Frequently Asked Questions

Is there really such a thing as “free solar?”


Unfortunately, no, solar is not actually “free.” But while this term is commonly used by solar companies to draw attention, in reality it isn’t far from the truth. When you go solar, it is important to consider that while you are paying for your solar investment, you’re also eliminating an even greater expense–your electric bill. In fact, over the guaranteed 30 year lifetime of a solar array, it is common for the up-front solar investment to cost tens of thousands of dollars less than what the homeowner would have paid to the utility company in that span of time. By financing your solar array, you can spread out that investment into monthly payments so that there is no change to your overall monthly energy expense (in fact, you’ll probably even reduce it). So, the reason many solar companies say that solar is “free” is because your need for electricity isn’t going anywhere–and solar provides you with an avenue to reduce that expense for no cost up-front. 


To learn more about this, take a look at our blog post, “Are You Interested in (So Called) Free Solar?”.


Are there still incentives for going solar? 


Yes! The Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) covers 26% of the cost of solar in the form of a tax credit. This was scheduled to drop down to 22% this year and disappear altogether next year, but as a part of the recent Covid package passed by congress, the credit will remain at 26% for two more years. It is expected drop to 22% in 2023, then phase out completely in 2024. The state of Arizona also offers a $1,000 state tax credit, so combined with the Federal Solar ITC, you could save thousands of dollars immediately!


Isn’t solar just too expensive?


It is true that solar is a significant investment–typically in the tens-of-thousands range. But in truth you’re already paying more to stay with your utility provider. Here’s an example: If hypothetically you spent $100 on electricity per month, that’s $1,200 per year. Over 30 years, you’d be spending $36,000 on electricity if your utility never increased their electric rates. In reality, utility companies increase rates by around 3% per year, so your cost to not go solar would be upwards of $50,000 (yep, it adds up).

With a ballpark price tag of $15,000-$25,000, going solar isn’t too expensive–staying with your utility is.


Check out our page discussing the cost of solar to get some more information!


Will I ever see a return on my solar investment? 

Most of our solar customers see Solar Payback (the time when solar has produced more in electric savings than it cost to install the system) in around 7-8 years in APS territory, and around 5-7 years in SDG&E territory. With a solar array that lasts for over 30 years, that means 22-25 years of being completely “in the green!” 


Do solar panels make it harder to sell my house?

This is a common myth about solar, but solar panels do not make it harder to sell your house–they make it easier. Think about it, would you rather buy a house that has free electricity or one that doesn’t? When you go solar you actually increase the value of your house because it creates its own energy and eliminates that expense for the future owner. This means that not only can you sell your house easier, you can sell it for more!


Want to learn more about adding value to your home by switching to solar? Check out our blog post, “Do people prefer homes with solar?”


I might be moving in the near future, is it still worth it to go solar? 

It depends on how serious you are about moving. If there is even a small chance you may stay in the home for the next 5 -6 years, it is worth looking into solar. If you do move, at least you’ve looked at all of your options. If you don’t, you’ll be ready to switch to solar in time to get the tax credits! Consultations are both educational and non-committal, so there is no pressure to go solar if you just want to learn. 



How do I know my panels are performing like my solar installer said they would? 

All Rooftop Solar systems come complete with a solar monitoring package. This allows you to see live results of your array’s performance at your fingertips. Should something go wrong, you can be confident it will get fixed with our industry-best 30 year extended warranty.


What is the best solar panel? 

There are a LOT of great solar panels on the market. It is important to choose one that is best suited for your unique energy profile. While many other solar installers only install one type of solar module, Rooftop Solar carries an array of options. Whether you prioritize cost effectiveness, brand name, efficiency, warranty, or aesthetics we’ve got you covered, and our experts can help you understand the benefits of every panel. 


What makes Rooftop Solar different from other companies?

As a local and family owned business, Rooftop Solar views our customers as a part of our Solar Community. Solar is a long-term investment, and our relationship-based approach ensures your experience with solar will be educational and positive. As a member of the AMICUS Co-op, we are also able to access competitive pricing and industry-best warranties while maintaining our unparalleled level of customer service. 


Please visit our page, “The Rooftop Difference” to learn about what sets us apart from other solar companies.


I don’t pay very much for electricity to begin with, does it still make sense to go solar?

Energy expenses often go unchecked by homeowners, but these costs can truly add up. The truth is, you’re never going to get a return on investment from your APS of SDG&E bill–it will just keep getting larger and larger. So, even if solar were to save you a minimal amount of money it still makes sense. But even if you’re spending just $50 on electricity per month, solar has the potential to save you thousands of dollars over the life of your system. If you’re going to be buying electricity either way, wouldn’t you rather do it for less?

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