Frequently Asked Questions about Solar

How does solar work?

Solar photovoltaic panels are made up of tiny silicon cells that collect solar radiation from the sun and convert it into an electrical current. The solar panels are all wired together that creates an array. The electricity from the array travels into an inverter located on your property. The inverter then converts the “Direct Current” or DC from the array into what’s called “Alternating Current” or AC. This is the electricity that is used to run appliances, TVs, computers, etc. It’s as simple as that! You are now harnessing the power of the sun.

Will a solar PV system work on my home, farm, or business?

There is a very good chance solar will work on any home, farm, or business. The biggest factor will be the amount of sunlight the property gets throughout the day. The second most important factor is the amount of open roof or ground space available at the property. Sunworks will visit your property and give you a FREE solar evaluation. While our Specialists are at the property they will survey the site to evaluate what size solar power system will fit within the property as well as your personal and financial needs.

How do I receive my credits for the solar energy produced?

When you begin to generate your own solar power, your electricity bill will drop significantly. How much you can save depends on the size of your solar system and your electricity usage. Any power that you don’t use from your solar electric system literally spins your meter backwards, and you receive a credit from your utility company. This is called “Net Metering”. The credits can be applied at retail rates, and in the middle of the day that means your credits add up quickly. You then draw the power back at night when rates are low. This is called “Time of Use” metering. Additionally, in most states, the more power you use, the more you are charged based on your tiered usage. Solar helps by eliminating your usage in the high tiers and thus brings down your bills by shaving off the expensive power first. This is called “Tier Shaving”. Lastly, electric rates have historically gone up at a higher rate than inflation over time. So the ability to fix your long term cost of energy yields a higher and higher return on your investment over time.

Should I wait for new solar technology before I buy?

The answer is No. The time to invest in solar is right now with the generous tax rebates, state incentives, and with current technology you can’t go wrong. As long as the sun continues to shine and we continue to use electricity for our homes and businesses the benefits of solar will never change! Sunworks offers many solar panel options to our customers. We continuously evaluate new solar technology and will offer it to our customers once it becomes a reliable and cost effective option.

How do I know what size solar system I’ll need?

Many variables go into correctly sizing your solar system since there is no one-size fits all solar. Each home and business is different as well as each owners needs and financial situation. Some of the major factors Sunworks takes into consideration while sizing the system is; energy needs, ground or roof space, and the financial situation. Sunworks will provide an accurate custom proposal to help the owner decide the best possible solution for them.

Is there maintenance required?

There are virtually no moving parts to a solar electric system so very little maintenance is required. We recommend that shade is kept to a minimum and to occasionally wash off the panels with a garden hose. Sunworks can also take care of all your systems maintenance and monitoring through THEworks solar packages. By utilizing “THEworks” solar package option—the Sunworks service team proactively monitors your system output to ensure that your system is performing as it should be. In the unlikely event that your system underperforms, Sunworks will notify you and help to immediately remedy the situation. With “THEworks” package maintenance, monitoring, and warranty repairs are included as part of our service package.

Is solar power reliable and how long will it last?

You bet it is. Solar technology has been around for over 50 years with many of the initial solar technology still in operation today. The solar systems being built today are extremely reliable and the solar panels used are designed to produce at least 80% of their initial power over 25 years. In fact, the solar panels carry a manufacturer’s warranty of 25 years and the inverters carry a 10-year warranty. In addition, Sunworks offers a warranty of at least 10 years on installation and system performance. Most solar systems will far outlast their warranties. Since the efficiency and costs of these systems and panels have significantly improved over the last 5 years, solar continues to be an affordable and safe investment.

What solar panels do you offer?

Sunworks only works with the best products within the industry that we have personally tested to perform at the highest standards. Sunworks will recommend various panels and equipment depending on a case-by-case basis. For Sunworks to professionally recommend and install a solar system it must be cost-effective, readily available, and come from a reputable brand with a quality warranty.

What happens when it’s dark or cloudy?

When a solar system is properly sized these factors are taken into accountability. The solar system will produce its best energy in direct sunlight and will produce slightly less energy on a cloudy day. During the night, your system does not produce any energy. However, your Sunworks solar electric system is designed to draw enough power during the sunny days to offset the cloudy, rainy, and dark periods of the year. The solar system will be interconnected to the local utility grid so power can automatically be drawn from the grid whenever needed. No power interruptions will be experienced as the switch between the solar PV system and the utility grid happens seamlessly and effortlessly.

Is switching to solar power difficult?

Nope. Sunworks handles everything. We take care of all permits, rebates, equipment, installation, and interconnection paperwork so you don’t have to worry about anything. Sunworks gets your solar system up and running as quickly and smoothly as possible allowing you to start saving money and using clean energy from day one. You won’t notice any changes inside your home, farm, or business besides your significantly reduced electric bill.

How long does it take to get a solar system up and running?

For a typical residential installation, it will take about 3-5 days and your typical agricultural and small commercial installation will take roughly 1-3 weeks from the day we begin the installation. The length of the projects time depends on the complexity of the property and the size of the system. Sunworks will include an estimated installation time in your custom designed Sunworks proposal.

What permits are needed?

As part of Sunworks service to you, we will obtain all building permits and design your system to meet required building codes. We will arrange for the electrical, building and utility inspections. Our representative will be on-site to make sure that everything is up to code. Sunworks takes care of your project every step of the way so you don’t have to.

What if my roof is older and needs repairs?

It is ideal to install solar panels on a roof that is in good condition. While a Sunworks Solar Specialist is out at your property prior to the installation they will check to make sure that your roof is structurally sound for a solar installation. Then once the solar panels are installed, they actually help to protect your roof from the elements.

I wonder if a solar system makes financial sense for me?

Solar is a wise financial investment for just about any property owner for various reasons. You will save money on electrical costs for years to come as well as increase the value of your home, farm, or commercial building. Typically our solar customers see a strong Return-On-Investment (ROI) within 6-10 years. With some areas offering greater rebates and incentives you might even pay back your system even sooner.

With Sunworks offering many available financing options it is also possible to Go Solar with zero or minimal upfront costs, so that you can start saving right away.

When going solar what rebates and incentives are available?

When someone decides to go solar, many times the fact that the incentives and rebates are both real and substantial is a large factor. Both the state and the federal government offer a combination of incentives and tax credits that cover nearly 50 percent of the total systems cost. These are tremendous financial incentives to homes, farms, or businesses that choose solar. An important thing to keep in mind is that these government programs are that most rebates decline over time. So now is the time to take advantage of these incentives while the rebates are still high.

Click here for more information on the California Solar Initiative.

Disclaimer: You should always confirm the availability of the incentives and consult your tax advisor about the eligible solar financial benefits.

When do I realize the Investment Tax Credit (ITC)?

The Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for solar electric is 30 percent of the cost, un-capped for both residential and commercial solar installations. You will realize the ITC tax credit when you file your tax returns.

Should I notify my home owner’s insurance if I go solar?

Sunworks recommends that homeowners contact their insurance carrier prior to installation to determine the impact solar will have on the yearly premium. Typically, a homeowner will see very little impact on their premium from the installation of a solar electric system; however it is still in your best interest that you ensure coverage at the start of your project. In addition, Sunworks recommends that even though solar systems come with a long term manufacturer and workmanship warranty, your homeowners or liability insurance should cover the cost of any unexpected accidents, or weather related issues.

Does Sunworks have financing options available?

Yes, Sunworks offers a variety of financing options to fit your specific needs and budget for your home or business. You can start experiencing the benefits of solar power immediately with Sunworks personal financing or PPA’s. And with “THEworks” package, we install and maintain the equipment on your site for just a low monthly payment.

What is included in “THEworks” Solar Package?

Your free Sunworks monitoring service will alert you and Sunworks of any changes in performance. If we see a problem, we will give you call to help diagnose the problem and dispatch a repair team to fix it if needed.

“THEworks” solar package includes an extended warranty on workmanship and hardware through the end of your lease. Sunworks will repair or replace broken components at no cost to you.

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