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Category: Rooftop Solar

 

What Direction Should Solar Panels Face?

Your investment in solar panels is only as good as the sun they capture. The direction in which you face your array makes all the difference in how much sunlight they catch. The question, is what direction should solar panels face to generate the most energy? If you face North, you receive the least sun through the day. The sun rises in the East and follows a South-bound trajectory into the West skies. For the Northern Hemisphere, morning sunlight is the weakest, so the question lies between facing your panels South or West. This article teaches you everything you need to know about positioning your solar panels for maximum power.

What Direction Should Solar Panels Face?

Solar energy is an excellent power source because the suns energy is so abundantly available. Going solar has immediate and long-term benefits for individuals who invest. But, since the earth is 93 million miles away from the sun you have to be careful as to where it is you position your panels to capture the most energy. The direction in which your solar panels face is determined by the environment and location of installation. Solar panels are often put on top of roofs, but large arrays are put on the ground. The trick is to put it somewhere that it receives maximum sunlight during the day with the least shadow.

Factors to Consider for Solar Panel Placement

Consider the place where you plan to put your panels in determining the position and orientation of your solar array. Most home arrays mount to the roof if it is strong enough to hold the weight. Look for any obstruction to the suns light in the location you choose. For those who live in the flatlands and desert country, a ground solar array is clear from tree obstruction. If you get snow in the winter consider how accessible for clearing off your panel location is. If you are mounting your panels to the roof of your home or shed, which direction is the roof facing-and at what angle? Are there trees or building that cause shade throughout the day? Is there space on your roof for enough panels to fulfill your energy needs?

Should Solar Panels Face South or West?

If your solar panel location faces south you’re in the sweet zone. True South is evident by the shadows cast at noon, running north to south. Most professional solar installers position the panels facing south because it receives the maximum duration of sunlight during the day. This is tempered, however, by your proximity to the equator and elevation to sea-level. Contrary to the south-facing rule, researchers at the Pecan Stree Research Institute in Austin, Texas suggest that solar panels should face west. Their studies show that west-facing solar panels generate two percent more power in the day during peak grid usage.

If They Can’t Face South

Plenty of homes have roofs that face east and west, rather than north and south. If you live closer to the equator, the findings of the Pecan Street Research Institute are good news. West-facing solar panels receive the maximum solar energy in a day and generate the most power. On the other hand, if you live in Canada, the United Kingdom, or the Northern United States, South-facing arrays receive a greater duration of sunlight hours in the day. In these locations, evening hours produce less powerful sunlight than that which is closer to the equator. If you don’t have any spaces that receive ample west-facing or south-facing sunlight, you have to be creative. Think about how you can lift the panels above the light obstruction, or use mirrors to reflect light onto the panels. If your panels have to face north, they receive the least amount of sunlight. At no point does the suns trajectory pass through the North sky. Think of building a tiered rack onto your roof. If your solar panels are up against the side of your roofline, your only option is to position your panels for sunlight from the East or the West. Sunlight from the East is obstructed as the sun passes into the South-East sky. Sunlight from the West is obstructed from the South-West light until it clears the roof on your house. If you have location complications with your solar placement, contact a professional. Most installers offer a free solar analysis, which can set you on the right track for what direction you panels should face.

Solar Panel Angle

The angle at which you tilt your solar panels towards the sun is calculated on your latitude. To find the ideal degree of tilt for your solar panels, in the United States, multiply 0.76 by your latitude. Then, add 3.1 degrees to the sum of your multiplication. If you wish to get the maximum energy out of your solar array, vary the pitch of your panels to the suns seasonal trajectory. In the winter, the sun travels lower across the horizon than in the summer. Solar DIYers are avid tinkerers with their panels hardware and controllers, trying to squeeze every kilowatt out of the daylight hours.

Final Thoughts

Your installation location is the biggest factor for what direction should solar panels face. Solar panels get the strongest sunlight hours from facing West. Solar panels get the longest direction of sunlight by facing South. If you have any other questions about positioning your solar panels, contact us for a consultation. If you like this article, on what direction should solar panels face, share it with a friend on social media. And subscribe to the newsletter for more resources about how solar works.

How Solar Panels Have Quickly Become the Best Energy Source

As of last year, solar power became the fastest-growing source of new energy. In fact, solar now accounts for as much as two-thirds of new power across the globe!

However, the real question is whether solar is the best energy source? Well, we certainly think so- and here’s why.

Let’s dive in!

What’s Solar Energy?

Before we move any further into the article, we need to answer this question. In short, the sun’s energy can be harnessed and transformed into electricity via devices called solar panels.

Solar energy is a fantastic example of a renewable energy source- it’s way better for the environment than burning fossil fuels, so it’s not surprising more and more people are jumping on the bandwagon!

Why the Surge in Popularity?

The International Energy Agency (IEA), claim there’s been a massive increase in the demand and installation of solar panels- especially in China.

The usage of solar energy has seen a growth of over 50% since last year- and China is responsible for over half of this expansion!

So it’s safe to say that China has become somewhat of an ambassador for renewable energy production.

Fun Fact: After China, the U.S. boasts the second-largest market for sustainable energy generation.

The gradual reduction in the cost of solar panels and the general support provided by governments across the world has gone a long way in encouraging both homeowners and business owners to harness solar power.

Incredibly, it’s the first time solar energy has surpassed any other source of electricity- including coal!

Fun Fact No.2: The IEA believe solar will continue to dominate the industry. So much so, they predict that within the next five years’ solar power will be responsible for more than the combined power generation of both India and Japan!

Benefits of Solar Energy

In light of all the below advantages, it’s hardly surprising that solar energy has seen such a growth in popularity!

1. Solar Power is Renewable

As we’ve previously alluded to, solar energy is 100% renewable. One of the best things about it is that the suns rays can be harnessed from all around the globe, virtually every day!

For as long as humans wonder the earth- we’ll always be able to use the sun to generate electricity and heat.

Sadly, the same can’t be true of other sources of power such as coal (and other fossil fuels) which is why renewable alternatives are so important!

2. Solar Energy is Diverse

Solar power is incredibly diverse; you can create both heat and electricity from the suns rays!

The broader implications of this are phenomenal. Solar power can do everything from generating electricity in regions that currently don’t have access to power- to powering satellites miles away in the atmosphere- how neat is that?!

3. You’ll Save Money

Not only does solar energy help save the environment, but it also goes a long way in helping you save a pretty penny or two (in the long run).

Obviously, your total savings depends on how many solar panels you’ve installed and your overall electricity usage and heat consumption.

However, if you’re able to generate more electricity than you’re using, the surplus travels back to the grid, and you’ll receive some kind of compensation- what’s not to love about that?!

Top Tip: if you want to make the most out of solar energy you can now purchase solar power windows. These catch the suns rays and generate electricity!

4. Solar Power is Cost-Effective to Maintain

One of the best things about solar energy for homeowners and business owners is that solar panels don’t need much maintenance. There aren’t any moving parts involved so there isn’t much that can go wrong!

However, you should probably note the inverter usually needs changing once every seven years (approximately). This part is always being used. It never stops working to transform solar energy into heat and electricity.

In light of this, you’ll be pleased to hear that most reputable manufacturers provide a 20-year warranty (or longer- be sure to read the fine print to find out). So, if something needs fixing or replacing, you should be able to resolve this relatively inexpensively.

For the best results, keep your solar panels clean, a quick wipe down once every six months should do the trick!

If you’re reluctant to do this yourself, hire a professional cleaning service to get the job done for you. This shouldn’t set you back more than $45.

5. Developments in Technology

Technology in this industry is continually developing. As time moves forward, solar energy will only become more fine-tuned and advanced.

Professionals believe that if we carry on advancing the way we have, we could potentially boost the efficiency of solar panels by as much as double in the near future.

Think of what that could mean for the environment- it would virtually eradicate the need to burn fossil fuels!

Did You Enjoy This Blog Post on the Best Energy Source?

If you found this article on the best energy source interesting, then we’re confident you’ll love the other features on our blog.

Over there we talk about everything from financing your solar panels to answering frequently asked questions about solar energy. Enjoy!

Or, if you have any questions about the industry or queries relating to our specific products and services, please feel free to reach out and contact us. One of our friendly team will get back to you as soon as they can. Speak soon!

The Definition of Solar Energy Terms You Should Know

With global warming remaining a hot-button issue in the news, it’s likely that you’ve heard information about the definition of solar energy thrown around. At first glance, it seems like a pretty simple concept. The sun shines on panels that turn that power into electricity that we can use to power coffee pots, phone chargers, and the computer you’re reading this on right now. But if you’ve ever delved further into solar power terms, you likely discovered a whole lexicon of jargon that can be difficult to parse. If you’re looking into getting a solar power system installed, you’ll need to know some of the basics. Below are a few solar terms and their definitions.

Balance of System

The balance of system refers to all of the physical pieces that make up your solar power system. This can include wiring, nuts, bolts, inverters, mounting software, the monitoring system, and more. The balance of system does not, however, include the solar panels.

Charge Controller

The charge controller regulates the energy going into the battery in your solar power system. Your system may not necessarily have a battery, so be sure to check on that when having your system installed. You need a charge controller because fluctuating charge flowing directly into a battery can damage the battery.

Efficiency

Solar panel efficiency refers to the percentage of sunlight that solar panels can convert into electricity. Initially, solar panels had about a 6% efficiency rate. Now, solar panels are in development that have up to 24% efficiency.

Energy Audit

An energy audit as a process in which you assess how much power your home or business uses. This can also include a list of ways to make your building more energy-efficient. Over time, having an energy audit performed can save you a lot of money and wasted energy.

Grid-Connected System

A grid-connected system is a solar power system that works with an existing electrical grid. If you live somewhere where you may not get enough sunlight to independently power your home, having a grid-connected system can help you make up the balance and ensure that you always keep power. You’ll want to talk to your local utility company about setting up a grid-connected solar power system.

Ground-Mounted Solar

As the name might suggest, ground-mounted solar is a solar panel system that that is mounted on the ground. This is as opposed to solar panel systems that are mounted on roofs, which are more common for private solar power systems. Ground-mounted solar power systems are more typically used for mass power generation, such as you would see in a power farm.

Inverter

When solar panels generate energy, they generate it as direct current, or DC, energy. But most homes and businesses use alternating current, or AC, energy to power electronics. An inverter converts DC energy to AC energy suitable for private use.

National Electric Code

The National Electric Code is a set of guidelines established by the National Fire Protection Association. They control installation codes for electric systems to prevent dangerous malfunctions. You or your solar panel consultant will need to review the National Electric Code guidelines before installing your system.

Net Metering

Net metering is a method of handling any excess power your solar power system may produce. If your electric company will allow it, you may be able to send your excess power back into the grid to be used by other consumers, lowering the amount of fossil fuel usage needed. In some cases, you may even be able to earn a credit for this excess power.

Peak Sun Hours

Although the name may be confusing, peak sun hours do not refer to how long a solar panel is in daylight. Rather, it refers to the quality of daylight being absorbed, and can come up to only three or four hours a day. Peak sun hours are influenced by weather, time of year, proximity to the equator, and a number of other factors.

Photovoltaic

Photovoltaic effectively refers to the definition of solar energy. Photovoltaic technology uses semiconductors to absorb electrons knocked loose from their atoms by photons from sunlight. Those electrons are then able to be used as electric power, thus allowing us to harness solar power.

Smart Grid

Smart grids are electrical grids that are monitored and controlled by digital technology. They regulate flow of energy between the utility service and end-users. Using smart grids can help increase efficiency and better manage electric flow.

Solar Batteries

Solar batteries are an optional part of a solar power system that allow you to store excess solar energy produced to be used at a later time. If you are planning to establish an independent solar power system, you will absolutely want to have solar batteries. These will allow you to still have power at night or during times when your peak sun hours are lower.

Thin-Film Solar

Thin-film solar is a different way to construct a solar power system. Rather than the traditional, bulky solar panels, thin-film solar uses thin, flexible sheets of material that can harness solar power. These are more versatile and cheaper than traditional solar panels, but they also break down more quickly.

Tracking Mount

A tracking mount is a system that enables solar panels to move, following the sun as it moves across the sky. This helps to increase peak sun hours and can improve solar power system efficiency. These are generally seen on ground-mounted solar power systems.

Zero Net Energy

Zero net energy refers to buildings that produce as much power as they consume. Although solar power systems are certainly integral to earning this designation, maximizing energy efficiency through green building techniques is also key. This is an important designation in many green initiatives.

More Questions About the Definition of Solar Energy?

There are a lot of terms that are important to know if you plan to install a solar power system. The definition of solar energy is complex, and it changes by the day as technologies develop. This list is only the tip of the iceberg in when it comes to solar power terms. If you’d like to learn more about how solar works, visit the rest of our website. Shine Solar offers testimonials, informative articles, and a free solar analysis that will help you determine the right solar solution for you. Contact us today to get started on your own solar system.

8 Benefits of Solar Equipment for Your Home

Do you know what your last electric bill was? The average energy expenditure per person was $3,052! And how many people live in your house again? The good news is that solar panels can greatly reduce energy costs and can help you and our world in a lot of other ways too. This article will highlight the 8 benefits of solar equipment installation for you as an individual, your community, and your country.

1. Savings

Now that we’ve established that we’re all paying a lot for energy, what can we do about it? The answer is to use renewable energies. While solar panel equipment installation can be expensive up front, you’re going to be saving big in the long term. The cost of solar panel installation is paid for in about 10 years of use. Everything after that is energy savings! Solar panels have a typical warranty of ten years, but usually last for about 25, which means, you will have 15 years of almost free energy! Even better, as more and more companies join the solar energy industry and with recent advances in the technology, the price of solar equipment keeps coming down.

2. Tax Credits

While tax credits for solar energy were largely up in the air with the new tax legislation of 2017, the incentives for solar equipment installation are still there and a great resource for first-time purchasers. When you initially install your solar equipment, you will get 30% back come tax time. This means for a $25,000 system, you will receive $7,500. Pretty sweet, right? Each state has their own tax incentives for solar panel installation too, so make sure to look into what’s available in your area. You can also receive money by selling your Solar Renewable Energy Credits to the local power plant when you have extra energy (we’ll talk more about this in a little bit.) This can be another great way to subsidize the initial cost of the solar equipment.

3. Helping the Environment

Typical fossil fuels like gas and coal, put greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere, which is damaging the earth’s protection from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. This is causing smog, medical issues (asthma, skin cancer, etc.), and climate change to mention a few of our many problems from pollution. Getting your energy from solar panels cuts your home’s emission of greenhouse gases by 80%, so by using solar energy instead of gas or coal, you are slowing down the trend of global warming and preserving our world for future generations. A lesser-known fact is that the use of fossil fuels also pollutes the water table through waste and runoff. Solar panels use almost no water, so not only are you keeping the air clean but our water as well.

4. Energy Security

We typically don’t think about how important our energy provider is until the power suddenly goes out! With solar power, you don’t have to worry when the transformer gets struck by lightning. If the sun is still shining, you’ve got plenty of energy. If it’s stormy weather, you have saved enough energy with your batteries to make it until the sun reappears or you’ve been selling energy back to the grid and can now borrow some back. No more standing in line for gasoline for the generator! During extreme heat, people are often asked to turn off their air conditioning units by the power company or city because AC consumes more electricity than almost anything else in the home. If everyone has their air conditioning blasting at the same time, the power plant can’t keep up. This can also lead to city-wide blackouts. If you’re using solar panels, however, this won’t apply to you. They’ll keep creating energy, which means, you’ll be able to keep your AC going no matter how much energy the city around you is consuming. Don’t forget too, that as energy companies raise their rates, your energy bills will stay constant. You’re only paying off the cost of your panels, and again, usually after the first ten years, you’re getting your electricity for free!

5. Property Value

Just think of trying to find a new home that already has solar panels installed. There aren’t too many, right? This means that if you convert to solar power, you’re actually increasing your property value. Studies suggest that your property value goes up $5,911 for each kilowatt of solar power you have installed. Let’s do a little math. The average home (2,000 square feet) needs between 12-18 solar panels to be fully powered. Each individual panel produces between 250-320 watts. Let’s say you install 15 panels that each produce around 250 watts. Your total kilowatts would then be 3.75, meaning your home’s value would increase around $22,000! Let’s not forget too that solar panels extend the life of your roof. You’re less likely to experience weather damage with all those panels guarding your shingles.

6. Supporting Your Community

Little known fact: solar panels often actually feed into the public’s electric grid. This means that when you have extra energy on bright, sunny days, it goes to the local power plant. On overcast days or days where you need a little extra power, you draw electricity from the grid. (This is called Solar Renewable Energy Credits which we mentioned earlier as a way to get paid for your solar equipment.) This may seem insignificant, but every little bit of solar energy is helping your community to emit less toxic gases and make cheaper energy for everyone!

7. Jobs

Obviously, solar energy is a growing industry and every growing industry needs employees! While coal mining has largely been laying off workers for the past few decades and oil production is mainly overseas, solar panel production is now hiring new employees here in America. Not only is solar power helping you as an individual save money, it is also supporting our country’s economic growth.

8. Affordable Solar Equipment Installation

Seem to good to be true? People are often afraid of solar panel installation because of the upfront cost of installation. Many solar panel companies now offer affordable payment plans. This is similar to just paying your monthly energy bill! Think of this like a rent-to-own house. You’re slowly paying for a product you will eventually own over time, rather than throwing your money away to the energy company every month. Who wouldn’t want a deal like that? Interested in how much solar panel installation would cost you? Get a free Solar Analysis!

How to Choose the Best Solar Companies in Fayetteville AR

If you live in one of the 50 biggest cities in the U.S. and invest in a 5-kW solar PV system, you can expect to save $44 to $187 per month. While the amount saved varies based on your location, savings are virtually guaranteed when you invest in solar panel installation. This is true even if you don’t live in one of the 50 largest cities in the country. The trend of utilizing solar power for homeowners is one that is continually growing. If you have decided you want to use this source of energy, the first step is to find the right solar companies for installation. Use the tips and information here to ensure you choose the right solar installation service for your power needs.

Create a List of Solar Companies in Your Area

The first step in finding a quality solar panel service provider is to determine what companies are in your area. You can use pen and paper, a Word document, or even Excel spreadsheet to create this list. Make sure you include both small, local businesses, as well as national companies serving your area. To begin your list, simply do an online search for “solar companies,” then your city and state. Once you have created your list, you can begin additional research to learn more about the company.

Look for Reviews and Recommendations

After creating the list of solar companies serving your area, begin to ask for recommendations and reviews. You can do this by asking friends, family members, co-workers and neighbors about companies they have used for solar panel installation in the past. It is also a good idea to read consumer reviews for installers in your area. Reviews left by past customers are a great way to learn more about the service. Remember, it isn’t uncommon to have one or two negative reviews in the mix. Don’t judge a company by just a few of these. Look at several reviews to determine if mostly good or mostly bad comments have been left.

Check the Company’s Credentials

Once you have checked reviews and received recommendations, you are ready to move on. You likely crossed a few companies off your list at this point. The next step is to consider experience and credentials. Take some time to browse solar companies’ websites to find out how long each one has been in business. If possible, learn about the types of projects they have completed. For example, sizes of solar panel systems the company worked with and roofing types. These factors will be crucial. It is crucial to find installers who have worked with homes similar to yours in the past. In addition to a company’s experience, also find out about credentials. Most solar companies will advertise their certifications online; however, you can also contact the service provider and ask, if necessary. While state licensing is important, be sure to look for other certifications a company may have. These are given to companies that meet specific installation and service standards in the industry. The more of these a company has, the better.

Acquire Several Quotes

It may be tempting to use the information above and then choose the company that comes out on top. However, there is another consideration. The installation of solar panels is a significant investment, so you need to find out about cost before moving forward. While cost isn’t the most important factor to consider when choosing solar panel companies, it is one you can’t ignore. When asking for a quote for services, don’t ask just one company – request a quote from several. Modern solar companies offer online quote forms. Here you can ensure that important factors, such as local electricity rates and energy usage are considered. In addition to being able to compare prices, seeking several quotes will let you see how responsive a company is. This could help you see how a solar project will progress.

Research Financing Options

There are several ways to finance solar panels. One option is to pay with cash. You can also secure a loan, lease the panels or enter a power purchase agreement, or PPA. Find out what options are offered by the solar companies you are considering using. If you currently know how you want to finance your new panels, be sure the company you have selected offers that option. If you aren’t sure what financing option is right for you, find a company that offers several.

Find Out if Panel and Inverter Warranties are Provided

The performance and power output for most solar panels last for 25 to 35 years. The warranty covers repairs needed for the silicon cells if the energy production falls below a certain rate. A product or workmanship warranty may also be provided. This will cover other parts of the panel, such as the laminate, backing, and glass. While damage to these parts of your panels will be rare, it can cause significant losses in the generation of electricity. The element most susceptible to breakdown is inverters. These are continually working to convert DC power into AC power used in your home. An inverter warranty usually lasts between five and 10 years. Be sure to ask the company you are considering hiring what type of warranties they offer. If the answer is “none” or “limited,” then it may be wise to keep looking.

Finding the Right Solar Company to Install Your New Panels

After you have reviewed the factors here and narrowed down options, you should have one that stands out as the clear winner. Finding the right solar companies for installation of solar panels is crucial if you want to reap all the benefits this alternative source of power offers. Be sure to keep the tips here in mind and do plenty of research before hiring anyone. This can help ensure you choose the “best of the best.” If you are ready to hire a company or have more questions, contact our qualified team at Shine Solar. We will provide you with a free estimate and ensure you get the results you deserve.

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.

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.

The 2018 Solar Tariff: Everything You Need to Know

The 2018 Solar Tariff: Everything You Need to Know

  White House On January 22, President Donald Trump signed off on a solar tariff on solar panels being imported into the United States. The tariff is 30% and will be applied to all solar panels made outside of the United States. We have received a lot of questions regarding how this solar tariff will affect Shine Solar and how it will affect our customers. Here are some of the questions that we have received this week. https://www.facebook.com/Shinesolarpower/videos/1788944464457466/

How will the solar tariff affect current customers who have already had solar installed? 

Great news! All of our customers who already have solar panels on their roof and are producing their own energy right now, will not be affected at all. This tariff is only on imported solar panels once the tariff comes into effect (read below).

When will the tariff come into effect? 

The tariff will come into effect after 2.5 gigawatts have been imported. We believe this Solar Tariffcould take at least a couple months as 2.5 gigawatts is A LOT of energy. To put that into perspective, one gigawatt is equal to 4.6 million solar panels (with an average panel size being 295 watts). Or 2 gigawatts is equal to 200 million LED lightbulbs. Because the tariff takes effect after 2.5 gigawatts have been imported, we have some time before we will see the effects of this tariff. Additionally, consider the fact that there is already existing inventory sitting in warehouses all across the United States that needs to be exhausted before new inventory orders are processed. After the first 2.5 gigawatts have been imported, the tariff will go down 5% for the next four years, until it will be at 15% in 2021.

How will the solar tariff affect prices for residential solar?

The solar tariff will be absorbed little by little at each stage along the solar lifecycle, from the manufacturer to resellers us at Shine Solar to you, the customer. This breaks up the 30% to make it more manageable for each organization. With the tariff being eaten up bit by bit, this leaves our customers with an estimated 3-4% increase in price on their solar panels. Solar Tariff HouseThis may sound scary at first. But when you compare that small increase with how much solar prices have gone down in the last five years (or even just in the last year), solar is still more affordable than it was a year ago, even with the solar tariff. In the last five years, solar prices have gone down by 55% as technology has developed and become more efficient. This is one of the reasons why the solar industry is booming right now. This is also why we aren’t too concerned about this new solar tariff.

Are there companies in the United States that manufacture solar panels?

Yes, there are domestic companies that manufacture solar panels. However, we have found that the products are not up to standard or as efficient as the imported solar panels. This tariff can be a great opportunity for those domestic companies to work to further improve their products. This will also be a great opportunity for more solar panel manufactures to get started here in the United States. Despite the challenges that will come from this tariff, we are excited to see the changes that will happen in our industry because of it. If you have more questions about the solar tariff, please feel free to contact us. We are happy to answer your questions.

Grid Parity: What is it and Why does it matter?

Grid Parity: What is it and Why does it matter?

When you start researching about going solar, there can be a lot of terms that don’t make sense. Don’t worry, this is why we are here. We are here to help you understand all of the phrases involved with going solar, so you can make a fully informed decision about making the switch. Today the phrase that we are going to be looking at is Grid Parity. 

solar home

What is Grid Parity?

Grid parity is when the cost of an alternative source of energy (solar and wind) cost the same or less than obtaining energy through the grid (coal and natural gas, etc). Analysts determine when a state or country has reached grid parity by comparing their levelized cost of electricity (LCOE). This measurement looks at the lifetime cost and amount of energy generated from a certain form of energy, for example solar. This means when finding the LCOE, you would look at everything from the first watt your solar panels produced when you turned them on, to the very last watt. You may be wondering, when will solar reach grid parity or have we already reached it? The important thing to understand regarding grid parity is that it’s not a single event that happens, but a process that is ongoing as utility prices change and as the cost to go solar continues to drop. That said, according to GTM, there are already 20 states in the U.S. that have reached grid parity and the rest are on their way to reaching it. This means that in 20 states on average it either costs the same or less to go solar than to use the grid. That is incredible news for the solar industry! Here is an animation video about wind and solar spreading across the globe.     We love seeing our customers save money and as solar technology continues to develop and the costs continue to go down, the more people will be able to save by switching over to solar.

Why does Grid Parity matter?

One of the false beliefs that people have regarding grid parity is that as soon as we reach grid parity, that everyone will immediately start buying solar. While the popularity of solar will definitely rise as we reach grid parity, this is a bit of an exaggeration. Remember, grid parity is more of a process than a onetime event. Grid Parity Rather, as our states and country reach grid parity, solar will becomes more financially competitive with the conventional energy sources. Then solar will become available to more people than before. There will definitely be more and more people making the switch. However, it will likely be a process over a space of time, versus an immediate change. As solar becomes more financially competitive, it is likely that there will be more solar developments and financial opportunities. At Shine Solar, we meet so many people who find that solar is a better option for their energy needs. Every day, we hear about our customers who are saving on their utility bills. They have already reached grid parity in their home. As Arkansas and Missouri reach grid parity as a state, solar will simply become available to more people. Contact us today to learn about your household achieving grid parity.

Rooftop Solar in Kansas

Rooftop Solar in Kansas

Kansas Flag   Kansas is where we get a lot of our resources here in the United States. From food that is grown in the state to the energy that the wind turbines produce, there are a lot of valuable resources in the state. While solar is still working to get a foothold in the market in Kansas, there is a lot of room for growth in the solar industry. Where there are parts of the state receiving the same amount of sunlight as southern California! So today we are going to give you the rundown of going solar in Kansas.

Wide Open Plains

There is a reason that Kansas has so many crops there, the state gets a lot of sun! On average Kansas will receive 2,922 hours of sunlight in a year with 128 clear days. That is a lot of hours that your solar panels could be making energy to power your home! Kansas Solar Throughout the day, Kansas receives 65% of the sunlight from sunrise to sunset. That is a little more than the nation’s average. It is time for the homeowners of Kansas to take advantage of all this sunshine.

Financial Opportunities

The price to going solar has been dropping around the world as technology has developed making solar panels more effective and less expensive. In Kansas, the price for going solar has gone down 55% in the last five years! This is great news for homeowners who are looking to get solar panels. As the prices have dropped, more financial opportunities have become available to help everyone afford solar. Shine Solar homeowners can receive a loan with $0 down and you don’t have to start paying back your loan for the first 12-18 months! This makes going solar possible for just about everyone in the state. Contact us today to get a free solar analysis to you can learn more about your financial opportunities.

Solar Benefits

A benefit that all homeowners who go solar receive right now is the 30% Federal tax credit. Through this Federal credit you can receive a tax credit that is equal to approximately 30% of your total solar investment. You can then put that extra money toward your solar loan to help pay that off sooner. Currently, there is a lot of debate regarding solar incentives and legislation to support solar homeowners in Kansas right now. As it seems that some policies may be changing, we will keep you up to date on the topic. However, one great incentive that Kansas offers is a property tax exemption for homeowners with solar panels! When you install solar panels, the value of your home will increase dramatically, but thanks to this tax exemption, you won’t have to pay more taxes despite the increase in your equity. Rooftop Solar On top of that, Kansas also offers net metering, where utility companies track how much energy you produce and how much of that you actually use. Your utility company will then give you credit on next month’s bill for the excess energy that you send back into the grid. You can learn more about net metering by reading here. We love servicing our homeowners in Kansas and are so excited about our new office in Kansas City, MO. Contact us today to learn more about going solar in the Sunflower State.