Frequently Asked Questions

We hope the following questions and answers will cover many of your initial curiosities about the process of going solar. Can't find the answer to your question? Feel free to contact us at info@freeenergysystems.org and we will be happy to assist you.

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About Solar

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  1. How does solar power work?

    Solar panels work by:
    (1) Converting photons (particles of sunlight) into DC power. (2) DC power is not typically used in homes or businesses so the power is converted into AC power using one or more inverters. (3) From here the power enters into your electrical panel and is distributed throughout the home or business. (4) Any excess energy is sent back onto the grid running your meter backwards. As your meter runs backwards your system builds up credits with the utility to be used when the system is not producing.

  2. Is solar right for my home or business?

    Solar power is great for most home and business owners. The major qualifying factor is owning property with space for the solar installation, either on a roof or on the ground, that is relatively free from shading. Contact Free Energy Systems today and a Solar Advocate will visit your property to conduct a site analysis free of charge. During that time the Solar Advocate will discuss with you the benefits, tax credits, incentives, and available financing for solar systems.

  3. Should I install a ground mounted or roof mounted system?

    The location of your photovoltaic system is determined on a case-by-case basis. A Solar Advocate will help you to determine the best location for your property.

  4. How many panels does my home or business require?

    The number of panels required to offset your electricity depends on a few factors: How much electricity does you property use? What is the angle, pitch, and direction of your roof? What are the potential shading issues?

    A typical residential system will include between eight (8) and thirty (30) solar modules, although we install both larger and smaller systems. Call Free Energy Systems today to set up a free, no-obligation consultation with a Solar Advocate. The Solar Advocate will guide you through the entire process and help you to determine the system needed to eliminate your electric bill.

  5. How long does a solar system last?

    Residential solar systems are expected to produce power for many decades. The majority of the system is warrantied for a period of twenty five (25) years. However, it is expected that the system will continue to produce long after the warranty has expired.

  6. What maintenance will need to be done on the system?

    As solar systems have no moving parts there is almost no maintenance that needs to be done over the life span of the system. Most dust will not cause a significant loss in power, and weather patterns such as rain and wind will help keep the system operating at its rated output.

  7. Will my system work when there are clouds, rain, or snow?

    During adverse weather conditions your system will be producing; however, it will not be producing at its full capacity. A Solar Advocate will use historical weather data from your location to determine the estimated annual production, including losses due to weather and shading.

  8. What happens if my system gets covered in snow?

    When a photovoltaic module gets covered in snow, it will become warm as the sun shines. The warming will allow the snow to simply slide off the module. This means there is no shoveling required for system owners.

  9. If the utility loses power will my home still have power?

    Not typically, unless your system is backed up with batteries or a generator. The utility requires the system to automatically shut down when the grid loses power. This is required for safety reasons, protecting line workers from electrical shock due to electricity being back-fed onto the grid.

  10. Will my system require batteries?

    No, typically systems will be connected to the grid, where their excess energy can be stored. This eliminates the need for batteries, which are expensive, hard to maintain, and not sustainable. In some unique applications where the grid is not available, batteries will be used to store excess energy.

  11. Do I need to re-roof before going solar?

    No, it is usually not necessary to replace your roof before installing solar. The cost of removing and replacing modules is minimal. Unless you're due for a new roof immediately, it's fine to go ahead and more forward with the installation.

Financing, Incentives, and Pricing

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  1. How much does solar cost?

    The cost of solar varies based on the amount of energy required. However, with current government incentives and financing, solar can be installed with little or no out-of-pocket expenses and payments lower than current utility rates. Call Free Energy Systems today for a free, no-obligation solar assessment at (800) 804-7958.

  2. Is there financing available for going solar?

    Yes, there are a wide variety of financing options available to help home and business owners go solar. Free Energy Systems aims to have as many financing options as possible. We source both private and public financing for our customers' systems. We also offer leases to those not interested in ownership or to those unable to collect tax credits. Contact Free Energy Systems today to speak with a Solar Advocate about potential financing options for your home or business.

  3. Are there any tax credits available?

    Tax credits are one of the largest financial incentives of going solar. Credits are available for both residential and commercial photovoltaic and solar hot water systems. The most significant tax credit for both residential and commercial systems is the 30% Investment Tax Credit. The 30% tax credit is available for all systems placed in service between 2009 and 2016. The credit can be carried forward as well as back depending on your tax situation.

  4. What other incentives are available?

    There are a number of other federal and local incentives to help reduce the cost of going solar. Many of these incentives apply to select groups of people based off of factors such as system location, economic status, tax status, or non-profit status. Contact Free Energy Systems today and a Solar Advocate will inform you about all of the potential credits, incentives, and grants that you may qualify for.

  5. Does adding solar increase my property taxes?

    No, the state of California recognizes that solar increases the value of your property quite significantly, but you are not going to be taxed on the increased value.

  6. Can the system be depreciated?

    Commercial enterprises qualify for accelerated depreciation on photovoltaic systems. Solar systems will be depreciated on a MARCS 5-year depreciation schedule. Furthermore, systems placed in service in 2013 qualify for 50% bonus depreciation the first year.

  7. Are there any discounts available on the systems?

    We believe that everyone should have access to clean, renewable energy. Recognizing that it can be difficult for some people to adopt solar, we provide discounts to active military, veterans, seniors, and non-profit organizations.

Free Energy Systems

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  1. What certifications does Free Energy Systems have for solar installation?

    Free Energy Systems believes in having a highly skilled and trained work force. From our installers to the management, we take pride in our education. Certifications include NABCEP Solar Installation Professional, OSHA, Journeyman, and PG&E certifications. We also pride ourselves on having the most up-to-date product knowledge through manufacturer training courses. Our license number is 988918.

  2. What is the process like working with Free Energy Systems?

    The process of having solar installed on your home or business with Free Energy Systems is an easy one. From the initial consultation through the final commissioning, we take care of everything. Just sit back, relax, and have clean, renewable energy come to you!

Regulations

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  1. Will I need to get permits for my installation?

    You will need to have building permits before we begin our installation; however, our team of professionals will take care of this for you. At Free Energy Systems, we make it easy for you to go solar by handling the entire process from beginning to end.

  2. My home is part of a homeowners association (HOA). Can the HOA prevent me
    from installing solar on my home?

    In California, the California Solar Rights Act prevents homeowners associations denying residents the right to install solar on their homes. However, HOAs do have the ability to request that you change the design or location of the system for aesthetic reasons, assuming it does not lower the efficiency of the system. Free Energy Systems will work with you and your HOA to make sure the installation process goes smoothly.