Frequently Asked Questions
This is a collection of questions most frequently asked by our customers when it comes to Solar.
If you can't find an answer to your question here, please contact us and we will be glad to help you.
What should I expect during the solar process?
With years of solar experience, Got Watts has developed a thorough process to ensure the homeowner is well-informed about the various steps of your solar project. Once your design and proposal are finalized, the primary steps of the overall process are Finance & Contracts, Design & Scheduling, Before Installation, and After Installation.
What is a solar microinverter?
Microinverters are essentially individual inverters attached to the underside of each solar panel. These microinverters convert DC energy produced by the solar panel to usable AC energy that feeds the home or the grid.
In relation to solar, what is the difference between kW vs kWh?
kW quoted represents the system's power capacity, but it leaves out information on that system's potential to produce energy over the course of an hour, day, or month. That's where the kWh represents how much energy the system can produce in a given timeframe.
How do I know how many solar panels I need?
This will be based on your annual electrical consumption. Your solar designer will help you decide the size of your system based on your usage and needs. Many customers opt in for 100% coverage of their annual electrical usage; however, plenty of customers only want partial coverage. We usually use historical electricity use data from your PG&E account to determine your current/future needs.
Will my solar system work during a power outage?
When the power grid goes down, so will your solar system. A solar battery backup system can help prevent power outages and reroute your stored solar energy to power essential devices during an outage.
What is the difference between photovoltaic and thermal solar?
Photovoltaic (PV) solar systems convert sunlight directly into electricity using semiconductor materials, while thermal solar systems capture and utilize the sun's heat for applications like heating water or spaces. Both technologies play essential roles in harnessing solar energy for different purposes.
What happens when my solar panels get dirty?
Solar panels should be cleaned at least once per year to maintain their efficiency. The cleaning process should include the following: 1) clean the panels when they’re not in direct sunlight; 2) use filtered water to minimize water spots; 3) use a non-abrasive, mild soap, such as a dishwashing liquid; 4) use a soft brush; 5) avoid using hard, or mineral-rich, water; 6) avoid using harsh or abrasive detergents that could damage the panels.
Should I buy or lease my solar system?
A big reason for buying solar vs. leasing is that buying your solar panels ensures significant long-term savings. Your solar panel system typically generates electricity for 25+ years, which helps reduce your electrical bills from PG&E.
Will I still receive an electric bill from PG&E?
After you install solar panels, you will continue to receive your monthly electricity bills from PG&E. Each month you need to pay your non-bypassable charges (NBCs), which are fees required to stay connected to the grid. In addition, the monthly bill includes a summary of your Generation and Delivery charges. Also, reference this resource article on NEM-3.
Do solar panels give off radiation?
Electricity from solar panels and transmission to the power grid emits extremely weak electromagnetic fields. Exposure to low-level electromagnetic fields has been studied extensively, and there is no evidence that it is harmful to human health, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
My electrical usage is really low, do I still need a battery for my solar system?
It depends on your needs and situation. A solar backup battery can provide power during utility outages for essential devices (medical equipment, refrigeration, HVAC, lighting, well pumps, and more). Also, see this reference article from PG&E.
Why is my Got Watts Solar design larger than the other bids I have received?
Many solar companies will size solar systems based only on current needs and not consider future needs. Based on our discussions, Got Watts tailors your solar system design to meet your current and future needs, whether you plan to add EV charging, a hot tub, or other electric appliances (HVAC, washer, dryer, water heater, etc.) that may increase overall electric needs.
Do I need a main service panel upgrade?
It depends on your current panel and future electrical needs. This will be assessed as part of your overall solar project to determine if a panel upgrade is necessary.
How much electrical usage does an EV charger, heat pump or hot tub add?
It depends on size and usage, but our estimated usage as follows. All Electric Vehicle: 4,000 – 5,000 kWh/year; Heat Pumps (HVAC): 9,000 – 18,000 kWh/year; Hot Tub: 1,500 – 3,500 kWh/year; Pool
Can we install the panels using ground mounts?
Ground-mounted systems take up a bit more space and require a sizable amount of property available to dedicate toward your panels, but they also offer easy access for installation and repair. Roof-mounted systems are less expensive as they utilize the existing roof as a foundation for installation.