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FAQs about SLCS

Q: What is the timeline for Salt Lake Community Solar?

A: Please refer to the project timeline

Q: What is the deadline to commit to purchase solar?

A: Due to incredible interest in the program, the deadline has been extended. Participants who took the solar survey before September 21st will have until November 5th, 2012 to commit to install.  Installations will begin as soon as participants sign contracts with the solar installer; participants will be notified in advance to schedule their installation.  Enough people have committed to going solar with Salt Lake Community Solar that we are now at the lowest possible pricing tier (based on the tiered pricing system). So, don’t delay, and commit today!

Q: How long will the process take, once I have committed to install solar?

A:  Salt Lake Community Solar installations will be on a first-come, first-served basis.  The schedule for you installation will depend on how many people commit ahead of you;  SLCS and the contractor will keep all participants informed about the estimated timeline for installations.  It is anticipated that all installations be complete or underway by the end of 2012 (weather permitting).

Q: If I commit to install solar early, will I be able to access the lowest possible price if more people commit to install after I do?

A: Yes!  All Pricing offered to SLCS participants will reflect the tiered discount solar pricing offered by the contractor.  The Contractor will communicate the base price to SLCS participants on a weekly basis and alert participants to changes in pricing, based on the volume of commitments.  Your final payment amounts will be adjusted based on the volume of commitments at midnight on September 21, 2012 (the SLCS commitment deadline). 

Q: I’d like to participate, but I don’t have the extra money right now. What can I do?

A: You may be interested in energy efficiency as an initial first step and smart investment for your home (that will save you money and energy). Energy efficiency investments also help make your home more solar-ready, which means you may not need as large of a solar PV system to meet your energy needs.  

Q: How will my individualized quote be calculated?

A: After the contractor conducts the free on-site solar assessment, they will provide you with an estimate based on the size of your solar project and any special circumstances your project may require (i.e. if you need a pole-mount system or you’d like to have a battery back-up system).  The pricing will reflect the number of people committed to purchase solar through SLCS; as the number of people increase, your final price (and the terms of your final payment) will be adjusted to reflect the number of participants.  During the review process the SLCS Steering Committee reviewed the pricing structure carefully and required that pricing estimates include all foreseeable expenses in their estimate. “Add on” costs were included, where applicable, for upgrades to additional features or services, and were subject to review by the Steering Committee. In some circumstances, additional fees may apply for upgrades beyond the standard system or a ground mount framework. These additional costs are clearly itemized by the contractor. There are no “hidden fees” beyond those you see listed in the pricing information.

Q: Are there financing options available for residential solar?

A: Salt Lake Community Solar held a financing workshop in September where several financing options for residential solar were presented. Click here to learn more.

Q: How was the contractor selected?

A: At the start of 2012, the volunteer SLCS Steering Committee initiated a highly competitive bid process through a widely distributed RFP (or Request for Proposals).  The Steering Committee received many competitive proposals which scored, taking into account contractor qualifications and experience in the field, price and pricing structure, capability to handle the necessary quantity of installations, and financial information and financing.  Several finalists were interviewed by the Steering Committee, and the citizen participants of the Steering Committee selected a qualified team of solar contractors to provide discount pricing for high quality residential solar installations across Salt Lake County.  

Q: Is there a way to participate if I can’t install solar on my property?

A: At this point in time Salt Lake Community Solar is limited to people who are able to install solar on their property through a roof-mount or ground-mount system. Off-site, “solar collective” models are beyond the scope of this initial campaign.  Renters or individuals who do not own their property are not eligible to participate at this time.  

Q: Is it possible to buy the solar equipment and hardware for “do-it-yourself” projects?

A: It is not possible to purchase solar equipment and hardware independent of the installation services through Salt Lake Community Solar at this time.

Q: I am a resident outside of Salt Lake County and would be interested in pursuing a program where I live. How can I get involved and or help initiate a similar program in my community/county?

A: Several communities have expressed interest in replicating our efforts following this pilot initiative.  Following the successful execution of this innovative effort, Utah Clean Energy and partners will share the model with other interested communities.  Please stay tuned for more information on this front.

Do you have a question not answered here?  Please contact us.