Frequently Asked Questions

How long will my solar power system last?

All of the equipment we use comes with a 25-year warranty. The panels we use have all lasted well beyond their warranty period. All panels will degrade at about .5% per year.

How can I tell how my system is performing?

All of our systems include lifetime monitoring. You will be able to look online or download a convenient mobile app to monitor your system production. Sungenia also monitors your system and will send you updates and notifications if necessary.

What maintenance does the system require?

Dirty panels can decrease production. Usually only by a few percent, but in the case of persistent buildup over a long period of time the production can degrade considerably. In general, PV modules do not need much in the way of cleaning, however, in this part of the country we don’t get a lot of rain, so cleaning is sometimes necessary. If you feel that you’d like to clean your panels use the following guidelines:

  • Clean in the morning, if possible, before the panels start heating up. If you have to clean them while they’re hot, mist or lightly spray them first to cool them down before cleaning.
  • Wash the modules using plenty of water (tap water or deionized water) without any cleaning agents.
  • If necessary, a soft cleaning device (sponge or soft brush with split bristles) may be used.
  • In case of soiling by dust or sand the modules can be cleaned with a soft brush without using water.
  • Never scrape or rub off dirt; this may result in micro- scratches.
  • Don’t stand in pools of water while cleaning; remember, the panels are still producing electricity.

If you’d rather not clean them yourself, almost any window washing, or specialized solar panel cleaning company will have the best equipment to do it for you.

Will a system produce enough energy to cover all my electricity needs?

Every house is different, and we design your solar system based on your specific needs. Whether you want to produce 50% or 200% of your current bill, we can do it.

How many solar panels do I need to produce enough electricity to run my house?

Every house is different. We’ve seen $50/month bills, and we’ve seen $5,000/month bills. How many solar panels you need is entirely dependent on your usage and the type of panels that are determined best for your house. An approximate guideline for our systems:

  • $100/mo electricity bill – 3 kW system
  • $300/mo electricity bill – 6 kW system
  • $500/mo electricity bill – 9 kW system
  • $700/mo electricity bill – 12 kW system

What is net metering?

Net Energy Metering, or NEM, is a billing mechanism that credits solar energy system owners for the electricity they add to the grid. For example, if a residential customer has a PV system, it may generate more electricity than the home uses during daylight hours. That credit can be used to pay for the energy that you use at night. Learn More

Do I need approval from my homeowners’ association to install solar?

Most HOA’s will require a submittal and approval before we can start work on your house. Many have very simple processes and are easy to work with, others have more strict requirements. You will need to send us the HOA guidelines, so we know what paperwork and information is required.

Will having solar power my home during a blackout?

In short, no. In order to have back-up power during a blackout, you will need a battery paired with your solar. You can also use a whole-house generator, which is typically easier to install and less expensive. Please reach out to us if you want more information on battery-paired systems to see if that’s the best fit for your home.

Should I replace my roof before installing solar?

If your roof and/or paper is relatively new (<15 yrs) and in good shape, there shouldn’t be a need to replace it. If it’s nearing its end of life or we see that it is in bad shape, it may be a good idea to have it replaced while installing solar. Many people are able to bundle the cost, or at least partial cost, of the roof in with the solar installation for tax credit eligibility.

Do I need a battery with my system?

The answer depends on why you want a battery. If you want or need a back-up solution in case of an outage, then yes, a battery can certainly be helpful. If you’re not worried about back-up power and are simply hoping to offset your usage to save money, then no, purchasing a battery in most cases does not make sense financially.

How much money can I save by going solar?

All of our designs and proposals use third party calculations to determine your individual savings and payback times. Typical residential installations have an average first-year savings of $3,000-$5,000. Typical payback times range from 2-5 years.

What tax incentives are available to me?

The ITC Federal tax credit is still in play until 2024, unless there is a bill passed to extend it. You can find current information on the solar tax credit here.

What are my financing options?

We recommend looking into a home equity loan with your own lender to first see what rates are available. However, we also offer several options for loan financing. Click here for more information.

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