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


Reduce the upfront cost of going solar!

One of the most common complaints about “going solar” is that the upfront cost is just too high. The primary reasons a solar power system can be a high ticket purchase for many solar power shoppers is because of the customers bad energy usage habits. The majority of solar power shoppers don’t realize they are energy hogs until they start shopping for solar power which forces them to understand and analyze their electric consumption. So how can Solar Power shoppers instantly get a deep discount on their solar power system? The answer is simple, “reduce then produce.” Focusing on energy efficiency, and implementing lifestyle and product changes can greatly reduce the upfront cost of a solar power system. It is always more cost effective to reduce your consumption through efficiency than it is to produce your own power. Think of it this way, the more you can save through energy efficiency the less solar panels you need to cover your electric usage, its that simple, but most solar power consumers get frustrated seeing high upfront costs of going solar and think there are no alternatives to bring the cost down. How do you reduce your energy consumption? A good start (and cheapest) is to change all your light bulbs to CFLs or LEDs, insulation can help reduce your energy by keeping the house cool during summer and warm in the winter, thus significantly reducing your yearly energy usage. Get rid of old appliances which hog and waste energy. Unplug unused items (they draw energy even if they are plugged in, but not in use), set your computers to automatically hibernate (power saving mode) when they are idle for more than 5 minutes. Purchase energy star appliances and most importantly turn off the lights when you leave a room. Changing the way you consume energy can have a significant impact on the overall price of a solar energy system, practicing reducing energy consumption can shave off thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars off the final cost of a system. Energy Efficiency and Solar Power fit very well with each other, so when considering solar power, think about how easy ways you can reduce your consumption first, you’ll be saving tons of...

Read More

Dealing with your home owners association

Many consumers who live in condos, town homes or apartments sometimes have issues with installing solar power because of the home owners association (HOA). In California a law has been cleared to help people to deal with the HOA in a way that favors solar energy over strict HOA rules. HOAs have been known to enact frivolous rules to deter prospective solar energy users from installing panels to offset their energy use from the grid. Although the residents of California are lucky due to favorable legislation, the rest of the USA may have issues dealing with the HOA because the rules in most states still favor the HOA over solar energy. We’re in an energy crisis in America and we still have HOA’s that are against solar panels! This sounds crazy to us, because it shows some major flaws of why the US is still so far away from reaching energy independence. Instead of homeowners and HOA’s fighting in court about the issue of solar panels, they should be working together to see how much solar they can all install to offset the energy use of an entire complex. A collaborative approach to solar energy is the only way we can achieve our goals. Have you ever had problems with a HOA and solar panels? What do you think should there be a nationwide law to favor solar panels over...

Read More

The basics of Solar Panel / Wind Power building permits

Add it to your project costs, it is going to cost you to acquire building permits to install solar panels to your roof or put up a wind turbine in your back yard. Yes the city will make some money from you. It’s unfortunate, but its just part of the solar / wind power installation process. Each city is different from what they will want to see to approve you for a building permit, typically they want to see engineering drawings which you should be able to get from your retailer (dry stamped) or a certified engineer (wet stamped). The average cost to secure building permits for a residential clean energy project can be anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars. After you secure you building permits you are read to install, congrats your finally over the boring part and now reaching the fun part of installing your own solar or wind power system, a skill that will prove to be very valuable over time. Once you have installed the system a building inspector from the city will inspect your system to make sure it meets the cities building codes. Depending on the city getting past the inspection can be a breeze or a...

Read More

Calculating the Economics of a solar power system

Solar Power shoppers always want to know how to size a system and the output of a system to eliminate their entire bill. Today we’ll cover how to calculate the economics of solar photovoltaic panels. First we need to start with your electric bill so go grab it and have it in front of you, and find out how many kWh (kilowatt hours) you are averaging per month. Step 1 – Figuring out your kWh usage per day For example, your bill indicates you are averaging 600 kWh a month. 600 kWh————– = 20 kWh / day30 Days Step 2 – Calculating the size of solar panel array you will need To figure out how many square meters of solar panels we will need to eliminate your usage. A solar insolation map will be needed to see how much sunlight falls on your south facing surface. Use the one below to find your area For our example, lets use an insolation of 5 sq. meters of sunlight / day 20 kWh/day—————————————————— = 33 sq. meters of panels5 sq. meters/day * 0.12 efficiency The efficiency number can be obtained from any solar panel specification sheet, the efficiency of solar panels range depending on the solar panel you purchase, so if you are looking for accuracy, find the spec sheet and plug in a real efficiency number in your calculation. Step 3 – Output of the system Now that you know how many sq. feet of solar panels you will need lets calculate how many kW (kilowatts) of solar power will the system output for you. 0.12 efficiency of solar panel * 33 sq. meters = 3.96 peak kW Step 4 – Cost of electricity over the life of the system.Now you will need to figure out how much you are being charged per kWh by looking at your bill…depending on where you are planning to install the solar power system, your cost per kWh can range, it can be very cheap to highly expensive. In the United States the cost per kWh ranges from .04 cents per kWh to higher than .20 cents per kWh. The MSRP for a 3.96 kW system is about $35,000 dollars, so lastly lets calculate the how much a solar power system would cost per kWh through its lifetime. $35,000 MSRP cost of system——————————————————————— = 0.16 per kWh20 kWh * 365 days * 30 years system life There you have a short 101 course on how to calculate the money factor for a solar power system. Go ahead, calculate your own requirements and see if solar power makes sense in your area. I’d like to...

Read More

The information every solar power customer wants to know.

Rebates, tax credits and incentives, what do you qualify for? That is critical element every shopper for solar panels or wind power systems are looking for. As clean energy specialists we get asked that question everyday, and the answer is completely different depending on the area you live in. The federal tax credits are standardized across the USA, although the Rebates and other incentives you may receive differ from state to state and even on the localized level. For example, some cities within California offer incentives on top of what the federal tax credit and state rebates. So how do you figure out what you qualify for? Well you can obviously call us, but there is a better way to do the research for yourself. Since the total amount you will receive depends on the actual location of the clean energy system installation, there is a free website, called DSIRE (Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency) that makes it easier for consumers to quickly figure out what money they can get back for not only renewable energy but energy efficiency upgrades you do to your home or business. DSIRE is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and federal incentives that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. The website database is simple to use, just click on your state to learn about all the incentives available in your local area and the state itself. If you click on the entire map of the USA, you will be able to research the federal rebates that you qualify may qualify for, simple as that. DSIRE is such a great resouce for consumers and the industry alike, since there is not a standardized program for the entire USA yet, without DSIRE it would be a nightmare figuring out how much money you can get back. So what do YOU qualify for? Go through the website and let us...

Read More

People are rushing to complete their solar / wind projects!

The sun is setting on the US federal tax credit on December 31, 2008, considering we’re in July already, we only have 5 months in the USA to take advantage of the federal tax credit. Corporations receive a 30% tax credit while the residential market is capped at $2,000. Many people and large projects are rushing to complete their projects right now because in order to qualify for the tax credit the solar or wind power systems must be in operation by the end of the year. So what does the expiration of the federal tax credit mean for the industry and you? Many companies in the industry are preparing to change strategy next year, more companies are looking to diversify into international markets and scale down their labor force. That means people in the US solar industry will get laid off next year if the credit does not pass. For you, it means if you install a solar or wind power system by the end of this year you are going to qualify for a discount on your system. So you better hurry, stop waiting, get your system while the discount still applies, especially if your on the fence in the decision making process about producing your own green...

Read More