North East Houston Solar Equity Project myth busters

Who is Solar United Neighbors?

Solar United Neighbors (SUN) is a non-profit consumer protection and solar advocacy organization.

A free solar array? I thought there was no such thing as a free lunch? 

Yes, it will be installed at no cost to you or your family, paid for by SUN using grant funding specifically for this project. However, there are some long-term strings attached. You will own this array and need to protect and maintain it as the valuable asset it is by insuring it under your home insurance and letting the installer know if service is needed.

What are the homeowner requirements?

  • You need to have an owner-occupied home, covered by insurance to protect this valuable asset.
  • Your household needs to be at or below 200% of Federal Poverty Guidelines to be income eligible. If you are enrolled in assistance programs such as Food Stamps, Medical Assistance, Children’s Health Insurance Program, you may be eligible.

Does the roof have to be of a certain age?

Yes, roofs should be no more than half-way through their lifespan. The newer the better. For example, if your roof is supposed to last for 20 years, your roof should be no more than 10 years old. We will be prioritizing homes with roofs in newer condition.

What happens when the power goes out?

The array does not include battery back-up, so your power will go out as it does now.

What if I wanted to add batteries in the future?

The inverter installed will accommodate the addition of a battery in the future.

Will this affect my property taxes? 

No, it should not. After the array is installed, we will help you fill out Texas Property Tax Form 50-123, which provides a standing abatement from taxes on the value of the array.

What happens if something breaks?

The system is warranted for 20 years, both product and workmanship through the installer, Icon Power. You can call them to service your array.

Will I need to switch Retail Energy Providers (REP)?

Possibly. Once your installation is close to completion, we will assist you with a free analysis to determine which REP plan is most advantageous for your home.

See Solar United Neighbors Q&A for more information, as well as SUN’s Spanish Solar Info page.