Solar Education with our FAQ
What is Net Metering?
What is the Solar Investment Tax Credit?
How do Solar Warranties Work?
What is LivSmart’s Mission?
Is solar a good investment for my family?
How do I know if my home is a good fit for solar?
Think solar is too expensive?
What is involved in going solar?
Do I need to buy a battery?
What are my options for purchasing energy?
Net metering is what allows the extra electricity your home generates to go back to the grid. Net metering has been approved for use in almost all US states, and this policy states that each kilowatt hour of electricity you do not use and you send to the grid, you will received a credit for. For example, if your home produces 15 extra kilowatt hours of electricity that is sent back to the grid, you will receive 15 hours of kilowatt electricity credit on your electric bill.’
Net metering is very important as it allows you to send the energy you produce during the daytime back to the grid for credit, then during the nighttime you can use those credits for the electricity your home needs. Think of your home as a little power plant, creating energy from the sun for you to use when it is needed.
How does the Solar Investment Tax Credit work?
The Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is an amazing incentive to upgrade your home to solar. When you go Solar you will receive a 26% (as of 2021) rebate on your taxes from the Federal Government. It is important to know though the credit is slated to go down in future years, so take advantage of this rebate while it is 26%!
The ITC Tax Credit gives you a 26% credit on your taxes. So for example, if your solar system costs $20,000, you would receive a $5200 tax credit on your federal income taxes. When you file your taxes you are going to include the cost of the solar system and the government is going to send you a check back for the ITC credit, or simply deduct it from your tax liability. This applies If you pay upfront for your system, or finance it.
One of the most common questions our clients ask is how a solar warranty works. There are three types of solar warranties:
Net metering is the policy that really enables your solar to work for you. In most US states, there is a policy that says for every kilowatt hour that you put into the grid, you will receive a credit for that kilowatt hour. So if your solar system produces 10 kilowatt hours of energy, and it puts those 10 kilowatt hours into the grid, that’s 10 kilowatt hours you get back. That’s what net metering is.
The first one is on the panels. When you buy a solar system for power, those panels are typically warrantied for 25 years. What that means is they’re guaranteed to work for 25 years and continue to produce power. Now, depending on the panel you buy, that production guarantee could be anywhere from 85% of the power they were producing on day one, all the way up to 92% if you opt for a higher-efficiency, premium panel.
The second type of warranty is on your inverter, which is the component of your system that transforms the energy you get directly from the sun into usable AC current that can actually power your home: turn on your lights, power your A/C, help you watch TV and all that good stuff. Your inverter is warrantied anywhere from 12 to 25 years. And a lot of times we will also include an extended option for 30 years, which really makes it a complete no-brainer.
Now the third part of the warranty covers what’s called the workmanship. Our workmanship warranty is for 10 years. That means all the work that we do on your house when we’re installing your solar system, when we’re on your roof while you’re working, when we’re working inside your electrical panel. All of that work is guaranteed for 10 years to make sure that there’s absolutely no issues.
25 years on the panels, 12 to 30 years on the inverter, 10 years on the workmanship warranty. Truly, we’ve got you covered when it comes to protecting your solar investment and making sure that it provides value to you for the long haul.
The simple answer is, YES! But lets review the reasons solar is a good investment for your home and family.
First, the solar system you are adding to your home will immediately increase the value of your home. If you decide to sell your home you will increase the value and it will be easier to sell because you have already invested in upgrading your home to solar energy. (Solar energy is a sought after feature homebuyers are looking for)
Second, you are locking in the price you will be paying for your electricity. As the cost of electricity continues to rise year over year, your monthly price will remain the same. Saving you thousands of dollars each year.
We wish we could tell you that every home is a good fit for solar, but unfortunately that’s not always the case. If you’re unsure after reading what to look for below, get in touch and we will help you determine if solar is a good fit for you.
Number one is called “sun exposure” – does your roof (or the location of your solar panels) get enough access to the sun? One of the things we’ll do is analyze your sun exposure from satellite images and other technology to make sure that you’ve got what’s called “proper solar access”. There’s a percentage we’re looking for which, as long as you’ve got that, you’re good to go.
Number two is orientation. What direction would your panels be facing? Ideally we would want the panels facing South or West, since that is where the most sunshine hits. So you’re looking for the right sun exposure, you’re looking for the right orientation.
And then there’s just number three. Are there any structural issues with your house or roof that would make it difficult to mount solar panels? And if it turns out that it doesn’t work for solar, no harm done, you got educated and you know it is what it is. But that’s the reason why I encourage you to reach out and get a no-cost proposal from us so we can actually do the hard work of analyzing your property and show you exactly how much money you can save by going solar.
One of the biggest questions that everybody has about solar is “How do I pay for it?” The old misconception was that it actually took cash to go solar. People thought, well, solar is expensive, because I have to spend this upfront cash. That could not be further from the truth.
Today, in fact, solar is the least expensive option to get energy in most of the United States. And with low interest rates and lots of finance programs, it is typically easy for most homeowners to get zero-down financing. There are two primary ways to finance your solar system today: with a low interest rate loan or a lease. Let’s talk about both options.
A zero down loan means that you can choose a loan term, whether it’s five years, 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, or 25 years. We offer all of those, and we offer them at the most competitive rates possible. Now, when you go solar with a zero down loan, what that means is, you finance the system through your loan provider, and instead of paying a monthly bill to your utility, you simply pay a less expensive monthly payment to your loan provider. So you get to keep the difference.
If, for some reason, a person can’t get a loan, they will often choose a lease. This may be because they don’t have a tax liability and can’t keep the tax credit. A lease is exactly like it sounds – every single month, you’ll pay a lease payment. And you’ll pay that usually over 20 years. It’s that simple. Your lease payment is going to be less than what you used to pay your utility bill, which means you’re saving money every single month.
We will help you figure out what is best for you. When you get a proposal from us, our consultants are going to sit down with you. They’re going to show you all the different options and help you decide what’s best for you. They’re going to show you how much money you can save with Powur and we’re going to make it as easy as humanly possible for you to understand and make your decision.
So what happens when you sign an agreement to go solar with power? Actually, the agreement is the hardest part! Once you sign your agreement, we do the rest. We will assign you a dedicated project manager that will keep you posted through every step of your project.
First, we will schedule your site survey. Next, we create the design that gets submitted to the City to receive a construction permit. Once the permit is received, we schedule your installation, which typically takes 1-3 days depending on the size of your system. After we finish installing the solar system on your house, we schedule the city inspector and/or your utility company to approve the installation and give you what is called “permission to operate”, or PTO. Once you have PTO, we power on your system and you can enjoy clean power for your home from sunshine. The whole process typically takes 30-60 days. Although much of that time is simply waiting for permits, inspectors and the like.
There are two primary ways that homeowners benefit from owning a battery:
First, you can use the battery for backup power. If the grid goes down, you’re still covered. If disaster strikes, if there’s a hurricane in your area, or a fire, or any the things that we’re all dealing with now, on a much more common basis, having a battery will allow you to continue to have electricity in your home, even if your utility company can’t provide it.
The second reason is that you can often actually save money by getting a battery if you live in a region with specific rate structures where you would benefit from using stored power from the battery during more expensive times of the day. In many regions, net metering policy allows you to save money without the need for the battery, unless you want the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your home can provide electricity even when your utility company can’t. Ask your Powur consultant for more information. They’ll be able to give you a detailed proposal of exactly how much a system will cost with a battery if you’re interested in one. We work with all the biggest battery manufacturers and we can absolutely make sure that you get taken care of – whichever way is best for you.
So let’s talk about your options. Really, when it comes to your future with energy, you only have two options.
Number one is you go solar, you choose to actually take control of your power, take your power back, spend less for solar energy and the energy you need for your home than it currently costs you to get that from your utility, increase the value of your home, be energy independent, and do the right thing for our environment. For goodness sakes, the sunshine doesn’t cause pollution, right? So let’s stop polluting our air, our land, our water, and let’s start powering our lives in a way that as Americans we can really be proud of. We’re doing the right thing. We’re taking care of future generations. And when history looks back on the actions we took, they’re going to know we did the right thing. So that’s option number one.
With Powur, we make that incredibly simple for you. Zero down financing, handling the entire project from start to finish. There’s really nothing you need to worry about, we’re going to take care of it for you.
Option number two is you don’t do anything. You just stay with your utility. And you already know what that is. Yeah, your lights are probably going to turn on unless there’s a big power outage or something. But you’re going to spend a lot more for that energy. And you’re going to keep paying utility every single month, month after month after month till the day you die.
Just think about it. Are you ever not going to need energy? Unless you’re planning on moving to a hut in the woods, you’re going to be spending money with your utility company. So why not go solar, do it for less and produce your own energy? And by the way, once that loan payment is paid off, if you do use a zero down option, there’s no more payment, you just have free energy. Imagine if you weren’t spending anything on a monthly basis for energy.
That’s where you can get to with solar versus being stuck in a life long, expensive contract forever with a company that you probably don’t even really like, be honest. Do you like your utility company? Do you feel like they’re taking care of you? Do they have your back? Well, I can tell you that our sincere aim is to serve you.
We want to be a better energy provider. We want to save you money. We want to help you feel proud of how you power your home. And we want to get you all the best equipment, the best technology to set you up for the future. So those are your two options. And I leave it to you to choose. But I truly and sincerely hope that you go solar with Powur. Let us help you save money and accelerate a sustainable energy future for mankind.