Sept 7, 2017

Solar Power PV System FAQS - 2017


Q: How do I save money by purchasing a Solar PV System?

A: Study this speadsheet and observe green savings items.

Solar Residential Home Savings Analysis

Typical home with a $200 a month average electric bill can be offsett with a $25,000 Solar PV system. Savings does not take into account additional solar tax incentives & tax deductions

year 8 kW solar system annual PACE payment for $25,000 Annual Avg Electric Cost $200 month +1% inflation each year Annual Avg Electric Cost $200 month +1.5% inflation each year Annual Avg Electric Cost $200 month +3% inflation each year
1 $2,391.00 $2,400.00 $2,400.00 $2,400.00
2 $2,391.00 $2,424.00 $2,436.00 $2,472.00
3 $2,391.00 $2,448.24 $2,472.54 $2,546.16
4 $2,391.00 $2,472.72 $2,509.63 $2,622.54
5 $2,391.00 $2,497.45 $2,547.27 $2,701.22
6 $2,391.00 $2,522.42 $2,585.48 $2,782.26
7 $2,391.00 $2,547.65 $2,624.26 $2,865.73
8 $2,391.00 $2,573.12 $2,663.63 $2,951.70
9 $2,391.00 $2,598.86 $2,703.58 $3,040.25
10 $2,391.00 $2,624.84 $2,744.14 $3,131.46
11 $2,391.00 $2,651.09 $2,785.30 $3,225.40
12 $2,391.00 $2,677.60 $2,827.08 $3,322.16
13 $2,391.00 $2,704.38 $2,869.48 $3,421.83
14 $2,391.00 $2,731.42 $2,912.53 $3,524.48
15 $2,391.00 $2,758.74 $2,956.21 $3,630.22
16 $2,391.00 $2,786.33 $3,000.56 $3,739.12
17 $2,391.00 $2,814.19 $3,045.57 $3,851.30
18 $2,391.00 $2,842.33 $3,091.25 $3,966.83
19 $2,391.00 $2,870.75 $3,137.62 $4,085.84
20 $2,391.00 $2,899.46 $3,184.68 $4,208.41
21 0 $2,928.46 $3,232.45 $4,334.67
22 0 $2,957.74 $3,280.94 $4,464.71
23 0 $2,987.32 $3,330.15 $4,598.65
24 0 $3,017.19 $3,380.11 $4,736.61
25 0 $3,047.36 $3,430.81 $4,878.71
26 0 $3,077.84 $3,482.27 $5,025.07
27 0 $3,108.62 $3,534.50 $5,175.82
28 0 $3,139.70 $3,587.52 $5,331.09
29 0 $3,171.10 $3,641.33 $5,491.03
30 0 $2,400.00 $3,695.95 $5,655.76
Total Cost $47,820.00 $82,680.93 $90,092.84 $114,181.00
Savings in 30 years by going Solar 0% inflation 1% inflation 1.5% inflation 3% inflation
$24,180.00 $34,860.93 $42,272.84 $66,361.00
Annual Savings $806.00 $1,162.03 $1,409.09 $2,212.03
Montly Savings $67.17 $96.84 $117.42 $184.34



How much does a typically residential roof mount system cost?
A residential 3-10 kW roof system should be in the range of $3 - $4 per watt. Typical systems are 5,000 - 10,000 watts.
Do I get a federal tax credit for using solar power?  


YES - Although no federal tax credit in effect covers solar energy usage, homeowners can claim the Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit if they install a solar water heating system or a solar-electric system on residential property as of 2015, as stated by The credit covers 30 percent of installation expenditures.  Although the home with a solar energy system does not need to be the person's principal residence for the credit to take effect, the individual must be the legal property owner, according to No maximum credit exists for solar-energy systems and solar water heating systems installed after 2008, and all systems must have been placed into service after 2006 to qualify. Qualified expenditures covered by the credit include wiring and piping costs, labor costs and assembly expenses. The credit does not apply to solar systems used to heat hot tubs and pools, and a solar water heating system must heat at least half of the water used on the property to qualify.The Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit has been active since 2005 as part of The Energy Policy Act and was scheduled to terminate in 2016, according to In addition to solar energy, the credit also applies to geothermal heating, fuel cells and wind energy. Sources:
What is the federal solar tax credit? 


The federal tax credit for residential property was established by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and originally allowed for credits of 30% for expenditures related to installing solar electricity, water heating systems and fuel cells, notes the U.S. Department of Energy. There have been several amendments to the act, and it is set to expire on Dec. 31, 2016 more info
Q: Does the tax credit apply to the solar mounting equipment?
A: Yes - solar racking equipment, metal structures, wood strucutres, and concrete structures are required when mounting solar panels on the ground and are part of the total cost of the solar PV system. Dual use structures are more and more popular due to these tax incentives and overall cost of building a standard ground mount system. If you have to build a $5,000.00 galvanized pipe structure to mount the panels on, why not make it serve dual propose? Sun and shade structures, patio covers, car ports, sheds, garden arrays, fire wood cover, ground mount solar panel systems, etc. Now the solar panels do not have to be installed on the roof and the mounting strucutre serves two purposes and is required! Ask you tax professional we do not offer tax advice.

Will you install my equipment I purchased somewhere else?


Yes of course.  If you purchase from us we offer these benefits. 

  1. Free local delivery
  2. 25yr Warranty
  3. Design and drawings
  4. Free power calculations
  5. Permit submittal
  6. Inspector standby (if required)
  7. Financing  0 Down payment

If your purchasing solar panels for your home your going to need them installed by someone.   If you purchase from us, we will offset our sales profit into the labor / installation  price and your total out of pocket cost will be less. Ask us for a quote.

Does purchasing my own equipment and hiring the install separately save me money on a new system?
Most of the time NO.  If it does the savings is so low its not worth the effort and shipping cost. Most of the time it cost more because there is no incentive to add in additional  extra services for free to make the job a reality.  For example if you purchase form us we do not charge you to file a permit, design and drawings fees, inspector standby time ,    like permits, design, filing fees, inspection stand by time
How do I know what size system I should buy?
We can offer free power calculations and proposals based on a few different criteria’s.  1. Budget   2. Actual usage based on your electric  bill. We can also set you up with a entry level system that can be easily expanded later when you can afford to purchase more PV panels. Purchase a larger inverter and strart with 8-10 panels and add more panels later.
Q: Do you design and install custom ground mount PV structrures?
A: Yes - we do typical ground mount galvanized pipe systems, car ports, patio covers, etc.
Do you offer engineering and design services?

Do I need to replace my electrical meter panel?

Maybe. We can evaluate it for free and let you know.  It depends on many factors and we have the ability to determine this unlike most companies.
Do I need a permit?
Yes. We can do all of it for you.
Is there a cost for new PGE or SMUD solar electrical meter in my eletrical panel?
Do I need to notify my utility company?
Yes! Both PGE and SMUD have an application that needs to be completed. We process all the paperwork for you.
Is there any hidden cost?
Yes PGE and SMUD both have a one time fee of $150. SMUD has new requirements that can get costly if you have to change out a electrical panel with underground service. Requirements have changed and customers are forced to upgrade and underground pipe, wiring, and pull boxes in some cases. Contact us for more details, or to see if it affects your project.
What manufactures solar products do you stock and carry locally?
Advanced Energy, ABB / Poweone, AP Systems, Canadian Solar, Dual Rack, Enphase, Fortune Energy, Fronius, Hanwha Solarone, Lightway, LG Solar Panels, QCells, Solaredge, Solarworld, Solectra, SMA, Solis Inverters, Sunpreme
Do you offer warranties on the equipment you sell?
YES,  we offer warranties direct from the manufacture for all the products we sell, most are  25 years or more.
Do you offer warranties on your labor and the electrical workmanship?

YES  25 years on all labor and workmanship. Read details

Do I need a new roof or to add structural support for my solar panels?
Do your racks and support systems have a PE engineering stamp?
What are micro inverters?

A solar micro-inverter, or simply microinverter, is a device used in photovoltaics that converts direct current (DC) generated by a single solar module to alternating current (AC). The output from several microinverters is combined and often fed to the electrical grid. Microinverters contrast with conventional string and central solar inverters, which are connected to multiple solar modules or panels of the PV system.
Microinverters have several advantages over conventional inverters. The main advantage is that small amounts of shading, debris or snow lines on any one solar module, or even a complete module failure, do not disproportionately reduce the output of the entire array. Each microinverter harvests optimum power by performing maximum power point tracking for its connected module.[1] Simplicity in system design, simplified stock management, and added safety are other factors introduced with the microinverter solution.
The primary disadvantages of a microinverter include a higher initial equipment cost per peak watt than the equivalent power of a central inverter, and increased installation time since each inverter needs to be installed adjacent to a panel (usually on a roof). This also makes them harder to maintain and more costly to remove and replace (O&M). Some manufacturers have addressed these issues with panels with built-in microinverters. Heat is also a issue to think about. Heat derates electricity and can damage electrical equipment, roof temperatures can reach over 165 degress in summer and the unit sits 3-4 inches above the roof.


Should I buy micro inverters or SolarEdge inverter?


We like micro inverters for ground mount and single story easy access roofs due to the maintenance cost  issue associated with having more equipment on the roof rather than on the ground.   Central inverters work well for large systems, multi story buildings, or roofs with difficult access.

Do you sell and install batteries or off grid systems?
YES - We do both on and off grid systems, with or without back up generator.
Do you offer financing?

YES -  - We offer both traditional financing, PPA leases and PACE funding programs. Most programs with no money down and low payments. Here is a link to Pace Nation they offer a list of PACE providers in your area. below this page is a link to solar financers or contact us for help.

What is Ygrene, Hero, or MPower? What is PACE? 

Ygrene, Hero, MPower, CalFirst, all provide special financing known as Property Assessed Clean Energy (P.A.C.E.) which allows you to finance improvements to your property by putting the financed amount on your property tax bill.  Ygrene offers our program in partnership with your local city or county government.  The partnership enables the program to provide low cost financing over long terms with zero money out of your pocket.   With Ygrene, you will save energy and money and your city gets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  Funds can be used by both residential and commercial property owners.  Funding is available for any project that creates renewable energy such as solar, saves energy such as a high-efficiency heating and air conditioning system and water conservation projects such as net-zero landscaping.  We can get you approved over the phone and waive the typical $50 application fee –

call us now (916) 538-1006 for your new Solar PV Structure and System

Who is responible if my eqipment gets vandalized or stolen? Will I have to pay for repairs?
Yes if you want it fixed. Labor and Materials Warranties do not cover theft or vandalism. It is the sole responsibilty of the equipment owner to pay for labor and materials for these type of repairs.
Who is responsible to make sure my equipment is turned "ON" and making electricity?
The customer is responsible and owns equipment. We recommend reading all the operation manuals so you are fimiliar with the systems and no how to read the display and verify power production, how to turn the system "ON/OFF", and if equipped with remote monitor - learn how to monitor on phone or computer. A few days after the system is installed by us, the utility company will give you" permission to operate system". At this time the customer must turn on system. Please notify us so we can verify remote monitoring capabilities and power production if system is so equipped and connected to network. If system does not have remote monitoring customer is soley responsible to turn on and verify system is working and making power. Customer may always call for free telephone support.
What is the warranty on SolarWorld Panels? What is the yearly percentage of declination?
25 years. No more than 0.7% per year
What is the new Rule 21 about?
Rule 21 IEEE 1547 requires all solar inverters to be smarter, so we can continue to add more systems and generate more clean electricity to the grid without causing damage to the existing infrastructure. As of 9/1/2017 all inverters installed in PGE and SMUD areas must be Rule 21 complaint. Manufactures have been releasing Rule 21Compliant products for last 9 months. Older non Rule 21 equipment will not be allowed to be installed on new prjoects. If you already have a old inverter in place and working you are ok until it has to be replaced. Dont buy old,used or outdated eqipment.
How long does a solar project take? What are the steps involved and time frame?
Click on your utilty company for typical time line.smud pge


Important Links

Electrical Pros Electrical Contractor

Dan Electrical Panels

PACE Nation PACE program locator


Hero PACE lender

MPower Placer County PACE Lender

California First Pace Lender

Benji Solar Lender

Renew Capital Solar PPA sub prime for 600+ fica score

The California Solar Rights Act

AP Systems Micro Inverter

Solar Air Conditioner and heat pump - reseller

SolarEdge PV Monitoring

SolarEdge Export Limitation and Metering

SolarEdge StorEdge™ Solution

Canadian Solar Panels

Canadian Solar Off Grid Applications

Canadian Solar Maple Light and Charging Solution for mobile devices

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Does Tesla Really Need a $5 Billion Battery

Elon Musk - "Will Tesla be the largest car manufacturer in the world?"