Frequently Asked
Questions

How much does it cost?

Your cash outlay will be very different than the answer to the “how-many-actual-dollars-does-it-take-to-construct-a-solar-system” question. There are an array of options including $0 down financing, amazing state and federal incentives, lucrative tax credits, and differing levels of return on investment (ROI) based on your electricity use.

So a huge chunk of the cost isn’t even something you have to pay. But for curiosity sake, it’s about $25k for a standard system. Contact us to find out how you can be cash flow positive from the get go!

What kind of warranties & service plans does Sungrade offer?

Peace of mind is important to us and we know it’s critical for you and your home.

1.) There’s a 5-year System Monitoring Warranty, which may seem short, but that’s because it’s based on current 3G technology and no one knows how the “Next Big Thing” will affect monitoring.

Any above-board solar company should clearly express their intention to re-up in some fashion, and keep people well-posted about developments as they happen.

2.) We decided to go far beyond the 12-year factory inverter warranty by purchasing, at no extra cost to you, an addition eight years, rounding things off to 20-years on the inverter.

3.) Sungrade offers a full 25-year linear warranty on the panel power production.

4.) We also provide a 25-year labor warranty for all our work.

We’re always thinking of ways to make sure your sound investment is protected so you can rest easy for quite a few trips around the sun!

How long do solar panels last?

Sungrade panels are always top-of-the-industry Tier-1 rated panels, carefully vetted for the lowest possible degradation rate compared to the huge amount of substandard panels flooding the market.

We love talking tech and getting into it (there’s a lot to the details), but here’s the main gist: advanced testing by manufacturers shows panels go strong for 25-30 years, which doesn’t mean they suddenly shut down or stop working – they keep generating electricity for potentially decades longer!

At the 25-30 year mark the power production has simply declined by what manufacturers consider a “significant amount” – around 85% of their initial prodution capacity.

How do you choose your installers?

In a word? Thoroughly.

Carefully screening the people working on your personal property isn’t just about top quality, it’s a matter of safety and comfort. We painstakingly select only the best, locally licensed, bonded & insured installers and expect every system to be cover-worthy of the best glossy magazines in our industry.

We maintain a high bar because we know our reputation is in your hands.

Do you do your own installations?

You may or may not get the best results with companies who try to take care of everything on their own. We’ve chosen to partner with several highly curated installers for two crucial reasons.

1.) It’s a virtuous circle! Doing things this way – and well! – unleashes the powerful ability to provide more solar for more folks faster (without compromising quality) while increasing local California jobs. Expanding our industry quicker than traditional “do-all” companies are able to results in raising up more high-quality outfits who can then focus on the artisanal skill of quality installations.

In short: more solar helps us all protect our beautiful world with greater impact!

2.) Very much to your advantage, we get to focus on what we’re best at – educating people about solar plus all the (very) complicated construction logistics.

Our speed, efficiency – dare we say zeal – for creating the most streamlined process in areas that usually cause the most trouble for customers and installers alike, means that our systems get switched on (meaning you start saving money) way sooner than with other companies.

FUN FACT: The majority of labor hours don’t happen during the install. It’s the zillion pesky things (like permits, various custom municipal forms, permission documents, inspections, engineering approval, design iterations and financial analysis, distribution of equipment and personnel, timelines, scheduling, monitoring, etc.) that create delays and problems if poorly tended.

We’re clocking record install times while preserving aesthetic & quality.

Bottom line: companies that try to bite off (and chew) every facet of the process can suffer from a drop in quality in some aspect or another. We insist on the highest standards from our install partners while focusing on our core strengths.

Our chosen crews are a point of pride since the people showing up to mount your cash-saving “photo-op worthy” solar array are a critical piece of the puzzle.

Must my roof face south?

Nope. Panels do produce more or less power depending on which way they’re facing, but that’s why the design process is so important. We pay meticulous attention to (i.e. totally geek out on) all the different factors.

Like how many panels will it take to offset 100% of your anticipated electricity usage? Is there a different layout that provides a stronger financial advantage for you? We tinker and fine tune until the best solution emerges. We’re tenacious!

Customers often choose us because our collaborative approach to the design process allows you to understand all the different options thoroughly.

What if it’s cloudy?

Clouds decrease production somewhat, but light still gets through (it’s actually UV rays that generate the electricity absorbed by panels anyway).

So the question is really whether the week-long / month-long / year-long average exposure stacks up to offset your energy needs, putting you financially on top right away.

What gets us out of bed in the morning is finding out if a gorgeous solar array will save you money whether or not your region is cloudy on any particular week.

What happens when the power goes out?

We get this question a lot – it’s a good one and has to do with our gigantic power grid.

Deep breath: Here’s why even though you have all these solar panels your power is still out.

As your panels produce power it gets routed straight into your house. You flip on a light switch and boom, the array outputs enough juice to handle it. Any extra power you produce (but don’t need at that exact moment) gets dumped back onto the grid, and voila! You get a credit for that amount.

That credit is called “net metering” and is part of your sweet financial victory.

So when you flip on 12 more light switches your solar system’s got you covered, but let’s pretend you suddenly plug in 35 giant refrigerators that are secretly stashed in your garage (just go with our weird example).

At that precise moment, even on a bright beautiful sunny afternoon, you’re requiring way more electricity than your panels can handle. (With us so far?)

But those fridges would still work. Why? Because when you require more power than your solar system can produce at that moment, you’re ultimately attached to our aforementioned gigantic power grid.

Just like how at night, when your panels are literally getting zero light, all your power comes from the grid (and any overproduction that happened during daylight hours goes toward your nighttime power needs).

Hopefully you’re getting the idea.

So when there’s a power failure, even during a bright sunny day, all the overhead neighborhood wires should have no deadly electricity flowing through them so that lineworkers can do their repairs.

Basically, in order to protect Sarah Q. Lineworker, a critical shutoff feature is present so she needn’t put herself in mortal danger to fix the power.

Thanks for hanging with us for our involved answer!

How do I get power at night?

When panels aren’t producing, you’re still hooked up to the power grid and your local electric company, so you still get electricity. The point of going solar, if the numbers work out well (and they do for most people) is that over the course of every month (and the whole year), your solar array will produce enough energy to offset all your daytime and nighttime usage in full.

The savings can be huge and it happens almost immediately upon install with potentially zero cash outlay because of all the incentive programs.

Pretty amazing! We’d love to chat about it anytime – feel free to send us a note or give us a call.

What is the environmental impact and benefit of solar energy?

Much of the electricity generated from fossil-fueled power plants is lost in its transmission from the plant, across miles & miles of electric lines, to your home.

By having your own rooftop power plant, you eliminate that waste of both electricity and the fuel used to make it! As far as cutting your carbon footprint, going solar is one of the best things you can do for the environment.

What happens to my home value after installation?

Having a solar array gives you some spectacular advantages. First, your home can be officially listed as a “green, home,” and green homes sell, on average, twice as fast as traditional houses!

In terms of your home’s increased value, dollar for dollar, once you’ve sold your home you could recover all your initial system investment. Or quite close to it (obviously talk to a Realtor, but this seems to be how the numbers bear out).

And with Sungrade, we prioritize aesthetics, higher quality installs, and exclusively use Tier-1 panels (which real estate people and home buyers are more and more savvy about). 

There are just so many reasons to go solar with Sugrade!

How can I contact you for a no-cost consultation?

Just fill out any of the forms on this website (scroll down!), or email [email protected] will get you a response by the next business day. If you’d like to flex those old school telephone muscles, feel free to dial 1-800-346-7665.

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