What kind of roof do I have to have?
You can put a solar electric system on almost all roof types including, but not limited to,
concrete tile, flat foam, built-up, asphalt shingle, and metal. It may be more expensive to install a system on
some roof types than on others.
How much roof space is required?
For every kilowatt (kW) installed, a solar electric system takes up about 100 square feet on a
pitched roof surface. So an average solar electric system of 3kW requires approximately 300 square feet.
Installations on flat roofs require more square footage, as dictated by the tilt angle of the solar panels.
How much sun do I need?
The more sun your solar electric system gets, the better return you'll get on your money. As a
first step, Green Choice Solar can often tell by looking at a satellite image if your roof gets enough sun to
make solar cost-effective. However, in all assessments, an onsite evaluation is necessary to confirm site
specific integration details and system placement.
What is a payback period for solar?
The payback for your solar electric system depends on lots of variables. Your payback could be
anywhere between 4 and 9 years depending on how much energy you use, how much sun your roof receives, the
incentives that apply to your solar electric system purchase and the value of the energy your system offsets.
What size system do I need?
The solar electric system size you need depends on how much electricity you use, the amount of
energy you are looking to offset and the size and suitability of locations where the solar electric system will
What size solar electric system should I get? Will it handle all my electricity needs?
The size you choose is a trade-off between the amount of money you want to invest and the
amount of electricity you want to produce. You can contact your servicing utility or you can look at your
electricity bills to calculate how much electricity your home typically uses with a focus on kWh consumption.
How much electricity will my solar electric system produce?
The amount of electricity generated by a solar electric system depends on several factors,
primarily system size, solar panel tilt angle and orientation, as well as your local geographic and
environmental conditions. Generally in southern Arizona 1,000 watts of solar panels (approx. 5 solar panels)
will generate 1,600 to 1,800 kWh of energy per year.
How does a Green Choice Solar system generate electricity?
When sunlight shines onto your solar panels, the photovoltaic effect transforms the light into
direct current (DC) electricity. An inverter then converts the DC electricity to alternating current (AC)
electricity that is used in your home.
How do I use the electricity from my solar electric system?
The electricity generated by a Green Choice Solar system works just like the electricity
delivered by your local utility. The system connects directly to your utility panel or circuit breaker box, so
it interfaces seamlessly with your utility power.
How will I know if my Green Choice Solar system is working?
Since solar is a motionless and noiseless technology, your grid-tie inverter features a visual
display that will help you to keep track of how much power your system is producing, as well as the cumulative
energy production of your system over time.
Additionally, remote data monitoring devices are available.
Will I still need a utility provider? Do I need to be connected to the grid?
You will still need to be connected to the grid through your local utility. While you generate
the bulk of your own electricity during the peak hours of daylight and demand, your utility will seamlessly take
over and continue to supply your electricity at night and on very cloudy days.
How safe is a Green Choice Solar system?
Since solar electric systems are generally mounted in a low or no-traffic area, have no moving
parts and are virtually maintenance free, they are very safe. Green Choice Solar system components carry all
appropriate/recommended electrical certifications, including Underwriters Laboratory (UL listed) standards. As
with any electrical appliance, you should always use proper care when handling solar electric system components.
How long do Green Choice Solar systems last?
Most solar electric systems are predicted to last anywhere between 30 and 40 years. Most
manufacturers guarantee that, in 20 to 25 years, your solar panels will generate 80% of the electricity they did
in the first year. Inverters are typically covered by the manufacturer's warranty for a 10-year period.
How much can I save?
It's a fact that solar electric systems can save people money, with many customers cutting
their energy use typically by 50% to 70% or more. Because a solar electric system will last 30 or more years, it
also provides security against electricity rate increases.
Who will help me apply for the available incentives?
At Green Choice Solar, we will take care of the application process to secure the utility
incentives for your project. The system purchaser files income tax credits, such as those available from the
State of Arizona and the Federal Government, with Green Choice Solar providing the necessary proof of qualifying
How much does a solar electric system cost?
The total cost for purchasing and installing the solar system is based on the size of system
you require, the available incentives and subsidies that are available in your area, and the specific details of
the layout of your home.
How do I purchase a solar electric system from Green Choice Solar?
A solar electric system may be purchased from Green Choice Solar by requesting a system
quotation. Give us a call at 480.398.2740 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll initiate the
purchase process with you.
What is the warranty on Green Choice Solar systems?
Our excellent product reliability and quality of installation workmanship allows us to offer
an industry leading 10-year limited warranty on the performance of your solar electric system.
What if I just moved and I don't know how much energy I use?
Typical Arizona residential customers consume on average 5 to 10 kilowatt-hours of electricity
per square foot annually. However, estimating energy usage is entirely a factor of the resident's usage
tendencies and the energy efficiency of the home. Contact us to discuss your unique situation. Sometimes having
the prior homeowner's electricity usage can help in the discussion. Your utility company may be able to provide
past usage information.
Can I sell extra energy back to my utility company?
Net metering is a practice offered by Arizona electric utilities as an additional benefit of
interconnecting into the power grid. With net metering the customer can offset some of the costs of purchased
electric power by selling surplus electric power back to the utility. The net period can be monthly or annual
(depending on applicable laws, regulations, and utility policy). Typically a solar electric system produces more
power during the peak sunshine period of the day than the home can use at that time. In a grid connected system
with net metering, the excess power can be "sold" to the utility for use by other customers, and is generally an
offset to the purchased power (such as nighttime use).
Can I add solar panels later?
Adding solar panels is possible but it can be complicated. Inverters and solar panels are
designed to "fit together" in manufactured approved configurations. Because there's an ideal number of solar
panels that should be configured up to a specific inverter, a whole mini system - solar panels and inverter -
would most likely need to be added if you want to increase the size of your system. In many cases it's better to
oversize your system a bit if you think you'll need more electricity in the next few years.
Can my homeowners association (HOA) in Arizona stop me from installing a solar electric
In short, no. Arizona law protects individual homeowners' private property rights to solar
access by dissolving any local covenant, restriction or condition attached to a property deed that restricts the
use of solar energy. Senate Bill 1254, enacted in July 2007, stipulates that a homeowners association may not
prohibit the installation or use of solar-energy devices (panels and associated devices). An association may,
however, adopt reasonable rules regarding the placement of a solar device if those rules do not prevent the
installation of the device, impair the functioning of the device, restrict its use, or adversely affect the cost
or efficiency of the device. The bill also grants reasonable attorney fees to any party who substantially
prevails in litigation against an association's board of directors.
How does a solar electric system affect my home's value?
Solar electric systems can significantly increase the value of your home. An ICF Consulting
study concluded that saving $1 every year on energy costs adds $20 to a home's value.
Does a solar electric system increase my Arizona property taxes?
Arizona's property tax exemption was established in June 2006 (HB 2429) and applies to "solar
energy devices and any other device or system designed for the production of solar energy for on-site
consumption." For property tax assessment purposes, solar electric systems are not included in the valuation of
If the power goes out, will my solar electric system keep making energy?
No. For safety reasons, your solar electric system will automatically shut off if the power
goes out. By law, any solar electric system without battery backup must shut down until utility power is
restored. This is a safety precaution that prevents random surges of power from traveling the grid and causing
injury or damage.
How much weight will the solar electric system put on my roof?
Solar electric systems usually add less than four pounds per square foot to the roof. A vast
majority of residential roofs require no additional structural engineering to handle the weight of the solar
How long can I reserve the utility incentive before installing the solar electric system?
Typical Arizona utility solar programs allow for 180 days from initial incentive reservation
to solar electric system installation. This means your system needs to be up and running within 6 months of when
your incentive is reserved. On a case by case basis, allowances and extensions are made for new construction
projects and other situations where delays in the installation have occurred and are justified.
Will the Arizona solar incentives expire?
Although the utility incentives aren't set to expire at any specific time, the funding set
aside for solar electric systems is being allocated at a rapid pace. Each Arizona utility offering solar power
incentives maintains their own incentive budget and program time frames.
What happens at night?
Since solar technology requires sunlight to produce electricity, a solar electric system will
not produce during night. Your servicing utility will continue to supply your electricity at night.
What happens to solar panels if struck by hail or golf balls?
The solar panels installed by Green Choice Solar are guaranteed to withstand the direct impact
of 3/4 inch hail balls at 120 miles per hour, of which is considered an equivalent durability test to a glancing
golf ball impact.
What's the typical voltage of a solar panel?
The voltage of a single panel is usually between 20 and 60 volts. When solar panels are wired
together in a high voltage string they have an open circuit voltage between 200 and 400 volts.
What's new for home solar electricity in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of
The economic stimulus bill signed by President Obama in February 2009 is unlikely to affect
the vast majority of homeowners looking into solar electricity.