Exciting Solar Statistics

Exciting statistics for Solar in 2013

Exciting Solar Statistics

This year was the first time someone could use the words “solar” and “mainstream” in the same sentence and be taken seriously.

It’s still too early to call solar PV a truly mainstream energy technology, but as GTM Research VP Shayle Kann recently pointed out, it’s getting close. And there a lot of factors to consider other than how it stacks up in today’s generation mix compared to legacy resources.

GreentechSolar compiled a list of some of the best solar statistics of 2013 that demonstrate how far the technology has come — as well as how far it still needs to go.

You can read the full article at http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/the-most-important-solar-statistics-of-2013.  Things are definitely looking up for green energy.

Truth in Advertising Solar

The Truth in advertising

Truth in Advertising Solar

On my daily commute, I listen to the radio to pass the time.  Quite frequently I hear advertising from other solar energy companies.  There’s a certain advertisement that I feel seriously misleads listeners.  The ad in question advises listeners to act fast on solar, because the PG&E rebates are available, but are running out.  Unfortunately, this statement is not true.  PG&E ended their solar rebate programs just before summer this year.  The California Solar Initiative is no longer accepting applications.  Here’s a direct quote from the PG&E website.

 

Important Notice: The CSI Residential program is no longer accepting new applications as of 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 2, 2013. Additionally, the CSI Non-Residential program will not accept any new applications on the Waitlist after 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 12, 2013.”

 

You can read more information on this at http://www.pge.com/csi/.

Fortunately, even without the utility rebate, there are affordable options for PG&E customers to go solar.  I just wanted to dispel any misleading advertisements that you may have heard.

Tips on Holiday Lighting and Staying Green Solar

Tips on Holiday Lighting and Staying Green

Tips on Holiday Lighting and Staying Green Solar

As we move further into the holiday season, I’ve noticed more and more beautiful holiday displays around the area.  That’s one of my favorite things about the season.  I am amazed by the beautiful displays that people create.  As many of us know, these displays can come with a cost.  The electricity increase on average for a standard light display is about 4.4 kWh per day, which equates to about $13.00 monthly, according to the Chicago Tribune.  This doesn’t seem like a lot, but keep in mind that this is only an “average” display.  Here’s some tips to help keep your costs down if you decide to decorate the “Griswald” way.

 

  1. Use energy efficient, or LED holiday lights.  These bulbs have become pretty affordable, and use substantially less electricity than their traditional counterparts
  2. Turn off your lights during sunlit hours.  Only display your masterpiece when people can enjoy it the most.
  3. Consider investing in a timer for your lights.  Getting a timer for your lights will eliminate having to remember to unplug them before you leave for work in the morning.  You can set a time for your lights to turn on in the evening, and to turn off before dawn.

 

These tips on holiday lighting and staying green should help you keep the money where it belongs this season.  Happy Holidays!

Going Solar in the Winter

Going solar in the winter

Going Solar in the Winter

We find that many people are hesitant going solar in the winter months.  It’s widely believed that starting a solar project would not be worth their while financially.   Many may not know is that a solar installation could take as much as 90 days from the date of sale.  There are several steps that must be completed before your solar system can begin working for you.

The engineering department has to come out and evaluate the site in person, so that we can finalize a solar system design.  After the design is complete, we have to obtain the permitting to begin the installation.  Obtaining permitting can take a few weeks.  After the permitting is obtained, we will schedule your install.  Once the install in complete, there are two inspections that have to take place.  The system installation will first undergo a local inspection.  Afterwards, there will be a final inspection.  Once the final inspection is completed, your utility meter will be installed and the system will be switched on.

Beginning the process in December allows a customer to have a system fully installed and switched on by spring.  Your spring and summer energy bills will have never looked better!

Knowing Your Options

There’s never been a better time to go solar. With the rising costs of energy, many Americans are looking to solar energy to help take control of their energy costs. Making the decision to go solar can be difficult. Many are unaware of the myriad of options that they have. Today we’ll go over a few of these options.

Power Purchase Agreement or PPA:

A power purchase agreement has become an increasingly popular method of going solar. With a power purchase agreement, the customer leases their solar panels from a company. Typically, there are no start-up costs with this sort of agreement. The solar company will pay for both the panels, and the cost of install. After install, you just pay a monthly bill. Unlike other energy bills, this bill will be the same amount every month. The average customer saves around 30% on their energy annually with a power purchase agreement. Also, your energy costs will never rise for the length of the agreement.

Here’s a great video that explains about PPAs.

Financing Option:

Solar panels are also sold using traditional financing methods. Typically, there is no required cost up front for this option. After the install, the customer pays monthly towards the ownership of these solar panels. The interest rates on these types of loans are typically low and fixed. If your solar system is designed to cover 100% of your energy needs, then this payment would replace your energy bill. The amount of payment tends to be very similar to the cost of a mid-range energy bill, and in some cases 10% lower. In addition, this payment is fixed. As utility rates increase, your monthly payment stays the same. After a term of 12 years, you would maintain ownership of your panels. Once the panels are paid off, you would not be paying for energy anymore. Another benefit to ownership is that you can earn money from excess energy production. The laws on excess energy credits vary from state to state.

For more information of excess energy credits visit

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_renewable_energy_certificate

Purchase Option:

This is sometimes the wisest option, for those that are able. The benefits are very similar to the Financing option, however there is no interest involved. The cost of a solar system can range from $20,000 to $30,000 before rebates, so it’s important to be financially prepared.

Which option is right for you? Contact us today, and we’ll be happy to go over the advantages and disadvantages of each program, and talk about how they’ll apply to your situation.