Frequently Asked Questions
Information About Solar Electrical Systems:
Q. Is my house suitable for solar PV?
A. Over 95% of houses in Texas are suited to use solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. Ideally one or more of your roofs will point close to south. South is where the sun is at midday. We do provide tilt-up panels to compensate for areas of a roof that may not naturally get the ideal amount of sun. Part of our FREE ESTIMATE includes a breakdown of what parts of your roof would be best suited for solar PV panels.
Q. How do i know if my roof faces south?
A. You can check the orientation of your roof using a compass or mapping App on most smart phones. You can also you use Google Earth to get a view of your roof from above. If you don’t have access to a compass, note where the sun is located on your property at midday – that will be your south location.
Q. Is it possible to power a household entirely by solar power?
A. Yes, many people power their remote homes completely with solar energy in a stand alone solar electrical system. This will depend on the amount of solar PV panels that can be installed on the roof and the energy needs for the household.
In the suburbs, people often choose a utility grid connected solar electrical system in which they can actually sell excess generated energy to the utility during the day and buy back at night. Whatever energy needs you may have, day or night, they can easily come from the grid.
Q. What is the output guarantee on your panels?
A. Solar PV panels can expect to have a working lifespan of 40 to 50 years. Solar panel degradation does occur and is 0.5% yearly on average for newer technology panels. This means that after 25 years, the solar PV panels will be producing 87.5% as much electricity as they did when they were first installed. The output warranty is at 80% productions at 25 years for most brands. You can learn more at the engineering.com website.
Real-life tests in Switzerland showed positive results. The LEE-TISO testing centre for photovoltaic components installed Europe’s first grid-connected PV plant back in 1982. They had the opportunity to inspect it 20 years later in 2002. The results showed an decrease of around 11% (only 0.5% per year) against the initial output rate.
Warranties on our equipment are as follows:
- Solar PV panels – 25 years
- ‘Solar Edge’ Optimizers – 25 years
- ‘Solar Edge’ Inverters – 12 years (this can be extended to 25 years)
- Workmanship – 10 years
Installation and Operation:
Q. Who installs my solar electrical system?
A. Our team has done 100’s of installations. Green Star Solutions is an Insured and Licensed Company, TECL #28902. We will do the ‘heavy lifting’ of the process by handling the approvals, permits and other administrative aspects. You as a customer can get involved in this process in more detail, but that is not required. You can sit back and watch as we provide you a state-of-the-art solar electrical system.
Q. Can I install the solar system myself?
A. We do NOT recommend that a home owner install a solar electrical system themselves due to many factors including safety concerns and obtaining permits, many of which REQUIRE having a licensed installer with a Texas electrical contractor license.
Q. What kind of equipment do you use?
A. We provide the highest rated equipment with the lowest failure rates on the market from our trusted supply partners: Mission Solar Energy, Solar Edge and Solar Royal. Customers can also used their preferred brand(s) if they choose.
Q. How long does an installation take?
A. A Green Star solar electrical system installation will typically finish within a week. Care is taken at every step of the way because this is a big investment for our customers. Because of this no corners are cut to ensure a quality job all around. We provide you with full details and schedules of your installation plan.
Q. How do I track the production of my system?
A. With your new solar electrical system, you will be provided an online monitoring platform that can be operated on your computer or mobile device. The platform allows you to see how your system is producing in real time, has panel level access and can be setup to provide automatic messages and alerts.
Q. What happens to solar panels when it’s cloudy or raining?
A. Solar panels absorb the greatest amount of solar energy when they are in direct sunlight, but they continue to capture indirect sunlight when it’s overcast or raining. Rain can provide an unexpected benefit by rinsing debris off of the panels, which allows them to perform at their best.
Costs and Incentives:
Q. How much will a solar electrical system cost?
A. Your system will immediately increase the value of your property upon installation and can also be exempt from property tax. After your system “saves” for itself, your system electricity will be free for years and years to come. A customized, site-specific proposal will be provided to you at no cost. Due to the importance of this investment, at at-home presentation is highly recommended.
Going solar is a long-term investment. We provide competitively priced systems with the highest level of quality. Signing incentives are available. In addition to competitive pricing, our focus is on customer service and communication!
Q. What types of rebates and incentives are available?
A. Rebates will depend on the electric utility that services your area. You can learn more about rebates from CPS Energy in San Antonio and Austin Energy in Austin by visiting their websites. You can learn more about incentives in your area at the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) website. Tax credits are taken off of the “net cost” of your system which is the post-rebate cost.
Q. What if I need a new roof for my home?
A. We recommend doing installations on roofs that are less than 10 years old. We also recommend adding the solar system to your home insurance policy once the installation has begun. If a new roof is needed, then the uninstall and re-install of the solar system will be covered by your home policy in the event of weather damage. The price increase to home insurance is negligible to add a solar electrical system.
An unintended benefit of installing solar panels is that the panels will shade the roof, keeping the house cooler, and also extend the life of your roof shingles.
Q. How can I get more information or order?
A. We think you will find the Services and Savings sections on our site very helpful. You can also contact us through our online form or call us at: 210-957-2341 in San Antonio and 512-335-4633 in Austin. We can answer any questions you might have and provide a no obligations estimate.