Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions – Commercial Solar
How will switching to solar power benefit my business?
By taking advantage of the open space on your roof or parking lot, you can reduce operating costs, lock-in energy charges, and decrease your carbon footprint for years to come. When you partner with Independent Energy Solutions, you invest in the future savings and profitability of your business.
How do I get started?
Simply contact our Commercial Team (by clicking here) so they can gather basic information about your needs and your business. Feel free to ask about any questions or concerns you may have. It is our job to make this process as easy as possible for you, so please use our team as a resource.
How much does solar installation cost?
Over the past decade, the cost of solar technology has decrease significantly. However, the cost of going solar varies by case. Conditions to consider when getting a quote is the amount of electricity you use, how large of a system you require, and site conditions.
Our Commercial Team will walk you step-by-step through the process, making sure that you understand where your money is going.
Where and what do you install?
Since 1998, we have offered solar solutions to people all over the world. Currently, we hold licenses to work in the state of California, but our history lends us the experience to provide a variety of installations from all over the world. This includes roof mounted systems, ground mounted systems, and carports. We also have the capability to build hybrid systems that incorporate batteries, back-up generators, and wind turbines.
More specifically, the location of the system on your property is based on available space, proximity to the meter, and ultimately your preference.
What is the process Independent Energy Solutions will follow from the sales visit to final commission?
Once the pertinent site information has been gathered and a design is agree upon, we will enter the contract stage. Our sales engineers and project managers work closely together to permit, construct, and commission your system. Schedules are created and agreed upon in advance along with any necessary phasing to avoid any workplace disruptions.
What is required of me during the process?
There are various documents you will need to provide, such as paper bills, and our team will clearly request these items. We will also ask for your system preference based on your priorities whether it is electricity savings, out of pocket expenses, return on investment, or all of the above.
What is the average lifespan of my solar PV system?
The average lifespan of a system is 25-30 years. Most manufacturer warranties for modules are for 25 years. On the conservative side, inverters have a lifespan of 10 years, but are covered under warranty for this period. We incorporate inverter replacement into your cash flow every 10 years so there are no surprises. Ultimately, the most important part of keeping your system running is preventative maintenance. Our in-house Solar Service Experts are dedicated to making sure you realize the full value of your investment.
What size system will I need?
Your system will be sized based on a value engineering approach that takes multiple factors into consideration. The more electricity you use, the larger of a system you will need. But the amount of available space, electrical configuration, and financial capability can be limiting factors. It is our job to weigh all of these factors and design a system that best fits your needs.
What warranties are included?
Independent Energy Solutions 2-year workmanship warranty
Preventative Maintenance contracts available upon request
What is the payback of going solar?
If you are able to monetize the tax credits, the ideal payback period is 4-6 years with a 15% return on investment over 25 years.
What type of maintenance is necessary to keep my system operating properly?
One of the convenient aspects of owning a solar system is that is has no moving parts, which require little maintenance. Apart from the recommended annual inspection and infrequent module washing, it is unlikely that additional maintenance will be needed.
How long will it take to build my system?
We design and engineer systems tailored specifically to your needs. Therefore, the schedules vary from client to client. There are various factors that could dictate how long it will take your system to be installed, such as location, size, and type of installation. Our Commercial Team will create a schedule for you based on your project specifications and availability and keep you updated with the progress.
Frequently Asked Questions – Residential Solar
How much does solar cost?
If you’re interested in purchasing a system outright, it can cost anywhere from $8,000 to $150, 000 + depending on how much electricity you consume.
What do you need from me to determine if solar is right for my home?
All we need is your contact information (name, phone number and address) and a copy of your electricity bill. From there we can give you an idea if solar will work for you. If everything looks good, we will set up a time to visit your home and guide you through the rest of the process.
What are the incentives for installing solar?
The Federal Government is offering to pay 30% of the cost of your installation in the form of a solar tax credit for residential and commercial installations. That means that if your systems costs $30, 000 – you can expect to receive $9,000 back from the Federal Government in the form of a tax credit. Please consult with your tax advisor to determine your tax appetite when taking advantage of the 30% solar tax credit. There are also state rebates available that are allocated through your utility company, please check with a solar consultant to see if these are available in your area.
Who processes the paperwork, permit, rebate application, etc.?
We will process all paperwork associated with the solar permit, rebate application, and interconnection agreement with the utility company. You will need to speak with your accountant or financial advisor regarding filing the appropriate paperwork for the 30% federal tax credit.
Do you monitor my system during the warranty period?
Yes! We review every system on a regular basis during the warranty period, to ensure they are working properly and there are no issues. If an issue occurs we are notified via email and/or text message and work to resolve the issue within 24 hours.
What are the benefits of micro-inverters versus the traditional string inverters?
Traditional string inverters can be a cost-effective choice depending on how large the project is. However, we generally recommend using micro-inverters and here’s why:
Micro-inverters tend to outperform string inverters, anywhere from 3-20%. In instance with shading, micro-inverters are always the best choice.
Enphase micro-inverters come with free monitoring for the life of the system. The solar modules communicate with the Envoy via your regular power lines. There’s also an iPhone/Pad application you can use to see how much your system is producing in real time.
Enphase micro-inverters protect you from large scale system shutdowns. If a traditional string inverter fails, your entire system stops working. If an Enphase micro-inverter fails, you only lose that one inverter.
Enphase will reimburse you for any power lost due to manufacturing defects.
Enphase micro-inverters come with unprecedented 25 years warranty.
How long can I expect my system to last for?
String inverters are typically warranted for 10-15 years and you can expect them to last at least that long. Micro-inverters are warranted and expected at last 25 years. Solar modules are warranted for 25-30 and expected to last that long or even longer.
Will a solar installation add value to my home?
A study done by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory found that solar homes sell 20% faster and for 17% more than comparable homes in the same area! Solar homes also appreciate more quickly. Shea Homes’ houses in California equipped with solar increased in value by over 55% compared to about 45% for a comparison conventional community.
Frequently Asked Questions – Service
What is performed in a service inspection?
We begin with a free visual inspection to understand what the needs of our clients are and if they can truly benefit from a system inspection. If our Service Team identifies a potential problem during the visual inspection, we will notify the client and schedule a technical inspection. The technical inspection includes in depth testing of modules, conduit, wiring, and equipment. We even use an infrared gun to measure the temperature of the modules to prevent further complications.
Does washing panels increase efficiency?
Generally speaking, frequent washing of panels is not necessary. However, there are particular circumstances we recommend a client to speak with us about cleaning their panels such as system location. If the system is in an area where there could be build up accumulating on the panels, we would highly encourage clients to think about cleaning for efficiency and safety reasons.
Could washing panels potentially damage my system?
Panels can crack if washed improperly, which is why we perform cleanings in the early morning and with deionized water.
Why should I get a preventative maintenance plan?
A preventative maintenance plan is similar to getting your car serviced. Oil changes and major milestone services keep your car running like new. Similar to your car, our preventative maintenance plans allow our Service Experts to keep your system running efficiently and effectively with periodic inspections. An inspection schedule can be determined based on our client’s needs and preferences.
Who do you perform service inspections for?
Our in-house Service Team performs inspections for homeowners and business owners regardless of age, installer, or manufacturer.
Who will come to inspect my system?
We have expanded our business to include an in-house Service Team, solely for solar maintenance, who is always ready to schedule an appointment with you should you need their services.
How much does an inspection cost?
A home inspection costs $300 and half will go towards any components that need to be replaced.
Inspections for a business vary on system size as well as client needs and can be discussed when speaking to a Service Expert.