Answers For NV Energy’s Residential Solar Checklist

Nevada Solar Power
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Nevada solar power - GSG answers NV Energy's Solar Questions Checklist

For those who have seen the NV Energy solar checklist, it’s quite daunting. However, customers need not fear. 

Go Solar Group has compiled the NV Energy list of solar questions into manageable chunks. These categories differentiate between different question types NV Energy has deemed most important for those considering residential solar.

Buying vs. Leasing: Go Solar Group’s Stance

The type of purchase option the customer chooses can make or break their solar experience later on. Most customers either buy the system outright, purchase it through a loan or lease the system.

Ultimately the buyer determines which financing options will work best for them. However, because leasing solar has less ROI for the customer, Go Solar Group doesn’t offer a leasing program for its systems. 

Solar Power Rocks has savings comparison charts that help customers determine the potential pay off of each financing option for their state. They also have general information about each financing option and the pros and cons of each one.

What’s the installed-cost comparison of leasing versus owning the system?

Determining the best deal means looking at the cost comparison for solar in Nevada. Let’s look at what the savings for a 7.2 kW system would offer Nevadans. 

While a lease would put the ownership of the array in someone else’s hands, this option does provide some savings. Throughout a 25-year lease, the customer would end up saving about $9,060.

A zero-down loan over 12 to 15 years increases the saving potential. Savings through a loan comes to $16,955 over the 25-year warrantied lifetime of the solar panels.

Buying a system with cash requires putting out a lot of money in the first year. However, interest savings make up for it. Cash solar systems will pay for themselves within six years and save Nevadans $25,641 over 25 years.

If you lease a system, who owns any renewable energy credits associated with the system?

With a leased solar array, the solar company receives the energy credits. This tax break allows them to offer a lower monthly rate than a solar loan.

If you lease a system, can you buy it before the end of the lease term?

Those who choose to lease a solar array might have the option to buy it before the end of the lease. However, it often costs more. It’s best to double-check for extra fees attached to getting out of the lease early.

If you lease a system, who owns it at the end of the lease?

Who owns the system depends on the type of lease. A Power Purchase Agreement gives homeowners the option to own the system at some point in the lease. With most lease options, however, the customer will never own the system.

If you lease a system, who pays to remove it and repair the roof at the end of the lease?

Often the company that leased the solar panels removes the system. However, it’s a good idea to make sure. If the homeowner decides to get out of your lease early, they will most likely have to pay for system removal and roof repair.

If you lease a system, who pays the taxes on it, including any increase in property taxes?

It’s our understanding that the homeowner would pay any taxes owed on the leased system. However, commercial systems have some property tax and sales tax exemptions. Clarify with the solar company before getting into a lease what taxes you will owe.

If you lease a system and decide to sell your property, what happens to the lease and the installation?

Deciding to sell a home before the solar lease is up can become a bit of a hassle. If the buyer will assume the lease and can qualify for it, then you’re in luck.

However, without a buyer willing to take on the lease, the homeowner will need to buy out the lease so they can sell the home. Leased solar panels might have the option of moving to a new home instead. However, it will cost more time and money, and in the end, you still don’t own the system.

Know Your Nevada Solar Warranties Before You Install

Understanding the warranties included before purchasing a solar array provides clear expectations. The two most important aspects of solar product warranties include the warranty length and what it will cover.

If there is a warranty issue, can you coordinate repairs or do you have to let the manufacturer or installer have an opportunity to resolve the issue?

It’s best to inform your installer first. The installer will contact the manufacturer and take care of warranty issues. If the repairs aren’t covered, you can then decide how best to proceed.

If there’s a hardware warranty issue, who’s responsible for the costs of removing the old panel and installing the replacement panel?

If the warranty doesn’t cover the type of damage, then the homeowner will need to pay for the repair. However, before forking out the cash, check the home insurance policy; It might cover the damages.

Who’s responsible for equipment replacement while the hardware is under warranty?

While under warranty, Go Solar Group will take care of manufacture warranties. Just schedule the service, and we will take care of it.

What are the consequences and remedies for the installer’s warranty if the installer goes out of business?

When large installers go bankrupt, different companies often buy them. When this happens, customers don’t have to worry about their service changing much.

Small installers get bought out too, but this doesn’t always happen. If this causes worry, an operations and maintenance plan will help. This plan will cover the cost of maintaining your system should your installer cease to exist.

It’s also important to note that the manufacturer will still honor their warranties, even if the solar installer isn’t in business. The manufacturer can help you find a local installer that works with their products.

What are the consequences and remedies for the hardware warranty if the hardware manufacturer goes out of business?

When a manufacturer goes bankrupt, the coverage may go with it. To protect against this possibility, you can do one of three different things. 

First, you can buy an extended warranty, which will offer protection through the installer. If, however, the installer goes out of business too, then you’re out of luck.

The second option includes buying insurance for the installation. It’s important to note that these plans often end up costing the same as it would require to repair the system when needed. 

The third option entails buying products from a warranty-insuring manufacturer. Third-party backing holds up these warranties.

Nevadan Pre-solar Installation Questions

Answers to pre-solar installation questions help interested parties find the right installer. Before looking at solar companies, it’s helpful to have a list of the things of most importance to you.

Who’s responsible for obtaining permits and authorizations?

Before installing solar, the proper paperwork needs completing. Go Solar Group takes care of all the paperwork for you. 

It’s important to note that not all solar installers do this. Before agreeing to anything, make sure you know who’s responsible for the paperwork. Also, find how long it takes for them to get the paperwork approved and the system installed.

The wait time for the installation will increase if the paperwork isn’t accurate. The company needs to do it fast and well. It can take several weeks after submission for paperwork to receive approval.

Does my homeowner association have restrictions on installing rooftop solar?

Many homeowner associations have restrictions against solar installations. Interested parties need to make sure their HOA will approve it before moving forward.

If you would like to help your HOA see the benefits of solar, you can contact Go Solar Group. We will set up a free in-person appointment to present the facts to your HOA.

What safety standards must be followed, and who provides oversight?

What standards solar installers should adhere to depends on the area(s) they serve. Each state and local government within the state has different regulations.

In 2017 the Clean Energy States Alliance presented a guide for solar standards. This guide has installation, licensing, and equipment standard recommendations.
Each solar company has the responsibility to meet regulations. Go Solar Group will make sure your solar array meets these guidelines.

Who’s responsible for the lien disclosure?

It’s the responsibility of the loan or lease officer to notify of all the details relating to the purchase. Many, however, don’t read the fine print.

Buyers need to make sure they know what they’re getting into before they sign anything. Those not aware of liens on their homes have become one of the problems homeowners face during solar financing. Make sure you know if the loan places a lien and what it’s on.

Solar homes with a lien placed on the house make it harder to sell or refinance the home. While difficult, it’s possible to have the lien removed during refinancing. It’s also possible to remove the lien and uninstall the system if you sell the home.

Loans that use the solar panels as collateral instead of the home offer some freedom. Check with the financing representative to see if they will place a lien on the house or the solar panels.

What are the insurance requirements to have a residential system on your home?

Separate warranties cover the solar panels as well as the inverter and the installation. Although these do cover most instances some issues are outside the warranty.

Those who want extra coverage may not have to look far or pay more. Most homeowners insurance policies cover solar arrays. It’s best, however, to check with your insurance provider to make sure.

Who’s responsible for satisfying electric codes for any existing and new wiring?

The solar provider will make sure they satisfy the area’s electric code. An inspector will run through the system after the install to make sure everything is up to code. The inspector will then notify the solar installer of any issues so they can fix it.

Who provides notice and what other provisions apply if the installer or inspector needs access to your home?

To set up your solar array, the installer will need access to the house. Electrical inspectors also need access to accurately assess the installation of the system. Before the inspector and installer come, the homeowner will receive notice. 

The solar provider will contact the homeowner to schedule a time to have the array installed. The installer will then work with the homeowner to set up the city and utility inspection soon after. It’s best to be on the property when the inspection and installation occur.

Who’s responsible for making sure the installation meets fire department policies?

Again, the solar installer should make sure the array meets all local policies. Go Solar Group stays on top of local requirements and will quickly fix mistakes.

What financial assumptions regarding utility costs were used when determining the life-cycle benefits of the installation?

Most solar system financial benefit calculations come from utility cost predictions. Solar companies know predicting a bill in 12 to 15 years isn’t an exact science, but the history of power bill rates has proven a great guide. EIA data has shown that over the past ten years, US electricity prices have risen by about 24 percent.

Several factors go into the fluctuation of electricity prices. The main factors include electricity demand, maintenance of power plants, and weather conditions. How close the house is to a power plant and how much it costs to generate that power plays a large role in rate increases.

What assumptions regarding tax credits and production curves are used in determining the life-cycle benefits of the installation?

As of right now, Nevadans interested in solar can take advantage of a federal tax credit called the ITC. This credit will cover up to 26 percent of solar arrays installed in 2020. When factored into the total cost of solar, a quicker ROI results from the ITC.

What assumptions regarding continuation and terms of net metering were used in determining the life-cycle benefits of the installation?

Solar companies make assumptions about net metering in the proposed ROI of solar panels. However, it’s common knowledge that net metering policies don’t stay the same forever. Solar, combined with battery backup, makes the changing rates of local utilities a non-issue.

As Nevada has experienced, a poor net metering program can make solar on its own less feasible. With the race to economical solar storage technology combined with Nevada’s new policy, Nevadans do not need to fear.

Post-solar Installation Answers For Reno, Nevada

The customer’s relationship with their installer should continue even after their installation. A good solar company will check in to make sure everything continues to work. They should also address any issues the customer has post-installation.

Who’s responsible for a post-installation roof inspection?

Go solar group schedules all the necessary inspections. We work with the customer to make sure it will fit into their schedule.

Who’s responsible for post-installation roof repair?

The solar company should cover damages caused during the installation process. Customers should make sure they use an installer with an insurance policy for its work.

Who’s responsible for the removal and reinstallation of the system when your roof needs replaced or repaired?

Some solar companies don’t have installation crews. These companies can’t repair, replace, or remove solar panels. 

Customers who choose to work with a company that doesn’t install their systems need to make sure they know who to call to fix potential issues down the road. This information will make resolving issues less of a hassle.

Who’s responsible for ongoing maintenance, and what are the maintenance standards?

Go Solar Group will continue to maintain your solar array after installation. If you notice your system isn’t functioning, call us, and we will help.

Who controls customer data derived from the installation?

Go Solar Group keeps all information confidential. If someone requests we no longer reach out to them or that we contact them in a specific way, we will honor that request.

How Go Solar Group Handles Solar Damages

Although it does not happen often, accidents happen. In an event where the solar installer has caused damage, make sure they will cover it.

If there are structural damages other than to the roof resulting from the installation, who’s responsible?

Most solar installers should cover all damages made from their installation. If the solar company has contracted an installer, make sure they both have insurance.

If there are consequential damages, such as ceiling damage, from the installation, who’s responsible?

Again, the installer should cover all damages caused by the installation. However, make sure before starting the install.

If there are injuries to the crew or the public during installation, who’s responsible?

Again the installers insurance should cover installation related injuries. If it isn’t clear that the injuries are related to the install these costs may need to be covered by someone else.

If there’s a catastrophic event, who pays for the loss?

Catastrophic could cover a wide range of possibilities. Homeowners insurance should cover the system if the product warranties do not.

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