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Thousand Oaks Solar FAQ

  • Q:How Does Solar Power Work?

    A:Solar energy systems, also known as photovoltaic (PV) systems, collect energy from the sun and use it to make electricity. When sunlight strikes your solar panels, they produce electrons as a byproduct of the interaction of sunlight with semiconductor materials. The movement of these electrons creates a direct current (DC) of power. DC is the only type of current that your solar cells can produce. However, most of your appliances and systems operate on alternating current (AC) energy, usually supplied by your utility provider. To make the energy produced by your solar panels compatible with your appliances, it’s fed into an inverter that transforms the DC power into AC power, after which it is transferred into the main electrical panel that powers your home or business.

  • Q:What Types of California Incentives/Rebates are Available?

    A:Unfortunately solar rebates are no longer available in California but with the Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) you may be eligible for a sizable rebate on a battery storage solution.

  • Q:What is the Current Status of the Federal Tax Credit?

    A:The Federal Tax credit of 30% is set to continue through the end of 2019. Stepping down by 4% to a 26% credit in 2020 and again stepping down by another 4% to 22% in 2021 and beginning in 2022 there will remain a 10% tax credit for commercial installations with no credit for residential installations.

  • Q:Will Solar Increase My Home’s Resale Value?

    A:According to a Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) study, the answer is a resounding yes – at least in California.

  • Q:Property Taxes?

    A:You’re protected by Section 73 or of the California Revenue and Taxation Code, which allows a property tax exclusion for your system. Your property taxes CANNOT be increased because of a solar installation.

  • Q:How Much Will Switching to Solar Cost Me?

    A:The cost varies depending on many factors, including the solar energy system’s size, equipment options, type of roof, and current utility bill. Typically, the installed costs are determined based on the size of the system’s output. The “cost per watt” is often used for comparing systems of different sizes.

  • Q:What Kind of Warranty Can I Get?

    A:Most Solar panel manufacturers provide a 20 to 25-year warranty with varying performance guarantees and most inverters include a 10 to 20-year warranty. The contractor shall provide a minimum 10-year warranty for no-cost repair and replacement of the system for any expenses not otherwise covered by the manufacturer.

  • Q:What Cleaning or Maintenance is Required?

    A:PV output can be impacted by dirt accumulation. The frequency of cleaning depends on the location. For example, locations closer to freeways or industrial facilities, or in high-wind areas are likely to accumulate dirt more rapidly and should be cleaned more frequently.

  • Q:How Long Does the Installation take?

    A:Installation times vary based on the type of roof, mounting system, and size of the PV system being installed, but our team can typically get things up and running within 2 to 3 weeks.

  • Q:How Soon Can I Start Seeing Savings?

    A:As soon as your utility company has issued a Permission to Operate (PTO) letter, you can switch on the system and start seeing savings immediately!

  • Q:Do I Have Enough Area to Install Solar Panels on My Roof?

    A:The amount of roof space needed is based on the size, or generating capacity, of the solar energy system you want to install. Residential solar energy systems can vary in size from 50 square feet to 1,000 square feet. A good rule of thumb is that a square foot of PV module produces 10 watts of power in bright sunlight. For example, this means that a 2,000-watt system would require about 200 square feet of roof area.

  • Q:Will I Still Have Access to Solar Energy if the Utility Grid Goes Down?

    A:If a power outage occurs, your solar energy system is designed to immediately shut down for safety reasons. A grid-tied solar electric system does not provide power during outages unless it includes a battery storage system. Your power will be reinstated moments after grid power is restored; however, you may need to manually reset your solar system’s inverter back to service after your power is reinstated (most auto-reset after power is restored).

  • Q:What Is the Payback Period?

    A:The exact payback period depends on several different factors, including the amount of energy your PV system generates, the current price of grid-tied energy in your area, the total cost of your installation including incentives, and your choice of financing. A lease will provide the most immediate savings but if you own your solar panels, the savings will eventually far exceed the upfront installation costs with a typical payback of 5 to 7 years.

Still need answers? Let us know!

 We’re always happy to help educate our Thousand Oaks and Ventura County neighbors on the benefits of solar energy!

Hear From Our Happy Customers

  • “Mark and his team made the whole process so easy. 24 hours after installation my system was up and running and I began paying myself! What a wonderful feeling! I love the Smart Solar app and how it enables me to monitor my production. Go with Smart Solar!”

    - Barbara G.
  • “Their motto is to leave the property better than the way they found it, and they totally lived up to that promise! Mark and his crew are all so professional and their attention to detail is impeccable. We highly recommend Smart Solar.”

    - Debbie C.
  • “They explain the product option thoroughly and clearly. They answer questions clearly. There installation was easy and detailed me with great care for the home. I would have no hesitation referring them to my friends and family.”

    - Candice A.
  • “We purchased our solar system from smart solar and couldn’t be happier. Their proposal was competitive, their customer service couldn’t have been better, The owner was on top of everything! Truly a pleasure to do business with.”

    - Happy Customer
  • “They showed up when they said they would and completed the installation on time. Mark was involved with the installation & went above and beyond with his helpful suggestions and efforts to make everything right. I would definitely recommend them!”

    - Sue M.

Our Promise to You

  • Experienced with Unique & Typical Jobs
  • Financing Options Available
  • Knowledgeable Team of Experts
  • Provide Quality Products
  • Competitive & Upfront Pricing
  • Provide Proper & Aesthetic Installation

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