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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Solar Power Purchase Agreement (SPPA)?


Simply put, solar power purchase agreements (SPPAs) are an agreement/contract wherein a solar PPA provider designs, installs, operates and maintains a solar power system on the client’s premises at no upfront cost to the client. In return, over an agreed period of time, the client pays for the solar energy generated by the system at a rate that is typically lower than the electricity they would have paid for from their current retail energy provider. You can find more information here.




Is solar energy free?


Solar energy is indeed freely produced by the sun (we have not received a bill from the sun yet). However, the process involved in generating that energy and maintaining it, requires systems, equipment, and manpower to convert it to a form that households or businesses can use. These all translate to a certain amount of cost accounted for in your electricity bills.




Why is solar energy cheaper than retail energy?


Energy produced by the solar systems ‘behind the meter’ do not use the national electricity grid to transport the energy, cutting out one of the main energy expenses. The cost of installing and maintaining the solar panels and inverter required to create a solar energy system is lower than all the alternative renewable and non-renewable sources of energy. Solar PPAs also allow clients to lock in energy rates, providing clients with protection from volatile energy price increases. Energy Terrain’s clients are also entitled to government incentives, renewable energy credits and, when excess energy is generated by the PV system, it can be sold to licensed retailers back into the grid, offsetting a portion of the service rates. Moreover, as renewable technology continues to develop and become more efficient, solar energy prices will continue to become even cheaper!




How much are installation fees?


Unlike other solar alternatives, solar PPAs provide no upfront costs or installation fees!




How much should I expect to save?


While savings vary from usage and the size of the solar system, we find that most of our clients save up to 30% on their energy bills.




How does your solar system work?


In short, solar energy is created from using sunlight and turning it into electricity, typically through photovoltaic (PV) cells, commonly known as solar panels. The sunlight is converted into DC current through the solar panels and into AC current required for your home or business by an inverter.




What about when the sun is not shining?


You will still be connected to the grid and have a contract with your current retail provider to provide you with your energy requirements that the solar system cannot meet. So no matter what time of day (or night), you will still have all your electricity needs covered.




Why should I switch to solar?


Because who doesn’t want to lower their electricity bills! On the environmental side, your reduced carbon emissions through the adoption of solar energy will contribute to a more sustainable future by lowering our CO2 emissions. Mother Earth will be proud.




But doesn’t solar energy production harm the environment just as much as fossil fuels?


The generation of solar energy is completely free of emissions. While there is a small amount contributed to the production of the panels, various studies have indicated that CO2 emissions from fossil fuels are between 10 and 50 times more than the emissions from solar panels, over the lifetime of the system. Improvements in technology, production and recycling of these materials will continue to develop, resulting in even lower overall total emissions from production. As for the panels themselves, more sustainable ways are continually being made to dispose of the panels at the end of their lifetime. More information on panel disposal can be found here.




What if there is an issue with my solar panels?


As the operation and maintenance of the solar power system is entirely managed by the solar PPA provider, should there be any issues or concerns with your installation, we will identify this in our 24hr monitoring system and arrange a site inspection right away. We will also undertake periodic inspection and replacement of components if needed.




Will my solar panels look ugly?


Solar panels may not be known for making your building look like a Hollywood icon, but we think they look fantastic and are a clear sign to your customers that buying goods or services from you will not cost the Earth! For a better idea, take a look at some projects we have done here.




Will the solar panels damage my roof?


Absolutely not! In the rare event that a solar panel may become damaged or hazardous by unforeseen events such as extreme weather conditions, we will be sure to take care of any maintenance or restoration at no extra cost. Using certified installation professionals will always deliver a reliable outcome, without damaging the roof.




How long will the solar system generate energy?


The typical lifetime of solar panels with regular maintenance is 30 years. On the other hand, inverters typically last up to 20 years. You can find more information on inverters here.




What if I move locations? Will I still have coverage?


If you move to a different location we can help set up the same arrangement at your new site under a new Solar Power Purchase Agreement.




What are the lengths of the contract?


Solar power purchase agreements typically last between ten to twenty years. At Energy Terrain, we offer agreements lasting 10, 15 and 20 years




What if I am unable to continue the agreement?


The incoming tenant or the landlord is expected to take over from you if you vacate before the end of the PPA term, it will still be offering great value for energy. In the unlikely circumstances where that is not possible, you will need to buy out the system at a pre-agreed price and we will remove the system from the roof.




What happens when I reach the end of my contract?


At the conclusion of the contract, you will have the option to either extend the contract, purchase the system from your provider, or pay for it to be removed from your premises.