Solar 101

Here's a quick introduction to how solar works and some of the benefits of solar for homeowners.


How Solar Works


1. Solar Panels

When sunlight hits your panels, they produce DC current through the photovoltaic effect.


2. Inverter

An inverter (either one central unit or individual microinverters) switches it to AC current.


3. In-Home Usage

Your home uses every bit of juice that it possibly can. You won't notice a difference, but everything is running on sunshine.


4. Net Meter (export)

All the excess power flows out through your meter. It used to run only one way (up) but now it tracks everything you produce too.


5. Utility Savings

When the sun is down, you use that excess you already banked. This means money back in your pocket for years to come.


6. Clean Energy Living

Solar panels last for decades, and don't require maintenance. You'll save money and save the planet all in one.

"I'm fascinated with 'green' and
how to not be reliant on
the utility company. "

- Gary Gietz, CEO ESP

Why Go Solar?

Green Living

From the minute your solar flips on, you're clean and green. Two noble goals that we can all agree on are protecting the environment by offsetting pollution from fossil fuels and reducing our impact on the planet.


Long-Term Savings

Who doesn't love saving money? Solar is an investment that gets more valuable the longer you have it, as utility rates continue to rise. You'll notice the difference on your power bills and can expect to save thousands over the coming years.

Our Shared Future

You're investing in a valuable asset for your home and your family, but you're also investing in the future of technology. All the coal and oil in the world won't ever match the near-infinite power of the sun, and we're just barely tapping into this enormous potential. With thousands of ESP customers in California running on sunshine every day, we're off to a good start.


We install and service solar.

The team behind ESP has spent decades improving the solar installation process. We've found that focus and dedication on the tasks we're the best at produce many more benefits than "trying to do it all".

Solar Service

Timelines and Expectations

Once you've signed up for a Service plan, you'll receive a monthly email status check. If there are any issues to report from our remote monitoring checkup, we'll let you know and have a specialist reach out ASAP. Some troubleshooting occurs entirely remotely while other issues may require a site visit. We'll do our best to get you on the calendar promptly if that's the case.

Our current service window for other products and services, such as removal and reinstall for re-roofing, is currently 4-6 weeks out. We appreciate your patience.

Setting proper expectations is part of good communication.

At ESP, our core focus is your satisfaction and the success of your project.

Rest assured, we are experts at what we do, and after 15,000 successful solar panel installations, we’ve learned how to overcome any obstacle. We don't like surprises any more than you do, so transparency comes standard. We will make sure you're confident in the clean power plant over your head!


Frequently Asked Questions

Does solar work on cloudy days?

Solar works best in direct sunlight. While the technology has advanced quite a bit to capture some ambient light, one major advantage of solar is Net Metering, where you accumulate excess solar production and bank it for days where the sun isn't shining as much. You don't need to worry about the solar working every minute of every day. On average, solar will overproduce in summer to make up for lower production in winter.

Does solar increase my home value?

Studies from Lawrence Berkeley Labs and other reputable research organizations have shown that solar arrays can add a healthy bump to home value. On average, a 4% increase is a safe estimate, but it depends on lots of factors. It's important to have the solar power system installed professionally and with aesthetics in mind — exactly how we do it!

When you sign up for one of our Service Plans, you'll have Pearl Certification automatically included. This is a great resource for homeowners who may want to refinance or sell, because it provides Realtor & Appraiser documentation that helps them accurately assess your home's value with solar.

Do I need to clean my panels? Does solar require regular maintenance?

Solar panels require no maintenance to continue operating for years. Cleaning once or twice a year doesn't hurt. In the event of severe smog or ash from wildfires, hosing the panels off at the end of the day isn't a bad idea, but we would never encourage you to climb up on your roof or to do anything unsafe.

We offer Panel Cleaning packages if you want a professional cleaning crew to come out at your convenience.

What happens if I need a new roof underneath the solar?

Solar panels often outlast the shingles that they cover, by many years! If you didn't replace your roof at the same time as the solar, you'll need a professional to unplug everything while the roofer does their part. A solar installation expert must be the one to remove the solar, in order to maintain manufacturer warranties.

We offer Removal & Reinstall for Re-Roofing when it's time to give your roof a touch-up.

How do I know the solar is working?

Every solar array comes with a monitoring app included for the homeowner. Enphase and SolarEdge are the two primary providers of this feature, and your login will generally be the primary email we have on file for you. You'll receive instructions as soon as your system is activated. Production reports or alerts will go directly to you. Once you sign up for a Service plan, we will also send out a monthly health-check email because we're watching your back.

How long do solar panels last?

Most solar panel manufacturers offer a 25-year warranty, which includes a production rating or "degradation factor" that states the panels should still be generating a certain amount at the end of any given period (usually no less than 80% production power at the end of the 25th year). If you follow that trend, many panels will still be functioning for decades to come.