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When you work in solar and green energy solutions, you're constantly asked questions. Here's just a few that we get. If there's a question that isn't answered here or on our site, simply contact 888-841-2256 and we'll do our best to answer your question.
How long has SolReliable been in business?
Over a decade. We've serviced California homeowners and business owners with solar, green energy solutions, and green home remodeling since 2006.
Why is SolReliable both a solar and green energy solutions company?
Backed by government led organizations such as gosolar.gov, our innovative business model combines the power of solar and green energy solutions to bring your home to its optimal energy potential first. We then size your reduced utility bill for solar. Unlike other companies that only install solar and green energy solutions, our multi-focus approach to your home needs means we'll keep your overall project cost down, maximize your utility bills' cost per kilowatt hour, and help you create the greatest positive environmental impact.
What are your licenses and why should I work with a licensed contractor?
We are proud of our multi-trade B-1 general contractor license, which permits us to operate multiple facets of your project simultaneously, including electricity, plumbing, construction, and more. On top of that, we've earned a C-46 Solar Installation Contractor, which means that you can expect only the highest level of solar installation. It's how we can not only consult you toward the best panels on the planet, but install them, too. Whether you use SolReliable or not, we highly recommend you work with a licensed contractor for any of your home or business needs. By working with companies that aren't licensed, you're making yourself vulnerable to companies that cut corners, aren't fully versed on California's complicated codes and laws, are backed with insurance, and lack worker's liability. In short: the potential for poor service, unfinished projects, and financially catastrophic lawsuits. Saving on your upfront cost might appeal to you at first, but discovering you're now vulnerable to thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars, in legal claims is never worth it. Most of these improvements will only need to be done once in your lifetime -- make the smart choice.
Compared to other solar and green energy companies, your website is very detailed. Why did you put in so much effort?
Our website is a reflection on our no-cost, no obligation consultations. Our expert consultants always err on the side of offering you more information, whether it's about how we stand out, products, financial programs, and more. We believe that you're best served by knowing as much as you desire about the process. Whether it's about how much money you'll save through these energy efficient improvements or how much you'll help save the planet, we want you to be as excited as we are about solar and green energy solutions.
I have a question that isn’t answered on your website. Who can I talk to about it?
Our team is ready to give you the answers you desire. Simply give us a call at 424-433-2662 and we'll do our best to help you.
What is solar power?
Solar power harnesses the sun's natural energy into your home or business. Electricity functions in two forms: AC (alternating current) and DC (direct current). All of the power in your home that comes from "the grid" (your electrical company) uses AC. Since the sun's energy comes in the form of DC, our expert solar consultants do the math to determine your annual kilowatt hour production in AC, convert it to DC, and reveal how many panels you require to offset your bills.
Why should I consider installing solar on my roof?
We only use conservative numbers to determine the amount of sunlight your solar system will take in every hour. A large part of that calculation involves the angle of your roof. Most slanted south-facing roofs are already optimally angled toward the sun. If it's not on the roof, or not on your ideal south-facing roof, in order to achieve maximum efficiency, you'll likely require constructing a tilt apparatus that angles your panels toward the sun. The panels serve as extra protection for you roof from the sun, too, extending the lifespan of your roof under the panels. Finally, if you decide to upgrade your roof, you can receive a 30% federal tax credit for the roof installed under your panels as they're facilitating the creation of a solar system.
How many panels do I need? How much do they cost?
This is maybe our most common question. In order to know how many panels you need, our solar consultants must determine your annual kilowatt usage through a year's worth or an estimate of your year's worth of electrical bills. Based on those needs, we'll know how many panels you require. Cost varies from panel to panel, as well as your shading analysis and solar system layout, and we custom select which panels are right for your home. Because we work with so many options, the best way is to simply schedule a 45-minute no-cost, no obligation solar consultation today at 424-433-2662.
If I install solar, am I “off the grid”?
Not fully. Although there are state-of-the-art battery back-ups to now store as much DC solar energy that you convert into AC power as possible, you're still connected to the utility company. Think of it like an ATM: in the daytime, you overproduce your home's energy needs and deposit it into your bank vault (your utility company). At night time when the sun is gone and you need electricity, you withdraw your deposits and your utility company is happy to return the energy because you've already given them so much. The excess amount each year can, in some cases, be sold back to you or you can always have it go against your next year's worth of usage. This is all tracked through your net meter.
What is net metering?
Net metering lets both you and the utility company know exactly how much solar energy you're putting into the grid and how much electricity you're receiving when you need it (generally at night time when the sun is set and your panels aren't producing energy). Currently, solar home or business owners enjoy the benefits of Net Metering 1.0, which is a 1-1 watt exchange; however, that is soon to be a covetted agreement of the past. It's no gimmick, it's a legislative fact: the California State legislature has already passed Net Metering 2.0 which will initiate when 5% of California homeowners have solar installed on their roofs. There is no live-list ,so nobody can offer you an exact date for the change, but we do know that we're very close to 5%. Once this occurs, the utility companies will introduce mandatory initiation fees, increase your cost per kilowatt hour, and Net Metering 2.0 contains legal loopholes to give utility companies increased power to meddle with the rates in the future. In fact, the government is already drafting Net Metering 3.0! While this change won't affect SolReliable's bottom line, it will affect yours, so if you are curious about solar we invite you to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation today.
What is the city inspection for?
The city inspection is there to protect you from substandard installations. Solar installations, which sometimes include panel box upgrades, must pass many city standards in order for the city to approve turning on the system. We'll pull the permits and coordinate the installations for you.
Does my solar system require maintenance?
While inferior panels might require upkeep, the panels we consult you toward have no moving parts and require as little as occasionally washing them off with a hose. Some of our panels come complete with advanced monitoring systems so that you, SolReliable, and the manufacturer are kept updated on their output. This is how we'll determine if, for instance, there are any shading issues such as a fallen leaf or debris that is causing panels to malfunction. It's also why we suggest you consider SunPower panels, because their panels are designed with their patented Maxeon-cell technology which significantly reduces shading problems, or any of our other American-made panels.
My system isn’t producing what was promised. Now what?
Unlike other solar companies that only offer a manufacturer's guarantee, SolReliable backs you with an unprecedented production guarantee that ensures that in the unlikely event your system is under-producing what we promised, we will solve the issue at company cost. We use conservative numbers throughout our consultations to ensure that what we promise is what you produce.
What is the 30% Federal Tax Credit for solar?
The U.S. government wants you to invest in solar energy. Recently extended to 2020, Uncle Sam is covering the bill for 30% of your gross cost. You can then subtract any local rebates from that reduced cost. The credit and rebates you receive can then be re-amortized into your cost to allow you to achieve a cash-positive savings plan as soon as year one.
Can I receive Federal Tax Credit and rebates if I lease?
While there are many immediate benefits to leasing, the 30% federal tax credit and rebates are only reserved for homeowners who choose to own their systems. Those rebates instead will be used by the solar lease company to help lower your lease or PPA payment.
How long does it take to install my system and when can I turn it on?
Installing solar is a process and we will be in constant communication with you every step of the way. From the time you decide to move forward with us, we will schedule you as quickly as possible on our production schedule. Generally, installations take 2-3 weeks. A city inspector must then inspect the installation. After you pass inspection, the city will give you a PTO date ("power turn on"), 1-2 months after installation depending on your utility company. In short, the entire process can take 2-3 months before your solar is 100% on and running. After that, you can enjoy the savings for years to come.
The consultant said my panel box needs to be updated, why?
The number of panels you need will determine the number of inverters as well as the size of your electrical panel solar feeding breaker. The inverter has a certain voltage that requires a certain amount of amp. Sometimes, your existing system must be upgraded in order to pass city inspection when solar is connected to your panel box. It's a relatively minor additional cost and we will work with you to ensure its affordable.
Green Energy Solutions
What if I sell my home?
Both solar leases and owning financial plans are transferable to the next owner. The warranties apply, too. The transfer of your solar system is an easy process completed during escrow.
What are green energy solutions and which do you provide?
Green energy solutions are your answer to all of your home or business energy needs through the industry's most energy efficient, top rated, and bill saving improvements. SolReliable offers a complete list of upgrades including: battery backups, solar hot water heaters, solar thermal pool heaters, COOL roofing, heat-resistant exterior paint, high-efficiency HVAC and ductwork, artificial grass (turf), pavers, pool pumps, double- or triple-pane windows and doors, LED lighting, and much more.
What is ENERGY STAR?
Created in 1992 by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy, ENERGY STAR is an international standard for energy efficient consumer products originated in the United States. Virtually all of our energy efficient Green Energy Solutions are ENERGY STAR-certified products. This means they're the best, most-efficient products on the market and often qualify for local rebates.
What is Title 24?
This is the name for California's Energy Commission's energy efficiency standards, which have saved Californians billions in reduced electricity bills since 1977. These standards conserve electricity and natural gas and prevent the state from having to build more power plants. The Commission accounts for the savings by using forecasting models for residential and commercial energy consumption. The savings are calculated by determining the energy savings associated with a more efficient building standard or appliance. Savings accumulate over time as older equipment and appliances are replaced with newer, more efficient models and older buildings are retired and replaced with new construction. Many of SolReliable's Green Energy Solutions, such as double- or triple-pane windows and doors, are directly recommended by Title 24.
I want solar but my roof is old. What should I do?
Solar-roof combination packages are some of our most popular projects that customers pursue. We install both solar and roof in-house. While we can install solar on any roof, our consultants can direct you toward energy efficient COOL roofing that not only saves you on your utility bill and reduces your number of panels needed, but these roofs are also optimized for solar panel installation. In fact, the shading that the panels provide will keep your roof lasting longer. On top of that, we lay down a special layer of 50lb tar paper to help reflect the sun's hot rays off your shingles. These roofs come in a variety of colors to choose from. When you decide to go solar, we'll have an in-house roof assessment team ensure your roof is safe to install solar before we bore into your roof. What we don't want is to install a perfect solar system only for you to have to change the whole roof a few years later and be then forced to unnecessarily uninstall and then reinstall your panels at extra cost. If needed, our consultants will work with you ahead of time to find a financial plan that can make a combination package very attractive.
What is HVAC?
HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning. Essentially, HVAC refers to the systems that heat your home, cool your home, and the ducting that ensures it's all carried out.
What makes Amana heating and cooling systems special?
There are many reasons why Amana stands out from the many other suppliers -- it's nearly completely silent when operating, comes in a wide range of high-efficiency models and sizes, and has a lifetime warranty. But perhaps most noticeably, the coil in its furnace blower is made out of stainless steel as opposed to conventional brass. While the majority of HVAC systems are safe, at times, brass can crack. If that occurs, gas can leak and become a life-threatening issue. Amana completely avoids this problem by utilizing stainless steel that does not crack, giving you peace of mind with regards to gas leaks.
Regarding HVAC and pool pump installations, what does SEER stand for?
In short, SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio and refers to the rating of a unit's cooling output during a typical cooling season divided by the total electrical energy input during the same period. There's a lot of math involved that our expert consultants will perform for you, but to give you an example, a 16 SEER system can be left on for over 8 hours a day without affecting your bill.