Frequent Questions

We are a community of installers and owners that specialize in off-grid solar. We subscribe to value-engineering in pursuit of cost-effective off-grid solar power.

You get two year access to our community plus a consultation with our staff NABCEP-certified PV installer at your convenience. You can continue to ask questions before, during, and after your project for two years within our online community. We also provide continuing education, material, and installation services
Yes. Our installation prices are shown without sales tax but include shipping. Purchase a $500 membership to get started
After you have completed the program, send John Cromer a message within the Slack community or send him an email
Our current program is 30 hours long, subdivided into five sections on solar, batteries, design lab, NEC, and offgrid residential (new). If you are taking the program for 100% NABCEP recertification, you must complete the solar, batteries, and NEC portions. If you only need 6 JTA hours, we recommend the offgrid residential solar course. If you are an experienced residential solar installer and do not want to watch 6 hours of batteryless solar... just watch the offgrid residential course instead and take both quizzes. Utility-scale guys enjoy the refresher on rooftop fundamentals
We are registered with the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners as a solar continuing education provider, but our program is not registered with any particular state licensing board of engineers, architects, or contractors. We are not registered with the AIA, BPI, or USGBC. We are happy to be licensed with these entities, and maintain a waitlist for those wishing to split the licensing fees. We will provide your organization with bulk rate discounts if you can cover these certification costs
Our systems are like training wheels for going off-grid. We take you 100% off-grid during the day, and reconnect you at night after your batteries drain. The longer you can go in "off-grid" mode, the sooner you will be able to cut the chord entirely. 10 year financing is available for those with good credit at around 5%
Contractors
You may need the continuing education. You may not. But we provide a contractor discount on material kits to licensed building professionals who completes our program, as well as project referrals
Yes. This is our specialty. We will perform a site consultation and purchase all the material necessary for your installation including balance of system material. We will then repackage and send to you or your contractor for installation. Start out by joining our community - two year access comes with purchase
We can do a single-axis residential tracker on ground screws for good soil types. This is typically a $3000 increase in budget. Do consider that our ground mount is manually adjustable for only a $1000 budget increase. A manually adjustable ground-mount that tracks north-south is a cost-effective solution
Home Owners
You get two year access to our community, unlimited instructor Q/A, a virtual site consultation on your schedule, and technical support before, during, and after your project. You can buy one of our systems or bring your own bids and ideas to the community for evaluation. Gather valuable data that will improve your bid process. Or let us refer you to an installer in our network.

Now is a great time to move forward with a project. Our batteries require a 6 week lead time. If you install by the end of the year, you can claim 30% tax credit on this year's taxes. So you really do want to get going right now if you pay alot in federal taxes. Otherwise, 2019-2021 are all good years

Our system does not run in parallel with the grid, but rather creates its own micro-grid when in operation. This is just the same as a "automatic transfer gas generator" and sometimes it is useful to describe it as such to your permit authority. With the exceptions of our grid-tie product line, our systems are protected against backfeeding the grid by being unable to output any power on the grid connection at all! If you need the grid power for any reason, such as a cloudy day with a small battery bank, you will automatically switch back over to the grid as needed. While your systems will share a "neutral" line, you will not be able to export any power backwards and there is no reason for the utility to install a special "net-meter". We cannot tell you for certain that you will not need an interconnection application with your grid authority, even though the battery inverter is on an automatic transfer switch.

Our systems are DC-coupled, with multiple solar circuits that provide at least 2x MPPT to acheive double redundancy while using the least number of parts philosophy. This means something can go wrong with one solar panel, and the rest of the array remains productive. However, we do not have double redundancy with our inverter. The inverter has a bypass, so you can always power your home with grid or generator power. But designing with two battery inverters instead of one becomes quite costly. It is more cost-effective to buy a single replacement inverter and so we design our system to make that maintenance task quick and easy.

Each system has at least two charge controllers and charge your battery directly from the solar array. This means sunny days will always charge your solar array, even if there is a component failure. We use a single circuit of batteries except for our largest systems because that is best for battery life. We use a single inverter because that is best for cost. The inverter has a bypass so you can run off the grid or a generator is something fails with the system. We recommend starting off with a grid connection (if you already have it) and then going 100% off-grid in the future by adding a generator. Not all the batteries will take you 100% off-grid but would be more than enough to see you through emergencies with whole house power.
Lithium Ion can be cost-effective when electricity is being discharged quickly, such as in the commercial market. But your off-grid home need electricity 24/7 and calls for a well-sized battery with a managed approach to your electric consumption. The main difference between our battery and the Tesla PowerWall is that our battery requires thirty minutes of maintenance per month to maintain its warranty. The second difference is that our battery is substantially cheaper for THE SAME amount of storage capacity. The third difference is that our system provides whole house power and the Tesla does not. Our system is safer, more temperature tolerant, and maintains recyclable value that makes for a low-cost removal at the end of its life. Our battery can last over fifteen years when used gently. We like our battery - it's 150% more dense than regular lead acid! Rated for 80% DoD at 2100 cycles but usually running at far less depth of discharge.
Here is what you can get for $25k from our nearest competitor . For over $3k less from us, you get nearly twice the system. 80% more solar, 60% more inverter with 2.5x more burst (good for motors like AC, fridge), plus bells, whistles, and technical support. All shipped to your jobsite when you are ready. Our systems are the definition of value engineered.
Yes. We have successfully installed our Independent system on a garage that was build before the rest of the house. The solar generator was then used to provide power for the rest of the construction process. The crew through it was pretty slick to be building the house out of electricity generated right on site. In some cases, we can subdivide the project to install a portion of the project ahead of the remainder for this purpose
We install in Mississippi and are happy to travel anywhere in the state to meet with you and perform an onsite evaluation for your off-grid home. However, we sell and ship our systems nationwide. From our decade of solar experience, we've gotten pretty good performing a remote site evaluation. When performed remotely, it is an ongoing process where we ask you for a bunch of photos of your attic, electric service panel, and energy use information. We recommend one of our systems based on your jobsite to give you an understanding of budget and energy limits. We can also evaluate bids from other contractors. Basically, we get you a set of clear project expectations when moving forward with your project, using one of our systems or otherwise. We can also refer installers who have agreed to work within our recommended installation budget
Sign up for our $300 site membership and you will be emailed a link to schedule your site visit - onsite or online
We will provide you with a racking system for a composite shingle, corrogated metal, or standing seam metal roof. We do not recommend our budget for tile rooftops, or specialty roofing systems. Ground mounting is typically a modest price increase of $1000 to the existing racking, with any concrete to be provided locally if required
Engineers, Architects, NABCEP
We have 30 hours of continuing education courses available, including content registered to meet 100% of NABCEP recertification. Take as many courses as you like over two years and participate in our online community
After you have completed the program, send an email or Slack message to request the quiz link
Each 6 hour section can be taken on its own but may not be further subdivided. NABCEP restrictions apply as well. Our NABCEP program consists of the solar, batteries, and NEC sections, with the Residential Offgrid section also registered separately. The only NABCEP substitution we allow is to swap the solar section with the offgrid residential section. We will be registering the NEC section as a stand-alone after the next class update.
We are registered with the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners as a solar continuing education provider, but our program is not registered with any particular state licensing board of engineers, architects, or contractors. We are not registered with the AIA, BPI, or USGBC. We are happy to be licensed with these entities, and maintain a waitlist for those wishing to split the licensing fees. We accept sponsorships to fund our registration of your particular license and provide bulk discounts to those organizations who fund it in full