Here are some of the most commonly asked questions you’ll have when considering solar for your home.

How much would it cost to power my ____ sq ft home with solar?

Unfortunately the answer isn’t that simple because the system size is based on your daily electrical usage, or daily kilowatt usage. A kilowatt is a unit of measurement for energy meaning 1000 watts and is commonly abbreviated as kw. Small energy efficient homes use less energy , while larger homes tend to use more energy to meet higher demands.

Does a PV system add value to my home?

Absolutely! In fact, a new study from Berkeley has determined with real California home sales statistics that a PV system does increase the resale value of your home.

Here’s a link to the article if you would like to read more (the link opens in a new window):  “Solar Adds To Home Value”

How long does the typical installation take?

On a single story, composite shingle roof, the installation may only take three days. Larger more complicated systems would most likely last longer.

Who is in charge of communicating this installation with my HOA?

Solartronics deals with your HOA. Thanks to the Solar Rights Law, HOA’s do not govern much authority in regards to where and how the PV systems get installed.

Are there rebates or incentives to help lower the cost of going solar?

Yes. Both the state of California and the Federal government have stepped up. Current government rebates and incentives cover around 40% of the cost! Payback is at an all time low, act fast before these rebates expire.

Does the Solar system store electricity?

A home powered by solar is still connected to the electrical grid and will receive electricity from the utility at night when the PV system is not producing. Keeping the system tied to the electrical grid is the most economical installation because it negates the need for expensive batteries.

How long will the system last, life cycle?

A solar electric system is a lifelong investment that carries many different warranties. The most important warranty is the 25 year product performance guarantee which guarantees that the modules produce at least 80% of their listed output for 25 years to come.

What is the difference between DC and AC outputs? How about STC, CEC and PTC?

AC stands for alternating current, which is the type of current your home and appliances run. DC stands for direct current, which is the type of electricity that your PV system generates.  In order to get the electricity from DC to AC current, it must run through the Inverter.

STC, CEC and PTC are different ways to measure the output of a single module, or entire system. STC stands for standard testing conditions and represents the modules output under the manufacturers standard testing conditions. PTC stands for practical testing conditions. The PTC rating is derived from the NREL (National renewable energy laboratory) and is more conservative than the STC rating. The CEC rating is the most conservative rating system and most accurate when compared to real production results.

What is the Solar Rights Law?

The California Solar Rights Act allows for solar easements on properties which are not owned by the owner. In other words, if the appropriate steps are taken, the solar host airspace above the P.V. system is guaranteed to be free of shade from vegetation growth, increased building heights as a result of:  remodeling, and construction of new buildings on adjacent parcels can affect the amount of sunlight reaching a solar energy system in the future.

What about Building and Safety, do we get inspections?

Solartronics will design the blue prints and pull the permit for the solar installation.  There will be two inspections, one by Building and Safety, and one by the Utility company.  Solartronics will arrange and attend these inspections.

What kind of warranty is there on the equipment and workmanship.

The solar panels are carry a 25 year warranty, the inverter has a 10 year warranty, and the workmanship is also warranted for 10 years, including roof leaks.

How many years will the solar panels last?

Solar panels (modules) degrade at about ½% per year.  So, in 20 years, your system should still be producing around 90% of its original production.

Feel free to contact us if you have any additional questions. We’re here to help!