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Florida Electric Utilities hijack environmental language to confuse people to vote against solar
Oct28

Florida Electric Utilities hijack environmental language to confuse people to vote against solar

At first glance, a new amendment proposed to Florida’s constitution by its electric utilities might seem like they are having a change of heart when it comes to supporting solar. After all, the amendment title “Rights of Electricity Consumers Regarding their Solar Choice”  reads as though it’s an attempt to empower consumers with more autonomy and fiscal freedom when it comes to choosing where their get their electricity. But if you were to make such an assumption, you’d be wrong. The electric utilities seemingly beneficial amendment is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, hijacking popular environmental catchphrases to confuse Florida constituents into supporting a law they might actually be against. The amendment, which is backed by a $22 million publicity budget, starts out innocently enough, summing up an existing law that allows “consumers to own or lease solar equipment installed on their property.” It then adds an additional twist to the statement by going on to clarify that customers who do not install solar “are not required to subsidize the cost of backup power and electric grid access to those who do.” Solar supporters, contractors and opponents of the amendment claim the added language is an attempt to overturn an existing 2008 law requiring energy companies to pay for excess energy customers generate from their solar panels, also known as net-metering benefits. According to a recent article by the Miami Herald,  the Florida Public Service Commision ruled in 2008 that every Florida electric utility is required to provide customers with renewable energy systems the chance to sell their excess energy through a net metering program. By getting rid of net-metering benefits in Florida by passing a law that pretends to be in favor of supporting solar, the utility companies are trying to confuse voting constituents by making rooftop solar take longer to pay off and more expensive to install.   The electric utilities have rallied for the voting support of lower income households to pass the bill, claiming the burden of subsidizing a solar homeowners net-metering costs will fall on their shoulders. Opponents of the utility companies however point to an economic analysis by the Brookings Institution, which shows that when people add solar it actually reduces the costs of electricity for everyone since no new power plants need to be built and companies don’t need to buy expensive power during peak energy times. For Florida homeowners thinking about installing solar, the future is unsure, making the best time to get grandfathered into the state’s net-metering incentives now. Contact GoGreenSolar.com or call (888) 338-0183 to learn about switching over to solar before the state’s net-meteirng policies...

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South Carolina solar rebates sweet, but could end soon
Oct21

South Carolina solar rebates sweet, but could end soon

Homeowners in South Carolina have been quick to make the switch to solar, cashing in on $5 million in solar rebates since the state enabled the program a little over a year ago. “The response to the rebate program has been fantastic,” Duke Energy’s South Carolina State President Clark Gillespy told the Palmette Business Daily. “This shows our customers want options to help them participate in a sustainable solar energy marketplace.” To date, approximately 750 residents and 35 commercial customers have signed up for the state’s rebate program, Act 236. Act 236 offers solar homeowners that use Duke Energy a whopping $1 per a watt-dc rebate on systems of to 20 kw–reducing upfront solar costs by nearly $1,000 kw. For solar homeowners that use the states other utlity company, South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G), such residents are able to receive approximately 4 cents per kWh or about or about $250 per year for a typical 5-kW solar system. While South Carolina’s rebate program is one of the more cushy ones being offered in America, the state has a minsicule Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) of 2 percent. This means that utility companies are only required to source 2 percent of their electricity from clean, renewable sources like solar panels–which isn’t much. For residents switching to solar in South Carolina, there’s good money to be had, trouble is, no one is sure how long the incentives will last. For residents using SCE&G, the incentive amount is scheduled to drop by a penny each time a few new megawatts are installed. At the current rate of installation, that puts the time frame for getting higher priced paybacks at a little over a year. For those residents considering taking advantage of their rooftop and eventually turning the extra space into a profitable resource that produces energy for the grid, Go Green Solar has experts that can give you a free quote and estimate of how much money you can get back with rebates, tax incentives and net metering programs. Call (866) 798-4435 for more...

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National cost of solar installation might be as low as it can go
Oct13

National cost of solar installation might be as low as it can go

It’s likely the cost of switching to rooftop solar might be nearing its lowest possible point the market will allow according to a recent report from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). The LBNL’s Tracking The Sun IX report illustrates that the the costs of home solar installations declined again in 2015, though not as dramatically in years past. While the soft cost of solar installation has been quickly decreasing, performance based incentives such as state utility rebates and net metering programs are on a trend to becoming less generous. The good news is that while many of the revised government incentive programs across America are still being discussed, quick actors are still able to slide into the programs before their windows close. Such people will reap the dual benefits of PV technology with better efficiency and at lower costs than in years past, compounded with the offsets from the state and federal...

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Nevada brings back net metering rates for grandfathered solar arrays
Oct06

Nevada brings back net metering rates for grandfathered solar arrays

It seemed the law shinned favorably on solar proponents in Nevada Friday, Sept 16, as state regulators voted to restore net metering rates for residents that had already own solar arrays before the Nevada Public Utilities Commision increased fees and lowered compensation last year. The vote reverses a decision by the Nevada PUC to add on fees and lower the compensation paid to solar homeowners–at least for those who were quick enough to outfit their rooftops with panels before the PUC changed its rates in December 2015. A ruling by the Nevada district court, which found the 2015 new tarrif increase violated existing solar customes’ Constitutional due process rights, spurred the state regulator’s to take action, re-establishing the previous lower utilities rates for about 32,000 customers, according to Fortune 500. While future homeowners in Nevada will be subject the PUC’s higher rates and lower compensations, the case sets a precedent for protecting the rates of homeowners in states who manage to get grandfathered into beneficial rates, before the utility companies make a...

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Massachusetts’ newest solar incentive proposal offers better rates to those who act first
Oct06

Massachusetts’ newest solar incentive proposal offers better rates to those who act first

The future is looking a bit more bright for Massachusetts residents who want to switch to solar following Governor Charlie Baker’s proposal to incentivize an additional 1.6 GW of solar PV in the state. The Next Generation Solar Incentive Straw Proposal comes on the heels of the the state’s successful Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SREC -2) incentive program, which successfully increased solar deployment across the state and is set to expire at the end of 2016. As has been the trend with the newer incentive programs that are getting green-lighted all over America, the payback rate is less than the early days when solar installation wasn’t as prominent. Following suit with the trajectory of this trend, Massachusetts’s proposed incentive program rates are constructed to decline as more solar is generated. That means that people seeking the incentive earlier on will lock in more favorable rates than those latecomers to clean energy. Currently Massachusetts’s SREC-2’s program uses solar credits and a tariff program that fluctuates payback rates with the market and other factors. Under the newest proposal, incentives will have a single, fixed tariff rate for the life of the entire project and pay out over the course of 10-15 years.  This rate will factor in the state’s other incentive program of net-metering–giving a project a cap of a maxim payback rate it can apply for. The amount of the incentive is more generous for smaller projects such as home solar than larger, commercial ones. Contact GoGreenSolar.com or call (888) 338-0183 to learn how you can receive the state’s best incentive rates under the newest...

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