Frequently Asked Questions

We understand that considering solar energy for your business can lead to many questions. To help, we’ve compiled answers to the most common questions we receive. We aim to provide clear and helpful information to guide you through the process and ensure you feel confident in your decision to go solar. If you have any additional questions, feel free to reach out. We’re here to help every step of the way.

Solar generation projects placed in service after Dec. 31, 2022, and located within an “energy community” will be entitled to a 10% additional ITC. An energy community is defined to include (i) a brownfield site; (ii) a census tract or any adjoining tract in which a coal mine closed after Dec. 31, 1999, or a coal-fired electric power plant was retired after Dec. 31, 2009; and (iii) an area that has (or, at any time during the period beginning after Dec. 31, 1999, had) significant employment or local tax revenue related to the extraction, processing, transport or storage of coal, oil or natural gas.

The bonus credit provides a 10 percentage point increase to the investment tax credit for qualified solar and wind energy facilities with a maximum net output of less than five megawatts (AC). Under Section 48(e)(2)(A)(iii)(I), the term low-income community is generally defined under section 45D(e)(1), with certain modifications described elsewhere in section 45D(e), as any population census tract if the poverty rate for such tract is at least 20 percent 20 percent, or, in the case of a tract not located within a metropolitan area, the median family income for such tract does not exceed 80 percent of statewide median family income, or in the case of a tract located within a metropolitan area, the median family income for such tract does not exceed 80 percent of the greater of statewide median family income or the metropolitan area median family income.

Solar generation projects placed in service after Dec. 31, 2022, that satisfy a new domestic content requirement will be entitled to a 10% additional ITC. To qualify for this bonus, the taxpayer must certify that any steel and iron or any manufactured product that is a component of the solar system was produced in the United States. Construction material made primarily of steel or iron must be 100% produced in the United States, but this does not apply to steel or iron used as components or subcomponents of other manufactured products. A manufactured product will be deemed to have been produced in the United States if no less than the “adjusted percentage” of the total costs of all such manufactured products is attributable to manufactured products (including components) that are mined, produced or manufactured in the United States.

Under the federal Modified Cost Recovery System (MACRS), businesses may recover investments in solar PV property through depreciation deductions over a 5-year established lifespan. For PV systems, the taxable basis of the equipment must be reduced by 50% of any federal tax credits associated with the system. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 included provisions that modified bonus depreciation under Code Section 168(k). Projects placed in service in 2023 qualify for 80% bonus depreciation, which means in the first year of service, companies can elect to depreciate 80% of the basis while the remaining 20% is depreciated under the normal MACRS schedule.

Yes! In fact, most PV systems installed on flat-roofed commercial buildings are done so without the need for any roof penetrations. It depends on several factors such as the type of structure and area wind speeds. In most cases, we’re able to utilize ballasted racking systems which rely on concrete ballast weight to secure the PV arrays in place—even in high winds.

Yes! A power purchase agreement could be a way for you to adopt solar power without the need for a large purchase. It all begins with a feasibility study.

Yes! We offer loan products with competitive interest rates ranging from 5 to 25 years.

Yes! If your solar energy system produces more than you’re consuming, you can sell that surplus generation back to your electric provider if you have the right plan in place. In fact, we’ve become adept at brokering the best solar-buyback rates possible for our customers by leaning on the strong relationships we’ve built with partners at electric utility companies and leading retail electric providers in Texas and across the country.

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Residential solar energy often comes with many questions. You may have heard that solar is free or that the government pays for it – neither of these is true. To help you navigate the facts and myths, we’ve gathered answers to the most common questions about home solar systems. Check below for more details, and if you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to support you in your journey to solar energy.

Our free Site Inspections have taken us to homes all over the greater Houston area. We’ve yet to come across any one for which solar didn’t make sense.

Some homes are ideal in that they experience little-to-no shading and offer plenty of south-facing roof area on which to install solar panels. The only practical difference between this ideal site and a less-than-ideal site is the length of time it may take for the system to save the owner more in electricity costs than the system itself cost upfront—in other words, the time it will take for the system to pay for itself. At Sunshine Renewable Solutions, our target for every customer is a 100%-offset system. This means that the power generated by the system will offset fully the electricity requirements of the household. Such a system typically pays for itself at roughly the 10-year mark. At a less-than-ideal site, we may only be able to install a system capable of producing, say, 65% of energy requirements—which would extend this period by roughly 45%. Even with only 65% offset, our example system would pay for itself within about 15 years. To keep this in perspective, bear in mind that our manufacturers’ performance warranties cover your panels for 25 years from the date of installation. Even in less-than-ideal conditions, our systems are designed to last—and to provide free, clean power long after they’ve paid for themselves.

If tree shading is an issue at your home, we’ll be glad to help you with the removal of any problem trees. For obvious reasons, we never recommend this solution unless absolutely necessary. In some cases, removing a single tree can mean the difference between a 50% offset and a 100% offset. Don’t worry—your Sunshine solar system will net a carbon emissions offset throughout its service life equal to that of thousands of trees.

Installing solar on your home is a smart financial decision—no matter how long you’ll be living there. The value of a home typically appreciates by nearly the entire cost of the installed system in year one. What other improvements to your home can offer a near dollar-for-dollar increase in the value of your home? (Hint: You won’t get back every dollar you spent on those granite countertops.) What’s more, this appreciation is property tax-exempt!

The icing on this already scrumptious cake is the fact that—although after the federal Investment Tax Credit, you’re only paying 70% of the system cost—your home will likely appreciate in value by well over that amount. If you sell your home shortly after solar installation, you may actually profit from some of that 30% that the federal government paid for!

If you’re planning to sell soon, not only do the numbers work in your favor, your home will likely sell more quickly because it generates its own power.

The Sunshine Renewable Solutions workmanship warranty covers anything resulting from the installation of your solar energy system for 10 years from the completion of installation. Although problems that arise from installation typically become apparent very shortly after completion, we offer 10 years of coverage just so you can be confident in the quality of the work completed on your home. If any concerns arise, we’re not far away.

The panel product warranty is offered by the manufacturer of your photovoltaic panels, and ranges in term from 10 to 25 years from the completion of installation, depending on the manufacturer. This warranty covers any problems which may arise due to manufacturing. This could be premature wear and tear such as cracks in the glass panel covering or corrosion of the metal framing.

The panel performance warranty is also offered by the manufacturer of your photovoltaic panels, and covers them for 25 years after the completion of installation. This warranty guarantees that your panels will decrease in efficiency by no more than 20% during the first 25 years. In other words, a 300-watt panel is guaranteed to produce at least 240 watts to your inverter for a full 25 years. The overall lifespan of photovoltaic panels is typically much longer. We have seen panels in the Houston area that are over 40 years old and still reliably producing clean power.

Photovoltaic panels are much more durable than you may think. They’re made of tough, shatter-resistant materials which typically withstand any threat posed by elements such as high winds and hail. Having said that, if that big pine tree in your yard decides to fall directly onto your panels, they will likely suffer damage. Most homeowner’s insurance policies will cover this kind of damage. We recommend informing your insurer of the fact that you’ve installed a solar energy system on your home once you’ve done so. In the case of most of our customers, this has resulted in no increase in premiums.

It depends on whether your system is equipped to do so. Most solar energy systems installed today are standard, grid-tied systems. ‘Grid-tied’ means that the power the system produces bypasses the building it’s installed on, and goes straight into the power grid. Your energy consumption comes from the grid as it always has, and is weighed by your retail energy provider against the amount that your solar system contributes to the grid (see next question for more details). The alternative to a standard, grid-tied system is a hybrid, grid-tied system. The difference is simply some additional hardware, including an automatic transfer switch, a charge controller, and batteries for storage. Whether installed initially or added as a retrofit to an existing standard, grid-tied system, this additional hardware will allow you to draw power from your system in the event of a grid outage. Due to the high cost of existing battery technology, most solar purchasers today decide against hybrid systems—opting instead for standard systems, with the option to add the hybrid hardware at a later date, when battery technologies have improved in efficiency and cost. Sunshine Renewable Solutions offers a wide range of hardware configurations for both standard and hybrid systems.

If you have the right plan, yes! What you’ll want to look for is a 1-to-1 buyback program. With a 1-to-1 buyback plan, your retail energy provider (REP) will remotely monitor both your contribution to the grid (total power generated by your system) and your total consumption from the grid through a process called net metering. The net balance will be purchased at one predetermined price-per-kWh by either you or your REP. For example, let’s say you’re on such a plan at a fixed 12¢/kWh. During a billing cycle in which you consume a total of 1,500 kWh and produce a total of 1,300 kWh, you would pay a bill of $24. If instead, your production exceeded your consumption by the same 200 kWh, your REP would credit your account $24. At the time of this writing, the Houston-area REPs who offer 1-to-1 buyback programs are Reliant Energy and Green Mountain Energy.

Solar energy systems require virtually zero maintenance. The efficiency of your system may fluctuate slightly due to factors such as dust or pollen. To ensure your system runs at peak efficiency, we recommend simply rinsing your panels off with a garden hose whenever you’re able to see a change in panel color resulting from collection of dust or pollen. That’s pretty much all the maintenance that you can expect your system to require.

No. In the early days of solar, if a single panel received shading from a nearby tree or building, the entire array would be affected. This was a limitation of the more basic ‘string’ inverters that were commonplace back then. Today, most installers offer one or both of the two modern alternatives—either optimizers or micro inverters. Either of these two options afford the owner and installer the ability to monitor panel-by-panel health and production, and allow the system itself to intelligently adjust to any sudden changes in production.

At Sunshine Renewable Solutions, we design solar energy systems for our customers using either optimizers or micro inverters.

Thanks to the federal Investment Tax Credit, 30% of the cost of any solar energy system installed in the U.S. is tax-deductible. Yes, this means that, after the credit, you can expect to have payed only 70% of your total system cost!

In the great state of Texas, any appreciation of home value as a result of installation of a solar energy system is completely exempt from property tax.

Although most HOAs are surprisingly accepting of solar arrays on their residents’ homes, some are unfortunately still reluctant to approve installation of panels that are highly visible from the street. The fact is, if our calculations show that you’ll get at least 10% more production of energy by installing panels on street-facing roof surfaces, your HOA will not be legally allowed to deny your request based on such aesthetic concerns alone.

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Residential Solar

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Energy storage is the cutting edge of energy independence. Understanding energy storage can seem daunting at first glance, but that’s why we’re here. To help simplify the topic, we’ve compiled answers to some of the most common questions we receive. Check below for more details, and if you have any further questions, feel free to reach out. We’re here to make energy storage easy and accessible for you.

Although smaller systems can be engineered to power only certain small appliances during a grid outage, most energy-storage systems we install do indeed back up everything on site.

Chemical battery-based energy-storage systems can range from the size of a suitcase all the way up to the size of a shipping container.It all depends on the application. Most sites have enough space for a battery array capable of providing the needed backup power.

Although chemical-based batteries may last much longer, most battery manufacturers provide a 10-year warranty coverage on batteries installed by a certified installer.

Cost can vary greatly depending on the project and scope. Contact us to explore which battery option is best for your needs.

In short, yes. Most batteries on the market today are resistant to the elements and can be installed either outdoors or indoors. A generally accepted best practice with regard to placement of batteries is to avoid direct sunlight.

With the right agreement or plan in place with your electric provider and/or grid operator, any energy sent back through your meter to the grid will generate revenue.

Yes, energy-storage systems systems qualify for the 30% federal tax credit—with or without solar.

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Follow The Build

Sunshine Renewable Solutions proudly partners with a leading Texas-based plastic manufacturer, embarking on a groundbreaking initiative to fortify its commitment to sustainability.

By integrating solar energy solutions, we're revolutionizing their environmental impact. Our collaborative efforts aim to construct a robust solar infrastructure, harnessing renewable energy to power their operations efficiently.

Together, we're spearheading a transformative shift towards renewable practices, demonstrating how solar power can drive industrial progress while prioritizing environmental responsibility. Sunshine Renewable Solutions is honored to work hand-in-hand with this industry leader, fostering a brighter, greener future through the strategic implementation of solar energy solutions.

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Follow The Build

Creating The Foundation

As the foundational step in our partnership, the construction of concrete piers for the solar panel structure marks a pivotal milestone in our solar energy initiative. These concrete piers serve as the bedrock of support for the entire solar infrastructure, providing stability and durability essential for the efficient functioning of the solar array.

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Precision And Accuracy Are Paramount

Our engineering team meticulously plans and designs the layout of the piers, ensuring they are strategically positioned to uphold the solar panel array's weight and withstand environmental factors such as wind and inclement weather. We adhere to industry standards and best practices to create a robust foundation that guarantees the longevity and resilience of the solar installation.

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A Solid Foundation

Environmental considerations are taken into account throughout the construction process, ensuring minimal disruption to the surrounding ecosystem. Our commitment to sustainability extends beyond energy production to encompass responsible construction practices.

By establishing these concrete piers foundations, we are ready to start Phase 2, erecting the metal support bars. Enabling the subsequent installation of solar panels will power the plastic manufacturer's operations while significantly reducing their carbon footprint.

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Follow The Build

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Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged.

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Texas Plastic

Sunshine Renewable Solutions to Help Formosa Plastics of Point Comfort, Texas, Achieve Sustainability Goals

Formosa Plastics is a major producer of polyethylene, polypropylene, and polyvinyl chloride resins, which are widely used in various industries worldwide. Recognizing its role in environmental stewardship, Formosa Plastics sought to collaborate with a reputable sustainability consultant who can provide solutions to reduce its impact on the environment.

Sunshine Renewable Solutions is a leading sustainability consulting firm that specializes in renewable energy and environmental sustainability. The company has a team of experts who help clients identify opportunities to reduce energy consumption, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and implement sustainable practices through solar power.