Solar System Q&A
1. How does Solar affect a home’s value?
Studies by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
and the Appraisal Journal(http://eta-publications.lbl.gov/sites/default/files/lbnl-1005058.pdf) found that homes with solar PV installed sell faster and for a higher price. According to these studies, the average premium that buyers are willing to pay for a home with solar is approximately $4 per Watt or $20,000 in CA. Given that the price for a typical solar installation is approximately $16,500 – $22,000 before any incentives (ie the 30% Federal Solar Tax Credit), it is highly likely that the homeowner who installs solar will recoup their system’s cost when they sell their home. Lastly, studies have also shown that every dollar saved on a home’s energy bill, through energy efficiency upgrades such as solar, results in a $20 dollar increase in the home’s value.
2. Is it expensive and how long would it take to pay for itself?
The cost of installing solar varies widely but is directly dependent on the amount of
energy consumed by its inhabitants. With that being said, purchasing a solar system is a
significant investment, perhaps comparable to the purchase of a small car. Unlike a car
however, Solar is a very safe and low-risk investment, with an average pay-back period
of 5 years. Once the up-front cost is recouped, the homeowner will continue to enjoy
dividends in terms of energy bill savings for 25 plus years. Most homeowners can also
take advantage of the Federal Renewable Energy Tax Credit (aka Solar Tax Credit),
which allows them to claim a credit equal to 30% of the price they paid for a Solar
3. What kind of maintenance does a Solar system require?
Since solar photovoltaic panels and inverters do not require any moving parts to
generate electricity, they are normally very reliable. If installed correctly using quality
components and workmanship, a Solar system will continue to generate electricity for
many years with just routine monitoring and periodic inspections. Every modern Solar
system should be equipped with performance monitoring including at a minimum, basic
remote system monitoring and fault detection. Dirty solar panels can often be hosed off
and/or lightly scrubbed with a soft brush. If left dirty, Solar panels will continue to
generate electricity, even if it is at a slightly lower efficiency.
4. How long does a typical Solar system take to install?
A small to medium sized Solar system takes only 1-2 days to physically install. The
Design, Permitting, and Administrative work may take a couple weeks or more,
depending on the complexity of the design and the permitting authority requirements.
5. What are all of the benefits of having Solar? Is it worth the process of installing?
The continued rising costs of fossil fueled electricity generation along with dropping costs
of solar equipment and installation make the economic benefits of installing solar more
compelling than ever. Looking beyond finances, solar makes sense for a number of
reasons. Generating electricity from the Sun is the cleanest and most efficient way to
power your home or business. The rapid growth of “home grown” Solar as an alternative
energy source has increased local and national energy independence, provided
thousands of high-paying skilled jobs, and continues to fuel technological innovations
and breakthroughs around the world.
6. Should I install Batteries (Energy Storage)? What are the benefits?
Homeowners may have different reasons to consider installing battery storage to
complement their Solar system. Batteries can provide electricity during a grid power
outage (aka blackout), whereas a Solar-only system cannot. Batteries are also
beneficial for customers on “time-of-use” rates in which the Utility co. charges higher
rates for electricity during “peak” hours of the day. During these high-priced peak hours,
a battery can use stored energy to provide electricity to the home, avoiding higher
electricity rates. Homeowners with an Electric Vehicle (EV) and on PG&E’s “EV-TOU”
rate can save a significant amount of money with a Battery Storage system, based on
the same “buy low, sell high” concept of time-of-use electricity.
7. About Sungenix Energy
Sungenix Energy headquartered in San Jose CA sells, designs, builds, and maintains
Solar Electric and Battery Storage systems for residential, commercial, industrial, and
municipal customers. All of our projects are guaranteed for quality and reliability, and
come with performance data monitoring as standard. We also offer the most
progressive O&M (operations & maintenance) plans in the industry. Our mission is to
build a better world, powered by clean Solar Energy.