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Solar 101

GETTING SOLAR IN CALIFORNIA

Here’s a quick introduction to how solar works and some of the benefits of solar for homeowners.
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Solar Panels

When sunlight hits your panels, they produce DC current through the photovoltaic effect.

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Inverter

An inverter (either one central unit or individual microinverters) switches it to AC current.

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In-Home Usage

Your home uses every bit of juice that it possibly can. You won’t notice a difference, but everything is running
on sunshine.

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Net Meter (export)

All the excess power flows out through your meter. It used to run only one way (up) but now it tracks everything you produce too.

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Utility Savings

When the sun is down, you use that excess you already banked. This means money back in your pocket for years
to come.

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Clean Energy Living

Solar panels last for decades, and don’t require maintenance. You’ll save money and save the planet all in one.

WHY GO SOLAR?

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Green Living

From the minute your solar flips on, you’re clean and green. Two noble goals that we can all agree on are protecting the environment by offsetting pollution from fossil fuels and reducing our impact on the planet.

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Long-Term Savings

Who doesn’t love saving money? Solar is an investment that gets more valuable the longer you have it, as utility rates continue to rise. You’ll notice the difference on your power bills and can expect to save thousands over the coming years.

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Our Shared Future

You’re investing in a valuable asset for your home and your family, but you’re also investing in the future of technology. All the coal and oil in the world won’t ever match the near-infinite power of the sun, and we’re just barely tapping into this enormous potential. With thousands of our customers in California running on sunshine every day, we’re off to a good start.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Is solar a good fit for my roof/my house?
California is one of the top 5 states in the continental US for total sun exposure and solar potential, as measured by the National Renewable Energy Lab. That means it’s pretty rare to find a roof that won’t work. Our Authorized Dealers are equipped with tools to show you where the panels will go, and then our site survey and design teams will make sure we maximize your total solar generation.
How does solar save me money? Is going green really worth it?
Solar saves you money by generating electricity from the sun instead of racking up your power bill. Solar costs have fallen dramatically over the last 5-10 years, and tax incentives remain strong through 2021. You’re stuck paying a never-ending rent check to the power company for life, until you go solar – it’s the same reason to consider buying a house instead of renting one. In short, it’s totally worth it.
Does solar work on cloudy days?
Solar works best in direct sunlight. While the technology has advanced quite a bit to capture some ambient light, one major advantage of solar is Net Metering, where you accumulate excess solar production and bank it for days where the sun isn’t shining as much. You don’t need to worry about the solar working every minute of every day. On average, solar will overproduce in summer to make up for lower production in winter.
Will I need to change how I use electricity in my home?
You don’t need to change a thing. Solar connects directly with the main electric panel in your home. It’s like having your own clean power plant on the roof that works in tandem with the power company. You won’t notice any difference in your day-to-day, until you see your electric bill dropping like a stone. Keep in mind that you will still be connected to the grid, and your system is designed to produce based on your historic energy usage over the past year. If your electric consumption goes up, your solar doesn’t have the ability to produce extra. One option to ensure you never get a surprise power bill is choosing to install more solar panels when first designing the system just to be safe.
Does solar increase my home value?
Studies from Lawrence Berkeley Labs and other reputable research organizations have shown that solar arrays can add a healthy bump to home value. On average, a 4% increase is a safe estimate, but it depends on lots of factors. It’s important to have the solar installed professionally and with aesthetics in mind- exactly how we do it!
Do I need to clean my panels? Does solar require regular maintenance?
Solar panels require little to no maintenance to continue operating for years. Cleaning once or twice a year doesn’t hurt. In the event of severe smog or ash from wildfires, hosing the panels off at the end of the day isn’t a bad idea. But we would never encourage you to climb up on your roof or do anything unsafe.
How do I know the solar is working?
Every solar array comes with a monitoring app included for the homeowner. Enphase and SolarEdge are the two primary providers of this feature. You’ll receive instructions as soon as your system is activated. Production reports or alerts will go directly to you
How long do solar panels last?
Most solar panel manufacturers offer a 25 year warranty, which includes a production rating or “degradation factor” that states the panels should still be generating a certain amount at the end of any given period (usually no less than 80% production power at the end of the 25th year). If you follow that trend, many panels will still be functioning for decades to come.
Will I need to replace my roof before I get solar?
It’s a good idea to look into roof repair and replacement as part of your solar project. If you discover that your roof is in need of repair after the solar has been installed, we offer Removal and Reinstall services at www.thesolarguys.biz.
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