For those that have seen NV Energy’s solar checklist, it is quite daunting. This, however, doesn’t need to be the case. We believe that you deserve to know the facts, so we are going to give them to you. Go Solar Group has compiled NV Energy’s list of questions into manageable chunks. These categories differentiate between different types of questions NV Energy deems important.
Buying vs. Leasing : Go Solar Group’s Stance
When you get solar deciding what type of purchase option you want is critical. There are three options. You can either buy the system outright, get a loan so you can eventually own the system, or you can lease the system.
Which type of payment option you decide on is up to you. However, because leasing has less ROI for you Go Solar Group doesn’t lease systems. Solar Power Rocks has good price comparison charts for each state.
What is the installed-cost comparison of leasing versus owning the system?
If you were to lease a system in Nevada and you currently paid $107 a month to your utility you would save around $140 a year. Over the course of a lease which is typically 20 years, you would end up saving about $4,700.
If you were to get a loan for your system it would be 0 down and between 12 to 15 years. After your loan is paid off you will save $1,200 each year. You will save about $12, 765 over the 25 year lifetime of your panels.
When you buy a system with cash you put out the money in that first year, but you also aren’t paying interest. Cash solar systems will pay for themselves within about 11 years. You will save $19,085 over 25 years.
If you lease a system, who owns any renewable energy credits associated with the system?
When you lease a solar array the solar company gets your energy credits. This means that they get the tax break instead of you. This is what allow them to give you a lower monthly rate then you would get with a solar loan.
If you lease a system, can you buy it before the end of the lease term?
If you choose to lease your system you might have the option to buy it before the end of the lease. This would be advantageous to you if you decided that you wanted to sale the home before the lease was up. It is best to double check for extra fees attached to getting out of your 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 that you have acquired. A Power Purchase Agreement gives you the option to own the system at some point in the lease.
With most lease options however you will never own the system. If this is important to you make sure you know who owns the system at the end of the lease before you get installed.
If you lease a system, who pays to remove it and repair the roof at the end of the lease?
The company that you leased the panels from should remove the panels, but you will want to make sure. If you decide to get out of your lease early you 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 is our understanding that you would be the one that pays any taxes owed on your leased system. There are some property tax and sales tax exemptions for commercial systems. Clarify with your 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?
If you decide to sale your home before your lease is up it can be a bit of a hassle. If your buyer is willing to assume the lease and can qualify for it then you are in luck.
If you can’t find a buyer that is willing to take on the lease you will need to buy out the lease. Another option is that you can have your panels moved to your new home. This, however, will cost you more time and money and in the end, you still don’t own the panels.
Know Your Nevada Solar Warranties Before You Install
You will want to know what warranties you are getting before you purchase a solar array. Make sure you know how long the warranty is for 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 is best to inform your installer first. They will contact the manufacture and take care of warranty issues. If for some reason your repairs are not covered you can then decide how best to proceed.
If there is a hardware warranty issue, who is responsible for the costs of removing the old panel and installing the replacement panel?
If the warranty doesn’t cover the type of damage that was done to the panel then you will need to pay for the repair. Check your home insurance policy before you fork out the cash though. They may be able to cover it.
Who is 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 for you.
What are the consequences and remedies for the installer’s warranty if the installer goes out of business?
When large installers go bankrupt they often get bought out by a different company. This means that as the customer you don’t have to worry about your service changing much.
Small installers often get bought out too, but this doesn’t always happen. If this is something that you are worried about, you can get an operations and maintenance plan. This will cover the cost of maintaining your system should your installer cease to exist.
It is also important to note that your manufacture will still honor their warranties. They should be able to 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 your 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. This will allow you to have protection from your installer. If, however, you installer goes out of business too you are out of luck.
The second option is to buy insurance for your installation. These plans are expensive and you may end up spending the same as you would to repair as you go. The third option is to buy products from a warranty-insuring manufacturer. These warranties are held up by third party backing.
Pre-solar Installation Questions Nevadans Want Answered
Answers to pre-solar installation questions will help you find the right installer. Before you start looking at any solar companies it is helpful to have a list of things that are important to you.
Who is Responsible for Obtaining Permits and Authorizations?
Before you can get your system installed you need the proper paperwork completed. As a full-service company Go Solar Group takes care of all the paperwork for you. They will even do paperwork for tax credits that you are eligible for.
It is important to note that not all solar installers will do this for you. Before you agree to anything make sure you know who is responsible for the paperwork. Also, find out how long it takes for them to get paperwork approved and systems installed.
Your wait time for your installation will increase if your paperwork is inaccurate. You will want to make sure that the company not only does it fast, but that they do it well. It can take several weeks after submission for your paperwork to get approved.
Does my homeowners association have restrictions on installing rooftop solar?
There are many homeowner associations that have restrictions against solar installations. You will want to make sure that your HOA is ok with it before you can get installed.
If you would like to help your HOA see the benefits of solar you can contact Go Solar Group. They 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 your solar installers should adhere to depends on your area. Each state and even the local government of 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 should make sure regulations get met. Go Solar Group will make sure your solar array meets regulations. There is also an installation team leads that make sure the installation is correct.
Who is Responsible for the Lien Disclosure?
It is the responsibility of the loan or lease holder to notify you of all the details relating to your purchase. This however is often done fast and many don’t read the fine print.
Make sure that you know what you are getting into before you sing anything. One of the major problems with financing is that some are not aware that a lien was put on their home. You will want to make sure you know if their is a lien and what it is on.
If there is a lien placed on your home to secure your solar panels it may make it hard to sale or refinance your home. It may be possible, however, to have the lien removed while you are getting your home refinanced. You may also be able to have the lien removed and system uninstalled if you sale the home.
Loans that use your panels as collateral instead of your home give you this freedom. Check with your financing representative to see if they will be placing a lien on your home or the panels.
What are the insurance requirements to have a residential system on your home?
Most issues that you could have with a solar array will be covered by the warranty on the system. There are warranties on the panels as well as the inverter and the installation. Although these do cover most instances there are some that are outside the warranty.
If you are wanting extra coverage you may not have to look far or pay more. Most homeowners insurance policies cover solar arrays. You will however want to check with your insurance provider to make sure.
Who is responsible for satisfying electric codes for any existing and new wiring?
Your solar provider will make sure that they are satisfying your areas electric code. An inspector will run though your system after installed to make sure everything is up to code. Go Solar Group makes sure that the systems they install meet code before they get turned on.
Who provides notice and what other provisions apply if the installer or inspector needs access to your home?
In order to set up your solar array, your installer will need access to your home. Electrical inspectors also need access to your home to accurately assess the system.
Before the inspector and installer comes you should be informed of their arrival. Your solar provider will contact you to schedule a time to have your array installed. The installer will then works with you to set up an inspection soon after. It is best to be on the property when the inspection and installation occur.
Who is responsible for making sure the installation meets fire department policies?
Again, your solar installer should make sure that your 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 life-cycle benefits of the installation?
Most solar system financial benefit calculations come from utility cost prediction. We are aware that you can’t predict what your bill will be in 12 to 15 years, but the history of power bill rates is a good guide. EIA data has shown that over the past 10 years US electricity prices have risen by about 24 percent.
There are several factors that go into the fluctuation of electricity prices. The main factors include electricity demand, maintenance of power plants, and weather conditions. How close you are to a plant and how much it costs to generate that power plays a large role in your rate increases.
What assumptions regarding tax credits and production curves were used in determining life-cycle benefits of the installation?
As of right now, Nevadans interested in solar can take advantage of a federal tax credit. This credit will cover up to 30 percent of their solar array. When you factor this into the total cost of solar you are able to see even greater savings and a quicker ROI.
What assumptions regarding continuation and terms of net metering were used in determining life-cycle benefits of the installation?
Again it is true that assumptions about net metering were made in the proposed ROI of Solar panels. You can’t say that net metering policy is going to stay the same forever. Solar gives you the benefit of not having to worry about rates changing.
As Nevada has experienced a bad net metering program can make solar less feasible. This is because solar panels can’t collect energy when the sun isn’t out.
With the race to economical backup combined with Nevada’s new policy, you have no need to fear. Getting a return on your investment is a sure deal in Nevada.
Post Solar Installation Answers For Reno, Nevada
Your relationship with your installer should continue even after your installation is complete. A good solar company will check in to make sure everything is working properly. They should also address any issues that you might have in the future.
Who is responsible for post-installation roof inspection?
Go solar group schedules all their panel inspections for you. They will work with you to make sure that you can be there for the inspection.
Who is responsible for post-installation roof repair?
The solar company should cover damages caused in the process of their installation. Damages are rare, but when they do happen the solar company should fix them. Make sure that you are working with an installer that has a good insurance policy.
Who is responsible for removal and re-installation of the system when your roof needs to be replaced or repaired?
Some companies don’t do their own installations. These companies can’t repair, replace, or removed your panels.
Go Solar Group does their own installations and can fix or remove solar panels they have installed. If you are working with a company that doesn’t do their own installs make sure you know who to call to fix your panels.
Who is responsible for ongoing maintenance and what are the maintenance standards?
Go Solar Group will continue to maintain your panels after installation. If you see that your system isn’t functioning property give us a call and we will help you.
Who controls customer data derived from the installation?
Go Solar Group keeps all information confidential. If you request that we no longer contact you or that we contact you in a specific way we will honor that request as well.
How Go Solar Group Handles Solar Damages
Although it does not happen often accidents to happen. In an event where your solar installer has caused damage, you will want to make sure they will cover it.
If there are structural damages other than to the roof resulting from the installation, who is responsible?
Most solar installers should cover all damages that are made from their installation. If you are using a solar company that has contracted an installer make sure they both have insurance. Go Solar Group installs and maintains all of their customer’s systems. We also have a million-dollar insurance policy.
If there are consequential damages, such as ceiling damage, from the installation, who is responsible?
Again, all damages that are caused by the installation should be covered by the installer. It would, however, be wise to make sure before you get installed.
If there are injuries to the crew or the public during installation, who is 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 is a catastrophic event, who pays for the loss?
A bit of a broad question. Catastrophic could cover a wide range of possibilities. Your homeowner’s insurance should cover your system if your product warranties don’t.