FREQUENTLY ASKED

QUESTIONS

All your answers to the how’s, what’s, & when’s of solar power.

Solar For My Home

HOW DOES SOLAR AFFECT MY PROPERTY VALUE?

Studies have shown that homes with solar energy systems sell for more than homes without them. However, your property value will only increase if you own, rather than lease, your solar panel system. In most parts of the country, adding solar panels for home use actually increases your home value more than a kitchen renovation. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/22/realestate/solar-panels-and-home-values.html

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A SECURED LOAN AND AN UNSECURED LOAN?

The primary difference between secured and unsecured loans is that secured solar loans require that you promise an asset, usually your home, as collateral for the money that you borrow. Unsecured solar loans do not, but their interest rates are generally higher to compensate for the increased risk taken on by the lender, but they also allow you 12 months with no interest or payments for the incentivized portion of your solar system.

I’m worried that solar panels will make my house look bad.

We get that, especially because we’ve seen some other cheaper companies’ end results. Yikes. But never fear, your install is going to look incredible, we promise! Our in-house design team will ensure your install looks professional and modern, while ensuring you’re getting the best efficiency possible for your home or business. We’re never surprised when one of our customers tells us their neighbors want to go solar. Plus, once we’re finished, it’s like our installation team was never there. We leave your property just as pristine as when we arrived.

How To Achieve Energy Independence with Solar in Florida

How To Achieve Energy Independence with Solar in Florida

What is Energy Independence? As you dive into your solar search, the phrase “gain energy independence” is a common slogan you’ll see slung out to the far corners of the internet. But what does that mean? Why does everyone tout this as one of the best aspects of going...

Refer Your Friends and Family to Sun Badger Solar

Refer Your Friends and Family to Sun Badger Solar

If you've experienced the amazing benefits of a Sun Badger® Solar solar panel system, then you know how wonderful it can be — the customer service, the cost savings, and the ease of having solar panels. We want you to know about our Sun Badger Advocate referral...

Solar For My Business

WHAT INCENTIVES ARE AVAILABLE FOR COMMERCIAL SOLAR?

A 26% federal tax credit, 100% bonus depreciation and local incentives are available in most states.

HOW MUCH CAN ELECTRICITY CAN YOU OFFSET WITH A COMMERCIAL INSTALLATION?

With some commercial tariffs, the delivery charges are separate to the electricity cost, but in most cases we can still offset at least 65% of your costs.

WHAT TYPE OF COMMERCIAL ROOFS ARE BEST FOR SOLAR?

Most types of roofs can accommodate commercial solar installation. For a flat roof, we generally install systems using a ballasted, non penetrative system.

WHAT IS THE PAYBACK ON COMMERCIAL SYSTEMS?

If your business has a tax burden, commercial systems can have less than a 5 year ROI.

Tricklebee Café Makes News and Makes a Difference with Solar

Tricklebee Café Makes News and Makes a Difference with Solar

We get excited about all of our solar system installs here at Sun Badger Solar. But every once in a while, we help a customer harness the power of solar energy and it creates a little buzz. A few weeks ago, we wrote about our non-profit customer, Tricklebee Café going...

Helping Non-Profits Go Solar

Helping Non-Profits Go Solar

This week one of our not-for-profit clients, Tricklebee Café, a pay-what-you-can community café in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is going live with their new solar system. And it got us thinking about our extensive history to help non-profits go solar and become more...

Products & Materials

Can you assure me that I’d be getting the most top-quality products with your system?

Definitely! Your home is just as important to us as it is to you. Rest assured, you’re getting top-quality products! We strive to work with the most reputable manufacutures to provide us with what one reviewer called their panels “the top of the food chain” when it comes to solar panels. We couldn’t agree more! Our reputation begins and ends with the panels we install, so you can feel 100% confident in your decision.

What panels do you offer? HOW BIG IS A SOLAR PANEL?

We offer a range of tier 1 level panels for both residential and commerical, but as an LG Platinum partner, we pride ourselves on offering LG premium panels at an affordable price. A 60 cell solar panel is approximately 3.5 x 5.5 Feet.

DO SOLAR PANELS REQUIRE MAINTENANCE?

Solar panels require no maintenance. If you have any issues with your system, contact us and we will correct it.

Does my system come with monitoring?

We offer elite consumption monitoring through Enphase, in addition to our complimentary standard monitoring via the Sun Badger Solar App.

WHAT ARE THE WARRANTIES?

Sun Badger® warranties our systems for 10 years. We only use panels which have a 25 year linear production warranty. And our Enphase inverters are warrantied for 25 years.

HOW LONG WILL MY SYSTEM LAST?

We expect our systems to last 35 years or more.

4 Ways Solar Panels Benefit Your Business

4 Ways Solar Panels Benefit Your Business

4 Ways Solar Panels Benefit Your Business There's no doubt that solar panels generate enough electricity to run your business's electrical needs and they are good for the environment. However, are solar panels worth the investment? Sun Badger® Solar offers...

How Sun Badger Helps to Alleviate Solar Supply Chain Concern

How Sun Badger Helps to Alleviate Solar Supply Chain Concern

How Sun Badger Helps to Alleviate Solar Supply Chain Concern It’s no surprise that nearly every industry is experiencing supply chain issues right now and for the foreseeable future. It’s been all over the media and you can experience it for yourself at any car...

Solar & Weather

Will my panels even work in bad weather?

Built from a mix of aluminum and glass, solar panels are waterproof and sturdy – our racking system will withstand 160mph winds! When it’s colder, solar cells are more efficient at converting sunlight into electricity. Plus, snow and rain help clean dust and dirt from solar panels and they remain maintenance-free.

BONUS: your homeowners’ insurance usually covers any damage due to extreme weather. Sun Badger expects our systems to last 35+ years! Learn more about our battery storage systems and how solar can keep the lights on through the power outages!

DOES SOLAR WORK IN THE MIDWEST?

Yes! Wisconsin and Illinois can produce approximately the same amount of electricity as East Texas, and about 30% more than Germany, which produces more solar than any other country in the world.

CAN HAIL DAMAGE THE PANELS?

We have yet to see a panel damaged by hail as they are very robust, but your home owners insurance usually covers any damage due to extreme weather.

DOES SOLAR WORK IN A BLACKOUT?

Unless you have battery backup, your solar system will not produce power during a blackout for the safety of any line workers.

CAN SNOWFALL CAUSE ISSUES WITH PRODUCTION?

Solar panels are very slick and we only use black on black panels, which quickly absorb light from the sun and causes the snow to melt and slide off.

WHAT ABOUT LEAKS?

We use a detailed solar panel installation process which encompasses flashing, precise penetration and sealant. While we have yet to see a leak, we completely warranty against them.

Will my system withstand a hurricane?

Yes, our racking system will withstand 160mph winds. Anything exceeding this would be covered under your homeowner’s insurance.

The Advantages of the Enphase IQ8 Microinverter

The Advantages of the Enphase IQ8 Microinverter

Microinverters are inverters attached to one solar panel that converts DC power to AC power, which is the type we need for our homes and businesses. Sun Badger® Solar is a solar developer that serves Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, and Florida. We focus on offering...

Winter Solar Power Myths DEBUNKED

Winter Solar Power Myths DEBUNKED

Many people are under the impression that solar panels don't work as well during the winter, whether it's the lack of sunlight or the shorter days. However, the fact of the matter is that's just not true! Solar panels not working as well during the winter is just one...

Solar Installation Process

I hear solar installation takes forever. Will I have to get on a waitlist? How long will it take?

Typically there aren’t waitlists at Sun Badger Solar! Sure, it takes some time to get financing in order and pull permits, but because our team takes on all the paperwork and project management, consider that stress a timesaver in itself! Plus you can follow the entire lifecycle of your project on our handy app, where a personal point-of-contact is just a few taps away. On average – from consultation to installation – our customers experience a 4 month project timeline, with installation itself only taking a day or two!

Who does your installations?

In IL and WI, we primarily use our own in-house installation teams, while in FL and MN we have certified installation partners that execute high quality installs for us. Sun Badger Solar is staffed by NABCEP certified crew members.

Solar Panel Maintenance Tips

Solar Panel Maintenance Tips

Here at Sun Badger Solar, our customers are regularly asking us what they can do to both maintain their solar panels and help improve the efficiency of their home solar system. Thankfully there's a lot that solar-owners can do to keep up their panels and ensure...

What Are Solar Panels Made Of? A Look At Solar Panel Materials

What Are Solar Panels Made Of? A Look At Solar Panel Materials

At Sun Badger Solar, it's our goal to provide our customers with the best possible solar panels. Solar panels can be manufactured in a number of ways and are constructed of quite a few different material options. Some materials are better than...

Solar Cost & Financing

WHAT ARE THE FINANCIAL BENEFITS OF SOLAR?

When you install a solar system, you not only can save money on, or drastically reduce your electrical bills, but you are also protecting your property from rising electricity costs. Solar is a smart investment regardless of where you live. Learn more about the benefits of solar energy.

DOES THE UTILITY BUY BACK SOLAR?

Utilities in most states are required to Net Meter.

WHAT IS NET METERING?

Net Metering is the system that utilities use to credit solar energy system owners for the electricity produced by their solar panels. With net metering, you only pay for the electricity that you use beyond what your solar panels can generate. Net metering is slightly different in Wisconsin and Illinois. Ask your energy consultant for more details.

CAN I AFFORD SOLAR AND WHAT FINANCING OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE?

If you can afford to pay your electricity bill you can afford to go solar. We have both 0 down unsecured loans and secured loans.

Solar Incentives

What is a tax credit?

A tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction in the amount of income tax you would otherwise owe. For example, claiming a $1,000 federal tax credit reduces your federal income taxes due by $1,000. The federal tax credit is sometimes referred to as an Investment Tax Credit, or ITC, though is different from the ITC offered to businesses that own solar systems.

Read more on the energy.gov article.

What is the federal solar tax credit?

The federal residential solar energy credit is a tax credit that can be claimed on federal income taxes for a percentage of the cost of a solar photovoltaic (PV) system. (Other types of renewable energy are also eligible for similar credits but are beyond the scope of this guidance.)

The system must be placed in service during the tax year and generate electricity for a home located in the United States. There is no bright-line test from the IRS on what constitutes “placed in service,” but the IRS has equated it with completed installation.

In December 2020, Congress passed an extension of the ITC, which provides a 26% tax credit for systems installed in 2020-2022, and 22% for systems installed in 2023. (Systems installed before December 31, 2019 were eligible for a 30% tax credit.) The tax credit expires starting in 2024 unless Congress renews it.

There is no maximum amount that can be claimed.

Read more on the energy.gov article.

WHAT INCENTIVES ARE AVAILABLE?

There is a 26% federal tax credit for all installations. Both Illinois and Wisconsin have individual incentives, and commercial projects qualify for 100% depreciation in the first year. Check out our Solar Panel INCENTIVES page for more information.

Am I eligible to claim the federal solar tax credit?

You might be eligible for this tax credit if you meet all of the following criteria:

  • Your solar PV system was installed between January 1, 2006, and December 31, 2023.
  • The solar PV system is located at your primary or secondary residence in the United States, or for an off-site community solar project, if the electricity generated is credited against, and does not exceed, your home’s electricity consumption. The IRS has permitted a taxpayer to claim a section 25D tax credit for purchase of a portion of a community solar project.
  • You own the solar PV system (i.e., you purchased it with cash or through financing but you are neither leasing nor are in an arrangement to purchase electricity generated by a system you do not own).
  • The solar PV system is new or being used for the first time. The credit can only be claimed on the “original installation” of the solar equipment.

Read more on the energy.gov article.

IF THE TAX CREDIT EXCEEDS MY TAX LIABILITY, WILL I GET A REFUND?

This is a nonrefundable tax credit, which means you will not get a tax refund for the amount of the tax credit that exceeds your tax liability. Homeowners may get a tax refund at the end of the year due to the tax credit, if the reduction in tax liability means there was overpayment during the year. This can often occur when employers deduct taxes for employees over the course of the year. However, such refund is still limited by the taxpayer’s total tax liability. However, you can carry over any unused amount of tax credit to the next tax year.

Read more on the energy.gov article.

The Inflation Reduction Act Passed: What That Means for Solar

The Inflation Reduction Act Passed: What That Means for Solar

Welcome to the IRA Deep Dive for Solar Geeks The news has been brimming with headlines like “The Senate just passed one of the biggest bills to fight climate change, ever”, “the boldest climate package in US history”, or this heavy-hitter, “Inflation Reduction Act...

Refer Your Friends and Family to Sun Badger Solar

Refer Your Friends and Family to Sun Badger Solar

If you've experienced the amazing benefits of a Sun Badger® Solar solar panel system, then you know how wonderful it can be — the customer service, the cost savings, and the ease of having solar panels. We want you to know about our Sun Badger Advocate referral...

Solar Batteries & Storage

DO SOLAR PANELS NEED BATTERIES?

No, our systems use the existing electrical grid to manage the system, and net metering from the utility to buy and sell electricity.

CAN I GO OFF GRID?

Yes, you can, but the system would involve redundancy such as generators, which can be very expensive. Grid tied systems are a fantastic return on investment and 99% of our work.

The Advantages of the Enphase IQ8 Microinverter

The Advantages of the Enphase IQ8 Microinverter

Microinverters are inverters attached to one solar panel that converts DC power to AC power, which is the type we need for our homes and businesses. Sun Badger® Solar is a solar developer that serves Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, and Florida. We focus on offering...

3G Disruption

What is a CDMA/GSM modem?

For cellular-based monitoring to function, solar inverters contain a modem operating on Global Systems for Mobile (GSM) or Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA), a radio network used by wireless carriers. These networks are more commonly referred to as 2G and 3G and were widely used in the early years of cellular communication technology, with CDMA being the predominant network in the US.

Why is a modem replacement necessary?

Wireless communications protocols become obsolete over time, and the wireless carriers (Verizon, AT&T, etc.) are phasing out old networks (2G/3G) in favor of faster, upgraded networks. Many solar systems installed more than three years ago likely have equipment designed for the network technology of the time (2G/3G).

What is 365 Pronto?

365 Pronto is our technology and logistics partner. It is a technology platform company matching asset owners (you) with an on-demand, qualified workforce (local service providers) through automated DNA-match technology. Because of its unique model, it can service the entirety of our solar systems under trading.

How much will a new modem cost?

Through our partnership, we negotiated a special price just for Wisconsin and Illinois Sun Badger Solar customers:  $573.75 for the meter and installation. However, you’re eligible for a 20% in-market price discount on your modem if you register for your replacement before February 15. That means a reduced price of $495*, but you’ve got to book in this time frame for when 365 Pronto, our technology and logistics partner, is conducting the work in your area. 

*Disclaimer: Price is subject to i) applicable sales tax on equipment and ii) change, based on availability and when you reserve your modem. Once your 365 Pronto service provider has your modem in stock, they will reach out to you to schedule the installation.

When will my new modem be installed?

The ongoing effects of the pandemic have caused worker shortages, which have impacted factory production of goods, including modems. Delays at major ports have slowed down shipping and delivery schedules even more. 

Once your 365 Pronto service provider has your equipment in stock, they will reach out to you to schedule the installation. At that time, 365 Pronto will process your payment for the installation. In some cases, the homeowner does not have to be present during the installation. However, if the unit is in the garage, it may be necessary for you to be present during the installation.

Will my modem stop working after the purchase deadline?

Your modem will continue to monitor your output; however, it will no longer communicate directly with the monitoring portal after the 3G sunset, which is scheduled to happen as early as February 22. After this time, you will lose your ability to monitor your system performance and receive remote diagnostic services from Sun Badger Solar.

If you live in Illinois, your contract with Carbon Solutions Group (CSG) to obtain your SRECs requires you to maintain CSG’s access to your production data through the monitoring portal. If you do not replace your modem, you will be in breach of this contract, which could result in fees charged by CSG.

If you have specific questions about your account, please contact monitoring@sunbadger.com.

Will the modem be sent to my home?

No. Once your 365 Pronto service provider has your modem in stock, they will reach out to you to schedule the installation. In many cases, you do not have to be present during the installation.

Do I need to do anything once the new modem is installed?

No. Once your new modem is installed, it will communicate your solar output with the monitoring portal as usual. If you have questions about your account, please contact monitoring@sunbadger.com.

How do I know my modem is working?

We will provide email confirmation to let you know that the system is working. If you have questions about your account, please contact monitoring@sunbadger.com.

Whom should I contact to cancel a work order? Is this possible in the first place?

If, on the rare occasion, a customer wishes to cancel an order, they should submit the request to support@365pronto.com.

Is the 365 Pronto Wizard secure?

The security of the 365 Pronto platform and website is paramount, and we treat customer information with the utmost care. Information is captured by 365 Pronto through our platform and stored on AWS servers. 365 Pronto is an AWS native platform, and for that reason, we use the Well-Architected framework provided by that cloud provider. We follow the design principles proposed in their security pillar. These include principles such as (1) Implementing a strong identity foundation, (2) Enabling traceability, (3) Applying security at all layers, (4) Automating security best practices, (5) Protecting data in transit and at rest, (6) Keeping people away from our data, and (7) Preparation for security events. Anyone with additional questions should reach out to support@365pronto.com.

Is there a 365 Pronto customer service phone number to call for assistance with registering? How can clients sign up if they do not have a computer?

Currently, we offer chat support via the website and email support. Although we can help customers with the process, they need to access our platform to purchase their modem. They can log into the sign-up wizard from any browser on a phone, laptop, or device of their choice. Anyone with questions should reach out to support@365pronto.com.

The Sun Badger Solar Team

What’s your team like? I’m not the most educated when it comes to solar and I don’t want to feel like I’m asking silly questions!

Our entire team from sales consultants to solar designers to install crews are all a part of Sun Badger because they truly believe in the tech and benefits behind solar energy. All we want to do is pass that knowledge onto you, so EVERY question is a great question!

We want you to get just as excited about solar as we are. Plus, we’ve got that classic Midwest work ethic, where satisfaction is the standard, but exceeding expectations is the goal.

What makes you different from other solar installation companies, particularly the national brands I’ve heard of?

This one is easy! When you work with Sun Badger, you work directly with us. Those national brands hire subcontractors that pop in and pop out with no skin in the game. And in cases where we do work with contractors, you can rest easy that we are incredibly stringent about the installation team with whom we partner. You will still work directly with Sun Badger Solar throughout the project, as well as connect with our in-house service department to handle any issues that arise. Plus, we are always working on market expansions and growing our team.

Interested in Learning More?

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