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No Sales Pitch. Just Honest Solar Advice.
We know that solar can be overwhelming. These questions are based off of what we normally receive. We hope this helps your solar journey.
Solar is not expensive. Going solar will generate a profit and reduce the monthly expense of electricity. With homeowners taking control of their utilities, value is created and added to your home.
Arkansas boasts an average of 4.5 peak sun hours a day and also has strong net metering policies in place favoring the consumer. This makes Arkansas an ideal location for solar installation.
When shopping for solar, it is important to remember that you are shopping for cost per watt. Solar is unique, and it is not the price per square foot, but is the cost per watt. With that fundamental understanding, the physical location of your home, the climate, size of your roof, and energy needs are the variables that go into creating your solar system.
When shopping for solar you need to determine the cost per watt. This can be done by dividing the system cost by the system size in watts (Quote for 10.2kw? Then system cost / 10,200watts (with tax)). Many variables determine the price per watt, such as system size, fluctuating material price, accessibility to work site, distance to work site, and even slope of the roof. Also consider the company’s marketing presence, if they have a large budget for marketing you’ll probably be paying an unnecessary premium for their services. Some local solar providers sell as high as $6/watt, over twice our price in a worst case scenario. Lastly the solar architecture used should be a determining factor; this is the entire system minus the panels. The modern architecture used today is Solaredge and Enphase and they are the only architectures you want because of the software monitoring they provide, which is crucial for easy warranty process, therefore securing your investment.
A site survey is a complimentary service offered to the community. A site survey is offered at no cost.
Generally during a site survey we’ll answer any questions you have and take a closer look at your property. We also will design a system using our software with you and show you your financial outlook for going solar.
Solar saves money based on what you would pay in electric bills for the next 25 years, although the life of your system very well may exceed 25 years and is very affordable and worthwhile to maintain after the warranty period. We calculate the ROI by taking your average annual energy consumption in kWh multiplied by rate (10 cents/per kWh locally), projected out 25 years and factoring in an average consumer price index inflation rate of 3% each year. Clients typically see a projected ROI of ~250% (+/- 30%) however this is a conservative figure since cost of energy may increase over time, and inflation may very well be over 3%.
Arkansas currently has no solar incentives, however there is a Federal incentive in the form of a 26% tax credit on any expense related to going solar, even tree removal. We recommend working with a CPA or tax professional early in the process.
Low quality products do not come with 25 year warranties. However, do your research and look into reviews and warranty specifications on any brand a solar provider offers to install. It’s important to know the details of the product/performance warranties because you’ll be living with this system for at least the next 25+ years. These warranties can make or break your investment.
Solar panels come with two types of warranties lasting from 25–30 years. The linear performance warranty guarantees the panel production capability will not drop below a specified degradation percentage. In addition to the linear performance warranty, your solar system comes with a product warranty. The product warranty protects against defects in the material or workmanship.
Every piece of equipment we offer and install is covered by some of the most competitive warranties in the market; the most important pieces being the mircoinverters (Enphase) or the central inverter and power optimizers (SolarEdge), and of course the panels themselves. Most solar panel companies warranties the performance and equipment for 25 years. These panels’ (Linear)performance is guaranteed to have a minimum power output of 85% of the original power output in their 25th year. Unlike other consumer products such as tv, washer, dryer, etc, that do not have monitoring software, data collected from PV systems is used to support claims. When a TV fails, the manufacturer has no way of knowing why it failed or if it was due to user error. Because the systems we provide have software monitoring that reports data on a per panel basis for the lifespan of the system, claiming a warranty is effortless. The equipment warranty protects your investment from environmental damage and premature wear and tear. While filing claims are quick and easy, we carry the burden of doing so on behalf of our clients. In the event any solar provider is not available to file a claim on behalf of it’s client, the client may file themselves.
A solar system should be purchased based on the individual needs of the homeowner. A solar system can be purchased by cash, a home equity loan, or through a solar loan. Financing a solar system will lower the upfront cost and the monthly loan payments would be lower than the energy bill.
Cash is king in solar installation; paying cash will decrease the number of years till the system has paid itself off and increases your ROI since you’re not paying interest on it. Second is taking a solar loan, competitive rates these days are between 1-3%. This will slightly eat into your ROI and how long the system pays for itself, but this is an ideal choice if you can’t or don’t want to put the money down. You’ll get your PV system, no more electric bills, and lock in your electric expenses for 25 years. Imagine what you’d pay over 25 years with an average CPI increase of 3% and electric rate hikes. A solar system would be a fraction of the total and you get to look cool and save the environment while you’re at it.
If your roof needs to be replaced your homeowners insurance would pay us or any local solar provider to come and take down your system at no cost. As soon as the roof is replaced we would reinstall your system and turn it back on.
Adding solar to your home would not cause the roof to leak. The solar system is strategically installed into the rafters of the building and sealed eliminating all risks of potential leaks. The solar system is more durable than most roofing material. A solar system would in fact act as an additional barrier to the elements and extend the lifetime of your roof.
Solar panels are resilient and are made to withstand the elements. Solar can withstand golf ball sized hail and 180 mph winds. In any event a panel’s tempered glass is damaged, the solar panel will still produce power, but the efficiency will be lower.
If the worst were to occur and we were no longer here to provide you with your solar care, the manufacturer would protect your system. Along with the linear performance warranty and the product warranty, the manufacturer would send a solar professional to physically address any issues that could arise in the long life of your solar system.
The number one thing you could do to improve the efficiency of your solar system would be tree removal. Second to that would be keeping them free of debris or dust that may accumulate, although in Arkansas climate this isn’t necessary.
Solar efficiency is determined by temperature, solar shading, orientation, inclination, latitude and climatic conditions. These determining factors are taken into consideration in the design of the solar system. With your solar system you will be provided with an energy management software to monitor the solar performance. If any issues were to arise you would be protected under the manufacturer’s warranty and we would perform the maintenance.
Not everyone can afford to buy solar panels upfront. There are leasing and financing options. Solar leases provide the least amount of savings, and forgo the advantage of the solar incentives. Financing a solar system will lower the upfront cost and the monthly loan payments would be lower than the energy bill. Paying cash is the simplest option and provides the shortest rate of return on investment.
Yes, the products we install all come with software monitoring, allowing you to keep tabs on your solar production, giving you peace of mind. If any component of your system fails, you’ll be aware of it instantly and you’ll never be greeted by an unexpected energy bill.
Having a generator installed in your home is perfectly fine. However, you cannot run both solar power and generator power at the same time. The generator and the solar panels cannot operate parallel to one another. The panels and generator must be wired properly to minimize interference.
In short, solar panels and generators cannot work in parallel and must be electrically isolated at all times to prevent damage. To really understand the answer to this question we’ll need to explain how electricity enters the home, where the power from generators and solar panels is delivered and how to avoid damaging either. There are many scenarios we could cover here but here is the most common.
Power lines leading to your home enter a conduit (pipe) which connects to your meter on or near your main service panel. The current then passes through the meter and continues to your main breaker within your service panel. The main breaker passes current to two parallel bus bars, a metal platform the rest of the breakers connect to. These breakers pass current to individual wires running through your home which your appliances, essentially pulling from the grid. The full trip looks like this: from grid, to meter, to main breaker, to bus bars, to breakers, to wires, to outlets, and finally to your toaster.
A photovoltaic (PV) system without a generator would send solar power to the main breaker powering your bus bars to power your home and backfeed the excess to the grid, meaning current is pushing against the incoming current. The excess current must pass back through the meter and into the grid so the excess energy production can be measured and compensated accordingly. The inverter(s) working between your service panel and solar panels will “sense” when the grid loses current and will cut production instantly. You read that right, when the grid goes down so will solar production; this is a safety measure for linemen because the electric current will charge the power lines coming from your house while they work to repair them.
A generator adds another component; a transfer switch which chooses power going to the service panel from either the grid or the generator. If the grid is producing current the transfer switch will “sense” this and will flip towards grid/meter fed power, disconnecting from generator fed power. If the grid is down the transfer switch will switch to generator fed power and disconnect from the grid.
Here’s the problem, if a PV system is connected to the main breaker and the grid goes down, the transfer switch will disconnect from the grid and flip to the generator. Yes, the PV system will shut down when it detects the grid is down, until the PV inverter senses the incoming power to the service panel from the generator and may interpret this as a grid energy and attempt to backfeed the generator potentially damaging both. Connecting the PV system to the main breaker isn’t an option here. Since the transfer switch is choosing between grid fed and generator fed power, the connection should be put between the grid and transfer switch to bypass the generator. Now that the PV is not connected to the service panel, when the generator kicks on, both the PV system and grid are disconnected.
The solar system is tied into the power grid of the utility company. Solar panels cannot send electricity to your house when the grid is down. Grid-tied solar panels send electricity to utility lines and shut off during a power outage for safety. If they continued to send electricity it would harm the utility workers fixing the lines.
Solar panel insurance coverage can be included in homeowners insurance policies and installing a system generally doesn’t increase your premium. Additionally, since rooftop solar systems are considered a permanent fixture to your property, unlike a storage shed or gazebo, there typically isn’t a claim limit or maximum amount paid out for a loss covered by your policy. However, be sure to check the details of your deductible amount and policy coverage to confirm your home and solar system is covered in the event of a loss. The reason insurance providers do not increase premiums for solar systems is because they are aware of how protective manufacturer warranties are and how reliable the warranty process is. Call and confirm this with your insurance providers.
Generally home values increase with the addition of a solar PV system, although there currently is not sufficient data across the market to claim solar installation will increase your home value by a certain percentage. Homeowners may also run into complications when selling their homes if the PV system is not paid, because many do not want to assume the solar loan and pay for it. This is especially difficult if the loan is considered personal property and not a permanent fixture to the real estate because the system cannot be included in the market value if it’s personal property. Speak with a loan officer to avoid these difficult scenarios.
It is known that the installation of solar panels and solar batteries can increase a property’s market value. In fact, one study confirmed that solar installations increase a home’s resale value by up to $5,911 for each kilowatt of solar panels installed, and another estimated an increase of 4.1% of the home’s value. To begin with, consider a Zillow study, which notes that homes with solar installations tend to sell for about 4.1% more than homes without nationwide. A study from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory reveals an increase in resale value of approximately $5,911 for each kilowatt of installed solar power.
Home Solar System Size
Amount Solar Panels
*Figures based on study by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
A solar system that is properly installed does not cause fires. Solar systems in Arkansas require a state inspection before they can be turned on. In the rare cases that fires do occur it is caused by electrical arcing due to improper installation, faulty wiring or insufficient insulation.
Peak Power Solar’s mission is to help clients define their goals, evaluate options, and make informed solar decisions through education, value, and transparency. Confidence is what we strive to see in our clients. Going solar is largely a financial investment (as well as an environmental one) so we take great care when considering your financial outlook in this investment and back up any claims with hard numbers and science based data. Our installers are experienced and carry NABCEP certifications for solar panel installation. We offer competitive financing options and are among the most affordable solar providers in the state. Shop around and see for yourself.
As long as Peak Power Solar is in business we will monitor and maintain your system for it’s entire 25 year warranty at no cost to you. Even in the event we go out of business, we provide you with all the contact and warranty information needed to file a claim. Insurance and manufacturer warranties will cover your system for it’s lifespan and will hire local providers to maintain your system.
You can only claim the solar tax credit if you purchase your solar panel system whether it be with cash or with a solar loan. If you sign a lease you cannot claim the credits.
Talk with a CPA if you’re having trouble claiming your tax credit. There’s nothing to panic about, the credit will sit in your account indefinitely until you claim it. It’s important to know the credit isn’t a check the IRS writes you but a credit towards your tax liabilities.
Absolutely we are highly trained licensed professionals that will be with you at every step.
We Are Licensed and Bonded for your peace of mind.
No Sales Pitch. Just Honest Solar Advice.