The SunPower Solar Advisor team, based in Austin, Texas, takes calls from homeowners interested in solar, answers their questions and then connects them to one of our dealer partners in their area. As you might imagine, questions range from the informational “How does solar work?” to the more complex “How efficient are SunPower's solar panels?”. The following are some of the most popular questions the team fields from those looking to go solar, save money on their energy bill and reduce their carbon footprint.
“How do I get free solar?”
Unfortunately, there are many misleading ads out there suggesting that solar can be free. This is simply not the case. There are, however, many federal and state tax incentives that make solar more affordable. Homeowners who purchase a solar system in 2020 can benefit from the Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC, which allows buyers to deduct 26% of the cost of their solar energy system from their federal taxes.1 In addition to rebates like the ITC, SunPower also offers multiple financing options, such as lease or loan, providing homeowners options when it comes to paying for their system. Last but not least, remember that solar is a long-term investment. So, while there is an initial cost to get started, those with solar energy typically pay less for electricity over the life of their home because the majority of their energy needs are being met by power collected from the sun.
“Why does solar cost so much?”
Solar technology is just that, technology. SunPower provides a premium product with the industry's most powerful solar panels2. The power behind these panels all comes down to what makes SunPower unique, Maxeon® solar cells. Made with precision, Maxeon cells separate themselves from conventional cells with a smooth, anti-reflective coating that allows the surface to trap more sun - including infrared and ultraviolet light. In addition, the thick copper backing adds strength and prevents corrosion. Together, these qualities grant SunPower panels maximum efficiency within the industry2 by surpassing the common downfalls conventional panels run into, like exposure and weathering.
In addition, every piece of a SunPower solar system is meticulously designed and tested for long-term reliability. This is why SunPower stands behind our technology with the SunPower® Complete Confidence Warranty. SunPower covers what conventional solar warranties don’t, and guarantees that panels won’t lose more than 8% of their original power output in 25 years. Compare that to just 19% for conventional solar.
“Can I get a battery for my solar system?”
With the recent power outages in California, many people are looking for a power backup or storage solution. In late 2019, SunPower announced the limited launch Equinox™ Storage, which works with the SunPower Equinox® solar system to harness and store energy from the sun. With this solution, homeowners are able to use the solar that is saved in the battery in a way that fits their needs depending on how the system is set up3. While Equinox storage won’t be widely available in the U.S. until late 2020, that doesn’t mean homeowners are left in the dark. Their best bet is to schedule an appointment with one of our dealers to learn about the A-series panels and be sure to mention that they are interested in adding a battery so their dealer can help advise them on the best course of action. Homeowners can also sign up to be among the first to know when Equinox storage will be available in their area.
1 Tax credits subject to change. SunPower does not warrant, guarantee or otherwise advise its partners or customers about specific tax outcomes. Consult your tax advisor regarding the solar tax credit and how it applies to your specific circumstances. Please visit the dsireusa.org website for detailed solar policy information.
2 Highest efficiency panels available: Based on datasheet review of websites of top 20 manufacturers per IHS, as of May 2019.
3Your battery storage system’s ability to provide electricity to your home will vary based on a number of factors, including, but not limited to: the amount of energy stored in the battery, the amount of wattage used by appliances and electronics connected to the battery storage system, the age of the battery, the battery’s ability to recharge during daylight hours due to weather, the frequency and duration of battery usage, and other factors. The battery storage system should not be relied upon as a power source for critical medical devices. Battery life will decrease with time and use.