SOLAR PANELS—HOW TOUGH ARE THEY?

Santa Clarita residents are going solar—the price is low, the time is right, and the sun shines bright— providing the best conditions for rooftop solar.  Solar power has become one of the most reliable ways to power homes while reducing carbon footprint all over California and beyond.

If you are considering installing solar energy in your home or business, you want your investment to be a smart decision.  You know it will save you money—but what about how it will hold up over time? How durable are the panels and, living in California, what about earthquake damage?

The Panels

Solar cells are made of thin glassy cells and are very thin. Solar panels are made up of these cells with a frame around the edge to protect the cells from cracking.  The best quality solar panels have protective exterior coverings of tempered glass or protective laminate like car windshields. Solar panels with top-quality design are highly durable.

Strength

Solar panels are designed to withstand a broad range of temperatures, weather, and other outside factors.  They have controls to keep them from cracking in extreme hot or cold weather. They are tested to handle falling debris, hail storms and very high winds.  

And though the panels look delicate, with proper maintenance they can last over 20 years and beyond.  Solar Systems are not invulnerable, and location can affect damage potential so their positioning should be where falling rocks or trees cannot damage them.

Standards

The California building code has guidelines for solar panels wind and weather conditions.  Manufacturers and installers alike, are adopting new guidelines by The Structural Engineers Association of California, SEOC specifically targeting seismic activity.

The Roof

One of the primary considerations when installing the solar panels and their durability is the condition of the roof.  The weight of the panels is light, but if the roof is not strong enough and the solar panels can be damaged as well. Semper Solaris is top-notch when it comes to the building or repair of roofs.  

Secure Mounting

The solar system must also be properly attached to the roof with a mounting system that can prevent the panels from dislodging in extreme conditions such as in an earthquake.  They could fall off the racks and disable wiring and piping systems in the units causing leaks.

Semper Solaris uses the highest rated mounting racks from Ironbridge.com.  They build the most durable and reliable brackets that have been tested and proven in extreme weather and conditions.

Efficiency and Reliability

Solar panels are shown to be very dependable with a low failure rate.  In harsh climates, the failure rates are higher than the norm. Having a reputable manufacturer and installer is the key to reliable and long-lasting Solar panels.

Semper Solaris uses the best products available with Panasonic and Solarworld being the top of the line.  Their solar systems meet our standards of being the highest quality panels and tested for efficiency and reliability.  We offer a 25-year warranty and stand behind our products and installation.

Call us today and schedule an evaluation of your home for a solar power installation. We can examine your roof and determine the best course of action for going solar.

Across the United States, more and more people are starting to invest in solar power systems. They are outfitting their roofs with solar panels — and why not? Solar power technology has seen incredible advancements in recent years, many of which have helped to lower the cost of the equipment involved.  Installing solar panels on your roof is also a wonderful way to generate electricity for your home and business, as well as the grid, without increasing your impact on the environment.

However, there are many things that you need to consider before you jump in and start the installation process. Understanding the different factors involved in a project like this is so important — taking a look at common solar panel myths is a good idea, too.

To help you decide whether or not solar power is the right option for you, your home, or your business, we’ve put together a list of the top 6 things you need to take into consideration before you install those rooftop solar panels.

  1. Does your roof need repairs?

Before you even consider installing solar panels, ask yourself, how old is my roof? If you know that you will need a new roof soon, or that a part of your roof is damaged, it probably isn’t the best idea to install solar panels. If you can, take care of any roof repairs before the installation. That way, you won’t need to pay extra to dismantle the work and then put it up again (in some cases for at least 20 years).

Another aspect to consider is the warranty on your roof compared to the warranty on the solar panels. If you have solar panels that will last for 20 years and a roof that will only last between 10 – 15, it increases the cost of maintenance. Try to match both projects in terms of how long they will last in order to reduce the amount of effort, time and money you will need to invest.

  1. What is the shape of your roof?

Roofs come in many different shapes and sizes. Before you go ahead with any installation, make sure that your roof has enough space for the solar panels. If there isn’t enough room, you likely will not get the return you expect on your investment.

  1. Which direction do the slopes of your roof face?

Solar panels require specific placement in order to generate the maximum amount of power. Most professionals say that the best placement is to have the panels face south while others say west. Regardless, this information is important for you to determine before the installation starts.

  1. How much weight can your roof handle?

Installing solar panels will increase the weight on the structure of your roof. If the weight of these solar panels is too much for your roof to handle, there is a potential that it will collapse. This is very dangerous for many reasons, not to mention costly. To avoid both situations, it is critical to have a professional evaluate your roof to determine if additional support is required to complete the installation.

  1. Where will the water go?

When it rains, water runs down the roof, into the gutters and out and away from your home. When installing solar panels in Bakersfield, equipment like racking and wire harnesses can prevent the water from flowing and draining properly. In some cases, solar equipment can move the water in a different direction, which can create leaks and other problems. These problems will need repair, which means the solar panels will need to be removed.

To avoid all of these issues, make sure that you inform your contractor of these concerns. They will be able to present a plan for you to prove that the installation will not impact the water runoff in any way.

  1. What about nature’s other surprises?

Part of maintaining your solar power system is dealing with severe weather like lightning storms, hurricanes, hail, and more. There is a potential for some solar power equipment to get damaged during these events. While some insurance will cover these types of events, it is something to consider, especially if you live in an area where this type of weather occurs often.

Bakersfield is one of the best places in the nation to install solar panels for your home.

It has lots of sunshine and utility power through PG&E is expensive. This combination, as well as some great incentives, makes installing solar panels for your home in Bakersfield a great investment.

Many homeowners in Bakersfield have been able to buy a solar power system that lasts 25 years but which pays for itself in only 6 years. That’s 19 years of living with free power!!!

Many others have been able to get zero down solutions where the monthly repayments are $50 or less than the power bill savings that they have obtained by installing the panels. This risk-free profit is hard to ignore but your house must suit solar.

Does PG&E offer an upfront rebate for the installation of solar panels in Bakersfield?

The cost of solar has fallen a lot in California over the last 5 years and so PG&E no longer offer upfront rebates to install solar panels on your home other than some specific low income and multi-family programs.

To find out if your home might be eligible for one of these specific programs you really need to speak to a local solar company.

Is net metering available for PG&E customers in Bakersfield?

PG&E is required by law to provide net metering to all their solar customers.

How does net metering work?

When a solar system produces more power than what is being used in the home excess power is sent to the grid and credited by your utility provider at the retail power rate per. Electricity is sold and measured in kilowatt hours (kwh). A kilowatt-hour is equivalent to 1,000 watts of electricity used continuously for an hour.

Each kWh of power your solar system exports offsets the cost of another kWh drawn from the grid at a time your solar system couldn’t service the demand of your home (such as at night or on a cloudy day).

Net metering is a very valuable incentive since most homeowners use little power during the day and so quite a lot of solar power generated can be exported to the grid.

Net metering gives you the financial benefit similar to storing your excess solar in a battery without the cost of needing to install a battery.

What if my solar system exports more energy in a month than my home draws from the grid?

PG&E carries over any unused credit at retail rates to the next month.

Any remaining credit at the end of the yearly billing cycle (where you have exported more to the grid than what you have used from the grid) will be paid out at a lower rate. This lower rate is called an avoided cost rate (2-3 cents per kWh) and deposited into your account. This annual process is known as a true up.

Solar consumers are eligible for federal tax incentives for the purchase and installation of eligible solar systems, including both solar photovoltaics (PV) and solar hot water (solar thermal) systems, as well as other renewable energy investments. Although 

 

The following information regarding taxes, tax credits, and depreciation is meant to make the reader aware of these benefits, risks and potential expenses, and help avoid claims by aggressive salespeople. It is not tax advice. Please seek professional advice from a qualified tax advisor to check the applicability and eligibility before claiming any tax benefits or exemptions.

 

Solar tax credits were enacted in 2008 as part of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, which included $18 billion in incentives for clean and renewable energy technologies, as well as for energy efficiency improvements. The 2008 legislation extended the solar investment tax credit (ITC) through December 31, 2016, and made other modifications to the tax credits. Legislation in late 2015 renewed these credits for five years with an incremental de-escalation of the credits. The solar ITC offers:

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