Below are questions and answers that were posed in our Solarize Santa Barbara – Residential Solar and Battery Storage 101 Webinar. CEC staff and webinar panelists have endeavored to answer these questions to the best of our ability and have provided additional resources for you to dig deeper into topics discussed. If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact April Price, Renewable Energy Program Senior Manager at CEC. Did you miss this webinar? Watch it here.
How do we obtain quotes for Solarize Santa Barbara?
Please visit our website for more information and to sign up for the Solarize Santa Barbara program. A CEC staff member will follow up with additional information and to discuss program options.
What is the lead time for getting a project done? Is by the end of the tax year possible at this point?
The companies were selected for the Solarize program with the intention of serving as many customers before the end of the year (2020) as possible. All three companies can currently schedule installs before the end of the year, but delays due to roof work, permitting challenges, etc, can slow down projects.
What size home solar system would be required to support a 2,000 square foot house that requires air conditioning?
It very much depends on the specific energy demand of the home, but an average Santa Barbara home with AC might use 4-4.5 kW of solar.
How long do solar batteries last?
Most batteries are under warranty for about 10 years or 10,000 cycles.
Are there state solar tax credits available to homeowners?
Unfortunately, there are only federal solar tax credits available to homeowners.
Are you still eligible for the 26% federal tax credit on a solar battery if you already have solar panels?
Yes – the tax credit can also be applied to the battery.
Can we apply for the Solarize program if we want to add panels and batteries to an existing system?
Yes – you can add panels to an existing system and/or add battery storage through the Solarize program.
Will my roof still be under warranty for issues like leaks after solar panels have been installed or replaced?
Every solar company has their own warranty for workmanship – most are 10 years. Check with your roofer about your roof warranty and what it covers – most roof warranties are also 10 years.
Can you mount a battery system on the exterior of a house?
I have Net Energy Metering (NEM). Will I lose NEM if I add a solar battery system?
Adding a solar battery system will not cause you to lose Net Energy Metering (NEM). However, when you add a battery, you become eligible for (but not required to switch to) a different Southern California Edison (SCE) tariff, Time-of-Use (TOU) Prime.
What is the average lifetime of a solar panel?
Most solar panels have production warranties of 20-25 years and typically guarantee 80% (or more) of original panel energy production at year 25. However, panels don’t stop working at 25 years – they just continue to slowly become less efficient. Average annual degradation percentages in the residential solar industry are 0.5%-0.7%.