Solar FAQs

We Know You're Wondering, So Here Are The Answers:


At HES Solar, our San Diego solar experts understand that you are likely to want to do a great deal of research before investing in solar technology for your home or business. Read on for answers to some of the most common questions we receive!

Yes, you will still have an energy bill when you add solar to your home. However, it won’t be anything like your current energy bill. Because you are still connected to the public utility grid, you will still utilize public energy when your solar panels can’t provide you with the energy you need (such as when the sun goes down each evening). The energy you use will be charged to you at retail rates.

However, there are two huge caveats to keep in mind. First, you won’t be using nearly as much retail power as you would without solar. During the day, your solar energy system should provide you more than enough power that you need zero public grid energy. Second, during these peak hours, your panels may produce more energy than you need, and you can send this energy back to the public grid for a credit, a practice known as “net metering.” This energy you send back to the grid also appears on your bill, reducing the amount of money you owe for the energy you do use.

Photovoltaic modules (PV): Photovoltaic modules are typically monocrystalline or polycrystalline, and use light to convert energy into direct current (DC) electricity.

Inverters: Inverters come in different sizes and models, and convert the direct current (DC) energy produced by the solar modules into alternating current (AC) that is used by household components.

Simply put, solar panels capture particles of light. The SunPower solar panels allow for a free flow of electricity to the inverters. An inverter is the component of a solar panel that converts the power to energy that can be used in your home, (AC electricity). The inverter then send the usable power to your home.
When you are not home, or not using electricity, the power generated by your solar system is sent to SDG&E through the grid (the above- and under-ground power lines). SDG&E credits you for the energy you send to them which can then be used when your solar system is not producing (at night) and your home has to use energy from SDG&E
Depending on your specific needs and the equipment you choose, the space needed will vary. On average, a 5kW system for a household using approximately $150 of electricity per month, will need about 300sq/ft of space for the PV modules. Depending on the system, you will also need a space for the inverter, which takes about 4 sq/ft either inside of a garage space, or nearby your service panel.
All solar modules used by HES Solar come with a 25-year power, production, and product warranty. Alongside HES Solar’s 10-year installation warranty. In addition, inverters typically come with a 10- or 12-year warranty. Read more about our warranties here.
No. As a part of the California Solar Initiative program to promote solar energy, the state has exempted solar installations from increased property taxes. Note: Solar only increases the value of your home if it is owned by the homeowner, not leased.
Time of install typically takes about 1 day per rated kilowatt. So, depending on the size of your system it usually takes 3-5 days.

The size of your system depends on many factors that will be determined during your free site evaluation by one of HES Solar’s highly trained solar consultants.

We will determine size based on:

  • Energy usage trends over the past year.
  • How much of your bill you want to eliminate.
  • How much money you are able to invest.
  • Ability to eliminate the most expensive rate tiers first.


Check out our savings calculator to find out what size system you will need and how much it can save you.

Your solar power system has virtually one moving part and that is found in the inverter, so the maintenance is very low. We recommend that you clean the modules once every three months to ensure maximum performance, but usually a light rain should suffice. No other routine maintenance is required. If you suspect an issue, feel free to let us know.

Yes and no. We can completely eliminate your energy consumption bill; unfortunately, to stay connected to the grid, there is a small fee. This is usually about $10/month. Grid-tied systems use a program called net energy metering (NEM), as explained below.
Net energy metering is a program hosted by SDG&E for homeowners and businesses with solar electric-generating energy systems. It allows the consumer to tie their system to the grid. The program credits you for energy you produce and feed into the grid- for example on sunny days or when you’re not home during the daylight hours. It then applies these credits for power you may need at times when you are not generating your own power like at night or on cloudy days. It is an automatically renewed annual program that sends you one low bill once a year on your true-up date, the day you turned on your solar system. Read more about Net Energy Metering here.

Yes! California Civil Code 2473, otherwise known as the Solar Rights Act, restricts HOAs and local governments from interfering with solar installations except for health and safety issues.

HES Solar will assist you in getting your solar system approved by your local HOA

Get a free estimate today!


We are a San Diego-based, family-owned solar company. We have been an energy innovator since 2001 and can handle projects from small, rooftop solar panel additions to large-scale commercial microgrid systems. 

Our website is a great resource for your solar research. We’d also love to speak with you to answer any specific questions you have about your project. Click here to be contacted by an HES Solar representative, or simply dial us at 619-692-2015. We don’t use call centers so you’ll speak with a full-time HES Solar employee in California.

Robert Laverty

Senior Energy Consultant, Residential

Robert Laverty joined the HES team in the summer of 2018, bringing his ten years of solar design experience and his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Puget Sound with him. Robert is dedicated to finding solutions to help families produce and store electricity in order to reduce their reliance on grid power as well as help reduce their household’s carbon footprint. Robert’s experience as a newspaper editor as well as his involvement with the sustainability-focused Rocky Mountain Institute drives him to constantly seek out innovative ways to meet energy needs through renewable resources as well as helps him share those ideas with Southern California homeowners. When not at work or volunteering time with his church or community, Robert spends time with his wife and two sons or pursues his passion of fly fishing.

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