, power output stays within seven or eight percent of maximum. Even more easterly and westerly roof installations are viable, especially on shallower roofs. For example, a 7/12 roof that is due east or due west still achieves 77% of a system’s potential performance. More important than angle, generally, is shading. We don’t want to see any shading on a solar roof from 9 am to 3 pm, year-round. Technological improvements such as micro-inverters can compensate for shading issues to some extent. The best way to know for certain if your roof is viable for solar is to contact us for a free solar evaluation.

Does solar increase home value?

Yes! Several reputable studies have demonstrated that solar homes have a higher market value as well as sell substantially quicker.

Do solar panels require maintenance in the snow?

Snow and ice are a reality of installing solar arrays in Colorado and we design our systems to withstand the toughest weather we get. The reality is, after a snowstorm, your solar panels will be covered in snow. Don’t panic! Usually they ‘self-clear’ quite well on the next sunny day. On an annual basis, the amount of energy production loss due to snow is fairly minor. If you are determined to do something to keep your panels clear, we suggest that you purchase a plastic snow rake and exercise extreme caution when removing snow from the panels when using a ladder or working near electrical components.

What is a grid-tied PV system?

Simply put, this type of system is connected to the grid and does NOT require batteries. When the system is producing electricity, the home may consume the power being generated and if there is excess power being created it is sent back onto the grid and accounted for via a Net Meter. The Net Meter is provided by the utility company and reads both forward and backward to allow for your energy production to be credited to your account for later use.

What is an off-grid PV system?

This type of system requires batteries and is intended for homes that are built in remote areas where the grid is cost prohibitive to bring to the site or for individuals who prefer to have complete energy independence.

What is a battery back-up system?

This type of system requires batteries and is intended to back-up “critical loads” (refrigerator, furnace, etc…) within the home and is also grid connected to allow for net metering benefits as well.

Still have questions? We’re here to help.

970-249-0836

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