Happy New Years 2020 Palomar Solar

Happy New Years 2020

“New year—a new chapter, new verse, or just the same old story? Ultimately we write it. The choice is ours.”

Happy New Years from our family to yours.

Happy Thanksgiving 2019

 

 

Why we are cautioning anyone currently looking to buy SunPower panels. Solar Edge is a hybrid product, when this fails it’s catastrophic.

SunPower and Solar Edge buyer beware

What does Enphase’s recent acquisition of SunPower’s microinverter, Solar Bridge mean for consumers?

For Palomar Solar, it’s great news! It simply validates what we have been saying for the last nine years. There is no question that Enphase is the number one microinverter in the market. Palomar Solar has always believed in Enphase and has been selling it exclusively in the residential market. When Solar Edge came to the market we were not tempted by lower prices like most vendors. It would have been easier for us to just give in and kick Enphase while they were down like everyone else. Instead we stayed the course believing it to be the superior product with a long term vision. After a couple of rough years Enphase has turned another corner and is on the right track to once again regain the number one position. And because of our loyalty through the tough times our relationship with Enphase is stronger than ever which means our customers can expect the absolute best service.

So let’s talk about why we are cautioning anyone currently looking to buy SunPower panels. First of all while we do not sell SunPower it is one of the top panels in the market place along with LG. I’m not saying at all that SunPower is an inferior panel. My caution has to specifically do with their AC module called Equinox (the one that comes with the Solar Bridge microinverter on the back). When this product first came to the market. I thought it would take off. However, they decided to take one of the best microinverter features away which is per panel monitoring. Once I saw this I knew that Enphase would still be a superior option for our customers. Anyone reading this needs to be aware that the market is being flooded with cheap SunPower Equinox offers. SunPower’s new AC module is going to come with Enphase and Solar Bridge will go away which means your warranties and support will to. I’m curious to see if SunPower dealers will offer per panel monitoring or not as this is not a standard offering.

Now let’s talk about Solar Edge. They stormed into the market with very aggressive sales tactics which was a huge red flag for us. While they’ve had some success by under cutting Enphase pricing the truth is finally coming out. Solar Edge is a hybrid product. It’s still a central inverter (big ugly box on the side of your home) that only comes with a 12 year warranty. When this fails it’s catastrophic. Your whole system is down until it’s replaced. We estimate that time to be one to three months. What do you think your electric bills will be in 12 years? Times that by a minimum of three not to mention the headache and now Solar Edge is much more expensive than Enphase which comes with a 25 year parts and labor warranty. And since there is an inverter for each panel it is not catastrophic if one fails. And with a mean time to failure of 300 years this is a rare occasion for Enphase. The other half of Solar Edge is the DC power optimizers which do come with a 25 yr. warranty. Having the optimizers does allow for the ability to monitor each panel. However, 99% of installers do not turn this feature on for their customers as they simply do not want to be held accountable at the panel level. In fact if you are reading this and have a Solar Edge system I would contact your installer and demand they turn it on. I guarantee you that you have at least one dead optimizer and have no clue. Warranty issues are finally catching up with Solar Edge which again is only making the case for Enphase as the superior product that much stronger.

How Do I Read My San Diego Gas & Electric Smart Meter?

How Do I Read My San Diego Gas & Electric Smart Meter?

Customers are always asking us “How do I read my San Diego Gas & Electric Smart Meter”?

We want to be sure you understand every aspect of your home solar system. And while you can call Palomar Solar anytime for help, here is an easy guide to reading the display on your San Diego Gas & Electric smart meter.

Continue reading “How Do I Read My San Diego Gas & Electric Smart Meter?”

We Thank You For Your Service - Veterans Day

Veterans Day 2019


Veterans Day is a time to remember and pay tribute to the brave men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces, who served in previous wars, who are serving today and who have made the ultimate sacrifice before having the chance to become honored veterans.

From all of us at Palomar Solar and Roofing, we thank you for your service.

 

Palomar Solar has given away a free home solar system

Palomar Solar Congratulates our 2019 Home Solar System Winners

For years now Palomar Solar has given away a free home solar system to deserving Military families, and we would like to congratulate the 2019 Miramar airshow winners.

Over the summer military families entered the Palomar Solar Gives back sweepstakes where we promised to give away a new home solar system of up to 24 panels.

Finalists were randomly selected and invited to attend the airshow in our runway fronting chalet where one of them was going to win a free home solar system. Every system was designed to offset between 110% to 130% of their previous 12-month electricity needs.

Thanks to our Partners at Enphase Energy, LG Solar and Everest Racking, we were able to award all 3 finalists their Palomar Solar designed PV system.

Congratulations to:

K. Chew-Crane – San Diego – Active Marine – system size 3.2kw – 25yr savings $59,000
J. Monday – San Diego – Navy Retired – system size 4.48kw – 25yr savings $109,000
J. Dubski – Escondido – Navy Veteran – system size 5.12kw – 25yr savings $99,000

Palomar Solar was established in 2009 and is one of Southern California’s premier solar PV installation companies.

As a “boutique” solar energy installation company we have a creative, solution-focused organization, uniquely suited to handle any installation challenge, ie: roof mount, ground mount, commercial solar; home, business or a church. We offer top quality products and no work is sub- contracted.

Every system installed by Palomar Solar is based on our continued commitment to excellence and staying ahead of advancements in a rapidly changing industry. We handle all of the paperwork and documentation for you, including; processing city or county permits, utility interconnections and state rebates (when available).

Palomar Solar has installed over 50,000 solar panels on homes and business all while maintaining one of the best
reputations in the industry. Notable clients include Waxie Sanitary Supplies and Goodwill San Diego.

If you would like more information please contact Adam Rizzo at (760 715‐2820 or adam.r@palomarsolar.com

Solar Panel Batteries

Do you really need a battery along with your solar panels?

In Palomar Solar’s opinion, not yet.

Solar panel batteries seem to be the talk of the solar industry right now. I’m hearing radio ads and seeing infomercials that are incredibly misleading to the consumer.

What many homeowners do not understand is there are only two purposes for purchasing solar panel batteries for your solar system. One is to have power in the event of an outage, and the other is for peak-load shifting (trying to offset the new time-of-use rates).

What do you think your battery is going to power?

Most companies selling solar panel batteries are giving the false impression your whole home is covered in the event of a power outage. This scenario is possible, but only if you scale back your usage accordingly. An average residence uses 30–40kW per day and power consumption is minimal when you are out of the house, and overnight while you are sleeping. So how much power is being used at the busiest times of the day in an average household? Realistically, maybe 10kW per hour.

How long will the solar panel batteries charge last?

It all depends on the size of the battery and what you are trying to power. If you are considering a backup system, your consultant should be asking you “In the event of a power outage what do you want to be able to use?” We typically hear “Everything!” After a little discussion, we end up at “a couple of lights, the TV, computer, and the refrigerator.” Powering your entire home for a significant period of the day could take a room full of solar panel batteries, and that cost would be substantial.

The only way to power your “must-haves” is to isolate those circuits and relocate all essential loads to a new sub panel. This will allow your 10 kWh battery (brands such as LG and Tesla 2 are a nominal 10kWh) to provide back up for an extended period. Of course, if you are committed to go outside and turn off all the breakers to non-essential loads when the power goes out, you could avoid this additional $1,000 expense. The issue I’m seeing is that many companies are not installing the essential loads panel resulting in frustration when their customers are joining their neighbors in the dark after a couple of hours.

Can a battery cope with peak-load shifting?

With the new time-of-use (TOU) rates coming from the power companies, everything you have been conditioned to do needs to be reversed. Off-peak rates (the lowest) are now 9 pm until 4 pm. That’s right! Midday is now when the utility companies want you to use power. Peak rates are between 4 pm and 9 pm, so when you come home from work and do laundry, the dishes, watch TV, etc. you’ll be incurring more cost rather than less.

To combat the TOU rates, we use solar panel batteries to implement peak-load shifting. The battery will charge during the day when the power is less expensive and then in the evening (during peak hours) power will be drawn from the battery. You’ll be using solar power past sunset even though your solar system is no longer producing.

This benefit sounds great, but at today’s battery costs, it makes zero financial sense. In fact, we believe the best-case scenario is that you may recoup your battery investment around year 11 or 12.  Unfortunately, your warranty expires in year 10!

Does a battery purchase make sense?

At Palomar Solar, we believe batteries are only for the early adopters who want the latest and greatest, not those looking at it from an investment standpoint. We think for the majority of solar consumers, waiting another 1-3 years will be worth it.

Solar panel batteries are an exciting idea, but not ready for “prime time.” In a few years, prices will drop significantly, and the technology will become more advanced. When we see a 5-7 year payback, that’s the time to buy.

It’s essential to have an in-depth conversation with your consultant about battery expectations. We are more than happy to install them as long as the expectation is fully understood. Some companies are merely using batteries as another revenue stream, and the sales pitch misleads their customers. Unfortunately, they won’t find that out until the next outage when their battery is drained in less than an hour.

If you are concerned about back up in the event of another outage such as the recent wildfires, we believe a generator makes the most financial sense and provides the reliable backup you are expecting.

Palomar Solar and Roofing Gives Back Again

Palomar Solar and Roofing Gives Back

Palomar Solar and Roofing Gives Away a Rooftop Solar System

Palomar Solar and Roofing, with the support of our partners Enphase Energy and LG Solar, we’ll again be giving away one home rooftop solar system, no strings attached. At the 2019 Miramar Airshow, one San Diego County Military family will receive a solar system designed to their needs.

Palomar Solar and Roofing wants to continue to show their appreciation to our local troops that year after year protect and serve the United States of America.

We at Palomar Solar have been blessed with tremendous success over the last 10 years installing well over 3000 PV Solar systems in Southern California; as a result we wanted to ‘give back’ to our community. That said we couldn’t think of a better place to start than with those who serve us all, so we can enjoy the best quality of life in the world. As San Diegan’s we know it doesn’t get better than here. That is why we have chosen to ‘Give Back’ to our local community by giving a real, ‘right sized’ solar system to an active or retired military family in San Diego where we started our company,” says Dwight “Andy” Anderson – owner and founder of Palomar Solar and Roofing.

Palomar knows that a right sized home solar system will lighten the annual financial load for the average San Diego family while adding value to their home. The System will be right sized up to 7kW DC (24 LG solar panels, with Enphase IQ7 micro-inverters), which will offset roughly a $300 month electric bill. The system includes Palomar Solar’s standard offering of 25 year labor and workmanship warranties, 25 year roof penetration warranty, and most importantly, per-solar-panel-monitoring for the life of the system.

For official sweepstakes rules and to enter please visit www.palomarsolargivesback.com

Past Winners:
1. Paul Newman – U.S Marine Corps
2. Anthony & Maria Braithwaite – U.S. Marine Corps
3. Harold Allister – U.S. Navy
4. Adam Webber – Navy Seal Veteran
5. John Vojtas – Retired Navy
6. Carl Boeck – Air Force Veteran

Thank you to our partners LG and Enphase Energy!

     

 

Call us today to learn more 760.504.0388

Buying or Selling a House with Solar Panels

Buying or Selling a House with Solar Panels?

Buying or Selling a House with Solar Panels?

Perhaps you are in the market to buy or sell a home and ready to assume the benefits of a previously installed PV solar system, here are some tips on how to decide whether the existing system is an asset or a liability.

Should I buy a house with an existing solar system?

  • Is the system owned outright and not subject to a lease or PPA?
  • Was the system installed by a reputable installer who is still in business?
  • Did they use quality solar panels and inverter from companies that are still in business?
  • Is there a copy of the original contract and is the warranty transferrable?

If you can answer yes to all four of the above questions, then the answer is simple; yes, buy the house.

If not, then read on; find out which red flagsto look for and what to expect from the system?

How was the system originally purchased?

  • A system that is owned outright is not subject to any loans or leases and must be assumed at close of escrow – this is the best way to go and poses no “red flags.”
  • A system that was purchased with a PACE loan (Property-Assessed Clean Energy Loan) and must be assumed by the buyer – RED FLAG
  • Use this as leverage in the transaction. Consider if it’s worth a bit more money if the system is unencumbered.
  • See what it will take to have the seller buy thee system outright before the close of escrow.
  • Try to get rid of the PACE loan and do not close escrow unless you fully understand he liabilities you are undertaking. This isn’t necessarily a deal breaker, however, it’s not the best means to finance a PV system.
  • The system was leasedRED FLAG
  • Use this as leverage in the transaction. It’s not necessarily a deal killer, but lease agreements are certainly not in favor of the seller.
  • Is the leasing company still in business? If not, this could be a deal killer.
  • What is the remainder of the contract? Is the buyout fee reasonable (Doubtful)? What level of monitoring is provided and is it still functioning? A common mean the leasing companies use as a crutch to void their production guarantees is the monitoring device has lost connection and the homeowner ignores it.
  • Who do the lease payments go to and do they have a local presence?
  • Are you sending payments to Wall Street or to a regional company who is still answering the phone?
  • Is there a lease escalator and are you aware of the sales tax billed on every payment?
  • If you need service what is the procedure?
  • If you are in the market to put solar panels on your home this is probably not the choice you would make.
  • But it’s already there so… if you would like the house, then determine if the lease is acceptable to assume.
  • Some leases are acceptable in that the cost of power consumption under the lease is still less than what you would pay your local utility company. If this is the case then don’t let it stop you from buying the house of your dreams.
  • The system is a PPA (Power Purchase Agreement)RED FLAG
  • Again… Leverage.
  • Consider the remaining term?
  • Will you use the power delivered?
  • With a PPA you’re paying for it regardless. Be sure that the system is sized right for you.
  • Again, who do the PPA payments go to and do they have a local presence?
    • Are you sending payments to Wall Street or a regional company who is still answering the phones?
    • What is the current rate?
  • Is that tax rate favorable with today’s rate plans?
  • You will most likely be on a “Time- of-Use” (TOU) plan and offsetting the least expensive power sold by the utility.
  • Check closely. Rates can vary and usually contingent upon your utility plan.
    • Escalators? Is there a lease escalator clause that can potentially change the agreement price?
    • Are you aware of any sales tax billed on every payment?
  • What level of monitoring is provided and is it still functioning?
    • At least with a PPA it’s in the companies benefit to maintain the monitoring.
    • But can they bill expected production if you connection drops?
  • If your system needs to be serviced, what is the procedure?
  • If you are in the market to put solar on your home, PPA is not the choice you should make.
    • But it’s already there so… if you like the house, then determine if the cost per kw is acceptable.
    • If the cost of the power under the PPA is still less than what you would pay your local utility, then don’t let it stop you from buying the house of your dreams.
  • Who installed the system? At Palomar Solar & Roofing, we proudly put our name and contact information on the system plaque.
  • Can the home seller tell you who did their installation?
  • Is the installer still in business? What is their reputation?

So many red flags – do I really want solar?

Let’s take a quick moment to remind you of the benefits of solar. First and foremost: It makes sense financially. Investing in a PV Solar System is one of the best investments you can make as a homeowner and if done right, through a reputable company such as Palomar Solar & Roofing, peace of mind and an overflow of benefits will shortly follow. Many believe the primary reason to go solar is for the environment. Here at Palomar, we prefer to look at the financial benefits of solar and if it’s good for the environment, that’s a bonus! 

Do homes with solar systems sell faster?

Simple answer is… “Usually.” Of course if your house has a PACE loan or a lease, you may experience the opposite. What if the panels are facing the street and located in a haphazard manner as to be an eyesore. This is why it is so necessary when choosing your solar company to ensure that you are hiring a company who will be honest about all variables. At Palomar Solar & Roofing, we know that our systems are installed right and take aesthetics as well as proper sizing into consideration. If a system is installed properly, by a reputable contractor with quality components, then yes; your PV system will add value to your home. It will also allow the homebuyer to close escrow with peace of mind rather than pulling out of escrow at the discovery of any “red flags,” due to the previous home owner cutting corners.

What is the value of my solar system?

Did we mention benefits? One of the many benefits following the installation of solar is that it has great potential to increase the value of your home. But keep in mind that value is truly contingent upon the current market and method in which you’ve purchased your PV solar system and it absolutely matters which company has installed your system. The cream of the crop has risen in the solar industry and in our opinion, there are only a few companies who can really offer peace of mind. If you’re buying a home that these companies have installed on, you can feel comfortable knowing that warranties are going to be upheld and at a minimum the job was done right. Do your research on a solar system that was previously installed on a home you have taken interest in. Once you have identified which company has installed the system, research the company and ensure reputability.

At Palomar Solar & Roofing, we provide each system with a full set of documentation; from the contract to the installation plans and warranties. We are proud of our work and our reputation shows it. When looking for your solar installer, know that these intangibles are what make a difference between a system that is an asset to you and your home, versus one that could make selling your hoe an experience you’d rather forget.