FAQ For Business
1. Why Baker Electric?
Established in 1938 by Leroy Baker, Baker Electric, Inc. is a fourth generation, family-owned business that began in Escondido, California, where it is still headquartered today. A member of the National Electrical Contractors Association since 1957, we've been engineering and installing electrical systems for more than 75 years for a variety of industries in both public and private sectors.
Over the past 15 years, Baker has become Southern California's leading contractor in renewable energy technology as well as one of the state's leading installers with thousands of successful installation projects for solar-powered systems across Southern California.
2. How can solar help make my utility (overhead) costs more predictable?
Commercial solar in San Diego and other Southern California cities, can help not only reduce or virtually eliminate your electricity costs, but also provides certainty moving forward. With solar offsetting a majority of your electricity bill, you can plan to have your utility overhead under control in the foreseeable future.
3. How can switching to solar increase my organization’s bottom line?
By helping to reduce your overhead costs associated with your utility expense, installing renewable generation provides increased cash flow to your business, freeing up capital to increase your business’s bottom line and give you an edge in an ever-competitive environment.
4. What are the Federal and State Incentives for solar and can my organization take advantage of them?
There are two major incentives that make solar attractive for a business. The first is a limited time 30% federal tax credit – effectively providing a 30% discount of the cost of a solar power system in the first year. The second incentive is accelerated depreciation (commonly referred to as MACRS) which provides the ability to depreciate solar over 5 years with the depreciation front loaded at the beginning of the depreciation period.
5. How will solar benefit my organization?
Not only will installing solar help save your organization money and improve your cash flow, but it will also prove your company’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gases and to the environment. We have worked with many clients to promote their completed projects.
6. Is a solar installation affordable?
With generous tax incentives, simple payback for solar projects ranges from 5-7 years for most for-profit businesses looking to buy systems outright. For companies looking to have no up-front cost, there are multiple financing options that still save you money every month while making solar affordable.
7. Do I have to pay for the entire system upfront?
No. Our team is trained to help choose the best option that fits your needs. By answering a few questions, we can provide a financing option from our approved and vetted financing partners that fits your goals – helping you stay cash-flow positive for the life of the financing.
8. What is a PPA?
A Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) is essentially replacing your existing utility with a solar power system on your property and/or facility. With a PPA you pay only for the power generated by the system and a third party owns and maintains the facility. They take the tax credits and depreciation and pass the savings along to you in the form of lower utility rates. Terms can vary from 15-25 years.
9. How long does solar last?
Solar installations come with a 10-year standard installation and manufacturer’s warranty. Solar power systems, with periodic maintenance and replacement of components that make up a small percentage of the overall cost, can last 30+ years.
10. What is the warranty on the system?
Typically installation warranties are 10 years, module warranties 25 years, and inverter warranties can be anywhere from 10-20 years. Those three items make up the majority of what goes into a solar power system, and also what could fail over the life of the system.
11. Do the systems require maintenance?
Yes and no. Systems in a dusty or dirty environment (such as locations near airports or freeways) may require periodic scheduled cleaning. In most areas, rain a couple times a year may be sufficient to clean arrays. Other than module cleaning, we recommend a periodic checkup of the system to ensure the systems are performing optimally.
12. What size system does my facility need?
System size depends upon your historic energy consumption. If we can get a copy of your last 12 months of electric bills with no redactions (account numbers, meter numbers, etc.) that is usually enough for us figure a system size.
13. Will solar improve my organization’s image?
Definitely! Switching to solar demonstrates to your community your company’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gases and protecting the environment. Solar energy is a sustainable improvement to your building that serves as a competitive differentiator to customers, shareholders and potential employees.
14. What happens if the utility has an outage?
In this case, the solar system will disconnect from the grid so as not to back-feed in the event that workers are servicing the local utility lines.
15. Is it possible to supply all of my electricity needs with solar?
It is possible to offset the majority, all, or even future consumption. We can help you optimize the system size to meet your financial and business goals.
16. Do I need batteries?
No. Our solar power systems can operate independently of batteries. However, if batteries are something you’re interested in, we offer Smart Storage solutions for demand management for commercial solar in San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Orange County.
17. Is my facility a good site for solar?
Contact us today to help us determine if your facility is a good candidate for solar. The answer may take some time to assess, however, if you have good sun exposure and sufficient room, you might have a prime site. Our trained experts can evaluate your site in detail to determine if commercial solar in San Diego and other Southern California systems will work for you.