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Knowledge Library

Knowledge Library

Our Process

At Home Solar Authority, we make the buying process simple while also making sure you get the lowest possible price by skipping the sales commission! Here are the steps in our process:

  • 1Select the system you want to purchase. This is done by Building Your Own System, selecting one of our Pre-Packaged Deals or by our Name Your Own Price tools. In either case, you will receive an email confirmation from our staff listing the system you are purchasing along with with system pricing.
  • 2Within 24 hours of selecting your system, you will be contacted by our staff to schedule a home inspection where we verify that your roof and electrical system are solar ready.
  • 3Within 24 to 48 hours after the home inspection, you will be contacted by our staff to complete your purchase agreement and any finance documents (if applicable).
  • 4Once your documents are completed, we will complete your engineering diagram within 48 to 72 hours. We will send you the image showing the final layout of your solar system for your approval. After you give final approval of the layout, we will file for your building permit
  • 5Building permits are usually received within one to two weeks of filing with your building department. In some jurisdictions, building permits are even offered over the counter!
  • 6Once we have received your permit, we will schedule your installation within 1 to 2 weeks.
  • 7After installation is completed and your building department has inspected and approved the system installation, we will handle the interconnection to the grid which takes another 1 to 2 weeks.
  • 8That’s it! You are now solar powered!

Standard Vs. Premiun Panels

In their simplest form, panels are usually measured by their efficiency rating and their long term degradation. We do not use polycrystalline panels (they are blue) due to their low efficiency rating, especially in the summer heat. All panels we use are monocrystalline (black) instead. Most brands of solar panels have an efficiency rating between 17.5% to 18%. And after 25 years, all tier one panels must produce at least 80% of the power they did on day one. Most solar panels offer a 25 year production guarantee of 80.1%, 80.2%, etc.

Our Standard Panel is the Hanwha Q Cell which carries a minimum efficiency rating of 18.4% and come with a 25 year production guarantee of at least 84%. This would be considered a “premium” panel by most standards, but not at Home Solar Authority!

Our Premium Panels for our pre-packaged deals are manufactured by Panasonic and carry a minimum efficiency rating of 19.9 with a 25 year production guarantee of at least 91%. That means that even after 25 years, they have only lost 9% of their efficiency! When building your own system, you can choose from a larger number of brands. And a full comparison of brands is available here.


If you are looking to add batteries to your system, we exclusively use the Sonnen brand on our pre-packaged deals. Unlike LG or Tesla, the Sonnen battery does not use Nickel Manganese Cobalt, a highly flammable battery known to self combust! Although they cost more than the NMC batteries, Sonnen batteries will last considerably longer, are safer and are non-toxic to the environment when they reach the end of their useful life. However, under the “Name Your Own Price” function, you can purchase any brand of battery you wish.

How Financing Works

For any purchase you make with Home Solar Authority, we offer numerous finance options. Of course, if you have the ability to self-finance (cash), you receive a 15% discount! However, if you need financing, we are able to finance almost any home, regardless of credit.

If you finance your system, there is no money out of pocket for you! Typically, your first payment is not made on your solar loan until 60 days after your system has been installed. Your monthly payment is guaranteed to be lower than your existing utility bill.And unlike your utility bill, the price is fixed and will never increase!

The federal government offers a bottom line tax credit (not a tax write off, but a bottom line tax credit!) that can cover up to 30% of the system cost. For the first 18 months, your payment is set as if you had already received your 30% tax credit and had applied that tax credit towards the solar loan. Then, at the end of the initial 18 month period, your loan will re-ammortize. This means that whatever balance remains on your solar loan after month 18 will determine the monthly payment amount.

If you were to collect the 30% tax credit and apply it towards the loan during the initial 18 months, your long term payment amount would be the same amount that you paid during the initial 18 months. You may opt to apply excess money towards your loan to make the payment lower after the 18 month period. Or, the opposite would be true if you chose not to apply the 30% tax credit towards the solar loan.

Please note, we are not tax advisors and you should consult a tax professional if you are not sure that you have the tax burden to capture the federal tax credit.

How the Federal Tax Credit Works

When you install a solar system, 30% of your total project costs (including equipment, permitting and installation) can be claimed as a credit on your federal tax return. If you spend $10,000 on your system, you owe $3,000 less in taxes the following year.

For example, let’s assume you are capturing a $3,000 tax credit for a solar purchase in 2019 and when you do your taxes for 2019, you are expecting a refund of $1,000 and you paid federal income taxes throughout 2019 in excess of the $3,000 tax credit. In this scenario, you would get a refund of $4,000 instead of $1,000. Or, in cases where you owed $3,000 in taxes for 2019 and you made this same purchase, you would instead owe no taxes at all! However, if you are in a situation where you did not pay federal income taxes of at least $3,000 in 2010, you would not be eligible to receive the full $3,000 in a single year and would need to spread out the tax credit over multiple years.

Keep in mind, the federal government will soon begin reducing the federal tax credit as follows:

  • 2019: 30%
  • 2020: 26%
  • 2021: 22%
  • 2022: 0% (10% for commercial projects)

Please note, we are solar experts and not tax advisors. Please consult your tax professional for more information.

What is the difference between a Ground Mount and an Elevated Ground Mount.
This is best illustrated by comparing these two images

(insert a ground mount picture and an elevated ground mount picture)

Who will install your system?

Home Solar Authority has a network of solar companies across different geographies. All of our installers are vetted by our staff to meet minimum requirements and you will have the opportunity to investigate your solar installer prior to signing any final contracts. In all cases, your solar nstaller must have been in business for a minimum of 3 years, must have a license with the state licensing board (in good standing) and must offer a minimum 10 year labor warranty for their work. Please note, some of our installers offer a 20 year labor warranty instead. And all installers must warrant their roof penetrations (when applicable) to insure that there are no roof leaks. Additionally, all installers must carry a minimum $2M insurance policy as well as workers compensation and meet all other state, federal and local laws regarding their employees. If any installer receives higher than a 3% rate of dissatisfied customer, they are immediately banned from working with Home Solar Authority. This is the highest such bar in the industry!

What kind of warranties or guarantees are offered?

All solar panels come with a 25 year production guarantee. In the event a panel is not producing the power it is supposed to make, a free replacement is offered by the manufacturer. Premium panels go beyond this standard by also covering the shipping cost of the replacement panel as well. However, it should be noted that the failure rate of panels is exceptionally low. And with no moving parts, it is extremely rare for a panel to need replacement.

All inverters we will utilize come with a minimum 12 year warranty; in the case of Enphase, it is a 25 year warranty. If you opt for a brand that has a 12 year warranty (SolarEdge, Fronius, SMA, etc.), we highly recommend purchasing the extended 25 year warranty. Typically this will add approximately $500 to your purchase price (less than $2 per month). But considering that most inverters last only 12 to 15 years and will require replacement at a cost of several thousand dollars, this is a wise decision to make at the time of purchase.

All installers working with Home Solar Authority must offer a minimum 10 year labor warranty for their work. Please note, some of our installers offer a 20 year labor warranty instead. And all installers must warrant their roof penetrations (when applicable) to insure that there are no roof leaks. All of our installers are vetted by our staff to meet minimum requirements and you will have the opportunity to investigate your solar installer prior to signing any final contracts.

Get Your Free Solar Estimate

Why wait? Try our hassle free System Builder Tool for a free estimate today. No sales calls, no pressure, and no funny business… just the numbers. Say hello to clean energy, and goodbye to your utility bill.

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