FAQs For Homeowners

You have questions. Citadel Roofing & Solar has answers.

Solar FAQ

Solar energy provides:

  • Lower electric bills from the utility, because you use less of their electricity
  • Savings from replacing some utility electricity with your own solar electricity, which costs less per kilowatt-hour (kWh) than the utility’s electricity
  • Protection against future utility rate hikes—the sun won’t charge you more tomorrow than it did today
  • The satisfaction of knowing you are making and using clean, non-polluting power and helping solve the climate change crisis
  • Bragging rights with your neighbors!

A solar energy system for your home consists mainly of solar panels on your roof that collect sunlight, and an inverter or inverters that convert that sunlight into electricity that can be used in your home. Read more on solar technology and how solar energy works on our LEARN page.

Installing solar alone does not mean you’ll have power during an outage. Your solar energy system shuts off automatically in an outage to prevent any electrical current from flowing back into the grid. This is to protect utility line workers attempting to restore power. However, if you install Solar+Storage, you can set up the system to provide backup power during an outage.

The cost varies greatly based on:

  • The equipment
  • The size of your solar energy system
  • Your electricity needs.

You can purchase it outright or let Citadel help you secure financing. Many financing options do not require a down payment.

Yes! Unlike many major investments like cars or new kitchens, a solar energy system actually pays for itself in a matter of years. The money it saves you on your electricity ends up being much more than the cost of the system. How long this takes varies by project, depending on variables like your cost of electricity, the size and orientation of your solar energy system, and how much electricity you use.

Again, it differs for everyone. A Citadel solar pro will design the system that works for your needs and provide estimates on your savings.

If you have a standalone solar energy system, one of several things happens, but note that you get the value of all the solar energy you make:


  1. Some solar electricity you produce is used in your home right then and there, if needed at the time. The utility never sees that.
  2. Solar electricity you produce but don’t need at the time flows back into the utility grid for use by others (unless you also have a solar energy storage system) [link to HOMEOWNERS/Storage page].
  3. When your solar isn’t producing enough for your needs, you draw electricity from the utility in the “traditional” way.
  4. The utility keeps track of how much electricity you take from them, and how much you send to them.
  5. Over a 12-month period, you only pay for the difference between the electricity you drew from the grid and the electricity you sent into the grid. In other words, you get credit for that extra solar you made but did not use. This is called net metering or net energy metering (NEM).


If you install  Solar+Storage [link to HOMEOWNERS/Storage], you can store your extra solar electricity in your batteries for use at a time of your choosing, instead of sending it into the grid.

On your end, only the following (plus of course writing a check or two):

  1. Get proposals from solar installation companies
  2. Choose an installer
  3. Schedule the installation working with your contractor
  4. Wait for utility permission to turn on the system
  5. Enjoy your clean energy and lower electric bills.


There are more steps than that, but Citadel takes care of them for you. For more details on the process, download our free roadmap infographic.

It’s easiest to let a qualified contractor like Citadel assess your roof for you. In general, it needs to have at least 15 years of life left in it, and it needs to have at least 100 to 500 square feet of available roof space. The ideal roof is on the south side of the home, though east and west facing roofs work well too. Skylights can eat up some of the available space and obstructions like dormers can throw shade on the panels.

Citadel’s solar pro will determine that based on how much electricity you want to generate and how much roof space you have.

The installation of the panels and related equipment usually takes a day or two.

Most panel manufacturers warrant their product for 25 years. Since there are no moving parts, solar energy systems are designed to last even longer. There are many solar energy systems still operating today that were installed 30+ years ago.

It is important to periodically check to make sure your system is working as expected but generally, there is no required maintenance for a residential solar energy system.

It is important to periodically check to make sure your system is working as expected but generally, there is no required maintenance for a residential solar energy system.

If you own the solar energy system on your roof, research shows it could increase your home’s value and decrease the re-sale time. Read our blog post on How Solar Increases California Property Values for details.

No, solar energy systems in California are exempt from property taxes.

Most HOAs require approval for installing solar, but they cannot stop you from moving forward with your solar project thanks to the Solar Rights Act.

Storage FAQ

  1. Provide some backup power during a power outage and when your solar energy system is not generating electricity, such as on a cloudy day.
  2. Reduce your electric bills by allowing you to use your stored electricity at times when the utility is charging more for its power.

Yes, if your system is configured to provide that benefit.

Yes, in most cases the homeowner has the ability to switch the energy storage back and forth between functions.

It’s simple: batteries much like the rechargeable batteries you use for other things in your home store your unused solar energy, and then discharge it at a time of your choosing.  Read more on storage technology on our LEARN page.

It depends on how much electricity you want to store. Most homeowners with energy storage have one to three batteries.

Yes. It is most cost-effective to install both systems at the same time, of course, but storage can often be added to an existing solar energy system.

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Roofing FAQ

If you know when your roof was installed and its expected lifespan, deciding when to re-roof is easy. If not, a cracked tile or loose shingle is a good sign your roof is in need of repair or replacement. You can always contact a roofing contractor like Citadel for an assessment if you’re not sure.

The process is simple but getting the right contractor and materials is extremely important. Follow these steps:

  1. Get assessments and proposals from roofing contractors
  2. Choose the contractor you feel most comfortable with
  3. Schedule the work
  4. Enjoy your shiny new roof!

Only qualified and reputable roofing companies are allowed to offer the best warranties from the highest-rated roofing manufacturers. So you can start by searching in the online directories of Owens Corning and CertainTeed. The Tile Roofing Institute (TRI) also has an online directory. Or just call Citadel—we are listed in all three directories.

It depends on the size of your roof and the material you choose.

Citadel works with many types of roofing material including tile, composition shingles, metal, slate, TPO and PVC.

In general, a residential roof installation takes three to seven days. But the time it will take for your roof depends on the size, slope, access to, and condition of the roof.

A new roof should come with two types of warranty:

  1. A Workmanship Warranty from the installation company. For example, Citadel provides a 10-year Workmanship Warranty on our roof installations.
  2. A Materials Warranty from the manufacturer of the tiles, shingles or other roofing product, which range from 10 to 50 years in length. Many manufacturers offer extended warranties to provide peace of mind and enhance your home’s re-sale value.

New roofs generally last 30-50 years.

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to tell is a roof was installed correctly based on visual inspection, because you can’t see underneath the tiles or shingles. You won’t know until leaks develop down the road. That’s why it’s so important to choose a reputable, experienced roofing contractor that backs up its work with a long-term warranty.

Financing FAQ

We offer a variety of financing options. Please see the detailed explanation on our Learn page.

We can help you secure a home improvement loan at competitive rates through one of our financial partners.

Yes. The federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) pays for 26 percent of the cost of solar energy and solar energy storage systems. California’s net metering program provides solar energy system owners with credit for extra solar electricity they send into the grid. And the California “SGIP” program offers a rebate for qualifying solar energy storage systems. Learn more here.


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