Frequently Asked Questions

 

+ HOW DO I KNOW MY SOLAR IS WORKING? WHERE CAN I SEE MY SYSTEM PRODUCTION?

When there’s light in the sky, your system will generally be producing power. Yes, even on a cloudy day!

The majority of our residential systems use Enphase microinverters. Enphase provides a tool called MyEnlighten to monitor system production anytime. You can download the Enphase app on the Apple and Android app store for free, or you can visit the website at http://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com on your computer.

If your system uses a different inverter system, please consult your user manual for the appropriate monitoring tool.

+ I SEE AN ERROR ON MY MONITORING APP - WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Errors on your monitoring app don’t always mean something is wrong with the solar. There are a few common errors that you might see. Some resolve themselves within a short time and aren’t anything to worry about. Others may require a support technician to troubleshoot with you, or possibly schedule a site visit*.

If your Enphase monitoring app shows “Envoy is not reporting”: this does not affect your solar production and generally resolves itself within a few days. Examples of why this happens include if you have recently changed your internet provider, upgraded your router, etc. If the error persists for longer than a week, please follow this guide for basic troubleshooting. (Note: do not reset your TP-Link, the small device with the green light attached to your router).

If your Enphase app shows “Production error”: this may be a result of a few things. Your system is designed to throw this error when it falls below a certain threshold, typically 90% of estimated production for that time of year. Examples of why this happens include the weather (i.e. snow covering panels, which will melt off), or a genuine issue with the system underproducing. We are happy to help in the latter scenario and are proactively responding to these particular issues, however, it might take our team longer to detect. We encourage you to proactively reach out if the error persists outside of weather-related concerns.

If your Enphase app shows “Microinverter not reporting” error: please refer to the above for potential weather-related causes. This is usually temporary, does not generally affect solar production, and often resolves itself. One common cause is the Envoy having regained Internet connection and uploading backlogged data - it just needs time to catch up. If it persists for longer than a week, please follow the Enphase troubleshooting steps here. We encourage you to proactively reach out.

If your Enphase app shows “CT measurement issue”: these are more technical errors related to consumption monitoring. This does not affect production, but will generally require a site visit.

*Site visits may incur a fee in some situations, for example if the issue is not related to component failure covered by warranty.

+ I SEE TWO DIFFERENT NUMBERS ON MY SOLAR MONITORING APP AND MY NET-METERED CREDITS ON MY UTILITY BILL. WHY IS THAT?

This is because of what we call “behind-the-meter” usage. The numbers will never match because of how your home uses solar power, and how net meters track energy flowing through them.

Imagine your home is a bucket that needs to be filled with electricity at all times. When you have solar panels, your home will be filled with either 100% solar electricity during the day, or utility grid electricity at night.

When the sun is out, your home uses the solar power first. Excess power is exported out to the grid, through your net meter.

The net meter can only read in or out. It doesn’t see what the solar is putting into your home since that’s “behind” the meter.

Your solar monitoring app shows what the solar puts into your home. It can’t see what the net meter is reading.

If you want to see everything at once, just call 801-505-WATT (9288) and ask to speak with a Field Service technician about upgrading your system to Smart Home/Consumption Monitoring capabilities.

+ I’M STILL RECEIVING A POWER BILL - WHY ISN’T THE SOLAR COVERING MY ELECTRIC USE?

You will still receive a monthly bill for the basic net-metering charge, usually no more than $10/month depending on your utility. If your bill is higher than this, there could be a few reasons.

Your electric usage may have increased. This could be due to additional members of the household, new gadgets or appliances (electric cars, hot tubs, etc.), outdated or malfunctioning appliances, and more. For example, if your AC or fridge are failing, they can start to draw significantly more power without your knowledge.

Check out our blog posts on energy efficiency tips here and here.

If you’re not sure whether you’re using more power, we are happy to conduct a power bill analysis for you. We need copies of at least the last 12-24 months of power bills sent to support@auricenergy.com to analyze.

Your system may not have been designed to cover 100% of your usage. This may be due to how much roof space you have, your existing shading conditions, utility restrictions, or other limiting factors. The good news is that solar will always knock out the most expensive power tiers charged by your utility, keeping your bill in the lowest rate group available. You could say that your very first solar panel saves you the most amount of money over time.

Utility charges and rate questions should be directed to your local utility, as they are outside Auric’s direct control. We endeavor to stay up-to-date on any rate changes or net-metering program updates before they might affect our customers.

The solar may have a production issue. As mentioned above, our support team is proactively seeking out issues that affect solar production. If your system has ever failed to meet our acceptable level of production, we will take care of you.

+ I NEED A NEW ROOF - CAN I REMOVE THE SOLAR?

Do not have anyone but a qualified solar technician, ideally your original installer, remove the solar panels. Oftentimes there are workmanship warranties that may be voided by tampering with the solar. That being said, if Auric is not your original installer but you can’t reach them, our fully-licensed support technicians are happy to schedule an uninstall and reinstall based around your roofing contractor’s timeline. Especially if you have had hail or wind damage to your roof, we are at your service.

Please call us at 801-878-3363 to discuss your needs.

(Click here to see why you don’t want an unqualified person removing solar.)

+ THERE’S SNOW ON MY PANELS - SHOULD I TRY TO CLEAN IT OFF?

We never advise you to do anything unsafe. Climbing up on a snowy, icy roof falls in the category of unsafe. The snow will melt off on its own, and the amount of lost production due to snow days is a fraction of your overall annual production potential.

There are tools available that assist in clearing snow while standing on the ground, but we do not recommend using them. Partly because some panel manufacturers consider any foreign object dragging across the surface of the panels as a voided warranty, and partly because creating an avalanche of ice and snow headed in your direction is also fairly unsafe. Heat tape is another option that we don’t necessarily recommend, as it will increase your home’s electric usage and can be a fire hazard, and cannot come in close proximity to the solar array. Auric does not provide either of these options and cannot be held responsible if a homeowner chooses to employ them.

If you are concerned about the snow sliding off your panels and possibly damaging gutters or vehicles/property/people underneath, we do offer a product called Snow Guard. This does prevent snow from sliding off, so it may inversely affect your production somewhat, but we are happy to consult with you based on your situation.

+ I HAVE BIRDS/SQUIRRELS/CRITTERS UNDER MY PANELS!

Please contact our support technicians right away to get a quote on pest control cleanup and “Critter Guard” installation. While it is unlikely that birds or any other animal are able to damage your solar array, it is a health risk and can damage shingles and gutters. Although our installs never have exposed wiring, it's possible for very ambitious animals to chew on some components.

If you notice a lot of birds or other animals in your area, we encourage you to be proactive - preventative measures are exponentially cheaper than the cleanup process.

+ I NEED MY SOLAR ARRAY FIXED. MY SOLAR PROVIDER IS NO LONGER RESPONDING TO ME - CAN YOU HELP?

Absolutely! Solar is a good thing, and Auric is here to make it work. Please contact our support technicians at 801-505-WATT (9288) and ask for a Field Service quote. We can assist with a number of diagnostic issues and repairs.

  • Replacing Broken Solar Panels or Adding New Panels to Existing Solar Array

  • Removing & Reinstalling Solar Array for Roof Repairs

  • Inverter Issues (Microinverters or String Inverters/Optimizers)

  • Wiring/Conduit/Electrical Problems

  • Complete 20-Point Solar System Inspection*

*For a period of time, we offered an annual 20 Point Inspection system checkup included in our warranty. We have audited over 1600 Auric installations, and during this time, we found very few issues - all of which were immediately repaired - so for that reason we are transitioning to a "by request" model for customers who are eligible for the annual checkup at no charge. We will no longer be reaching out to our customers to schedule these inspections, but you are welcome to call and request to schedule an annual 20 Point Inspection of your system.

+ I’M MOVING TO A NEW HOME - SHOULD I TAKE THE SOLAR WITH ME?

It is up to you and your situation, but generally we advise selling your home with the assistance of a green-certified appraiser or realtor who is familiar with the value of solar. The new homeowners will enjoy reduced or eliminated power costs just like you did. Moving an entire solar array is essentially a brand new project using existing materials. (Again, do not have anyone but a qualified solar installer do this for you). We have to re-permit and re-design for the new home’s layout, incurring sometimes-significant fixed costs that are unavoidable even if you own the panels outright. Furthermore, moved solar arrays do not qualify for tax incentives because of used materials.

Our Field Service team will absolutely provide a quote for moving the array, and we can also line up a brand-new quote for your new home to compare which makes the most sense for you.

If you are a realtor selling a solar-equipped home, we are happy to offer general advice. Call 801-878-3363 anytime.

+ CHANGE OF OWNERSHIP

Congratulations on selling/buying your solar-equipped home! Great news - manufacturer component warranties are fully transferable to the new owner. Call our customer support team at 801-878-3363 if you are the seller or buyer of the home, and we will complete our internal updates at no charge.

Enphase has a change of ownership form (which has a one-time fee associated, not charged by Auric) which is required to transfer monitoring capability and microinverter warranties.

+ UPGRADES TO EXISTING SYSTEMS

We always provide the top-tier products that are available at the time of any install. That being said, as technology advances, there may be opportunities for us to offer upgrades to our past customers. Feel free to check this list for updates, and keep an eye out for new product announcements.

Some new add-on products that are currently available:

  • Nest “smart” thermostats

  • Consumption monitoring

  • Whole-home generators

  • Electric vehicle (EV) chargers

Please visit our Service page to request a quote.

+ TAX CREDIT QUESTIONS

The 30% Federal tax credit for residential energy systems is available to taxpayers by filling out IRS Form 5695 (always check with a CPA to see if you qualify for tax incentives). This credit is 30%, dollar-for-dollar, of the amount you will find on your paid invoice that we sent you via email at the completion of your project. If you have lost the paid invoice, please email support@auricenergy.com and our customer service team can re-send it to you.

State tax forms for Utah and Idaho are available through the Department of Energy.

If you have any concerns about receiving a specific dollar amount on your tax return, please consult with a CPA or tax professional. While we always do our best to help, Auric cannot provide tax advice and cannot be held responsible for changes to individual tax liability.

Note: the 30% Federal tax credit is stepping down to 26% in 2020. For any solar system that is installed and finalized with a city or county inspection after December 31st, 2019, the homeowner or business owner will be eligible for the 26% credit.

+ LOAN/FINANCING QUESTIONS

Remember, Auric is not a lender or financial institution, so interest rates and loan terms are outside our direct control, but we can get in touch with the experts who can help. If you chose to use one of the financing programs we presented, then you’re in great hands with our friends at Enium Capital Group.

Enium Capital Group acts as an advocate for our customers to get the most advantageous rates and terms available, based on each individual situation.