• expand_moreWhat is a grid connect solar power system?
    Grid connect systems, often located in built up areas, supply solar electricity through an inverter directly to the household and to the electricity grid if the system is providing more energy than the house needs. When power is supplied to the mains grid, the home owner usually receives a credit or a payment for that electricity. This is called a feed in tariff.
  • expand_moreWhat can affect the amount of solar energy received?
    The strength of the solar energy (radiation) available depends on the time of year, the time of day, and the latitude of the generation point. The amount of energy generated can be further affected by the amount of dust and water vapour in the air, the amount of cloud cover and any shading of the solar panels and the quality of the solar modules. You can learn more about solar radiation levels for your area in our solar power system builder.
  • expand_moreWhat type of warranty is supplied with the system?
    Solar Panels: minimum 10 year product warranty and 25 year performance guarantee Inverter: 5 – 10 year warranty. Mounting System: 10-year product warranty (manufacturer) Workmanship: 5 year warranty on workmanship (installer)
  • expand_moreIs any maintenance needed for my solar PV system? How often should solar panels be cleaned?
    With limited maintenance, your solar system will operate at peak performance for many years. Cleaning intervals will vary depending on site-specific factors such as annual rainfall, roof tilt (some arrays mounted at steep tilt angles in locations with hard rains will somewhat self-clean), and proximity of factors causing dust or debris on the array (such as trees or a frequently-traveled dirt road). It is best to consult your solar installer for a recommended cleaning schedule. SolarWorld recommends annual servicing to inspect electrical and mechanical connections for cleanliness, tightness, possible damage, and to ensure that the PV system is operating properly. Please see our Cleaning and Maintenance guide for more information.
  • expand_moreIs solar a viable option in cold climates?
    Yes. A general rule of thumb is that if you can clearly see your solar panels, they can produce electricity. In fact, given equal sunlight, a solar panel on a cold day will out-produce a solar panel on a hot day.
  • expand_moreHow will my utility bill be different with a solar electric system?
    It will be smaller! With solar, your inverter and your household loads are all “behind the meter,” meaning that if the sun is out and you are in your house and running loads – say a TV, dryer, and electric stove – your solar-generated power will be consumed without it ever being registered by the utility company. So at the end of the month, your electric bill will say you’ve exported fewer kWh to the grid than your inverter says you have generated. This is because your home consumed some solar power before it was ever sold to the utility. Though it can be a bit confusing, you can feel good about this situation because every kWh you didn’t export, is also a kWh you didn’t have to buy! That’s putting your photovoltaic system to work.
  • expand_moreWhat’s a solar lease or solar power-purchase agreement?
    In a solar lease or solar power-purchase agreement (also known as a "PPA"), a customer pays for the solar power system over a period of years, rather than in an up-front payment. Often customers can purchase solar for little or no money down, and often realize energy savings immediately. In a power-purchase agreement, a customer agrees to purchase all the energy from a solar system over a fixed period of time
  • expand_moreDoes roof orientation really matter?
    Most certainly. For example, a system with solar panels facing in a southerly direction will generate far less than one with a northerly aspect. However, east/west installations can be a good option depending on the installation scenario.
  • expand_moreCan I insure my grid connect system?
    Most insurers will allow you to include the system under your home and contents insurance, but please check with your insurance company first.Can I insure my grid connect system?
  • expand_moreIf my energy requirements increase, can I upgrade the system?
    Yes. Additional solar panels can be added at any time to increase generating capability but you might have to upgrade to a larger inverter. Alternatively you could purchase a larger inverter when installing the system initially and then plan to add some extra solar panels later.
  • expand_moreCan I install solar panels myself?
    It is not recommended. The process requires both licensed electrical and roofing skills to ensure the solar power system is safe and optimally designed for 25+ years of production.
  • expand_moreCan my HOA or neighbors prevent me from installing a solar system?
    In a lot of cases, no. Many states have solar access laws that provide varying degrees of protection against restrictions that can be imposed on you.
  • expand_more How does a solar system affect my roof integrity?
    With proper design and installation following industry best practices, your roof should maintain all its pre-solar integrity. SolarWorld audits and trains all our Authorized Installers on these best practices so that you can rest easy knowing that your roof will be okay. Be sure to ask your installer about any guarantees they offer on their installation quality.
  • expand_moreIs any maintenance required for snowfall on solar panels?
    Sites that have substantial snowfall need to be designed to support these additional loads. Some customers may wish to have snow removed from the array to resume normal power production rather than wait for the snow to naturally melt and fall away. Since each site is different, it is best to contact your installer for proper maintenance or servicing. When clearing snow, it is important that large masses of ice or snow do not move suddenly, as they can hurt people or damage equipment. On some sites where safety and access are a challenge it may be best to leave ice and snow alone until they naturally melt and fall away. Please see our Cleaning and Maintenance guide for more information.
  • expand_moreDoes my roof need to face directly south in order to go solar?
    In Northern New England, the ideal roof orientation is 196 degrees on the compass (known as ‘solar south’), but an installation of +/- 50 degrees (155 -245) is also fine. Within this range, power output stays within seven or eight percent of maximum. Even more easterly and westerly roof installations are viable, especially on shallower roofs. For example, a 7/12 roof that is due east or due west still achieves 77% of a system’s potential performance. More important than angle, generally, is shading. We don’t want to see any shading on a solar roof from 9 am to 3 pm, year-round. Technological improvements such as micro-inverters can compensate for shading issues to some extent. The best way to know for certain if your roof is viable for solar is to contact us for a free solar evaluation.
  • expand_moreHow much does a grid connect solar power setup cost?
    Prices vary according to size and location – try our quick solar quote tool to determine the cost.
  • expand_moreHow much does a solar electric system cost?
    The cost of your solar investment will vary greatly depending on the size of the system, your location and available incentives. To find out what a SolarWorld system will do to your electric bill.
  • expand_moreCan my electric bill really be $0?
    Some solar systems produce more electricity than is used each month, bringing net electricity costs to $0. However, there is still a minimal connection fee (typically about $100 per year) to remain connected to the electrical grid.
  • expand_moreWhat incentives are available to me?
    SolarWorld solar systems sold in the U.S. are eligible for a 30% federal tax credit. Additional state, local and utility incentives exist in many areas, further lowering the net cost of your investment. Review the incentives available in your area at dsireusa.org.
  • expand_moreDo I get paid for my extra energy production?
    Currently, most of America is under a system known as Net Metering, which allows your net electricity costs to be reduced to zero, but no further. In a select few places in the U.S., you can be paid for any excess electricity you create, in what is known as a Feed-In Tariff system.
  • expand_moreI don't plan on being in my home for 25 years. Why would I add solar?
    People move more frequently now than ever before, but that shouldn't impact your solar decision. A solar system can save you money today and even pay for itself in as little as five to seven years. Even if you move before your solar investment is completely paid off, studies show the cost will likely be returned in added value to your home. Plus, your home will most likely sell faster. Who doesn't want a home with a guaranteed low electric bill? Our solar panel warranty is even transferable to the new owner.
  • expand_moreHow do solar systems fair in extreme weather conditions?
    Sunmodule solar panels can withstand high wind and snow loads. In fact, they are rated higher than any other solar panels under UL standards. In locations with high wind and snow loads, your installer will work with a licensed engineer to properly design the solar panel mounting system.
  • expand_moreAre SunPower solar panels better?
    Despite the generalities you may hear in solar advertising, not all solar systems are created equal! Of all the solar panels on the market, SunPower panels have the highest efficiency* and convert the highest amount of sunlight into electricity. This means our solar panels generate more power than conventional panels within the same amount of space, and you’ll need fewer panels to produce the energy you need. You can maximize your available roof space to choose the best, unobstructed location for electricity production. Our world-record panel efficiency* means you'll save more money over time by choosing SunPower panels. Check out why thousands of homeowners and businesses going solar chose SunPower as their solar company for high-efficiency solar technology solutions.
  • expand_moreHow much will I save with a solar system?
    Your current monthly energy use and the size of your system will determine your actual savings amount. And with little or no startup costs*, systems can start paying for themselves immediately. Savings will vary based on several factors, including system size, performance, your household's average energy usage as well as any applicable solar credits, tax incentives, and current solar energy buyback (net metering) rates offered by your utility company. A detailed calculation of your potential return on investment (ROI) will be provided by SunPower during your solar evaluation. Get more information about what goes into calculating home solar panel system costs and other important solar energy questions to ask your installer.
  • expand_moreHow much will a SunPower solar system for my home cost?
    SunPower has a wide variety of financing options, including some that don't require you to pay any upfront costs if you qualify. The cost of your solar system depends on several factors, including your current energy usage, your available amount of unshaded roof space, your local utility’s net metering policy, and other factors. Learn more about how to calculate solar costs and how many solar panels you may need to power your home.
  • expand_moreHow do I know whether the system I’m offered is a good one?
    One way to check if your solar PV system components meet Australian Standards is on the Clean Energy Council’s Products webpage. Accredited solar retailers and installers should always refer to these lists to ensure they are offering you a system that is of a high standard and will operate safely and reliably.
  • expand_moreWill the company quoting on the system also be doing the installation?
    Some installation companies have teams of their own installers who are trained by them and work only for them. Others may use sub-contractors who work for several different installation companies. Just because an installation company uses sub-contractors does not mean the quality of work is lower. One thing to check is that both the installation company and the sub-contractors are accredited by the Clean Energy Council.
  • expand_moreHow do home solar systems work?
    A photovoltaic (PV) solar energy system is composed of solar panels, racking for mounting the panels on the roof, electrical wiring, and an inverter. From sunrise to sunset, the solar panels generate direct current electricity (DC) which is sent to the inverter. The inverter converts the DC into alternating current (AC), the type of electricity required for household use. (SunPower also offers AC solar panels which do not require a central inverter because they feature a microinverter that’s factory integrated into each panel.) The AC power is delivered directly to your home’s main electrical service panel for use by you and your family.
  • expand_moreHow long will a solar system last?
    Our systems are designed to have a useful life of 40 years or more.* For more information about solar panel durability and performance, check out this report on solar system useful life field tests performed on SunPower® systems vs. conventional panels.
  • expand_moreHow does solar power work?
    Solar panels contain cells that convert light from the sun into usable electricity that you can immediately use in your home. When your home has both solar power and a Tesla Powerwall, you can store your excess energy and use it after the sun sets. In some areas, utilities will credit you for the excess energy your solar panels generate during the day. Whether you’re credited for your excess solar production or you store it in a battery, you can expect lower and more predictable utility costs.
  • expand_moreHow does going solar impact my utility bill?
    When you generate your own solar power, you can reduce your electricity bill significantly. Your savings depends on the size of your solar power system and your home’s electricity usage. When your solar power system generates more electricity than your home can immediately use, excess energy flows back to the utility grid. Your local utility may pay you or credit you for this electricity.
  • expand_moreIs a solar array noisy?
    Solar power inverters are relatively quiet – emitting about as much noise as a refrigerator. They are generally installed in utility rooms or basements alongside existing mechanical systems, rather than in living spaces.
  • expand_moreWhat size system will meet my needs?
    Before you decide to go solar, it is very important to know how much electricity you use and at what times of the day. You can find your usage in kilowatt hours (kWh) on your electricity bill. If you cannot find it, contact your electricity retailer. Once you know your energy usage and you are aware when the most is used (eg. morning), you can then find out what size solar PV system you need.
  • expand_moreHow much money will I need to spend?
    Your reasons for installing a solar PV system will help determine how much you spend. You may wish to help the environment, or to reduce your annual power bills. How much you will save on your power bills depends on your electricity tariffs, so ensure you consider this. Discuss your reasons with your solar retailer so they can help you decide how much to spend.
  • expand_moreHow important is panel efficiency?
    Panel efficiency may not be the most important thing for you to worry about. It is more important to consider your system as a whole. The cost and performance of your system will depend not only on the panels you use, but also your solar inverter, your installer’s labour costs, the orientation of your roof, and tilt angle of your panels.
  • expand_moreWhy is a particular system being recommended to me?
    Your solar retailer or installer will discuss with you what system types and sizes are best for your premises, and also what is available in your area in terms of installers, panels and inverters, connections and Government schemes. Then, based on your budget and priorities, they will recommend a solar PV system for you.
  • expand_moreHow important is the orientation of solar panels?
    In Queensland, solar panels should face north to receive the most sunlight over the year. But if your only options are east or west, or even south, which should you choose? West facing panels will generate electricity until later in the day, so this could suit you if you use the most power in the afternoon. East facing panels may be best for you if you use the most electricity in the morning. A combination of east and west facing may even be ideal. South facing panels won’t generate as much electricity as those facing other directions. Adding more panels can compensate for this lower efficiency if this direction is your only option. It’s best to discuss the orientation options available to you with your solar retailer or installer.
  • expand_more How long will PV modules last?
    Based on manufacturers' in-field experience and reliability testing, PV modules will probably last longer, and are more reliable than just about any other capital investment for your business. In 2003, BP Solar published the results of their analysis of warranty claims and reported that of more than two million modules in service over nearly ten years, approximately one-tenth of one percent were reported faulty, noting "this represents one module failure for every 4,200 module-years of operation." Put another way, if your system has one thousand modules, you may experience the failure of ten modules in 40 years.