Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re like most of our customers, you have tons of questions about going solar.  To that end Solar Harmonics has the created the world’s first Solar Podcast, called Straight-Talk Solar Cast! This is your go-to podcast for answers about solar! (Please Subscribe here.) In every episode we discuss the most important decisions facing anyone considering solar.  Check our episodes below!


How Should We Deal with PG&E Shutdowns?

In this week’s podcast, we discuss another shutdown horror story, how the solar industry is preparing for more shutdowns, and working together with our clients to help us all deal with the new normal.

Learn more on our podcast!

What Should we Expect in 2020 in Solar?

In this week’s podcast we discuss the new rules going into effect in 2020, and how they will affect the solar industry. Specifically, we discuss the reduction of the solar tax credit from 30% to 26%, and how solar is now mandatory on new homes.

Learn more on our podcast!

What Happens When PG&E Shuts off the Power? Real-Life Battery Backup Story

In this week’s podcast, we talk about all of the recent action going on in the world of solar power, and a quick update on a client who did have a backup battery installed before the PG&E shutdown, and her experience relying on backup power from her battery.

Learn more on our podcast!

What's the Good News in Solar? Battery Backups!

In this week’s podcast, we discuss the good news in solar power among all of the PG & E power shut down craziness.  Many people are feeling the pain of the shutdowns and are now motivated to go solar and add battery backup to their homes and businesses.

Learn more on our podcast!

Who Should Expect to be Affected by Future PG&E Shutdowns?

In this week’s podcast, we continue to discuss the implications of the intentional power shutdown by PG&E, who the shutdown affects, and why the shutdown is not a temporary isolated event.  This may be the new normal…

Learn more on our podcast!

What is The Solar Game Changer - PG&E's Planned Power Outages?

In this week’s podcast, we discuss the 2019 Planned Power Outage by PG&E, and the implications the outage has on the solar industry, along with how the outage impacted over 900,000 people in PG&E territory at the same time!

Learn more on our podcast!

What About the PG&E Shutdowns?

In this week’s podcast, we discuss the recent shutdown by PG&E, the implications, and strategies for our clients with future shutdowns.  Over 900,000 PG&E customers lost power for more than 5 days, and we discuss the role solar power can have to mitigate future outages.

Learn more on our podcast!

What Are Solar Energy System Disclosures?

In this week’s podcast, we discuss the new disclosure requirement for solar projects.  Customers must sign off they have reviewed the solar disclosures regarding PACE, HERO, leases, and unlicensed contractors.  Solid solar companies are annoyed at the new disclosures as they are unnecessary, but shaky solar companies should be nervous…

Learn more on our podcast!

Does Solar Affect My Real Estate?

In today’s podcast, we discuss the affects of solar leasing on today’s real estate deals.  We talk about PACE & HERO loans, and how they affect a real estate sale or loan refinance, and much more. Educating the real estate professionals about solar financing is a big hurdle for the solar industry and its future growth.

Know anyone in the real estate industry? This would be a great podcast to share with them!

Learn more on our podcast!

Are Online Reviews Biased?

In this week’s podcast, we discuss not only the upcoming federal solar tax credit decreasing to 26 % on January 1st, 2020, but we also discuss how reliable online reviews, review services, and solar panel reviews are, and what to look for to avoid bias in the reviews.

Learn more on our podcast!

30% Solar Federal Tax Credit is Shrinking

 The 30% Federal Tax Credit is declining to 26% percent on January 1st, 2020.  In this week’s podcast, we discuss how that change is affecting today’s solar customer, what to expect, and the overall impact the tax credit has on solar decisions.

Learn more on our podcast!

Solar + BitCoin Mining

Wondering how excess solar energy can be used to ‘mine’ for BitCoin and other cryptocurrencies?  There is some time and investment required, but the opportunity is still there, and solar power makes this process even more profitable. Learn more on our podcast!

Client Ghosting & How to be a Great Solar Client

In this week’s podcast we discuss client ghosting, and how to be a great solar client.  And how this all ties into be a better individual so we can all get along better in our society together. Learn more on our podcast!

Energy Independence

With everything in life seeming to get more expensive, going solar gives you a sense of independence from not only the electric company, but when solar is combined with an electric car, you also get independence from the gas/oil industries too.  Add in the tax benefits and more people will join us and ask, “Why didn’t I do this sooner?” Learn more on our podcast!

Solar + Backup Generators

Leatn the pros and cons of backup generators vs battery backup systems.  PG&E is sending out a ton of notices to their customers letting them know of planned outages, and most solar clients are considering a battery backup to cover for the outages.  In this week’s podcast, we discuss how a backup generator is a better solution than a battery system for backup power.

Here is a link to Generac’s Home Backup Generator Sizing Calculator mentioned in the podcast.

Learn more on our podcast!

Solar for HOA's

In this week’s podcast, we discuss one of the untapped markets in the world of solar power – Home Owner’s Associations.  These groups are challenging and rewarding to work with, and we discuss the best practices so both sides come out with a win/win at the end of the project.

Learn more on our podcast!

This Week in Solar

In this week’s episode we discuss recent solar news.  This Week in Solar Power – we cover lots of exciting topics from Solar Tariffs, PG&E approval times, and solar farms.  Action packed solar podcast!

Stories mentioned in this week’s podcast:

Learn more on our podcast!

PG&E Planned Blackouts

In this week’s episode we discuss recent solar news.  Did you know that PG&E is planning rolling blackouts for the summer? This is generating a lot of interest in solar power + battery systems.  We discuss the substance vs. the fluff.  And a few more happenings this week in solar industry news.  Here’s a recent quote from NPR:

“This year, for the first time, the company may shut down the giant,  high-voltage transmission lines that serve as arteries to the system,  possibly leaving large cities like San Francisco and San Jose, hundreds  of miles from a wildfire zone, in the dark. This is raising concerns  about how widespread power shutdowns will affect the most vulnerable.”

Learn more on our podcast!

Feedback from Solar Internet Trolls

In this week’s episode we explore how the solar industry continues to shoot itself in the foot with high pressure sales, poor communication and unrealistic expectations. Learn more on our podcast!

What Makes a Nice Solar Installation Experience?

In this week’s episode, Solar Expert Jamie Duran describes how to make your solar experience a nice, friendly, transaction that will exceed your expectations. Learn more on our podcast!

Electric Vehicles & Solar Energy

Not exactly in the realm of solar energy, but how we commute each day affects how we live each day. In today’s podcast we discuss how electric vehicles are becoming much common and how solar energy can become the fuel of the future. Learn more on our podcast!

Another Solar Lease Nightmare

Check out this new nightmare for solar leasing customers, and this one is on a big scale! Learn more on our podcast!

Survey from the SGIP (Battery Storage Questions)

In this week’s podcast, Jamie Duran answers questions from the Self Generation Incentive Program regarding battery storage questions.

Like always, the answer are straight forward and explain why battery storage in PG & E territory do not make much if any financial sense.
We go in depth on these reasons, and hopefully in another upcoming podcast, we can hear the responses from the SGIP people as well.

Learn more on our podcast!

Whole House Fans & Solar

Whole house fans are great for two story homes and can reduce air conditioning costs by 40 – 60%. Learn more on our podcast!

Why is it necessary to use a licensed contractor for your solar project?

In this week’s podcast, we answer the question “Why is it necessary to use a licensed contractor for your solar project? Learn the answer on our podcast!

I Got a Better Deal

In this week’s podcast, we focus on the “I Got a Better Deal” situation that is all too common in the solar industry.  Learn more on our podcast!

How to Prepare for Going Solar

Want to make your solar installation go as smooth as possible? Check out this podcast as solar Expert Jamie Duran details the exact steps you need to take care of so you can get ahead of the solar installation process.  Learn more on our podcast!

Solar Financing

The adage “too good to be true” is alive and well in the solar industry, especially when it comes to financing your solar panel system.  In this podcast Jamie breaks down the dangers of unrealistic interest rates on unsecured loans for solar.  Many financing companies advertise unbelievable  interest rates for loans – but those loans come with a 15% or 20% loan fee that many times isn’t disclosed properly in the solar contract.  Listen to this podcast to learn the best way to finance your solar panel system, and the ONE question you need to ask when going solar. Learn more on our podcast!

Whole House Fans & Solar

Whole house fans are great for two story homes and can reduce air conditioning costs by 40 – 60%. Learn more on our podcast!

Swimming Pools & Solar

Changing from a single speed pool pump to a variable speed pool pump can save $50 – $100 per month in electricity costs. Learn more on our podcast!

Solar Monitoring - Why You'd Be Crazy not to Monitor Your System

Many other solar companies do not monitor their client’s systems. Sometimes power surges or outages happen that shut off the solar from the breaker panel. Without monitoring, you can go months without noticing no solar production. Learn more on our podcast!

Paralysis Through Analysis – Choosing the Right Solar Company

Checking a company’s reputation with the state contractor board, online reviews, awards and certifications all give a good indication of how well the installer’s customers would go solar again with that company. Learn more on our podcast!

Solar & Newly Built Homes

California is now requiring new homes to come with solar. How in the world will a customer know what their usage will be when they have never lived there? It makes more sense to have the home ready for solar, and use energy efficient appliances and then go solar after 1 year. Learn more on our podcast!

Diamond Certified & Checking Your References

With Diamond Certified, they sampled 100 of our past clients and asked them 6 questions. Solar Harmonics scored a 9.9 out of 10 rating that our clients would use us again for their solar projects. Learn more on our podcast!

Solar Lease = The Albatross on the Roof

Do you know anyone in the real estate or mortgage business? Ask them their experience with solar leases, PPA’s and PACE loans and you will hear the real estate horror stories that you want to avoid. Most are tragic! Learn more on our podcast!

Rental Properties & Solar

Currently the tenant pays the rent to the landlord, and pays their electricity bill separately. What if the landlord could collect the rent + electricity bill from the tenant at the same time? The value of the rental increases immediately, and the renters tend to stay in the rental much longer. Learn more on our podcast!

The Future of PG&E

As PG & E fights through bankruptcy, we are confident they will still be in business to deliver natural gas and electricity to their clients. Just about everyone expects those costs to increase, so solar power offers a much better alternative in just about every way. Learn more on our podcast!

Commercial Real Estate & Solar

Solar on buildings reduces costs, increases cash flow and that cash flows straight to the bottom line. Divide the increase in cash flow by the market cap rate, and solar increases the value of the building from the first day. Learn more on our podcast!

Community Choice Aggregation

CCA’s such as Marin Clean Energy are fantastic for solar customers. Most will pay much higher rates for solar overproduction than PG & E, and many customers can oversize their systems to get paid $300 – $500 per year. Learn more on our podcast!

Solar and a Pool; What Pool Owner Should Know About Solar

Thermal Water Pool Panels tend to leak over time and use a lot of electricity to pump the water from the pool to the roof and back to the pool. A much more efficient system is an electric heat pump that stays on the ground & uses air induction to heat the pool. Learn more on our podcast!

How To Maximize Your Solar Panel Output

Solar panels need sun to perform at their best. Shade from trees, chimneys, roof structures, satellites dishes, etc. can all reduce the solar panel output. It is in the best interest of the owner to reduce or remove these shading issues if possible to maximize solar output. Learn more on our podcast!

The Golden Year for Solar Power

Every year is a great year for going solar, but we will look back on 2019 as the best year ever as electricity rates will be at record levels, the 30% tax credit is declining, and solar panel prices are as low as they will ever get. Learn more on our podcast!

The Tesla Powerwall

Battery storage in general does not make much financial sense. Storing excess power in a battery system means the system is missing out on the Net Energy Metering credit, which is a huge benefit lost. Learn more on our podcast!

President Trump and Solar Energy

Solar tariffs approved by President Trump have increased prices artificially, pushing suppliers to move their production out of China, but still able to offer relatively low pricing. Very little has happened to increase manufacturing in the United States. Learn more on our podcast!

Solar Roof Tiles from Tesla Solar

We think the roof tiles look and perform great, and we have been installing them for many years now. The downside for most customers is that the tiles produce about 1/5 the energy of a normal solar panel, and they are very expensive to install, generally twice the cost of a standard solar installation. Learn more on our podcast!

Is Solar a Good Investment?

Solar could be the safest investment any homeowner can make. Not only do systems start producing from the first day, but the cost of electricity can only increase. Once the solar panels are paid off, they do not stop producing so the benefits extend 30 years into the future. Learn more on our podcast!

How Do You Make the Decision to Go Solar

In general, if your electricity bill is greater than $100 per month, and you plan to be in your home for the next 5 years, solar is a no brainer. Learn more on our podcast!

What's a Micro-Inverter?

Microinverters allow each solar panel to produce power independently of the other panels, and we often see higher output than other inverter systems. There are some downsides of microinverters however. Learn more on our podcast!

What's an Inverter?

The solar panels themselves generate direct current power from the electrons in the crystalline smashing into each other. The power we use is called alternate current (AC), and the solar inverter “inverts” the DC power to AC power, which is what we use everyday. Learn more on our podcast!

What's the Best Solar Panel?

That’s subjective question as most solar panels are pretty similar in their power generation, efficiency, etc.. It is similar to asking, “what is the best car?” All cars will provide a way to get from A to B, but the best car depends on what is most important to the driver. Same with solar panels, and why we give our clients a choice of “good, better, best” choices. Learn more on our podcast!

Solar & Electric Cars; How We Can Save the Planet

The best strategy maximize your solar investment is to drive an electric vehicle. Your solar panels generate electricity, and charging your electric car from your home reduces the need for fossil fuels from countries are in constant conflict. Learn more on our podcast!

How Much Does Solar Cost?

In general, most solar panel systems break even in 4 – 6 years depending on the size of the electricity bill. In PG & E territory, electricity is very expensive and continues to increase each year. Including the federal tax credit, solar will pay for itself in just about 5 years for homes and 4 years for businesses and farms. Learn more on our podcast!

Leasing Solar vs. Owning Solar

Owning solar has many more benefits than solar leasing. We strongly advise against solar leases, power purchase agreements and PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) loans to finance solar panel systems. Learn more on our podcast!

What's My Return on Investment (ROI) for going Solar?

In general, solar pays for itself in just over 5 years. As electricity costs continue to rise, solar continues to produce power. And as long as the sun rises, solar panels will produce power. And the savings are after tax, so solar can be considered the safest investment possible.As PG & E fights through bankruptcy, we are confident they will still be in business to deliver natural gas and electricity to their clients. Just about everyone expects those costs to increase, so solar power offers a much better alternative in just about every way. Learn more on our podcast!



William B – Pleasant Hill
We have been reviewing solar technology for several years and finally requested bids from several companies. We chose Solar Harmonics for several reasons, a track record of successful installations, the quality of offered solar panels, and a competitive price. The team answered all of our questions in a timely manner and were very knowledgeable about all the ins and outs solar installs and dealing with PG&E. The installation went off without any issues and we are very happy with the end to end system from panels to inverter to monitoring system. We highly recommend Solar Harmonics for solar installations.
William B. in
Victor G – Richmond

We chose Solar Harmonics as our installer due to their astonishing Diamond Certified Rating. Our sales consultant was very knowledgeable and straightforward in explaining the pros and cons of having solar at this time due to future electricity rate hikes we are expected to get by the end of the year. We want to take advantage to lock in on current rates than pay the future rates in kwh.

Solar Harmonics install team did an incredible job installing the 19 solar panels at 300w rating.  We also installed an Ev plug connection in our garage. They matched the paint color on the conduit to our trim color so it blends in so well we couldn't tell there was an installed conduit.

I would recommend Solar Harmonics again and again.  We took less than 4 weeks to plan, install, and connect to the grid to start saving money on electricity. Thank you Solar Harmonics for making this all happen.

Victor G. in
Tim M – Fairfield

I am a 64 year old home owner who worked for 30 years as an aircraft quality engineer. I have never written a review for any product or service, but I am compelled to do so for Solar Harmonics. The service was first class. Any and all emails were answered promptly, most in a matter of minutes. The job of installation was completed professionally with little or no intrusion into my lifestyle. The price for the job was extremely reasonable. Do not go with the big corporate solar installers. You will pay twice as much and get half the service for the same product. A special thank you to the owner of Solar Harmonics who was always there to help with any issues that I had.

Don't think twice. Use Solar Harmonics as your solar installer.

Tim M. in
Sean B – Walnut Creek
2 years later did a second project relocating and adding panels and EV outlets.  Again great pricing, quality work, very flexible, and were more than willing to do little small freebies to make the project great.  They proactively monitored & fixed issues after installation.  Jamie is really responsive and easy to work with.  Installers and Schedulers were great. All the electricians were fantastic. For example they spent an entire day attaching power across the roof to avoid having conduit hurt the aesthetic of the house.  One electrician even showed me how to fix an unrelated electrical problem for free.  I am a picky customer but this is a fantastic company - highly recommend.
Sean B. in
Raul S – Oakley

After shopping around for solar systems, I found Solar Harmonics on YELP, and based on reviews I decided to contact them, their response was fast and he  took the time to explain all the options available and financing options, Solar Harmonics' team are quick at responding e mails or any questions. Crew did an amazing and clean job, they even painted all conduit pipes! I just provided paint for stucco, I would highly recommend Solar Harmonics!

Raul S. in

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