FAQs

How much money will I save?

Your savings from solar come from paying less for solar electricity than you would be paying for electricity from your utility. In the beginning, the rate that Clean Power Finance charges you is less or equivalent to the rate you pay your utility. The rate that CPF charges is either fixed or rises very gradually. When you factor in rate increases from your utility that you won’t be paying, the amount of money that you can save with solar over the life of your agreement amounts to tens of thousands of dollars.

What if I need to sell my home?

You might not end up living in your home for the next twenty years. Clean Power Finance agreements are set up so that it’s easy to switch your contract to a new homeowner. Most Clean Power finance homeowners who move choose to transfer the agreement to the new homeowner. In this case, the new homeowner will take over the agreement and pay the same low rate for solar power. New buyers typically see lower electricity rates, system maintenance, and monitoring as advantages, and it can help you get a higher selling price for your home. You may also choose to purchase the solar equipment from Clean Power Finance and sell it with your home. What we’ve learned is that solar enhances the value of your home. In fact, home sellers and realtors have confirmed that with us. So during the transition, Clean Power Finance will continue to own the solar system, and will work really closely with the home buyer to transfer the agreement over to them. It’s a fairly straight-forward process and Clean Power finance will be with you every step of the way.

How do I get power at night with a solar system?

During the night when the sun isn’t out, your system is not producing any electricity. But a process called net metering makes it work. In the morning, your system is producing a little bit of electricity. It’s probably enough electricity use when you turn on the hair dryer or make toast for breakfast. You use it as you produce it. This is also what happens when it’s snowing out. Your system is still going to be producing a little bit of electricity and it’s really just enough for you to use. During the day, when the sun is at the highest point in the sky, your system is producing a lot of electricity. You’re probably not using all the electricity that’s being produced. The additional electricity your system produces flows back into the grid and runs your meter backwards. At night, when your system is not producing any electricity, the credit you generated during the day carries over, and you take electricity back from the grid.

How does a Power Purchase Agreement work?

Right now, you receive all of your electricity from your utility. Each month, your utility charges you for that electricity in the form of a monthly bill. When your utility decides to raise their electricity rates, you have no choice but to pay more money. With Clean Power Finance, a portion of your electricity comes from a solar system that is located on your roof. The rate that Clean Power charges is controlled by you, so that when your utility decides to raise its rates, you’re protected.

How will I pay for electricity after I get solar?

Currently, you receive an electric bill from your utility each month. After you go solar, you will still receive an electricity bill from your utility, but it will be much smaller. You will pay Clean Power Finance for the clean solar energy generated right from your roof at a lower rate. So you have the peace of mind of knowing that a large portion of your electricity bill is going towards clean, renewable energy at a lower price than your utility rates.

Will my home still be connected to the grid?

Yes. The only way to be off the grid is to get a battery back-up. But typically a battery back-up costs a lot of money and there’s also a lot of maintenance involved as well. The benefit to staying connected to the grid is to take advantage of a process called net metering. When your solar system produces electricity that you don’t use right away it’s sent back to the grid, and you get a positive credit. Think of the grid as a bank where you’re storing these credits, so at night-time when your system isn’t producing electricity and you need to turn on the lights, your TV, or any other electrical device you are simply pulling out these credits from that grid.

How long will my home solar power system last?

Most home solar power systems are predicted to last between 25 and 35 years. 

How frequently should I clean my solar panels?

With home solar, the solar power your panels produce will naturally vary depending mostly on the season and number of daylight hours. Most dust and debris that gets on your panels won’t significantly impact solar production, and average wind and rainfall will keep your solar panels producing at near optimum. In certain situations, dust and debris can decrease your solar production by 5% to 15%, but this would most likely occur in special situations, such as a forest fire near your home. It’s best to clean your panels only if you notice a significant drop in electricity production.

What happens to solar panels when it rains, snows, sleets or hails?

It doesn’t have to be completely sunny for your panels to produce electricity. In bad weather, your panel production won’t be 100%, but your panels will still be producing power. On a cloudy day, your panels might produce 30% of what they normally would. The exception is a snowstorm. If it snows enough for there to be a significant accumulation on your panels, your panels will not produce electricity. However, snow slides easily off of panels, and your panels tend to be located where your roof gets the most sun, so the snow on your panels will melt first, and your panels will resume producing electricity. If you live in an area that gets snow in the winter, snow days are likely and will be factored into your system’s projected production. Solar panels can handle some pretty tough weather. Most solar panels are guaranteed to withstand 3/4 inch hail balls at 120 miles per hour, and they are also built to withstand direct lightning strikes.

What will my relationship with the utility company be after I go solar?

You’ll stay connected to the utility grid and keep your current local utility company. On days when your home solar system produces more electricity than your home is using, your utility will automatically credit your account. At night, and on days when your home uses more electricity than your system is producing, you’ll use up those credits and draw electricity from the grid. This is called net metering, and it happens in the background automatically while you continue to use all of your electrical appliances as you always have. You’ll still have a bill from your utility, but it will be much smaller.

If the power goes out, will my home solar power system keep producing electricity?

No. For safety reasons, your home solar power system will automatically shut off if the power goes out. This is to protect utility workers who might be working on power lines in an outage from being exposed to live electricity.

What happens at the end of my solar agreement?

Your agreement lasts 20 years. At the end of your agreement, we will make it easy for you to continue with solar, or opt to take it off. You can 1.) Purchase the solar equipment at fair market value. Your solar system should produce electricity for 25 years or more 2.) Renew the agreement and continue purchasing solar power at a rate lower than you would pay to your utility 3.) Upgrade to a new system and agreement or 4.) Remove the home solar system at no cost to you.