- How do I know if solar will work on my business?
Sharp offers more than one way to go solar. A solar system can be installed on many types of rooftops, on the ground, or over a parking lot. With so many options to choose from, you and your independent Sharp certified installer will decide what’s right for your business by analyzing your site to determine the best system solution. Please review Sharp commercial case studies to understand how other savvy enterprises put solar to work for them.
- Are incentives or rebates available for commercial solar systems?
The federal government and most states currently offer incentives to offset the cost of a solar installation at your business. In addition to existing federal incentives such as the 30 percent Investment Tax Credit, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (a.k.a. the Stimulus Bill) contains 19 provisions that will benefit solar customers and companies. These provisions include billions of dollars for federal cash grants, loan guarantees, funding to state programs and more.
On the state level, incentives are available that reduce the cost of the system, reduce the tax burden of the solar customer and more. For a clearinghouse of all incentives available from the federal government and the states, go to the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE). Your solar installer company will work with your business to ensure maximization of financial incentives.
- What is the process for buying a solar system?
Fill out Sharp's online contact form or call Sharp Solar at 1-800-SOLAR-06. We will connect you to an independent Sharp certified installer who will guide you through the solar installation process.
The first step in the process will be a site assessment, when your installer visits your company to analyze your business’s utility bills and energy usage, and conducts an onsite audit of your site’s physical characteristics.
Next, your installer provides a detailed proposal laying out the system and financials that maximize your solar energy output and savings. Many installers can consult or provide financing options through national or local institutions. Additionally, your installer will ensure your business is able to maximize rebate and tax incentives.
The third step is the actual installation. All of the independent Sharp certified installers have extensive experience in commercial applications and can provide a turnkey system.
Once your system is up and running, there are many options to allow your company to monitor its system’s performance. Since solar is virtually maintenance free, there are no major maintenance requirements. Many installers do offer both a monitoring and maintenance service to ensure optimal performance.
How much does solar cost? Is a solar system cost-effective for my business?
The cost of a system depends on a wide variety of factors including the type of roof, system complexity, geographic location, system size and more. The federal government and several state governments offer generous rebates for purchasers of solar systems.
A solar system is an investment that guarantees the cost of electricity for years to come. After the system is purchased, the electricity it generates is essentially free. An independent Sharp certified installer will analyze your specific electric usage, electricity rate schedule and site to determine what option is the best investment and will produce the highest returns.
What are the different financing options for my business to go solar?
There are several options to finance a commercial solar electric system. Your installer can help advise your company on available options and the financial package that best fits your requirements. Beyond purchasing a system outright, there are other financial solutions which are growing in popularity, such as a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).
Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) are financial vehicles that enable a company to afford a solar system on their property without outlaying capital. In this financial arrangement, a third-party owns, operates and maintains the solar system for a period of years. Customers then buy the power for an agreed-upon set of terms.
How big of a solar electric system do I need?
The size of your system depends on several factors including your company's regular electricity use, space availability for a system and financial preferences. Solar systems can either offset 100% or only a portion of a building’s energy requirements. In most situations, your system will be connected to the utility grid, so even if your solar electric system doesn’t generate all of your building’s electricity, you can still draw from the utility.
How can I get an installation estimate?
Please go to the Sharp Solar contact page for more information. Or call Sharp Solar at 1-800-SOLAR-06 and we will have an independent Sharp certified installer contact you. Our strong network of more than 100 installers and service sites throughout the U.S. ensures that there's a solar expert close to you, ready to come to your business to determine your energy needs with a free consultation. All you have to do is contact us. We'll do the rest.
There are a lot of solar products on the market. Why are Sharp products a good fit for my company?
Since the invention of the solar electric cell, Sharp has been at the leading edge of the solar industry. From the world's first solar-powered calculator to solar-powered residential and commercial applications, Sharp powers more homes and businesses than any other solar manufacturer in the world. This means you have an experienced solar partner you can trust.
We have developed advanced technology to counter light degradation, boast long-term reliability, and strengthen construction. And with more module choices to optimize energy production, independent Sharp certified installers can create custom design solutions for your project. Sharp's industry leadership, quality manufacturing and extensive network of independent certified installers make converting your business to solar power more feasible and easier than you may have imagined. Our nationwide independent installer network ensures that there's a solar expert close to you, ready to come to your home to determine your energy needs with a free consultation.
We are determined to continue on the path for improvement and made a commitment to setting new standards for energy efficiency and environmental friendliness by working to minimize waste and greenhouse gases in all Sharp factories.
What is your warranty?
We offer a 25-year limited warranty on power output for all modules. Sharp warrants material defects and workmanship for five years from the date of purchase. We also warrant power output for 25 years from the date of purchase. The first 10 years are at 90% of the minimum rated power output and the remaining 15 years are at 80% of the minimum rated power output.
How does using solar electricity help the environment? Does solar help offset climate change?
Coal-fired electrical power plants are responsible for most of all sulfur dioxide emissions in the U.S. On the other hand, solar electricity produces absolutely no pollution. By using more solar electricity, fewer greenhouse gas-producing power plants need to be built. This is one major step to reducing climate change.
What is Net Metering?
Typically most commercial solar systems are connected to the utility grid through a meter. This meter tracks the amount of electricity your company’s solar electric system produces and the amount of electricity your building consumes. During sunny days (peak production period) your system may produce more power than your building uses, and your electric meter runs backward as you send electricity back to the utility grid. At night when your system isn’t producing electricity, you will draw energy from the grid. This process is called net metering. At the end of the month, the utility company will only bill your company if it used more electricity than your system produced.
Net metering can allow companies to ensure a constant flow of electricity while also receiving credit for the energy its system produces. Most states do not compensate for excess electricity produced. Therefore it is important to use an independent Sharp certified installer to help ensure your system is sized correctly. Net metering is available in nearly every state including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
Can I buy solar modules direct from Sharp?
Solar purchases are handled through an independent certified installer network. Please visit Sharp Solar contact page and we will refer you to an installer in your area for a complete turnkey solution. Or call Sharp Solar at 1-800-SOLAR-06 and we will have an independent Sharp Solar certified installer contact you. Our strong network of more than 100 installers and service sites throughout the U.S. ensures that there's a solar expert close to you, ready to come to your company to determine your energy needs with a free consultation.
What are financial options for governmental or non-profit organizations?
Several states, like California, offer higher cash rebates to non-profit and governmental organizations. Some local and state agencies can apply for a variety of loan options with low or no interest. Finally, a Power Purchase Agreement (third-party financing) is another vehicle for different organizations. Check with your Sharp certified installer to learn more about financing options specifically for your industry or business.
How long does it take to install a solar system?
Installation time varies greatly, mostly depending on complexity and size of the system. Small commercial systems can typically be completed in a few short weeks; however, large-scale installation could require one month or longer.
Will my building have power in the event of a blackout?
As a safety precaution for electrical workers, your commercial system will lose power during a blackout (unless you install a battery backup system).
How will I monitor the system to ensure peak performance?
Several monitoring systems are available that can track your system’s energy output, and can produce daily, weekly, monthly and annual data. Your independent Sharp certified installer will work with you to determine which monitoring system best meets your requirements. Check with your installer to see if they offer a monitoring maintenance service. Service agreements can include cleaning and performance monitoring.
Is there maintenance required to keep a solar system operational?
Occasionally, a solar array should be rinsed off with a hose to clear the dust or debris that blocks sunlight and reduces efficiency. That’s about all that’s required. There are no moving parts to wear out and Sharp solar modules are covered under limited power output warranty for 25 years. In fact, there are solar modules that Sharp installed 40 years ago that are still producing energy today. Check with your installer to see if they offer a maintenance service. Service agreements can include cleaning and performance monitoring.
Ready to learn how solar can benefit your business? Please visit the Sharp Solar contact page or dial 1-800-SOLAR-06 today.