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Frequently Asked Questions2018-07-06T18:34:27-07:00
DOES SOLAR WORK IN THE NORTHWEST?2018-07-06T18:36:09-07:00

Yes! The Pacific Northwest’s long summer days are very well suited to produce solar energy. Thanks to long summer days and great utility net metering programs, a solar system can build energy credits in the summer and offset them in the shadier months.

Solar panels also operate more efficiently in our cooler summer weather, which often means more power than climates with intense hot environments, not less. Solar energy systems keep on working on overcast days too, collecting scattered light and focusing it into energy.

It may be true that we don’t produce as much power than southern deserts, but we still generate enough to make solar a financially viable solution. An interesting fact to note is that our solar resource is similar to Germany’s, which leads the world in solar energy installations.

WILL A SOLAR SYSTEM ADD VALUE TO MY HOME?2018-07-06T18:38:18-07:00

“A multi-institutional research team of scientists led by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), in partnership with Sandia National Laboratories, universities, and appraisers found that home buyers consistently have been willing to pay more for homes with host-owned solar photovoltaic (PV) energy systems —averaging about $4 per watt of PV installed—across various states, housing and PV markets, and home types.

This equates to a premium of about $15,000 for a typical PV system. The team analyzed almost 22,000 sales of homes, almost 4,000 of which contained PV systems in eight states from 1999 to 2013—producing the most authoritative estimates to date of price premiums for U.S. homes with PV systems.”

-Berkeley Lab Study – News Release ALLAN CHEN 510-486-4210 • January 13, 2015

HOW LONG WILL A SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEM LAST?2018-06-28T16:42:44-07:00

The answer to that depends on the technology and the climate the system is placed in. Thanks to our temperate weather, we should see extended lifespans on our systems. Banner Power Solutions takes great care to use best practices developed in our climate.

Generally, solar electric panels will produce power for 30-40 years. Manufacturers usually warranty the power output for 25 years, but most people agree they’ll continue producing well beyond that.

HOW MUCH MAINTENANCE IS REQUIRED?2018-06-28T16:42:09-07:00

Very little. However, if you want your system to function at an optimal level, you can do a few simple things on a regular basis:

Rinse off the panels and collectors once or twice a year. This can boost performance, especially if pollen, dirt or debris has accumulated.

Keep an eye on your system’s production and look for significant changes in output.

If you’re not sure about doing this yourself, Banner Power Solutions offers maintenance service calls to customers in our service territory.  SOLAR SHINE 

HOW DO I DETERMINE HOW MUCH SOLAR I WOULD NEED TO ELIMINATE MY POWER BILL?2018-06-28T16:39:16-07:00

Formula – Monthly Power Bill / .10 cents (price of power per Kilowatt) x 12 (months in the year) / 1000 (percentage of sun x 365 (days in the year))

IF THE UTILITY GRID GOES OUT, WILL MY SOLAR SYSTEM GO OUT?2018-06-28T16:38:53-07:00

YES – but if you install a UPS (Uninterrupted power system) generator, you can keep your heating system, freezers, and other desired appliances on until the grid is restored.

DO I NEED TO INSTALL BATTERIES AS A PART OF MY SOLAR SYSTEM?2018-06-28T16:38:29-07:00

No – we recommend installing a generator to carry you through temporary power outages. Batteries can add approx. $5,000-$8,000 to the price of the system, require regular maintenance, and typically need to be replaced every 5-7 years. Batteries are of course a required system component if the solar system is independent from the grid or “off-grid”.

HOW DO I KNOW IF MY SITE IS GOOD FOR SOLAR?2018-06-28T16:37:52-07:00

It starts by having us look at your site. We would love the opportunity to provide a free preliminary site analysis visit or look at your site online, using aerial imagery. In most cases, we can help you to determine if your site is well suited for a solar energy system even before we set foot on your site.

During our site analysis whether it be over the phone or in person, we can help you learn how solar might help you achieve your goals, and we’ll find a way to do the work within your budget.

Once we’ve gathered this basic information online and over the phone and determined that your site is suitable, we will schedule a time to come and personally look at your site. We’ll measure your solar resource, check out existing site conditions and let you know more about how our company operates.

Then, if you decide solar is the way forward, we’ll design a system that meets your specific needs. Give us a call, 360-755-3030, or email us at info@bannerpowersolutions.com and get started now!

DO YOU HAVE A QUESTION?

As the employee-owners of Banner Power Solutions, we’re always trying to improve the way that we serve our customers. You can help us out by asking questions that aren’t currently on our website. Just drop us an email and we will get back with you with an answer or solution.

Glossary of Net Metering Terms:

The following terms may be helpful as you go about estimating and constructing your electrical generating system.

Customer-Generator
PSE customers who have enrolled in PSE’s net metering program and have signed an interconnection agreement with PSE, becoming potential suppliers (generators) of electricity to PSE.

Inverter
Inverters convert the DC (Direct Current) voltage that the generator creates to AC (Alternating Current) at either 120 volts or 240 volts. The inverter sends the AC voltage into the home’s circuit breaker panel, where it is distributed to the home or electricity grid through the net meter.

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