If you are concerned about global warming, want cleaner, healthier air and want to be independent of fossil fuels, call Thorsen’s today! A Solar system offers a limitless supply of clean, safe, renewable energy for heat and power; greater independence from imported fossil fuels; a cleaner environment; and relief from the volatility of energy prices to mention just a few.
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SOLAR SYSTEM FAQ
Q. Will the utility company send me a check if I produce more power than I use?
A. No. However, if you produce more power than you use in any given month, the utility will bank that electricity and you can draw down that electricity credit for up to one year.
Q.Isn’t solar energy still really expensive?
A. NO! A solar system is actually far more economical over the long term than buying your power from the utility. After the state rebates and tax credits, if you finance the system over its warranty period, the monthly cost of solar energy will run about the same as your current electric bill. The big advantage is that this cost will never increase, while the cost of electricity from the utility has increased at an average rate of 6% per year over the last 30 years. Solar energy is a great investment for the long term.
Q. Do I need to buy a solar system that will eliminate my electric bill?
A. No. Many people buy a system that only eliminate part of their electric bill. The utilities have adopted a rate structure that increases the cost of electricity as you use more of it. Many people choose a solar system that will only eliminate the most expensive electricity. This increases the return on your investment.
Q. Will a solar system work on any house?
A. No, but it works in many locations. You need an unobstructed south, southeast or southwest facing roof top. Alternatively, you can mount the solar system on the ground.
Q. How much is the Cash Rebate? / How much is the State Tax Credit?
A. The California Cash Rebate Starting January 1, 2007 is for $2.50 per watt. There is also a Federal tax credit of $2,000 for residential solar systems available. Therefore, for a 4KW system the rebate would be $10,000. So, $36,000 minus the $10,000 rebate yields $26,000 as you’re after rebate cost. The Federal tax credit affords an additional $2,000 off, which brings your net cost down to $24,000. The best part is you are set to sell your extra power back to the utility company at the same rate they sell it to you.
Q. What kind of financing is available?
A. The best financing packages for these systems are available as secured loans, in which you take out a 2nd mortgage on your home get fixed long term rates. We can put you in contact with a mortgage company that can provide you with details on the financing package they offer for a solar loan. There are ‘unsecured’ financing programs as well.
Q. Will I ever have to pay another electric rate increase if I buy this system?
A. NO! Investing in a solar electric power system is like buying insurance against future rate hikes, you’ll never get another electric rate increase for the next 30 years, you become your own power company, and you’ve bought the generator, now the fuel (sunshine) is FREE!!!
Q. Can I run (power) my whole house?
A. Yes! A Sol-Gen solar system can easily produce all the electricity you need for your home. They come in many different sizes, and we have a system that just the right size to meet your needs. We typically go back and look at your old electric bills to see how many kilowatt-hours per month you have been using. Based on that we can easily point to a Sol-Gen power system that meets that electric load.
Q. What Size System do I need?
A. Once we know how much power you use, we can easily do a sizing calculation to figure out how big a system you’ll need. Very simple calculation, there are 5 Equivalent Sun Hours (ESH) in most of California, that’s the annual average sun that’s available, we multiply sun hours X system size to calculate kilowatt hours per day of energy production. That 4 kilowatt system I was talking about before would produce 20 KWh of electricity per day, on an average annual basis.
Q. How much space does it take on my roof?
A. Sol-Gen power systems take approximately 100 sq ft of surface area (collector area) per 1 kilowatt of generating capacity. Therefore the average 4-kilowatt system we were talking about would require about 400 sq ft of area of good southern exposure.
Q. Does it have to go on my roof?
A. No! While roofs are usually good locations because they are high enough to be above any shading from trees, and many times they are facing south, there are many different mounting options for these systems. Detached structures, garages, covered patios, trellises, and ground mounts are a few other installation options.
Q. Why should I consider using a solar system?
A. When the sun shines, you get power! No muss. No fuss. It’s absolutely silent, and it’s pretty much maintenance-free. All we do aboard s/v HOTWIRE is use a damp sponge or rag once in a while to wipe off dust, salt, and bird poop!
Q. Which kind should I buy?
A. There are basically 3 technologies to choose from: monocrystal (high output) — the most efficient polycrystal (high output) — almost as efficient as monocrystal thin film / amorphous (heat- and shade tolerant) — less efficient Which type you should use depends on where you plan to install it. They all perform their best in full sun.