Wednesday, December 22, 2010


How are the rebates and tax credits applied?

The total system cost is calculated including: Solar panels, inverters, mounting systems, electrical connections, and installation.  Xcel Energy is offering a $2.00 per watt rebate.  A sample system sized at 4kW will receive a $8,000 rebate ($2 x 4,000 watts). Additionally, the Federal Government provides a 30% tax credit on the net installed cost after Xcel Energy rebates are applied.  This will be managed by the system owner when filing your annual tax return.  Please consult with your tax preparer to ensure the credit is included.  The final out of pocket expense will continue to be paid back to you as your monthly electric bill is reduced or eliminated.

How does sunlight become electricity?

When certain semiconducting materials, such as silicon, are exposed to sunlight they release small amounts of electricity. This process is known as the photoelectric effect.  Photovoltaic panels (modules) convert sunlight into electricity. An inverter then conditions the electricity so it is compatible with the power supplied by the energy company.

How does this affect my electric bill?

You are producing your own electricity. If you use more electricity than you produce, the energy company makes up the difference. On the other hand, if you produce more than you use, the energy company records your extra production.  At the end of the month a net production is determined by the utility meter.  You have the option to apply the credit to your bill or roll over the extra production to offset future usage.

Are the panels durable?

Yes.  They can withstand severe weather without failure.  Panels are made of tempered glass designed to pass hail impact tests.

How long will the system last?

There are panels that have been producing power for more than 30 years.  The solar panels we offer come with a minimum 20 year power warranty from the manufacturer.  Inverters typically have a 10 year warranty.

Are solar systems reliable?

Yes. Solar panels produce energy without moving parts to fail.  The inverters are highly reliable and require no maintenance.  Solar panels have been used in mission critical applications such as space stations and communication satellites for decades.

Am I Really helping the environment? 

With the 121,400 kWh produced in the 30 year lifetime of the system, the following environmental benefits are possible:
Barrels of Oil Offset: 200 Barrels
Car Miles Not Driven: 215,500 Miles
Acid Rain Emissions Reduction: 900 lbs
Smog Emissions Reduction: 400 lbs
Greenhouse Gas Reduction: 172,400 lbs
Equivalent Trees Planted: 413 
What is NABCEP? 

The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners
NABCEP is the national certification organization for professional installers in the field of renewable energy.  NABCEP issues voluntary certification credentials to those qualified professionals who satisfy eligibility requirements established by the Board of Directors.

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