3 Steps to Installing Solar Panels in the Central Valley
Solar panels save homeowners money, so if you’re fearing high electricity bills this summer, it’s time to answer this question: How do I go solar?
Photovoltaic (PV) solar power is the fastest-growing type of energy in the world. In fact, the U.S. is expected to reach 3 million solar installations this year and 4 million by 2024.
Going solar is easier than you might think. Here are the three main steps required to have a solar system installed on your roof.
Pick a Solar Installation Company
The first step to installing a solar system is finding a solar company that has plenty of experience installing solar panels in your community. Talk to neighbors who have solar and get customer references from more than one solar installer.
SunPower by SunSolar, recognized as a SunPower Residential Regional Top Producer for seven years straight, earned that honor by providing great customer service throughout central and Southern California. We are locally owned and operated, and our certified staff has more than 20 years of combined experience in developing residential solar energy systems and high quality commercial solar projects.
While you’re doing your homework to find a solar installation company be sure to inquire about the efficiency and quality of the solar panels that your installer uses. Also ask how they support their customers after the installation. And don’t forget to check on the warranty. You’d be surprised to learn that some solar companies offer multiple warranties for various components of the system and require the customer to navigate the complicated process of getting a part fixed. Not SunPower. Our Complete Confidence Warranty covers your entire system for 25 years. We don’t even require receipts!
While you can use solar calculators to estimate your savings, don’t expect to get an exact price quote at this early stage. That’s because every home has a unique layout, orientation to the sun and roof pitch. You also have to account for trees and other obstructions near the roof and different types of roofing materials. These make every solar installation different. A reliable solar company will send a representative to assess your home in person (safely socially distanced, of course). SunPower by SunSolar will custom design your system with a design app that shows how the solar system will look on your roof. It will give an estimate of how much you’ll save based on your PG&E bills and the wattage of the panels you decide to install. Your solar consultant will discuss your current and future energy needs and, for example, whether tree shading might require you to add a few extra panels. (Fortunately SunPower panels are more efficient than conventional panels, so they’re better at generating plenty of energy even in low-light situations.)
Learn About Solar Panel Financing
Next up: solar financing. Home solar does not necessarily have to be paid for up front. There are several solar payment options to help you go solar: loan, lease or cash. We will craft a loan program with payments that will be less than your current electric bill. This is also true if you pick a no-money-down lease, where customers “rent” the system and then benefit from the electricity it produces. And, if you’re shopping around and you find a better solar quote, we will come up with a price match for comparable solar technology.
Plus, adding solar panels on your house can qualify the buyer for a tax break thanks to the federal investment tax credit (ITC). The 26 percent credit (based on the cost of your system and applied toward what you owe) will be reduced to 22 percent in 2023. The ITC is set to sunset after that. The credit, along with state and local tax credits, incentives, rebates and easements, makes going solar a smart financial investment. These programs vary by location and can change often, but our team will guide you through what’s available in your area.
There’s also the benefit of net metering, which provides solar customers with a credit for additional excess power their solar system sends back to the utility. Also check out dsireusa.org for information about these incentives for going solar.
Install Your Solar System
Once you finalize your solar system design and choose a financing option, your Sun Solar will arrange your installation and get your solar panels installed on your home. The team will place the panels on your roof in an array that maximizes energy production, helping you save more money on your electricity bill. We will take care of local permitting and applications, including working with your HOA if needed. A project manager will keep you informed on the process.
Installing a solar system on your home usually takes one to two business days. We will deliver the solar panels and installation equipment first and then install the mounting hardware, panels, wiring and hardware. We usually then place the panels the next day. We’re known for leaving the work site as it was when we found it, and we’ll go the extra mile — even touching up paint if needed! You will never know we were there — except for that reduced (or zero!) PG&E bill.
An inspection by the utility is the final step. After permission to operate has been granted, you’re all set to begin saving money. Going solar takes just those three steps, and the benefits are obvious. With solar you’ll have a home electricity system that shows your commitment to helping the environment and reduces your monthly electric bills.