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Frequently Asked Questions:  Solar Energy

Question:  Why should I Go Solar?
Answer: Sunlight is FREE! All you need is the basic technology that is 60+ years old to harvest the sunlight. Solar energy makes cents and saves the environment!  Solar energy helps to reduce or eliminate your electric bill, provides protection from rising utility costs, and allows you to build battery backup storage systems for complete off grid living for emergency power when the electric utility fails you. Electricity rates have risen consistently over the past 3 decades and will continue to rise as the costs of operating and managing a dirty Utility Power Plant become more complex.  A solar energy system allows you to offset your energy bills for 25+ years at a fixed cost of energy, while providing consistent profits over the life of the system.  Solar saves the planet, reduces your carbon footprint, and is a great investment for your home or business.  Solar Energy doesn’t need oil pipelines, natural gas fracking, nuclear waste storage, coal ash storage, and solar doesn’t create massive environmental catastrophes like dirty fossil fuels create on a monthly basis since its inception.  Solar is clean and it is a common sense solution to a fossil fuel based economy.  Solar also creates jobs and as of 2014, over 140,000 Solar Energy Professionals have joined the new Clean Energy Economy of the future! Read More

Question:  What solar products and services does Off Grid Hardware offer?
Answer: Off Grid Hardware offers turnkey solar electric (PV) energy systems for Off Grid Battery Backup Customers and Grid Tie Solar Customers around the country.  Whether you live in a big city or in a remote location, we have solar energy solutions to support your needs.  We also provide solar thermal hot water heating systems, solar attic fans, solar water well pumps, solar pool heating, solar lighting systems (street lights and pathway lighting), and Mobile Solar Energy Systems such as our S.M.R.T. Wedge solar and battery backup storage kit or Solar Trailers with Battery Backup Systems.  Off Grid Hardware consults with customers to design custom fabricated structures to meet your site needs for roof mounts, ground mounts, pole mounts, solar pergolas, mobile solar units with battery backup, or any customized ned.  Call us today to learn more about each of our custom solar energy services.

Question: How much does a solar energy system cost?
Answer: The price of a solar energy system varies based on the type of solar equipment needed and the size of your energy needs.  Solar systems can be installed all at once or pieced together over time like blocks as your budget allows.  The larger the system installed, the cheaper the price gets with volume.  The price of a small 1kW Grid Tie solar energy system is as little as $5,000 before incentives and larger solar energy systems for your home average $25K+ before incentives.   Battery backup hybrid or fully off grid battery systems add to the cost of any solar energy system and is usually driven by the size of your battery bank.  Some customers want extra power for their lights or refrigerators and others want to live off grid 24/7.  We can help you build a custom solar energy system for your property and we offer free solar quotes!

Question: What solar energy Incentives exist to help me with the cost of my solar system?
Answer: All solar energy devices are eligible for a 30% Federal Tax Credit (more info).  Some states such as New Mexico (10% State Tax Credit) have a State Tax Credit on your solar as an additional incentive to help offset the costs of clean solar power.  Many Utilities around the country also offer Solar Rebates or SREC’s to help you offset the cost of solar energy.   Texas has numerous rebates spread across the state and we have installed systems from California to Florida and can work with any utility and local jurisdiction to maximize your solar energy incentives! 

Businesses can also take advantage of 5 year rapid depreciation on the solar asset as an additional incentive.  Combined with rebates and tax credits, solar for businesses is a wise investment and offers strong returns on a consistent yearly basis.

Question: How many solar panels do I need for my home or business?
Answer: Some properties and rooftops are large enough to allow customers to install a solar energy system that offsets 100% of their electric bill.  Some properties have limited space, obstructions such as trees that may shade a rooftop, or other restrictions that limit the size of a solar energy system.  We work with our customer’s budget and site to customize the best solution to meet your needs.  The average size solar system for a home is 7kW-10kW in our experience, but we have installed systems as small as 1kW and as large as 20kW on a home.  It all depends on your energy consumption, budget, and site.  Remember, we can build out a solar energy system over time like block as your budget permits. 

Question: How much maintenance is required on a solar energy system?
Answer: Maintaining a solar energy system is relatively easy.  We recommend that you clean your panels 1-2 times per year, especially during long dry periods with no rain.  Your savings and Return on Investment all depend on how much solar energy you are able to create, so it’s wise to keep your panels clean, check your inverter(s) to ensure they are working correctly, and inspect your wiring to ensure there are no loose ends or squirrel nests under your panels.  You can call us anytime to service your equipment, but it’s probably much cheaper for you to get a hose with a spray nozzle or a squeegee to wipe off the panels.  Call us anytime if you have any questions about cleaning or servicing your solar energy system.

Question: What happens if I need a new roof?
Answer: We typically inspect any roof that we work on to ensure that there is at least 8-10+ years of life left in the roof and that any issues are fixed and addressed before any solar installation.  If you do need to replace your roof for any reason after you have installed a solar system, we recommend contacting us and scheduling a time to uninstall the system, store it at your site until the roof is replaced or fixed, and then reinstalled on the new roof structure.  The cost of going solar may require the additional labor for any roof mounted system sometime during the 25+ year life of the system.

Question: What about hail damage to my solar panels?
Answer: Solar panels are manufactured, rated, and warranted to take a 1” hailstone. They are engineered to withstand all types of weather conditions around the world and provide a 25 Year Manufacturer’s Warranty.  Solar energy systems should be added to your home or property insurance to protect them against acts of nature, accidents, or any other issues throughout the life of the system.

Question: Will my Home Owners Association (HOA) allow me to install a solar system?
Answer: HOA’s usually require approval by an Architectural Review Board or special committee when changing the outside structure of your roof.  Texas passed a law, HB 362, which prohibits any HOA from blocking the installation of a solar energy device, with a few exceptions. We work closely with HOA’s to create designs that match their restrictions and are available to present any information to your HOA with pictures of past installations.

Call us today for a free solar energy quote for your home or business!

Toll Free # 1-800-357-0997


            


OUR CUSTOMERS

"Thanks for coming all the way down here to fix up my solar system, especially for such a fine job. It's so good to have more confidence in the solar system with added battery backup. It's such an excellent solar system, and I'm so proud to have it. I can't thank you guys enough! Hope to see y'all again soon."

Gordee - Glorieta, NM
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