Solar Basics

What’s the difference between solar as a service and a solar loan?

When you purchase a solar system through a conventional solar loan, you’ll probably have to come up with a down payment of several thousand dollars. But it doesn’t end there. The costs associated with maintenance and repair for the system usually come out… Continue reading

What is the green impact of going solar?

Reap the “green” benefits of solar power two ways -- the world and your wallet. The sun isn’t going anywhere anytime soon and is a natural resource, whereas fossil fuels are finite and cause harm to the environment when burned to create energy. Solar power… Continue reading

How do tax credits work?

You may be eligible for a federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) with the purchase of a solar system. To receive the full federal tax credit, you must have federal income tax liability at least equal to the value of the tax credit. Additional tax credits may… Continue reading

What components make up a solar system?

There are three main components to a solar system: panels, inverters and meters. Solar panels contain solar cells. Solar cells, sometimes called photovoltaic cells, convert the energy of the sun into electricity. Most solar cells are made of some form of… Continue reading

How will solar panels look on my roof?

Solar panels are installed for maximum solar power production, not looks. But it’s understandable that most homeowners, and their neighbors, don’t want an eyesore. Today’s solar panels are not nearly as bulky as yesterday’s, and thin-film technology continues… Continue reading

Do solar panels last longer than roofs?

The average life expectancy of a roof varies greatly depending on what your roof is made of and the climate you live in, so it could be anywhere from 12-30 years. Residential solar panels typically come with a warranty of 20-25 years, but panels can last… Continue reading

Can my HOA stop me from installing solar panels?

Despite several attempts to pass a bill through the House of Representatives and the Senate, a federal solar access law does not yet exist. However, some 25 states have enacted legislation to protect the rights of residents wanting to operate a solar energy… Continue reading

Will solar panels damage my roof or cause leaks?

A racking system mounts the panels, and any gaps resulting from installation are sealed. Coverings, such as flashing, may be required. If so, you’ll instantly have additional barriers to protect your roof from the elements. The integrity of your roof will… Continue reading

Do I have to clean the solar panels?

Snow, dust, bird droppings -- just like the windows on your house, solar panels will experience all of these things. And if it builds up over time, solar power production could be impacted. However, with a little help from Mother Nature in the form of rain,… Continue reading

Do solar panels attract critters?

Just like windows, solar panels sometimes cause confusion in insects and birds. It’s called the “lake effect” and it happens because they confuse a reflective surface for a body of water. However, this is more likely to happen at a solar farm or large commercial… Continue reading

Can I keep the trees around my home and still go solar?

The number and position of trees on your property can indeed impact how much solar energy you produce but is by no means a deal breaker. The issue at hand is shading. Keep in mind: Your solar company will conduct a solar assessment to determine shading… Continue reading

What are some common solar terms I should know?

Alternating Current (AC): An electric current that reverses direction within the circuit 60 times per second and is easier to transfer over long distances. This is the primary current used with residences and offices in the United States. Array: Also known… Continue reading

What are SRECs and how much are they worth?

An SREC is a renewable energy certificate that represents one MWh (1,000 kWh) of solar energy generation. In states that require a certain proportion of electricity come from renewable sources, utilities can purchase SRECs to meet the requirement rather than… Continue reading

Our Solar Service Plans

What is required to go solar?

If you’re a homeowner in an area where electricity is regulated by a centralized utility provider, and you have a FICO score of 650 or greater, you could be a solid candidate for solar power. Fill out our easy online form to see if you qualify. Do I have… Continue reading

Can I afford to go solar? Are there upfront costs?

At Sunnova, we won’t offer you solar service unless we can save you money over what you’re currently paying the utility company for electricity. You save or you don’t go solar -- it’s that simple. Plus, there are no upfront costs, and you’ll never have to… Continue reading

Why are Sunnova agreements 25 years?

The reason behind the 25-year duration of Sunnova solar service agreements is simple: long-term peace of mind. Utility rates are unpredictable because they are tied to fossil fuels and, as a result, dependent on the ups and downs of a commodity market. When… Continue reading

Is there a warranty? Is there a solar production guarantee?

Every Sunnova solar service agreement comes with a maintenance and operations warranty that lasts the lifetime of the agreement. That means you’ll never have to worry about paying out of pocket for repairs or part replacements your solar system may need over… Continue reading

Will I be able to monitor my production?

Absolutely! You can monitor your solar system’s production in the “Monitoring” section of the customer portal. Keep in mind, the reading of your meter is delayed approximately 24 hours. For example, on Monday, you’ll be able to see the production your system… Continue reading

How do I pay my Sunnova bill?

We make bill-paying convenient for you by setting up automatic payments. Since your monthly payments are recurring, this takes the hassle out of remembering to pay each month or risking a late payment because you forget. You can select a current bank account… Continue reading

Can I just buy a solar system from you?

Sunnova offers the EZ Own Program in certain markets. So, depending on where you live, you can purchase your solar system and still enjoy the benefits of Solar as a Service: a comprehensive warranty and insurance package for the lifetime of your solar service… Continue reading

Is there a battery in the system?

Solar storage is a hot topic in the solar industry because it has the potential to reduce dependence on the electric grid. Instead of relying on the grid to supplement your energy consumption at night and on cloudy days, you would be able to use the excess,… Continue reading

What is an annual escalator?

An annual escalator is a strategy sometimes used to achieve greater savings in the early years of the solar service agreement, in return for a small increase in the rate per kWh each year. Solar service agreements that include an annual escalator will provide… Continue reading

Can I cancel my solar service agreement?

There is a brief window for canceling your solar service agreement, typically seven days from the date you sign it. Cancellation periods may vary slightly by product and market; however, your solar service agreement will outline the specific terms and deadlines… Continue reading

What if a tree limb or golf ball breaks a solar panel?

Solar panels are tough and built to last. They’re covered with tempered glass, which is incredibly durable. Today’s solar panels can withstand the force of hurricane winds and large hail. That being said, freak accidents occur. Your solar service agreement… Continue reading

Will I have power during a blackout?

Your Sunnova solar system is grid-tied, which means it is connected to the electric grid. As a result, it cannot operate independently of the electric grid and will shut down when the grid isn’t working. This means you won’t have power at all for your home… Continue reading

Solar Process

Should I replace or repair my roof before going solar?

There are three main factors to consider -- age, condition and cost. Age: If your roof is less than 12 to 15 years old, it’s probably fine. Condition: Check for red flags, both inside and out. Signs of water damage (leaks or stains) on your ceiling Outside… Continue reading

How do you determine how many solar panels I need?

There’s some science behind this question, including roof architecture, angle and tilt, geographical location, shading factors, energy goals, and the average amount of sunlight you receive each day. But you don’t have to worry about it. We’ll do all the… Continue reading

How long does it take to get solar panels on my roof?

There is no single answer to this question. The length of time required for each step in the process will vary depending on several factors, many of them beyond the control of Sunnova and its contractors. Such factors may include obtaining any necessary permits,… Continue reading

Who installs the solar panels on my roof?

Most solar systems are designed to last at least 20 years. Correct installation is where it begins, so it’s important to make sure your contractor gets it right. Working with local contractors is a great place to start because they are familiar with your… Continue reading

Net Metering

What is net metering, and how does it affect billing?

Your solar system will provide most of the power your home needs. But at night and on cloudy days, it won’t. Your system will be connected to your utility company’s electric grid to supply energy during the times your system isn’t producing enough on its own. Continue reading

How does billing work with my utility? Will I get two bills?

Each month, you will receive either a bill or a statement from your utility company, in addition to your Sunnova bill. If the utility company sends monthly statements in lieu of an actual bill with an amount due, you can expect an annual reconciliation of… Continue reading

What happens at night or when it’s cloudy outside?

Great question! Solar systems convert sunlight into electricity, so you definitely need the sun’s rays to make that happen. Weather conditions, the season of the year and time of day all have an impact on how much energy your system generates. On cloudy or… Continue reading

What if my solar system isn’t generating sufficient energy?

When your solar system isn’t generating energy, like at night, your home will be powered by the electric grid, just as it was before you had solar service. Since your system is interconnected to the utility’s grid, you’re able to consume energy from it, as… Continue reading

What if my solar system generates too much energy?

In most cases, if your solar system generates more energy than your home needs at any given time, the excess energy will flow back to the electric grid. Your utility company may provide you with a credit for energy you send back to it.* There are a few… Continue reading

Will I still be on the grid?

Yes, your solar system will be connected to the electric grid. The interconnection between your solar system and the grid creates a bidirectional, give-and-take relationship between you and the utility company. This concept is known as net metering, and it… Continue reading

Buying or Selling a Solar Home

Will you put a lien on my home?

Sunnova does not put liens on homes. What you’re probably referring to is the UCC, which is not a lien. The Uniform Commercial Code is simply a financing statement that shows up on title verifications to notify Sunnova that a home with a Sunnova Solar as… Continue reading

Do solar panels add value if I sell my home?

There is always value in solar power, for both your wallet and the world*. But if you’re referring to value in terms of the physical solar panels you see on the roof, a recent study sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy via the Lawrence Berkeley National… Continue reading

What if I want to sell my home?

Transferring your solar service isn’t all that different than transferring any utility service, in that upon completion of the home sale, the new homeowner is responsible for payments. At Sunnova, the homebuyer will need to pass a credit check to verify… Continue reading