You’ve likely heard the term “going solar” in your life. Going further, you likely understand that it means a home or business is converting to solar energy. But do you know the steps between choosing to convert to clean energy and actually producing that clean energy? Is the process itself a little hazy, and too much of a pain to try to understand? Maybe you never considered yourself a science person, and you’re sure not going to start now. Well, you’re in luck. A lot of us aren’t science people, either, so we figured there were others out there like us. And…BAM! A Simple Guide to Going Solar was born. Today’s blog is going to line it out, step by step. First, the good news. Here at Shine Solar, we take care of these solar steps for you. Because there are several little details involved, and if there’s one thing we’re good at, it’s taking care of our customers. That means we take care of the process for you, start to finish, and make sure that you’re happy every step of the way. If you’re not, then we’re going to do what it takes to get you that way. Now, let’s get started!
Education. You request a free solar analysis from us. For this analysis, we ask for a record of your average annual energy usage (easily obtained from looking at your electric bills, or your utility company can send it to you), look at the angle of your roof and amount of sunlight it gets, and talk to you about numbers. If the numbers make sense for you, great! If they don’t, we make sure you know that.
Decision. Your numbers show that you can start saving easily 20 dollars per month immediately. It’s actually a CHEAPER monthly option to go solar than you were paying to rent your energy from the utility company! And your solar payment will end, unlike your previous electric bill.
Survey. We conduct our preliminary survey. We want to ensure that what we have proposed for you will work on your structure. For this step, we’ll come to your location, take measurements, look at your roof, and do a shade analysis.
Permits. We obtain the necessary permitting. In most cases, based upon where you live, we will need to pull a permit, because installation involves electrical work. We will handle this entire process with our in-house master electricians.
Installation. It’s time to see those panels get hooked up to your structure! In most circumstances, this is a one- to two-day process. We will install the solar array, and tie it into your home or business’s electrical system.
Inspection. In the circumstances a permit is required, we will request a city or county inspection to ensure we have completed everything to that specific code. This typically occurs within 24 to 48 hours of the completed installation.
Interconnection. This is it – the big day! A representative from your utility company will come to perform a final inspection, swap out your old meter with a new one, and flip the switch, which means…YOUR SYSTEM IS LIVE!
Freedom. You’re the captain of your own destiny. You no longer have an energy landlord who can raise the rent without notice. Additionally, from this point forth, you will have your own solar concierge. She will bring you your complimentary Ecobee smart thermostat and 20 LED bulbs to give you further energy efficiency. She will be the one you call with any questions or concerns.
With our 25-year panel warranty and 12-year workmanship warranty, we are in it with you for the long haul. Installing happiness doesn’t mean we stop caring once you go live. This is a long-term relationship, and happiness is our long-term goal. We’re not casual daters…we’re relationship material. Give us a call at 844-80-SHINE, and get started on your path to happiness!
It can be pretty intimidating when looking at investing in solar panels. There are often a bunch of words and phrases that make no sense to you, such as Net Metering.
Here at Shine Solar, education is important to us. We want you to fully understand the process to going solar before you make that big investment.
One of those phrases that you will hear a lot in the solar industry is: Net Metering.
What is Net Metering
The dictionary definition of Net Metering is:
Noun “A system in which solar panels or other renewable energy generators are connected to a public-utility power grid and surplus power is transferred onto the grid, allowing customers to offset the cost of power drawn from the utility.”
Basically, if your house isn’t using all the energy your solar panels are producing, then the extra energy will be sent back to the electric grid. Your utility company will keep track of how much energy you send back and give you credits for the energy. If you want a more technical explanation go here.
How Net Metering works
Every morning, when sunlight hits your solar panels, the panels convert the sun’s energy into electricity that can be used to power a home or business.
During the day, if the solar array’s production meets the house’s electrical needs, the excess electricity is fed back into the power grid.
Your power company automatically keeps track of the amount of energy that you send back into the grid and will pay you for the energy your solar panels create.
What will Net Metering do for you
By feeding back energy into the grid, you will offset the costs that your home incurs. During the night or on cloudy days your solar panels aren’t producing as much energy. This is when you use energy from your electrical company.
Depending on the size of your system and how much energy you use, this could also mean that you are earning money everyday from your solar panels by providing surplus energy.
How this works with your electric company
When you go solar, a representative from your electrical company will come to inspect your solar panels.
At this time, the representative will remove your old meter that would only track the electrical current going from the grid to your house. They replace it with a new meter that will track the energy as it moves in both directions. This will allow the company to track how much energy you are using from their system and how much energy you are producing and sending back to them.
You can check your utility company’s website to find out more about net metering with your utility company.
You can also learn more about what to expect on your electrical bill after going solar by reading our blog post “The Truth about Connection Fees.”
Why you should choose to stay on the grid
“Going off the grid” doesn’t mean you are running off to Mexico to start a new life incognito.
In solar, it means whether you choose to stay connected to your utility company. Or whether you choose to be unconnected and to use batteries as your energy storage.
Your home will continue to be connected to your utility company’s system if you choose to stay on the grid. This allows you to use some of their energy if you are ever using more than you are producing. This public grid becomes your backup.
It also becomes a way of paying back your solar panels with the money you make from the surplus energy.
If you choose to go off the grid, you will no longer be connected to your utility company. You will need to purchase batteries so you can store your extra energy for later use. This technology is not well developed and can often be expensive. However by choosing to stay on the grid, doesn’t mean you won’t have the option go off the grid someday.
In our blog post today we are going to be talking about the one thing that is on everybody’s mind: money. Going solar is a great investment that helps the environment, adds value to your home, and saves you money. The benefits are huge, but people often wonder how they will be able to afford this big investment.
There are a lot of misconceptions about current solar financing, based on how financing used to be, so let’s look at the differences between the past and now.
Your Solar Financing Options
When you receive a free solar analysis from Shine Solar, we will tell you your financing options and what plan looks best for you. We understand this is big investment and want you to feel as secure in your decision as possible.
When we run the numbers to get your solar analysis, we will be transparent and will tell you if solar is the best option for you or not. If solar is right for you, then we will tell you what you can expect your monthly payments to be and how much you will be saving. You can learn more about affording solar here.
How you can see your savings in a month
So let’s say that your current electrical bill is $180 a month. You purchase a 5KW system this year and that costs $18,000. The 30% Federal Tax Credit will take off $5400 of that cost and you won’t have to pay any of the money back for the first year.
After you have installed your solar panels, your electrical bill goes down to $80 per month. Then you start your solar payments which is another $80 per month. This means that you will already be saving $20 per month in the first year!
This is a hypothetical case and each home is different, but this is a common situation for many of our customers. You really can start saving money the first month you go solar!
Some may be concerned about their solar payments each month, but the fact is, you’re already paying the bill. The benefit to solar energy is that, your monthly payment will never increase and will eventually go away. The same cannot be said for utility bills, which can increase annually with no assurance as to what the rate of increase will be. Also, your will never pay off your utility bill. There is no end in sight with your electric bills.
Whereas with solar, your monthly solar payment will never change or increase. Your solar payment also will eventually end, allowing you to fully enjoy your savings.
Playing the Long Game
Going solar isn’t a trendy fad that will be gone in a few years. Solar energy is a great way to create clean energy and to save money. Going solar is a lifetime investment. We understand that. And we are prepared to be with you the entire time.
Here at Shine Solar, we are playing the long game. We realize that things can go wrong and we are going to be here to help fix any problems you may have with your solar panels. We will do everything we can to make your investment in solar more than worthwhile.
We get a lot of questions about solar every day, but what people really want to know is, why is solar a good idea? Am I going to get scammed? So this week, we decided to cut to the chase and give you a delicious baker’s dozen reasons WHY you should consider
Shine Solar now.
Right now, you pay an electric bill that will periodically go up, with no end in sight. There are no guarantees regarding how large price increases will be, or how often they will occur. You have a lifetime contract with the utility company. You will never have your electric payment paid off. With solar payments, there IS a light at the end of the tunnel.Once your solar array is paid off, you’re done.
Furthermore, your payment will remain unchanged. There will never be that uncertainty about how often your solar payment will go up, or by how much.
Solar panel longevity is incredible. These things are built to last. They’re built to withstand 80-mph straight winds and golf-ball-sized hail hits at up to 80 mph. Tier One solar panels, which is the type we use at Shine Solar, are even tougher. With layers of silicon covered in tempered glass, the only weather-related trouble you’ll have is in the case of whole-home damage from a tornado.
Our solar panels additionally have a 25-year warranty, PLUS our five-year workmanship warranty.Panels are also covered under homeowner’s insurance, for an additional premium of a few dollars a month at most.
What about if you want your roof replaced and it ISN’T an insurance claim? If you get your solar array, and then decide you want a new roof within five years, we will remove and replace your system free of charge. We don’t want to rush you to replace your roof right away if it’s got a few years left in it.
The price of solar has dropped over 70% in the last seven years, while the price of electricity continues to rise. This is why solar has become such an economical choice. It’s not just for the wealthy anymore. You truly CAN go solar for zero money down.
The new school way of financing isn’t like the old school. Back then, solar cost was prohibitive, and financing for solar was almost unheard of. Now, with costs low and demand high, many lenders compete for the right to provide service.
You can also lock in a payment similar to your average electric bill so that you aren’t coming up with any additional money month-to-month.
While solar is relatively new in the Midwest as opposed to the coasts, Arkansas and Missouri have a surprisingly high percentage of sunlight hours. In fact, we’re comparable with Florida and California in that regard. So while we love to joke about “If you don’t like the weather in the Midwest, wait five minutes,” the truth is we’re holding our own against the big boys.
Each of our customers has a personal concierge who will be with them long after the installation. This is our way of making sure each and every person who “Shines” with us, so to speak, receives the individualized attention they deserve.
If your electric bill isn’t lowered after we switch your solar panels on, then we will pay the difference up to $200.
We will also provide a complimentary smart thermostat and 20 LED bulbs with installation!Why not?
A free solar analysis is really, truly free. You can arm yourself with the information to make an educated decision regarding solar. And knowledge, as we all know, is power.
There are plenty of reasons to go solar today, so give us a call at 844-80-SHINE to get your free solar analysis.
There’s this old song about temperamental weather that perfectly sums up this time of year in the Midwest.
“Spring is the time for tornadoes. Tornadoes can blow your house down.”
Actually, that song is kind of depressing. But it brings up a question about solar panels that we find ourselves addressing a lot here at Shine Solar.
“But what about hail?”
It seems as though 2017 has kind of been the year for hail. And not the little dainty little baby hail we remember randomly from our childhoods. Current Facebook newsfeeds are full of hail that looks like something straight out of fake news. How can these baseball-sized ice rocks be falling from the sky during warm weather? Like, more than once?
But there’s something even weirder than crazy baseball hail, and that is the fact that solar panels can totally handle the onslaught. It makes sense, though, right? If these things are going to be exposed to the elements, and most of the time located on rooftops, then it stands to reason that they can handle said elements.
However, it still seems improbable. Because, yes, solar panels look cool, but they also kind of look breakable. So let’s talk experimentation to show you just how tough these things are.
But let’s get the boring scientific stuff out of the way first. Solar panels are built with three layers of silicon, or rock, encased in tempered glass. Tempered glass, also known as safety glass or toughened glass, is anything up to six times the strength of normal plate glass, and is created by thermal or chemical means.
So what does that translate to in terms of durability?
A couple of things that basic solar panels can handle with ease:
90-mph hits with golf-ball-sized hail.
90 mph winds.
Shine Solar uses Tier One solar panels, which we can get into more later but essentially means that the best grade of silicon is used to produce solar cells (the higher the silicon grade, the longer the solar cell will last and the better it will perform).
Tier One panels aren’t scared of the elements even a little bit. Here are a couple of things that they can totally deal with and emerge unscathed:
Hits from 250-mph tennis ball-sized ice.
Can be driven over with a four-door truck.
Essentially, if there is an extreme weather occurrence capable of hurting your panels, then most of the rest of your home has been damaged, at which point it becomes an insurance claim (and your solar array is covered on homeowner’s insurance, typically for a few dollars per month). These cases are generally reserved for extreme weather events like tornadoes.
If you remember nothing else, know this. Our solar panels are more durable than what is already on your roof, and roofing materials are made to last. Plus, in addition to the coverage by your homeowner’s insurance, our panels are also backed by a 25-year-warranty.
So when it comes to weather, fear not. We got you covered. We’ve also got you covered if you have further questions! Give us a call at 844-80-SHINE!