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FAQ for Solar Installation

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ  about solar options, how to choose the right company, and what happens afterwards.

Table of Contents

How Solar Works

Yes. Walker Power uses “on-grid” systems, meaning that customers are still connected to the electrical grid. On-grid solar energy systems are necessary to transfer excess power into the grid, which can result in a credit to customers in some states. On-grid systems also keep you connected to the grid for additional power from the utility in some states

We conduct an on-site survey to determine if your home is compatible for solar. Here are some examples of what we evaluate to make sure that solar is a good fit:

  • Roof size, pitch and direction
  • Shading of the roof caused by tree branches, other homes, etc.
  • Roof obstructions such as chimneys, pipes, etc.
  • Roof stability and strength
  • Electrical wiring

Does Paul Walker get a sunburn in overcast climate?  Yes, just not as much.  Just like me, performance may be affected. Solar panels produce more energy when the sun is shining.

Getting permission to operate a system and start generating energy largely depends on your local city and utility company. We will be able to give you a better idea of your operating timeline after your system installation.  A broad estimate assuming the city and utility workers are present is 4-10 weeks.

Solar power is energy that comes from the sun, while many other forms of energy come from fossil fuels (coal, petroleum, and natural gas). Both can be used to power your home, but they are generated differently. Energy from fossil fuels goes through multiple steps before reaching your home, including step-up transformers, transmission substations, and distribution substations. Solar power is collected by panels on your roof, then immediately converted into usable energy.

Immediately You won’t notice any difference except for the fact that  you will have more money in your pock et at the end of the day

The Steps to Go Solar is as easy as 1, 2, 3, A, B, C…just like Michael Jackson said. 

  • Get your Free estimate
    1. We do all the paperwork and make sure your house can handle the installation
  • When all is readyàschedule the install
    1. We install when you are ready and you can tell all your neighbors
  • Harness the sun
    1. We help you get the state benefits and federal credits

A home assessment or solar assessment is a type of audit we perform on your home to ensure that it’s a good fit for solar.  Fortunately, it is usually not necessary if you are able to take a few pictures for us of the attic, breaker box, meter on the outside of your house and your roof (from the front yard) and those pictures don’t raise any concerns.  If the pictures raise concerns then we will schedule about an hour with you when you are home so one of our solar professionals can stop by your home to inspect and measure your roof, check out your attic, and gather photo documentation to evaluate your electrical system.

A home assessment typically takes about an hour to complete but can take up to three hours depending on things like the size of your home or the dead sales volume in your area.

Yes, we often install solar panels in these communities by coordinating with the HOA. However, this is dependent on whether or not the particular HOA allows solar energy.

Savings

Not compared to what you would spend with the utility company only. At Walker Power, we install the solar panels at little to no upfront cost, and we guarantee a lower rate to our Solar Lease customers, otherwise, why would they agree. We also sell systems at competitive prices, and have relationships with several solar finance companies, which charge less than your average utility when subtracting the monthly average solar income the state pays you.

  1. How many panels your home will qualify for
  2. How much electricity your household uses
  3. Your current utility rate

Regardless if you have leased or financed the panels, your solar panels will continue to produce energy and you will continue to have payments (unless you have completed your purchase).  The bonus for financed panels is the extra energy credit you accumulate with the utility (and in NJ, as well as the extra energy you’ve made that gets you closer to another TREC or NJ payment to you for energy made)

Yes

General Solar Panel Questions

No. In a power outage, our systems automatically shut off for the safety of the workers that repair the power lines.

We use both.

The average solar panel used in a Walker Power installation weighs 40 pounds and is 65 x 40 x 1.5 inches big.

Yes, slightly. Due to sun exposure, weather and other environmental factors, there’s a potential degradation rate of 2.5% the first year the panels are on your roof, and 0.7% per year during the rest of the 20 year term. Most of our panels degrade at a rate lower than this, but they won’t degrade more than the above amount.  The solar panels are rated for above 80% effective around year 40, but it could be more.

Your solar panels are performance warrantied for 25 years. You will receive a warranty that the work of installation will be free from material defects for 10 years and the inverters are warrantied for 10 years with the option of a 20-year warranty.  Refer to your customer agreement for all warranty terms and conditions.

That’s one of the best parts!  No, they don’t; quite the opposite. Our solar panels are not attached directly to your roof, but rather to a racking system that has been wind, water, and fire tested to ensure no leaks or damage will occur. Additionally, shingles on your roof will often last longer under installed panels because they are less exposed to UV light.

There are many factors that affect the production of a solar panel (location, orientation, tilt, weather, season, shade, etc.). Solar panels produce varying amounts of energy through the day. In the mornings and evenings, when the sun is low in the sky, solar panels will generate less power than in the afternoon when they are receiving direct sun exposure and they will generate no energy at night, which is why you will stay connected to the grid

That depends if you have a lease or a loan. As of December 2020, our install partner offers the following:  If you have a Solar Lease, you can renew your contract for an additional five years, purchase the solar system for fair market value, or request that the system be removed (at no additional cost). If you have a Solar Loan your contract with the loan company ends when payments are complete which could take up to 25 years depending on your contract.    Since you own them, you could do whatever you want; if you have them removed, you could recycle or sell them. If you decide to keep them,they will still perform well up to 35 or 40 years so keeping them past pay off date would give you free energy.

Solar Lease customers pay a small, predictable, fixed payment every month based on the expected annual output of the solar energy system usually with a small escalator.  Aside from always knowing what your monthly payment will be for the next 20-25 years and using solar energy, it is also very easy when and if you move because there is no loan to payback.  You contact your lease provider to let them know who the new homeowner will be then follow their direction on any other steps the require.

Are there prepayment penalties?----

  • Depending on the financier, most do not have any prepayment penalties.
  • For more specific financier information, keyword search financier name "Sunlight", "Loanpal", etc.

Can I include the cost of a reroof into the Loan?

  • Depending on the financier, most will allow a reroof in the loan, subject to certain conditions. Generally speaking, price per watt cannot exceed $5.99/W

Homeowners who are moving have two options with their solar loan. 

South Carolina Market Details

  • Walker Power offers solar in the following utility territories:
  • Duke Energy Carolinas (DEC): Greenville region
  • Duke Energy Progress (DEP): Florence region
  • Dominion Energy South Carolina (DESC): Charleston region
  • Note: DESC was previously known as South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G)

SC Solar Incentives at a glance

  • Homeowners are eligible to receive a state tax credit worth 25% of the total project cost, with a maximum possible state income tax credit of $35,000 over 10 years.
  • Examples:
  • $20,000 system * 25% = $5,000 state tax credit
  • $30,000 system * 25% = $7,500 state tax credit
  • $40,000 system * 25% = $10,000 state tax credit

  • The maximum state tax credit that a homeowner can receive each year is the lesser of $3,500 or 50% of their annual tax liability. If the homeowner cannot claim their full tax credit in Year 1, they will have up to 10 years to do so.

 

  • Note: Homeowners should apply to receive their state income tax credits after consulting the advice of a tax professional.

  • A: Homeowners with the appropriate level of tax liability may be eligible to benefit from both the state and federal income tax credit. Note: Homeowners should consult a tax professional to determine how they may take advantage of both tax credits.

  • A: No. South Carolina does not offer state-level rebates, sales tax or property tax exemptions for homeowners that go solar.

  • A: There is currently no active SREC market in South Carolina.

  • A: Walker Power offers loan (LoanPal, Sunlight) and cash payment options. Walker Power does not offer lease or PPA payment options in South Carolina at this time.

  • A: Yes. Excess net metering credits roll-over each month until they are “trued-up” annually at the rate shown in Question 2.2. The homeowner will be sent a check in March if excess net metering credits remain on their account.

One Minute Customer Q&A videos

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