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Frequently Asked Questions

Some common questions and misconceptions about solar addressed

Is it a good idea to have solar panels on your house?

Absolutely! Firstly, solar panels allow you to generate clean and renewable energy, reducing your reliance on traditional power sources and helping to combat climate change. Secondly, solar panels can significantly reduce your electricity bills, providing long-term cost savings. Moreover, by generating your own power, you gain energy independence and protection against rising utility rates. Additionally, installing solar panels showcases your commitment to sustainability and can inspire others in your community to follow suit. Overall, going solar is a smart and environmentally responsible choice for homeowners.

I heard that solar panels last a decade or two and only make about half their power after 10 years. Is this correct?

Definitely not. High-end solar panels, like the ones we carry, come with warranties of 25 years — even under extreme conditions like desert climates. Current expectations are that the panels will last 40+ years in Washington State and are expected to maintain 92-93% of their power production even after 25 years.

I see a lot of ads online claiming you can go solar for free. Is this true?

Not really. We agree that this can be deceptive advertising. The phrase "go solar for free" is used because, in some cases, it's possible to buy down the loan rate with points and finance your solar installation with a payment similar to your current utility bill. The catch is the bank fees, which can inflate your loan by about 50% in some instances. We work with local credit unions to secure below-market interest rates and ensure our customers don't overpay. Remember, if you move out before the end of the loan term, you won't incur additional interest, but you would still be liable for the hefty bank fees from other financing models.

I’ve heard that solar takes a long time for financial payback. How is this viable?

Many calculators compare the total system cost against current electrical rates. However, as of 2023, rates statewide are increasing by 6.7%. Many calculations don't factor in the 30% federal tax credit, which most of our customers fully claim. The real breakeven point matters if you move before reaching it. In Washington State, homes with solar installations see an average 4.1% increase in property value, without raising county property taxes. In fact, many homeowners see an increase in their property value greater than the net cost of their solar system, offering them a profit if they move within a short time after installation. So, it’s never quite as simple as it appears up front and we cover the medium and long-term financial estimates with all our clients.

There are conflicting reports about solar efficacy in Washington due to clouds. What's the truth?

Cloudy days do impact solar production, causing a 40-90% reduction in output during cloud cover. However, Washington offers several advantages:

1. Our mild temperature variations mean panels last longer.

2. Panels lose efficiency in high temperatures. Days in the 70s and 80s in Washington produce more power than extremely hot regions.

3. While rain impacts production, it also keeps panels clean, extending the intervals between cleanings.

4. The most crucial factor isn't instantaneous output but annual production. We design systems based on this principle to ensure consistent power throughout the year.

Do I need to purchase batteries?

Batteries aren't essential from a financial perspective due to state laws mandating utilities buy back all the power your system contributes. We do offer battery backups, including the unique Sol-Ark option which can power your entire electrical panel. Many aren't aware that standard solar systems only sync with low-output batteries. We ensure our customers know their options and aren't left in the dark during short power outages.

My roof is aging. Should I wait until replacing it before installing solar panels?

If your roof has only 3-4 years left, we don't recommend waiting. Solar prices are rising, and net metering agreements are capped, ensuring a one-to-one power exchange. Waiting might result in higher system costs and potential utility fees. Furthermore, we also offer roofing services, accommodating unique materials like flat and metal roofs.

Cut Your Energy Bill in Half

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Reduce Carbon Emissions

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Energize Of Society

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Office: 16542 162nd Place Southeast Renton, WA 98058 USA


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