FAQs

Find answers to the most common questions.

Did you receive one of our dinner invitations?  Have questions about it?

What is the purpose of the dinner?

The purpose of the dinner is to introduce homeowners to new technologies and products that will help lower their power bill, make their homes more energy efficient and comfortable throughout the year.

Does it cost any money?

NO …. you do not need to bring your checkbook. There is nothing to purchase at the dinner – we just want you to come along and enjoy an entertaining presentation and a delicious meal.

What will happen at the dinner?

At the dinner you will learn how to significantly cut your energy costs, learn about available tax credits that pay you to improve your home, and you will learn about the latest technologies to make your whole house more comfortable in winter and summer.

How long will the dinner last?

The Smart Energy Today, Inc.® presentation lasts about one hour and there will be a break for dinner.

Who can attend the dinner?

Each invitation is good for two homeowners to enjoy dinner.

What kind of food is served?

Typical menu options include entrees such as New York Steak, Grilled Salmon, Chicken Parmigiana, and usually a vegetarian option.

What do people say about the dinners?

When asked “What was your favorite part of your dinner experience?” here is what attendees said:

“The fact that the presenter did not waste anyone’s time. He seemed very concerned about moving the presentation along at a fast pace and as a very busy person, I appreciated the fact that he respected the use of my time.”  Matthew M.

“Entertaining, informative, relatively short presentation, no pressure to buy or commit to anything at the dinner.”  Dennis L.

“John was a very entertaining host and made a point to impress us all with knowing our names.”  Martin & Laurel S.

Do you have questions about Solar Energy Systems?

Are you thinking about buying a PV solar system for your home?

A PV Solar System is safe, reliable, and pollution free. It uses a renewable source of energy – the sun. The “Instant Connect ™” PV Solar System from Smart Energy Today, Inc.® has 80% fewer parts than traditional PV Solar Systems, and has no moving parts which makes it easier to install.

The option of net metering, or interconnecting to your PV Solar System to the utility grid, makes solar electric systems more economically viable. When you make more power than you need during a billing period, utilities generally give you energy credit for later use.

There are federal tax credits and most states have renewable energy production incentives that give additional financial benefits for owning and operating a solar electric system.

What is solar electricity?

Solar electricity is produced when sunlight reacts directly with semiconductor materials in solar electric cells. This process frees electrons and creates an electrical current. Electricity is produced whenever the sun is shining, but extra is produced when sunlight is greatest (like on a clear sunny day) and direct (when the sun’s rays are perpendicular to the solar cells).

Why should I buy a PV solar system?

You may decide to buy a PV Solar System for a variety of reasons. You may believe in creating a more sustainable energy system. You may want to add to the value of your home. There are studies that show solar systems increase the value of your home’s sale price. Whatever your reason, solar energy is increasingly thought to be the energy source of choice for the future.

What equipment is needed for a PV solar system?

With the Instant Connect™ PV Solar System from Smart Energy Today, Inc.® everything for an “on grid” system is included.

Here are some descriptions of commonly used components:

The basic building block of solar electric generation is the solar “cell”. Cells are wired together to produce a “module”, which is often called a panel. Solar electric modules or panels range in power output from about 10 watts to 400 watts. A group of modules wired together form a solar “array”. Various mounting rails and hardware are used to attach modules to a building or other support structure and are often called “racking”.

A solar electric system tied to the utility grid requires an “inverter”; a power electronics device that converts direct current (DC) produced by the modules into conventional alternating current (AC). Modern inverters provide important safety features to meet the latest National Electric Code standards. Additionally, inverters allow for monitoring and diagnostic capabilities. AC and DC power disconnect switches allow components to be safely shut down and isolated from the utility grid.

Batteries are optional in a net metered system and are only used if a customer wants to provide backup power during utility power outages.

A separate utility-grade kilowatt-hour meter, or “production meter” may be required to receive renewable energy production incentives.

How much does a PV solar system cost?

Cost depends on a number of factors, but for systems mounted on a sloped roof, cost is fairly proportional to size. Other cost factors relate to design complexity and system configuration. With a The “Instant Connect ™” PV Solar System you can get started in solar for as little as $4,000 or $5,000. Call or contact us today for a quote based on your individual circumstances.

Is a PV solar system a good investment?

Unlike electricity purchased month to month, solar electricity comes with an initial investment but no monthly charges. It’s like paying for many years-worth of electricity all at once. You’ll appreciate having lower electric bills as you harvest “free” electricity.  Studies have shown that solar systems increase the sale price of a home. Financing is an option to help spread out initial system costs. Call or contact Smart Energy Today, Inc.® to find out more about this.

Remember, if reducing energy costs is your prime concern, adding additional insulation or reflective insulation like Sol-Blanket Insulation ™ may be a better investment.

How much money will my PV solar system save?

Dollar savings will depend on how much electricity is produced, when it is produced, and whether you qualify for additional incentives. You can estimate how much electricity your system will produce using the following simple “rule of thumb” for well sited (shade free) systems:

Installed wattage = kWh generated per year

Small deviations from “ideal” system orientation (due south) and tilt (30 – 45 degrees) will not affect annual performance more than about 5%. However, annual electricity production may vary by up to 20% due to annual variations in local weather.

How much is that electricity worth? There is no simple answer to this question since it depends on how much electricity you use, your current rate schedule (residential, general service, etc.) as well as how much and when you generate solar electricity.

Are incentives available for PV solar systems?

Yes. There are Federal Tax Incentives, State Sales Tax Incentives, and Renewable Energy Production Incentives depending on where you live.  Click here for the most comprehensive database on incentives and policies in the US.

The Federal Tax Incentive – The federal Energy Policy Act of 2005, as amended by the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, includes provisions for individuals and businesses to claim a 30% federal income tax credit for the cost of solar technology installations. Credit applies to the balance remaining after any utility or state incentives have been taken. Reference IRS Form 5695 for residential energy credits and IRS Form 3468 for business investment credits. Contact the U.S. Internal Revenue Service for further information.

Do I have a good site for PV solar?

To get the most benefit from a PV Solar System, you want an area that is clear and has unobstructed access to the sun for most of the day throughout the year.  Call or contact us today to look at your site and discuss the potential benefits.

When looking at your site ask yourself a few questions like: Is your site free from shade by trees, roof lines, nearby buildings, or other obstructions in the surrounding landscape? Remember that an area that is unshaded during one part of the day, may be shaded during another. Even small objects, e.g. a utility or flagpole, can result in significant shade losses. As little as 10 percent shade on a module can reduce output by as much as 80 percent.

Other factors aside, the best orientation (direction) for a solar electric system is south, where the sun spends most of its time, and therefore south-facing roof installations are most common. Roofs that face east or west may be acceptable but generate about 20% less electricity.

On flat roofs, solar modules can be mounted flat, facing up to the sky, or mounted on frames tilted south at various angles. There is less than a 5% variation from peak annual performance when modules are tilted south between 20 and 60 degrees.

If a rooftop can’t be used, solar modules can also be mounted on a separate structure, pole or the ground, either on a fixed or “tracking” mount that follows the sun to orient the modules for maximum performance.

Other options (used most often in multifamily or commercial applications) include mounting modules on structures that offer weather protection (e.g covered walkways or canopies) or provide shade as window awnings.

Do I have enough space on my roof or property for a PV solar system?

The amount of space needed by a solar electric system is directly related to the size of the system you purchase. One attractive feature of solar electricity is that systems may be sized for almost any application or power requirement. So, you should be able to find at least a small area that has good solar exposure. Of course, larger systems will provide a greater percentage of your annual electricity needs.

A 1 kW watt system might require as little as 80 square feet of roof area for 5 typical modules. A 10 kW system may require as much as 1,000 square feet. Smart Energy Today, Inc.® makes getting started in the solar revolution easy and affordable.

Does the type of roof matter?

While a PV Solar System can be installed on any type of roof, some roof types are simpler and less expensive to work with. Typically, composition shingles and moderate to low slopes are easiest to work with. Steep, slate roofs are most difficult. In any case, Smart Energy Today, Inc.® is familiar with all roof types and installation techniques that eliminate any possibility of roof leakage. Ask us how the solar system may affect your roof warranty. If your roof is older and needs to be replaced in the near future, you may want to defer installation of a solar system to avoid having to remove and reinstall the system. Note: Smart Energy Today, Inc.® also repairs and replaces roofs.

What pv solar system is right for me?

You could examine electric bills over the past year and work with us to estimate the size of the system needed to achieve a certain percentage of your household’s annual electricity needs. This might be a good time to consider energy efficiency measures such as adding traditional insulation and reflective insulation like Sol-Blanket Insulation ™ as well as appliance upgrades to lower your electricity use and boost the percentage contribution of your solar system.

Consider the “economies of scale” that can decrease the cost per watt as you increase the size of the system. For example, many inverters are sized for systems up to 2.5 or 3 kilowatts, and if your array is smaller, say 1 kilowatt, you may still end up buying the same inverter. Labor costs for a small system may be nearly as much as those for a larger system. For example, your solar electric provider is likely to offer you a better price to install a 2 kilowatt system all at once, than to install a 1 kilowatt system this year and another similar system next year, since multiple orders and site visits add cost.

Is financing available for a pv solar system from Smart Energy Today, Inc.®?

If you choose to install a solar system at the same time that you build, buy, or refinance your home, by including the cost of the solar electric system in your mortgage loan you can avoid additional loan application forms or fees. If mortgage financing is not available, Smart Energy Today, Inc.® may be able to find other sources of financing.

What permits are required for PV solar?

Typically, Smart Energy Today, Inc.® will take care of all required permits and include the cost into the overall system price. However, in some cases, Smart Energy Today, Inc.® may not know how much time or money will be involved in obtaining required permits. If so, this task may be priced on a time-and-materials basis, particularly if additional drawings or calculations must be provided to the permitting agency.

Code requirements for solar systems vary somewhat from one jurisdiction to the next, but most are based on the National Electrical Code (NEC). NEC Article 690 carefully spells out requirements for designing and installing safe, reliable, code-compliant solar systems. Because most local code requirements are based on the NEC, your building inspector is likely to rely on Article 690 for guidance in determining whether your PV Solar System has been properly designed and installed.

If you are among the first people in your community to install a grid-tied solar system, your local building department may not have approved one of these systems. If this is the case, you and Smart Energy Today, Inc.® can speed the process by working closely and cooperatively with your local building officials to help educate them about the technology and its characteristics.

What should I know about warranties?

Warranties are key to ensuring that your solar system will be repaired if something should malfunction during the warranty period. Smart Energy Today, Inc.® backs every PV Solar System with a guarantee of quality. Panel warranty provides 25 year power output warranty. Year one at 97%, year two through year twenty-four annual power decline will be no more than .7%, and year twenty-five at 80%.

Where can I get further assistance?

What is Sol-Blanket Insulation?

What is Sol-Blanket Insulation™?

Sol-Blanket Insulation™ is reflective insulation or a radiant barrier depending on application.

What does Sol-Blanket Insulation™ do?

There are three kinds of heat transfer; Conductive, Convective and Radiant. As a radiant barrier Sol-Blanket Insulation™ prevents 95-97% of radiant heat transfer – the primary method of heat transfer into and out of the home. As reflective insulation Sol-Blanket Insulation™ works against all three forms of heat transfer. Traditional insulation stops conductive and convective heat transfer. Because Sol-Blanket Insulation™ stops the third kind of heat transfer, radiant heat, it complements and helps traditional insulation do what it is truly intended to do – stop all forms of heat transfer into and out of (a properly sealed) home.

What is Sol-Blanket Insulation™ made of?

Sol-Blanket Insulation™ uses three materials and has five layers. The 5 layers of Sol-Blanket Insulation™ are: Aluminum Foil Polyethylene backing Closed-cell polyethylene foam Polyethylene backing Aluminum The foil acts as the radiant barrier, the closed-cell polyethylene foam acts as an insulator and the polyethylene backing simply attaches closed-cell polyethylene foam to the foil.

What are the features of Sol-Blanket Insulation™?

The features of Sol-Blanket Insulation are many. It comes with a lifetime warranty (for the life of the home or building). Sol-Blanket Insulation is not affected by humidity, doesn’t have harmful particles than can get into your lungs (like fiberglass) and adds R value to boost thermal efficiency. The materials used to construct Sol-Blanket Insulation™ mean that rodents and birds will not chew on it, and it will never settle, so the quality will never degrade.

What are the benefits of Sol-Blanket Insulation™ ?

There are many benefits to Sol-Blanket Insulation ™. The number one benefit of Sol-Blanket Insulation ™ is improved comfort. Comfort is improved because Sol-Blanket Insulation along with traditional insulation and a properly sealed home keeps the heat out in the summer and keeps the heat in – in the winter. The number two benefit of Sol-Blanket Insulation is reduced energy consumption. Because less hot air is getting into your home in the summer and warm air is escaping your home in the winter – heating and cooling equipment runs less resulting in lower energy bills. Other Benefits: Because heating and cooling equipment runs less – the lifespan of the equipment is lengthened. When it is time to replace that equipment – in some cases a smaller unit will be required. Finally, because the heating and cooling equipment is running less – noise from the equipment is reduced.

Where can I purchase Sol-Blanket Insulation™?

Sol-Blanket Insulation™ is an exclusive product of Smart Energy Today, Inc.®. You can purchase Sol-Blanket Insulation by contacting Smart Energy Today, Inc.® at (888)405-8689 or by email support@smartenergytoday.net.

Where is Sol-Blanket Insulation™ installed?

The most common place to install the Sol-Blanket Insulation™ is right over the top of your existing insulation in your attic, it is also very effective when installed in crawl spaces, garages, walls, metal buildings and pole barns. It is also a great for wrapping ducts, hot water tanks, and water pipes.

Who installs Sol-Blanket Insulation™?

Smart Energy today, Inc.® sells and installs Sol-Blanket Insulation™ for 99.9% of customers. To get the most energy savings possible the U.S. Department of Energy highly recommends a professional is used to install products like these because there are many variables than can significantly reduce the effectiveness of the product. Smart Energy Today, Inc.® is a professional installer.

When is the right time to install Sol-Blanket Insulation ™?

Do you have a split level home? Do you notice it gets hot on the upper floor? Do you have an older home? Notice moisture problems in the crawlspace below your house or in the attic? Do you live in the dessert or a rain forest? Want to lower your energy bills? Every home is different. Smart Energy Today, Inc.® does an in-home energy analysis to look at the variables and components of each home to determine what makes the most sense. Often the answer is simple. Either you home is comfortable and doesn’t get really cold or really hot during extreme weather and the temperature is consistent throughout your home. Another factor is the R-value of your existing insulation. Use this tool from the U.S. Department of Energy to find the recommended R-value for insulation based on the location and climate of your home.

Why Do I Need Sol-Blanket Insulation in the Summer?

The US Department of Energy says that “Properly installed radiant barriers can reduce your cooling cost”. Sol-Blanket Insulation™ is also a radiant barrier. During the summer the radiant heat from the sun strikes the roof of your home. The roof then emits the radiant heat through conduction and convection into the attic space. The right amount of traditional insulation on the attic floor stops the conductive and convective heat from passing into the living space below, but not the radiant heat. By placing Sol-Blanket Insulation™ over traditional insulation, 95-97% of the radiant heat that passes through the roof and into the attic space is reflected away from the living space below it. Now the need to run an air conditioner or cooling equipment is reduced. This extends the life of your cooling or air conditioning equipment, results in less noise in the home, lower energy bills, and creates a more comfortable living space. In some cases it even reduces the size of cooling equipment needed lowering replacement cost.

Why Do I Need Sol-Blanket Insulation™ in the Winter?

Sol-Blanket Insulation ™ reflects heat back to the source! In the winter your heating system is working to replace the warm air that escapes your home – primarily through the ceiling. Traditional insulation will stop some of the heat loss. Traditional insulation doesn’t stop radiant heat that your heating system is producing. Sol-Blanket Insulation™ does. Sol-Blanket reflect 95-97% of radiant heat. Because more of the warm air you are paying to put in your home is staying in the home, the need to run your heating equipment is reduced. This lowers consumption, reduces costs and increases comfort! The less you run your heating system the longer it will last and the lower your energy bills will be. When it does come time to replace it, with Sol-Blanket Insulation™, traditional insulation and a properly sealed home the size of heating equipment needed – in many cases can be reduced.