Your Guide to Going Solar
Going solar doesn’t have to be hard. Here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know about the process.
What should I look for in a system?
How big of a system do I need?
Your system size will depend on the amount of energy your home needs and how efficient your roof is (south facing roofs are more productive than east or west facing roofs).
How much will it cost?
Although the energy from the sun is free, there is a cost for the equipment and that could vary depending on a few factors such as:
- What size system you need
- What type of panels/inverters are used
- Installation charges, special installation adders
- And how you plan on paying for your system
What you pay for your system should be relative to how much electricity you need to produce.
Get Your Quote + Design
Once you’ve decided to move forward, we’ll provide you with a free solar proposal built specifically for your home. Once you approve your proposal, we’ll move forward with a design consultation where we provide a mockup of your potential system design.
Typical timeframe: Less than 1-2 days
What's included in this quote?
Our instant quotes include an overview of your home’s output potential, predicted savings, estimated costs depending on the solar financial option you choose, and your system’s financial and environmental impact.
Which financing option is best for me?
Each option offers its own advantages.
1. Purchasing outright with cash or private financing like through home refinance usually gets you the best price and highest return on investment. You can also take advantage of the Federal Tax Credit
2. When using a solar lender, you can finance your system with $0 out of pocket and low monthly payments.
- Interest rates range from .99% – 7.99% with terms from 5 years to 25 years.
- No prepayment penalties
- Take advantage of the tax credit
- No Lien on your home
- There’s usually a loan cost (known as a Dealer Fee) that is added to your initial price when you finance.
3. PACE is a government program that allows you to borrow against the equity of your home for Clean Energy Projects. It is a great option for people with low FICO scores but have equity in their home.
4. Leases or PPA is a power purchase agreement that allows you to benefit from the lower cost of solar energy without having to purchase a system. Basically, you rent out your roof space to the solar company, allowing them to install a solar system on your roof. In exchange, you’ll get to purchase the energy at a price much lower than what the utility company charges.
With a PPA, you pay for what you use each month. With a lease, your monthly payment is a fixed amount based on what they estimate the system will produce. The difference in what you pay and what you use is trued up each year.
- Usually there is an escalator around 2-3% built, raising your cost each year.
- Not eligible for the tax credit
- Can hurt your resale value if you’re planning to sell your home.
Consultation + Permitting
This is the most crucial step before we completely take care of the rest of the process. We do our best to explain everything during consultation, so no need to worry about signing your life away.
Typical timeframe: 4-8 weeks
What will we talk about during consultation?
We will go over everything disclosed in your system design proposal. From there, you can decide to approve the design or make any changes. Once everything is perfect, then we can move on to the signing and permitting.
What do I need before I sign?
You will mainly need your CPUC disclosure for California. You will also need your utility bill from the past year, but this is optional.
What is permitting?
Once you have approved your design, we submit all of that paperwork to your municipality and utility company to ensure the documents are approved. After your system is approved, then we can move onto installation.
The most exciting step: installation! Now that you’ve done your part it’s time for us to do ours. We carefully choose from our fully vetted installers, to make the installation as smooth and painless as possible.
Typical timeframe: 4-8 hours
Do I have to be there for installation?
Yes, we recommend the homeowner being present, but a trusted family member over 18 must be there during installation.
How long does installation take?
Installation is quite simple and relatively quick. Your system should only take 4-8 hours to install. However, your system will not be ready to be activated until post installation inspections are completed.
Who will install the system?
One of our fully vetted partnered installers will come to install your system. We take great care in selecting the best installers to ensure your system is installed with no issues.
Inspection + Activation
Before your system is turned on, it must be approved and inspected by your local municipality/utility. Once your system is approved, you can finally turn it on and start saving.
Typical timeframe: 2-10 weeks
Why does this step take so long?
While the installation of your system will take less than a day, your system still requires a few inspections and approvals before it can be activated. The on-site inspections themselves will take 1-2 hours, however to schedule an inspection can take up to 2-10 weeks. This large timeframe is dependent upon the workload of your local municipality/utility and your own schedule. It’s not much work for you though, mostly waiting.
When will I start to see my energy bill lower?
You will start to see your energy bill lower as soon as your next bill cycle. The savings may seem low from month to month, however these small increments will add up and the savings over time will huge.
Is there anything else I need to do?
Nope! You’re all set. All you need to take care of is occasional system maintenance, like cleaning your panels. Other than that there’s nothing else for you to do except for enjoying your new solar powered home.