Frequently Asked Questions
Click on any question below to reveal the answer.
Why should I use Summit Solar?
The most experienced solar installer in Sonoma County Area, Summit Solar has been dedicated to installing high-performing renewable energy systems since 1990. We have been in the Electrical business for 42 years, we can evaluate your electrical needs and draw the nexus between your power use and what you could be paying for your power as well as giving you energy-saving tips that would save energy without a large outlay of cash. Over the years, our team has been constantly learning and improving, making every installation even better than the last. Customers leverage this experience to ensure that their solar project will be finished on-time and on-budget. Our projects generate revenue quickly and without any the last minute financial surprises so often associated with projects of this size.
Not all solar contractors are electricians. Summit has highly trained electrical professionals, which allows us to provide one of the finest and most affordable Solar Electric services throughout all of Northern California. As a full-service Electrical Contracting Company we provide turn key PV solar systems from design to finished installation. Not only are we a complete Solar Electric Company but we are Professional Electricians capable of all electrical tasks including commercial and residential wiring.
We're small enough to give each customer personalized attention and support yet big enough to have the resources to work on almost any sized project. Our customers can continue to focus their attention on their core business concerns because our staff will meticulously track and communicate every detail of a project from start to finish.
The best measurement of a company's success is repeat business and referrals. A large portion of our business is generated either from a referral or a follow-up project being done by one of our existing customers.
Locally Based, Locally Focused
Many solar companies choose to dilute their resources by establishing geographically diverse offices. At Summit we have found that being the best requires a dedication to a more localized service area allowing us to better understand state subsidy programs, utility company regulations, and better navigate application processes.
Being a locally based company also assures that our customers will get quicker response times and better service for years to come. Talk to a sales person today Chances are good that we have successfully implemented a project very similar to yours. If we have not, our years of expertise will guide us to the best alternative for your specific needs. 707-542-4773 or e-mail at Green@summit-e.com
That being said, here are some more Frequently Asked Questions about solar, specifically:
How do Solar Panels generate electricity?
Solar Panels are made of Silicon. When sunlight is absorbed by the Silicon, it releases electrons. When released, those electrons only have one place they want to go; ground. The solar panel and associated wiring direct those free-wheeling electrons to the route to ground that will generate power for you; Power that you can use in your home or to sell back to the utility for other buildings to use.
Will my Solar Panels act as a backup if the utility power goes out?
In most cases, no; your system is designed to work along with your utility. If the system detects that there is no power available from the grid, it shuts down. This is a code requirement that protects the utility lineman from shock hazards that would be created from a system sending power into the grid without their knowledge. However, it is possible to set up batteries that are charged by the output of your solar array. In that case, you would have power until those batteries were spent. The more batteries, the more storage and the longer you will have power while your utility is down.
How long will a Solar Power system last?
Most panel manufacturers warranty their modules for 20 or 25 years. That's a long warranty. Although there are not many systems in the US that have been around that long, there's known to be systems in California approaching 40 years and still running strong.
Do I need a new roof before I get solar?
Your roof needs to be in good condition simply because you don't want to incur the cost of removing the solar to replace the roof. Generally, if a roof has at least 10 years left on its manufacturer warranty, it should be OK. Solar panels can actually extend the life of the roof because it will be shaded from the sun and won't get as hot.
What kind of maintenance does a Solar electric system require?
Solar electric systems require little maintenance. In our area, normal rainfall cycles may keep the panels clean enough during the rainy season. During dry periods, it is a good idea to hose them off with a garden hose (just don't do it when it's very sunny out). I good rule to live by is that if you have a lot of dust or pollen on your car, there's likely just as much on your panels and you should hose them off. We also offer twice yearly (or more often if your array is in an agricultural area prone to dust and pollen) maintenance programs. An additional service that we offer along the lines of maintenance is to reposition your array to take best advantage of the position of the sun in the different seasons.
What are the benefits to owning a Solar electric system?
There are many. Typically, you can greatly reduce your electric bill or even eliminate it altogether. Combine that with the Federal Investment Tax Credit and the Solar Renewable Energy Credit program and the costs are reduced to the point where your system can pay a rate of return much higher than the stock market or bank deposits. Lastly, it helps the environment - every Solar electric system installed is like planting acres of trees.
What do I do next?
Call Summit today at 707-542-4773 or click the link below to fill out a questionnaire here that will give our team what they need to start charting your power-generation needs and goals. Here comes the SUN!
For a 7.6kw system on a building with a $223 average PG&E bill:
| || Cash || Pre-paid Lease|| Zero Down Lease|
| Initial Output |
| $44,320|| $18,797|| $0|
| Years to Breakeven |
| 8-9 years|| 5-6 years|| Zero years|
| Monthly Payment |
| 0|| 0|| $135|
Some fun facts about a recently completed Solar array at an estate home in Shiloh Santa Rosa. This was the second largest Enphase Residential Solar Array in the WORLD at the time of completion (Feb. 2012):
This system will reduce Green House Gas emissions by 2,266 tons of Co2 over the next 25 years. This is equivalent to the Co2 emitted by a small car driving 7,681,695 miles; 4,672,371 air miles; the Co2 emitted from trash and waste from 4,120 persons; the equivalent offset of planting 90,644 trees.
Sonoma County is a cleaner, Greener place because of it!
Summit Electronic Systems
Why should I use Summit Electronic Systems?
Summit Electronic Systems is the largest and most experienced Electronic Systems Contractor in Sonoma, Napa and Marin Counties. We have the capable professionals to design, manage and install electronic systems projects of any size. We focus on designing systems that meet your specific needs. We call it “Technology for your lifestyle”.
How is Summit Electronic Systems different?
- Our business began in 1968 and we plan to continue supporting our existing customers and doing projects for new customers for many years to come.
- We specialize in electronic systems. The Summit Electric division of the group installs the high voltage electrical systems . Each division can work independently or we can work together to provide our customers with THE TOTAL SOLUTION.
- We operate out of a fully-equipped Design Center for the benefit of our clients.
- Our Team of exceptionally qualified and experienced employees feels passionately about exceeding our customer’s expectations and delivering “Technology for your Lifestyle.”
Is there a fee for project Design?
Yes. We believe that communication and an organized process is essential to deliver to our customers the best possible solution for their needs. Our professionals thoroughly design and engineer each system with meticulous attention to detail so the floor plans, schematics, system overview and a room-by-room equipment list is complete and the client is assured of a good result. Even if we do not install the system, the client owns the design.
Is there a separate charge for Project Management?
Yes. Our goal is to deliver each project within defined scope, quality, time and budget. We allocate time for the Project Manager to assure these objectives are met. His/her time is spent coordinating with the General Contractor, Architect, Designer and others in order to keep the project on track, prevent mistakes and to assure the project is executed and delivered as promised.
What products do you sell?
Check out the Partners section of our website to view the manufacturers we carry.
What is your warranty policy?
We guarantee all material and installation labor for one (1) year from the date of installation. The equipment warranty may be longer, depending on the manufacturer. Having said that, our goal is to achieve 100% client satisfaction. We will return and work with any client until that goal is achieved. We also offer several Extended Warranty – Preventative Maintenance Programs. For more information please email: email@example.com
or call 707.766.1510.
Who do I call for Service?
How long have you been in business?
Summit Electric, Inc. was founded in 1968 by Richard Dashiell. His son, Laurence Dashiell, took over ownership in 1986.
What electrical contracting services do you provide?
Summit Electric, Inc. is a full service electrical contractor with nearly 40 years of experience in the commercial, industrial, institutional, residential, and design/build markets. As a full-service contractor, Summit Electric Inc. capably handles all aspects of any electrical project: Consultation, design and engineering, installation, and service.
What specialized services do you provide?
In addition to standard electrical installations, we offer the following specialized services:
- Home Theater
- Lighting Control
- Total Control
- Security & Surveillance
- Voice & Data Networks
- Boardroom Systems
- Back-up Power Systems
- Energy Efficient Systems
- 24/7 Electrical Service
What sets you apart from other electrical contracting firms?
There was once a time when architects, interior designers, contractors and clients who wanted to add electrical service, lighting, audio-video, automation, voice and data networks, and security systems to their projects faced a big challenge. They needed someone to design, supply, install and support these solutions. They had to organize a multitude of different contractors, sorting out who would be responsible for each task and scheduling when each would work.
Summit Technology Group, Inc. is the North Bay’s leading Electrical/Electronic Systems integrator. With one phone call to Summit Technology Group, clients can lower their stress and increase their satisfaction. Our three divisions work hand in hand to provide our clients a full spectrum of services – from low- to high-voltage – and engineered network solutions.
What kinds of back-up power solutions do your provide?
Summit Electric designs and installs residential and business back up power systems. Generators, battery back-up systems and uninterruptible power sources are all viable options, and surprisingly affordable. Call us today for a consultation and never be without power again!
How can I improve energy efficiency at my home or business?
Summit Electric, Inc. offers many energy saving solutions for home and business:
- Energy audits
- Lighting retrofits and PG&E rebate processing
- Power saving lighting
- Control systems & occupancy sensors
- “Smart building” automation systems
- Programmable thermostats for HVAC
- Solar energy systems
Summit Electrical Service
Are your Service Technicians licensed and insured?
All of our Service Technicians are licensed, bonded, California State Certified Journeyman Electricians.
What is your hourly rate?
Before any work is started, you will be quoted an up-front price by the job, not by the hour. This ensures that you know exactly what the job will cost no matter how long it takes them to complete it.
Can I get an estimate over the phone?
There are too many variables for us to provide pricing over the telephone until your job is seen by a Service Technician, who is a skilled, licensed Electrician. By this method, clients receive accurate assessments and up-front prices for their complete jobs.
What does it cost to have a Service Technician come out during regular business hours?
There is a $59 trip fee to send a skilled Service Technician to your door in a fully stocked service truck. Once the Service Technician has assessed the situation, he will provide a detailed diagnosis and a written estimate, on top of the $59 trip fee, for the client’s review. He provides a flat rate price by the job – not by the hour. No matter how long the job takes, you will know up front exactly what the work will cost.
Why do you charge a $59 trip fee?
The $59 trip fee helps us cover the ever-rising costs associated with sending a highly- skilled State Certified Journeyman Electrician to your site. These costs include wages, on-going training, benefits, insurance and fuel. The trip fee allows us to hire and retain only the best electricians in the business to assess each job.
What are your regular business hours?
8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday
What areas do you serve?
We have Service Technicians in Sonoma, Marin and Napa Counties.
Will the Service Technician be able to stay and complete my request on their first trip out?
Barring special order items, our Service Technicians are prepared to stay and complete any work quoted to you on their first trip out. They arrive in a fully-stocked service truck and generally have all of the parts on board to complete standard service requests.
Can I get a same day appointment?
We generally have same day or next day appointments available. In the event of an electrical emergency, we will make every effort to get someone out to you immediately. We also offer after-hours appointments.
I during the day, Monday through Friday. Is it possible to have someone come out after regular business hours or on the weekend?
We offer 24/7 electrical service. After-hours and weekend appointments are always an option.
What is the charge for an after-hours or weekend appointment?
We have a $250 trip fee for service provided after regular business hours and on weekends, which covers the overtime wages we are required to pay our Service Technicians. Once the Service Technician has assessed the situation, the client is provided a detailed diagnosis and a written estimate. The client is provided a flat rate price – by the job, not by the hour. This ensures, that no matter how long the job takes, the client knows in advance exactly what the work will cost, in addition to the $250 trip fee.
What do I do if I have an electrical emergency in the middle of the night or on a weekend?
Call our office outside of regular business hours and an automated attendant will direct you to press "9" for emergency electrical service. At that point, calls are transferred to a live operator who takes the caller’s information. One of our highly skilled Service Technicians will return client calls within an hour.
My wife and children will be home alone at the time of our appointment. What assurances do I have that they will be safe with one of your technicians in our home?
We are very conscientious about client safety and security. For this reason, all of our employees are drug-tested and have a full background screening completed before they are hired. Our company and employees are fully licensed, bonded and insured.
I see that you are a Diamond Certified company. What does this mean?
We are Diamond Certified, which means that we are independently rated “highest in quality” in our area by the American Ratings Corporation. Their 12-step certification process requires companies to score in the highest level of quality (90 or above on a 100 scale) via an independent customer satisfaction study. It doesn’t stop there. Each company that earns the Diamond Certified award is re-rated on an ongoing basis, so you can be assured that in order for a company to keep its Diamond Certified status it must continue to deliver high customer satisfaction. You can learn more by visiting the Diamond Certified website at www.diamondcertified.com.
Do you offer a warranty on your work?
We warrant our work free from defects in material and workmanship for the warranty period. Unless otherwise stated in writing on a client invoice, the warranty period is ninety (90) days from completion of the project. Having said that, 100% client satisfaction is our goal. When a client is not satisfied with our work, for any reason, we will return and work to resolve the problem until the client is completely happy.
Do you offer any discounts?
We are pleased to offer a 5% senior discount to our clients aged 55 and over. We offer a one time 15% discount to Sonoma Express card holders, who receive a 10% discount thereafter.