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

What to do if your solar company goes out of business?

What to do if your Solar Installer Disappears?

Are you an orphaned solar customer?

How Palomar can help!

A growing issue our industry is customers abandoned when a solar installer goes out of business. We consistently receive calls similar to the example below:

CallerHi, I already have solar system on my house but something is wrong, can you help me?

Palomar: We likely can, but have you tried your original installer? As we were not the original installers we would need to charge you for our time.

CallerWell,I tried that.  At first, no one would answer the phone.  Upon further investigation, we discovered they went out of business.  Please help!

PalomarI’m sorry to hear that, let’s start by getting some information.

Unfortunately, the volume of these types of calls is increasing dramatically.   We estimate 90% of the our inquiries are customers looking for someone to service their previously installed system because the company no longer exists, while the other 10% are simply unhappy with their current installers level of service.  We call these the “Orphaned Customers.”

The issue began when these customers agreed to do business with an installer, but failed to thoroughly verify them.  These companies were happy to take the contract and the customer’s money under false pretenses and with empty promises of worry-free service for the next 25 years at no extra cost.  Unfortunately, once these companies got their money, they went off the radar, abandoning the customer with nowhere to turn when problems arise with their system.

Orphaned solar customers will call us expressing regret they didn’t use a reputable company like Palomar initially.  After learning a tough lesson, these customer are now experts at due diligence – they want a company who isn’t going to put them in a deeper hole than they are already in.  After making a few calls, we seem to be the only company who is actually willing to step up to help those who have been orphaned by their original installer. Most companies turn these individuals away – mostly because there’s no large profit to be made.  Although we didn’t do the install we’re willing to help.

 

I’m an orphaned solar customer, what can I do?

Upon initial contact with Palomar, one of our certificated solar experts will take the time to hear your story and explain our service fee structure.  We’ll gather some basic information crucial for us to assess your situation and determine potential solutions.  At the completion of this initial phase, we’ll have a much better understand of how we can help.

If Palomar can help an orphaned solar customer, we forward them our service agreement where we have established relatively inexpensive fees.

 

Why are there fees?

It’s an unfortunate situation as customers were initially sold the concept that once you pay for a solar system, the rest is history. So naturally, having additional expenditures that were not expected is going to be uncomfortable and unwelcome.  We understand the frustration involved by trusting a company that has gone out of business and is not living up to their part.  Palomar is a respectable and trusted resource to help orphaned customers and offer potential solutions.  While we are fully accountable for our solar installations, certain fees are necessary as part of those ongoing solutions for orphaned customers.  A Palomar certified expert can explains the fees in more detail.

 

Why Palomar?

Few companies will even offer help to orphaned solar customers.  We understand how difficult and desperate your situation can be and the frustration caused solely by your initial installer.   At Palomar, you’re not only receiving “help” with your system, you’re receiving service from a reliable and honest company to take you on as our own customer with the benefits offering per-panel monitoring, taking over the RMA process when needed, and providing leading customer service.

Additionally, as a Palomar customer, you can rest assured that if you experience any issues to work we completed, we will take care of them in a timely manner with no service charge.  We make it our duty to help you maintain your investment.

If you are an orphaned solar customer, call us today

Contact us! We would love to chat with you 1.760.504.0388.

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.

SDG&E Introduces New Default “Time-of-Use” (TOU) Plans

SDG&E Introduces New Default “Time-of-Use” (TOU) Plans

SDG&E is Acting on The New Time of Use Plans

You know those summer days when you arrive home from work exhausted, hungry and hot – on the way in you grab your mail, kick on the AC, and preheat the oven in preparation for dinner. Well, you may want to open a window, opt for pizza, oh, and be sure to read that notice from your local power company & their new time-of-use plans instead. There’s a change in how you’re being charged for your electricity usage and it’s already underway.

Utility companies have pushed the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and California legislature to move from a tiered billing system to a “time-of-use” (TOU) billing system. Among three of California’s major power companies, San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) is the first company to act on this new directive. The billing system includes revised “peak hours” and two new time-of-use rate plans, one of which will replace the current default billing format.

Rob Nikolewski from The San Diego Union Tribune states that “California’s policy makers also hope the wide spread adoption of time-of-use will lead to a boost in sales of battery storage systems paired with solar panels.” On the contrary, a boost in battery sales might just be an unintended consequence of the drastic and recent changes the power companies have been making. And coming from a practical standpoint, these peak hours could potentially counteract solar energy production. This is because the peak hours that SDG&E has allocated for their customers are also the same hours when a power surge is almost inevitable and even mandatory in some homes.

The Lowdown… what you should know about the change to Time-of-Use plans.

The shift began in March of this year and is set to be complete by mid-2020 with 75,000 to 100,000 SDG&E customers. The pattern will continue each month until almost all 750,000 customers in SDG&E’s service sector have been switched. The new billing system also includes new “peak hours.” Initially, peak hours fell between 11a.m. and 6p.m. The revised peak hours are now from 4p.m. to 9p.m. but didn’t the utility companies spend the early 2000s persuading us that these hours were the best hours to use electricity? Ah, the ole switcharoo. Nice job power companies. SDG&E has introduced TOU-DR1 as the new default billing format (DR-SES for most NEM customers with solar systems). TOU-DR1 divides the day into three intervals: on-peak, off-peak, and super off-peak. Also introduced are TOU-DR-P and TOU-DR2 who’s plan is similar to TOU-DR1, but the days are only divided into two intervals. There is no super off-peak. FYI, customers can opt to stay on SDG&E’s standard tiered plan at no extra cost! But there’s a catch: you have to call SDG&E and specify your preference. Be forewarned, it may take a call or two to accomplish going back to your original tiered rate plan. If you would like to test the time-of-use waters, SDG&E offers “bill protection,’ which will allow customers to receive a “shadow bill” included with their monthly billing statement. Shadow bills will show the difference between the time-of-use rate you opted for and the tiered rate you were previously on, giving you an idea of the new billing format’s performance. 

What does this mean for solar customers?

Although SDG&E will switch both solar and non-solar customers to time-of-use rate plans, NEM 1.0 customers may be eligible to remain on the tiered rate for another 5 to 20 years starting from their PTO date by being “grandfathered” in. This is something you will need to speak with SDG&E about. You may have to press the issue for your billing format to be switched back to the tiered rates. In fact, when you contact SDG&E, ask to speak with one of their Solar Specialist. Solar Specialists are knowledgeable and will be able to walk you through the available plans that will most benefit you. Changes for new NEM 2.0 customers include mandatory default time-of-use rates and taxes/charges that cannot be bypassed. time-of-use rates will also vary depending on time of day (keep the revised peak hours in mind) and energy demands. Credits for solar customers and production also varies dependent upon time-of-use. Potential NEM 2.0 customers can reach out to one of our solar consultants to inquire about the design of their solar panel system that will benefit them.

Choosing the plan that’s right for you.

  • First thing first – become familiar with all of the available rate plans. SDG&E may suggest and even advertise only two or three available plans to opt from, but there may be a third or fourth option they might not want you to know about.
  • Talk to SDG&E about being grandfathered in. Customers who are eligible to be grandfathered in will receive more time to maximize their savings, build new and beneficial energy preservation habits, and it gives you some time to prepare for the switch.

What if I can’t be “grandfathered” in?

Once you’ve been informed of all available plans, old and new, take a moment to compare them to each other. Review your past and current electricity bills. Then consider what days and times you use the most power to determine where you can afford to cut energy usage. Laundry could wait until the weekend, dishes could be hand washed (instead of using the dishwasher). Tablets and phones can be charged after 9p.m., and you could use those same devices for entertainment instead of turning on the TV. The more electricity you use during peak hours, the more you pay.

Another option would be taking a look at your solar system’s energy production. Are you producing enough energy to offset your usage? If not, this could pose a reduction in your yearly savings. Adding to your solar system is an option you might want to consider. It’s best to speak with one of our solar energy consultants to inquire about the benefits of adding to your solar system.

And don’t fret – even with the current inconvenience of the power companies’ new rate plans, solar still makes sense. And every time these power companies’ contrive blows in the form of soft-pedaled penalties at the solar industry, solar makes even more sense. Here at Palomar Solar we pride ourselves on ethicality and will always be upfront when it comes to providing you with the information you seek. No gimmicks, no change orders, and honesty, 100% of the way. They say knowledge is power: and while we may not have complete control over the power companies, if we’re knowledgeable and informed, we might just be able to outsmart them.

Tax Credit for Solar Installation

Does The Residential Solar Power Tax Credit Still Exist?

Over the last few years, the uncertainty of how the government and utilities were going to handle tax credit for new solar systems has caused confusion to the residential marketplace. Are tax credits gone? Are we running out of time? Did I already miss the boat? Luckily, there’s now a defined answers to these questions.

In February of this year, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 reinstated the tax credits available for residential solar customers. The Act outlined a structured, but gradual decrease in the credits over the next three years for systems placed in service on or after January 1, 2006, and on or before December 31, 2021. The breakdown according to Energy.gov1:

  • 30% for systems placed in service by 12/31/2019
  • 26% for systems placed in service after 12/31/2019 and before 01/01/2021
  • 22% for systems placed in service after 12/31/2020 and before 01/01/2022

In additional to the natural reduction of your electric bills over the next 25 years, adding renewable solar energy will increase the value of your home without directly increasing the property tax assessment from the installation.

Please consult with your accountant regarding your eligibility, and how you can benefit from this tremendous tax credit

Solar Panels Worth It in 2019

Are Solar Panels Worth it For Your Home in 2019

Are solar panels worth it for your home?

Here are some of the most popular questions answered

Will solar panels increase my home value?

In most all cases a properly designed PV (photovoltaic) solar system will add value to your home. However in some rare cases where the system is poorly designed, it is conceivable that a system could in fact lower the value of the home. This is why a properly designed solar panel system should always take into account not only the initial production desired but also longevity (is the equipment speced designed to last for the 25 year life of the system?). Most old tech inverters (string type) are only designed to last 10 years.

Another important value consideration that is often overlooked by the designer is that of aesthetics. Are the panels placed in a hodge podge manner or are the homes aesthetics taken into account?

Will solar panels save me money?

As a rule most PV solar systems will save you money. Savings come from a variety of sources. The first and easiest way to see this is by home much your electric bill is lowered, immediately. This of course is often balanced by a loan payment that was used to finance the system.

Current Utility Cost Sample

1 Year Utility Cost Without Solar

Utility Savings After Solar (1 year)

After Solar Utility Savings

The second major savings comes from the 30% Federal Tax credit. In a typical system, this can be a $6-10,000 federal tax credit.

30% Federal Tax Credit Example

Is solar worth it in 2019?

 

The third savings which is always the largest and yet toughest to see, is the accumulated savings over time due to the system offsetting continuously increases power costs. While a customer may be offsetting a $250 average bill in month 1, by year 10 that same bill may easily be $460, and a stunning $1,270 in year 25. A $25,000 PV system at todays cost can save a consumer more than $200,000 in lifetime electric bills over 25 years.

Contact Us Today

Are solar panels worth it? The answer is simple, you will save a considerable amount on your electricity bill and increase the value of your home.

Want to learn more about solar panels? Contact us today! We would love to chat with you 1.760.504.0388.