Can I put no money down and own my system?
Yes! Your solar system will pay for itself over the years but in the meantime, you have many options when it comes to the initial cost. You can pay cash (with $0 down), finance or lease your system. Let our solar consultant help you find the right fit for you and your family.
I’ve heard solar is expensive, how much does the average system cost?
The size and cost of each solar system is different. Our solar energy consultants factor in how much energy (kWhs) you use and whether or not you want to be connected to PG&E or go off the grid. We will sit down with you and your utility bills to determine how the right sized system for you. From there our solar consultants will determine how many panels are necessary to power your home or business. The cost of the system depends on the number of panels your home requires and where they are mounted.
I don’t want solar panels on my roof, what are my other options?
Roof mounted solar panels are common when you think of solar however there are many other options. We can build custom ground or raised mounts on your property. We can also build a custom trellis attached to your home. We have a skilled installation crew that can build many different mounting systems to fit your vision for your home or business.
I live in a HOA, can I still install solar?
Yes you can. We will work with your Home Owners Association to get your solar project approved.
Which direction should my panels face to produce the most power?
Typically south/ west facing panels produce the most energy. If your roof is not south/ west facing or if it is partially shaded, the energy output will be somewhat lower. We can help you determine what is practical for your home and the amount of power you can practically generate from the space you have.
What if I can’t afford to purchase a system?
You can finance or lease your system. We have options for solar leases, loans and other financing programs.
Will my solar system work at night?
Yes! While your solar panels will not produce any actual energy at night, you will still be able to power your house with the excess power your panels have created throughout the day. Your panels work hard throughout the day to produce as much energy as they can and what you do not use in the daytime is stored onto the grid. When the sun goes down and your panels rest for the night you will be able to draw on the excess energy you have created.
Do I have to get permits to install a solar system?
Yes, but let us take care of that for you. Sit back, relax and let A.M. Sun Solar handle all the paperwork, permitting and installation. All you need to do is call us and we will do the rest.
If I purchase my solar, how does that work with taxes?
There is federal tax incentive of 30% that makes going solar even more appealing. Please note this incentive will expire December 31st, 2016. Our solar consultants or your tax professional can help walk you through this process.
How do solar cells work?
A solar cell, sometimes called a photovoltaic cell, is a device that converts light energy into electrical energy. A single solar cell creates a very small amount of energy (about .6 volts DC) so they are usually grouped together in an integrated electrical panel called a solar panel. Sunlight is form of energy and the light captured by a solar cell is converted into electricity by an inverter.
When it is cloudy or foggy, will my solar electric system still work?
Yes, the solar electric system will continue to operate under fog or cloud cover but its output will be reduced. The solar electric system’s power output is relative to the “depth” of the cloud cover and how much light gets in, but typical coastal fog only reduces power output by 50%. Winter storm clouds will cause substantially greater reduction but the system will still produce energy.
Does it make sense to install a solar system if we are moving in a couple of years?
Probably. Most real estate experts believe that given the concerns about energy costs, a solar system will significantly raise a home’s value. One source, the Appraisal Journal, states that the value of your home is increased by $20 for every $1 reduction in annual operating costs resulting from installed energy efficiency measures or energy generation systems. We recommend checking in with your real estate agent to determine if solar is the right solution for you.
Can you put solar on a flat roof?
Yes, most commercial solar electric systems are installed on flat roofs. The solar panels are then mounted on “tilt-racks” which put the panels at the optimum angle and face them in the right direction.
Is the weight of the system too much for my roof?
No, solar modules are very lightweight. The combined weight of the rails and solar modules is only 3 lbs per square foot.
How long does it take to install a solar electric system?
Depending on the size and complexity, it usually takes between two to five days to install your solar electric system. There can be delays on the process due to permitting, inspections and approval processes from PG&E. We will keep you updated on the progress every step of the way.
Once installed, will I need to clean the solar panels?
Not usually. In most areas, there is sufficient rain to clean the panels. However, if you are in a dusty location (near a busy dirt road, urban area, etc.) you may benefit from cleaning the panels before summer. If necessary, a hose stream is usually sufficient for cleaning. We do not recommend walking on or over the panels to clean them, using metal, hard, or abrasive methods, or spraying water on the panels when they are very hot.
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How long will it take to see if I can save with solar?
With a 10 minute phone call, our solar consultants can tell you if your home and our solutions can bring you savings with solar. We’ll start with some questions and even offer you a free energy rate analysis. We’ll also take a look at your home layout with satellite imagery and discuss your individual needs. Fill out this form or call us at 1-877-AM-SUN to get started today.