Frequently Asked Questions

Here's our most frequently asked questions about commercial solar. If you have a question not listed, don't hesitate to reach out.
Are there any federal tax incentives for installing solar?

Yes. Through the Inflation Reduction Act, the solar tax credit went from 26% back up to 30% starting in 2022 and will stay at 30% for the next 10 years. Additionally, nonprofits qualify for a 30% direct pay. There are additional 10% adders that your business might qualify for. Contact us for more details.

Does my utility company offer rebates for installing solar?

Big Sun Solar will research all available incentives in your area to maximize your return on investment. For CPS Energy customers, although the rebate program ended in 2022, nonprofits and small business (less than 100kW system size) still qualify for rebates up to $80K. Please contact us for more details.

What size system do I need to install?

Sizing is a very important factor when purchasing a solar system. If you install a system that is too large, you will be exporting excess power for pennies on the dollar. Big Sun Solar will collect your energy bills and size a system that meets your needs and goals. In general, we try to stay around a 75% to 80% energy offset in order to minimize the energy that is sold back to the grid. In some cases we are limited by the amount of solar your property can physically support, in other cases we are limited by the size of your energy bill.

What is net metering?

Net metering is a way to bill solar customers in a way that credits them for the electricity they send back to the grid. For example, if an office building has a solar PV system on their roof, it may generate more electricity than the building needs on Sunday when the building is not occupied. With net metering, the electricity meter will run backwards to provide a credit against what electricity is consumed during the rest of the week when the electricity use exceeds the system's output. Customers are only billed for their "net" energy use on a 30 day basis.

Do I need a new roof to install solar?

While you don’t need a new roof, we do recommend your roof be in good condition with lots of life left in it. We don’t want to install a solar system on a roof that is going to need to be replaced 2 or 3 years down the road. In the event a roof does need to be replaced, the property owner would incur the expense of removing the solar system and reinstalling it once the roof is replaced. If a roof needs to be replaced due to hail damage, your property insurance will pay to remove and reinstall the solar system.

Will installing solar void my roof warranty?

No. We work very closely with your roofing company to ensure that your roof warranty stays intact. On TPO roofs, we install TPO pads under each one of our ballast bays. This ensures that only TPO is touching your TPO roof. If a roof penetration is needed, we coordinate with your roofing company and have them seal the penetration or have them approve our seal so that your roof warranty stays in place.

Do I need to install batteries with my solar installation?

When we install a Solar PV system at your building, we interconnect it directly to your main distribution panel so the electricity produced from your solar panels will feed directly into your building. Any excess electricity will be sent back to the grid and net-metered. You don’t have to worry about installing batteries with your Solar PV system. Some customers, however, want added resiliency and request a battery backup system so that if the grid loses power, their building can still function with solar and batteries.

How long will my Solar PV system last?

Solar panels are built to last 30+ years. All the solar panels we use come with a 25 year linear performance warranty. This states that after 25 years, they will produce at least 80% - 85% of what they started at. If at any time during that 25 year period the production drops below where it should be, it can be replaced under the manufacturer's warranty. Most inverters which convert the electricity from AC to DC, come with a 10 year warranty.

Will my solar panels get damaged by hail?

While solar panels can be damaged by hail, it is fairly unlikely. Most manufacturers test and certify their solar panels to withstand hail up to one inch in diameter falling at 50 miles per hour. Even though it is rare that a solar panel is damaged by hail, we definitely recommend property owners wrap the panels into their insurance policy in the event we experience unusually large, softball size hail.

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