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Xcel Energy – $2/watt solar power rebate!

Xcel Energy, a utility based in colorado has paid 31 million dollars in rebates to 1,525 indivduals and companies that purchase grid-tied solar power systems to reduce or eliminate their electric bill. The company claims over 2,300 applications for solar power system rebates have been applied for since the inception of their rebate program. Xcel Energy pays $2 a watt, up to a 10,000 watts (10 kilowatts) of solar panels….this rebate combined with federal tax credits can add up to significant savings for a consumers who purchase a solar power system. Rebate programs sponsered by the utility companies typically come from a fund that was collected by the rate payers (you), on your electric bill there are taxes you pay to support renewable energy programs, the state force the utility comapanies to use the fund and one way the utility companies use the fund is by offering rebates to consumers who choose to install grid tied solar or wind power systems. These rebates are NOT unlimited, they are continosuly decreasing so if your considering a grid tied solar power or clean energy system, don’t...

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Two most important factors that determine your clean energy system payback

Every consumers that call in to inquire about a solar panel or wind power system ask, “when will the system break even?” Obviously this is a very important question in the decision making process for a clean energy system, but often the consumers are not prepared to calculate their return on investment because most consumers don’t understand their costs. Your electric bill is the first place to start, most people just pay their electric bill every month without really understanding their rate or how they are being charged, since customers previously did not have a choice in producing their own energy, most people just pay the dollar amount on the bill without thinking about it. When you decide to install a grid tied solar panel or wind power system a more in-depth analysis needs to be conducted to figure out the break even point of a proposed system. The two most important factors to determine the return on investment are the following: how many kilowatt hours (kWh) are you using per month? what is your daily usage? what is your electric company charging you per kilowatt hour (kWh)? Every customer is different in terms of how much they use and the electric rate they are paying the utility company. So the moral of this story, before you even dream about what type of solar panels your going to buy or think how awesome it would be to have a wind turbine on your farm, get real and start by understanding your electric bill before you make the call to inquire about a clean energy...

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Home Energy Expenese are Increasing Fast!

According to the July 2008 issue of Money Magazine, Home Energy takes up 4% of the average American’s household budget. Not only have the price of gas went up, the price of Home Energy has gone up 9% compared to a year ago. As the global demand for energy increases do to developing countries hungry for energy the prices will continue to skyrocket, eating up more of the household budget each year. There are many ways to get take control of your home energy expenses. The significant expenses on our energy costs rack up simply because we are inefficient. Energy has been cheap and abundant, therefore most people have not thought about efficency till now. Conducting a self energy audit is a great way to start learning about your usage, energystar.gov has a great web application to help you conduct a do-it-yourself energy audit. Becoming more efficient in the way we use energy is the first step in becomming energy independent. You can do the following to help reduce your usage: 1. Replace old light bulbs with LED Bulbs 2. Find and kill vampire loads – appliances that use electricity when when you are not using them. 3. seal up your house, use quality insulation to effectively cool and heat your home. After you reduce your energy usage then think about producing your own electricity through grid tied solar panels or wind turbines. Combining energy efficency and production will help you maximize on your clean energy system and reducing your upfront cost to eliminate the majority of your electric bill through solar or wind...

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solar panel tracker systems, do they make sense?

As the sun travels across its sun path each day a stationary solar panel system has significant efficiency disadvantages compared to a tracker solar panel system. A tracker solar power system can increase solar panel efficiency by 40% by following the path of the sun through out the day. Although tracking systems doubles the total price of a system and requires more yearly maintenance compared to a stationary system. The suns path in the sky varies through the seasons (summer and winter), elevation, and time of day a solar tracker system can keep your solar panels pointed towards to sun through out the whole day. For the typical home or small business solar panel system installation, a stationery system makes most financial sense, unless you have the funds to cover the upfront cost of the tracker system. Residential tracker systems are becoming more efficient a cheaper, although at this point of time, tracker systems only make sense in large commercial or industrial installations. EI Solutions, the company that installed the solar power system on the Google campus, has recently started to design solar panel tracking systems that require less maintenance, called the ray tracker. We met the engineers of the ray ticker at the ASES 2008 conference and feel they have a great product to help the commercial and industrial scale photovoltaic...

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5 aspects to consider besides price when shopping for solar or wind power

Many consumers think its all about price when making a decision when buying a solar panel or wind power system, although that is concept is far from reality. When investing in renewable energy equipment, you’re making a long term investment therefore the consumer should look for the best overall value in their purchase rather than comparing quotes based on price soley. Aspects you should consider before purchasing: 1. what is the warranty on the products? 2. Is there post sales technical support? 3. Does the company mention permitting and interconnection agreements (if grid-tied) 4. How is the level of service? Does the company respond to my request quickly? 5. Does the company have a return policy? If you ask the questions above, you’ll be able to save money in the long run by getting a better overall value and acutally succeed in installing the equipment properly. I’ve seen many times consumer purchase a system and it ends up sitting in the garage because they have no support or help from the company they purchased their products from. We make the process of going solar easy at gogreensolar.com and deliver a valuable experience for the people who choose to establish relationships with...

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Factors that make or break your investment in a solar panel system

Everyone dreams of solar power to eliminate their entire bill, although when people see prices for a system that can eliminate their entire bill they often never talk about solar power agian because of the sticker shock. Even if you have the money to buy the biggest solar power system for your home or business, it does not mean you’ll be able to, because you may not have enough surface are to install the panels. A rule of thumb is for a 1 kilowatt (kW) solar power system, you need 100 square foot of surface area. Some of the most motivated consumers who want solar power very badly and have the money don’t qaulify because their project site: has shading issues from trees and other obstrcutions. does not have southern exposure. don’t have enough suface area to install solar panles. Sometimes solar power doesnt make sense if the cost per kilowatt hour you are paying the utility company is very cheap in your area. The number one reason consumers buy solar power systems is because they make sense financailly, therefore when investigating if solar power is right for you, start off with your electric bill, figure out how you are being charged and how much per kWh (kilowatt hour). This information will play a cricital role in analyzing if solar power will work financially for...

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