February 2018 | Shine Solar

Month: February 2018

 

Why Now Is the Perfect Time to Purchase Solar Panels in Bentonville

Bentonville Solar Panel Installer

Unsure whether or not to invest in solar power for your home? This article explains why now is the perfect time to purchase solar panels in Bentonville.

There is no doubt that with temperatures climbing higher every year, both families and businesses everywhere are looking for ways to lower their electric bill. Many are considering investing in solar panels in Bentonville because they’ve already exhausted all other home-saving tips. The more electricity your family or business use, the greater the savings you will incur from installing solar panels. For some parts of the country, particularly the South, this can mean tens of thousands of dollars over the course of twenty years. In many cases, your solar panels could even mean that you’re receiving a check from the electric company for selling them your unused surplus. You didn’t even have to lift a finger and now you’re the electric company! Before we get ahead of ourselves, though, it’s important to understand how all this works. Solar panels are the wave of the future, so make sure you’re caught up on all the various ways you can be saving money from them.

Reducing Solar Panel Costs

The price of solar panel technology has fallen steadily for decades. It is not uncommon for homeowners to seize the opportunity and install solar panels in Bentonville for no money down. This includes both leasing options and purchasing options via loans. Installation prices are going to depend on which company that you do business with and the types of panels that you select. The cheapest solar panels may look and work the same, but their materials may not be as durable or efficient. This will be the first set of factors that you will be looking at when determining solar panel costs. Also, keep in mind that higher-grade solar panels will end up saving you more in 20 years, despite costing more to invest. Don’t be sold just on the prices alone. Furthermore, you should be taking into account that any solar rebates or incentives that subsidize your costs will result in bigger upfront savings. The best companies also come with strong guarantees that stand behind their work.

Shop Around

Knowing your options when choosing solar panels in Bentonville is key to success. According to a study by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, consumers who compare their options save 10% more on their ultimate purchases. Oftentimes, the ‘little guy’ will give you the best services and prices, as they need to rely on great reputation to compete. The biggest installers are often more expensive and they don’t cater to as wide of a variety of service options that the smaller businesses in Arkansas. The federal government estimates that big solar corporations charge $2-5,000 more than small businesses.  That’s why Shine is such a good partner for your solar project. We are a local small business who buys panels at volume and passes on any savings to you. Always compare quotes and value of the solar panels because there is so much money out there for you to earn, save, or get back in the form of tax credits.

Future-Proof Your Home/Business

Uncertainty about our futures causes us to do things and make decisions that we would have otherwise never considered. The rising costs of traditional fuels will not get any better ten, twenty years from now. This is why it is in your best interests to invest in solar panels in Bentonville as soon as the opportunity happens. In fact, just to put things into perspective, in the last ten years, the price of electricity for the average home in the country has risen by three percent every year! Even on a month-to-month basis, solar panels help protect your home or business by the effects of a blackout from the weather or a brownout from the grid. Needless to say, this makes your property much more attractive on those merits alone. Solar panels increase home values by as much as $15,000, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. This, plus the inherent benefits of owning a property with solar panels means properties will sell faster. If you live in a competitive market, solar panels in Bentonville may give you the edge when it comes to selling faster and for more money.

Looking at the Big Picture

Solar panels don’t just make your life better, they make everyone’s around yours better. Just by choosing to go solar, you are doing your part for your local economy. The solar industry has been creating jobs at such an astonishing rate–12 times more than the average rate for the country! Solar panel businesses are thriving, and so are their workers. Investing in solar panels means helping to create higher-paying American jobs while reducing the country’s dependency on foreign oil. Environmentally, the gains are even more pivotal. As you’re noticing the climate get hotter, your bills getting higher, and more stress because of it, solar is one of many solutions. Your carbon footprint shrinks and our air is cleaner as a result of it. This is especially true for commercial buildings. Stop and think what could Bentonville do by converting to solar panels if the typical home produces 3-4 tons of carbon emissions each year.

Shopping for Solar Panels in Bentonville

Well, there you have it. You’ve seen lots of numbers and statistics about how solar panels can affect you, your home and business, your family, the neighborhood, the country, and even the world. The question now becomes: are you ready to make the switch? If you’re still on the fence or feel as though you still don’t have enough information on how solar panels will impact your home or business, that’s okay. We have plenty of more free information to provide you and can calculate just how much it will cost and save you. We’ll be able to tell you exactly what to expect upon installation and operation. Simply contact us today for a free consultation and quote. Shine solar guarantees satisfaction and future-proofing of your home or business. We’ll even buy back your old panels if you decide to get new ones! We take solar as a serious investment, and so should you.

Tips for Selling a Home With Solar Panels

Tips for Selling a Home With Solar Panels

Energy savings and smart technology constitute some of the most attractive features for homeowners today, and solar panels certainly can be a bonus for prospective buyers. If you’re thinking of selling a home with existing solar panels, you’ll want to target green features and sustainability as part of your marketing plan.

Owned or Leased Panels

Whether you own the solar panels on your roof or they have been installed under a long-term lease program, there are ways to assure that the actual panels and their benefits may be transferred to a new owner. The type of solar panel financing in place, if they are not owned outright, can impact a sale. Be aware of the provisions of your original sales or rental agreement prior to listing the home. Government-backed programs, including PACE and HERO, can sometimes be transferred directly to a new homeowner, but it is wise to make no assumptions, and to explore all possibilities.

An experienced real estate agent is your best resource to navigate the sometimes confusing territory of options and terms surrounding a sale. But you might also want to confirm details of a solar panel transfer with an attorney and your local power company. The firm that installed the solar panels should also be able to give you valuable information about maintenance, upkeep and repairs. In all cases, seek a knowledgeable and up-to-date interpretation of an existing lease agreement, or the sales and service contracts, and be aware of the terms and provisions of a usage agreement with your local utility company. Knowing the details is not only for your protection, but also assures that a buyer will be satisfied with the sales contract.

Detail the Cost Benefits

It’s also important to document the “cost and comfort” benefits of residential solar panels. Much like with other energy efficient upgrades, if you can demonstrate financial advantages in addition to the “feel good” effects, a potential buyer is more likely to be impressed. If it’s pertinent, offer details about the logistics of working with a local energy provider, the durability and lifespan of the panels themselves, and the benefits to the environment. Depending on how long your solar array has been in operation, provide a comparison of before and after monthly cost figures to graphically illustrate the savings.

Even though a new owner is not likely to reap any tax advantages from existing solar panels, the financial benefits should represent a continuing savings over traditional energy costs.

You aren’t compelled to share the actual cost of solar panel installation with prospective buyers, nor must you disclose any tax rebates or local incentives you received. But it is always helpful to chart monthly billings and, if you participate in any type of energy rebates through your local electric company, it would be wise to confirm that a new homeowner would be eligible for the same savings plan.

Resale Value of Solar

Clean energy is a renewable resource that’s good for the environment and will repay the cost of installation in as little as about three and a half years. That may be the reason you installed solar panels in the first place. In addition, solar panels on your roof add substantial value to a home. According to figures supplied by the U.S. Green Building Council, a homeowner can expect to realize nearly $6,000 per installed kilowatt-hour in terms of a higher sales price, although actual numbers vary based on location. But the financial gain for an average home system of about 3.1 kilowatt capacity can be substantial.

Home sellers must, however, be aware of all the contingencies and know the facts concerning their personal solar panel installations. There is no substitute for advance preparation when you list your home for sale.

Your Guide to the Different Types of Solar Panel

What to Look For in Solar Panels

Solat Panel Intallation
Man installing alternative energy photovoltaic solar panels on roof

For residential applications, the two biggest restrictions for solar panels are cost and space. You also need to know how much power you want to produce so you can figure out how many panels you need and how efficient they need to be. To get the long-term benefits of solar panels, you need to keep the costs down. Your needs will change depending on whether you want to go fully off-grid or simply offset the cost of your electricity. With roof-mounted solar systems, there is a hard limit to how many panels you can fit on your roof. The optimal direction for solar panels to face is to the south. Depending on the shape of your roof and the orientation of your house you may be severely limited on panel space. By looking at how much power you need and how much space is available you can figure out how efficient your panels need to be. Then you can begin shopping around for panels that meet these requirements at the lowest price. It’s important to remember that the panels themselves aren’t the only cost in a system. Wiring, solar controllers and state or utility fees must also be factored in. Different types of solar panel work best for different applications. Here are some of the most common types of panels.

Monocrystalline

Monocrystalline solar panels are made using high-quality silicon wafers that are formed into a single crystal. These panels have very high efficiency rates, going as high as 22.5% in high-end commercial applications. They have a blackish hue when viewed in the sun and have rounded edges. Monocrystalline panels are the current highest quality panels available. They have a number of advantages and disadvantages going for them.

Advantages

This type of panel has very high-efficiency rates and a lifespan of 25 years or more. They can be made in either a rigid or semiflexible form. Monocrystalline panels are great if you want to produce the maximum amount of power for small areas.

Disadvantages

The old saying ‘you get what you pay for’ comes to mind for monocrystalline panels. They are by far the most expensive panels on the market. Each solar cell in a monocrystalline panel is formed from a single silicon crystal. This requires very precise manufacturing and high-quality materials. All types of crystalline solar panels suffer from temperature and shading effects. As a panel produces electricity it also generates waste heat. This temperature increase lowers the overall efficiency of the panel. Shading effects occur when a small portion of a panel is put under shade. Because all the silicon cells in a panel are wired together this drop in productivity severely weakens the production of the whole panel. If you have a large area available for panels another variety might work better for you.

Polycrystalline

Polycrystalline panels are made from silicon the same as monocrystalline panels. Instead of single silicon crystals, manufacturers used fragments of silicon that are formed into wafers. These panels have a blueish hue to them and are squared off rather than rounded at the edges.

Advantages

Polycrystalline panels are cheaper on average than monocrystalline solar panels. On a watt for watt basis, some polycrystalline panels are more cost-efficient than monocrystalline panels. Where space isn’t at a premium a polycrystalline installation can make more sense. They are just as durable as monocrystalline panels and will also last for upwards of 25 years.

Disadvantages

These types of solar panel have lower efficiency rates to match that cheaper cost. On average a polycrystalline panel has an efficiency rate of 14-16%. If you only have a small amount of space available, polycrystalline panels probably aren’t the way to go.

Other Types of Solar Panel

Traditional crystalline silicon panels make up the bulk of the solar panel market. Recently, however, new manufacturing processes and materials are beginning to make major inroads. Thin film panels are made by applying a very thin layer of solar absorption material onto a surface. This allows the use of up to 350 times less material than crystalline panels. Thin film panels have a uniform appearance and many people find them more visually pleasing than crystalline panels. Thin film panels are available in a wide range of sizes, shapes and efficiencies depending on the materials used. There are three commonly used thin film materials.

Cadmium Telluride (CdTe)

CdTe is the most common of the thin film panel materials, making up half the market. This type of panel has reasonable efficiencies, 14.5%, and new manufacturing methods are lowering the cost every year. CdTe panels are commonly used in large-scale commercial projects because of their low cost and reasonable efficiency.

Amorphous Silicon (a-Si)

a-Si is the most mature of the thin film technologies. If you ever had a solar powered calculator or watch a-Si was the material used to power it. It’s been difficult to scale a-Si because of its low efficiency of around 8%. It is rarely used in residential installations.

Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS)

CIGS panels are a relatively new technology that is still developing. They have shown very high rates of efficiency in laboratory settings. The only real downside to CIGS panels currently is their high manufacturing cost.

Choose the Panels Right For You

Now you know the major types of solar panel on the market and the advantages and disadvantages of each variety. With a few simple tools you can figure out the amount of sunlight available to you and calculate the minimum efficiency you will need for your available space. If you want to increase the equity in your Midwestern home or do your part in reducing fossil fuel consumption, please contact us. We would be happy to set up a free solar analysis for your home.

Solar in All Seasons

Solar in All Seasons

Going solar at any point of the year is a great decision. You will receive savings and gain control over your own energy production during each of the seasons. However, there are certain benefits to going solar at different points in the year. Today we are going to be looking at what going solar is like in the spring, summer, fall, and winter.

Spring

Spring Season Solar When people picture going solar they think of the hot summer months as being the most productive of the year, because of how long and sunny the days are. However, when solar panels get too hot, their production slows. Because of this spring is actually the best time of year for your solar panels. The weather has yet to grow too hot and the days are getting longer with more sunshine. These are the months when your solar panels can be the most productive out of the whole year! So why not install during the spring months and start reaping the benefits right away! Another reason why going solar in the spring is great is because you will have your solar system installed and ready to go for when the hot summer months arrive. Your system will be producing energy and saving you on your utilities when the summer months get here and you crank up the AC. Also, thanks to net metering, during the spring you can build up solar credit with your utility company. This will help you to save even more during the summer.

Summer

Summer has arrived, everyone is trying to stay cool and are out having fun in the sun. Season Summer SolarIn between your trips to the lake, you notice that more and more houses in your neighborhood are getting solar installed this time of year. You may wonder why everyone is making the switch now. Well, there is a reason that summer is the busy season for solar! During the summer, people often see their electricity bill get higher and higher as they attempt to keep their home cool. Installing solar is a great way to save on the big electricity bills during the summer. We also have long, sunny days in the summer that allow your solar panels more time to soak in the rays and produce more energy. The summer is a great time to have solar as you can take charge of your own energy and see huge savings during some of the most expensive months for electricity.

Fall

The weather is finally starting to cool off and installing solar may be the last thing on your mind as you break out the scarfs and pumpkin spice lattes. However, going solar in fall is an incredible opportunity for going solar for one main reason: qualifying for the tax credit. Season Fall Solar You can qualify for the 30% tax credit no matter what season you install solar. However if you install solar during the fall, you will qualify to get a tax credit for that year. The tax credit will count toward the year that you install your solar system. So by getting your system installed in the fall, you will qualify for the tax credit for that year. Another great benefit for going solar in the fall, is that (similar to the spring) you can start building up credit with your utilities during these cool months and save that for the warmer months that will return.

Winter

The cold is setting in and the holiday season is approaching. Snow is starting to fall and the days have grown shorter and shorter. You may be wondering, why would anyone go solar during the winter? Well, there are plenty of reasons why going solar in the winter is actually a really great idea! Here is a video of the energy output someone had with their solar panels during the winter! Solar panels work best in cool weather. So cold, sunny days are the best for your solar panels in producing energy. Your panels will be producing at their highest efficiency during the winter months. As stated before, the spring months are some of the best production months. So install your solar panels during the winter. Season Winter Solar You will watch your solar panels perform remarkably throughout the winter and into the upcoming spring months. Going solar in the winter is a great way to save energy and to build up your credit with your utility company for the warmer months.     As you can see there is no wrong month to go solar. There are benefits to each season of the year. So no matter what season it is, contact us at Shine Solar to learn more about going solar.