Wednesday, September 20, 2017

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Tatkraft Solar is committed to providing thorough, up-to-date answers to all your solar energy questions.  Please browse the following list of questions and if you don't find the answer you're looking for, call us at (310) 251-2284 or send an e-mail to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it !

1) What Is Solar Electric Energy?

2) What Is A Grid-Tied PV System?

3) What Is Net-Metering?

4) What Is An Off-Grid PV System?

5) Should I Install A Grid-Tied Or Off-Grid PV System?

6) How Much Does A PV System Cost?

7) What Is A Utility Rebate?

8) How Do I Get My Rebate?

9) Do I Get A Tax Credit?

10) How Can I Tell If Installing A PV System On My Property Is A Good Financial Decision?

11) Will A PV System Increase My Property Taxes?

12) How Long Does A PV System Last?

13) What Kind Of Maintenance Is Required For A PV System?

14) I'm Interested In A PV System For My Property! What Is The Next Step?

15) DVD Give-away Terms & Conditions

1) What Is Solar Electric Energy?

Solar electric or photovoltaic panels convert the sun's rays into electricity through a process called photovoltaics (PV). These PV panels are typically configured in two (2) ways; a Grid-Tied system, and an Off-Grid system

2) What Is A Grid-Tied PV System?

A Grid-Tied PV system consists of a given number of PV modules connected to an inverter that changes the direct current (DC) electricity generated from the PV panels into alternating current (AC) electricity for use in your home or business. This AC electricity is then fed into your property’s bi-directional utility meter to take advantage of the net metering program offered by your utility service provider.

3) What Is Net-Metering?

Net metering is an electric utility policy which allows PV system owners to receive credit for the electricity generated by their PV system. Your bi-directional utility meter constantly records the amount of energy your PV system generates versus the amount your property consumes during each billing period. At the end of each billing period, you may receive credit for any excess energy generated or receive a bill for the remaining balance.

4) What Is An Off-Grid PV System?

An Off-Grid PV system, also referred to as a, “Stand-Alone System”, typically consists of PV modules connected to a controller which is then connected to a battery array. The controller measures the amount of power generated by the PV modules and controls the amount of power stored in the batteries to protect against overcharging. In most applications, the battery array is then connected to an inverter which converts the DC electricity generated by the PV modules or stored in the batteries into the AC electricity needed by most homes and businesses.

5) Should I Install A Grid-Tied Or Off-Grid PV System?

An Off-Grid PV system is most beneficial for those individuals living in remote locations with unreliable grid power or locations where access to a power grid does not exist. In these situations, the cost for extending electric utility lines can cost tens of thousands of dollars per mile. Additionally, the visual and environmental impacts of these power line extensions can be noticeable. If you live in a location with access to reliable grid power, a Grid-Tied PV system will probably be the best solution due to lower installation costs and fewer maintenance worries related to battery arrays.

6) How Much Does A PV System Cost?

There are many factors which affect the cost of a PV Energy System. Some factors include how much energy you use, how much space we have available to install the system, and whether you want to supplement your entire bill or just cover your bill increase due to summer Air Conditioning and pool pump use. We then deduct any utility rebates and factor in your federal tax credit on the system cost. If the solar energy system is planned for a commercial application, the federal tax credit can be received as a payment in most cases. As a final step, we also account for any benefits resulting from accelerated depreciation if applicable! But don’t worry…all you need to do is call Tatkraft Solar at (310) 251-2284 or fill out our Quote Request Page to obtain a quick quote estimate!

7) What Is A Utility Rebate?

The State of California currently provides financial assistance to anyone willing to install a PV System on their home or business. Depending on your utility provider and size of your system, you will receive a rebate in one large payment, referred to as the Expected Performance Based Buydown (EPBB), or in monthly amounts based upon the actual performance of your system, referred to as the Performance Based Incentive (PBI). The exact amount you will receive is based on the overall efficiency of your system as affected by many factors including the type of modules and inverter(s), shading, and system tilt and orientation. For properties outside of LADWP territory, go to http://www.csi-trigger.com to see your current rebate amount! For LADWP customers, go to http://www.ladwp.com/ladwp/cms/ladwp000870.jsp.

8) How Do I Get My Rebate?

By choosing Tatkraft Solar, installation of your PV system is worry-free! We get the permits, apply for rebates, and get you connect you to the grid. You just sit back and count your savings.

9) Do I Get A Tax Credit?

As an incentive to install PV systems on homes and businesses, the Federal Government will provide a 30% tax credit toward the purchase of both residential and commercial PV Systems. Commercial installations also have the option of receiving this 30% credit in the form of a payment IF the system is placed in service during 2009 or 2010 or after 2010 if construction began on the property during those years and the property is placed in service by the credit termination date of January 1, 2017. For commercial applications, accelerated depreciation deductions can also significantly reduce the final cost of a system used for commercial applications. It is important to note that Tatkraft Solar is not a qualified tax professional! Please seek professional advice from a qualified tax advisor.

10) How Can I Tell If Installing A PV System On My Property Is A Good Financial Decision?

There are three (3) independent tests we can apply to verify the financial viability of a solar energy system as described briefly below:

  1. Time To Payback – How long does the system take to pay itself off? A typical residential PV system usually experiences a payback between 8 and 12 years; however, commercial systems can experience payback even sooner!
  2. Total Lifecycle Payback – How much money does the system save over the life of the system (typically 25 years) versus its initial cost? In general, residential and commercial PV systems can achieve 200% to 300% of the installation cost!
  3. Rate of Return – What is the PV system’s pre-tax Rate of Return as an investment? Typically, residential and commercial PV systems earn between 10-20%! Compare that to average savings account yield of approximately 0.5%-1.0% interest or an average stock market annual yield of between 7.0%-8.0%.

If you would like a more detailed and accurate discussion on financial tests for PV systems, please read, “Economics of Solar Electric Systems for Consumers: Payback and other Financial Tests” at http://www.ongrid.net/papers/PaybackOnSolarSERG.pdf. This comprehensive and authoritative document was written by Andy Black, Principal of OnGrid Solar.

11) Will A PV System Increase My Property Taxes?

Not for residential PV Systems. Section 73 of the California Revenue and Taxation Code states that residential solar (PV) energy systems are excluded from property taxes. However, if you are interested in solar for your business, please consult a qualified tax professional for tax implications of PV Systems for your business.

12) How Long Does A PV System Last?

Although most solar module manufacturers typically offer a warranty guaranteeing that the module(s) will produce at least 80% of the original power output for up to 20 years, PV systems have been known to last much longer. Coupled with Tatkraft Solar’s 10 year system installation warranty, you can count on your PV system for years to come!

13) What Kind Of Maintenance Is Required For A PV System?

There are no moving parts involved with a PV system, so maintenance is a breeze! Just clean the module surfaces once a month with water or a broom to clear any dust or debris and your system should keep going and going and…

14) I'm Interested In A PV System For My Property! What Is The Next Step?

It’s simple! Just call Tatkraft Solar at (310) 251-2284 to schedule a site visit. Once a date has been selected, Tatkraft Solar will drive to your property, take all necessary measurements, inspect your existing electrical load capacity, conduct a quick energy efficiency survey, and collect a copy of your most recent energy bill. We will then provide a PV system proposal for your review and install your PV system at your convenience! You can also fill out our Quote Request Page to obtain a quick quote estimate!

15) DVD Give-away Terms & Conditions

You must provide valid information and a site visit must be completed. All participants will be notified of the winner via e-mail. Give-aways are on a monthly basis or when we reach 20 participants (a 1 in 20 chance).  The drawing will be viewable via YouTube. Winner agrees to participate in YouTube video. Estimated value of the item is approximately $100.00 to $165.00.

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