Things to know before buying solar?
*All solar panels are NOT the same. Although they may look similar, solar panel manufacturers design solar panels differently to achieve the specifications they want. Specs will vary, from high power production and efficiency to weight and aesthetics. Ask what you’re getting and look at the specs/data of the brand and model when you’re shopping for solar panels.
*kWh – This stands for kilowatt-hour and it’s a specification the utility company uses as a billing unit for the delivery of electricity. Next time you look at your electric bill, look at the kWh you consumed for that month. The charge varies at different times of the day (more on peak hours). This term is also important when you get quoted for a solar power system. It will determine how much power the system will produce to match your yearly usage. It’s why solar companies ask to see your bill to determine the size of the system you will need and how it should perform.
*Roof size and condition – Most residential solar applications are on rooftops. Your roof size will determine how many solar panels will fit in the ideal area where the sun hits it most. Higher powered rated panels will produce more power in less space but will cost more. In addition, the condition of your rooftop will have an effect on your quote. If your roof needs updating or total replacement, that will add to the price. Solar Power Supply is also a fully licensed roofing company as well and can provide you an honest assessment of your roof condition.
SOLAR POWER SUPPLY LAUNCHES REDESIGNED COMPANY WEBSITE TO PUSH MORE CONTENT ABOUT THE BENEFITS OF SOLAR ENERGY
CORONA, CA – November 4, 2020 – Solar Power Supply, a leading provider of solar energy systems in Southern California, today formally launched its newly redesigned website www.solarpowersupply.net focused on providing consumers an open concept into shopping for solar power products and services. The website enhances the visitor’s shopping experience with the simplicity of showing shoppers money-saving solar power products and services available to them as well as providing answers to numerous frequently asked questions. It’s designed to be more informative in order to help consumers make knowledgeable and sound decisions about acquiring solar energy systems for their homes and/or businesses. Visitors can easily find features and specs for its offerings without having to leave the site.
“We know shopping for a solar energy system can be a stressful process. We wanted to avoid that ‘in-person’ pressure from a salesperson so we designed our website to act as a hub for information therefor they have all they need come time to talk to our staff,” said Rudy Flores, President and CEO of Solar Power Supply. “We want consumers to feel comfortable when they’re making an investment into solar power which is why we encourage our visitors to go through each page. Our hope is to have them get familiar with solar energy and discover for themselves how much it can impact the environment and their pocket book.”
The Solar Power Supply website will also feature discounts found on the site. Visitors can enter their information so they’re eligible for online discounts including a free additional solar panel(s) with a system purchase. The site will be updated regularly with the latest news, trends, and promotions on solar power. It will also have a blog area to bring more information about energy independence and how solar energy can positively impact both life at home and the environment.
The www.solarpowersupply.net website includes products and services such as:
- Solar Panels
- Referral programs
- Savings incentives
- News and Information
- Roofing repair and upgrade
Check us out at:
Established in 2015, Solar Power Supply is a leading solar energy products provider and installer servicing Southern California. It carries top leading solar products including REC, Solaria, Panasonic, SolarEdge, Enphase, and LG. Products and information on solar power solutions can be found at www.solarpowersupply.net.
SOLAR POWER SUPPLY WINS SOLAR BID FOR AMERICA’S BEST VALUE INN & SUITES FONTANA
RIVERSIDE, CA – November 9, 2020 – Solar Power Supply, a leading provider of solar energy systems in Southern California, formally announced it was awarded the contract for the installation of a 144 kW solar energy system with America’s Best Value Inn & Suites located in Fontana, California. The system will consist of 336 Hanwha Q Cells Q.Peak Duo L-G8 430 solar panels, 168 SolarEdge Optimizers, three SolarEdge Inverters, Unirac solar rack mounts, and Prosolar FastJack fasteners. This large project for the company is targeted to be completed by the end of November, just in time for the holiday season. With the recent approvals obtained, Solar Power Supply started installation earlier this month and will ramp up its progress to ensure it meets its deadline.
“America’s Best Value Inn & Suite in Fontana sees the value of renewable energy, and we’re extremely excited to have been chosen as the supplier for their solar power needs,” said Rudy Flores, CEO of Solar Power Supply. “We’ve designed a system that will create ample power for them throughout the year, even in times when energy consumption is at its peak. As for Solar Power Supply, this project requires additional manpower which will help generate job openings that were once lost due to the pandemic.”
The timing for the project will ultimately save America’s Best Value Inn thousands of dollars allowing them to take advantage of the current 2020 Federal Solar Tax Credit. The chain hotel opted to install the maximum number of panels their rooftop can accommodate. The U-shaped facility has a non-intrusive flat surface allowing Solar Power Supply to design a highly effective system with approximately 6,481 square feet of power producing photovoltaic (PV) cells. The impressive system will take up almost every inch of the rooftop to maximize power production.
“No matter what we did in our facility to lower our energy bill, it simply wasn’t enough so we have high hopes for this solar investment we’re making with Solar Power Supply. Everyone has been financially affected by Covid-19 so every little penny in savings counts. We also see this investment as a way to fast-forward into renewable energy and to kick-start our green initiative,” said George Cardenas, owner and operator of America’s Best Value Inn & Suite of Fontana.
Check us out at:
Established in 2015, Solar Power Supply is a leading solar energy products provider and installer servicing all of Southern California. It carries top leading solar products including REC, Solaria, Panasonic, SolarEdge, Enphase, and LG. Products and information on solar power solutions can be found at http://www.solarpowersupply.net
What are the advantages to going solar?
INCREASES YOUR HOME VALUE – Homes outfitted with solar panels are more attractive in today’s realty market, increasing a home’s value by as much as four percent. The thought of reduced or total elimination of electric bills each month is exceptionally appealing for today’s home buyers. Besides the increase in home value, payments (if financed) made towards the purchase of a solar power system goes towards full ownership for the solar system itself. Even if the solar investment isn’t totally recouped to break-even point, the increased value of the home ends up paying for the solar system.
ECO FRIENDLY LIVING – The power of the sun is infinite and available all year long. A solar power system simply converts the sun’s powerful rays into electricity in the form of alternating current (AC) that we can use to power machines, appliances, lights, and devices. A typical system reduces three to four tons of carbon emissions a year, equivalent to planting as much as 100 trees annually. Because you’re using the sun’s infinite powerful rays, you’re also part of the solution in lessening our dependency on earth’s natural resources. Energy from the power company is often produced by burning coal and other natural resources that contributes to continuous pollution of the environment. Going solar significantly reduces your carbon footprint.
BEST RETURN ON INVESTMENT – Solar is an investment that pays for itself. It has the highest return on investment (ROI) with savings you’ll experience throughout the lifetime of the product. Because you’re avoiding the rising cost of electricity, you’re continuously saving money. Most homeowners that invest in solar pay off their purchase in less than 10 years with an ROI of 20% or more.
LOWER OR TOTALLY ELIMINATE YOUR ELECTRIC BILLS– The price of power increases each year at an average of three percent or more. Less resources, inflation, and higher demand for power are just a few reasons for today’s skyrocketing prices. With a solar energy system, your cost stays constant whether your purchasing, leasing, or in a power purchase agreement (PPA). Typically, your monthly payments when going solar will be lower than your average utility bills. And, a properly sized system should yield no additional payments to the local utility company.
What are the disadvantages to going solar?
HIGH START UP COST – Like most investments, start-up cost is high. Solar systems start at a few thousands to as high as five figures depending on the size. What you may only see at the moment is the high dollar figure (rightfully so). Do your homework and look beyond the cost and assess if it’s right for you. It’s much easier to accept when you look at the many high payments in electricity bills you’ve made in the past and what could have already gone towards ownership of the system (if purchasing). Those payments you’ve made to the electric company are long gone and it will only increase as the cost for energy continues to skyrocket.
SPACE HOG – The size of solar panels take up room on top of your roof. Your roof will house numerous panels that are generally 3’ x 6’ in size, and the larger your demand for power, the more panels you need. It’s somewhat proportional, the more energy production you want, the more space taken up, and the increase in cost for additional panels. And, depending on the installation location, the system will be a part of the roof aesthetics.
WEATHER DEPENDENT – Solar panels are weather dependent. Key areas of the United States are more ideal for solar systems than others. The more exposure to sun maximizes the amount of power you get out of your system. Solar isn’t for everyone but if you’re in an area that gets plenty of sun during the year, like California, then the investment will be well worth it. There are many panels that work well even in cloudy or shaded areas but do have a premium associated to them. It’s another factor to weigh in on your decision.
BATTERY STORAGE IS EXPENSIVE – Storing energy is not cheap if you’re looking at a system with the addition of one or more batteries. Even with today’s advanced solar technology, the battery is going to be the most expensive part of the system. If your goal is 100% independence, get ready for some serious coin to shell out. Remember, the addition of a backup battery is an option and a properly planned system attached to the grid will usually lead to break even with the electric company. Besides, some areas may not even allow you to be disconnected from the grid. The advantage with backup batteries is you’ll have power at all times even when there is a power outage keeping key appliances and medical devices always running.
HOW DOES A SOLAR POWER SYSTEM WORK?
A solar power system works by photovoltaic effect which means taking the energy (sunlight) from the sun and converting it into electricity we can use in our home or business. This is done using solar panels with photovoltaic cells which absorb the sun’s energy and turns it into direct current (DC). Using an inverter, that direct current is then converted into alternating current (AC) that we can use to power our appliances and devices.
WHAT DO I NEED TO DO BEFORE TALKING TO SOMEONE ABOUT SOLAR?
Before speaking to someone about solar, you’ll want to do the following things;
1. Collect the last 12 months of your electric bill. Average out your payments and have an idea what you’re paying so you can compare that to your quoted monthly for solar energy.
2. Looking at your electric bill, also check out your consumption in kilowatts. The bill will show your usage and how much they charge at certain times of the day.
3. Know how old your roof is and its condition. Your roof condition is a factor in the installation of a solar power system. A roof-mounted solar system should be installed on a roof that is in relatively in good condition. Any roof repairs or replacement should be done prior to installation to avoid double the work of de-installation and reinstallation. It will save you money in the long-run. Some companies like us at Solar Power Supply can do both roof updating/replacement and the solar installation.
4. Think about how long you plan to live in your home. Most solar purchases are made with a loan and financed for a certain period of time.
5. Get familiar with the current solar Federal Tax Credit and understand the benefits so you’ll be able claim it when filing your taxes. It will save you money as long as you know how it’s credited.
HOW MANY SOLAR PANELS DO I NEED FOR MY HOUSE?
There isn’t a magic number for the number of solar panels you need due to many variables that need to be considered. The answer to this is really dependent on your household or business electricity demand. You can see that demand looking at your electric bill and checking out how many kilowatts of power you’re using each month. We can then match a solar power system’s energy production that meets and exceeds your usage. However, because there a multitude of brands and models of solar panels in the market, and each one varies in specification and performance, it is the job of solar specialist, like Solar Power Supply, to provide you with the appropriate number of panels for your specifications.
The average family of four needs a system between 5-7 kW in Southern California which equates to approximately 8-10,000 kWh per year of power consumption. Each family’s power consumption is different and your past 12-month electric bill will be a good indicator of your consumption. The number of solar panels you will need will also depend on the power wattage and efficiency specifications of those panels you’re quoted with.
CAN I INSTALL MY OWN SOLAR POWER SYSTEM?
Like anything in life, you can do things yourself or hire an expert in their field to produce a specific outcome. Because of the complexity and application of solar energy, it’s highly recommended to leave it to qualified solar experts like Solar Power Supply to do the job. Rooftop installation of a solar energy system is, in our opinion, difficult and risky. If you can imagine the physical task of getting numerous solar panels on top of your roof that averages 6’ x 3’ in dimension and weigh around 40+ pounds each. Your rooftop material, slope, and the weather are additional considerations you may not want to deal with. To top it off, you also have to deal with mounting, wiring, plumbing, programming, permitting, inspections, and more. Let Solar Power Supply tackle the job and deal with the complexities of installing a productive solar energy system.
WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS FOR GETTING SOLAR?
There are generally three ways to obtain solar; owning (purchase), leasing, and power purchase agreement (PPA). Depending on your financial goal you’ll be able to decide which one is best for you. Solar Power Supply is currently only offering ownership but we wanted you to give you an explanation of what programs are available in the market. Here are simple explanations for each.
Owning is simply purchasing the entire solar power system. Because you own it, you are responsible for any maintenance and repair. With a warranty of 25 years, there isn’t much to go wrong since there aren’t any moving parts to a solar power system. For a business, you have other tax benefits by treating it as a depreciable asset. Plus, this year, there’s a 26% solar Federal Tax Credit off the entire cost that can be used as a deduction for this year’s tax filing.
Leasing solar is an agreement to have a solar energy system installed for a specified number of payments and time, usually 25 years. You do not own the system and the lease is usually tied in with your home in the form of a lien. You are simply renting the equipment that produces the power. Because you don’t own it, you are not responsible for any maintenance or repair. However, you are not eligible for any of the tax credits that are currently offered this year. The installers, not you, do get to claim the Federal Tax Credit. Solar Power Supply do not offer this option.
Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)
Similar to a lease, a power purchase agreement (PPA) is an agreement to obtain solar energy for a specified payment and time. You are simply buying power that the system produces and there are no upfront cost since you are not the owner of the system. The predetermined payments are usually set for less than the amount you pay your current electric bill. The idea is of this is to avoid the rising cost of energy. Like a lease, you also do not qualify to claim any tax breaks or incentives. Solar Power Supply does not offer this option.
IS IT WORTH BUYING THE SOLAR POWER SYSTEM?
There are multiple ways to obtaining solar power and it’s up to the individual(s) to weigh what is best for their financial situation. There are advantages and disadvantages for each option. The main goal to solar is saving you money. Here are a few factors to think about if a purchase is right for you;
· The payments (if financed) you make goes towards rightfully owning the solar system.
· The last payment for the loan is your last energy bill.
· If the system is for a business, there are business write-offs for the purchase that may not be available with the other options
· You can claim the Federal Tax Credit
· Increases your property value
· With a lease or PPA program, you have to renegotiate a contract or may get the option to purchase after the contract is fulfilled.
WHAT IS NET METERING?
In general, solar power systems store the extra energy produced into the grid (public utility company) where you receive credit for the amount you contributed. You can utilize that credit when your solar energy system can no longer support the amount of energy you’re using typically such as nights and bad weather.
Net metering is the electricity exchange agreement between you (the customer) and the utility company for having a solar power system installed and tied to the grid. Ideally, the utility company will buy and sell the electricity your system produced at the same rate but that’s not always the case. Utility companies have different policies for the rate at which they buy and sell electricity so it’s important to know exactly how they work. Customers should contact their local utility company to get a full understanding of their net metering policy.
WHAT IS THE BEST SOLAR PANEL?
Although solar panels look alike, manufacturers build and design their products differently. Each have different technologies, features, and price point they focus on to attract certain types of customers. To say which one is best would be difficult and depends on what the customer is looking for. Some want the highest solar power production and efficiency while others prefer aesthetics and lower price.
It’s why Solar Power Supply carries different brands and models in order to customize a system that caters best for each customer and their budget. When you get a quote, ask for what you are getting and check out its specifications.
HOW LONG DO SOLAR PANELS LAST?
With today’s advanced solar technology, most manufacturers warranty their solar panels for 25 years. That means during that lifetime, panels are guaranteed to produce at least 80% of their rated power. For example, if a panel is rated at 300 Watts, expect them to generate at least 240 Watts or more for that 25 year period. Panels past their warranty will continue to work but may not be as efficient as the day they were installed.
Other parts of a solar energy system, such as the inverters and batteries, have different lifespans and warranties. Depending on the manufacturer, inverters have limited warranties that vary between 10-25 years. They may need repair or replacement before the solar panels even starts to deteriorate.
Solar back-up batteries have shorter life with warranty periods that vary between 5-15 years. Lithium batteries are ideal but can be a lofty investment. Solar Batteries are likely to be the most expensive part of a system so you will have to consider your goal. They are great power outages and emergencies, making sure your medical devices and key appliances are always on.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO INSTALL A SOLAR POWER SYSTEM?
An average size solar power system for a home can be installed within a relatively short period, at times within a day or two. But, the entire PROCESS is actually longer and will vary. There are multiple steps in between installation, from the day of purchase agreement to permission to operate. Here’s a breakdown for a better understanding which includes: 1) assessment; 2) agreement; 3); planning/design; 4) permitting; 5a) roof upgrade or replacement (if necessary); 5b) solar power system installation; 6) inspection; 7) permit to operate, and; 8) monitoring app activation.
Each of the steps take time and patience. The most time consuming is usually the permitting stage when plans are submitted to the city for approval. This step can take days or weeks and depends on the city’s manpower and workload. At Solar Power Supply, we get to this permitting stage in a timely manner, and once plans are approved we schedule the installation with you so you can start enjoying the benefits of solar power.
WHAT IS GRID-TIE AND OFF-GRID?
Grid-tie is when a solar power system is connected to the local utility company. With a grid-tied system, excess electricity produced by your solar system is fed into the grid and you get credit for it. You can then withdraw from that credit when you’re no longer producing energy, like at night or bad weather. This connection and exchange with the utility company is called net metering. Inquire with your local utility company about their net metering policy.
Off-grid is a solar power system that is not attached to the grid’s power system or utility company. That means you are 100% independent for power. Being off-grid usually requires back-up batteries for storing the excess power your solar power system produces so it can be used when solar power isn’t available.
WILL I STILL HAVE AN ELECTRIC BILL WHEN I HAVE SOLAR POWER?
With a grid-tied and net metering arrangement with the utility company, you still get a bill but may not ask you to pay anything. It may simply indicate your power usage offset by the credits you provided. There is a monthly charge for your connection fee to the grid which cannot be offset by your credits
WILL A SOLAR POWER SYSTEM WORK DURING A POWER OUTAGE?
The answer to this question is “yes” and “no.” The “yes” answer is the fact that when the sun is out, the solar system is simply doing its thing of turning sunlight into electricity. The panels produce DC voltage which then goes through the inverter, turning that DC voltage into AC voltage and then it’s used to power appliances and devices in our homes.
The “no” answer to this is for grid-tied systems which follows the utility company’s rules of no electricity during power outages. When the solar power system is producing energy, it pushes the excess electricity into the grid. During an outage, that electricity feeding the grid has to be completely shut off to protect utility personnel while they’re working on electrical lines. However, if your system includes backup batteries, you can benefit from that power even during a power outage.
HOW MUCH MAINTENANCE DOES A SOLAR SYSTEM NEED?
There isn’t much upkeep with a solar power system. There aren’t any moving parts to maintain. The most important factor is keeping the solar panels free of debris, making sure they aren’t being blocked. After all, the fuel for it is sunlight. Keeping leaves or anything that can block the cells is a must to obtain maximum performance out of the system. Depending on the region, snow can be a factor but for the most part, Californians don’t have to worry about that. Many would say to clean the glass once or twice a year depending on how hazy they get. You can do it yourself or hire someone but keep in mind that climbing ladders, standing on rooftops, etc. can be hazardous and may be worth paying a professional.
DO I NEED A BATTERY WITH A SOLAR POWER SYSTEM?
The answer to this question will vary depending on your needs and set up. To give you a better understanding, a solar battery is a form of storage for the excess power produced by a solar energy system. But, in a grid-tied system, the surplus power is sent to the local utility grid and stored for your later use in the form of a credit under a net metering agreement with the utility company. You then use the credit to withdraw electricity from the grid when the solar system isn’t producing energy such as nights and bad weather. In this scenario, batteries are not necessary.
Adding batteries do have their benefits. In times of actual power outages with a grid-tied system, the energy produced by your solar power system cannot be used at all for safety reasons unless there’s a battery in place. If your intention is to never lose electricity even in times of power outage or emergency, then adding a battery is needed. Note that under battery power, electricity will lasts for a limited period of time depending on what is being powered up.
HOW LONG DO BACKUP BATTERIES WORK DURING A POWER OUTAGE?
Batteries have different power capacities and will vary significantly in how long they will provide energy for you during an outage. Several factors that determine how long you will have power using backup batteries are;
- Number of batteries – The more you have, the longer your power will last
- Type of battery (Lithium vs. Lead-acid) – Battery technology have come a long way and lithium is far more superior due to their charge/discharge capabilities
- Load – The more items running in the house (appliances, lights, devices, alarm, etc.), the faster you deplete the battery of its power
Backup batteries are important to keep key appliances running like refrigerators/freezers for food and medicines. For those who rely on medical devices to be on 24/7, backup batteries are essential. When a power outage occurs, non-essential items should be unplugged to ensure there’s power to what you need most.
HOW LONG DO BATTERIES LAST BEFORE THEY NEED TO BE REPLACED?
There’s been lots of advancements made in battery technology. The most have come from Lithium-ion because they are much less susceptible to degradation due to charging and discharging. Lithium-ion batteries have longer lifespans than lead-acid batteries. While batteries won’t suddenly turn-off when they hit their warranty end date, you will experience a performance decrease until they can no longer hold a charge. Reference: Solarreviews.com
Much of the world has changed due to the current Covid-19 pandemic and we’re taking all precautionary steps to protect our customers and our staff. In accordance to CDC guidelines, our staff is required to wear a mask when visiting your residence or business. When possible and weather permitting, our meeting(s) with you will occur outside of your home or office. Although we value the gesture, the act of shaking hands will not be permitted and we will obtain the proper distance of at least six feet. When in your property during inspections and installations, we will adhere to distancing guidelines to minimize the possibility of infection. Your safety and our safety comes first!