residencal-solar5.jpg
Frequently asked questions

Have a question about going solar or Westhaven energy systems? Then, we have an answer for you. Our FAQs are designed to provide more insight into how solar, batteries, and generators work, including our ultra-reliable energy system, Power A.L.I.

ASK US ANYTHING

Don’t see an answer you’re looking for? Book a time with us to learn more here.

WHY GO SOLAR

What are the financial benefits of solar energy?


Going solar means that you’ll save money on your monthly electricity bills, and protect yourself from any rate increase in future. Any solar power you produce is the power that you don’t have to purchase from the utility. How much you can save will depend on your utility provider and rates in your area, but going solar is a great investment for the future, no matter where you live.




How do I find out how much I pay for electricity?


The easiest way to find out how much you pay for electricity and how much electricity you use is to view your electricity bills from your utility provider. Typically, this information can be found on your utility provider's website, through your customer account.




What incentives are available to me?


California residents are eligible for federal tax incentives for the purchase and of eligible solar storage systems. The solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is available through December 31, 2020, and allows you to deduct 26% of the cost of your solar energy system from your taxes. We’d recommend that you install your systems during the low season in order to skip the rush during fall. Additionally, if you reside in a tier 2 or tier 3 area and have experienced two PG&E shutdowns, your home may qualify for a rebate on solar storage through the Self-Generation Incentive Program. Find out if you’re on the fire map here.




How will going solar impact my property value?


Solar is one of the few home improvement projects that increases your home’s value compared to a kitchen upgrade. According to Forbes, homeowners typically recover approximately 97% of their investment costs, in addition to the savings associated with reduced energy bills.




What are the environmental benefits of solar energy?


While many people choose to go solar for financial reasons, solar power also has many environmental benefits. The renewable free source of energy is sustainable and inexhaustible, unlike fossil fuels that are finite. It is also a non-polluting source of energy and it does not emit any greenhouse gases when producing electricity. Fossil fuels—coal, oil, and natural gas—do substantially more harm than renewable energy sources such as solar, including air and water pollution, damage to public health, wildlife and habitat loss, water use, land use, and global warming emissions.





SOLAR TECHNOLOGY

What are the financial benefits of solar energy?


Going solar means that you’ll save money on your monthly electricity bills, and protect yourself from any rate increase in future. Any solar power you produce is the power that you don’t have to purchase from the utility. How much you can save will depend on your utility provider and rates in your area, but going solar is a great investment for the future, no matter where you live.




How do I find out how much I pay for electricity?


The easiest way to find out how much you pay for electricity and how much electricity you use is to view your electricity bills from your utility provider. Typically, this information can be found on your utility provider's website, through your customer account.




What incentives are available to me?


California residents are eligible for federal tax incentives for the purchase and of eligible solar storage systems. The solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is available through December 31, 2020, and allows you to deduct 26% of the cost of your solar energy system from your taxes. We’d recommend that you install your systems during the low season in order to skip the rush during fall. Additionally, if you reside in a tier 2 or tier 3 area and have experienced two PG&E shutdowns, your home may qualify for a rebate on solar storage through the Self-Generation Incentive Program. Find out if you’re on the fire map here.




How will going solar impact my property value?


Solar is one of the few home improvement projects that increases your home’s value compared to a kitchen upgrade. According to Forbes, homeowners typically recover approximately 97% of their investment costs, in addition to the savings associated with reduced energy bills.




What are the environmental benefits of solar energy?


While many people choose to go solar for financial reasons, solar power also has many environmental benefits. The renewable free source of energy is sustainable and inexhaustible, unlike fossil fuels that are finite. It is also a non-polluting source of energy and it does not emit any greenhouse gases when producing electricity. Fossil fuels—coal, oil, and natural gas—do substantially more harm than renewable energy sources such as solar, including air and water pollution, damage to public health, wildlife and habitat loss, water use, land use, and global warming emissions.





INSTALLING SOLAR

Should I repair or replace my roof before going solar?


It’s important that your roof is in good shape. If your roof is more than 10 years old, we’d recommend a lifespan check to ensure it is healthy enough for a solar installation. Luckily, we are licensed in that area and can do a full assessment - just say the word.




How long does it take to install a system?


To learn more about our installation process, click here.




How do I select a qualified installer?


When choosing an installer, you’ll want to consider many criteria. We’ve distilled the most important into a comprehensive list below.

  • Experience: It’s important to assess the company’s overall experience. How many installations have they completed? How long have they been in the industry? Our team has been in the business for over 20 years and we understand what it means to take care of our turf - Northern California.
  • Licensing and certifications: While no universal solar license exists, you always should ensure that the company has the right licenses, which affirm that the business is in good standing. For us, we have licenses for all of your energy needs:
    • B - General Construction
    • C10 - Electrical
    • C20 - Warm Air & Heating
    • C39 - Roofing
    • C46 - Solar




Does Westhaven energy systems come with warranties?


Solar installations come with three warranties: product warranties, power production warranties, and installation warranties.

  • Product warranties guarantee the physical integrity of your solar panels and inverters. For example, should a soldered connection on one of your panels fail (adversely affecting its electricity production), that panel would be replaced under the product warranty. Product warranties are offered through the manufacturer, not your installer.

  • For solar panels, most manufacturers offer a 10-year product warranty. Some high-end panel manufacturers offer longer product warranties, up to 25 years. Inverters come with product warranties that range from 10 to 25 years. Central (or string) inverter manufacturers offer 10- to 15-year product warranties, while micro inverter manufacturers offer 25-year product warranties.
  • Power production warranty guarantees that the solar panel will produce at least 80 percent of its capacity for a minimum of 25 years, offered and protectedthrough our PoWr Guard program. If it doesn’t live up to expectations, we’ll pay you the power difference!*

  • Labor warranty covers the installer’s workmanship, including electrical wiring work and any roof penetrations made to attach your solar panels to the roof, which we provide for a cost.




What if my system has problems?


Connect with our Support Team.




What should I do if I’m a member of a homeowners association?


We’ve got you covered. We’ll provide you with a customized mock up plan, designed specifically for your home based on your needs. This will demo what the roof (or ground) will look like once the panels have been installed, and will be a compelling resource to share with your HOA.




What is the process to get my system permitted?


Sit back and relax. We take care of it, so you don’t have to.





STORAGE TECHNOLOGY

Is there a rebate for residential battery storage installation?


Yes. If you live in a high fire risk community (and have a low income), you may be eligible for Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) money when you install a battery with solar panel system. This combination must draw at least 75 percent of the charge, have a single-cycle round-trip efficiency of at least 85 percent, and are enrolled in some kind of time-varying rate program. This new SGIP program can cover up to 100 percent of the total cost of a home battery system installation, with a rebate of $1 per watt-hour of battery storage installed. For instance, a Tesla Powerwall battery that holds 13.5 kilowatt hours (kWh) could be eligible for a rebate of $13,500 or the amount equal to the system cost. In order to qualify for the new equity resiliency incentive, you must be a homeowner in a Tier 2 or Tier 3 high fire threat area. Type in your address here to see if you qualify, then apply for SGIP (between March and April 2020). The online application can be found here.




How does battery backup work?


Let us start by saying, going solar is a smart decision, period. It doesn’t matter how you go solar, but who you go with. This decision will impact how much you save money. There are two ways to go solar:

  • Allow the utility company to be your battery, where you continue to rent your power from. They send your unused energy elsewhere, and return it when you need it for a discounted rate (e.g. at night). This means that the utility takes the power you generate, and sells it back to you, which still significantly saves you money compared to the status quo. However, the caveat is that you are still dependent on the grid and susceptible to high peak energy rates, limiting control over your own power.
  • Be your own utility and store your energy with a battery. What’s yours is yours! The biggest advantage here, as we see many of our homeowners take the leap, is the ability to control your power. This coupled with a generator ensures that you have electricity during an outage and protects you from Time-of-Use/Time-of-Day pricing during peak hours, and Rule 21.




What is Rule 21 and how does it impact you?


Rule 21 is an interconnection tariff levied by the California Public Utility Commission that sets rules for performance of power generation. It allows the utility to control your solar inverter and limit your energy production at any given time. This often occurs when the company cannot profit from the surplus you generated and limits their payback/credits back to you, meaning you lose money. So when we install a battery and solar system to your home, the unused energy is transferred back to the battery for storage. You’ll use that energy at night instead of the utility’s - and won’t have to pay for the power you had already generated. This is the closest option to grid independence and to maximize your solar investment. As the grid continues to fail, we believe that every home will soon require a battery installation. Just as every household needs a water, heating and air system, they will need a whole house solar and storage system to meet their family’s energy needs.




What’s an inverter and do I need one?


The short answer is yes. As the most overlooked piece of the battery system, inverters manage when and how your batteries run. All battery storage systems require an inverter and will be programmed to run based on your preferences and needs.





fb-white-icon.png
insta-white-icon.png
twitter-white-icon.png
linkedin-white-icon.png
youtube-white-icon.png

CA State Lic. 965111

© 2020 Westhaven Power. All Rights Reserved.