With so many working from home or scheduled now to work from home indefinitely, our homes where never really set up to be lived in 100% of the day.  And, the idea of working from home while turning up the air just adds to another thing reducing your income exponentially.  Don’t sweat it out, it’s solar to the rescue.

Man suffers from heat in the office or at home

Residential Solar Adds Comfort and Savings

Are you considering solar panels for your home to help reduce energy costs? We’re not surprised. Solar has become big business, with the global market in excess of $160 billion. And, you’re not alone. Depending on the age group, up to 8% of people recently surveyed by Statista.inc. say they intend to install solar panels in the next twelve months.

The one thing these people have in common are questions, lots of questions. With that in mind, we prepared this FAQ section to address the most common issues on most consumer’s minds today.

Solar Energy  – Part 1 (sent in email before this one)

  1. How does a solar panel (photovoltaic, PV) system work?
  2. What are the different types of solar panels?
  3. What is a power inverter? 
  4. Do I need a solar monitoring system? 
  5. Can I go “off-grid” after installing solar panels?
  6. Do I still need an electric meter with solar panels?
  7. Will I still receive an electric bill after installation? Are there special charges from the utility when using solar?
  8. What is net metering?
  9. What size solar system will I need for my home?
  10. Are there environmental benefits to solar energy?

The Consideration Period – Part 1 (sent in email before this one)

  1. What am I paying for energy today? How do I find out?
  2. Is solar right for my home? How much will I save on energy?
  3. Will my HOA allow solar panels?
  4. Is my roof suitable for solar panels? Will a solar installation void the warranty on my roof?
  5. What are the available tax credits, grants, rebates, and incentives?
  6. Are there other options for installing solar?
  7. How will a solar installation impact the value of my home?
  8. What are applicable local, state, and federal laws regarding solar?

Financial Considerations – Part 2

  1. What are the financial benefits of solar?
  2. Should I buy or lease solar panels?
  3. Which are better, solar loans or solar leases?
  4. What is the difference between secured and unsecured solar loans?
  5. How do I choose the best solar loan?
  6. How much will maintenance cost?
  7. Can I sell unused solar energy back to the local energy company?
  8. How long does a solar system last?
  9. Can I afford to go solar?
  10. What happens when I sell my house with a solar system?

Finding a Qualified Solar Panel Installer – Part 2

  1. Is PEP Solar a qualified installer?
  2. Will PEP Solar provide an accurate estimate of my installation costs?
  3. How much will an installation cost?
  4. What is important to review in solar designs?
  5. Does PEP Solar determine where and how the panels are positioned?
  6. Exactly what happens during a solar panel installation?
  7. Is PEP Solar licensed, bonded, and insured?
  8. Who monitors my solar system?
  9. Who performs maintenance on the system?
  10. Does my solar system come with a guarantee? A warranty? 

solar loans with hand

Using The Bank’s Money So You Can Own Your Solar™

Financial Considerations – Part 2

  1. What are the financial benefits of solar?

Installing a solar energy system in your home or property will save money on paying monthly utility bills. This is an excellent method to protect yourself against rising electricity rates in the future. The amount of money saved largely depends on the utility rates as well as solar policies in your State or area. Going solar is a smart investment.

  1. Should I buy or lease solar panels?

Purchasing with cash or a loan is the best option when you want to maximize the financial benefits of installing solar panels, take advantage of tax credits, increase the market value of your home, and sell unused energy back to your local utility. 

  1. Which are better, solar loans or solar leases?

To an extent, this is a matter of personal preference and your financial position.

  • Solar loans are available, many with no money down, most loans are approved within 15 minutes.
  • If taking on debt is not an option, you may wish to consider a solar lease to help reduce your energy costs. Many leases are for an extended period, up to twenty years, and include escalator clauses allowing the provider to increase rates, typically – 4% annually with a hidden back end interest covered-up by the company administrating the leases. A lease situation may complicate issues should you decide to sell your home during the term of the lease.  There is a reason most customers do not lease a car or rent a home and this is no different and in most cases more dangerous because most new homeowners who are interested in your home will not qualify for the double loans.
  1. What is the difference between secured and unsecured solar loans?

The differences between a secured loan and an unsecured loan is straightforward. A secured solar loan will involve a form of collateral, typically a lien on your property, while an unsecured loan is based on a signature or your word to repay it. Secured loans will offer lower interest rates.

  1. How do I choose the best solar loan?

This depends upon your financial and personal preferences, secured versus unsecured. Unsecured loans carry higher interest rates, but the approval process is much quicker. Obviously, you will want to compare interest rates and terms between several potential lenders. And, do check for any prepayment penalties which could come into play during a sale of the home.

  1. How much will maintenance cost?

The costs of installing and maintaining solar systems are falling every day. Over the years it has become an increasingly affordable and easy to maintain alternative source of electricity. With a properly installed system, there are virtually no maintenance costs. Over the course of its life, there are very few costs associated with the system. Examples of possible expenses would be monitoring issues, wire maintenance (maybe a squirrel ate through a wire), or the inverter not communicating.

  1. Can I sell unused solar energy back to the local energy company?

Absolutely. When you generate more power than you use, your utility gives you a net metering credit on your electricity bill. Then when you need electricity, you spend your credits to supplement your solar power. When out of credits you’re simply charged the going rate for electricity at that time.

  1. How long does a solar system last?

An obvious and important question considering installation fees. Studies have proven solar panels can last anywhere between 25 to 50 years, or sometimes more.

PEP Solar and the equipment manufacturers will provide various warranties to ensure your system functions smoothly over its lifetime. Warranties will vary in duration and terms, but are typically between 10 and 25 years

  1. Can I afford to go solar?

Once again, we highly recommend engaging with PEP Solar to assist you in developing a pro forma ROI (Return on Investment) analysis. This analysis will take into consideration the total cost of the installation, net energy savings, and other factors to determine the viability of going solar.

With the declined prices of solar, and energy rates rising, the potential for long term savings and a strong ROI are favorable.  Have you noticed your electric bill is already higher than last year and its not even hot yet?

  1. What happens when I sell my house with a solar system?

If you own the solar system, it will favorably impact the value of your home and its desirability when selling the property. A typical 6-kilowatt installation could increase your home value by $24k, about $4k per kilowatt.

Leasing the system could bring about certain issues such as the new buyer assuming the remainder of the term of the lease. The leasing agent will need to approve the new home buyer financially, and there no equity increase since the system is not owned and the system is not part of real property laws.  There’s not much to like in a lease or rent system and it is now considered predatory lending.

pep solar in garage

Our Integration Teams Have Over 1,000 Installs Under Their Belt

Finding a Qualified Solar Panel Installer – Part 2

  1. How is PEP Solar qualified?

Each state has its own requirements for solar installation. PEP Solar is a certified electrician able to pull all permits for the work. PEP Solar has a  clean trade license. Solar installers with an electrical License and NABCEP (North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioner) certification are properly qualified. PEP Solar is a contractor who can do all aspects of solar on the roof, off the roof with our solar shade structures or RV solar shad structures, or ground mount with advanced 6 different certified battery offerings.

PEP Solar is bonded, insured, and our employees have been background checked.  PEP Solar is bonded, insured and our employees have been background checked. Our insurance carries 2 million with 2 occurrence per year with a 5 million umbrella if there should be any errors during or after the install (warning:  Our insurance carrier have warned us there are 30% of the solar companies working without proper insurance and you could be liable if someone should fall off the roof – always ask for proof of bond, insurance, and workman’s comprehensive insurance).

  1. Will the installer provide an accurate estimate of my installation costs?

PEP Solar will provide you with an accurate estimate not only for the total installation costs but will also help to identify energy savings. Our proposal lists our insurance companies and details all energy off-sets with projection tables.

  1. How much should an installation cost?

In 2019, the average national solar panel cost is $3.15/watt to $3.65/watt (company going much lower do not have enough in the project to service your system needs for 10, 15, 25 years after the sell). The average solar panel system size in the U.S is approximately 6 kilowatts (kW). Therefore, an average solar panel system would cost $14,963 after tax credits. That’s more than two percent lower than it was just a year ago, and solar panel system costs are continuing to fall about 1 to 2% a year while energy costs are coming down.  Just remember the tax credit decreases each year now by 4% so waiting is no longer keeping up with fed tax credits.

  1. What is important to review in solar designs?

A solar energy system is a major purchase with many variables, each of which can impact the finished product. Comparing solar energy, you can make easy side-by-side comparisons looking for quality and longevity by reviewing these key points:

  • Solar panel chemistry HIT (old tech) vs HJT (new tech) which have better resistance to heat and performance
  • Inverter types
  • System design
  • Company reviews demonstrating service after the install (notice fake reviews copied and not personalized)
  • All fully detailed costs including the loan
  • Warranty
  1. Does the installer determine where and how the panels are positioned?

PEP Solar prepares a complete system design. This design will incorporate the proposed solar panel layout, positioning, racking, quantity of panels, inverter, off-set, return on investment and all other components.

  1. Exactly what happens during a solar panel installation?

Typically, a solar installation takes about three days depending on the size and complexity. PEP Solar may need to shut down power during the installation. The first step is prepping the roof, roof mounting, and racking is installed, followed by mounting the solar panels to the racking. Wiring is then completed, and the monitoring system is installed. Finally, the city and the local utility must perform an inspection prior to activating the system.

  1. Are solar installers licensed, bonded, insured?

Best in class installers will be licensed, bonded, insured, and all employees will be background checked. Unfortunately many of the companies installing do not have your best interest and do not have proper insurance coverage – be aware!

  1. Who monitors my solar system?

The owner of the solar system is responsible for monitoring the system. A solar monitoring system can help make you more aware of your PV system’s performance. It offers information about energy consumption and generation, optimizing energy usage, and damage to your solar system, among other topics. It’s important to monitor your solar setup in some manner – without monitoring, it can be challenging to figure out if your solar panels are operating at their best.

  1. Who performs maintenance on the system?

Once again, the owner of the solar system is typically responsible for maintenance owning or leasing as stated in their agreements.  Maintenance is typically minimal in a properly installed system.  Leasing companies will say almost anything to get you to sign their predatory lending.

  1. Does my solar system come with a guarantee?  A Warranty?

PEP Solar solar installations feature a manufacturer’s guarantee, these warranties will vary in terms and length of time, typically 10-25 years. In many instances, the guarantee may have separate warranties for different components.  PEP Solar has some of the most sought after in the industry.  Ask about our ALPHA Guard Series.

As an example, your solar battery guarantees a specified number of cycles at a percentage of its maximum capacity. Such as, after 3,000 cycles the unit will continue to operate at 70% of capacity. Stated differently, as battery performance naturally degrades over time, this guarantee warrants no more than a 30% loss of capacity throughout the life of the battery.  PEP Solar is certified in 6 solar batteries, including Tesla Preferred installers and Tesla certified reseller:  Enphase Ensemble, Tesla, Sonnen, Generac, LG Chem, and Fortress certified.

Solar panels are another example. Our best-quality panels have a 25-year or 30-year guarantee. Any panels that become defective during the warranty period will be replaced or repaired at no charge, and PEP Solar’s generous long term warranties will be there during the manufacturer’s warranties depending on which terms you choose.

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Energy Is Our Only Business

PEP old tagline but it still rings true today.  Our focus is on helping our community add multiple systems to reduce costs, reduce the use of coal & natural gas, increase comfort while increasing your home equity.  PEP has been involved in this conversation from back in the day.

bonnie installing solar

Bonnie Our CEO Installing Solar 1981

Bonnie is our founder and our CEO.  She has been an inspiration and she loves our veterans.

Thanks, Bonnie for all you have done!

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