FAQ's

We strive to provide you the most informed answers to your questions. We have categorized our most common questions below, just click on a question to see the answer.
The categories are: Safety, Ownership, Capacity, Shading, Maintenance, Insurance, Cost, and Products.

If you have further questions or would like to speak with an expert, contact us.

Safety

Are there any safety concerns I should worry about with my system?
Your safety and the safety of your community take prime consideration. While our design and installation process operates under this rule, you should be aware of the potential hazard. Each individual panel can provide a more-than lethal amount of electricity if handled improperly. Only trained and qualified professionals should ever attempt to repair, maintain or adjust the system. While connecting wires will be hidden and secured behind the modules or contained inside conduit, they can still pose a danger to adults and children if handled improperly.
Are there Fire Code concerns?
The National Electrical Code, which governs these systems, specifies that if the DC conductors pass through the structure that they be in metallic conduit. This step is taken to insure that fire risk from potential faults is reduced. NEC also requires a disconnect switch for both the DC and AC conductors, which furthers protects your structure and your system from any fault.
So, how safe is this really?
Diagnostics and repairs should be performed by individuals who have been trained in what to expect from individual system components. Put quite plainly, a solar system is as safe as any other major appliance. Just like a microwave or TV set, you shouldn't disassemble your PV system.
(back to top)

Ownership

How user-friendly will my system be?
Your system will be nearly autonomous. It will turn itself on when enough sunlight is reaching the panels. It automatically finds the best conversion levels to harvest that light, and then interface with your local grid. All these functions are automatic and don't need constant monitoring. Individual settings can be made and once set, are as automatic as turning on your computer or coffee maker. Should any problem arise, the system will instantaneously turn off and await either a local grid correction or a maintenance call.
How long does my system last?
The panels we install today should still be at 75% output after 25 years. Panels installed in the 1970's are still producing today.
How long do I have to keep this system?
The rebate and Renewable Energy Credit are based on a 20 year contract.
If I sell the property, is the system transferable?
Yes, actually the contract with Xcel Energy covers this in detail.
Will my HOA have any cause for concern over my system?
Depending on the rules of your HOA, they may ask you to restrict some aspect of your installation. There is no standard here. Legislation passed in 2004, Amendment 37, says that they can not deny your right to put a solar energy system on your roof.
My panels are quite valuable, how much should I worry about theft?
Typically, rooftop systems are secure and due to location as well as the time and effort required to remove them, they remain at low risk.
How fast can my system be installed?
We work with you to define the system size and operations levels. Once you are satisfied, we submit the required information to your local authorities, draw permits, receive ordered materials and install. Every system is unique and different jurisdictions have varying requirements. Installation may be only a few days, or a few weeks.
(back to top)

Capacity

How much wattage can I get installed?
The wattage installed depends on the area you have that will allow effective installation of PV. Shading from trees and buildings, as well as the orientation of the structure combine with obstructions on your roof to dictate available area.
My electrical needs vary greatly over time, will my system be able to cope?
This is the single most appealing aspect of the Grid-Tie system type. Your system effectively uses your local grid as the biggest, most efficient battery available. When you use more power than your system is providing, the extra power comes from the grid, and vice versa.
What happens to my system during a black-out?
down, your system will automatically disconnect and power-down as well, even if the sun is shining. This is mostly for the safety of the linemen who are attempting to fix the problem.
Do I need batteries?
A backed-up PV system allows you to maintain power when your local grid goes down. Typically only a few household circuits are backed-up, so that if the outage continues into the night or longer, you still have power. The more batteries you opt for, the longer you can maintain power for more circuits.
(back to top)

Shading

Colorado skies are usually clear, but what can I expect from my system on cloudy days?
You system needs a certain level of sunshine to operate. Surprisingly, this level can be reached before the sun even comes up! Cloudy weather will decrease your production. As a rule of thumb, if the sun is up, your panels are producing. It should be noted that shadows caused by objects such as plumbing vents or trees are much sharper than the shadow of a passing cloud. We design your array to minimize the affects of daily shading from trees or other objects.
Do I have to remove my trees?
No, your PV array is designed to compliment your landscaping and environment, not dominate it. While an open field or parking structure is usually optimum, we design your array for your specific needs.
(back to top)

Maintenance

What sort of maintenance program comes with my system?
That depends on your desired level of investment. We will provide any service level from maximum lifetime availability to minimal involvement. If the equipment fails due to a warranty covered issue, there is no charge for the service.
What sort of Warranty can I expect for my system?
The modules typically have a 5 year warranty. The inverter has a 5 year warranty which is upgradeable to 10 years for an additional payment.
If the structure needs repair, or shading becomes a nuisance, can my system be moved?
Yes, but there will be a charge to do so, as this will require additional labor and materials.
If PV technology advances beyond that of these panels, can my system be updated?
Yes, again this depends on your desired level of investment. You should be aware that the contract with your utility will most likely not change should you upgrade. This means that the utility is not obligated to offer more rebates should your system grow.
Can I expand my system at a later date?
Yes, but your contract with your utility will not require any additional rebates for expanding a contracted system. A simple solution would be to add a second separate system at that time, instead of adding to an existing system. A new system would fall under whatever policies are in effect at that time.
What are the Roof replacement concerns?
As part of the evaluation of your site for the PV, we will look at the condition of your roof. If it has apparent faults or damage, we will recommend repair or replacement as deemed necessary.
What sort of damage will my system be susceptible to?
The panels are designed for normal weather conditions. That is, they are rated for normal snow-loads, typical summer storms with hail and other conditions like dust and very cold temperatures. Of course, there are always conditions that cannot be protected against, such as extreme weather, vandalism and collision.
(back to top)

Insurance

How will my system affect my insurance rates?
This is a question you should discuss with your agent, or company. Most insurance companies at this time treat an array installed to code as a normal electrical addition to your home; neither increasing nor decreasing the risk.
Are there any special requirements I have to complete to insure my system?
You should inform your agent, as with anything that increases the value of your home. As part of the contract and documentation process, you will be asked to provide a copy of your insurance cover page with the coverage limits.
(back to top)

Cost

What monetary value can I expect from the rebate system?
Depending on how you choose to proceed with the financing of your system, the rebates can add up to half of the total installed cost. The rebate system is dependent on the system size, orientation and geographical location.
Can the projected rebate be used as a down payment?
Yes, the rebate can be used as payment, but the "Down payment" must be made with pre-rebate funding.
Are there any tax incentives?
Yes, at this time the tax write-off is 30% of total cost. This is capped at $2,000 for residential systems.
How will my system affect my property value?
This has actually been addressed by the legislature. The current interpretation is that the value of your home increases by $2.00 for every kilowatt of energy cost avoided. So a 3,000 Watt system should produce about 4,500 kWh each year. That works out to a $9,000 increase in property value.
How much money can I save?
Depending on your needs and the size of your system, you might net a negative total usage, you might break even or at least have a decreased electrical bill.
How much will this cost me?
Current pricing is from $6.90 to $9.50 per installed watt. Larger systems are more cost effective than smaller systems. Add-ons like remote monitoring, tracking systems and battery back-ups cost more. In the end, system size defines the cost.
(back to top)

Products

(back to top)