Frequently Asked Questions
MY HOME AND SOLAR
HOW DOES A HOME SOLAR SYSTEM WORK?
A home solar system is made up of components that all work together to convert the power of sunlight into usable energy for your lights, appliances and devices. 1. Solar panels Solar panels are made of photovoltaic cells (solar panels) that convert sunlight to direct current electricity (DC electricity). As long as the sun ray’s are making contact with your roof, your panels are converting solar radiation into DC electricity. Even when it’s cloudy, you can still expect your panels to produce majority of their normal output. But your electricity isn’t ready just yet. You’ll need an inverter to get the kind of power you need to turn the lights on. 2. Inverter The inverter takes the DC electricity produced by your solar panels and turns it into alternating current electricity (AC electricity). It’s typically installed on an exterior wall of your house, or in the garage. 3. Main electric service panel Solar electricity from your inverter flows to the electrical panel, and then into to your home where it powers your lights and appliances. If your panels generate more solar energy than you use, the excess power will flow to the utility grid. Even better? You might even earn energy credits from your local utility for the power you send. 4. Utility meter When your system produces more than you need, the excess energy is sold back to your utility and credited to your monthly electric bill. When you need more energy than your solar system can produce, your home will automatically pull the energy from your utility. Your utility meter measures how much energy comes from and goes to the grid.
WHAT DO I PAY
$0! There are no upfront, out of pocket fees or deposits.
DO I OWN THE SYSTEM?
Yes, you are the owner of the system.
DO THE SOLAR PANLES DETERIORATE WITH TIME?
Like most other equipment, solar panels do deteriorate over time, but at a very slow rate. A panel loses 7-8% capacity over a period of 10 years. So even after 25 years of installation, the panels will continue to operate with 80% capacity.
DOES SOLAR WORK IN THE SNOW?
A solar panel works efficiently in snow and heavy cold, as long as it gets enough sunlight. Solar arrays are designed and aligned in a way that snow cannot accumulate on top of them for a long time.
DO I NEED BATTERIES?
Batteries are not mandatory for your solar system. If you have a higher budget, you can invest in batteries as a power backup option. They take care of your energy needs during power outages.
CAN I ADD MORE PANELS TO MY SYSTEM?
YES! We are able to add solar panels to your existing home solar systems. Also, if you qualify, Clark Energies can add a second home solar system under a second agreement. If you’re interested, please talk to your solar advisor or contact [email protected].
If the new homeowner wishes to assume the remaining payments, he/she must apply to qualify. If the new homeowner is approved, then he/she assumes full responsibility of the financial agreement. In very rare circumstances, if he/she is not approved, then you must pay off the remaining balance of the solar system
CAN SOLAR BENEFIT MY HOUSEHOLD
WHY SHOULD I SWITCH TO SOLAR?
The sun rises every day. That’s why solar power is a completely renewable, reliable and clean energy source. It reduces our reliance on dirty sources of power such as oil, coal and natural gas, which produce harmful emissions affecting our health and environment.
IS MY HOME GOOD FOR SOLAR?
Our solar advisors can help you determine if your home is a good fit for solar at the moment. They’ll run a custom analysis of your home with our proprietary solar design technology, BrightPath,™ and they’ll get a sense for your energy needs.
HOW MANY SOLAR PANELS WILL MY HOME NEED?
- Every household is different. When determining the number of solar panels your home needs, we consider the following:
- How much power you need? We check your electric bills to see how many kilowatt hours (kWhs) you use throughout the year. We’ll go over this with you in detail during your free solar consultation to figure out just how much power your panels will need to produce.
- What’s your climate like? The number of panels you need depends on how much sun reaches the ground where you are.
- How much direct sun hits your roof? Shading, and if you have trees blocking your roof top.
- At Clark Energies, we have proprietary solar design technology to help us create a customized system that maximizes energy production better and faster than if we did it by hand.
DOES MY STATE OFFER INCENTIVES TO GO SOLAR?
No matter what state you live in, you’ll also be eligible for the federal solar tax credit when you purchase your own solar system.
WILL SOLAR PANELS INCREASE THE VALUE OF MY HOME?
- Just like any upgrade, installing a home solar system can increase the value of your home and make it more appealing to potential buyers.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I WANT TO SELL MY HOME?
We provide a 30 warranty that includes ‘Transferable Ownership’.
WHO WILL HELP ME WHEN I HAVE QUESTIONS?
From design and installation to a lifetime of service and care, Clark Energies pairs you with the perfect person to guide you through it. Your sales consultant will work with our design team to customize your solar system and assure a seamless transition for you. Then a project coordinator who is well-versed within your city will manage the rest of the process. After your system is up and running, our customer care team will be your go-to for any questions or concerns you have. There are a lot of people behind the scenes to make sure your solar panels are producing as much power from the sun as possible — now and in the future.
HOW MANY SOLAR PANES WILL MY HOME NEED?
Every household is different. When determining the number of solar panels your home needs, consider the following questions:
- How much power do I need? Check your electric bills to see how many kilowatt hours (kWhs) you use throughout the year. We’ll go over this with you in detail during your free solar consultation to figure out just how much power your panels will need to produce. What’s your climate like? The number of panels you need depends on how much sun reaches the ground where you are. How much direct sun hits your roof? Shading, which direction your roof faces, and any aesthetic preferences you have can impact how big your system needs to be.
WHAT HAPENS DURING AN INSTALLATION?
Once we have finalized your system design and have all of the necessary approvals, it will be time to install the solar panels on your roof. Our local installation crews are experienced and efficient. A lot of times, they can complete installations in one day. Here’s what a typical installation day looks like:
WHAT HAPPENS TO MY ROOF WHEN SOLAR PANELS ARE INSTALLED?
Once your system is roof-mounted, we do drill holes in the roof to anchor the racking equipment for the panels during installation. All our roof penetrations are made watertight and are guaranteed by a workmanship warranty and a roof penetration warranty.
WHAT HAPPENS ONCE MY SYSTEM IS TURNED ON?
When we turn your solar system on, your home will officially be powered with energy from the sun, produced right on your roof.
WHAT IS INSTALLED AS A PART OF A SOLAR SYSTEM?
HOW LONG DOES THE INSTALLATION USUALLY TAKE
The process of having the solar system installed on your roof can be relatively quick — many Clark Energy installations are completed in one day. Before our crew comes to your house we prepare your project so that you have the smoothest installation day possible. We do the work for you assuring a seamless transition. And we keep you updated along the way.
Here’s what we’ll do:
- Conduct a site survey to look at your roof, attic (if accessible) and electrical panel
- Finalize your custom design
- Apply for permits and wait for approval
- Collect other necessary approvals and documentation that is specific to your neighborhood (such as HOA approval)
When it comes time to install the system, we’ll let you know how long the construction process will take for your home.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I TURN MY SYSTEM ON?
When you turn your solar system on, your home will officially be powered with energy from the sun, produced right on your roof.
SOLAR ELECTRICITY PRODUCTION
WHAT IS kWh?
kWh stands for kilowatt hour, and a kilowatt is 1,000 watts. A kilowatt hour is the standard unit of measure for electricity. It represents the amount of energy required to power a 1 kilowatt appliance for one hour. The more power an appliance consumes, the faster it will use up 1 kWh. For example, a power-hungry, 500-watt vacuum cleaner will use up a kWh in two hours, whereas the same amount of energy will power a 100 watt light bulb for 10 hours. Your utility will track how many kWh your buy from them, as well as how many kWh you send into the grid. Clark Energies will track how many kWh your solar panels produce.
WILL MY PANES WORK WHEN IT IS CLOUDY?
Solar panels are capable of producing electricity in all types of weather all year round. You will notice that performance will vary from day to day.
WILL MY PANELS WORK IN THE WINTER
Yes, your solar system will provide your home with power all year, though the amount of power that is produced does shift with the seasons.
DO SOLAR PANELS WORK AT NIGHT
Solar panels need sunlight to create electricity–they’re dormant at night. However, you do still have power at night when you go solar through net metering or a home battery.
WILL MY SOLAR SYSTEM WORK AFTER 25 YEARS?
- The solar panels on your roof should continue to produce electricity well past the 25 year mark but their efficiency will decrease slightly over time at an average rate of 0.5% per year.
WHO DO I REACH OUT TO IF I HAVE A QUESTION OR CONCERN?
As a Clark Energies customer, you have a team of experts that are ready to help whenever questions come up. Throughout the installation process, your project coordinator will be your main point of contact should you have any questions or concerns. Our project coordination team is based out of San Antonio but specialize in managing projects within a specific region. You will also have an installation coordinator that will help you with the logistics around your installation day. They are local to your area and work directly with the install team and local building inspectors to manage the on-site work. You’ll receive their contact information when you schedule your installation. Once your system is activated, the customer care team is your long-term support system. They are dedicated, knowledgeable, and caring, and are available at the number below to help you find a solution to any kind of problem. If you ever have any issues or questions, reach out to the Customer Care team at (210) 245-6600.
WILL MY HOME SOLAR SYSTEM HAVE A WARRANTY?
Yes, all of our solar equipment is backed by robust warranties. When you choose Clark Energies, your solar system will also come with 24/7 monitoring and maintenance. So if it breaks? We’ll fix it, free of charge!
HOW DOES PAYING FOR SOLAR POWER HELP CONTROL MY ENERGY COSTS?
Utility rate increases are unpredictable, and they’re only expected to get worse. When you replace utility power with solar power, you take control of your costs with a predictable, locked-in rate.
HOW MUCH CAN I EXPECT TO SAVE WHEN I GO SOLAR?
When you sign up for a free quote, our in-house Energy Acquisition Specialist will work with you to determine how much you can expect to save on your monthly energy bill. This relies on factors like your utility, how much electricity you use and how much sunlight your home gets.