Solar Energy, Solar Panels, Solar Heating

Solar Panels generate electricity from the Sun

Solar panels convert sunlight into electricity. As the sun’s rays strike the earth, solar collectors, most commonly known as solar panels, convert these rays into energy. A solar photovoltaic (PV) panel consists of two layers of silicon and as the sun hits one of the layers of silicon, it excites the free electrons which then flow back and forth to the other layer of silicon creating a natural electric current. The electricity produced by solar panels is sent to an inverter box (about the size of a large shoebox) which converts the electricity into the standard AC current that you get from your utility company.  That’s it – no moving parts and very few components required – which is why installation can take as little as a day or two.

Solar Power is a proven and effective technology

Solar technology has been around for nearly a half century. Recent advances in mounting and racking systems have made installing solar extremely safe, reliable and fast. It takes about 72 hours to fully install most residential solar systems. Solar panels can be formed into a variety of shapes and placed anywhere where they can receive sunlight, but are most often placed unobtrusively on the roof of commercial, industrial or residential buildings.

In California alone, nearly 50,000 homeowners have already installed solar systems on their homes. Major corporations including Google, Wal-Mart and Federal Express have been using solar panels for years to power their buildings.

Solar Power can save you money!

How much did you pay for electricity last month? As a rule of thumb, assume that a solar system will account for 70% of your electric usage.  So if you spent $200 last month, you might save 70% or $140 each month. That’s a savings of $1,680 per year. Don’t forget that electricity costs have historically gone up 2-3% each year – that means you could be saving about $2260 on your 2020 electric bill!


Solar Installation Overview

Installing a solar system on your home is easier than ever.  Most professional professional solar installers handle all the details for you including the installation itself as well as all the paperwork required to apply for all rebates, building permits and inspections.  Although the process may vary slightly by location, there are 9 key steps to installing a solar system:

  • Step 1: You request a free solar consultation
  • Step 2: You decide if solar is right for you
  • Step 3: You choose a professional solar installer
  • Step 4: You or the solar installer conducts a simple home energy audit
  • Step 5: The solar installer completes all paperwork including your rebates and incentives
  • Step 6: The solar installer installs your solar system
  • Step 7: The solar installer sets up any required inspections
  • Step 8: The solar installer turns on your system
  • Step 9: You claim your rebates and incentives


Step 1: Request a Free Solar Consultation
The first step in the process is to request a free solar consultation.  You can learn a lot about solar by reading information on the web (like you are doing right now) but many questions are tough to answer without professional experience. For instance, a solar professional can tell you immediately if your roof is suitable for a solar system by using satellite imagery.  They can also give you immediate cost and benefit estimates, as well as outline the applicable rebates and incentives.

Step 2: Decide if Solar is Right for You
After speaking with professional solar installers in your area, you should be armed with all the benefits and costs associated with a solar system. The decision is now in your hands. Most homeowners understand that a solar system can save a lot of money (in many cases – thousands of dollars a year) but they need to balance the up-front costs for solar. The good news is that almost all installers offer financing and leasing options that are incredibly attractive.

Step 3: Choose a Professional Solar Installer
Once you’ve decided that you want to invest in a solar system, you should choose a reputable solar installer.   In the State of California, all providers have an active A, B, C-10 or C-46 license for photovoltaic systems per the rules and regulations of the California Contractors State Licensing Board (CSLB). Always ask for references and pick installers that have at least 100 annual installations.

Step 4: Conduct a Simple Home Energy Audit
Most states require that you conduct a simple home energy audit prior to installing a solar system.  Usually, your solar installer will take care of this. The reason behind the home energy audit is to ensure that your home is relatively energy efficient prior to installing the solar system. If there are any simple fixes that can reduce your existing energy usage, you may be able to save money by installing a slightly smaller solar system.

Step 5: The Solar Installer Completes All Paperwork Including Your Rebates and Incentives
Once you have decided on a solar installer, the rest of the process is pretty much taken care of.  The solar installer will start by filling out all the necessary paperwork. The amount of paperwork varies by location, but will typically include forms for rebates and incentives, building permits, agreements with your utility and so on.

Regarding the rebates and incentives, many solar installers will be able to calculate the exact amount of your rebate before installing the system. This initial process of preparing all the paperwork and getting the permits may take 3-6 weeks.

Step 6: The Solar Installer Installs Your Solar System
Once all the paperwork is ready, the installation begins. Most solar installations are extremely straightforward and take less than 72 hours.

Step 7: The Solar Installer Sets Up Any Required Inspections
After your system is installed, there may need to be some inspections. These are conducted by the utility company and any groups overseeing building permits. This should be handled by your solar installer.

Step 8: The Solar Installer Turns On Your System
After passing inspections, your system is ready to be turned on. Say hello to energy  sayings!

Step 9: Claim Your Rebates and Incentives
Your solar installer will give you information on how to claim your 30% federal tax credit for the system. The federal tax incentive is a simple tax form (Form 5695) and has no upper limit!

contact us to arrange for an estimate on Solar Power today!