Guide to Solar


    • Cash Purchase

    • Purchase with Financing

    • Monthly PPA

    • Prepaid PPA



    Payment: Pay full amount and get 30% tax credit in the end of the year

    Warranty: 20 year warranty

    Monitoring: Included

    RTO: Best

    Advantage: Best Value, best RTI.

    Purchase / Financing

    Payment: Min $ Down or $0 Down

    Warranty: 20 year warranty

    Monitoring: Included

    RTO: Less than with purchase

    Advantage: No money down. Complete finance

    Disadvantage: Paying more because of the interest of the system

    Prepaid PPA

    Payment: Only net system cost

    Warranty: 20 year warranty + Insurance

    Monitoring: Included

    RTO: Best RTI Advantage: No need to wait for FTC in the end of the year, getting best value for system

    Disadvantage: none

    Monthly PPA, Lease

    Payment: $0 Down

    Warranty: 20 year warranty + Insurance

    Monitoring: Included

    RTO: Worst

    Advantage: No money down, best savings for short term

    Dis advantage: Worst savings for long term


    Most of the time people discussing only solar module efficiency and brand considering a factor of the

    overall system efficiency. Solar pv system is not only modules and we have to look at the system as a

    whole, including solar modules and inverters. Best match of Combination of both modules and

    inverters will be considered most efficient solar system.


    There are 3 options choosing inverters:

    Micro inverters, centralized and optimizers. Different companies offer different inverters best on

    availability and their selection. That is a fact, that the best system output for same solar panels you can

    get with micro inverters, but because of thehigher cost, it is not the only best way to go with micro




    Enphase micro inverters:

    Design Flexibility

    Best DC to AC de-rate factor

    Low DC voltage on the roofFlexible and easy solar design based on azimuth, tilt angle and shading

    Disadvantage: Cost


    It is very important to analyze-Would it be worthy to spend more on micro inverters? Would that extra

    power generated by micro inverters vs centralized inverters be able to re-coupe itself and save more


    Example 1: House has shaded roof and facing East and West: Proposed system is 7kw 26 panels.

    It is obvious, if we install centralized inverter even cost of installation will be less than micro inverters

    but overall system production will be much less then with micro inverters. In this case it will be worthy

    to spend $2,200 more on 7kw system to get micro inverters, rather than go with centralized inverters.

    Example 2: House has non shaded roof and facing one direction to West: Proposed system is 7kw 26


    Weather we install micro inverters or centralized inverters solar production will be the same: In this

    case will be recommended centralized inverter, unless you (customer) want to use other advantages of

    micro inverter.

    Other advantages of micro inverters:

    25 years warranty instead of 10 year

    Individual solar module monitoring

    No high dc voltage on roof which reduced fire hazard


    Module brand choosing criteria:

    1) Company financial stability and history, showing how long they will be in business and their warranty


    2) Module PTC rating

    3) Modules density: Best Watt per Sq Foot

    4) Price of module per watt, which will affect on overall system cost


    Complete system warranty has:

    - Equipment Warranty: Equipment warranty is always 25 years for performance and 10 years for labor

    - Installation and Labor warranty: Minimum of 10 years

    - Roof warranty. Roof warranty is give exact warranty on the roof. Penetrations and any holes done by

    installers will be covered with min 10 year warranty.


    10 Years: Complete warranty with replacement, if necessary, including all labor costs. This is typical for

    solar panels because if something goes wrong with the solar panel it will be determined first 1-4 weeks

    after it is installed. Solarpanels are being checked every time before and after the installation.

    1-10 years: Performance guarantee is for min of 90%, meaning that in the next 10 years modules’

    performance will not degrade more than 10 %.

    10-25 years: Performance guarantee is for min of 80%, meaning that 11-25 year modules’ performance

    will not degrade more than 20 %.


    Labor warranty is covered by LA Solar Group.

    Solar equipment warranty is covered by solar manufacturer companies. Manufacturers have policies

    with insurance companies which, if they are out of business, insurance company will cover the

    warranty. For example, Canadian Solar protected by Farmers insurance.

  • Can my electrical panel handle solar to be connected?

    Most of the residential homes have 100A or 200A electrical panels.

    100A Electrical panel can handle up to 20A solar breaker (System size 4,500 Watts Max)

    200A Electrical panel can handle up to 40A solar breaker (System size 10,000 Watts Max)

    Main panel has to be non Centre feed which is not allowed by code.


    Utility companies have minimum charge set for each type of account.

    Example: LADWP minimum service charge is $11. However, there are 2 rates available for residential

    properties. R1-A and R1-B.

    R1-A is tiers structure which is based on how much energy you use

    R1-B is TOU rate which prices electricity based on when you use and what time


    Most of the residential properties are on R1-A rate and minimum service charge is $11.R1-B rate does

    not have service charge, meaning if after solar installation we switch rate to TOU then $11 service

    charge will not be applied anymore.

    SCE rates do not have minimum service charge. Only taxes need to be paid in the amount of $2 a



    After installing solar your account will be on NEM. Net Energy Metering means that your billing will be

    yearly instead of monthly or by-monthly.

    NEM allows to transfer excess power credits to following month.

    Example : If you went on vacation for August and solar have produced energy that has not been used,

    that extra power will be credited to following month and at the end of the year your bill will reflect the

    Yearend summary which will be due to pay. We do calculations based on annual usage of the property

    and provide system which will produce enough power to offset annual usage. For some months solar

    production is less than others but in the end of the year because of the NEM it gets balanced.

    Example: December’s solar production is 2 times less than in July. However, in December and July

    property electricity usage can be the same. That means that in December you will receive a bill, but you

    don’t need to pay because it will be compensated by extra production that was produced in July.


    After detailed energy evaluation we might change your rate to TOU which will give you more savings

    just trading power. TOU rate bill is based on peaks our usage and production and off peak usage and

    production. During peak hours, when electricity is more expensive you sell power to grid and buy it

    back on off peak hours (night time) when electricity is less expensive.

    System grounding: There are 2 ways to ground solar systems using ground lugs or WEEB ground clips.

    Unlike other solar companies we use ground lugs for every project to ground the system, meaning we

    install individual ground lugs for each panel and rail providing best grounding for systems. Most of the

    jurisdictions do not approve WEEB clips because of the luck of proper grounding.


    Federal tax credit amount is based on the system cost. Tax credit amount is 30% of the whole system

    cost which you can claim in the end of the year. If you are not eligible for tax credit, it will be

    recommended to go with prepaid lease option because leasing company will get your tax credit and will

    apply the amount to total cost in order to offset system cost.

  • SunPower VS SolarWorld OR LG PANELS

    Sunpower modules are the most efficient solar panels in the world. That is a fact, however Sunpower

    efficiency company to SolarWorld module efficiency difference is very little. Sunpower SPR-X20-327-

    BLC PTC rating is 306.1 Watts meaning PTC efficiency is 93.6%.

    Solar World or LG300N1W-G3 PTC rating is 276.5Watts meaning PTC efficiency is 92.1%.

    Price for Sunpower modules is 28% more expensive than SolarWorld or LG panels but efficiency

    difference is only 1.5%. Financially makes more sense to go with SolarWorld or LG because Sunpower

    extra efficiency does not recoup the cost.

    Sunpower panels cannot be used with Enphase micro inverters. As we have discussed, efficiency of the

    system is not only efficiency of the modules but is a combination of both inverter and module. Meaning

    SolarWorld or LG with Enphase is more efficient system than SolarWorld with Power One string



    Increasing utility rates, decreasing solar installation costs, and consumer demand for clean energy

    have fueled a booming residential solar market. California currently has over 245,000 solar projects

    installed-so there's a good chance you've seen a few solar systems in your neighborhood. With the

    current net energy metering program and federal tax credit, now is the perfect opportunity to go


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