August 2018 | Shine Solar

Month: August 2018

 

Your 10 Most Common Solar Energy Questions, Answered

Here’s a riddle for you:

What goes through a door without taking a step?

You guessed it!

Sunlight!

And now that you’ve answered our question, we’re here to answer yours. We get lots of solar energy questions from even our smartest clients, and we want to give you a head start on the knowledge that you need to make the change to solar energy.

And for those just shopping around, if you’ve ever wondered what questions to ask solar companies — we’ve got the top ten most common solar energy questions.

Oh, yeah, and — we’ve got answers.

How Much Do Solar Panels Save?

Ah, yes. The granddaddy of all solar energy questions. Solar panels might cost money up front, but they can slash your energy bills by more than 80% with proper usage.

The average energy bill in Florida, for example, is just under $130 per month. The average solar energy bill is between $13 and $40 per month.

Is it Worth Installing Solar Panels?

We certainly think so!

Not only are you lowering your energy costs, but solar energy is better for the planet. The 100% clean energy can make you feel good about saving money.

With many financing options and tax credits available, there will be no cost up front for panel installation. Additionally, you will be saving thousands upon thousands of dollars in avoided costs — meaning you won’t incur bills that you would otherwise.

Over time, the avoided cost compounds, especially due to progressive inflation year after year. The longer you have solar panels, the more money you save.

How Do Solar Panels Work?

This is a tough one. Basically, the solar cell receives heat and light — energy — from the sun. These cells are made up of silicon and other materials that add electrons to efficiently conduct energy.

The solar cell processes the sun’s rays, turning them into direct current electricity. This electricity is transferred into alternating current energy, which can power a home.

Some of the newest solar panels are much more resilient and less thick than the old standard bearers. They can also produce energy for homes and businesses much more easily.

What’s the Reliability of Solar Panels?

Think about it this way: at least half of every calendar year (the daytime half) is spent in the sun. Especially if you live in a place that has more days of sunlight than not, solar panels can be a money-saving addition to the home.

The panels themselves are reliable for use, but you’ll want an expert to come to measure your home or offer an expert estimate based on agreed upon calculations. In fact, all of your solar energy questions can be answered by a professional.

Can Solar Panels Make Electricity in the Rain?

The short answer is: It depends.

Solar panels can transfer energy from the air into their cell as look as it is molecularly viable. When there’s no sun out (at night, during inclement weather, or eclipses), the panels won’t be generating their own power supply.

If it is partly sunny and raining, however, or if there’s generally enough light out, solar panels can still make electricity in the rain. It’s the same as when you get a sunburn on a cloudy day.

Sometimes, rain can even be good for your solar panels. Dust and debris can accumulate on your panels, and a natural power wash is never a bad thing!

Does Using Solar Energy Mean I’m Off the Grid?

Sorry, hippies and preppers-if you’re using solar panels, there’s a large chance you’re still a member of the electricity grid. And you should stay with your utility company!

Even though you generate your own electricity, you will likely receive a tax break for going solar (this is true in many, but not all, states).

These governmental plans came about years ago to help stimulate local economies that wanted to go solar. Incentives for home and business owners can make it simple, affordable, and environmentally friendly.

In reality, what happens when you generate electricity for your house, especially in surplus, is that you feed that power back into the grid. This does mean that you might not always be technically running your home on solar power, but it’s six of one and half a dozen of the other. That’s where net metering comes in.

Also, because utilities allow us to NET METER, we are essentially using the grid as a free battery, sending excess in when necessary and pulling from it when necessary.

What is Net Metering?

Net metering is basically the reason you stay on the grid. In essence, net metering is a way to measure how much electricity your solar panels generate versus how much electricity you use.

If you are in a state or area that uses net metering for its solar panel homes, the electricity company will monitor how much power your solar cells create for your home.

While you are generating energy that feeds into the grid, the electricity company also measures your power usage by metering.

To calculate your monthly bill or credit, the electricity company will measure the net usage or generation of kilowatt hours that your home has undergone.

You pay money for power usage. You get a refund or credit for generating surplus power.

When Do I Realize the Difference?

We know it’s important to save money on your electricity bill, especially if you are going through the expensive process of buying, financing, or purchasing solar panels. You will see a difference in the amount you pay for electricity almost immediately.

You can also qualify for tax credits for your solar panels, which can significantly reduce the cost of your crossover. Going green doesn’t have to break the bank!

Do I Qualify for Tax Credits?

You might qualify for — dollar for dollar — an up to 30% tax credit for going solar. The Investment Tax Credit (ITC) allows you to claim part of all of your solar panel purchase. If you are a home or business owner, you will be eligible for this credit.

There is also a residential renewable energy credit program eligible through the Department of Energy. Check with your state to see if there’s extra incentive for going solar in your state. Now’s the time to go solar — it’s the best bang for your buck with rising quality and lowering taxes.

How Can I Answer My Other Solar Energy Questions?

Quality solar panels are exciting and finally affordable. If you want to learn more and get your solar energy questions answered in Northwest Arkansas, Kansas City and Southwest Missouri, check out our blog and contact us to learn more!

Are Solar Panels Worth It? 5 Ways Your Bank Account Will Thank You

Energy bills got you down? Is your monthly bill going up, up and up? Are you considering whether solar panels are worth it?

The short answer is yes.

Summer heat waves, like those we’ve experienced this year, can wreak havoc on your energy usage and drive up your monthly bill. Maybe you lower the thermostat on the hottest days just to stay comfortable. But did you know running your air conditioner below 78 degrees can increase your power usage as much as 10 percent?

Spiking energy during these higher usage times means bigger electricity bills. It’s not just the increased usage that drives up the price, it’s the rate increase for using more energy during peak usage times, too. These bills sometimes come in up to 4 times higher than the cost of a normal month!

It’s time to consider a better option: Solar Power.

Are Solar Panels Worth it?

Ask anyone who’s paid a $400 summer energy bill how it affected their budget. Most people find it hard to plan for that kind of spike. Stabilized billing alone can make solar panels a worthy option.

But how much do solar panels actually save on electricity bills? Calculating solar panel savings requires you to look at more than just your energy bill. Check out these 5 ways solar panels in a solar energy system can save you money.

5 Ways Solar Power Saves You Money

1. Stabilized Energy Billing

Check out your energy bill. Most bills contain a graph that shows you the cost over time. Look at that graph. It’s anything but stable. You can’t just budget a set amount for your energy usage.

Without solar the only thing you can control is your consumption. However, once those panels are turned on you now have control over production. We build your system based on your specific past consumption.

With a solar energy system, you will stabilize your bill by gaining control over production and consumption. Solar power comes at a fixed cost that is applied to your usage. You will not be surprised by fluctuating rates or limited to using power during certain times of the day.

2. Tax Credits

Good news! You can get some money back by installing a solar energy system.

One of the incentives for installing solar panels is the federal tax credit. This is a credit that is applied when you file your taxes in April. It reduces the amount of taxes you owe, saving you money.

Your solar panels are Energy Star certified, which means they are proven to save money, save energy and protect the environment. They do this by relying on renewable energy sources. The federal government gives a tax credit for renewable energy systems.

However, time may be running out for this program. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 extended the tax credits for renewable energy through December, 2021. Act quickly to take advantage of this valuable tax credit before it’s gone.

3. Reduced Monthly Energy Bills

Solar energy is a renewable source. This makes it so much more affordable than the non-renewable energy options that your local power company relies on. They raise and lower rates according to the coal, oil and natural gas market.

This market fluctuates according to the laws of supply and demand. Since these are non-renewable sources, they will eventually run out. Thus, the costs of using them are expected to rise in the coming years.

These costs trickle down to your energy bill.

Once you switch to a solar energy system, you will end the need to rely on such unsustainable sources of energy. You will end peak and off-peak billing, rate hikes and get rid of utility company fees. Then, you’ll see your monthly energy bill go down.

4. Low Maintenance

Ever had to call your power company to deal with power problems? They only repair issues related to equipment outside your home and property. All other costs fall to the homeowner.

If you need wiring repairs, you will need to hire an electrician. This can be a very costly expense. It can also mean going without power for an extended amount of time.

Solar energy systems are made to last. You can think of them almost like a one time fee for a lifetime of use. There is very little if any, maintenance required. Most systems come with a warranty, too.

5. Locked in Power Rates

Investing in a solar energy system is not just for immediate savings on your monthly bill. It is a long-term investment that saves you money for a lifetime.

While you may need to finance your solar energy system up front, it will pay for itself in the long run by locking in your power rates for life. You will never have a hike in rates from a utility company, again.

Ready For Solar Energy?

Now that you know how solar panel savings can add up, it’s time to take the step toward freedom from the power company. Solar panels are worth it. The investment up front will save a lot of money over the course of your lifetime.

But remember that installing solar panels isn’t just a good financial decision. It is a responsible choice for the environment. Removing your need to rely on unsustainable energy sources is one small step toward a better, cleaner world.

Who wouldn’t feel good about that?

Let Us Help You

Live in Northwest Arkansas, Southwest Missouri or Kansas City, MO areas? Shine Solar is ready to work for you! Get started now with an analysis for your new solar energy system.

We work hard to bring reliable solar power to you and your neighbors.

Have more questions about solar panels or solar energy? Please contact us with your concerns. We are here to help you plan a solar energy system that’s right for you.

10 Ways Solar Panels Save You Money In the Long Run

With the rising costs of energy, homeowners across the United States are thinking more and more about solar energy. It’s a great alternative to traditional sources of energy for your home with benefits that extend to your wallet. But, you may be wondering, are solar panels worth it?

In most cases, the answer is a resounding yes! The benefits of solar energy far outweigh the negatives, of which there are really none to speak of. There are plenty of things to say, however, about the benefits.

If you’ve been considering investing in solar panels for your home but have been unsure whether it’s the right move for you and your family, you need to keep reading. This article will discuss how solar energy saves you money over your lifetime. Let’s get into it.

Ten Financial Benefits of Solar Energy

You may have noticed friends and neighbors installing solar panels on their homes in recent years. That’s because solar panel systems have declined in cost and traditional energy sources costs are rising, and your friends and neighbors have already taken notice. Here are ten reasons why you should join the trend and start saving money with solar energy.

Save Money

You may like to know how solar works in order to understand how it saves you money. Simply translated, your home is powered by light from the sun. Even if you live in an area that isn’t sunny all the time, you can save money on your electric bills in the forms of credits from those times when it is sunny.

Going solar saves you money starting immediately after your upfront costs to purchase and install. Here’s how:

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

When you reduce your carbon footprint, it benefits the economy which in turn benefits the citizens of the United States financially. Besides that, going solar may prompt you to become more energy efficient with both your home and your lifestyle.

You can start to make a bigger impact on the environment. Not only with your solar panels and energy but also by following other tips that make a difference, like walking to work once per week, and turning off and unplugging devices when you’re not using them.

Tax Credits and Rebates

The federal government is offering a 30% tax write off deduction until December 31, 2109. You’ll still be eligible for deductions in the years thereafter, but at a reduced credit of 26% in 2020 and 22% in 2021. The 22% credit expires December 31, 2021.

Besides tax savings, you may also be eligible for certain rebates in your state.

Eliminate Energy Bills

Once you install solar panels on your home, you’ll have an option to stay on the grid. You can trade energy credits with the utility company to use on hot days in the summer when you’re running the air conditioner a lot or on cloudy days.

It’s important to note that even cloudy days produce energy for your home at a rate of 10-20% of the power generated on sunny days.

Earn Your Money Back

Solar panels have a low payback period. This means that you’ll start noticing savings within a specified amount of time from the initial investment such that the solar panels will pay for themselves. In many cases, this happens in less than ten years.

You may also notice savings in the preservation of your roof when solar panels are installed. Instead of soaking up the sun on hot summer days, the solar panels will be converting that sun into energy and blocking it from your roof. This will not only result in cooler temperatures in your home but also produce the energy you need to power your day.

Increase Your Home Value

If you ever intend to sell your home, you will have an opportunity to make your money back, and then some, on your solar panels. There are reports of homeowners earning up to 18% more on the sale of their homes with solar energy. Other studies claim that homes with solar panels are selling 20% faster than comparable homes on the market.

It’s a Secure Investment

Traditional energy sources are provided by energy companies that are notorious for fluctuating prices. With solar energy, you can calculate the energy that your solar panels generate and at what price. This can be figured for at least twenty years and is considered fixed energy costs.

Warranties

Even while your solar panels will likely last upwards of 30-40 years, you’ll also receive a standard warranty up to 25 years. These warranties are offered by the solar panel manufacturers and may also be referenced as a performance guarantee. It states that you will receive 80% performance after 25 years of use.

On top of any manufacture warranty Shine Solar offers a 12 year professional workmanship warranty, Lifetime monitoring, 5 year roof replacement and a 50% panel buy-back program.

Enjoy Energy Independence

Instead of using imported products like oil, coal, and natural gas, you’ll be using your own energy. Solar panels belong to you and your home so you can consider yourself to be energy independent. No longer worry about the fluctuating and rising prices of these other expensive and dangerous energy sources.

SRECS (Solar Renewable Energy Certificates)

Solar Renewable Energy Certificates allow you to sell energy that your home produces and is not used in order to generate extra income. Prices for SRECs vary by location but invariably improve the value of your solar panel system.

These certificates are available in the following states:

  • Delaware
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • New Jersey
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Washington D.C.

Final Thoughts

The benefits of solar energy extend far beyond financial savings and independence. Besides the savings of reducing your carbon footprint, so are you doing your part to protect and conserve the environment for future generations. The emergence of solar energy has also helped create more jobs for the economy.

If you’re ready to install solar panels on your home, or if you have questions about going solar, feel free to contact us. We service Northwest Arkansas, Southwest Missouri, and Kansas City Missouri.