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Solar FAQ’s

Question: How much does a solar system cost?

This is a bit like asking “how much does a house cost”? Factors such as location and house size determine the price. Average electricity usage along with roof angle and shading impact the actual cost of a solar system. The cash price for small system might cost $3000 after rebates and tax credits while a large system to offset 100% of power usage on a large home with high usage could run over $50,000. Some systems cost $0 if a power agreement is selected. See our solar case study pages to see actual system prices and real return on investment (ROI) information. Want to discuss pricing right now? Call us at 951.677.2006. We will design a system that matches your specific needs at the best possible price.

Question: Do I need batteries?

No. It is not necessary because your local utility offers net metering. When the sun is up, your home runs off the power created by the solar panels before any power is drawn from the grid. At night, you draw energy from the grid, just as you do right now. Any excess power your solar system makes during the day is fed back to the grid and you get credit for the power you need at night or on cloudy days. However, if you want to be completely off-grid, your solar system will need a special type of inverter to store electricity in batteries. Triple Line Solar offers both grid-tied and off-grid systems. Call us at 951-677-2006 to discuss your solar options.

Question: Do you offer financing?

Yes. There are a variety of ways to fund your solar system. From a straight cash purchase where you own the system outright and benefit from utility rebates and the 30% federal tax credit to a $0 down no cash out-of-pocket solar power agreement (lease or other purchase agreement). We have partnered with several finance companies as well as the HERO program available to Riverside residents. Read more about solar financing options call us at 951-677-2006 to discuss the best way for you to go solar.

Question: What happens when it’s cloudy or raining or at night?

Solar panels can actually create some power in cloudy weather depending on the cloud cover. If your system is grid-tied, you will be on a net-metering agreement. When the sun is up, your home runs off the power created by your solar electric panels. At night or on a rainy day, you draw energy from the grid, just as you do right now. On sunny days the excess power your solar system makes is fed back to the grid and you get credit for the power you need at night or on rainy days.

Question: What is net-metering?

Net-metering is an agreement between you and the utility which allows you to “push and pull” electricity to and from the grid. When the sun is up and you make more energy than you need, the excess is fed back to the grid. When the sun is down you pull electricity from the grid. The utility meters this back and forth usage which is measured over time in kilowatt hours. At the end of the year, you pay the utility (usually at the lowest rates) for any excess electricity you have used or you can roll the excess into the following year as a credit. If you produced more than you used, the utility pays you. Since the utility does not pay top-dollar for your excess electricity, we suggest designing a system to produce less than 100% of your needs.

Question: What if I have an s-tile or flat roof?

We have installed many solar systems on s-tile and flat roofs with no problem. See our solar case studies to view actual s-tile and flat roof installations.

Question: Can my HOA prevent me from installing solar?

No. In California, an HOA may not prevent a resident from installing solar. The only push back you may encounter is a request to re-locate the panels IF relocation of the panels will effect less than 10% of the power production. This scenario is very unlikely since most panels are positioned in a way that produces maximum energy output and moving them would cause more than a 10% reduction in power.

Question: How long does it take to install solar on my home?

In most cases if you purchase your system it will take 4-6 weeks from contract signing to obtain all of the necessary city permits, complete financing, and obtain utility approvals. Typically, a solar power agreement can take approximately 8-12 weeks for the same proces. The actual installation time is very quick, only 1-3 days. When you sign up with Triple Line Solar, unlike our competition, you will receive a detailed Solar Roadmap outlining every step of the way.

Question: What rebates and incentives are available?

The federal government is offering a 30% tax credit until 2016. Utilities will also offer a rebate, however, the amount is dropping over time. If you opt for a HERO loan, the interest is tax deductible. It’s best to call 951-501-9642 and ask Chad about current rebates and incentives. Our goal is to help you save the most money year after year.

Question: What maintenance is required?

There are no moving parts in a solar panel system, so there is really nothing to cause a mechanical failure. Normal rainfall should keep the panels clean. A low pressure spray with water from the hose will remove any excessive dirt or debris. Although they are made from glass, the panels are very sturdy and built to last over 20 years. The panels also have production warranties and if you have a solar power agreement, it will be monitored for any production issues.

Question: What warranties do you offer?

Triple Line Solar offers a 10 year workmanship warranty on your installation. The panel manufacturers come with 25 years production warranties while the inverters have 10-12 year warranties. Additionally, if you chose to go with a solar power agreement, the finance company will maintain your system with a guaranteed production warranty.

Question: How do I know you will show up to fix the system?

If you have a solar power agreement, your system is electronically monitored 24/7 for the lifetime of the agreement. We will respond to all service requests in a timely manner. Our primary goal is to ensure the production of the system.

Question: What if you go out of business? Who will maintain my system?

As part of your solar power agreement, the finance company guarantees production and will ensure your system is maintained. A cash purchase still receives our 10 year workmanship warranty, 25 year panel manufacturer warranty and 10-12 year inverter warranty, however it will not be maintained by a finance company.

Question: How can I be certain about your estimates of my savings and production?

For the last 40 years rates have gone up 7% annually on average. We currently anticipate electricity rates to mirror their historical increases. By making reasonable assumptions, we create happy customer who are impressed with their results and refer us to neighbors, family, and coworkers.

Question: How long does it take for a solar system to pay for itself?

As rates rise over time, your ROI will increase. Most cash-purchase customers average an ROI between 5 and 10 years.