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Frequently Asked Questions

A solar power system can be installed on a flat composite, tar and gravel, bitumen, composite shingle, cement tile, or metal roof top. Solar panels are usually installed parallel to the roof surface. For this reason the orientation of your roof is important. South facing roofs offer the most annual production, while east and west facing roofs will produce less. However, west facing roofs produce more power during “peak” times when power can be worth more money. This is important for utility customers who can take advantage of time-of-use metering (such as PG&E and SCE customers). SOLAR SOURCE suggests that customers with older roofs redo their roof in conjunction with the solar installation.

Provided you have enough physical space, you can install a photovoltaic system that will produce as much electricity as you use, leaving you with a minimum bill of about $5.

Yes. Your solar electric system will supply you with electricity, which will cost you less than the rates you are currently paying. Over the course of its 30-year lifetime, a solar electric system is a great investment. It is low-risk, high-return investment that is very competitive with other types of investments (stocks, bonds, and property). SOLAR SOURCE can look at your specific situation and calculate exactly what your return on investment will be and how much you will save over the life of the system.

Solar panel and mounting equipment add very little load to your roof. In most cases the solar power system will add less than 4lb/ft2 of load to the roof. Virtually all modern construction is designed to support loads far greater than this. Some older homes may require some structural work prior to installing a system. However this is very rare and is still an exception even for older homes.

It will generally take us one day per kw of solar. So a 4kW system will take approximately 4 days under normal circumstances. This time can vary depending on the complexity of the installation.