Frequently Asked Questions About Going Solar with GRID Colorado

Who is GRID Alternatives?
How much money will I save?
How much will the system cost me?
Will you install solar on my roof?
Do I need to own my home?
What is community solar and how does it work?
Will I own my solar electric system?
Will I still get an electric bill?
Will I still have electricity at night or when it is cloudy outside?
How long does a system installed on my roof last?
What maintenance is required for equipment installed on my roof?

 

Who is GRID Alternatives?

GRID Alternatives is a community-based organization that brings the benefits of solar technology to families that need the financial savings most, while giving volunteers and job trainees hands-on solar installation experience. We believe that our nation’s transition to clean energy must include everyone, especially those who are struggling each month to pay electric bills, put food on the table, and provide for their families.


How much money will I save?

The solar electric systems GRID Alternatives installs typically reduce electric bills by 50-75%. Individual savings will vary.


How much will the system cost me?

GRID Alternatives keeps costs to you as low as possible by taking advantage of all available local grant and incentive programs, fundraising, manufacturer partnerships, and our volunteer-based model. And because we are a nonprofit, nearly all of our budget goes to providing the benefits of solar technology to households like yours. GRID clients contribute a small portion of their solar savings back into the program to help make solar a possibility for other Colorado households. For more details, contact us.


Will you install solar on my roof?

Maybe! GRID Alternatives Colorado offers both both community solar and rooftop solar installations. Sometimes we build large community solar gardens or farms and subscribe many individual households to receive part of the solar garden’s electricity. Other times we install solar electric systems on roofs for qualified homeowners, affordable housing partners or local non-profits. Which path you take will depend largely on our funding and open opportunities in your area.


Do I need to own my home?

It will depend on the program offerings in your area. If we will be installing a rooftop solar system, you do need to own your home. Our community solar options are open to both homeowners and renters, regardless of housing type.


What is community solar and how does it work?

Community solar, or shared solar, is a large solar array or solar “power plant” that provides electricity and financial benefit to many different households within a community. Equipment is not installed at individual customers’ property but instead in an area ideally suited for solar production. Learn more about our community solar program.


Will I own my solar electric system?

If we install solar on your roof, you may own the system or if may be owned by a third party. Who owns the solar electric system depends on the program and available funding in your area. Once you qualify, a GRID staff member will inform you whether your system will be owned by you or a third-party.


Will I still get an electric bill?

Yes. The system will produce most of the electricity you use, but not all of it. You will have a lower electricity bill, and will still need to pay your gas bill.


Will I still have electricity at night or when it is cloudy outside?

Yes. You will still be connected to the electrical grid, so your electricity will work the same way that it works now.


How long does a system installed on my roof last?

The panels are covered by a 25-year warranty, and last between 30 and 40 years. The inverter is covered by a 10-15-year warranty and may need to be replaced during the lifetime of the solar system. Micro-inverters are covered by a warranty of 10-25 years. GRID Alternatives provides a 10-year labor warranty. In the third-party ownership model, all of the maintenance, including part replacement, is covered for 20 years.


What maintenance is required for equipment installed on my roof?

You need to clean the solar panels with water when they get dirty, typically twice a year. Make sure your trees, satellite dishes, etc. don’t shade the panels. Regularly check your inverter and monitor system performance. Learn more.