November 2017 | Shine Solar

Month: November 2017

 

Is Your Solar Installer NABCEP Certified? (and why they should be)

Is Your Solar Installer NABCEP Certified? (and why they should be)

When you are investing in solar, you want to make sure that you are get the highest-quality panels. You also want the most qualified electricians installing your panels. This is a huge investment. It is also an investment that you want to last a long time. You don’t want someone who isn’t experienced in the field installing your solar panels. If fact, you want the most experienced electrician installing your panels. The truth is, if you want the highest-ranking solar installers working on your roof, then you want a NABCEP certified solar installer.

What does it mean to become NABCEP certified?

NABCEP (The North American Board of Certified Electrician Practitioners) offers several different certifications for electricians in the Solar Industry.  Each of these certificates represents a different level of expertise in the field. The PV Installation Professional Certificate is the highest of all these certifications. In other words, an electrician with this certificate has the highest available training in the solar industry. In order to reach this qualification, candidates have to take an in-depth exam covering a lot of electric and solar work. The exam is only offered two times a year and requires a lot of training in order to pass it.  There aren’t many people in our country who have gone through this process. In fact, there are only 5 NABCEP certified technicians in the state of Arkansas and only 30 in the state of Missouri! electrician

How to become NABCEP certified?

You may be wondering, if this exam shows which electricians are the most qualified, then what do they have to do for the test? In technical terms, candidates for the PV Installation Professional Certificate must:
  • Participate in a minimum of 58 hours of solar PV training
    • 40 of the 58 hours must cover advanced solar PV installation/design concepts
    •  If the candidate passes the NABCEP PV Associate Exam, the remaining 18 hours can come from entry-level Associate coursework
  •  Have an OSHA 10 hour construction industry card or equivalent
  •  Document 3-5 solar installations where they have acted in the role of a contractor, lead installer, foremen, supervisor, or journeyman
  •  Pay for and complete an application by the exam deadline.
NABCEP Certification In other words, they have to go to about 60 hours of training about the solar industry. They also have to have experience with playing several roles at a solar installation and be well-versed in OSHA standards. After all this training and the exam, these guys know every angle of solar installations.      

Shine Solar’s NABCEP certified electrician

Bud, one of Shine Solar’s electricians, is a certified PV Installation BudPierceProfessional. We are so proud to have him on our team. He is a professional who is dedicated to high quality work. In addition, Bud is committed to giving the very best service to our customers. We want to formerly congratulate Bud on achieving this certification. Thank you Bud for all of your hard work and enthusiasm for the solar industry!

How Durable are My Solar Panels?

How Durable are my Solar Panels?

A Big Investment

You are ready to take the next step and go solar, but you may have doubts about how your solar panels are going to endure through rough weather. Solar panels do look pretty breakable, they are made of glass after all. You don’t want this big investment to easily break. So what will happen if it hails? Or the neighbors hit a baseball up and hit your solar panels? Durable Solar Panels Most likely? Nothing will happen. Solar panels, though they may look fragile, are made to go on your roof or in-ground installations, they are made to last. In fact, any weather that would hurt your solar panels, would most likely already have damaged your roof.

What Can My Solar Panels Endure? 

  • 90-mph hits with golf-ball-sized hail
  • 90 mph winds
  • Hits from 250-mph tennis ball-sized ice
  • Can be driven over with a four-door truck

What Makes My Solar Panels Tough?

Solar panels are built with three layers of silicon, or rock, encased in tempered glass. Tempered glass, also known as safety glass or toughened glass, is anything up to six times the strength of normal plate glass, and is created by thermal or chemical means. durable solar panels Solar panels are divided into three categories, Tier One, Tier Two, Tier Three, according to the quality of the materials used and the amount of research and development the production company does. So a company that produces Tier One solar panels devotes a lot of time and money into research and development to make their solar panels more durable and more efficient. Shine Solar only uses Tier One solar panels, which means that they are the top quality solar panels in the market. This means that they are tough and made to last.

Get Insured

Essentially, if there is an extreme weather occurrence capable of hurting your panels, then most of the rest of your home has been damaged, at which point it becomes an insurance claim (and your solar array is covered on homeowner’s insurance, typically for a few dollars per month). Talk to your insurance provider to learn about getting your solar panels covered under your homeowner’s insurance. If you remember nothing else, know this. Our solar panels are more durable than what is already on your roof, and roofing materials are made to last. Plus, in addition to the coverage by your homeowner’s insurance, our panels are also backed by a 25-year-warranty. So when it comes to weather, fear not. We got you covered. We’ve also got you covered if you have further questions! Give us a call at 844-80-SHINE!

What You Should Know Before Going Solar

What You Should Know Before Going Solar

1. Solar is more affordable than ever

There has been so much research done in the field of solar energy that they have found ways to make solar panels more efficiently and with lower costs. This means that prices for buying solar panels are at their lowest right now. As the prices have lowered, there has been a greater demand for solar from businesses and home owners. Going solar is no longer a luxury of the wealthy, but something that anyone can afford.  

2. The Federal Tax Credit

To support the production of clean energy, the U.S. government is currently offering a Solar Investment Federal Tax Credit for those business owners and homeowners that go solar. You can save up to 30% off your solar panels by receiving this tax credit. Unfortunately, this tax credit won’t last forever as it is set to be cut in the next 5 years. Take advantage of this great opportunity while it is still available.

3. There are great financial options

As interest in solar has increased, more options for paying to go solar have opened up. Banks will offer loans that are similar to home-equity loans for you to go solar. The best part is that we offer a loan plan that is $0 down and you have 18 months before you have to start paying back your loan. This way you can start to see your savings come in from your solar panels before paying it back. Some banks in Missouri also don’t require a credit score to qualify for a loan. There are so many great financial options here in Arkansas and Missouri that solar is available to anyone. Which means, everyone can experience great savings, even in the first month of going solar. You can get a free solar analysis to learn what financial options are available to you! Savings

4. You can stay connected

Many people worry that if they go solar, they will be out of power during a cloudy week because their panels won’t produce enough energy. This is not a problem that you will face with solar. You can stay connected to the power grid so if your panels ever don’t produce enough energy, then you will receive energy from your power company. This also works in reverse, if your panels are producing more energy than you need, then it will be sent back into the grid and used by someone else. This will earn you credit from your utility company, which will offset any costs you may have incurred from the power company. We also won’t be leaving you anytime soon. Shine Solar offers production guarantees for up to 25 years. That means we are here for you if anything ever goes wrong with your panels or if you ever have any questions after your installation.    

5. Educate yourself

Solar is still a pretty new concept, especially in Arkansas and Missouri, so be sure to learn as much as you can about solar. This is a big investment and one that you should understand before buying. Education is a huge focus at Shine Solar, check out our blog and other website pages to learn more about going solar. We try to compile as much information as we can for you, so you can be prepared for this decision.   Solar Analysis Read as much as you can and ask all of your questions, so you can be armed with the knowledge you need. Receive a free solar analysis, where we will tell you whether solar will work for your home or not. Keep learning, solar is an incredible investment, but one that you want to be sure of. Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have, we are here to help.        

Saving Energy and Keeping Warm This Winter

Saving Energy and Keeping Warm This Winter

We just got an extra hour from Daylight Savings, but the weather only seems to be getting colder and darker. This is the season of hot chocolate and scarves. It can be tempting to crank up the heat in your homes to keep it toasty during these cold months, but your electrical bill will pay the price. This is the time for saving energy. Energy usage in the United States skyrockets during the months of extreme temperatures, this includes the hot days of the summer and the colder days of winter. According to gogreensolar.com, 47.3% of annual fossil fuel usage occurs in the winter months. That is a lot of energy in just a few months! Those who have gone solar, obviously make a huge difference in this energy consumption as they power much of their own energy. However, everyone can make some small changes to use less energy this winter. Staying Warm We understand the desire to be warm and cozy during this time of year. So here are ten tips that will keep you warm and save you energy.

Ten Tips for Saving Energy this Winter

  1. Let the sun warm up your home – We love the sun and are already turning to it to produce energy for homes, so why not use the sun for heat? By opening the blinds of the windows that are facing the sun, the heat will come in and warm up the house. When the sun has gone down, close the blinds to trap the heat in.
  2. Invest in insulation – A lot of warmth is lost because of poor insulation in the home. You can invest in some cheap insulation to better seal up the windows and doors in your house. This will keep the heat in and save you a lot in return.
  3. Use LED lightbulbsLED lightbulbs use less energy than regular light bulbs and will save you money as you require more lighting during the winter. You can also use LED lightbulbs as you decorate your homes for the holidays! Turn off lights in the parts of the house that aren’t being used, to save energy.
  4. Only heat the rooms you use – If you have extra guest rooms or storage rooms that you don’t use, then save energy by closing the vents into those rooms. This way the rest of the house can warm up quicker and you won’t waste energy on those unused rooms. Also, if you won’t be home throughout the day or for the weekend, then turn the heat down. This way you won’t be paying to warm your empty house. Family
  5. Bundle up to keep the thermostat down – Who doesn’t love sweaters, blankets and warm, fuzzy socks? Keep warm by using extra clothing or blankets (especially during the night). You will be able to save a lot of energy by keeping the house cooler. Keeping the thermostat down 10-15 degrees for eight hours, can save you 10% on your yearly costs, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
  6. Unplug electronics – Did you know that your electrical devices that are plugged in are using up energy, even when you aren’t using them? By unplugging devices when you aren’t using them you can save energy and thus on your utility bill.
  7. Lower your water heater – When you leave the house for vacation this holiday season, lower your water heater to the lowest setting. This is most effective if you are going to be away for three days or more.
  8. Care for your heating systems – We rely on these systems to keep us warm, so we need to take care of them! Change your filters regularly. If your filter is clogged up, then your heating system will have to work harder. Have a professional come and do a quick check-up on your system. So it can be in its peak condition, saving energy this winter. Saving Energy Kitchen
  9. Use your fans wisely – Kitchen and bathroom fans take away smells and the hot air in the room. Use them sparingly in order to keep warm air inside. However, by putting your ceiling fans in reverse you can push the hot air down to you.
  10. Use a space heater– Put a space heater in the room where your family is (such as the living room). Then turn down the thermostat. This will keep you warm and keep your heating costs down.