Call (888) 338-0183 or click here for solar pricing


Hillary Clinton’s Sunny Side
Apr26

Hillary Clinton’s Sunny Side

As the dust for the 2016 presidential primaries settles, we’re left with three likely White House hopefuls–Trump, Clinton and Sanders–whose views on solar could steer industry policies in different directions. Earlier this month we reviewed the republican front runner Donald Trump’s inimical position towards renewable power, which is in stark contrast his possible democratic challengers Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. This week we’ll look at the Democratic party front runner, Hillary Clinton, who has aligned herself as a champion of the sun: To start, there’s her ambitious vision to produce enough clean energy to power all homes by 2027. The plan, a free PDF of which can be found by googling “Hillary Clinton Green Energy Plan”, calls for installing more than half a billion solar panels on homes by the end of her first term. It will also “aggressively” seek to extend Obama’s Clean Power Plan, cutting carbon emissions from power plants and aiming to reduce the country’s overall emissions to 30% of its 2005 levels.  The United States currently generates about 21 gigawatts of solar energy. To deliver on her goals, Clinton aims to bring this number to 140 gigawatts by 2020–more than double the industry’s projected growth should it stay on its current course: Clinton’s voting record and public tweets leave little room to doubt she will be a much more favorable candidate for the clean energy sector than her opponent Trump; though her party opponent, Sanders, has a track record that proves him to be as (if not more) favorable an...

Read More
California’s Net Metering 1.0 – Government Incentives Are About To End
Apr11

California’s Net Metering 1.0 – Government Incentives Are About To End

If you live in California, the sun is about to set on your chance to take advantage of the best government solar incentive program we’re ever likely to see. This is not a drill! The state’s 1.0 incentive program will expire when the total amount of Net Metering for its three major utility companies (PG&E, So Cal Edison and SDG&E) reaches more than 5% of its customers’ peak power needs. And while you can see the Monthly Net Metering 1.0 Program 5% limit is about to be reached…   …the good news is that if your home or business has it’s solar energy system interconnected before the cap, you’ll be grandfathered into the NEM 1.0 incentive program from 20 years.   That’s 20 years!   To pass up a chance like this is similar to passing up the chance to purchase acres of land for pennies back in the day on the government’s 1862 Homestead Act. This is because the current government wants people to go green.   The Net Metering program rewards homes and businesses for using solar energy by giving them credits on their electricity bill.   The Net Metering 1.0 incentive allows people to earn credits at the same rate the utility companies charge for electricity.   So if your utility company charges about $0.15 per a KW and your home generates 1,500 KW, you’d get $225 paid to you by the utility company to either offset your utility bill, help pay off your solar installation or buy that man cheetah outfit you’ve been dreaming of: The soon to be engaged NEM 2.0 incentive program is a 124 page document that imposes time-of-use rates for Net Metered customers, decreasing the amount of compensation energy companies will pay in accordance with the time customers generate excess energy.   While California is one of a few states that’s sided more in the favor of the solar industry, other states, like Arizona, whose Net Metering 1.0 incentives are also set to expire haven’t been so lucky.   Whatever the future of Net Metering may hold, it’s a sure bet incentives, while still remaining fair, may never be as good as they are now.      ...

Read More
Trump VS. The Sun
Apr07

Trump VS. The Sun

Trump or Clinton? The likely 2016 presidential opponents couldn’t be more night and day when it comes to their stance on solar.   This week we’ll explore what a potential Trump victory could mean for the future of our industry and compare it next week with the Hillary alternative.   While Trump lacks any policy track-records to corroborate him as a clean energy antagonist, he’s waged several legal battles and made a litenue of public statements that suggest he’s no friend of the sector.   To shed some light on his adversarial position, one can look to a 2015 interview with Hugh Hewitt where he stated his ideological beliefs regarding climate change:   “I mean, Obama thinks it’s is the number one problem of the world today. And I think it’s very low on the list. So I am not a believer, and I will, unless somebody can prove something to me, I believe there’s weather. I believe there’s change, and I believe it goes up and it goes down and it goes up again. And it changes depending on years and centuries, but I am not a believer, and we have much bigger problems.”   WIth a perspective such as this, his previous statements like the ones on Twitter claiming the Chinese created global warming as a ploy… …or  when he told a Fox news interviewer in 2012 the blatantly false statement that solar takes 32 years to pay pack–well they don’t come as a surprise.   He’s even gone so far as to take a tilt at wind-farms saying they are “destroying cost lines all over the world,” though we can chalk this Quixotesque rivalry up to a failed legal battle against an offshore windpower company that was near one of his resorts.   If there’s a ray of hope in the event Trump should secure the presidential nomination, it’s that Trump is not known for remaining consistent with his public statements. And, looking towards some of the people he surrounds himself with for clues, one finds opportunists who will throw their weight behind an issue if it benefits them.   For example, Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who was recently charged with battery, was actually a lobbyist for a solar power company at the same time he was battling the government on behalf of Americans for Prosperity to fight earmarks against the same industry.   As a savvy businessman, it’s always possible Trump will see the economic incentives the solar industry has to offer rather than wage a costly war to reinvade iraq and take all it’s...

Read More
Self Install Tips and Tricks
Mar31

Self Install Tips and Tricks

When it comes to do-it-yourself projects like converting your home to solar, tapping into that “handy fusion reactor in the sky called the sun” can at times seem an overwhelming project to undertake.   However, the benefits can equate to over a 50% savings in setup costs (not to mention well deserved bragging rights), which is enough to appeal to many a handy person to strap on their tool belt and give it a shot.     If you’re the type who enjoys taking on such ambitious projects, we’ve compiled a few basic tips and tricks that will hopefully save you time and frustration down the road: Divide by 4: The goal isn’t to cover every square inch of roof with as many panels as it can fit, but rather enough panels to meet your energy consumption.   A quick way to estimate how much energy you will need your panels to produce is to look at your energy bill, take your highest kilowatt usage and divide by four.   Four is the low-end estimate of average peak sunlight hours in most places on earth. Many places such as California and Arizona will get more than this, but staying conservative with your calculations of how much sunlight you expect the panels to receive is always a better call.   For example, the average U.S. household uses around 30 kw of energy a day according the US EIA and, at worst, probably gets around 4 peak sunlight hours, it would be safe to assume such a household will need enough panels to harvest around 7.5 Kws of power a day.      If you want to get specific with your calculations you can check out the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Isolation Map to see how much light your longitude and latitude can expect to receive during the year.   Aim for the equator: When determining where to point your solar panels, a good starting point is to face them towards the equator.   With this general bearing in mind, do some research to determine if there are any shade obstructions in the area from mountains, trees or neighboring structures that might merit slightly shifting the direction of the panels to the east or west in order to collect the most sunlight.   If you can’t find an area that will always be shade free during peak hours, consider installing micro-inverters or power optimizers on your panels so you don’t dampen the power output of your entire system.   Hire a professional to create a permit package: We know, you want to do this project yourself otherwise you wouldn’t be scrolling...

Read More
How to cash in on the IRS’ Investment Tax Credit
Mar24

How to cash in on the IRS’ Investment Tax Credit

Anticipating that the solar-plus-storage market could experience the same type of expansion the PV market did in the last decade, the IRS recently updated an eligibility ruling for a 30 percent Investment Tax Credit (ITC) on renewable energy storage.   The updated rule, passed before the start of 2016, extends the 30 percent ITC until 2021 and aims to clear up some of the confusion with regards to when solar energy storage qualifies for the tax credit.   “The federal government does not want to incentivize people to arbitrage energy from the grid,” Senior Consultant at the Engineering consultant firm DNV-GL Mike Kleinberg explains. “You cannot charge from the grid in the evening and then discharge during the day to supplement your PV — and also qualify for the ITC, because you’re not then really charging from renewable energy.”   In order to accomplish this, the IRS dictated that in order to be eligible for the ITC, taxpayers must not draw more than 25 percent of stored electricity from the grid. Additionally, if they draw more than 25 percent of power from the grid during the first year of applying for the credit, they will not be allowed to collect any portion of the energy tax credit in later years even if the system improves and complies.   In order to prevent batteries charging more than 25 percent from the grid, homeowners have taken to installing inverters on both their PV systems and their AC/DC power systems, linking them to a site master controller that monitors when and how fast storage units charge.   While the updated 2015 rule might seem more strict than the original one set forth two years earlier (which was much more vague about solar battery two-way grid charging) it also expands its definition of what constitutes “storage technology”, allowing for greater flexibility when applying for the credit.   For example, smart water heaters or ceramic heaters that know the weather and draw 25 percent or less from the grid would qualify....

Read More
Page 10 of 12« Newest...89101112