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Oregon lawmakers aim to extend state tax credits for solar
Nov28

Oregon lawmakers aim to extend state tax credits for solar

Oregon lawmakers recently voiced their intent to extend the state’s Renewable Energy Tax Credit (RETC) for an extra two years, according to the Portland Business Journal. The RETC, which currently allows Oregon homeowners to get up to a $6000 tax credit for installing a photovoltaic system, is set to expire at the end of this year. Due to the program’s success in stimulating homeowners to switch to renewable energy, however, the Joint Interim Committee on Department of Energy Oversight (DEO) decided that suddenly pulling the plug on the incentive would not be beneficial for the state’s environment or renewable energy economy. “There was some real uncertainty about abruptly ending the program and just pulling the plug on the good things that are happening,” the PBJ quoted Committee co-chair Rep. Paul Holvey. Over the past several years, the DEO has reduced the cost of its incentive program from $3 per a watt to half that without seeing a change in consumer demand. Solar advocates are seeking to align future solar incentives in the state with the federal Investment Tax Credit, which allows homeowners to write-off up to 30% of the cost of their home solar installation. The federal ITC was recently extended by a bipartisan vote in congress and its rates are set to incrementally decline to 26% in 2020 and to 22% the following three years. The combination of Oregon’s state incentive, combined with the federal ITC and the declining material costs for a PV system will likely make the price tag of switching over to solar the cheapest it’s likely to be for the next few...

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Americans Overwhelmingly Love Solar
Nov15

Americans Overwhelmingly Love Solar

What has a higher approval rating in America than kittens and apple pie? According to a survey by The Pew Research Center: Solar power. Last month a survey conducted by the research center found that an overwhelming 89 percent of voting age citizens in the US want to see the solar industry expand. Considering the forecasted shift in the wake of the 2016 elections of putting more legislative power in the hands of states, many solar advocates are guardedly optimistic that the industry will continue to see growth despite having a climate change denier in charge as the country’s commander-in-chief. “People want more solar; they want more solar business in their state,” Scott Hennessey, the head federal lobbyist for SolarCity Corp recently stated to The Hill. Besides the promise of guilt free energy (as far as CO2 levels in the environment are concerned), the solar industry is responsible for creating one out of 83 jobs in America, according to the Solar Foundation. What these numbers supporting solar expansion equate to is increased pressure on the federal government to uphold its pledge to the investment tax credit (ITC), which recently got an extension to 2019 and has aided the industry’s growth by allowing solar homeowners to deduct up to 30 percent of the installation costs from their federal taxes. So while solar is on a health trajectory to continue its continental expansion, the window for securing more lucrative solar incentives at the federal level might not stay open as long as people hoped. To find out how you can write off 30 percent of your home solar installation before the ITC expires, contact GoGreenSolar.com or call (888)...

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What a Trump Presidency Means For Solar
Nov14

What a Trump Presidency Means For Solar

In the wake of the 2016 presidential elections, there’s been endless speculation on what the future of solar energy will look like in America. With President elect Trump soon at the helm of our country’s clean energy policies, it doesn’t seem like over reacting to assume the worst–to envision an America where oil derricks, pipelines and fracking operations spread from coast to coast like a black mold and renewable energies like solar and wind are all but consumed in smog choked inferno. After all, this is the same candidate who is on record claiming that climate change is a hoax, who has a trail of legal battles with environmental groups over constructing his hotels and golf courses and whose lead choice for the head of the EPA is fellow climate change denier Myron Ebell. But in spite of these dangerous patterns by our soon to be leader in chief, many analysts believe the renewable energy sector will continue to grow remain on its path to overtaking the fossil fuel industry, and here’s why: THE STATES HAVE SPOKEN: Donald Trump has made it no secret that while he doesn’t care much for environmental policies, he has an even less favorable view on federal oversight. That means that while his administration will be seeking ways to lesson the federal  government’s role in promoting clean energy, states will be given more leeway to create and enforce their own clean energy policies. If this election has given any indication as to which direction these policies might trend, a look at the promising outcomes on propositions in Florida and Nevada, might give reason for some guarded optimism. In both states the controlling utility companies spent millions of dollars and fought hard to decrease subsidies to homeowners seeking solar only to be defeated on the ballots. THE COST OF SOLAR IS DECLINING: While sound bites and video clips have inundated our lives with politicians making bigger than life promises regarding the future of energy in America, the truth is that at its core, the energy sector is controlled by market forces and consumer demand–and there’s nothing more enticing for a consumer than paying less for a superior product. Over the past two decades the cost of energy per a KW hour from solar has been on a rapid decline and will win on its own merits (especially with current incentives, but even without). Utilities around the country have been shuttering coal plants in favor of cheaper energy alternatives and it’s no accident that the solar industry has overtaken the coal industry in the number of people it employs. FEDERAL SOLAR INVESTMENT TAX CREDITS ARE ATTAINABLE...

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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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California upholds rates and proves a shining beacon for home-solar benefits
Oct04

California upholds rates and proves a shining beacon for home-solar benefits

In a major win for residential solar in California this month, the state’s Public Utilities Commission rejected attempts by Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas & Electric and San Diego Gas & Electric to make rooftop solar more expensive. The 3 to 1 decision against the investor-owned utility companies brings to close a three year battle where these companies lobbied to significantly lower the net metering rates paid to solar residents. Currently the private utility companies have to compensate solar powered homeowners and businesses for the excess electricity they supply back to the grid. Like many private utility companiess rallying against net metering in America these days, they claimed the payout to people generating their own solar power would increase the rates they charged non-solar residents. In a scathing condemnation to the Palm Springs Desert Sun, the policy director for the California Solar energy Industries Association Brad Heavner, called the utility company’s case “not that strong” at all, claiming the vigor with which they attacked home solar was “almost harassment.” Part of the utility company’s appeal for commissioners to review the low rates for solar residents was the extension of a 30 percent tax credit issued by Congress earlier this year for solar installations past the end of 2016. Anti-solar advocates argued the tax credit makes rooftop solar cheaper than it otherwise would have been and that the utility companies should no longer need to provide such generous net-metering compensation. While the state’s commission currently ruled in favor of upholding the favorable net-metering rates, keeping the cost of installing home solar at a historic low, commissioners are set to review the policy again in...

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GoGreenSolar increases energy independence with Sonnen Batterie
Aug26

GoGreenSolar increases energy independence with Sonnen Batterie

GO GREEN SOLAR is proud to announce that it is now one America’s select distributors of the SONNEN BATTERIE, a smart and elegant energy storage system that allows homeowners to keep and use the excess energy their solar arrays produce.   The addition of a Sonnen Batterie to a solar home allows for greater independence from energy companies, which have unpredictable rates and charge higher prices during peak energy hours.   “Sonnen offers smart technology that allows for management of energy usage within the home, such as controlling the time to use appliances to reduce electricity.”   Recent pressure from Big Energy on state legislators to do away with net-metering incentives and raise KW per hour rates on solar homeowners has sparked nationwide controversy, stimulating many of these homeowners to look for ways to further cut ties with the conventional energy grid.   The Sonnen Batterie offers these energy producing homeowners one such solution by combining powerful lithium-iron-phosphate battery cells, smart metering technology and a friendly user interface into a well designed wall unit that  harvests energy from a solar array or grid during peak energy hours, when rates are cheapest, and uses the stored energy when the rates are more expensive.     Designed by the German-based company to look minimalistic and sleek, fitting on the wall of any conventional home, the battery can save up to an additional 75% on electrical bills.   “Sonnenbatterie has integrated smart meter technology into every unit, allowing our customers to switch to battery power automatically when they are reaching their demand charge limits,” said Boris von Bormann, Country Manager of Sonnenbatterie North America   The battery, which is immediately available for purchase in the United States from Go Green Solar, also comes with the unique benefit of tapping into the Sonnen Batterie Community. Owners of the battery automatically become members of the Sonnen Community, which connects them off-the-grid to on another, allowing them to share excess energy or purchase excess energy from members at rates that pay better and cost less than those offered by electricity providers.   The Sonnen Batterie features smart phone capabilities that track energy usage, lasts up to 10,000 charging cycles and can scale out to meet a home’s energy needs.   Go Green Solar is an affiliate of Gigawatt Inc, developing solutions like home solar distribution since 2006 to help people stay powered.   Sonnen Batterie has been the leading European manufacturer of next generation smart residential and commercial energy storage solutions since 2011.   The two companies recently joined forces to bring homeowners using solar a smarter, more economical and efficient way to step off...

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