Soleeva FAQ’s

 

 

 

General Solar Questions

What are environmental benefits of going solar?

Solar power directly off-sets utility purchases of electric power from coal and gas-fueled power plants. This lowers the atmospheric Carbon Dioxide, and Sulfur Dioxide (Green-house gases) and Nitrogen Dioxide – a potent smog-related gas. Installing one Soleeva solar panel is like planting two trees.

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

The best way to find out how much you are paying for electricity is by looking at your monthly utility bill. In most cases for California residents, your energy provider will be PG&E. You can also call PG&E at (877) 743-4112 or visit their website at pg&e.com.

How much can I save using solar?

At Soleeva, every system we build is designed to fit the individual needs and desires of the customer. Therefore, each system is different and the amount of money you can save depends on multiple factors such as current energy usage, current energy provider, geographical location, and roof size. Depending on your usage and roof size, you may be able to lower your energy usage to near zero with net metering. This will completely get rid of your energy bill and you will start saving the second the system is turned on. However, you will still be required to pay approximately $10 per month for meter costs.

What is net metering?

Simply stated, net metering is the difference between what your solar system produces and what you use over a year’s time. If you use more power in a year than your system generates in a year, you pay a “true-up” charge.  If you use less, then the utility provider may pay you a small nominal fee per kW hour underused.

Will the solar system meet local building and fire codes?

All systems are permitted and inspected to make sure that the components we use, and how we install the components, meet all national, state, and local code requirements.

Do my panels produce power when the sun isn’t shining?

The answer is, it depends. Power isn’t generated at night when sunlight is not available.  During daylight hours, the amount of power generated is proportional to the amount of sunlight reaching the panels.  Cloudy days will not generate as much power as sunny days, winter production will not be as high as summer production because the days are shorter.

Can my homeowners association stop me from putting solar on my house?

Generally speaking, no. However, it can depend on each individual circumstance. California Title 24 prohibits arbitrary restrictions on prohibiting solar installations.

Company Information

What year was the company established? Where are their offices?

Soleeva Energy started in over a decade ago in 2010. Our main office is at 1938 Junction Ave, San Jose, CA. Since our beginning, Soleeva has been proud to supply California with clean, renewable energy.

Are you licensed and insured?

Yes, we are a licensed CA Contractor (General B). Our official License Number is 997345.

Who designs the system and forecasts estimated annual output?

We have a dedicated team of skilled engineers who do the preliminary designs under the direction of our Chief Technology Officer. Every design that our team creates must be evaluated by our CTO to ensure a high level of quality.

Are the installers your employees? Do you use subcontractors for any part of the installation?

Our installers are full-time employees of Soleeva Energy. We have a dedicated team of professionals that have worked on both commercial and residential projects for over a decade. We generally do not use subcontractors, except in the rare case where we require additional expertise.

Do you have your own electricians on-staff in-house?

Yes, at Soleeva we have an in-house electrician available for every project.

What financing options do you offer (lease, PPA, loan, cash) and how do they differ?

We offer many different financing options, but the most beneficial for our clients is a green energy financing option such as provided by YGrene or other lenders. This allows for maximum tax benefits and prevents our clients from being locked-in to demanding contracts. Soleeva does not offer leasing options and does not plan to in the future.

Will someone from your team be present when inspectors come to inspect?

Yes, there is always a Soleeva Energy representative on-site when the inspector is present to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

Have you worked with my building type before?

Although there are many different types of homes on the market, there is a good chance that we are familiar with your home style. However, no two houses are alike and the condition of the important systems in the house makes each home unique and different.

Do you confirm that my house is structurally OK to hold panels?

Yes, we check to make sure that the rafter spacing is appropriate to support the load placed on the roof. Generally, most roof structures are adequate, but we carefully check to see if your roof is also in good shape as well because you would not want to install a solar system only to have to replace the roof a few years later.

Can you provide customer references?

Yes, we have multiple customer references. Please ask your sales rep. if you would like them and we would be happy to provide them for you.

Technology

Does your system include panel-level monitoring? Is there an additional cost?

Soleeva offers panel-level monitoring for 5 years at no extra charge. However, after 5 years of usage, you will have to pay for an extended reporting if you are using a cell card for data reporting.

How do I access the monitoring platform?

Our system monitoring is easily accessible through an internet portal using your phone, tablet, or personal computer. All ownership knowledge is explained to the owner before the system is turned on.

Are your panels Soleeva panels? Do you manufacture them?

Yes, we design and manufacture our panels in San Jose, CA USA.

Do you proactively monitor my system’s performance after installation and notify me if there are any issues?

Yes, we do. You are also able to view your system’s productivity and can call us to double-check if there are issues so we can address them quickly.

Will you perform a whole house audit and let me know how to reduce all my energy demands?

Yes, we offer suggestions to help make your home more efficient before installing solar to help reduce your base electric demand and subsequently reduce the size, and cost, of your solar system.

If I have an electric vehicle, how much solar energy is needed to charge it?

The answer is that it depends on the individual’s situation. Things like your EV home charger, type of electric car, and the distance you travel on average all play into how much energy you use. Knowing details like this will allow us to calculate how much you will need.

Do you offer electric vehicle chargers?

Yes, we sell and install EV chargers.

Should my panels be connected to the grid?

  1. Yes, generally your solar panels must be connected to the PGE or other service provider’s electrical power (utility) grid. The grid forms the basis of the net metering aspect of solar; which is that we produce extra power during the day (and PGE credits us for this extra power production) and then at night, we withdraw the power back from the grid.  A second feature is that during the longer daytime sunlight months, we “bank” more power than we use and then “withdraw” the banked power during the short days of winter.  This is “Net Metering” which is simply we deposit energy into the grid and then withdraw from the grid.
  2. Note also, that Soleeva can design a solar system for remote locations to supply power where no grid connection for power is available. This is a special service we provide for our clients and is available as a special request.

Do you recommend using a central inverter, micro-inverters or optimizers? Why?

  1. The simple answer is that it depends on the system we are installing, how much potential shading is occurring, budget sensitivity, data reporting, access to internet services, etc. For the most part, we utilize either micro-inverters or central inverters (sometimes called string inverters) with individual solar panel optimizers to keep your system running at its highest potential.
  2. We carefully select our equipment to provide the maximum power generation for your home or business. Each location has unique requirements and we select the best equipment based on what we mentioned above.
  3. At Soleeva, we use Solar Edge and SMA string inverters and Enphase and AP Systems micro-inverters.

How much will maintenance cost?

Generally, solar systems are designed to run for many years without trouble. Inverter systems will generally need to be updated and replaced after 10 years. Although the systems will run for a long time, they require upkeep in order to run at peak performance. This maintenance primarily comes in the form of washing the surface of the panels to remove dirt and other grim. To maintain peak performance, most panels on the market require cleanings twice a year. However, Soleeva’s self-cleaning technology works with the moisture in the atmosphere to keep your panels clean for longer. Because of this great technology, Soleeva panels produce more energy and require half as much cleaning compared to the average panel on the market. This could lead to thousands of dollars in savings over the life of the system.

Should I wait for newer technology?

We would not recommend it. Although there are minor improvements in solar technology, solar efficiency has largely remained unchanged for some time now. In our opinion, it is better to install solar and begin saving now. That way, you won’t have to worry about growing utility bills as the cost of energy from providers like PG&E inevitably begins to increase. Additionally, the 26% federal tax cut for solar installation is set to expire at the end of this year. With this benefit, you can deduct 26% of the total cost of the system, which can be thousands of dollars saved. This benefit is going to be gone soon, so take advantage now!

What kind of battery do you offer?

We offer Solar Edge, Sonnen, SMA, and Enphase battery systems. These are battery systems that utilize safe Lithium-Ion battery chemistry. We go to great lengths to make sure that our customers get the safest and most reliable technology available.

Why would self-cleaning and self-cooling panels be better than other regular panels?

  1. Dust and bio-films account for the second-highest energy loss in solar panels and lower production by blocking sunlight from reaching the solar cells. Self-cleaning modules clean the accumulated dirt and raise production efficiency.
  2. Soleeva’s self-cooling technology keeps panel power generation high and lengthens the life of the product.

Is it beneficial to have a battery system?

Yes, it is beneficial to have a battery installed with your solar system. A battery allows you to store energy when you are producing more than you need. This additional energy can be used in situations when you aren’t producing as much energy as you are using. This is useful for rainy and cloudy days or during blackouts when you won’t be able to generate power.

Can I get power during a blackout?

  1. Your solar system, by law (California Title 24 and the National Electrical Code) require that your solar power system (or any system that can provide power to the grid such as solar, wind or generators) be equipped with a method to shut down the alternate source of energy in the event of a “grid” outage. This requirement is called “anti-islanding” and is in place to prevent feeding energy back into the grid during an outage for safety purposes.  Solar systems are capable of producing significant amounts of power that could be harmful to personnel working on grid equipment.
  2. That being said, there is a way to integrate battery systems into your solar system to allow you home to operate “off-grid” during power failures or deliberate utility shutdowns. Battery systems generally add approximately $2.10 to the cost of your system plus any electrical upgrades for a 10kW storage system.  Also recognize that during a power outage event, your usage of power in your home will be restricted to powering lighting, telecom, microwave, and simple appliances; any large electrical appliances such as clothes driers, hairdryers, electric ovens and stoves, air conditioners will drain the battery system almost immediately.

Will panel performance degrade over time?

Panel performance does degrade over time due to the aging of the silicon solar cells. Soleeva’s cooling technology slows down the rate of degradation and as a result, we are able to offer our clients a longer panel warranty.

Contract

Do you offer a system performance guarantee?

Depending on the type and number of panels, we offer various performance guarantees.

Will you give me a firm quote or an estimate prior to signing a contract?

We always provide our customers with a firm quote prior to signing a contract.

What is included in the quote?

Every cost and fee is included in the quotation with the exception of any electrical system upgrades such as main panel replacements.

Can I add more panels/modules later?

Yes, but understand that it will involve re-designing the system, obtaining a new permit, new equipment, and installation. If you think you will want a bigger system, we recommend doing it upfront where costs will be lower.

What warranties are there on different parts of the system?

Our panels are warranted for 25 years, and our inverters are warranted for 10 years.

What if a new building is built and shades my system?

Shading by a new building being constructed is a difficult subject. New buildings require plan checks and reviews at the local city or county planning office which should catch any potential problems.  If not, you can request a review if you determine that your solar system would be adversely affected by a neighbor building a large structure that would impede your system to perform as built.

Who do I contact if there is a problem?

Contact Soleeva Energy. Our number is (833) 820-8080 and our email is info@soleeva.com. We have a friendly team of customer service representatives who are eager to help you in whichever way they can.

How are contract changes addressed? Do I have the right to cancel?

  1. Contract changes are addressed through a change order process which outlines any changes that need to be addressed. Contractors do not have the ability to see into walls or roofs or into hidden areas and we may find problems that must be addressed before proceeding.  This may or may not require a change order.  All change orders must be signed by the owner before we can proceed; and you will always be able to understand the potential cost impact before we proceed.
  2. You always have the right to cancel the contract before we begin work. You are protected by California contract law which gives you the right to cancel and receive your deposit back up to 72 hours after signing any California state contract.

What happens if I sell my home?

If you have solar installed on your home, you should expect to see a higher home valuation depending on the age of the solar installation. Be wary if you are buying a home and there is a PPA agreement in place.

Financing

Which rebates or incentives do I qualify for? Federal? State? Other?

The federal tax credit is still active but will be expiring at the end of 2020. Make sure to get solar before the program ends to save 26% on the entire cost of your system.

Will my home value change?

Yes, in most cases installing solar will increase the value of your home by around $5,000 on average.

Will my property taxes go up?

The answer would be dependent on where you live, if at all. We recommend that you check with your realtor or financial advisor.

Are there any additional fees I should be aware of?

The only additional fees that you would have to pay are the line connection fee that PGE charges, which is $10 a month. This is to be connected to the grid in the event of a blackout or if you are not producing as much power as you are using.

How much money is due upfront? When are other payments due?

Here at Soleeva, we offer many different financing packages and like to work with the customer to get them exactly what they need. We do not require down-payments on all projects, there are no upfront costs and we offer financing with interest as low as 1.99%. However, generally, we require a down payment and progress payments as we proceed with a final payment following the successful completion of a city or county inspector. All necessary payments are carefully explained to our customers and are included in the contract. Our sales team will make sure that you understand every line of the contract so that you can rest easy after signing.

Installation

How long will it be between the time I sign the contract to installation?

The exact time varies by city and county. We have several steps we follow in order to prepare to install your installation. This includes job backlog, design, permitting, equipment procurement, construction, and inspection, as well as applying for “Permission to Operate” from PGE.  The more complicated the installation the longer the job will take, but we generally like to tell our clients that a reasonable job takes up to 8 weeks to accomplish from signing to completion.

How long will the installation take?

The actual on-site installation job can take from one to ten days or more, depending on size and local challenges. We try to get in and out as quickly as possible for the comfort of our customers.

Will there be a qualified electrician on site?

A qualified and experienced electrical technician is always on-site when the electrical connection is made to your home’s electrical panel. If circumstances require a special skill set, we will bring in the necessary experience to complete the job to the code requirements.

Do I need to be home during the entire installation?

Generally, all we require is access to the front and back yards, the electrical panels, and the garage. We respectfully care for your property while we are on the job to make sure safety and craftsmanship govern our work. We have multiple reviews from customers about our installation process and we encourage you to check them out on our website.

Who is responsible for fixing any damage to my home if caused during installation?

Soleeva Energy is responsible for correcting any damage we may cause during the time we are at your home. While we constantly strive to make sure our client’s property is protected from damage, mistakes may happen. In the event that Soleeva damages anything, we will correct or replace any broken or damaged item caused by our employees.   We cannot, however, repair prior damage or damage caused by others during the time we are not present on your property.  This would be the responsibility of your homeowner’s insurance provider.

What is the process for future roof replacement?

Installing a new roof with solar panels already installed will require more work to un-install the solar system and then re-roof and re-install the solar system. If your roof is more than 13 years old or made with thin profile shingles, you would do well to consider replacing your roof before installing solar panels. Luckily, Soleeva also provides roofing services to our customers, so if you need that done, we have you covered.

Can you install a canopy system or ground mount if my roof is appropriate?

There are many ways to install solar. Roof, carport or canopy are all options for us to provide a solution to your solar needs. These options are all discussed and gone over with the homeowner prior to designing the system.

Get Clean Energy You Can Count On

We don’t just sell solar panels.
We build smarter renewable energy systems for long-term efficiency and savings.
So you can feel good about your energy consumption and costs for years to come.

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