Are technological innovations in panels going to make my system obsolete before it’s even paid for?
We are seeing billions of dollars being invested by the major panel or module manufacturers into conventional silicon technology. These billions would not be spent on upgrading of the current technology if it was going to be obsolete in a decade. Most systems will pay for themselves in that period of time and after they are paid off your electricity is essentially free.
How much of my system cost will be covered by incentives?
If purchasing a solar system is your best option, you will be eligible for a 30% Federal Tax Credit and should see a 100% return on your investment in 8 years or less. If you decide to go solar with a SunPower lease, there is zero out-of-pocket expense in most cases and the 30% Federal Tax Credit will be used to lower your monthly payment. However, your system must be operating before December 31, 2019 in order to qualify.
How long does the solar system take to install?
After the paper work is begun and all permits are secured by Renova, the average residential solar system takes 2-4 days to install.
Can I get a solar system to cover my pool costs only?
Your pool uses electricity for its pool pump only. The cost to warm the water is in the natural gas used to heat it. While you can install a solar thermal system to help in the heating process and lower your natural gas costs, we suggest you install a variable speed pool pump to lower the electric cost to operate your pool pump, and then a solar electric system for the kilowatts required to operate the pump and all of your other appliances.
Will the Utility credit me when I produce more power than I need?
The simple answer is “Yes” if it's Southern California Edison. However, at the end of the year SCE will pay you at a wholesale rate if you have overproduced so there is no real financial benefit to oversize your system. SCE won’t normally allow you to oversize and require a load justification in the event you wish to have a system that produces more than your usage shows, although Renova can generally get a larger system approved if you are planning to purchase an electric car. The net metering program in Imperial Irrigation District means that solar no longer makes sense in their jurisdiction.