Frequently Asked Questions

What does an average solar electric system cost?

Home solar panel installation costs range from $15,000 to $40,000 on average (before the federal tax credit or other incentives). This includes the cost of all materials, labor, freight, permit fees ,and sales tax. With a loan, you can go solar with little to no money upfront and lock in a fixed monthly solar electricity payment that is comparable to your current bill. Learn more about the cost and value of home solar.

What is the payback of a solar system?

The payback is typically 10–14 years, depending on if the system was purchased outright or financed.

How long do solar panels last?

Solar panels carry 25–year warranties, with life expectancies of 40+ years.

How efficient are solar panels?

Standard solar panels have efficiencies ranging from 13%–16% and produce about 13–16 watts per square foot. Namaste Solar uses high‐efficiency panels that reach up to 22% efficiency and produce about 20 watts per square foot. Although efficiencies can reach up to 30% or more, the cost is usually prohibitive except for military or space applications.

What is the size of an average solar electric system?

The average residential system size is about 6–7 kW. That said, averages won’t help in sizing a solar system for your specific home or business any more than an “average” shoe size will help you find a comfortably fitting shoe.

Sizing a solar PV system involves careful consideration of three main factors:

(1) available sunny space where a system can be installed;
(2) a customer’s electricity consumption; and
(3) project budget.

What happens during a power outage?

With any grid‐tied system, the solar system will turn off during a utility power outage. You will experience power outages the same way you do now. This is a safety feature built into the inverters to prevent accidental back-feeding into the grid, which could endanger utility workers. When the utility grid is running again, your solar system will automatically turn back on and resume generating power and saving you money.

What modifications would be necessary for my house to run on solar electricity?

Very little, if any. Solar panels are relatively lightweight, so there are rarely any structural modifications required. Conduit and wire must be installed from the solar panels to the electrical service panel. Typical installations take only 1–3 days with only 1 hour without power.

Would I need to rewire my house before installing a solar system?

Not at all. Grid-tied systems simply feed into a breaker in your main service panel.

What if there’s a hailstorm? Can the solar panels withstand hail?

Solar electric panels are built with high‐impact tempered glass. The solar industry standard dictates that panels should be able to withstand golfball-sized hail. If your solar panels do suffer any hail damage, you can claim the damage via your homeowner’s insurance policy.

Will I have to pay more for or make any changes to my homeowner’s insurance policy?

We recommend that you contact your homeowner’s insurance agent to inform them that you are adding solar to your home. Depending on your policy, your premiums may or may not increase. It is important to make sure your solar system is listed on your policy.

How can I learn more about Xcel Energy’s solar rebate program?

Feel free to call us for more information or go to the Solar*Rewards page on Xcel Energy’s website. Here you’ll find useful information about their solar rebate program and application process. We encourage you to contact us at any time for further details and program updates.

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