How does solar work?

A few things happen when you have a rooftop solar array: (1) Solar panels collect energy from the sun, (2) power is converted to usable energy via solar inverters. From there, (3) power flows from the panels, through special wiring, and into your (4) net electricity meter. (5) The meter then feeds the power to every appliance in your house.

 Graphic courtesy of

Graphic courtesy of

IS MY HOME A GOOD FIT FOR SOLAR?  If you own your own home and spend over $100 a month on your electricity bill, chances are you’re a good fit for solar. Other factors include roof space, the direction of your roof, your credit score, and shading around your roof. We install on all roof types, except for wood shake. We also do ground mounted systems.  One of our energy consultants can help you figure out if your home is a good fit during your free solar consultation.

WHERE DO WE INSTALL? We provide PPA systems in all of California and Financed systems in Southern California as well as in Utah.  We have plans to expand to Arizona and the East Coast in the next year.

WHAT IS A PPA VS A FINANCED SYSTEM? Power Purchase Agreement, or “PPA” with True Energy allows a homeowner to buy energy at a guaranteed low rate. The PPA replaces your current energy provider’s bill for the life of the agreement.  At the end of the term you can opt to purchase or return the panels. With a financed system, you're essentially getting a loan to pay for your panels. You'll own them. These loans have amazingly low interest rates and this method allows for more customization on your part.

 WHAT TYPES OF PANELS & INVERTERS DOES TRUE ENERGY USE?  Our most affordable panel is the Hanwha 260 watt and for the best quality we install American-made Solar World 285 watt panels. The Hanwha panels are a more classic blue on silver. The Solar World are a more modern black on black.  We commonly use Enphase Micro Inverters that will keep your system at top performance despite partial shading or leaf litter. 

HOW MANY SOLAR PANELS WILL I NEED? We look at the past 12 months of usage and a lower average of about $100 per month would need around 15 panels to offset the usage 100%. A higher bill in the $500 range would take approximately 40 panels.  Factors like shading and being on a medical assistance program can markedly change these estimates.  Your True Energy consultant will work with you to determine the size of your system and amount of panels needed to get you the power you want. 

IS SOLAR POWER REALLY LESS EXPENSIVE THAN MY CURRENT UTILITY ELECTRICITY PROVIDER? Absolutely! In many markets through the US where solar is a great option, solar power costs less than traditional utility electricity. It only only costs less and saves you money instantly off your electricity every month from the get go, but it also allows you to lock in a low, predictable energy rate that won’t go up as much traditional utility cost increases. You can count on your savings getting better year after year.

WHAT KIND OF WARRANTY IS PROVIDED IN THE CONTRACT?  We provide a 10 year system repair and replacement, a 25 year guarantee on solar panels and inverters and a 10 year manufacturing performance warranty.  

WHAT HAPPENS IF I SELL MY HOUSE?  We understand that you might not live in your house for the next 20 years, and that’s okay! You can transfer the agreement to the new homeowners, buy the system and include it as part of the appraisal on your home or we'll move the panels to your new home.

HOW MUCH MAINTENANCE IS REQUIRED ON MY SOLAR SYSTEM? True Energy’s solar systems generally require very little maintenance. We recommend spraying them down with water once a year to clean any loose dirt or debris to just to keep them clean. Panels will need to be wiped clean in the event of heavy pollen, dust or roosting birds. See related article >>

CAN I MONITOR MY SOLAR SYSTEM'S PRODUCTION? Yes! Our 3G smart solar meters that we install at every home allow us and you to both monitor your system from anywhere in the world using web enabled solar monitoring technology. If you’re curious about how much power your system is producing on any given day you can log in and check it out whenever you like! Monitoring your solar system is one of the ways we ensure that it’s working properly 24/7.

ARE THERE MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS? For a financed system, no. As long as you are on title, we can install residential or commercial, even with low credit. For a PPA, if your credit score is not above 649, you would have to find a co-signer. You do not have to be on the utility account to sign, just on the title. We currently only provide PPA contracts for single family residences, duplexes and certain townehomes.

DO WE DO COMMERCIAL INSTALLS? Yes! We can help you find the best interest rate around to finance and install a solar system on your business. The monthly payments are usually much lower than what you're paying your utility every month. 

DO WE INSTALL GROUNT MOUNTED SYSTEMS? Yes. Email us for more information.