Solar FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions About Solar

Answers To Help You Understand Your Options

At Solare Energy, we understand that the process of going solar can be confusing.  With so many companies out there offering different information, it can get complicated to make the best decisions for financing and equipment choices.  That’s why Solare Energy offers multiple financing and equipment options, and takes the time to help you understand the features and benefits of each. Our goal is to help you better understand the value of solar and maximize your savings by helping select the best options for you.

We’ve created this video FAQ section to give you some preliminary information and answers to the most frequently asked questions about solar.  Browse the videos below to learn more, and if you still need more information, contact us at 800-411-SOLAR and we’ll gladly answer all your questions.

What Makes Solare Energy A Better Solar Company?

Serving San Diego since 1989 and specializing in solar for about 10 years, Solare Energy provides San Diego solar customers with more financing options and better equipment choices. Focused on zeroing out our customers’ utility bills, we pair energy efficiency recommendations with solar energy to provide more value and savings.

Solar Value Questions

Will Solar Panels Add Value To My Home?

Solar panels are a great investment for energy cost savings and increasing home value. Not only will you receive the benefits of locking in a low energy rate for yourself, when the time comes to sell your house, you’ll see an increase in home value and significantly less time on the market when compared to homes without solar. Go Solar California provides a great tool for estimating the added value to your home that comes with installing a solar panel system.  Click here to view the SAVE calculator.

How Much Does Solar Cost?

Installing solar panels is a great home improvement with exceptional return on investment.  The cost of a solar panel system varies widely, depending on factors such as roof space, orientation, equipment choices, and current energy consumption (or the number of panels needed).  Our goal is to “zero-out” your utility bill by designing a system that meets your current energy consumption needs and provides a low, locked-in rate for future energy requirements.

Solar Financing Questions

What Financing Is Available For Solar?

Different customers have different financing needs. At Solare Energy, we provide a wide range of attractive financing options. We work with you to help you understand the details of each financing option and find the best solution for your personal situation, helping you to maximize your savings when installing solar panels.  Solar financing options include cash purchase, home equity financing, unsecured financing, power purchase agreements, lease options, same as cash, HERO financing, and YGRENE.

Should I Buy Or Lease Solar Panels?

Whether to buy or lease solar panels is a common question that has no universally true answer. Typically, a cash purchase or financed purchase solar system will show better savings, but whether or not this is the right option for you depends on a few factors such as your ability to take the full tax credit or available capital. Leasing a solar panel system still saves money when compared to your utility bill, and provides the advantage of knowing your energy rate for the length of the lease.

What Are Pace Programs?

PACE Programs are a great way to finance improvements for your home or business such as investing in a solar panel system with no up-front costs. Residential and commercial property owners within participating areas can finance 100% of their project and pay it back over time as a voluntary property tax assessment through their existing property tax bill.  Solare Energy is a HERO Registered Contractor (HERO is available in select areas throughout San Diego County) and a YGRENE Certified Contractor (available in the city of Chula Vista only).

My Utilities Are Affordable, Why Go Solar?

While every solar solution should provide a better energy rate than what the utilities offer, one of the best aspects about going solar is your ability to lock-in a low energy rate and avoid future rate hikes from your utility provider, which averages about 6% every year.

Solar Panel & Equipment Questions

How Many Solar Panels Do I Need?

The size of system which we install for you will depend on a few factors such as energy consumption, available space for installation, and solar panel orientation.  We design systems that take into account the direction your available installation area is facing (South-facing is most optimal), and which equipment you choose.  Some panels are more efficient, though more expensive, so the amount of panels a system requires can vary.

What's The Best Solar Panel On The Market?

At Solare Energy, we use only the best products available.  Most of our installations include SolarWorld panels, the #1 US manufactured panel.  They are a great value and include a 25-year warranty.  We also offer LG solar panels, a trusted name in home electronics and a worldwide brand.  The most efficient panel on the market is manufactured by SunPower, and though it is more expensive than most other options, it provides more power per panel, reducing the number of solar panels a PV system may require.

What's The Difference Between Central & Micro Inverters?

Solar panels create electricity in direct current, while homes operate on alternating current.  Inverters turn DC electricity into AC.  Central inverters connect all the solar panels together into a “string” and can only produce energy to the “lowest common denominator” (the least producing panel in the array).  Systems set up with micro inverters have an individual inverter for each panel which allows the panels to produce independently.  Typically, systems with micro inverters produce about 5% more than a system with a central inverter.

What Maintenance Is Required For A Solar System?

Originally designed to be launched into space, solar panels systems have been designed to require minimal maintenance.  With no internal moving parts, they are extremely reliable and are made to high-quality standards providing worry-free power for decades.  To achieve the best performance possible, an occasional wash down with a hose can boost the system’s performance slightly, but our calculations include adjustments for a little dirt and grime, ensuring that your solar panel system meets the estimates that we provided during the design phase.

Solar Panel Performance Questions?

How Long Will My Solar Panel System Last?

Solar PV systems are incredibly reliable and, while the technology is constantly improving, solar panels installed in satellites 40 years ago are still operating efficiently.  When determining how long your system will last, key factors to look at is the product warranties and the stability of the company backing that warranty.  Most solar panels now come with a 25 year warranty.  Inverters, the other main component to solar PV energy production, have a 10-25 year warranty.  Solare Energy uses only the best equipment from well-established companies such as Solar World, the largest US manufacturer of solar panels with over 35 years in the business and an industry-leading 30 year solar panel warranty.

How Do I Know If My Solar System Is Working Properly?

All solar panel systems installed by Solare Energy include online monitoring, which allows you and us to keep track of your system’s performance on the web or even on your smartphone, so you’ll always know exactly how well your system is performing. If for any reason the system isn’t producing as it should, contact us and we’ll do a free field analysis to correct the issues that may be affecting system performance.

Utility Provider Questions

What Is Net Metering?

Net metering is the name of the billing method that you will enter into with your utility provider when you choose to go solar.  Basically, this program allows you to use the utility company as your “battery” by providing you credit when you produce more power than you use (typically, Spring and Summer months) then draw back that credited energy in the months when your production is lower than consumption. Also, you’ll no longer be paying a monthly utility bill. Instead, you’ll have one annual “true-up” bill. Our goal is to design a system that completely eliminates your utility bill by matching energy production to your consumption needs.

Will My SDG&E Rates Go Up Again?

Utility companies have a bi-annual rate review, at which point they may raise rates to their consumers. While different tiers can experience different levels of adjustment, the trends show that historically rates have increased by about 6-7% annually. This means that every 12 years or so, your utility rates will double as a result of these rate increases.

When Will I Start Seeing Savings On My SDG&E Bill?

Most residential solar customers finance their solar panel systems and see immediate cashflow savings. With a system properly designed to match your energy consumption, your monthly loan payment will be lower than your utility bill, realizing immediate savings from month one. Additionally, you’ll no longer have a monthly utility bill. Instead, you’ll only have one annual “true-up” bill to settle with SDGE, and our goal is to design a system that completely eliminates your need to pay those high energy rates ever again!

Solar Panel Installation Questions

Why Should I Install Solar Panels With Solare Energy?

As a San Diego based electrical contractor, Solare Energy has been serving San Diego County for over 25 years and specializing in solar installation for about 10 years.  We offer more financing options and better equipment choices than our competitors, allowing us more opportunities to design the best system to meet your energy consumption needs and financial situation. We also offer energy efficiency recommendations and a free rate structure analysis to ensure that you’re getting the best value for your investment.  Request a free quote today and find out what makes Solare Energy a better solar company.

How Long Does Installation Take?

Installation of a solar panel system typically takes around 6-12 weeks, depending on the time of year. Once you sign a contract with Solare and secure financing, we begin the permitting process with the city or county. During this time, we also handle the approval process with your HOA (if applicable) and get the necessary equipment for your solar installation. Once permits have been approved, our crew begins the actual installation, which typically takes between 3-5 business days. After completion, we have the system inspected and get permission to operate from SDGE within a few days.

How Do I Get Started?

The process of going solar is incredibly easy for you. Give us a call at 800-411-SOLAR or request a quote and we’ll send out an Energy Analyst to discuss your current energy consumption and rate structure.  We’ll inspect your roof and electric panel to ensure suitability for solar, then we choose the right equipment for your needs and help you select the best financing option to maximize your savings.