Frequently Asked Questions
How much can I save with solar?
It depends how much energy you use on average and what type of solar system you choose. Grid-Tie solar systems without batteries are the most popular and most affordable with quickest ROI break-even but can only power your daytime loads. Most residential customers with moderate daytime consumption can save 20-30% with grid-tie systems. Residential customers with nighttime biased consumption may save only 10% with grid-tie. Commercial and industrial customers with daytime only operations can save 50-60% with grid-tie systems. It is possible to massively oversize grid-tie systems to get more savings with net-metering (see relevant topics below).
Hybrid solar systems with batteries are more expensive than grid-tie but a better option for customers with nighttime biased energy consumption (i.e. no one is home during the daytime) and customers who suffer frequent brown-outs. Hybrid solar system store energy in batteries which you can self-consume at nighttime. This greatly increases your solar self-sufficiency. Hybrid systems typically save 50-100% depending how big a system you install and how much energy you use.
What size system do I need?
For grid-tie systems the best ROI is achieved by sizing the system to cover daytime "base load". Base load are those appliances that run continuously all day such as refrigerators, air conditioners, lights, fans, TV, etc. Cyclical appliances such as water pumps are typically not included in the sizing calculation. Grid-tie solar systems are perfect for business with daytime operations and residences that are typically occupied in the daytime with air conditioning usage. The best advice is to start conservatively with a small system, apply for net metering with your cooperative, monitor the self-consumption for a few months and expand the system as needed once net metering is setup. Click here to see how it work.
Hybrid systems are much more flexible. You can start with any size system that fits your budget. Any excess energy during the daytime will be stored in the batteries for self-consumption at night. You can expand the system slowly over time by adding more panels and batteries to increase your self-sufficiency all the way up to 100% to cancel your monthly energy bill. Click here to see how it works.
Off-Grid systems are the most expensive type. It is best to oversize these systems with more panels and batteries than you typically need in order to have enough energy production and storage capacity to get through periods of inclement weather. It's no fun running out of power on a rainy day so it's best to design these systems with lots of batteries. Click here to learn more.
How can I "zero" my monthly bill?
Absolutely!!! Technical advances in battery storage technology and the falling prices of Lithium-Ion batteries makes hybrid solar systems the contemporary solution for achieving 100% solar self-sufficiency. We just install enough panels to generate your typical 24 hour energy consumption with enough battery storage to cover your nighttime consumption. The more power you use during the daytime and the less at night then the smaller and less expensive your hybrid system will be.
The "old fashioned" method of achieving a P0 monthly bill is to grossly oversize a grid-tie system so that it produces twice as much excess energy in the daytime as you use at nighttime. This assumes of course that you have enough roof space for that many panels.
Click here to visit our dedicated web page to compare the two methods and learn more.
I want my solar system to work during brownouts, which system should I get?
Only a battery based Hybrid solar system is able to produce power during brown-outs. Contrary to popular myths, grid-tie solar systems (without batteries) cannot operate during brown-outs; they automatically shut-down after 2 seconds of grid-power loss in order to comply with national safety standards defined by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).
Hybrid solar systems have built-in automatic transfer switches and flips over to backup power in 20ms when loss of grid power is detected. You won't even notice the lights flicker when a grid power failure occurs. We typically wire the system during installation to power critical load circuits such as lights, fans, ref, TV, WiFi, outlets, etc. during brown-outs. Non-critical, heavy duty loads such as air conditioners are typically excluded to prolong battery power so they will cease to operate during grid-power outages. Click here to take a closer look at how it works.
What is Net Metering and how do I get it?
Net Metering is a national program under the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) allowing qualified end-users to export excess energy produced by their solar system back to the cooperative (distribution utility) in exchange for credits towards their energy bill. The cooperative credits the end-user the equivalent of the combined generation charges which is typically between P4-5/kWh. Once the net metering application is processed the cooperative will replace the customer's meter with a bi-directional, net meter which is able to measure the energy being received from the grid as well as the delivered (exported) energy. Both import and export readings are taken monthly and used to calculate the amount of credits earned by the exported energy which is then subtracted from the cost of the imported energy.
We support our customers all the way through the application process including the initial letter of intent to start the process followed by blue print of the solar system's wiring schematic signed and sealed by a PEE (Professional Electrical Engineer). Typically the LGU and the cooperative will inspect the installation before fitting the new net meter on the pole. Our installations fully comply with the Philippine Electrical Code and the latest ERC regulations. We include the installation of the "service disconnect" and generation meter as required by the cooperative. All our inverters are fully compliant with the latest Philippine requirements.
I only have budget for a small system but want to get started with solar, can I expand the system later?
Yes, absolutely; this is a common strategy for most of our customers and we encourage it especially with grid-tie systems. It is more conservative with grid-tie systems to start small, get net metering setup, then expand the system up to the point where the daytime base load is satisfied with no more than 10% of excess energy exported to the grid. Hybrid systems can start very small with just 1 battery and grow over time until you reach 100% self-sufficiency and "zero" your monthly bill. It is also possible to retrofit existing grid-tie systems with a hybrid inverter if you want more savings than the grid-tie system alone is able to deliver. Click here to see some of our most popular residential systems. Industrial and commercial customers typically start with a small system and expand it later to spread the capital costs out over time.
Which type of batteries should I use Lithium-Ion or Lead-Acid? What's the difference?
My business operates during daytime hours 6 days per week excluding holidays, what happens to the solar energy when the business is closed?
Commercial and industrial typically all need to apply for and setup net metering with their cooperative. Net metering allows your solar system to run at 100% even when your business is closed and exports all of the energy back to the grid. The cooperative credits your bill at the end of the month for the energy you delivered to them. Those credits off-set the costs of energy you buy from them in the early mornings and late afternoons when the solar system cannot satisfy the load. This ensures you get the maximum value and savings from your solar system 365 days per year. Your solar system will be hard at work saving you money even when the business is closed.
No one is home during the daytime, can I still save money with solar?
Yes but a Hybrid solar system is most likely the best option. If the house is unoccupied during daytime then you need only a very small grid-tie system to cover the base load and your monthly savings would be negligible too. The hybrid system lets you harness the sun's energy during the daytime in batteries and use it at nighttime for maximum savings. Click here to learn more.
Do you offer financing?
We are not a bank so we do not offer loans for solar systems. A solar system is a long-term investment with a guaranteed high rate of return better than the yield from any savings account. It is generally not advisable to borrow money on credit to invest in a savings account; the same principle applies with solar. You can start with a small solar system though that fits your current budget then expand it later. Special "green" financing programs exist and may be available to commercial and industrial customers who need more than a 100kWp system.