FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How much is it going to cost for complete installation?
The only costs that we know are solar materials and installation labor. Other, what are called engineering costs, depend on municipal permits and license or make-ready work such as roofing repairs, or tree removal. Every install can be different from another. A likely estimate is $4.00 per watt less Rebates and Tax Credits.
Is there a deposit or down payment?
We require a small deposit to cover engineering costs and a fifty percent payment when work begins. The balance of the contract is paid on completion.
How long is the payback period?
Return on investment can be as little as five years or as much as ten years. The return on investment depends on Ameren Missouri tariff that change every year and your power usage. Believe it or not, the small user will have a faster payback. Rates for power generally go down as consumption goes up.
Is there any financing available from your company?
No. From the first dollar down to the final payment is not usually more than two weeks. There are always better rates at Credit Unions and Banks than our company can offer. We will help you obtain financing in any way we can.
What is the Warranty?
Most Solar Panels are warrantied against manufactured defects for 25 years.
Is your company fully licensed and insured?
Yes, according to Missouri and St. Louis County standards and requirements.
Are tax credits or incentives available from Ameren Missouri?
Tax credits and incentives change from year to year. Currently, there are Federal Tax Credits for Solar Energy installations. Certain restrictions apply. There is a Solar Rebate available from Ameren Missouri.
How do I apply for tax credits and rebates?
Tax credits are handled on your tax return. The Ameren Rebate requires the completion of a Net-Metering Agreement and an Application for Rebate form. We will help you complete the Ameren Missouri forms.
Who assesses what size systems works for me?
We work with you on that assessment. Depending on the direction of your property and, most important, your electrical consumption, we can, together, determine what amount of Solar Energy appliance is appropriately green, clean, and economical.
What work will be performed?
The simple answer is whatever you require. Insofar as the Solar install, appropriate steel racking or rail is attached to the roof. Inverter(s), a device that changes direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) is attached to the solar panel(s). The solar panel is attached to the rail. All panels are connected to a cutoff switch and your building or home’s electrical supply.
How do I know how much electricity I am savings?
You are connected to the grid and Ameren is using net metering. The best way is to compare this year’s usage, in kilowatt hours, with those of the same month the year before. Rates change and so comparing dollars is not particularly accurate. For estimating purposes, you can visit the government website, PV Watts.
How do solar panels perform on a cloudy day?
Anything that affects sunlight, affects solar power generation. Cloudy days and shade reduce power generation.
What is required of me, the end user, which might have to do with work related or installation issues?
Be safe. The installation area is a work area that may require workers to deploy safety gear, helmets, gloves, and back support belts or straps. If ever the installer needs to depart from an approved drawing or design, you should be informed of that alteration.
Who keeps the job site clean?
Unless stated otherwise in the contract or agreement, the contractor should keep the job site neat, clean, and most important, safe. The contractor should also be responsible for removing all waste when the project is complete.
Is a new roof required?
If you are going to need a new roof within five years, your roof is probably twenty or more years old. It is usually a good idea to replace that roof before installation of the solar panels. On gabled roofs, a half roof can be installed to save money. The good news is that solar panels extend the life of your roofing that is no longer exposed to weather.
If a new roof is required, can I use my own roofing contractor?
The answer is, of course. You approve all of the work performed on your building or residence.
If trees are in the way, will the contractor trim or remove trees to maximize performance of the solar panels?
The contractor will advise you if there is a problem with shading and make recommendations. If you request that a tree be removed, we will certainly accommodate your wishes.
Are drawings and permits required?
Most, if not all, construction is regulated by local governments or municipalities. Most work permits are accompanied by drawings or blue prints.
Who contacts inspectors and what is the timing for this?
Most contractors will have you approve drawings and, then, apply for permits calling for inspections when appropriate. Some projects require inspections for structural engineering, plumbing and/or electrical. These can be required at different times as work is completed. For example, a contractor might pour a concrete footing or foundation and have it inspected before building a wall on the footing or foundation. You may want to call for the final inspection so that you can be present.
Who verifies restrictions or requirements for the solar installation from a construction and aesthetic perspective?
Of course, you should see a drawing before it is submitted to the local government or municipal jurisdiction for approval. A drawing, not in accordance with local ordinance, should not be approved. Once approved, there are inspections to insure that the work conforms to the drawing.