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Frequently Asked Questions

Not anymore, and not with Ipsun Solar. We make solar accessible to everyone regardless of income. But now, with advances in technology and the growth of the industry, as well as with with state and federal incentives and innovative financing programs, solar is not only a much more affordable energy option, it actually pays for itself through savings and the additional income your system will generate for you.

Answer: $3-$4/Watt

The cost for a customer to purchase a solar array is generally measured as a price per Watt, which represents the full cost of an installation including design, permitting, materials, and labor. We offer systems in the range of $2.50-$4.00/Watt depending on your specific situation. That means an average system size of 5 kiloWatts (or 5,000 Watts) would cost between $12,500 and $17,500. In most cases, the majority of that cost can be recovered in the very first year after an installation through federal tax incentives, as well as energy savings. We are as transparent as possible about pricing because we stand for empowering the customer, and while we have to make sure our business remains healthy and sound we strive to do our part to keep solar affordable for residents in our region.

Answer: Check out our tutorial

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Dominion – Tutorial to find your electric bill

Do you get paper bills in the mail? Scan it or take a picture with your phone and email or text it to your solar consultation representative

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Pepco – Tutorial to find your electric bill

Do you get paper bills in the mail? Scan it or take a picture with your phone and email or text it to your solar consultation representative

The tax benefits differ per state, but one of the biggest benefits is the Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which has been significant in the support for solar growth nationwide. The ITC is worth 26% of the system’s cost and can be claimed by the system’s owner. This credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction in the amount of federal taxes owed.

Tax deductions reduce taxpayer’s taxable income. Tax credits reduce owed taxes.

The decision to buy or lease depends largely on your personal preference. Each option provides differing benefits for short-term and long-term savings. Tax benefits, credit score and financial position are also important factors in determining which option works best for your situation and needs. Your solar assessment specialist will be able to better explain the benefits of each.

Answer: Yes, multiple options.

We work with several banks that provide loan financing with competitive terms. We also partner with companies that can help you defray the upfront cost of a solar system by purchasing your Renewable Energy Credits upfront when you purchase a system. In some jurisdictions, you can pay for upwards of 80% of the cost of a system over the course of the first year with federal and local incentives and energy savings. This can even help to reduce the need for financing in some situations. Power Purchase Agreements are not offered; we encourage homeowners to enjoy the benefits of solar ownership.

Answer: 65% upfront, 35% at completion.

Our contract is standard, easy to understand, and allows you to a choice of payment options. You can either pay:

65% upfront at contract signing, and

35% at completion of installation

or:

25% at contract signing,

50% at equipment order,

15% at completion of installation, and

10% at final interconnection.

These options are to provide you with maximum flexibility based on your financial needs. We look forward to earning your business and showing you the value of a solar installation purchase!

There are two ways that you can get credit for your extra energy production. Net metering allows you to get credit on your utility bill that you can use when your solar is not producing as much power as you are using. You can also get paid for your extra energy in the form of Renewable Energy Credits, or RECs. The REC market is already established in MD and DC and will soon be available in VA as well. Read more about Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) here, and learn more about net metering here.

Answer: We have roofing partners

The best time to install a new roof is when you install a solar system, as it allows you to receive the Federal Investment Tax Credit of 30% on both the roof and the solar system. That means that you receive a very large discount not just on your solar system, but on the substantial cost of your roof as well. We partner with Apex Roofing to offer roof services and installation.

After performing a free virtual consultation, our solar assessment specialists will recommend a system that will function at the capacity you and your home require for complete efficiency. The electricity generated by your system is connected seamlessly into your existing electrical panel and is sent back to the utility grid when you generate more than you use. You will not be able to notice any difference.

As we navigate our new normal during the Covid-19 crisis, our answer to this question will probably vary. Normally we would say that from the time you sign your contract to the time your installation happens can range from about 4-6 months. Right now it’s best to check in with us on a case by case basis so that we can give you an accurate assessment of our project queue and your place in it. We do urge you to get your project in the queue so that we can get rolling on the process and ensure that you qualify for the 2020 federal tax credit of 26%. Once your installation day comes, the actual process of installing your solar project typically takes 1-2 days. Please read more about our contactless project process here and our Covid-19 response and precautions here.

As we navigate our new normal during the Covid-19 crisis, our answer to this question will probably vary. Normally we would say that from the time you sign your contract to the time your installation happens can range from about 4-6 months. Right now it’s best to check in with us on a case by case basis so that we can give you an accurate assessment of our project queue and your place in it. We do urge you to get your project in the queue so that we can get rolling on the process and ensure that you qualify for the 2020 federal tax credit of 26%. Once your installation day comes, the actual process of installing your solar project typically takes 1-2 days. Please read more about our contactless project process here and our Covid-19 response and precautions here.

After installation, your system will typically take another 30-60 days for interconnection, which is the responsibility of your utility, so they control the speed of the process. Once the system is interconnected and turned on, you can begin using the system and realizing the benefits, as well as register for Renewable Energy Credits (RECs). We will help you register for the RECs, which generally take another 30-60 days for approval, and finally we will help you register those RECs with the appropriate database so that you can sell them off, if you choose.

Yes, typically. Your solar power system generates electricity when the sun is out, during the peak hours of demand. But your utility will continue to supply your electricity at night and at other times when you are using more electricity than you are generating. Read more on our blog about how your solar electric system interfaces with your utility provider. 

Answer: Yes

We will manage all the paperwork to register a system with the utility and public service commission, in order to obtain your net meter and interconnect your system to the electricity grid. This means that you’ll be able to benefit from accruing credit on your utility account when your solar produces more energy than you can use, and get energy from the grid when you need it like at night. It also allows your system to generate Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) if applicable in your jurisdiction.

We will also process all permits and handle approval of your system from your city or county, and if necessary you homeowners’ association (HOA). If the thought of red-tape and bureaucracy bothers you, no worries! We handle it all so that within a few short weeks you’re on the path to a clean energy future.

Answer: Yes – Cellular connectivity is possible

We offer monitoring for every single system that we install, and have options for monitoring with a cellular signal for those without a reliable broadband internet connection.

While there is always the potential for data lag from the solar data servers to impact your instantaneous solar production monitoring, production history is always available so that the customer can easily review record-setting energy generation on clear, sunny days and compare data from past months and even years.

It doesn’t have to be completely sunny for your panels to produce electricity. In bad weather, your panel production won’t be 100%, but they will still be producing power. The exception is a snowstorm. If it snows enough for there to be a significant accumulation on your panels, no energy will be produced. However, snow slides easily off the panels, and panels are typically located where your roof gets the most exposure. Snow days will be factored into your system’s projected production. In Utah, there is an average of 5.26 daylight hours. This factors in snow and cloudy days. Solar panels can handle some pretty tough weather. Most solar panels are guaranteed to withstand hurricanes, and one-inch hail at 55 miles per hour. They are also built to withstand direct lightning strikes.

Answer: Yes, we can remove it.

We are happy to give you a quote at any time showing the cost to remove and reinstall the system, should the need arise.

If moving the system to a different location, other charges would apply. Keep in mind that any estimate about energy production your solar system are location-specific, and so installing those panels in a different place, oriented a different way, at a different angle, under different conditions will likely impact the utility bill offset and environmental benefits of the solar energy system.

Answer: Many brands including premium and All-American

We provide the option for American-made systems including manufacturers like Enphase. You can always upgrade your system if you would like panels that have a higher wattage capacity, backup battery storage, home energy monitoring and data collection, or other new technologies. We provide electric vehicle charger installations as well. Our electrical expertise allows us to be a one-stop-shop for your energy efficient solar and electric improvements.

Answer: 25 years on hardware, 12 years on labor

We offer a 25-year warranty on the solar panels and inverters, as well as a 12-year warranty on workmanship for solar installations for homes. That’s a longer warranty than you’ll find on just about anything you will ever purchase!

Our standard labor warranty for non-residential solar projects is 3 years.

The solar panel warranty is 25 years. Panels are projected to continue to work for up to 50 years with some loss in efficiency. The inverter warranty varies from 10 to 25 years, depending on the type needed for your installation.

Our customers have fallen in love with the look of solar on their roof. The look of solar has changed over the last few years as the technology has advanced. Panels are thinner and lighter and are now available with a darker blue inner and a black frame. Once solar is on your roof, it will blend in as good or better when comparing with roof vents or a satellite dish. Some say, “it’s bling for your roof!” Ultimately, you should request to see photos of an installation or go see one in person. Ask us for a list of homes/businesses that you can view, or click on one of our galleries.

The average panel used in our installations is 62 x 42 x 1.5 inches and weighs 41 pounds. This same panel produces over 325 watts, which means during perfect sunlight conditions, it will produce over 325 watts per hour.

No. For safety reasons, your home solar power system will automatically shut off if the power goes out. This is to protect utility workers who might be working on power lines in the event of an outage. You will not have power during this time unless you have installed a battery backup system.

Battery backup systems have become increasingly popular as storms increase in intensity and wildfires have become more prevalent. The addition of Tesla Powerwall battery storage provides a seamless switch from grid power to solar power when the electricity goes out.  Ipsun is a Certified Tesla Powerwall installer, bringing you the highest quality home batteries and expert installation.

Yes. The crystalline silicon cells degrade slightly over time due to exposure of UV light. This happens at a rate of about .4% per year. Panels now carry a linear warranty, meaning they are guaranteed not to degrade more than this amount per year for 25 years. All of our financial models take this degradation into account. Plus, solar is still considered to be an appreciating asset of real property due to the average annual increase in national power rates of 5%.

Yes. We include lifetime monitoring with our Enphase microinverter system. This allows you to see live production of your system on the Enphase Enlighten app. Enphase also monitors your system and sends you monthly production reports. It also alerts you and us if there is a problem with your system.

Reports show that solar increases home values by up to 4%, and transferring to a new owner is simple. Based on your purchase option, your solar assessment specialist can provide more information on the transfer process when selling a home with solar.

While most states have laws providing protection against restricting solar, there are rarely any issues with HOA or neighborhood organizations interfering with an installation. Your HOA may ask you to modify the design and/or location for aesthetic reasons, as long as the changes don’t significantly impact electricity production. Read more about HOA rules here.

Legislation was passed in Virginia’s 2020 General Assembly session that clarifies how much modification is allowed by an HOA.  Specifically, it says HOAs cannot instruct the homeowner to make changes to a project that would increase the cost by more than 5%, or decrease the expected output by more than 10%. You can read more on our Virginia policy page, and learn how policy changes in Virginia will affect solar customers on our blog.

A Tesla Powerwall is rated for up to 7 days of power storage dependent on a variety of factors. A Tesla Powerwall is not different than any other battery you’ve ever used. The more power you use from the battery the faster it will be depleted. If you want to make sure you can maintain power to your property for days at a time, you’ll need to install several Powerwall batteries together to increase your storage capabilities. Ipsun also offers additional hardware and software to control your power.

A Tesla Powerwall cost about $7,600 before installation and additional components.  As a rough estimate, you can expect the Tesla Powerwall to cost between $9,600 and $15,600 for a full system installation. We constantly hear that a Powerwall is cheaper via Tesla, but once you do a full price comparison of hardware, labor, permits, shipping, and taxes you’ll see the prices are comparable.

A Tesla Powerwall comes with a 10-year Tesla guarantee that the battery will maintain at least 70 percent of its capacity to hold a charge during that time period.

You can find all our warranty information at www.ipsunsolar.com/warranty

A rechargeable lithium ion battery with liquid thermal control. Specifically, it is a lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NMC) battery. This means higher energy density and increased safety.

If your Envoy has been disconnected from WiFi, often you can troubleshoot this issue on your own. Sometimes this can happen if you have changed your Internet Service Provider, network password, or network name. The steps to fix this problem are found in the link below, as well as in the video. If you give these steps a try and it doesn’t work, then please reach out to us – we’re always happy to help!

Click this link to walk through the steps to manually establish a network connection, which will require you to use a device such as a laptop, tablet, or smart phone. You will also need the password for your home’s Wi-Fi connection.

Follow these steps to get your Envoy back online manually

Or follow along with this video to reconnect using your Enlighten app:

As long as your panels are producing as they should, and you’re using the same amount of power as before you went solar, your bill will be lower.

If it’s not lower, a typical reason for this is something called the Rebound Effect. The Rebound Effect can sometimes happen to people who adopt new technologies in renewable energy and subconsciously are not as energy efficient as they were before. Without even thinking, you might not turn the lights out when you leave the room or you might be less vigilant about hot water use from your electric water heater because you know your power is renewable now. Before you know it, your house is lit up like a Christmas tree, your fingers are pruney, and your utility bill is just as high or higher than it was before.

You need a way to monitor your electricity use and production so that you can avoid this dreaded Rebound Effect and reap the benefits of lower bills. When we install your system, we will set you up with a monitoring system that will show you your solar production and how much grid energy you’re using during the day. If you add a consumption monitor, it’ll help you track your in-home energy usage as well. Check out this blog post to learn more!

For each 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity your solar energy system produces, a renewable energy credit is created. An average residential solar installation is about 10kW, so with a system of that size, you could generate up to one SREC per month. SRECs are traded on an open market like commodities, so the values can fluctuate and also differ from state to state.
SRECs are currently available in the MD and DC markets, and we’re hoping for Virginia’s SREC market to open up next year as a result of the Virginia Clean Economy Act. As soon as your solar system is operating, we’ll set you up on SREC Trade which will help facilitate your transactions.
What in the heck is an SREC? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwoSTV_STeE

If your Solar Edge inverter has been disconnected from WiFi, often you can troubleshoot this issue on your own. Sometimes this can happen if you have changed your Internet Service Provider, network password, or network name. The steps to fix this problem manually are found below, or you can watch the video to connect through your SetApp. If you give these steps a try and it doesn’t work, then please reach out to us – we’re always happy to help!

To walk through the steps to manually establish a network connection, see below. This will require you to use a device such as a laptop, tablet, or smartphone. You will also need the password for your home’s Wi-Fi connection.

Solar Edge wifi instructions

Solar Edge wifi instructions

 

To connect through your SetApp, check out this video:

Questions? Contact Ipsun Solar to get your solar questions answered

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