Going Solar 101

What We Do

We facilitate the process of converting to solar power for residential and commercial clients from start to finish. We handle everything including the design, permitting, installations, inspections, and maintenance.

What You Do

You provide information about your home and energy usage, schedule a consult with our sales team, approve your quote and design, and we take care of the rest.

How does a consult with SAVKAT work?

We do solar consultations in-home, over the phone, or through video chat, whichever you prefer. One of our knowledgable Sales Representatives will meet with you and discuss your specific needs, explain your electric bill, and walk you through your solar proposal. This can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour depending on your questions. We want our customers to be informed and confident in their energy decisions.

What are the benefits of converting to solar?

Energy Independence

Protect your home against unpredictable energy prices and stabilize your utility bills.

Go Green

A typical residential solar panel system will eliminate 3-4 tons of carbon emissions each year. That's roughly equal to planting 100 trees!

Save Money

By installing solar you can reduce your power bill up to 80%. You will end up paying less than you pay now!

Increase Home Value

Owning solar can increase your homes value and help it sell faster. Energy independence and being "green" is attractive to potential home buyers.

Financial Incentives

Residential solar growth is being driven by more accessible solar financing plans, including no money down and low money down options.

Solar Economic Growth

According to recent economic reports, the solar industry job growth is 20x higher than the rest of the U.S. economy.

The Process

Say you are excited about the benefits of solar but don't know where to begin. Here we want to outline our SAVKAT process and take you step by step through to a fully operating solar system.

We take of all of the logistics from scheduling your site survey, to applying for your permits and incentives, to monitoring your system in-house after it is up and running. We start the process of your project the day you sign with us and we keep you informed from beginning to end.

  • Electricity Usage Assessment

    YOU submit your address via our contact page and a copy of your most recent utility bill. This is necessary for us to design the system size and system type specific to your power needs.

  • Design and Approve Proposal

    We schedule a consult with our sales team in-person, phone, or video chat; you will receive your solar system quote including system size, power production, savings, and payment options. Once you approve your proposal, we take care of everything!

  • Apply for Permits

    We apply for all permits as required by your local municipality and your power company.

  • Solar Panels Installed

    We install your solar panels and schedule final inspections of your system.

  • Inspections and Power Turn On

    We attend all final inspections and the power company gives us permission to connect to the power grid. You are now producing your own green energy!

FAQ

Here you can find common solar terms explained, organized by category. We update our information constantly, but if you have suggestions for new questions feel free to reach out to us at info@savkat.com.

What is the Federal Investment Tax Credit (Solar Tax Credit)?

The federal investment tax credit (ITC) is a tax credit that can be claimed on federal income taxes for 30% of the cost of a solar photovoltaic (PV) system. For example: If a solar panel system costs $15,000 then the owner of the panels is eligible for a $4,500 tax credit. ($15,000 x 30% = $4,500)

Disclaimer: You should ALWAYS consult your tax professional for your specific situation. We do not assume responsibility for your tax situation or credits.

What is a state incentive? 

In addition to the federal ITC, many states offer rebates or other incentives for going solar. Don't worry, if there are state incentives available we will apply for them on your behalf. This will help you save even more by going solar!

Disclaimer: You should ALWAYS consult your tax professional for your specific situation. We do not assume responsibility for your tax situation or credits.

Should I lease or own the panels? 

Leasing a solar panel system means the SunPower is the owner of the panels and they are responsible for the system, its maintenance, and its power production. You agree to pay a fixed rate for the electricity generated from the lease.

Typically, leases have an escalator in them that mirrors the rate of inflation. An escalator is an annual increase in the cost per kilowatt hour. With an escalator your energy rate typically increases every year throughout the term of the lease. Be sure you understand how an escalator works and what it means before leasing a system. Often people are surprised by the annual rate increases because they did not understand how an escalator works. We advise you to ask questions and educate yourself prior to signing a lease.

With a lease when you sell your home you will either have to buy the system out from the leasing company or the new owners will have to apply for and take over your existing lease. There are a lot of "verbal" promises made in reference to the cost of buying out a lease. Do your homework and get things in writing. When the lease is up, either buy the panels, have them removed, or re-sign the lease for another term. With a lease you will always have a lease payment and will never receive the benefit of true energy independence because you do not own the system.

When you own the panels (cash or loan) you are entitled to the 30% Federal Tax Credit as it applies to you. You may also receive any applicable State Incentives. The panels have a 25 year manufacturer's warranty and SAVKAT, INC., gives a 10 year workmanship warranty which is one of the highest in the industry.

With ownership, when the system is paid off, you are generating electricity for free. You do not get this benefit with the leasing program. When you sell your home the system simply transfers to the buyers. Buyers DO NOT have to qualify for a lease, they simply enjoy the savings and true energy independence.

There are no liens on the property when you own the system. This includes no liens if you elect to finance the system.

How do I save money going solar?

By going solar you are producing your own electricity so you are no longer subject to the rate hikes from your utility company (on average utility companies in the northeast increase rates about 6-7% annually). It is very common for clients to see savings of 20-50% on day one by going solar.

Does my roof qualify for solar panels?

There are inspections to determine if your roof qualifies for solar. There will be a site survey conducted a few days after you decide to go solar. The site survey technician will check out the roof, the trusses and/or roof rafters and attic area (if applicable) to ensure it is suitable for solar. The technician will also be checking the main breaker panel box, taking shade readings, and taking exact roof measurements, etc., to send to our design/engineering team. The site survey is done to ensure your roof is fit for solar and takes approximately one hour to complete.

How long do solar panels last?

Solar panel systems have no moving parts, they are very reliable and require little maintenance. Solar modules come with a manufacturer's warranty for a lifecycle of between 20 and 25 years. Depending on the quality, the solar panels can last up to 40 years.

What is a Photovoltaic Solar panel?

Solar cells, also called photovoltaic (PV) cells by scientists, convert sunlight directly into electricity. PV gets its name from the process of converting light (photons) to electricity (voltage), which is called the PV effect. A rooftop solar panel system is often called a "PV System".

How heavy is a solar panel?

On average, solar panels and the mounting equipment weigh 2-4 pounds per square foot or about 30-45 pounds per panel which is usually within the acceptable limits of your roof.

What is Net Metering?

Net metering is selling excess electricity produced by your solar system to your power company. If you generate more electricity than you use, net metering is the mechanism used to keep track of the power generated and used.

If Net Metering is supported in your area, at the end of installation a net meter will be placed on your house to keep track of the electricity flow that you produce and consume.

How long is the process of going solar?

There are several steps in the process of going solar: in most cases, the process takes approximately 30-45 days from start to finish. From the day you sign to go solar the final system design takes about 7-10 days. The applications and permitting process is between 14 and 21 days. The physical installation of your solar panels is typically from 1-3 days depending on your system size. The final inspections and grid connection typically take from one to two weeks. After final inspections are approved and you are connected to the grid you are producing your own energy! We will keep you informed through all phases of your solar project so you always know exactly where you are in the process. We will handle everything from start to finish. Like we said, "we make going solar simple and seamless".

How many Watts does an average house use in a day?

In 2015, the average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. residential utility customer was 10,812 kilowatt hours (kWh), an average of 901 kWh per month or about 30 kWh per day. What are the immediate benefits of solar? Lower utility bills, saving money, energy independence, lower pollution and carbon emissions, less fossil fuel extraction.

Where does my state rank nationally on electricity rates?

(info provided by electricitylocal.com)

Connecticut has the 4th highest electricity rates in the country with rates 45.96% higher than the national average. Average residential electricity rate in Connecticut is 17.34¢ and the national average residential rate is 11.88¢ This alone is enough reason to go solar!

Massachusetts has the 9th highest electricity rates in the country with rates 25.51% higher than the national average. Average residential electricity rate in Massachusetts is 14.91¢ and the national average residential rate is 11.88¢

Rhode Island has the 11th highest electricity rates in the country with rates 21.21% higher than the national average. Average residential electricity rate in Rhode Island is 14.4¢ and the national average residential rate is 11.88¢ Rhode Island may be small but it packs a big solar savings punch!

New York has the 3rd highest electricity rates in the country with rates 48.32% higher than the national average. Average residential electricity rate in New York is 17.62¢ and the national average residential rate is 11.88¢ New York has the potential to be the Solar Empire State!

New Jersey has the 7th highest electricity rates in the country with rates 32.83% higher than the national average. Average residential electricity rate in New Jersey is 15.78¢ and the national average residential rate is 11.88¢ Go Green Garden State!

New Hampshire has the 6th highest electricity rates in the country with rates 35.27% higher than the national average. Average residential electricity rate in New Hampshire is 16.07¢ and the national average residential rate is 11.88¢ Live Free and Go Solar New Hampshire and stop putting up with outrageous energy rates.