We're upgrading our site from March 6th to March 12th and would love to get your input.

Solar FAQs

General

Is shade a problem for the solar panel system?

It can be.  In most cases it can be addressed as discussed below, but if your house is not a good fit for solar, our Energy Specialists will let you know up front.  

Horizon_Circle_4860.jpgShading can be a problem for PV systems because of the wiring design of string-inverter systems. If some of the panels on a string are shaded, the energy output of the entire array is drastically decreased. If shading cannot be avoided a simple solution is to use microinverters so that only the shaded panels will be affected during the shade times.

For pool solar, if moderate shading around your home can’t be avoided, a simple solutions is to add additional panels to make up for shade losses.  

During our site assessment of your home, we’ll thoroughly inspect any shading issues and present several solutions.  If shading is extensive throughout the whole day, our Energy Specialist will not recommend solar. This is part of the reason for our strong on-line reviews and recommendations by industry professionals. 

Are there codes or covenants that prohibit solar?

The Florida Solar Rights Law limits the effect of restrictive covenants on solar energy systems.  In other words, no codes or covenants can restrict the installation of a solar system. Our Energy Specialist checks for any codes or covenants that may present a challenge, and resolves concerns directly with your covenant director or HOA.  

What about inspections and permits?

We’ll take care of it all! We’ll work with you and your municipality to try and accomodate your busy schedule when getting inspections. Each municipality has its own rules on scheduling and we will work to find a day that works best for you. We take care of the whole process, soup to nuts.

Will a large hail, hurricane or windstorm damage my system?

There is no guarantee how systems will handle mother natures effects. Our systems are designed to withstand Florida's tough conditions.  Since we install all systems directly to trusses, they've withstood severe weather conditions, including hurricanes that tore off shingles all around our systems, but left our system intact.  In the case of extreme weather conditions, most homeowner's insurance covers the cost of the solar system along with whatever other damage may have occured to the house or business. 

Will my photovoltaic system work on cloudy days?

Yes, but it will output less electricity than on a clear sunny day. Photovoltaic panels can produce around half as much electricity when cloudy or overcast. If your system is tied to the grid (about 90% of the systems we do are) you’ll pull any necessary electricity from the grid to complement your system's production on cloudy or shady days.  On the other hand, your meter will run backwards whenever the system produces more energy than you use.

How are you mounting the system onto my roof? Is it going to create leaks?

how-to-lower-your-electric-bill-solar-energy.jpgThis is one of the areas that Superior really prides itself.  Unlike competitors systems, our mounting system is installed into the structure of your home or building, right into the truss below the roof. This will stay sealed and won’t move with expansion or contraction, therefore it will not move or create holes. If there are any rare cases of penetration to your roof, it is completely covered under your warranty.

Our mounting system has proven to be the most reliable and safest method of installation in the industry, which is why roofers consistently recommend us over the competition. 

What features should I choose for a solar energy system?

There are a variety of features available with Superior Solar energy systems. The most popular is a wireless in-home monitoring system, which allows you to track the output of your system and see how much electricity your system is producing at any time. Talk to one of our solar experts about additional features such as this.

Watts, Kilowatts (KW), Kilowatt Hours (KWh) - What the heck are you talking about?

Yes, this can get very confusing however after a short consultation with one of our knowledgeable Energy Specialists you’ll be an energy expert too!

How big should my solar energy system be?

This depends on how much electricity your home or building uses, the size of your roof, and what percentage of your energy use you want to produce with solar. Solar energy system sizes for residential homeowners usually range from 2 kW to 10 kW. Commercial systems can range from 25 kW to well over 100 kW.

Is my home or business a good place for a solar energy system?

This is a good question. Living in Florida with solar-friendly laws, rebates, and lots of sunlight - the answer is usually yes. With a free consultation from a Superior Energy Specialist we can quickly identify if your home or business is a good candidate for solar.  Often times, this can be done through a phone conversation and a satelite photo analysis.  

Why should I buy a solar energy system from Superior Solar?

Three reasons: Quality, Experience, and Integrity. We don't just put a solar energy system on your property and leave it at that. We want you to get the most out of your new investment. We provide several comprehensive services to optimize your new system and we work with you on every detail of the system to deliver a customized product that meets all your wants and needs. Everything is turn-key, so your system can be installed while you're at work, with most installations lasting only 1 to 2 days.  

Our installation team is one of the most experienced in the state with over 20,000 clients in Florida and many years of experience on the job. They are truly craftsmen with a keen eye for quality and aesthetics - so you end up with a beautiful addition to your property that is as good as it looks.

Learn more at our About page

 

Maintenance

Will the system perform reliably or will it break down frequently?

Our systems are guaranteed to be reliable and functional. With little to no moving parts, solar is very dependable and durable. This mature technology delivers a virtually unaffected uptime and a continuous flow of clean and efficient electricity to your home or business.

For solar pool heating, competitor systems require annual maintenance to tighten clamps on hose connections and fix torn straps.  Our patented Heliocol panels require zero annual maintenance and provide a lifetime of trouble free operation.  They save a tremendous amount of energy, but they also save over $100/year of maintenance fees charged by our competitors.

What is the life expectancy?

Silver_Springs_FL_Canopy_3_4690.jpgThere are reports of systems made in the 1960s still working today, and there are studies that estimate that a system built today with modern components can last up to 50 years. Plus, with no moving parts and highly durable materials, solar panels are virtually indestructible – these things are built to last! As of now, all of the PV modules we install have a 25 year manufacturer production guaranty. It’s possible, however, that your system could produce electricity for 30, 40, and even 50 years.

Is it hard to clean and maintain a solar energy system?

Not at all. Our solar energy systems require very little maintenance. Manufacturers recommend periodic system checks and cleaning as part of a preventive maintenance routine. This includes regularly clearing away any debris and cleaning the solar panel surfaces exposed to the environment, which should be performed more often if the environment is particularly dirty. Usually a garden hose does the trick.

For solar pool heating, competitor systems require annual maintenance to tighten clamps on hose connections.  Our patented Heliocol panels require zero annual maintenance and provide a lifetime of trouble free operation.

 

Warranty

Do your systems include a warranty? What about the installation?

Each of our systems come with a "worry-free" warranty on the installation and labor. This guarantees that it is fully functional and installed to your complete satisfaction. The specific warranty for your system and parts will depend on the type of solar energy solution you’ve had installed.  Warranty terms generaly range from 10-25 years.

What are some things that aren’t covered in the warranty?

Nature and acts of God are not covered under any manufacturer warranty. Prior to installation a survey of existing condition of the buyer’s property (such as the roof and electrical equipment) will be conducted to insure a proper installation. Simple homeowner maintenance and inspections are required to ensure the system will last for many years. 

buyers-guide-residential-solar-pv-cost-breakdownSavings

What if I may be too old to get my money back out of my investment?

You’re never too old to save money! Solar systems add value to property inceasing the resale, and we have financing options that ensure your costs are lower than your savings.

Can I finance the cost of a solar energy system?

Absolutely. We have close relationships with local banks and lending companies that offer very attractive loans for solar energy systems. We will discuss all available financing options with you before you purchase, and we will work with you to find the best financial solution for you. In general, the payment amount is at or below what you would normally pay for the electricity. This allows you to lock in today's energy rates for the future. As the price of electricity rises, your payments will stay the same. At the end of your loan, all further production will be free. For more information on residential financing options, click here. For information about commercial financing options, click here.

What incentives and rebates are available from the state or government?

Residential and commercial customers receive a 30% Federal Tax Credit. For commercial, there is no cap on the tax credit and solar costs can be depreciated over 5 years (accelerated depreciation).  Other local incentives are available depending on your specific address.  Our Energy Specialist will share applicable incentives with you and walk you through the application process.

Note that some of these incentives, including th 30% Federal Tax Credit, are set to expire in 2015 and 2016.

What does a typical solar energy system cost?

This can vary greatly depending on the site (roof condition, slope, orientation to the sun etc.) and, of course, the size of the system. As a general rule - the larger the system, the lower the cost per watt.  Contact us for a free estimate on the proper system for your home or building.

How much money does using energy efficient lighting and appliances really save me?

Every dollar you spend on making your home more efficient saves you approximately $3 in energy costs.

How much will I save?  

Contact one of our Energy Specialists for a site specific evaluation of what solar can do for you. 

Solar Pool Heating

Are there any additional operating costs of running the pool system?

There are zero operating costs to run the system because the renewable energy from the sun is used to heat your pool. There is no additional energy needed to power the system. The only “extra” cost you’d be paying is due to the added energy of running your pool pump, which is expected with any pool heating system. We offer an energy efficient variable speed pool pump that can save you even more money. 

How much warmer can I expect my pool to get with a solar pool heater?

We typically size systems to deliver a desirable swim temperatre 80 degrees or higher.  Your Superior Energy Specialist will take into account your needs and the specific conditions of your home or building when designing the solar system.  

Do I need to use the pool blanket?

Yes. When air temperatures are below 60 degrees it is best to use the pool blanket to trap in the heat that was produced during the day. A pool system adds a few degrees each day, and the blanket helps keep that heat from escaping at night during cold seasons; it ensures your pool doesn't take 3 steps forward and 3 steps back.

20151201_115827_2.jpg
 
What makes the Heliocol system different than other pool heating systems?

Heliocol solar panels produce more energy, last longer, and are better suited for the Florida climate than any other solar pool product on the market. Heliocol systems have a patented mounting method that allows the entire system to be mounted directly to the trusses of the roof.  Other systems can't guaranty truss connections and often cause leaks in roofs. That’s why so many roofers recommend us and that's why it’s the only system we offer. Click here to learn more about Heliocol solar panels.

How can I get rid of rodents, such as squirrels, going after my pool system?

For nuisance rodents it is best to hire a trapper to remove the problem pest.

Do I have any financing options for solar pool heating?

Of course! We have close relationships with local banks that offer very attractive loans for solar energy systems. You can actually go solar now with $0 due upfront by taking advantage of our great financing options. For residential financing information, click here. For commercial financing information, click here.

What does the warranty for the pool heating system cover?

The manufacturers 12-year warranty covers the panels for defects in manufacturing and freezing, including parts and labor.  See warranty for details.    

Solar Hot Water

What do I do with my solar water heater when I go out of town or get a hard freeze in the winter?

Luckily, we have a very handy video that can answer this question and best show you what to do. Click here to watch the video!

Are there any financing options for solar water heating?

Yes! We have close relationships with local banks that offer very attractive loans for solar energy systems. You can go solar now with $0 due upfront by taking advantage of our great financing options. For residential financing information, click here. For commercial financing information, click here.

What does the warranty cover for solar water heating?

Our solar water heating warranty covers parts, panels, and labor for one year after installation. In addition, we warranty roof penetrations as long as you own your home. 

 

Solar Electric - (Photovoltaic)

Do I have the ability to produce extra electricity and sell it to the utility company?

Yes. And they are forced, by law to purchase it. We can discuss options to create a system large enough to cover all of your electricity plus extra which can be sold back to the utility company.953_Lincoln_Circle_Winter_Park_1_3853_1.jpg

Why do you recommend replacing our existing water heater with solar before installing the PV solar system for electricity?  

The reasoning behind this is two-fold. First of all, we want to save you as much money on your existing electricity costs as possible – a solar water heater will reduce the size of the solar electric system (and the cost) by 30%!

Second, we want to maximize the output of your solar energy system. With a decreased household energy load, your system will produce a higher percentage of your electricity need, which can drastically decrease the system’s payback period.

When my power goes out, can I still use the power from the solar electric system?

This depends. When the grid goes down, the system automatically disconnects and shuts down, but there are two ways to still get power out of it.  If you want the option to power up lights and small appliances, then you will need a storage system for when the grid is down. This is best achieved through battery backup. If you just want temporary power for a couple of items such as a refridgerator and cellphone battery chargers, we can provide an inverter that comes with a dedicated outlet for this purpose.  Feel free to ask one of our Energy Specialists about these options.

Are there any financing options for solar electric PV?

Absolutely. We have close relationships with local banks and lending companies that offer very attractive loans for solar energy systems. So you can go solar now with $0 due upfront by taking advantage of our financing options. For residential financing information, click here. For commercial financing information, click here.

What does the warranty cover for solar electric PV?

Our solar electric warranty covers parts, panels, and labor for one year after installation.  The panel manufactuer provides a 25-year limited warranty including panel performance. 

What people are saying about Superior Solar

 Undoubtedly the most reliable and fair minded photovoltaic solar installers in the area.

C. Crownover

Read More Reviews