We know what it's like to be new to the solar industry because we have all been new. So to help you out, we have provided you with a solar FAQ resource guide. This guide to common and some not-so-common questions and answers is divided into sections. First are questions specific to solar equipment and installations. Then we tackle questions about financing solar systems. Next are questions about commissions for selling solar systems. Last you'll find general questions that don't fit the above categories.
We recommend that you read through this solar FAQ resource guide because there are questions here that you probably haven't thought to ask, and of course the answers as well. If you know the answers to the questions presented here, you will become bulletproof!
Oh yes, make sure you click and read some of the articles we've included for you!
Solar System Questions and Answers
Q: How long does it generally take to have a solar Installation completed? A: It will vary by state and county mainly due to getting permits. Generally, the installation will take about 45-90 days.
Q: What if the house is in an HOA (Home Owners Association)? A: Freedom Forever will work with the HOA to gain approval for the solar installation.
Q: In addition to the unique production guarantee offered by Freedom Forever, are the solar panels and inverter also covered for 25 years? A: The solar system is dependent on all components working together properly to live up to the provisions of the production guarantee. If any part of the Freedom Forever installed system fails to perform, it is repaired and or replaced.
Q: After 25 years will the homeowner be able to extend the warranty or production guarantee? A: After 25 years, the homeowner owns the system 100% with no further payments. Extended warranties may become available at that time.
Q: Does Freedom Forever install panels on a mobile or manufactured home? A: Yes, if the homeowner also owns the land, and the home is on a permanent foundation.
Q: How do we know if the home needs a new MPU (Main Electrical Panel Upgrade)? A: It is good to have the homeowner send a quality picture of their electrical panel/breaker box. Most systems need a 200 amp circuit breaker and 2 open spots. Bigger systems may need additional power. If in doubt, include an MPU in every project and mark (MPU if needed) when submitting a project.
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Q: Does Freedom Forever install Tier 1 solar panels? A: Yes, we only use Tier 1 products.
Q: What are the Freedom Forever solar panels made of? A: High Strength Glass. Freedom Forever only sells Tier 1 (the best) panels in Triple Black.
Q: Do we sell a charger for an Electric Vehicle? A: Yes, as of December 2022 we only provide the Tesla Wall Connector EV Charger. This item is not commissionable.
Q: Does Freedom Forever install ground-mounted solar systems? A: Yes, Freedom Forever installs ground mount systems. These are used when the roof is too small to fit the necessary solar panels or when the homeowner prefers not to have solar panels on the roof. There needs to be enough land available and additional charges apply for trenching to the main panel of the home.
Q: How are weather-related events/damage covered? A: Homeowners Insurance would be the resource for covering damage from weather-related events.
Q: Does Freedom Forever provide a warranty for roof damage due to the installation of solar panels? A: Freedom Forever has a 10-year Puncture Warranty.
Q: Can Freedom Forever install the system without roof penetration? A: Yes, but only on metal roofs. Most types of roofs require penetration and are covered by Freedom’s 10-year Puncture Warranty.
Q: Are batteries warranted and if so for how long? A: Usually for 10 years, depending upon the brand.
Q: Who does the client contact with issues or questions after signing a contract to install solar on their home? A: The salesperson is the main point of contact. However, the homeowner will also have access to a customer service phone number for Freedom Forever.
Q: How long after signing the contract is the Site Survey done? A: The Site Survey is scheduled at closing by the salesperson, and is usually conducted within 10 days.
Q: Do we install metal risers on non-flat roofs? A: No. Panels are tilted 12% automatically on roofs, and Ground Mounted panels are tilted 18%. However, risers are necessary on flat roofs.
Q: What are LIDAR and IRRADIANCE? A: LIDAR is a technology invented by the space program. In the context of solar, 3D LIDAR models are used used to calculate building heights, roof slopes, and tree heights. LIDAR data is also used to calculate how much irradiance (sunlight) and shading is cast on a rooftop by objects such as trees, chimneys, and buildings. This technology is built into the Aurora software that we use to build solar designs.
Q: What is the maximum number of solar panels/maximum electricity generation that can be installed for a customer? A: This varies by the utility company. If a salesperson is not already familiar with a particular utility company's guidelines, they must contact them before building a design or presenting an Energy Savings Analysis to the homeowner.
Q: How are Permits, Inspections, and Paperwork dealt with in a solar sale/installation? A: This varies by state and utility but is handled with expertise by Freedom Forever. The customer portal will allow the client to follow the process and progress step by step to completion. The salesperson can also follow this progress in their own portal.
Q: Does Freedom Forever install solar systems in the winter? A: Yes, seasons are not a factor. The weather is the key issue.
Q: Will snow and ice accumulate on the solar panels? A: The design, tilt, and heat generated from the panels will melt ice and snow.
Q: What happens if the power goes out? A: If the solar system does not include a battery backup system, the home will not have power. By law, inverters must shut down during power outages so that they do not send electricity onto the grid that could potentially injure electric company workers that are fixing the issue.
Q: Should we sell a battery backup system to every homeowner? A: Currently battery backup systems are very expensive and will not power the home for an extended period of time. Therefore, battery backup systems are typically sold only to homeowners that understand these factors and make the decision to purchase them anyway.
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Q: What does HIS stand for? A: Home Improvement Salesperson ID. HIS licenses are required in some areas including but not limited to Illinois, Maryland, Milwaukee, California, and Suffolk County NY. You can apply for these licenses in order to sell in these areas. It is strictly forbidden and a terminatable offense to sell in these areas without the proper license.
Q: Do we install panels on a cedar roof? A: We do not do installations on cedar or aluminum roofs.
Q: Do we install panels on a steel roof? A: Yes.
Q: Can the cost of a reroof be included in the financing of the solar project? A: Yes, but only if done through our approved roofing contractors.
Q: Who is the roofing contractor? A: Currently we work with Reimagine Roofing who then subcontracts the roof work to a local approved contractor. Roofing quotes can be obtained from Reimagine Roofing usually within an hour because they use technology that is similar to Aurora to measure roofs without having to visit the property.
Solar Sales Commission - Redline vs. Revenue Share
Q: Can a homeowner sell back the excess electricity produced by their solar system to the utility company? A: Yes, but the amount that a homeowner is reimbursed varies from state to state and by the utility company. Most states offer credits for excess electricity production. This term is called net metering. This must be checked in the Freedom Forever Sales Resource Guide in the salespersons portal.
Q: How long after signing the contract does it take for Vivint to install the Smart Home and Alarm system? A: The salesperson will schedule the Vivant install with the homeowner at the closing of the sale. The installation is usually completed in one or two weeks after signing.
Solar System Financing Questions and Answers
Q: When can the homeowner take advantage of the federal tax credit? A: They can start receiving the tax credit the year the system is installed. If a homeowner has questions about the federal tax credit refer them to their tax professional. We are not tax professionals and as such should not give detailed information or advice on this topic.
Q: How can a homeowner determine if they qualify for federal or state tax credits? A: Advise the homeowner to consult with their tax advisor or accountant
Q: What is the maximum amount that Mosaic will finance? A: Generally, up to $175,000, per application. In the case of very large projects, it's possible to submit two applications for a maximum combined loan size of $350,000.
Q: Can a customer use an (ITIN), Individual Taxpayer Identification Number versus a Social Security number to apply for financing? A: Yes.
Q: Can a homeowner use a credit card for electronic payments (ACH) with Mosaic? A: No, the ACH must be from an accessible checking or savings account.
Q: When is the first ACH payment to Mosaic due? A: 45 days after installation or 15 days after PTO (Permission to Operate) whichever comes first.
Q: Does the pre-qualification process affect the homeowner's credit score? A: No. Pre-qualification leads to a soft credit inquiry which does not affect credit scores. A hard inquiry is only performed when a loan agreement is signed.
Q: What are the minimum requirements for a customer to get pre-qualified? A: Mosaic has multiple loan products featuring a variety of terms and requirements. Pre-qualification does not affect their score so it is always best to take the homeowner through the 5-minute prequalification process to see if they qualify.
Q: What documents are acceptable for proof of income? A: Typically, Mosaic does not request proof of income.
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Q: How do I get a higher borrowing limit than the approved amount? A: A higher borrowing limit can be obtained with a co-applicant, who may or may not live in the same household. Additionally, the combined incomes of everyone living in the house can be utilized.
Q: Does Mosaic perform a Debt-to-Income (DTI) calculation? A: DTI is not a factor in credit decisions. Mosaic considers going solar to be a debt replacement.
Q: Is the title holder of the home’s name required to be on the loan application? A: Yes, pre-qualification applications may only be submitted by the individual named on the title of the home. Furthermore, the primary applicant must be an owner of the residence.
Q: What action can the homeowner take if they have been declined by Mosaic and do not agree with the reasons for being declined? A: Conduct a 3-way call with the homeowner and Mosaic Customer Support at (855) 558-6006. Mosaic is available Monday-Friday from 6 am-9 pm PST, Saturday 7 am-9 pm PST, and Sunday 8 am-5 pm PST.
Q: How does the $1,000 or $2,000 rebate work? A: The amount of the rebate is added to the price of the system. The rebate will be paid to the homeowner by check and it will come from Freedom Forever approximately 45 days after installation.
Q: What if the homeowner has a freeze or lock on their credit to prevent inquiries? A: The homeowner should contact the credit bureaus to remove the freeze before applying for pre-qualification. They can apply the freeze again after approval by Mosaic.
Q: Can homeowners pay cash for their solar system? A: Yes. A $1,000 down payment is required by check mailed to Freedom Forever. The homeowner will then pay 80% upon installation and the balance upon Permission to Operate.
Q: Can a homeowner pay down the principal balance of the loan and/or pay off the loan without penalty? A: Yes.
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Q: If a homeowner is declined by Mosaic, how long do they have to wait to re-apply? A: They can reapply immediately with a new finance option, change in household income, or with a co-applicant. Contact Mosaic Customer Support at (855) 558-6006 Monday-Friday between 6 am-9 pm PST, Saturday between 7 am-9 pm PST, and Sunday between 8 am-5 pm PST.
Q: How long is a Mosaic loan pre-approval valid? A: The homeowner must complete the application process within 60 days.
Sales Commissions Questions and Answers
Q: When are commissions paid? A: An initial commission payment (Early Pay) is made the Friday after financing is approved and the project is submitted. This amount is $100 per KW to be installed (up to $1,000). The balance of the commission is paid the following Friday after the installation. Note- Early Pay is only available to those teams that keep a 70% or above Realization Rate.
Q: What does Realization Rate mean? A: It is the % of closed deals that actually go to installation.
Q: Do we get paid a commission on battery sales? A: No.
Q: Do we get paid a commission on a reroof? A: No.
Q: How does the up to $1,000 referral fee payment work? A: The Affiliate/Trainee pays the referrer out of their own commission. The referral fee is split if the sale is done with a Certified Trainer. If a referral fee is to be paid, inform your Trainer when submitting the utility bill.
Q: Is the referral payment a 1099 taxable payment to the client? A: It can be. Sending the referrer a 1099 form at the end of the year allows you to write off the referral fee on your taxes. Contact your tax professional.
Miscellaneous Questions and Answers
Q: Why does Apricot Solar have negative reviews online? A: Other than our sales team, Apricot still uses the same sales system as the rest of the solar industry which is door-knocking and cold calling. Since there is no relationship and it is a cold high pressure sale, this system generates customer complaints. Our new and improved system of relationship selling along with our unique soft sell educational
approach dramatically minimizes customer complaints.
Q: Where can we purchase company-compliant / business cards/flyers/brochures/apparel? A: We are currently using a company that has designed compliant marketing materials and business cards. Email MGPDesigns@mgpworldwide.com for more information.
Q: Who does an affiliate/trainee contact with issues or questions after signing on with Apricot Solar? A: Always contact your Trainer.