FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How does solar power work?
Requiring no moving parts, solar technology is simple. Electrons housed in silicon-based solar cells are activated by sunlight. DC current produced by solar panels is converted with an inverter into power your home or business can use.
Why should I go solar?
Economic Motivation: Think about it this way, you currently purchase electricity from a utility company. Install solar, and you’ve created your own power plant. With electricity rates rising at an average rate of 6%, breaking from utility produced power means saving now and into the future.
Added Home Value: Solar systems boost home value by an average of $5,500 per kilowatt installed. Another great benefit – studies have shown that solar homes sell up to two times as fast as homes without solar.
Environmental Motivation: Thirty-nine percent (39%) of LADWP’s power comes from coal, which is dangerous to both the environment and public health. Solar on the other hand prevents at least 700 pounds of air pollution for every megawatt of solar installed in Los Angeles. As a renewable form of energy, solar reduces our dependence on finite and polluting fossil fuels like coal and natural gas.
What requirements must I reach in order to install solar?
Home or Business Ownership: Only home or commercial building owners may grant permission to install solar on their property.
Workable Space: Not all roofs are fit for solar. Contact us to see if your roof is right for solar. Solar Forward also installs ground mount systems for customers with available land.
Financing or Cash: Most customers opt to use a financing tool like a lease or loan to cover system costs. The new SunPower Lease is a great option, offering solar for $0 down and 0% interest with just a credit check. Contact us to further discuss financing.
How much does solar cost?
Each solar system is unique. Please contact Solar Forward for a free estimate.
Are there still rebates and tax credits available for solar?
Yes. To encourage Californians to go solar, the government offers a tax credit of 30% the cost of your system, and utilities offer rebates based on installed system size. Though utility rebates are diminishing, funds remain for the time being. Going solar sooner rather than later will allow you to take advantage of existing rebate funds, and start saving on your electricity bills now.
What is an average return on investment (ROI) for solar?
With rebates and tax credits, most purchased systems pay for themselves in 6 - 9 years. From that point on, your electricity is free.
Can I expand my system in the future if my electricity needs change?
Using SunPower panels, the most efficient panels on the market, Solar Forward installs high production systems on less roof space than companies using less efficient Chinese panels, leaving more flexibility for future needs.
How will having a solar system change my home or business?
Other than eliminating or lowering your electricity bill, and adding “roof accessories”, life will be the same. Grid-tied systems basically turn your home into a hybrid – using solar power during the day and pulling from the utility grid at night.
What’s involved in maintaining my system?
Not much. No moving parts mean minimal maintenance. Aside from spraying panels down with water to remove dust and droppings, you can (and should) just leave it alone and let it work!
Will I have electricity when it’s cloudy or raining?
Absolutely! You may be surprised to learn that Germany, a county that is not blessed with California sun, leads the world in solar production. While panels function at maximum output in full sun, solar energy is still produced on cloudy and rainy days.
Will I have electricity during power outages?
Only homes and businesses with installed battery back-up systems will have electricity when the power grid is down.
What’s the deal with electric vehicles (EV) and solar?
When EVs plug in to a charging station fueled by a renewable like solar, it is a zero emission vehicle. An EV with a solar system is a natural pairing for anyone looking to save money and go green. Solar Forward installs residential EV charging stations to connect with your PV system. More on EV + PV: http://sunpoweredevs.com.