Brightside Solar – FAQs

  • Since solar panels only work during daylight, you still have half of your utility bill at the end of the month. Right?
    • Your solar system will generate a large excess during the day. The system feeds that excess energy to the grid. When the sun goes down, you then draw that energy back from from the grid. At the end of your monthly billing cycle, the utility company calculates how much you have drawn from them and how much you have sent to them. The difference is then applied either as a debit or a credit to your account. This process is known as Net Metering and allows you to fully use your solar system to your best benefit.  
  • What about storm damage to the panels?
    • When your solar system is installed, for about the price of dinner for two, you can add a rider to your homeowner’s policy that covers your solar system. So if a storm damages your solar system, it would be covered with the other damage done to your roof from the storm. Solar panels are made of shatter-resistant materials. They are amazingly resilient. 
  • Do I need to clean or otherwise maintain my panels?
    • Under most conditions, the short answer is no. Panels that are mounted at a slope of at least 20 degrees (which most all panels are) will keep themselves clear of dust or dirt buildup with the rain we normally get. 
  • How much is my federal tax credit?
    • As of 2022, it is 30%. You are free to put that money toward your solar system or you can put it in your pocket. The solar system qualifies for the rebate as do home backup systems when bought with a system AND when purchased alone. 
  • How much do I have to pay up front to get solar installed on my house?
    • As long as you are the homeowner and your credit is decent (> 640), you pay nothing upfront. Our low interest solar loans require no down payment. Going solar is as simple as stopping paying the utility company and starting to pay for your solar system. 
  • What if my roof is in bad shape before I get a solar system?
    • Your roof needs to be in good shape and not in need of replacement.  
  • Can my home be re-roofed after I get a solar system?
    • Absolutely. The panels and the racks are removed, your house is re-roofed and the panels and racks are re-installed. 
  • How much would I save over the life of the system?
    • This depends on a lot of different factors. If your roof is well positioned and completely free of shade, you can save tens of thousands of dollars over 25 years by going solar. What we can do for MOST people, is reduce monthly electric costs by 20-45%. So savings from Day 1 are real. And your new lower cost never goes up. 
  • How long does it take to install?
    • Depending on system size, installation is usually one day or two.  

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  • Do cities or states give rebates in addition to the federal tax credit?
    • Some do and it is worth looking in to. I can help with that as well.  Googling “(yourtown) solar rebate program” is a good place to start. 
  • Can I still get a solar system if I have a lot of trees?
    • Simple answer… yes. But your roof needs to be free enough of shade to get at least 4-5 hours of direct mid-day sunlight for solar to work well for you. Trimming trees is often something that people consider when going solar. 
  • What if I have a lot of debt or my credit isn’t great right now?
    • Fortunately, your credit doesn’t have to be perfect to get a solar loan. The process of qualifying is simple and takes about 10 seconds and they don’t even run a full credit report. We submit your information to the lender and get an instant answer, based on a “soft” credit report, which is what utility, cable and other such companies use to determine eligibility. This process has no effect on your credit and does not register an inquiry, but it is enough to let the lender know whether or not they can move forward.
  • What About My HOA? Can they keep me from installing solar?
    • No. In the state of Texas, your HOA cannot keep you from installing solar panels on your own home as long as they are installed to conform with building and electrical code, installed on your own roof and a few other points that will be obvious to most people installing solar. As a matter of fact,  Sec. 202.010. of Texas Law deals specifically with  REGULATION OF SOLAR ENERGY DEVICES. That section is posted below:
      • Sec. 202.010. REGULATION OF SOLAR ENERGY DEVICES. (a) In this section:(1) “Development period” means a period stated in a declaration during which a declarant reserves:(A) a right to facilitate the development, construction, and marketing of the subdivision; and(B) a right to direct the size, shape, and composition of the subdivision.(1-a) “Residential unit” means a structure or part of a structure intended for use as a single residence and that is:(A) a single-family house; or(B) a separate living unit in a duplex, a triplex, or a quadplex.(2) “Solar energy device” has the meaning assigned by Section 171.107, Tax Code.(b) Except as otherwise provided by Subsection (d), a property owners’ association may not include or enforce a provision in a dedicatory instrument that prohibits or restricts a property owner from installing a solar energy device.(c) A provision that violates Subsection (b) is void.(d) A property owners’ association may include or enforce a provision in a dedicatory instrument that prohibits a solar energy device that:(1) as adjudicated by a court:(A) threatens the public health or safety; or(B) violates a law;(2) is located on property owned or maintained by the property owners’ association;(3) is located on property owned in common by the members of the property owners’ association;(4) is located in an area on the property owner’s property other than:(A) on the roof of the home or of another structure allowed under a dedicatory instrument; or(B) in a fenced yard or patio owned and maintained by the property owner;(5) if mounted on the roof of the home:(A) extends higher than or beyond the roofline;(B) is located in an area other than an area designated by the property owners’ association, unless the alternate location increases the estimated annual energy production of the device, as determined by using a publicly available modeling tool provided by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, by more than 10 percent above the energy production of the device if located in an area designated by the property owners’ association;(C) does not conform to the slope of the roof and has a top edge that is not parallel to the roofline; or(D) has a frame, a support bracket, or visible piping or wiring that is not in a silver, bronze, or black tone commonly available in the marketplace;(6) if located in a fenced yard or patio, is taller than the fence line;(7) as installed, voids material warranties; or(8) was installed without prior approval by the property owners’ association or by a committee created in a dedicatory instrument for such purposes that provides decisions within a reasonable period or within a period specified in the dedicatory instrument.(e) A property owners’ association or the association’s architectural review committee may not withhold approval for installation of a solar energy device if the provisions of the dedicatory instruments to the extent authorized by Subsection (d) are met or exceeded, unless the association or committee, as applicable, determines in writing that placement of the device as proposed by the property owner constitutes a condition that substantially interferes with the use and enjoyment of land by causing unreasonable discomfort or annoyance to persons of ordinary sensibilities. For purposes of making a determination under this subsection, the written approval of the proposed placement of the device by all property owners of adjoining property constitutes prima facie evidence that such a condition does not exist.(f) During the development period for a development with fewer than 51 planned residential units, the declarant may prohibit or restrict a property owner from installing a solar energy device. Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 939 (H.B. 362), Sec. 1, eff. June 17, 2011.Amended by: Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 126 (S.B. 1626), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 126 (S.B. 1626), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2015
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