General FAQs

Financial Reasons

  • Reduce your monthly electric bill. Apply the savings towards a home improvement project, your child’s education, a vacation or your retirement.
  • Take advantage of rebates and tax credits – Click here to learn more.
  • Avoid ever increasing electricity costs.
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Environmental Reasons

  • Help the environment. The energy generated from the sun is one of the cleanest forms of energy available. A typical home solar installation generally saves around 100 trees per year! And solar does not pollute or harm our ecosystem.
  • Make the world a better place for future generations.

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It’s Available

Solar provides consistent, dependable and reliable energy. Did you know that the amount of sun that falls onto the United States during one noonish hour is about equal to the annual U.S. electricity demand? That’s a lot of unused energy, isn’t it? It is energy that is always there, always available.

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It’s American

  • Create jobs. As the coal, gas and oil industries flounder, all of those workers are going to need jobs. And did you know that the solar industry employs more veterans than the rest of the workforce?
  • Note: Axium Solar does incorporate domestic products, whenever possible, into every solar installation.
  • We are joining forces with other countries in adopting a healthier, more cost efficient and self sustaining way of living. But when we adopt these philosophies, we are also becoming less dependent upon other countries for our resources.

This is probably our most asked question, but the answer is quite variable.Here are some things that are taken into consideration when determining cost:

  • How much energy do you consume now?  Check your electric bill for the past 12-24 months to determine trends.  You'll need a solar panel system to produce as much of the energy you consume as possible.  In fact, we'll ask you for this information, but it's a good idea for you to track this info yourself.. it'll come in handy after your solar installation so that you can watch for trends, see your savings and most of all, valuate ROI!
  • How many panels will fit on your roof and/or yard?
  • What brand of panels, inverters and other things will be used?
  • Will you be installing battery storage? This might cost more upfront, but you'll be able to store the extra energy you create for use at night so in the long run, your actual electric bill can be quite small.. or nothing!
  • Permitting, wiring, mounting, supplies, labor and installation fees.
  • Are you eligible to take the 30% tax credit?
  • Do you qualify for additional credits and/or rebates for your location and/or income?
Solar energy diagram
Solar energy diagram
For more information please navigate to the Learning section.
Grid-tied solar systems are required by code to shut down upon loss of grid power. The primary reason for this is to protect repair crews working to restore normal grid operation. Stray or unknown sources of current could be harmful to utility workers if solar PV systems remain on.Once the grid is operating normally for 5 minutes the system will automatically begin producing power.Batteries charged by a solar system or backup generators can be integrated to provide power to critical loads during grid outages. Energy storage is becoming a huge topic, especially lately, as people realize that all of the energy they create, but don't use can be stored for later use.

This depends on the market. In the deregulated areas of Texas, exported energy is reported each billing cycle to the retail provider and that retail provider may or may not buy the energy from you. Rates vary per provider but can range from the avoided fuel cost up to retail rates. For more information and a list of companies that have buyback programs, please see www.powertochoose.org.

In rural COOP territories and municipally owned utilities, programs vary, but where older analog meters still exist your bill will typically be the net of energy exported and energy consumed. Most will reconcile this each billing cycle. Some municipally owned utilities have moved to a performance based incentive by assigning a “value of solar” rate to all energy produced and compensating you at that rate. This value is based on the savings the utility receives by reduced need for transmission and distribution infrastructure as well as other avoided costs associated with the generation and delivery of electricity.

It is important that you check with your local utility to learn more about their policies regarding exporting power. Please see the utilities page for contact information for major utilities.

Solar PV systems perform the best when the modules face due south at a tilt close to the latitude of their location. Any variance from this and annual energy production will decrease. Slight deviations in tilt and orientation will have only a minimal impact.

Other factors such as shading, dirt buildup, improperly sized wire or other incorrectly installed components can also decrease energy production.

Additionally, it's always best to take a look at your energy consumption and ways in which you can become more efficient in it's use.  Switching to Energy Star appliances, installing LEDs, better weatherizing your home (i.e. windows, doors, vents, etc.), unplugging things you rarely or never use, shutting lights off when you leave a room (or installing motion sensor lights that auto-turn-off) and setting the thermostat on the hot water heater down are just a few things you can do right now and even if you don't yet have solar installed.

If your system needs serviced, navigate here for more info.

Solar cells need sunlight in order to produce energy. If shadows fall across a cell or group of cells their ability to produce energy is hindered or even completely stopped, much in the same way that a kink in a garden hose blocks the flow of water. Some shading early in the morning or late in the day when shadows are longer is inevitable, but shading during peak sun hours should be avoided. Where it can’t be avoided, certain types of technology may be implemented to minimize the impact of shading.
The current payback for most systems is between 7 and 12 years, where a combination of utility and tax incentives exists. The exact payback will depend on the specific system components, type of application, as well as current and escalated utility rates over time.

This will vary based on the PV system size, application, and the amount of energy your home or building consumes.

Most customers experience a 20-60% reduction in their bill after implementing a solar PV system. Axium Solar recommends implementing low cost improvements to help increase the efficiency of your home, or building in conjunction with or prior to installing a solar PV system. A more efficient home/building means a greater percentage of offset by your PV system.

Incentives vary by region and by customer type. Please see the list below to determine which incentives may apply to you.

Federal Investment Tax Credit: This is a dollar for dollar tax credit that is calculated at 30% of the system cost. The system cost used to calculate the value of the credit may need to be adjusted if other incentives were received and passed along to the installer to reduce the sell price of the system. This incentive is only available to taxpaying entities. Please consult your tax advisor on how to apply this incentive to your particular situation. 

Utility Incentives: Many local utilities offer incentives to lower the cost of installing solar PV systems. These incentives can be in the form of cash rebates offered at the time of installation or performance based incentives paid periodically based on the actual energy generated by the system. Major utilities in Texas who have historically had programs are AEP, Oncor, TNMP, Entergy, Austin Energy, CPS, CoServ and Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative. Incentive amounts and program availability change often. Please consult your local utility for details regarding their specific programs.

Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS): This incentive allows commercial, taxpaying entities to fully depreciate the solar asset according to a 6 year schedule. Actual cash value of the depreciation will be based on the marginal tax rate. Please consult with your tax advisor for specific requirements on how to capitalize (no pun intended) on this incentive.

Grants: Historically, grants have been accessible for certain customers. Public entities, such as state agencies, ISD’s and municipalities have been able to apply for funding through the State Energy Conservation Office to install renewable energy systems. The USDA also has a grant program available to rural businesses. Grant opportunities change frequently, so please contact us to learn more about what may be available to you.

To see a list of Texas-specific incentives and rebates, click here.

This depends on the amount of space on your roof (or yard) that is available for solar and the amount of energy your home or building consumes.

Other important factors to consider include how your home or business consumes energy throughout the day and how you are compensated for energy exported to the grid, as well as, whether you will also be incorporating battery energy storage into your system.

Most PV modules warranty that production in year 25 will be no less than 80 percent of nameplate rating. Typical useful life is considered to be 30 years, but the system will continue produce energy well beyond that point. Axium Solar designs for a 50 year system life.

With most residential systems, the most common method of attachment is via lag screw through the roof to the roof joists. Axium solar uses a flashed and sealed attachment point to ensure that the roof will not leak.

With larger commercial systems, attachment will vary based on the type of roof and wind speed requirements for the area.

For standing metal seam roofs, Axium Solar utilizes a seam clamp that allows us to attach to the roof without penetrations.

For flat roofs, we can usually meet and exceed local wind speed requirements with a non penetrating system that is ballasted to the roof.

Finally, as technology evolves, designs can change. But, we will always meet and exceed safety and durability requirements.

Most solar panels carry a warranty that guarantees production will not degrade more than 20% of the module’s nameplate rating by year 25. Workmanship and structural integrity of the PV module is typically 5 to 10 years. Inverters typically carry a 5 to 10 year warranty.
Yes, however, it is much more cost effective to install the full system in a single installation. If you decide that getting to your desired capacity is to be performed in 2 or more phases, you will want to work with your installer to plan for the expansion. Failure to properly account for future expansion could result in higher than necessary costs when you add to your system at a later date.
We will absolutely guide you through things - every step of the way! For IREUSA's printable checkslist, navigate to our Learning page.

The U.S. Department of Energy published a 56 page document that brilliantly outlines the basics.

To read the document, click here.

If you're interested in starting up a community solar garden or farm, please let us know, as we can assist you through the process!

We have installed solar for many, many people across Texas, both residential and commercial.

You can find some of our photos here

We've put together some tips that you can ready by clicking here

Service & Support FAQs

Modules are made with thick, tempered glass very similar to the kind of glass that's used for your vehicle's windshield. Most solar panels have been designed and tested to withstand up to 1” diameter hail (about the size of a golf ball) striking perpendicularly to the module at 50 mph. This means that the hail "hits" the panel at an angle and it bounces off. We've noted that panels have withstood even the larger sized hail that has unfortunately damaged many roofs. Here's a SolarWorld impact test video so you can see how tough modules are.

You will want to replace cracked panels even if they are functioning at full capacity, as cracks may allow water to seep into the panels and create a host of problems. Luckily, most people do not receive panel damage, though their roof may need to be replaced. In these instances, we remove the array and reinstall once the roofer has completed the repairs.

If your array is damaged by hail it is typically covered under your home or building insurance policy. Reach out to your insurance company first, then submit a service request with us and we'll coordinate with you and your roofer.

Removal: Allow 1-2 weeks to schedule the removal of the array so that your roofer can work on your roof. If we can schedule the removal sooner than this time, we absolutely will.

Reinstall: The reinstall will commence two weeks after the completion of your roofer's work. This allows your roof to settle or "bake" first.  In our experience, not allowing the roof to bake prior to reinstallation of the array can create roof scarring and severe damage to the roof.

NOTE:  The removal generally takes a few hours.  The reinstall, however, can take as long as 2-3 days to complete, depending upon the complexity of various factors.

Important: Some people ask their roofer to remove/reinstall their array, but this voids the warranty and it can also cause problems with array functionality, further adding to expenses. You'll want to hire a licensed electrician who also has experience in solar PV to take care of the removal/reinstall to ensure your array is reinstalled according to building and electrical code and is functioning at optimal capacity.

If you need your array removed/reinstalled, click here to complete the form and provide as much detail as possible.

Here are the steps to take:

1.)  The homeowner must contact Axium Solar directly unless it is a rare instance that you, the roofer, will be paying for the removal/reinstall.

2.)  We will create the estimate for the homeowner to review and to submit to his/her insurance company, if applicable.

3.)  From there, we will create the contract that the homeowner must sign prior to the removal getting scheduled.

4.)  Once we receive the signed contract from the homeowner, the removal will be placed on the schedule.  Note:  Allow 1-2 weeks to schedule the removal of the array.  If we can schedule the removal sooner, we absolutely will.

5.)  The reinstall will commence two weeks after the completion of the roof work. This allows the roof to settle or "bake" first.  In our experience, not allowing the roof to bake prior to reinstallation of the array can create roof scarring and severe damage to the roof.

NOTE:  The removal generally takes a few hours.  The reinstall, however, can take as long as 2-3 days to complete, depending upon the complexity of various factors.

Congratulations on your new home and on owning solar!

It's helpful if you have the array's drawings/blueprints or can tell us how many panels you have, along with what kind of inverter(s) you're using.  If you don't have or know these things, it's okay, as our service technician can visit your array for an assessment.  

He will test things, take measurements and even take a few photos of your array.  His assessment will determine next steps, but our goal will be to get you up and running so that you can benefit from your solar.

We will even find information about your equipment and pass that along to you and teach you how to "use" your array.

One thing you'll definitely want to do is engage in some monitoring software.  This will let you know how much energy your array is creating, it can alert you to problems and you can create reports that will show you your savings.  More on monitoring is here.

You sure can!

Submit a service request by filling out this form with as much detail as possible.  We will contact you to ask you additional information and to schedule our visit.

NOTE:  It's helpful if you have the array's drawings/blueprints or can tell us how many panels you have, along with what kind of inverter(s) you're using.  If you don't have or know these things, it's okay, as our service technician can visit your array for an assessment.  

Absolutely! Our Service Team is happy to come by and diagnose the problem. Once they determine what the issue is, they will get you up and running again.Just submit a service request by filling out this form with as much detail as possible.

You will generally see the difference on your electric bill.

Ideally, you will also have access to monitoring software which allows you to view things such as system production and use.  You can login to your array's portal via a computer or smart phone, which is highly convenient.

If you do not have monitoring software and are interested, submit your request here.

Our services can be customized based upon your need and preference. As a result, this list is not all inclusive:
  • A complete mechanical inspection of the racking, panels, electrical systems and inverter(s)
  • An audit of energy production to include an evaluation of network voltage and frequency
  • Repairs
  • Cleaning
  • Repairing weather related damages, including array removal / reinstall if you receive roof damage
To view information about our annual maintenance plans, click here.To submit a service request, click here.

Though solar panels are generally maintenance free, they are still appliances. Electrical appliances, just like your fridge, dishwasher, washer and dryer. As such, it is a good practice to schedule regular maintenance to ensure things are operating in tip top shape.

Our Service Team will inspect every component of your array to ensure integrity.  Even a small loss of output on a panel or two impacts your investment, so it’s important to stay on top of things.  

To view additional information about our maintenance services, click here.

After investigating this problem for a few of our customers, we realized how damaging squirrels and other critters can be to solar investments so we have implemented a solution to protect your array.Navigate to this link for more information.
We can absolutely work with you to make this happen.   Like anything else, a variety of factors will be taken into consideration.  See also, the FAQ for, "I already have a solar array, but would like to add more panels to it, how do I do that?"

Let us know what you've in mind and we will work through next steps with you. Generally speaking, these are some of the factors that will be taken into consideration:

1.) What kW increase are you interested in?

2.) If you've the available roof (or yard) space in which to place the additional panels.

3.) Shading, if any, along with directional exposure (i.e. North, South, East & West.)

4.) Whether a permit will need to be pulled. This depends on the laws within your municipality, along with how much of an increase in output you are seeking.

5.) The time frame you are looking to have the addition done.

You may also qualify for tax credits, rebates and other services to alleviate the cost of the addition. Much of this also depends on where you live and what funds/services are available at the time you want the addition.

We do our best to provide times, as we know how busy you are and that it's not always easy or convenient to take off of work to wait for our arrival.  However, several jobs are scheduled each day and sometimes we run into complex delays which may require a bit of additional time.  

We will communicate with you and provide you with an approximate time frame and our service technicians will call you to alert you when they are en route to your home.