These are among the questions we are asked most often about solar.

What does Albert Einstein and space exploration have to do with today’s solar technology?

Although this question isn’t ever asked, we like the answer so we thought we’d share it.

Albert Einstein provided the breakthrough for modern photovoltaic technology in 1905, when he described the nature of light and used this to explain the nature of the photoelectric effect. He later won a Nobel prize for this theory. It took some time from that discovery to the production of the first photovoltaic module in 1954, but by the 60s engineers started to make use of the technology to provide power for spacecraft, and through use in space programs around the world the technology progressed to being a potential source for domestic and commercial energy.

What are the ROI factors for a solar parking canopy?

Solar parking canopies provide three benefits to those parking their cars: cooling shade from the sun, shelter from the elements, and solar electric power for the canopy owner. The ROI calculation is different from a rooftop installation. We must take into account the value of improved parking conditions, and what the solar-generated electricity will be used for: electric vehicle charging, night-time parking area lighting, selling back for credits, or some other on-site storage & usage. 

Call us and we'll help you determine the ROI for a solar canopy! 

How do Solar Panels work?

Solar panels allow photons, or particles of light, to knock electrons free of atoms, generating a flow of electricity. They work by absorbing sunlight with photovoltaic cells, generating Direct Current (DC) energy. They convert it to Alternating Current (AC) with an inverter. AC then flows through the home’s or business’ electrical panel to be distributed throughout the building. The more sunlight they collect, the more energy they produce.

What are Solar Panels made of?

Solar panels are made of small units of photovoltaic (PV) cells which convert sunlight into electricity.
Each cell is made up of two layers of semiconducting material.

They are black in color, perfect for absorbing heat and light. Many cells linked together with electrical wiring make up a solar panel.

What are the financial benefits of going solar?

A solar system that is installed correctly and sized appropriately for your home or office building will cut your electricity costs significantly. It will also help you hedge against the rising cost of electricity through your local utility company.

What do solar panels cost for my business or home?

There is no simple formula for calculating the cost of solar. Financial incentives, roof size, amount of sun and other factors are taken into consideration to determine pricing, so each installation is unique. Call or contact us for a free estimate on what solar would cost for your home or business.

Can I install solar panels now and add battery storage later?

Yes, you can. Solar systems can be installed with special inverters that can be attached to solar energy battery storage units at a later time. This is called a ‘storage retrofit,’ and it is a great way to prepare for adding solar storage options in the future. 

How long will my solar array last?

Most solar panels come with a 20-year warranty. We have installed many systems that have outlived their warranties and are still performing well.

Will my system need maintenance?

Solar is a simple, almost maintenance free technology. You should not have to replace your panels during their warranty lifetime. However, the wiring that connects your panels may need to be checked occasionally to make sure it has not been tampered with by wildlife.

A friendly visitor taking a sun bath on solar panels at the home of Sun Light & Power founder and President, Gary Gerber.

"Sun Light & Power are great to work with. Their office staff and in-field team are very professional and helped me to resolve any issues or questions that came up."

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Scott L

"The San Francisco SPCA strives to be socially responsible in all business practices, and we chose to install solar panels to help decrease our carbon footprint.

5
San Francisco SPCA

"Since Sun Light & Power is committed to making a positive difference in the world, we were delighted to see them selected by Oberlin Dance Collective for their project in San Francisco's Mission District. Sun Light & Power has gone above and beyond to make this project a success."

5
Lee Barken, CollectiveSun® Chief Community Officer

"Sun Light & Power exercises its deep engineering experience in favor of great solar design. They are realistic in assessing construction requirements and have useful solutions.

5
David Kunhardt

"When Sun Light & Power installed a 19 kW array at our previous location they were helpful up front, thorough and professional in their installation, and responsive whenever we had questions or needed maintenance.

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Lawrence Grown
Berkeley, CA

“CUSD is committed to sustainable facility construction and operations. Part of that commitment is the environmental and fiscal savings afforded by solar electricity generation.

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Doug Williams, LEED AP - Construction Manager, Measure G, Campbell Union School District

“With extremely limited resources available to provide quality affordable housing, it is critical to work with companies that are committed to provide the highest quality product. Sun Light & Power has proven time and again to be such a company.

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Woody Karp, Project Developer at Eden Housing

"This is a remarkable project that will directly help people and uplift the entire community. This used to be a run-down area, but it's now LEED-H Platinum certified affordable housing with superb community spaces.

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Congressman Sam Farr (D-Calif.), re: Camphora Apartments
Soledad

"Cabrillo is proud to build new 'green' dwellings for some of our valued farmworkers in Ventura County. They nourish our economy through their hard work. They deserve safe, beautiful homes so they, and their families, can prosper, thrive and succeed together."

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Nicole Norori, Project Manager, CEDC

"Sun Light and Power is great to work with on any solar project. We have had the luxury of working with SLP since 2008 on ten different construction projects. These projects range from big to small and both photo-voltaic and solar water systems.

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Steve Cetrone

"You guys did a great job, not just in installing the equipment but in being perceptive as to how to deal with the regulatory authorities of Contra Costa County and the roofers.

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William (Bill) Day
Contra Costa County

“Roofs are a valuable resource and should be considered as an asset that shouldn’t be wasted on low-performance equipment. Because of the energy intensity of refrigeration and processing, the biggest challenge of going solar is making a significant impact on the energy usage."

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Martin Morehouse – Sun Light & Power ST engineer and estimator

“The building’s energy requirements include lighting and extensive power demands from refrigeration and other electrical needs. Some of this energy usage is also related to a new emphasis on ready-to-eat foods, including a second-floor kitchen with a flash freezer."

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Progressive Grocer

“I would not hesitate to work with SLP anytime in the future. I would also highly recommend them to anyone looking for a solar system.”

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Garry Pollard, Director of Operations, North Creek Church
North Creek

“We are very pleased that such a significant portion of our electrical needs are being met with our solar array. Sun Light & Power did a great engineering and installation job with this challenging project.

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Mike Hannigan, President of First Chinese Baptist Church

“The San Francisco SPCA strives to be socially responsible in all business practices, and we chose to install solar panels to help decrease our carbon footprint.

0
The San Francisco SPCA
San Francisco, CA

"With extremely limited resources available to provide quality affordable housing, it is critical to work with companies that are committed to provide the highest quality product.

0
Woody Karp, Project Developer – Eden Housing Inc.

"Sun Light & Power did an excellent job providing us with a full suite of design and installation services."

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Jim Gaither Jr. Hanover Page Mill Associates, L.P.

"Alameda County’s Board of Supervisors awarded Sun Light & Power this ambitious solar project.

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Matt Muniz, Energy Program Manager of Castro Valley Public Library

"From the first day, when we threw the switch, we have been 100% solar powered which feels great and saves money. Sun Light & Power did a great job for us."

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Dara O’Farrell

"Best contractor experience of any kind that I've encountered in San Francisco. Great, talented, efficient people."

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James Lynch
San Francisco, CA

"Sun Light & Power designed and installed the PV system currently in operation at my home in Orinda. I am very satisfied with the service and work they provided.

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John McGonigle
Ornida, CA

"We considered three companies, and Sun Light & Power provided the most informed personnel and the best equipment. They were timely, professional, and reliable – a great experience."

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D.M.
El Cerrito, CA

"We’re proud to be part of the growing trend toward sustainability. Every aspect of our restaurant reflects our holistic commitment to using primarily organic, biodynamic, and sustainable ingredients & products from countertops to rooftop solar from food choices to wine list.... Read More

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Anjan Mitra - Owner of Dosa in San Francisco, CA
San Francisco

"I have had a very good experience with Sun Light & Power over the last several years, which includes seven projects."

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Ed Bashay- Senior Construction Manager of The Cheesecake Factory Restaurants

"My experience with your company for my solar electric and solar hot water system installation was very positive. Both systems have worked extremely well for years. I would not hesitate to recommend you to a friend."

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David Grant

"My solar water collector/panel had a leak. Matthew came out to assess and instead of recommending a new collector, he actually fixed the leak! And at a very fair fee. Totally pleased with workmanship."

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Larry G.
Culver City

"I think it was 2006 when we had our Solar Hot water installed in Berkeley. The guys who did the job were a) friendly, b) neat and tidy, c) finished on time. The system has worked perfectly, since installation.

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Perry S.

This space is more than a headquarters; it’s a home to our inspiration and passion to do business in a better way.

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Gary Erikson, Founder and Co-CEO, Clif Bar

The resulting system represents our genuine commitment to responsible energy consumption and sustainability.

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Cooperative Center Federal Credit Union

We wanted to showcase our dedication to ‘green’ business management and prove that any business can continue being profitable while being better stewards of the planet."

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David Meese, General Manager of Primo Honda

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