SunPower By Precis
FAQs2021-07-21T22:47:59-05:00

You’ve Got Questions? We Have Answers!

There are many reasons to install solar power. Solar energy can help reduce your current electric bill, contribute to energy independence, and help save the environment. With all of the current solar rebates, solar incentives and solar tax credits available to the consumer, installing solar panels today now makes more sense than ever.

CAN THE HOMEOWNER SELL POWER BACK TO THEIR UTILITY?2021-07-21T22:32:30-05:00
Yes, through net metering, any excess electricity generated will spin your meter backwards which has the effect of selling your excess power to the utility at a full retail rate. On a monthly basis, you pay only the net of what power you used. If you generate more power than you use in a month your utility company will forward your excess solar energy credits to be used during the next month. This allows any excess energy generated in the summer to be used during the winter when there is less solar energy and usually higher energy usage.
IS THERE ANY SYSTEM MAINTENANCE REQUIRED?2021-07-21T22:32:14-05:00
Since there are no moving parts, the system is basically maintenance free. We recommend a gentle cleaning in mid-spring so to optimize your system’s performance during the summer months.
WHO HANDLES THE PERMITS AND REBATE PAPERWORK?2021-07-21T22:31:58-05:00
Sunergy Systems will handle every aspect of the installation from the filing of the rebate paperwork, to the permits, to the final inspections and Net-Metering Approval. Sunergy Systems is proud to offer a comprehensive turnkey package to every customer to ensure that installing a solar power system is an easy, pleasant experience for you.
HOW LONG WILL MY SOLAR ELECTRIC SYSTEM LAST?2021-07-21T22:31:30-05:00
Solar modules have been tested in controlled settings and in the field, with results showing module lifetimes in excess of 25 years. Modules typically have 25 year performance warranties and 10 to 25 year workmanship warranties.
DOES IT MATTER WHAT TYPE OF ROOF I HAVE?2021-07-21T22:31:13-05:00

Yes and no. Yes in that different roofing materials require different methodologies which can impact the systems installation costs. Never allow inexperienced contractors to penetrate a flat roof, only experienced professionals should ever work with these difficult roofs. If your roof will need to be replaced during the next ten years we recommend that you replace it before having your systems installed. Some roofs are more costly to install on than others – flat, tile, and wood shake are more difficult whereas standing seam metal and composite shingle are easier. Many installers, including Sunergy, will not install on wood shake or tile roofs that do not have a solid decking underneath, otherwise called spaced sheathing or skipped decking.

WHAT IS THE BEST ORIENTATION OF MY ROOF?2021-07-21T22:30:52-05:00
The best roof orientation for the Seattle region is SE to SW with South being the best. SE to SW orientations will result in only a slight annual energy reduction of 2% to 4%. Even due West or East orientations are workable, but you can expect anywhere from 12% to 18% less production than a Southern orientation. If you have no shading issues then adding a couple more solar modules to your system size will compensate for these losses. The best roof pitch or tilt angle is 15° to 45°, with only 2% to 4% loss compared to the perfect pitch. Even a flat pitch will only result in about a 10% annual output reduction; however, we recommend to never have a flat array due to major soiling issues that will require unacceptable maintenance schedules and reduction of the system life.
WILL THE SURROUNDING TREES BE A PROBLEM?2021-07-21T22:30:36-05:00
Unless there are tall trees in the SE to SW window of your sites location, tree shading should not be significant enough to prevent you from exploring solar options. A rule of thumb is to have no shading from 10AM to 3PM. Since the sun is higher in the horizon during the summer, tree shading usually provides more obstacles during the winter than in the summer. For regions that have overcast conditions and short days during the winter, such as the Puget Sound area, any but the worst shading issues can be worked with. Sunergy Systems can provide a complete site analysis to determine the exact shading and impact that any trees will have on your system.
HOW MUCH ROOF SPACE WILL MY SYSTEM NEED?2021-07-21T22:30:22-05:00
A rule of thumb is that every 1,000 Watts of solar modules will require 80 sq ft of roof space. Since the average size system ranges between 5,000W to 8,000W, the roof space required will range from 400 sq ft to 700 sq ft.
WILL SOLAR INCREASE MY PROPERTY VALUE?2021-07-21T22:30:05-05:00
Yes. Based on a 2015 study done by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkley Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories, for every watt of electricity that you offset through solar, it will increase the value of your home by $4. This means that your home would increase in value immediately by about the total net cost of the system after rebates.
WHAT SIZE SOLAR ELECTRIC SYSTEM DO I NEED?2021-07-21T22:29:48-05:00
The recommended size of your system depends on your power consumption. If you want to completely offset (replace) your current electrical usage (purchases) from the utility with a solar electric system, the first step is to review your annual energy consumption which can be obtained from your utility bill. If you design an energy efficient home and use energy efficient appliances and lighting, you can reduce your electricity usage dramatically. The majority of the Puget Sound area home systems range from 5,000W to 8,000W, or 400 to 700 square feet of solar modules. Where you live, how you live and how you heat your water and house will dictate the size of your system and its total cost.
IS THERE REALLY ENOUGH SUNSHINE IN THE NORTHWEST?2021-07-21T16:30:22-05:00
Yes! Solar power works in the Northwest! Although higher latitudes receive fewer annual hours of sunlight, solar panels operate at greater efficiency in cooler climates making the Northwest an excellent place for solar. The Northwest additionally has long summer days with many months of high solar hours. Even though the Northwest’s winters are mostly overcast and shorter, solar still works in these conditions. In fact, Germany has installed 13% of all the world’s solar panels in their country but actually gets less sunlight throughout the year than the Seattle area!
WHAT INCENTIVES ARE AVAILABLE FOR BATTERY BACKUP SYSTEMS?2021-08-06T13:43:39-05:00

Tesla Powerwall systems that are connected to a solar system are eligible for the 26% Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit. The system must be installed by the end of 2022 to qualify and by the end of 2023 to qualify for the reduced 22% Investment Tax Credit.

Battery backup systems are exempt for all sales taxes. Visit our incentives page for more detailed information.

Now’s a great time to lock in your energy rate before it rises again and the incentives disappear.”

WHAT TYPE OF WARRANTY DOES A TESLA POWERWALL HAVE?2021-08-06T13:42:30-05:00
The standard Tesla Powerwall warranty is 10 years at 70% of its rated energy capacity of 13.5kWh. This means a fully charge Powerwall is guaranteed to provide a minimum of 9.5kWh during an outage.
HOW MUCH DOES A TESLA POWERWALL COST?2021-08-06T13:41:48-05:00
A one unit Powerwall system can run from $12,500 to $13,000 depending on the degree of electrical difficulty. location on the building and if you purchase with solar. Multiple unit systems come with a significant savings, a two unit system can run from $22,000 to $25,500. Visit our financing page for our $0 down low interest loan options. Don’t forget, now is the best time to go solar with battery storage before the federal tax credit starts to fade away in 2022 and disappears in 2023. This incentive is also only eligible for Powerwall systems if they are connected to a solar system.
DOES A POWERWALL AUTOMATICALLY SWITCH ON WHEN THE GRID FAILS?2021-07-21T02:26:51-05:00
Your Powerwall will operate in a grid failure and your home will automatically switch over to the batteries. If the sun is shining when the grid goes down, your solar system will continue to charge your batteries and stop sending any energy back to the grid. We are required by code to install a “gateway” unit that relays power from your system to the Powerwall and isolates all the power in the house from the grid. This ensures the safety of lineworkers and is an automatic process when the grid goes out.
HOW MANY HOURS DOES IT TAKE TO CHARGE A POWERWALL WITH SOLAR?2021-08-06T13:41:08-05:00
This is another question that’s hard to quantify. How long it takes to charge a Powerwall with solar really depends on the weather, seasonal day lengths, brightness and shading. In perfect conditions with no loads and 7.6kW of solar power, a Powerwall could charge in 2 hours. Whereas for a typical December week up to 3 full days.
HOW LONG DOES A TESLA POWERWALL BATTERY LAST ON ONE CHARGE?2021-08-06T13:39:59-05:00
This is highly variable on how many loads you use during an outage. If you use electric heat and attempt to heat the entire house at night then you’ll draining the batteries rather quickly. A more realistic assumption for one Powerwall would be to run ten 100 watt light bulbs for 13 hours (without recharging the battery).
DO I NEED MORE THAN ONE POWERWALL?2021-07-21T02:26:00-05:00

We’re seriously not trying to dodge this question, but it really is different on a site-to-site basis and from a personal preference. For most systems, we install 1 or 2 powerwalls. The total number is a personal choice depending on how much power you want or need to store and what types of devices you hope to switch on during a grid outage. Each of our systems are fully customized to maximize the homeowner’s financial benefit and to reach their goals. To get a full picture of how many powerwalls you might need, we would need to have an in-depth conversation about your objectives and review your average consumption history.

WHAT CAN YOU POWER WITH A TESLA POWERWALL?2021-07-21T02:25:39-05:00

It’s all about the give and take when it comes to planning out your home battery storage solution. When designing your energy storage system, it is essential to find a balance between the total capacity of the Powerwall(s) with the demand of everything you need to power up. Each Powerwall can deliver up to 21 amps, and up to 6 Powerwalls can be stacked together. However, even if there is enough amperage to cover all of your loads, we need to consider the pace of how quickly electricity will be drawn to maximize the effectiveness of your back-up system.

A common misconception is that your solar output will recharge your battery at the same rate you’re using it. This depends greatly on uncontrollable factors like weather and user consumption habits. An easy way to look at battery storage is to think of how driving tendencies vary by operator and by vehicle. You may be a more efficient driver of your new Prius while your cousin Karen drives a 2001 Jeep Wrangler like she’s running a desert race. Similarly, Powerwall performance will be dependent on user consumption tendencies and what you are powering up. A small, highly efficient home with energy efficient appliances might power more than a larger, older home with leaky windows. By monitoring your usage and storage abilities, you’ll gain greater insight into what you can power and how quickly your Powerwall might recharge.

Ultimately, to determine what’s best for you, we need to take a look at your average historic usage and discuss what you’re looking to get out of our battery storage.

DOES A POWERWALL NEED TO BE INSTALLED WITH SOLAR?2021-08-06T13:39:29-05:00

Not technically, but it’s hard to see the benefit of having battery storage that’s not connected to a solar system in Washington State. Unlike areas that have a high variation in on-peak and off-peak rates, think California, time-of-use load shifting isn’t financially rewarding in the Evergreen State. There is no need to store your unused solar energy since net metering allows you to store your excess production on the grid as a credit to use later. This is essentially a free energy storage vault.

Battery backup systems that are connected to a solar system are eligible for the 26% Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit. Beginning in 2022, this tax credit will step down to 22% until a full sunset in 2023. Now’s a great time to lock in your energy rate before it rises again and the incentives disappear.

HOW DOES A POWERWALL BATTERY WORK?2021-07-21T02:24:43-05:00
In basic terms, sunlight is captured by your solar panels then converted into energy that you can use for your home. As that energy flows into your house, it is used by your appliances and any excess energy is stored in the Powerwall. Once the Powerwall is fully charged, additional electricity your system generates on top of that is sent back to the grid. When the sun goes down and your solar panels are not producing energy, your Powerwall will provide electricity to power your home.
WHAT DOES A TESLA POWERWALL BATTERY DO?2021-07-21T02:24:28-05:00

Just like any other battery storage option, a Tesla Powerwall captures and stores energy to be used by your home when needed later. What makes the Powerwall standout from other battery storage options is its ability to power larger loads and for a longer duration. This means you have the freedom to power up more of what you need without running out of storage during an outage.

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