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FAQ

Does a solar system add value to my home, commercial or industrial building?

The answer is: “Absolutely!!”  The more important question is: “How much?”  Then the answer is: “It depends on who you ask”.  You see, up until recently, the only reference was an outdated real estate report that was over 10 years old and an older study by the U.S. Department of Energy.  A more recent NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) report, in what has been deemed the most detailed study to date, determined that buildings with solar panels sold on average 20% faster and commanded a 17% premium price than their non-solar equivalents.

The true barometer is that if someone seeking a home or business to buy compares 2 nearly identical buildings in the same area, they most certainly will go with the energy efficient solar-installed one.  It will provide them a return for years to come.

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FAQ

Can my business save on the demand charges by installing solar panels?

This depends on your operational hours. If you can operate some or most of your high-power equipment during the hours that solar produces energy (between 8 am and 5 pm), you can save some or a lot on the demand charges. If you have a business that has a fairly early start, you may not be able to lower your demand through your solar production. But the good news is, when you install a solar power system, all the utility companies offer electricity rates that are specific to renewable energies, and these rates tend to charge much less for each kW, which lowers the cost of demand charges significantly.

Vaha Energy also offers battery-related solutions to shave a building’s demand, which further reduce the demand related costs.

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FAQ

What is the difference between a kilowatt (demand) and a kilowatt-hour (usage)?

Kilowatt (kW) is the initial amount of power pull, or demand, that is required to operate the lights, appliances, electronics, HVAC systems, machinery or whatever is being used that works with electricity. Currently, the homeowners do not pay any demand charges however, industrial and commercial buildings pay a very hefty price. SCE and SDG&E clients’ demand charges double in summer months, which significantly increase their electricity bills.

Kilowatt-hour (kWh) is the amount of power used over a period of one hour. All the clients get charged for this usage and solar panels are a great way to eliminate charges that occur due to kWh usage.

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FAQ

Will solar power change other utility bills or just the electric bill?

Photovoltaic (PV) solar panels only generate electricity; therefore they reduce the electricity bills. There are also thermal solar systems that are used to heat up water for the building use or for pools and these reduce the gas bill, since typically pools or water heaters use natural gas.

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FAQ

What happens after a solar lease or PPA agreement ends? 

Typically, the three options are:

  1. buy the system at the fair market value
  2. renew the agreement for a limited number of years based on your specific contract
  3. ask your installer to remove the system