Most Frequently Asked

This is a simple math equation. Solar technology converts the energy absorbed by the sun into electricity that can be used in your home. This is the same energy that your Utility company is providing you. The difference is that the energy from your solar technology is being delivered to you at a fraction of the cost the Utility company charges you and is not subject to rate increases. Therefore, by fixing your energy costs that come from solar, you are able to spend less on the same energy that you would be using in the future from the Utility, which is presumably at a higher rate. The longer your solar system operates, the more money you can potentially be saving.
Disclaimer: It’s always important to discuss tax matters with your tax professional, which we are not. With that being said, we’d like to briefly explain the Solar Federal Tax Credit. Unlike a tax deduction, which lowers your taxable income and the tax rate used to calculate your tax, the tax credit reduces the amount of taxes you owe. The key to claiming the tax credit is “owning” the system when it is originally installed and for a period of years thereafter. This credit is based on a percentage of your total gross system cost. In 2021 and 2022, this will be 26%, in 2023 it will be reduced to 22%, and is currently expected to drop off in 2024 for residential customers, however, businesses will still receive 10%. Different plans and options, whether purchasing, financing, or leasing will impact your ability to claim the tax credit. To learn more about your options, please feel free to contact our team and go over the best option for you.

As with all technologies, you get what you pay for. When it comes to solar, reliable production in varying weather conditions is the most important consideration. Lower-tier, inferior panels, inverters or energy storage systems have a higher likelihood of continuous failure or underperformance that negates any meaningful savings. That’s why Solar Topps only uses premium products that prioritize performance.

We choose monocrystalline solar panels that rank among the industry’s best in terms of power rating, power tolerance, efficiency and temperature coefficient; all factors that impact how well a panel performs. We prefer to use micro-inverters, that provide panel-level performance, over traditional, string inverters that are prone to lower power production and longer downtimes if an issue were to arise. Ultimately, we choose to work with industry-respected and renowned manufacturers who focus on providing the best customer experience helping you save more when it matters the most. Contact us to see how we optimize system capabilities within your budget.

There are many factors to consider when choosing the right solar partner. Here are some of the main considerations that many of our customers made:

A local company tends to outperform larger, national companies. This is true both in regards to quality of components and the cost of the system. Moreover, as a local provider, if an issue arises the customer’s are able to speak with someone and have a technician out to the property within a few short hours compared to a few days. Minimizing downtime is key to ensuring potential savings are not lost. Solar Topps is proud to be a nationally-respected and locally-recognized solar industry leader.

Furthermore, the solar system will come with warranties, guaranties and promises that are expected to last anywhere between 10 – 25 years or more once your system is installed. It’s important to choose someone that will be there when it matters the most – today, tomorrow and a decade from now. Solar Topps has been operating since 2009, consistently delivering the best value in solar installations for homes and businesses.

Moreover, it is important to know the background of the company. Are they a roofing company, electrical company or marketing company, that also happens to be doing solar? Finding a true engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) firm, like Solar Topps, that specializes specifically in solar installations. Make sure you know who is going to install your system, and if an issue arises, who will service it. As a true EPC, our employees do all of the work, not subcontractors. We receive countless calls weekly from homeowners that went solar with other company’s but now have no one to assist them troubleshoot their system and ensure they are able to save using solar.

Lastly, what does the proposal really offer? Is it really generating value for you? Take a look at your dollar per watt cost by dividing the total gross cost of your system by the total number of watts. A basic solar installation using premium products is typically between $2 – $3 per watt. Our proposals are designed to pass on the savings to you, so they come in at least 10 – 20% below most others, without compromise. If you haven’t already, please feel free to reach out to our dedicated consultants to go over all of your options and make sure you are getting the best value possible.

There are many factors to consider when evaluating how much a system should cost – the size of your home, the amount of sunlight your property receives, the amount of energy you use or want to begin using in the near future. Therefore, to help make an apples-to-apples comparison, it is best to evaluate your system based on its cost per watt. That means how much money you are spending overall based on the system size. For instance, if you are spending $25,000 on a 10,000 watt (or 10 kW) system, your cost per watt is $2.50 ($25,000 divided by 10,0000). Although the cost per watt can also vary depending on the system components, modifications, or upgrades involved, a basic solar installation using premium products is typically between $2 – $3 per watt. If you find yourself paying more than this, it does not mean that you are being overcharged, as each install is unique, but it is certainly worth looking at the proposal in depth to ensure nothing was overlooked. We are happy to assist you in going through any of this documentation. Solar Topps has been helping customer’s since 2009 get the Best Value in Solar. If you haven’t already, it is best to get an accurate idea of your true system cost by speaking with one of our dedicated consultants, who are always standing by ready to assist.

Warranty

Yes. Currently all systems installed by our company comes with online monitoring. So, you can monitor 24×7 using your PC, laptop or your mobile device. Note Viable Wi-Fi internet connection is required to monitor the system and has to be provided by you. If you do not have Wi-Fi connection, there are other options available.
Yes the system will still work absent of monitoring. In the case of malfunctioning wi-fi and or internet access, ST’s efforts to diagnose the problem and guarantee production are compromised.
Solar Topps offers 25-year parts & labor warranty.
Solar Topps sells only premium components with industry standard 25 year warranties.
We will remotely monitor your array and remedy any production shortfall outside of our stated production guarantee.
Enphase micro inverters ship with 25 year warranties. In the case of a defect within the warranty period, ST will replace at no charge to you.
The longer of any existing roof warranty or 10 years
We offer 10 year workmanship or match customer’s existing roof warranty, whichever is greater.

Maintenance

Generally solar requires very little maintenance since there are no moving parts. You are responsible however to trim any trees blocking the sunlight or removing sediment from the panels.
In most cases, frequent cleaning is not required. Typically annual rainfall will wash the panels but in the case of a dust storm, it is best to wash off thoroughly with a hose.

Installation

a. The best performance is always due South. However many homes do not have souther exposure so an East/West installation is required & the production is minimally effected.
b. The solar meter & other components are located near your electrical service.
What about permits and inspection?
It depends on the state laws where you want to install the solar system. For example, the state of Arizona prohibits HOAs from banning solar installations. They do allow them to rule on the design and color of your panels. We are accustomed to working with HOAs and will work with yours to satisfy their requirements.

Going Solar

It’s a combination of your annual electrical usage, available roof space & any restrictive utility rate plans in your area.
An average solar system produces 16-19 kWh per day. A 1 kWh system produces 1600-2000 kWh a year.
The solar system produces power throughout the year as long as the sun shines. Although we don’t see a wrong time go solar, we feel that waiting for summers might rather delay your process. The process is a little lengthy due to design, engineering, permits, and approvals and on an average it takes 30-120 days to complete the installation process. So, sooner the better.
Our sales engineers will design a solar system that fits your need, free of cost. For more details, you can get in touch with us by filling this form or contacting us via phone.
If you have purchased the solar system, you can expect an increased resale value. Additionally you can opt to move the system to your new home which we can accommodate for a nominal fee. Our lease products transfer seamlessly to the buyer with minimal red tape.
Depending on your utility, any excess kWh sent back to the grid is credited to your account as a monetary credit. In some cases net metering is still in use and in that case you are credited by kWh usually at the time it is sent back to the grid to determine its value.

Economics

You can either cash purchase, finance with $0 down payment or lease the solar system.
Yes, we have collaborated with some of the best solar financing companies in the industry.
There are many incentives to go solar like the Federal Investment Solar Tax Credit (ITC) which is currently 26% of the total system cost (this credit expires in 2020) and you might be eligible for state and other tax incentives, depending on your area. Please consult your tax professional.
No only the owner (lessor) can claim any relevant tax credit.
It depends on your utility rate plan and your power usage. For example, if your utility company charges you $0.20 per kWh and your solar power kWh costs you $0.05 per kWh. In this case your saving will be $ 0.15 per kWh. So assuming you use 2000 kWh, your net saving would be $300 per month and $3600 a year.
Yes but you will charged a 3% surcharge.
At present we don’t accept credit card payment. We accept ACH or personal cheque. For more details, please refer to your lease agreement.
Yes. If you are not able to fully utilize your tax credits you may be able to carry the unused portion forward into future years. Some restrictions may apply. Please consult a tax professional for more information.
This will vary by utility and for the most part no longer exist. It is your best interest to contact the local utility to see if there are any currently available.
Prepaid Lease only. The tax credit is essentially subtracted out of the system cost and you benefit from a lower cost system. You can opt to hold the lease to term for 20 years or there is a buyout option in every year if you are interested in a path to ownership.
20 lease term on the pre paid lease product.
You can purchase your leased system at any time during the lease term. The buyout amount will be based on the type of lease you have selected. Either be a pre-determined amount or fair market value (FMV), whichever is greater. If you reach the end of the agreement, you have the option to extend the lease in 5 year increments, purchase the system at FMV, or upgrade by purchasing or leasing a new system. Lastly, at the end of the lease term you can have us remove the system at no cost to you.
Yes. Appraisers and realtors have confirmed that homes installed with purchased solar systems are in demand and worth more. Because solar customers are able to show substantial savings, most homeowners are able to sell their home faster and get significantly higher selling prices.
Yes that is possible with written permission from the owner of the property.
Not with any of our approved lenders. You may be able to arrange that via a 3rd party lender.
No there is never a pre payment penalty

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