SOLAR FAQ’S

 

Q: Can I sell electricity back to the grid?

A: No.  This program is no longer available with SCE, SDG&E, PG&E, or LADWP.

Q: Are there any tax credits, rebates, or other incentives available?

A: Yes!  Both residential and commercial solar installations are eligible for a 30% Federal tax credit.  For example; if your solar system installation costs $30,000; you would be eligible for a $9,000 Federal tax credit.  There is no limit to the 30% Federal Investment Tax Credit.  Businesses that install solar are eligible to depreciate 85% of the gross installation cost in year one on their Federal taxes.  LADWP customers receive a one-time cash rebate based on solar system size.  We will include any tax credits, rebates, and incentives in your custom solar proposal.    

Q: How long is the payback period if I invest in a solar system?

A:  Residential payback is typically 5 years but can be up to 7 years if installing on a clay tile roof.  Commercial payback is typically 3-4 years. 

Q: Do I have to pay cash; or invest in my solar system?

A:  No.  We offer financing options for $0 out of pocket that provide immediate savings while adding value to your home or business.

Q: If I have solar and the grid goes down; will I lose power?

A: Yes.  Unless you install battery storage along with your solar system a grid-tied solar system will lose power when there is a blackout. 

Q: I have an old roof that needs to be replaced; can I install solar?

A: Yes.  We work with contractors that will re-roof your roof at cost.  The rule of thumb is that if your roof has 5 years or less on its warranty then the re-roof should be completed with the solar installation.  Doing the work together also makes your re-roof eligible for the 30% Federal Investment Tax Credit.      

Q: I’m buying an electric vehicle soon.  Can you install my electric vehicle charging station?

A: Yes.  We will gladly install a 50 Amp Level 2 electric vehicle charging outlet for your electric vehicle.  We do this at our cost. 

Q: I just installed air conditioning and my electric bill is going up.  Will solar cover this usage?

A: Yes.  We custom size every solar system to meet the onsite load of the home or business; including any potential improvements to the property that will increase on site energy consumption.

Q: I have a clay tile roof; can I install solar?

A: Yes!  We can install solar on any type of roof including Spanish clay tile, concrete tile, composition shingle, metal, or flat roofs.  Older wood shake roofs are no longer up to code and must be re-roofed with a different material to go solar.  

Q: What happens if I finance my solar system and sell my home before the loan is paid off?

A: Appraisers have added line items for solar systems in the appraisal.  The increased value the solar system adds to the property will more than offset the amount owed on the loan.  When the property is in escrow you would pay off your solar loan with the proceeds from the sale of the property just like you would with your mortgage.

Q:  Will a lien be recorded on my home if I finance the solar system?

A:  No.  We recommend lenders that use a UCC-1 filing to secure their loans which means that the loan is secured by the solar equipment and not the home.  If you choose to finance your solar system with the proceeds from your mortgage, re-finance, or home equity line of credit the lender would secure their loan with your real property. 

Q:  How long does it take to go solar?

A:  For residential properties it takes on average one month from signing the home improvement contract and utility paperwork to your solar system being turned on by the utility.  For commercial properties the process is longer; and can take up to six months for the solar system to be "commissioned" by the utility and turned on.  The actual construction of the solar system typically only takes one day with residential projects; and two weeks with commercial projects. 

Q: Does a solar system add value to my property?

A: Yes.  Residential appraisers have added a line item to their appraisals for solar systems.  They will value the solar system based on how old the equipment is and how big of an electric bill it will offset.  In general, for residential properties the solar system will add about two times its installation cost to the property’s value.  Commercial valuations can vary greatly depending on if the solar system is offsetting the tenants electric bill or the property owners.  In the case of the former; the solar system increases the cash flow of the property; increasing the value of the underlying property. 

Q:  Is there any necessary maintenance for my solar system?

A:  Yes.  It is recommended that the panels be sprayed down with water once a month (if it doesn't rain) to optimize energy production. 

 

 

 

 

BATTERY STORAGE FAQ’S

 

Q: I’m interested in battery backup.  How does that work?

A: For residential properties we can back up your critical loads (lights, refrigerator, outlets, etc.) with one, two, or three batteries.  These critical loads will continue to operate in a blackout and anything that was not backed up with the batteries will lose power.  For commercial properties businesses can stack several batteries together depending upon their needs.  Many businesses are installing batteries to reduce their commercial demand charges; which can be up to half of the bill for a business that uses a lot of energy in a short period of time (this is measured in 15 minute intervals).   

Q: Are there any tax credits, rebates, or other incentives for battery storage available?

A: Yes.  Battery storage is eligible for the 30% Federal Investment Tax Credit when paired with a solar system.  Currently there is also a one-time California state cash rebate for battery storage.  The rebate is based on the size of your battery storage system.  Businesses are also eligible to depreciate the battery storage system as a business expense.  We will include any tax credits, rebates, and incentives in your custom solar and storage proposal.    

Q: Can I finance my battery storage system?

A: Yes.  We offer both residential and commercial solar and storage financing with $0 out of pocket!