How Does Solar Work?
When sunlight hits your panels, they produce DC current through the photovoltaic effect.
Net Meter (Export)
All the excess power flows out through your meter. It used to only run one way (up, like your old power bill) but now it tracks everything you produce too.
An inverter (either one central unit or individual microinverters) switches it to AC current.
When the sun is down, you use the excess power you already banked. This means money back in your pocket for years to come.
Your home uses every bit of juice that it possibly can. You won’t notice a difference, but everything is running on sunshine.
Clean Energy Living
Solar panels last for decades, and don’t require maintenance. You’ll save money and save the planet all in one.
Is Your House Right For Solar in 3 Easy Steps
Switching your home over to solar power may seem like an overwhelming process, but with ipower Energy we eliminate the stress out of switching to solar. We can determine if your home is right for solar in 3 simple steps.
Confirm Your Energy Usage
Every household is different. When determining the size of your solar energy system, we check your electric bills to see how many kilowatt hours (kWhs) you use. By taking a look at your energy usage, we can appropriately design and size a custom solar system that meets your current and assumed future energy demands. Your energy usage is also important to ensure that we don't over calculate the number of solar panels needed, nor quote you a system that is too small
Design Your System
The next step in determining if your home is right for solar is designing a system that accomodates the amount of energy your home consumes. We'll look at the direction of you roof and the amount of viable roof space you have available to determine the maximum number of solar panels that can be installed. Vents, chimneys, and dormers can limit the system size resulting in an offset less than 100% of your annual electricity consumption.
Verify Your Roof's Condition
When all of our digital work is complete, it's time to visit your site to conduct a site survey where we will check your roof, your main electrical panel, and gather roof measurements and other detailed requirements for your solar installation project. The site survey is required on all projects in order to provide our Design and Engineering group the required information to accurately build and permit the project plans for installation.
What Happens After You Go Solar?
Net Energy Metering (NEM) is an electricity billing system that helps you reduce your monthly electric bill with the energy generated by your solar system. A special net meter measures the difference between the amount of electricity your system generates throughout the month and the amount of electricity the utility supplies. The utility calculates your bill using this difference, called net energy.
As a solar customer, you will receive an annual True-Up statement at the end of the 12th month of your billing cycle. The True-Up statement reconciles all of your cumulative energy charges, credits and compensation for the entire 12-month billing cycle. If you have a balance due after all charges and credits are reconciled, that amount will appear on the last utility bill of your 12-month billing cycle.
iPower Energy For A Better Solar Company and Customer Experience
When you're ready to upgrade your home to solar, its important to select a solar energy service company that provides and distributes its services in a manner that best serves the customer. Our “Improve, Inspire & Impact” formula means you get a better experience with iPower Energy than any other solar company in the industry.
About Solar: Does the government help pay for solar with grants or "free solar"?Be wary of ads that say "free anything". There are unfortunately lots of advertising claims out there about "free solar", "no-cost solar", or similar claims. The truth is that solar does cost money, but lots of things reduce that cost and make it very affordable. Federal Tax Credit Yes, the government does help reduce the cost of your solar. No, they don't give away entire solar arrays for free. The Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is a federal income tax credit. Currently it's set at 30% of the total cost. The way this incentive works is based on the total price you pay for solar, and how much you pay in taxes, so it's different for everyone. Financing You do have the option to pay the full cash price for solar if you want. But loan rates are great right now across the board. Lenders such as Goodleap, Sunlight Financial, Dividend, and Mosaic are excellent options to finance your solar array. You may have the option to pay nothing upfront (you might see "no out of pocket" ads) and have your payments be equal or less than current electricity bills (hence "zero cost" ads). When the loan is eventually paid off, you've got free electricity - or as close as you can get to it.
Solar Installation - How long does the install take?Not long at all! The solar installation itself, where our install team comes and puts the panels on the roof, only takes one or two days. The process from signing a contract to having the system turned on takes a little longer than that, but we are proud to be in the top 5% of the country for our speed to completion (confirmed by multiple industry sources). The longest wait times during the project are generally due to permitting departments at your local city or municipality, or inspectors from the city or the utility. You will get updates from our project team regularly throughout the process, so you never have to wonder what's going on.
About Solar: Can I add on to my existing solar system with more panels?It depends on the type of inverter system, the roof space & structure, and the utility, among other factors. Inverter Constraints Inverters are built to handle a specific amount of power from solar panels. With SolarEdge or similar central/string inverters, the main unit will be rated in kilowatts (kW) and the number of solar panels that can be attached is capped by that number. For example, a 6 kW inverter (6000 watts) could handle a total of 20 panels rated at 300 watts each. If your panels are 320 watts, that same inverter could only have 18 attached. If you wanted to add more, you'd need to buy a whole new inverter unit. If your system uses Enphase or other microinverters, each panel has its own inverter unit attached. This means that, in theory, more panels can be added to a system more easily because they aren't constrained by the upper limit of a single primary unit. However there may be other electrical system or design constraints. Roof Space & Structure If you're lucky enough to live under a big roof without a lot of people underneath, you might be able to fit more panels than your home would ever need. But every roof is different, and there are many building codes that solar arrays must conform to. The installer can't just go sticking panels willy-nilly at odd angles to squeeze a few more up there. Every array has to be designed and installed carefully, and considerations for weight/structural stability, internal wire runs, and aesthetics are all key parts of a good solar installer's job.
Does Solar Work On Cloudy Days?Solar panels work best when they are soaking up direct sunlight. But you don't have to worry about the solar working every minute of every day. The excess energy generated by your panels during sunny hours will offset energy that you use at night and other times when your system isn't operating at full capacity.
Do I Need To Clean My Solar Panels?While solar panels require little to no maintenance it is recommended to clean your panels at least once a year. With smog, dust, or dirt, you may see a dip in your production over time that can be remedied by cleaning your panels.
Why do I have to connect to the grid if I have solar panels on my roof?Even if you go solar, you may not always have enough power for your home. A solar-panel system, for example, doesn’t generate electricity at night, when the sun is down. During that time, you’ll need the grid to supplement your renewable system.
About Solar: Does solar have to go on my roof?Solar can be installed just about anywhere! The benefit of using the roof of your home is that the existing structure provides support for the array. If you want to put solar somewhere else in your backyard or on your property, you can do that too. But it will need some additional materials to make the project work. Here are some ideas: Ground Mounted Solar Arrays It is common to see utility-scale ground-mounted solar farms in wide-open pastures or broad stretches of desert. These often have a sun-tracking system to achieve maximum production. For residential applications, most ground-mounts are fixed structures. The solar panels can be set to any angle, which means they can achieve slightly higher efficiency than when set to the same angle as a roof slope. The downside is twofold: you need a large enough piece of property that you will lose access to, and the cost is higher because of the jungle-gym-like support structure and running wires underground to reach your main electric panel (a.k.a. "trenching"). Awning or Pergola A more attractive approach favored by some homeowners is setting up an awning, pergola, or covered patio that the solar sits atop. Again, you need a piece of property large enough, but you no longer lose access - instead, you have a nice shady spot to enjoy a summer barbecue. Costs can be slightly higher, but a bump in property value may follow too. Solar Shed The most utilitarian dual-purpose application is a "solar shed" or accessory unit. If you need more storage space, this is a great option because you can put a solar power plant right on top. Sheds will need to be well-built, with construction materials sturdy enough to support the solar array. As mentioned above, solar on the roof is generally the most cost-effective and straightforward approach, and the array will protect the shingles underneath from the elements. But we hope you find these alternatives intriguing!
How WIll Solar Impact the Resale Value of My Home?Buying a solar energy system will likely increase your home’s value. A recent study found that solar panels are viewed as home improvement upgrades, just like a renovated kitchen or adding a swimming pool, and home buyers across the country have been willing to pay a premium of about $15,000 for a home with an average-sized solar array. Additionally, there is evidence homes with solar panels sell faster than those without. In 2008, California homes with energy efficient features and PV were found to sell faster than homes that consume more energy. Keep in mind, these studies focused on homeowner-owned solar systems.