ExtraSpace Storage Solar

Extra Space Storage goes Solar

ExtraSpace Storage Solar

Extra Space Storage is the second largest operator of self-storage facilities in the US. They are a national owner, developer, acquirer and operator of professionally managed self-storage properties.

When Extra Space Storage Management saw how much they could save through our retrofit program, as well as the short ROI period, we started working immediately.

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I See a Solar Sunrise

I See a Sunrise

I See a Solar Sunrise

We have a couple of businesses that worked more like a government than a business and an installer or two who perhaps got a little too close to their politicians. Quite frankly, this is the exception and not the rule. I think that solar energy is still a vibrant and wonderful business. Here are a couple of facts taken from SEIA (

  • The solar industry employs more than 100,000 Americans, more than twice as many as in 2009. They work at more than 5,000 companies, the vast majority being small businesses, in all 50 states.
  • The U.S. solar industry grew by 69% in the past year, making it one of the fastest growing sectors in the U.S. economy.
  • Since the beginning of 2010, the price of solar panels has dropped by 30%, and costs continue to fall making solar an even more viable choice for residential and business customers.
  • The U.S. was a net exporter of solar products in 2010 by $2 billion. We were even a net exporter to China.
  • Solar power in the U.S. now exceeds 3,100 megawatts (MW), enough to power more than 630,000 homes.
  • Continued industry growth enhances our energy security and diversifies our domestic energy portfolio.

It is almost impossible to keep up with the changes occurring in technology, financing instruments, and available markets. Although some companies came into solar energy with an over-excited wallet, most investors have come in with reasonable expectations and have stayed in the business because those expectations have been met and surpassed. Over 600,000 homes have solar because it made sense to do so. In California and other states where the cost of energy increases the more you use it, solar has reduced home utility expenditures by shaving the higher rates with supplemental solar energy. In New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, and other states, solar energy often is used to completely eliminate the majority of the electricity bill where rates are up over $0.15 per kw. These numbers don’t even include the new installations that are done to remove homes from the power grid.

With news sources constantly looking for new stories and the reporters look for the big break to make a name for themselves, it seems they always turn to people, companies or industries where there has been success stories and try to break them down. The smart money is still pushing into solar projects and smart people are still trying to keep some control over their energy expenses and who is being enriched by their expenditures. More and more, people don’t want their money going into Middle Eastern bank accounts. The best way to get away from participation in that terrible cycle is to have energy independence. The best way to individually gain that independence is through solar energy. No other source of power is available to the individual home owner or business owner the way solar power is. No other energy source can provide the level of energy solar power can without major disruptions in the environment. This industry has a long way to go before it becomes ”saturated“. If you haven’t considered solar power for your business or home, do it. The times have never been better to see the sunrise!!

Are We in Solar Business?

Are we a Business?

Are We in Solar Business?

In a world where the generations are taught to try and get something for nothing, it is not shocking to see that subsidized solar panel manufacturers are having a hard time making their business work. In the past month, three manufacturers have announced that they are closing their doors. Unless you are very strict in your adherence to business standards and practices, companies can become complacent in how they price out jobs and go to market. The solar industry is going to have some attrition because of the maturing of the market and reduction of government programs that redistribute taxpayer monies. It is imperative that we run businesses that will adjust to the changing landscape and remain profitable and purposeful in bringing renewable energy into the marketplace. You don’t need to look any further than into New Jersey’s PPA programs which were often financed by “get rich quick” investors intent on maximizing their fortunes on the SREC market available at that time. The investors who continued to use the PPA programs for tax shelters are still around. The others have scattered to other markets of the moment.

As a member of the solar power community, I want companies to do everything necessary to be competitive and profitable for a long time. This industry can make a significant impact on individual and corporate energy usage if we keep the business front and center in our advocating of the industry.

What are your thoughts?

Environmental Impact Solar

Environmental impact

Solar electric systems provide a sustainable source of clean energy. By installing a PV system, your environmental impact will decrease and significantly reduce the carbon emissions caused by burning fossil fuels.

A typical 3kW Solar Electric System will offset the following:

  • 180,000 lbs of CO2 (greenhouse gas)
  • 300,000 miles driven in an average car (at 12,000 Miles a Year)
  • Protects our air quality, equal to planting 1.5 acres of trees
  • Prevents more than 90,000 lbs of fossil fuel from being burned

Conserving Resources

In order for most of the world to provide electricity, we’re forced to tap into our natural resources. We mine for coal and drill for oil, draining the overall supply. And while we hunt for these resources, many of us ignore perhaps the greatest natural resource–the sun. Here at 1st Light Energy, by utilizing the sun as a source of energy, we drastically improve the health of our planet and conserve what natural resources we have left.

The Cost of Harvesting Resources

While the amount of natural resources we use is a concern, the way we get those resources is a concern in itself. Harmful gasses and other waste is often the by-product of our electricity.

Many trees–another natural resource–are cut down, directly impacting our CO2 levels. Without trees to absorb CO2 and, in turn, release oxygen, humans and animals are at risk. Luckily, the average solar electricity system offsets an amount of CO2 that is equivalent to planting two acres of fully mature trees. Solar energy also curbs the need to clear land for mining so those trees can be maintained to intake CO2 and release oxygen into our earth’s atmosphere.

Our expert solar consultants understand the significance of their jobs and can help you start saving money and helping the environment today. Learning more can be as easy as filling out our online form or giving us a call to speak with one of our friendly experts.

Better than Other “Sustainable” Forms of Energy

Coal and oil may be the most popular natural resources used to generate electricity, but they’re not the only ones. For years, we’ve dammed rivers for hydro-power, and we’ve erected windmills and wind turbines to harvest wind energy. However, while they help conserve, they’re not the most environmentally-friendly forms of energy.

The production of dams and wind turbines still affects the environment. By damming rivers and building wind turbines, we change that ecosystem and all the animals in it. Animals living in that area–fish and birds for example–now have to adapt to those changes. When we install solar on your building, we are simply taking up space that is already being used.

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Who is Leasing Solar Arrays?

Who is leasing solar arrays?

Who is Leasing Solar Arrays?
It seems to me that many of the residential customers I am coming in contact with are moving more to a purchased system instead of leased option.  The interest here is whether there is sufficient savings to be made with a lease over the cost avoidance offered by purchasing a system.  Many of the leases are for 15-20 years and offer advantage to the home-owner over purchasing the system outright.  The advantages include warranties, maintenance, and SREC transfer. But will potential users sign up for solar with only a 10% savings offered?

The homeowner needs to recognize the hidden costs associated with purchasing the arrays and the stability of cost associated with leasing.  If these variables are not well articulated to the potential user, I think it is hard to justify a lease today … with the SREC market in free-fall.