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Frequently Asked Solar Panel Questions

Our team at PowerOn Energy understands that not everyone can be an expert in the physics and economics of solar energy. With so many competitors offering varying solar solutions, knowing how to compare your options can be extremely challenging. We’re here to help you understand the ins and outs of choosing solar so that you appreciate the incredible benefits it will deliver and to help you make the most informed decision possible. Read through these FAQs and if you’re still left with questions, please contact us at 858.POWERON (769.3766) – someone from our team will be happy to provide personalized assistance!

The Value of Solar

How much will I pay for solar?

With every PowerOn energy solar installation, the goal is to zero out your utility bill. However, determining how much it will cost up front to install solar on your home requires that we take several factors into consideration. First, we look at your energy use to figure out how many panels you’ll need to meet your electricity needs. Then we determine which direction your home is facing and how much space you have for solar panels. We use this information to custom design your system so that it provides the right amount of energy combined with a locked-in energy rate so that you receive the biggest investment return possible.

How do solar panels improve my home’s value?

Solar panels provide not only monthly savings by locking in your energy rates, they also boost your home’s resale value. Most people with solar panels on their homes notice that their properties are on the market for shorter periods of time. They also see that they recover the extra solar investment they made through higher sale prices.

What are the financial benefits of Solar?

The main financial benefit of installing solar energy is to save money on your electricity bills. It’s also a great way to protect yourself from the rise of electricity rates in the future. How much you save depends on utility rates, solar policies and where you live in the Unites States. Fortunately for San Diego residents the savings are huge compared to the rest of the nation. In fact, San Diego ranks number 8 on the list for cities that receive the most value from a Solar installation.

Other than financial benefits to me, are their environmental benefits associated with Solar?

Absolutely. Solar power has both environmental and health benefits. Solar energy reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and reduces air pollution from chemicals like sulfur dioxide.

Why would I choose solar when I already pay low electricity rates?

Most estimates put electricity cost increases at 6% over 30 years, which means that every 12 years your bill will double. When you invest in solar, you’re locking in your energy costs at today’s energy prices so that you can stay at today’s low rates for the life of your solar system.

Financing for Solar

What’s better, buying or leasing solar panels?

Both have their benefits. Leasing is a popular option because it delivers electricity bill savings at a fixed rate for the entire time the panels are on your roof. They’re also great for those with limited capital. Cash purchases and financed purchases offer the benefit of bigger savings. We’ll help you determine if this will work for you based on your available funding and whether you can take advantage of tax credits.

How can I finance my solar?

For every unique customer there is a unique financing solution. We offer an array of choices to make it easy for you to invest in solar today. These include traditional leases, home equity financing, unsecured solar loans, power purchase agreements (PPAs), and of course cash purchases. We can also assist with government incentive programs like YGRENE, HERO and CaliforniaFIRST financing.

Can you explain PACE Programs?

If you’re looking for a low-risk way to get into solar, this option is a great choice. If you have a business or home within participating regions, you can use this program to roll the up-front costs of solar energy into your their property taxes. In other words, it’s a no-cost way to finance your entire solar project through voluntary tax assessments. If you move before the investment is repaid, the system is transferred to the new building owner, leaving you free of financial risk.

Solar Equipment and Performance

Who makes the best solar panels?

At PowerOn Energy, we deliver only the highest-quality equipment for your solar system to ensure you receive maintenance-free, long-term renewable energy. We source our equipment from the top manufacturers in the country and provide a 25-year power warranty for all our panels. Some of the brands we use include SolarWorld, SunPower and Canadian Solar.

How do I calculate how many panels I need?

Every solar system we design and install is customized for your energy use, location, and expectations. Homes with more occupants, lower solar potential because of their roof’s orientation, and/or a desire to generate enough energy for all of their energy needs will require larger systems. Conversely, those buildings with fewer occupants and/or higher solar potential will need smaller systems. The efficiency of the equipment you use and the shape of your roofline will also play important roles. In other words, the number of panels you require can only be determined when we do the necessary calculations in consultation with you.

Do I need to monitor my panels to ensure they’re working well?

With every solar power installation we complete, we provide a monitoring system that can be accessed online through a computer or smartphone. This allows you to check in with your system periodically to see how well it’s performing.

Will I have to maintain my solar panels?

Solar photovoltaic systems are designed without moving parts, which makes them incredibly low-maintenance. When calculating the size of your system, we are sure to include estimates for some dirt and grime – which can lower their efficiency slightly – on your panels, to ensure our estimates provide you with the desired output even with a little dust. We ensure even greater, decades-long reliability by delivering only the highest-quality equipment possible. That said, we do recommend occasional cleaning of your panels by spraying them down with a stream of water. Keep in mind that solar was originally used to power equipment in space – with panels that have been operating for decades in harsh space environments!

What is the lifespan of the average solar system?

In general, solar PV technology is very reliable. Systems that were installed 40 years ago – some of which are even in space – are still working well today. When considering how long your panels will last, the biggest questions are who manufactured them and will they provide a long-term warranty for their equipment? While some manufacturers produce sub-par quality products, at PowerOn Energy, we’re sure to include only the highest-quality equipment for our clients. Additionally, we also only work with equipment makers that have been around for a long time and can confidently provide 25-year power warranties for the panels and 25-year warranties for the inverters.

Should I know what central, micro and SolarEdge inverters are?

When comparing different solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, you’ll want to know the difference between central and micro inverters because of the impact on how efficient your system will be. All solar PV systems require an inverter to change direct current from the solar panels into alternating current for the building or home. Central inverters are simpler systems that connect all the panels in a string, but this means that they can only produce as much power as that generated by the lowest-producing panel in the array. Micro inverters, on the other hand, convert the energy of each panel separately which allows the system to produce more energy than a central inverter system. At PowerOn we use all types of inverters, but recommend and use the best of the best on the market to give our clients the greatest return on their investment. SolarEdge power optimizers act as a hybrid between micro and central inverters. SolarEdge technology provides benefits like shading and chop of roofs the same way central inverters function. What makes SolarEdge inverters so efficient is their ability to work independently of each other, resulting in optimization of maximum potential for every solar panel instead of a maximum potential for the entire system. Our experienced PowerOn team will recommend the best option for you based on our evaluation of your energy needs.

Solar and Utility Providers

What do I need to know about net metering?

Net metering is a unique relationship that you establish with your utility provider when you install and hook up your solar panels to your local energy grid. Rather than having batteries in your own home to store the energy your solar panels produce, you’ll feed your energy to the utility company’s energy mix and in return, they’ll provide you with credit for the energy you’ve generated. So in the months when you generate more power than you require, you’ll receive credited energy that you can access in the months when you don’t produce enough energy for your needs. Rather than paying a monthly electric bill, this will be reflected on a true-up bill from your utility company which shows your energy production and energy consumption balance. The net result is to zero out your energy bill by producing enough or more energy than you consume.

How soon will my utility bill reflect my solar savings, and what happens if SDGE rates increase?

When designing your system, our goal is to ensure your monthly solar loan payment is lower than your average utility bill. Your initial investment in a solar system that is sized to meet all of your energy needs will trigger incredible future savings on your energy bill. The other good news is that when SDGE increases their power rates – they generally raise them 7% every year – your solar loan rate will remain the same, insulating you from the potential impact of power price hikes.

The PowerOn Energy Difference

Why choose PowerOn Energy for your solar installation?

Our San Diego-based company works with established suppliers with years of experience. Since we surpass our competitors by continually providing top tier equipment a competitive prices, backed by a solid warranty program, we’ve grown to be one of the most trusted providers in the region. We also provide industry-leading financing options to make it easy for virtually any homeowner or business to get into solar.

How long does it take to go from inquiry to installation?

You start off by giving our PowerOn Energy office a call and requesting a customized quote. From there, we’ll walk you through the following steps:

1. Complete an Energy Analysis

In this phase, we analyze lots of data. To start, unlike many competitors, we look at your SDGE power bill history against your rate structure to determine what solar system size you require in order to get the biggest savings. We also look at how efficiently you’re using energy in your home to find ways for you to reduce your consumption. We’ll make recommendations for retrofitting to more efficient lighting, windows and doors, heating, air conditioning, and pool pump systems which will help to lower the number of panels you require.

2. Consider Design Options

Next, we’ll make a visit to your home to inspect your site and figure out how your orientation and roof structures impact the overall system design. We’ll consider whether your roof is sufficient to handle the load of solar panels and help you consider other location options if desired.

3. Review Financing

After we finalize the design of your system, we’ll work with you to get the financing that fits your needs. You’ll be able to consider cash purchases, leases, home equity lines of credit, power purchase agreements (PPAs) and many other solutions. From here on in, the timeframe to completion is usually 4-6 weeks.

4. Process Permitting

At this point, our team will take over to ensure an efficient and seamless process by handling the paperwork, working through the permitting process with the city or county, clearing any HOA approvals, and ordering the equipment we’ll need for your design.

5. Final Installation

Once all the pieces are in place, we’ll go to work on installing your equipment, with most systems completed within 3-5 business days depending on the season. Our installers are highly professional and operate in a safe and efficient manner to ensure minimal disturbance to your life.

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