News, Commentary, and Analysis

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Sunday, May 26 2019 @ 01:05 AM UTC

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I Would Go Solar, But I Don't Want Holes In My Roof!

One of the most common concerns for homeowners considering solar energy is regarding the integrity of their roof. When discussing the possibility of installing solar panels the issue of "what about my roof" almost always comes up. It makes sense to ask these questions and as a homeowner you'd be remiss if you were not thinking about the integrity of the roof over your head.

I always start by reminding my customers we have been installing solar panels for years, and it's quite literally our job. We do this all the time, and none of our systems leak. Think about it - we would be out of business pretty fast if we installed solar panels on our customer's roofs, which then leaked. Bad business plan...

Step one of the installation process is our comprehensive site survey. Our technicians visit your house to inspect the roof, structure, main electrical service panel, utility meter, and anything else that might come into play during installation. They will take a hard look at the condition of your roof and if it's too old or worn out they will "fail" your roof. In other words, we can't install your solar system until the issues discovered are repaired or otherwise addressed. This protects you as the homeowner, and us as the installer. We're going to provide you with a 10 year installation warranty/indemnification so there's no way we would install solar panels on a questionable roof. If our technicians give it a green light, we're good to go. Remember, we do this for a living.

During the inspection the technician will take measurements and identify the location and spacing of the roof beams. The panel supports are lag bolted directly into the beams. These are the structures actually supporting the roof itself. We take photos of the structure where the panels will be installed. This data is passed on to engineering and it's used to design the specifications for the system. Finally, the installers are given a schematic and precise plans. We don't just go up there willy-nilly and slam in screws. Some other companies might do things that way, but we sure don't. Again, we are the professionals. We do it right.

We use SunPower's proprietary "Invisimount" system to install the solar panels on your roof. In fact this system is comprised of many parts and pieces. The most important part for purposes of this article is the flashing were the "rubber meets the road" so to speak. It's the only place where your roof is actually penetrated. As you can see in the image, the flashing slides up under the existing roof shingles. The lug bolt is driven directly into the roof beam. We apply a U-shaped bead of a product called "Solar Seal" to seal the holes. Solar Seal is designed specifically for this application. It lasts a very long time and can expand and contract without losing it's protective properties. It costs a little more to do it this way, but when you care, send the very best.

Once the mounts are installed, then the racking is connected to the mounts, and the panels are then connected to the racks. This is a lowered profile system, meaning the panels are as low as possible to the roof. You might have seen systems installed by other companies with a higher profile. We consider those to be "ugly." They stick up too high. Leaves and other debris can get caught underneath. Squirrels or birds can move in. It's just bad. Lower to the roof is better. That's how we do it, for a reason.

SunPower provides a 10 year warranty/indemnification against leaks once your system is installed. If there are any leaks within a 3" diameter from a roof penetration, we will fix it for free.

Now, with that having been said - here's what actually happens in real life. Let's say we installed solar system on your house two years ago. Then, your roof develops a leak. Who are you going to call? The solar company, of course! They must have caused the issue. So we come to your house and inspect to find the problem. And what always happens is - a leak developed on some other part of the roof located nowhere near the solar system. Here's an example from one of my customers. A flashing around a vent pipe started leaking. It was on the other side of the roof, nothing to do with the solar system. Our guys fixed the leak anyway, took a bunch of photos, inspected the rest of the roof to look for potential problem areas, then came down and reported back to the homeowner. No charge. The repair was literally a very quick and easy fix, but there might be some larger (not solar related) issues that could develop later on. Those would have happened with or without solar panels on your roof.

The Bottom Line: Our process protects the homeowner. If we inspect and your roof passes, then the solar installation will not cause you any issues in the future. If something happens anyway, we will fix it. That's the advantage of going with a company like SunPower. We've been in business for decades and are not some fly-by-night dude with a ladder solar company. We are nationwide, established, quality, responsible, stable - all of the things that matter when someone is going to be putting stuff on your roof. Roofs are important. We get it...

Want To Save Thousands Of Dollars? Then give me a call or text (845) 800-6925. You can also send me an email.

  • We only use the highest quality SunPower solar panels.
  • They are covered by a 25 year warranty
  • We are a local company - we live and work in the Hudson Valley.
  • Hudson Valley Solar is Military Vet / Disabled Vet owned and operated.
  • The 30% Federal Solar Tax Incentive ends this year, completely phased out over the next two years.
  • Take advantage of existing $5,000 NY State Tax Incentive.
  • NYSERDA incentive covers the cost of installation.
  • No money out of pocket, no down payment or deposit required.
  • See O&R Electricity Rates Going Up, Again - Divorce yourself from the utility company.
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O&R Electricity Rates Going Up, Again

Hold on to your checkbooks! Electricity in the Hudson Valley is going to be getting more expensive, again.

The New York Public Services Commission (NYPSC) just quietly approved another rate increase for Orange and Rockland customers. Your electricity costs will increase 2.4% this year. Then another 2.5% next year. Then another 2.5% in 2021. That's a total of 7.4% over the next three years.

I received a notice with my electric bill in the mail which contained the same information as this Orange and Rockland press release.

There was a little burst of news stories about this rate hike when O&R first made the proposal, then nothing. I made a detailed search of the Internet last night looking for news stories about this significant rate hike, and could not find anything. Nada, zip, zilch. I kept running into O&R websites which are obviously confusing on purpose. There were no straight "news" stories or publications I could find. As far as I can tell not one of the normal "news outlets" covered this significant rate increase, impacting hundreds of thousands of O&R customers. If you spot one, please send me an email.

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SunPower Led U.S. Solar Industry in 2018

SAN JOSE, Calif., March 26, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- While solar adoption in the U.S. ticks upward according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, SunPower (NASDAQ: SPWR) continues to capture a large share of the distributed generation solar market. In Wood Mackenzie's latest U.S. PV Leaderboard report made available this month, SunPower remained the No. 1 provider of commercial solar solutions for a second year running. And as an essential partner to its nationwide residential dealer network, the company also maintained a leadership position as one of the top residential solar panel manufacturers for the second consecutive year.
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The Disappearing Federal Solar Tax Incentive

The Federal Solar Tax Incentive is being phased out. This year is the last year it will be at 30%. Act now before it's too late.