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Get your solar energy / wind power system this year!

Congress has decided not to extend the federal renewable energy production tax credit for 2009. So what does that mean to you as a consumer? Well it depends. If you are a residence you qualify for a $2,000 tax credit when purchasing a solar energy or small scale wind power system. A commercial entity can qualify for 30% of the total cost of the system is refunded through a tax credit from the federal government; this tax credit is a primary reason for many residential and commercial renewable energy systems being installed. So think of this year as renewable energy systems being on sale! Take advantage of it, if you are thinking about going solar or producing your own clean green energy, stop waiting around because now is the time. To qualify for the federal tax credit your system has to be installed and active by December 31st, 2008. To get started the first step is to get a quote from a service provider in your...

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Does a Do it Yourself Solar Energy Install Make Sense?

Consumers are continuously looking new methods to reduce upfront investments or avoid costs to make a solar energy more affordable. The labor costs when dealing with a renewable energy can be significant to the install of a system and could be eliminated if one prefers a self solar install. There are two sides to this coin, because all decisions come with risk, a self install could go very well and you may be able to save lots of money or it can become a money pit. What does it depend on? You! Installing clean energy systems such as solar photovoltaic (electricity), solar hot water (thermal) or small scale wind requires trade skills and in general working with electricity is dangerous. Depending on your trade skills, there is a learning curve to installation, and on your first self install, expect to make mistakes that will cost you in time and money. Depending on how many mistakes you make the end cost of installing a clean energy system could be a rewarding experience because you not only save a lot of money, but you’ll be the master of your system. Questions you may want to ask yourself before you self install? Am I afraid of heights? (if so, consider a ground mount system) Am I comfortable working with electricity? Do I have room for mistakes in the budget? Does the company I am purchasing the products from offer installation consulting / support? Should I buy a turn key system? Do I know how to use a...

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Solar Power and Clean Energy as an Investment

Do you think of your car as an investment? Can it provide you a rate of return? Unless it’s a classic/vintage or limited production car, a newly purchased car depreciates most of its value right when a consumer drives it off the dealership lot. Purchasing solar energy on the other hand is a smart investment, because the home or business you attach solar panels to increases in value significantly. Solar Energy adds more value than adding a new room or expanding a warehouse. Solar Energy adds a large boost to the value of your home or business because it helps reduce your net operating cost to run the household or business. Producing your own clean green energy is the best way a home or business can fix in their energy costs for the life of the system. Since Solar energy systems have no movable parts the lifetime of solar panels are more than 30 years. The Appraisal Journal suggests that a home value increases by $20 for every $1 reduction in annual energy bills. For example, a solar energy system that saves a home owner $400 per year would add $8,000 to the value of the home. Solar Energy for a business can even add more value, depending on many factors, a business valuation professional can help a business entity figure out how much value a solar energy system would add to the business. In conclusion it makes total financial sense to go solar, even with an upfront cost because when a home or business is sold, the investment in a solar energy system provides a great return. In addition with this tough real estate market in the USA, realtors are reporting that homes with solar energy systems are in high demand, and these homes differentiate themselves in the real estate...

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Reducing your upfront investment to go solar

Is going solar is costing more than you expected? Don’t give up! There are alternative options you should think about: 1. If you have good credit we can help you finance your solar power system and make the monthly payments competitive to your monthly energy bill 2. Reduce your consumption of energy (eliminating energy waste can reduce the final cost of a system by thousands) For example insulation, CFL or LED light bulbs, energy star appliances….etc 3. Research and consider Solar Hot Water (heating your water with solar has a much lower upfront cost compared to solar PV, and a faster break even point) 4. Don’t shoot to eliminate your entire bill, the great aspect of a solar power system is that they are scalable, you can always start for example by eliminating 25% of your energy bill and then scale the system up on the future, the system can be expanded quite easily. I hope this advice will help you with your solar energy...

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Planning & Budgeting for Solar Power

Planning and Budgeting is important aspect of acquiring a solar power system. The cost of a solar power system will vary depending many factors including: How big is the structure? How energy efficient is the structure? What is the average electric bill? What is the orientation of the structure? North, East, South, West? How much roof area or ground space is available? What is the latitude? What are the critical loads? What are the potential energy demands? How much of the total energy required is expected to be provided by the solar power system? What unique site issues apply? (Roof area limitations, shading, soiling, snow & ice, etc.) What are the potential energy demands? How much of the total energy required is expected to be provided by the solar power system? What unique site issues apply? (Roof area limitations, shading, soiling, snow & ice, etc.) As a solar power consumer it is important to ask these questions, the questions above will give you a better idea of what to ask when meeting with a clean energy installer. It is always recommended that you prepare for a meeting before you call a solar power installer and answering the questions above will help you establish your goals and help an installer figure out your...

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Solar Panel Warranties

Why do solar panels manufacturing companies offer a warranty period of at least 25 years? The average solar panel has a life expectancy up to 30-40 years. Since there are no moving parts with a solar energy system, nothing wears down. Therefore as long as the panels are cleaned at least every 6 months, the performance of your system should exceed your expectations. Cleaning a ground mount system is much easier since the panels are easily accessible. A garden hose with a bucket of water and soap is all that is needed when cleaning a solar panel system. Cleaning panels becomes a more difficult chore with a roof mount system because working on top of a roof becomes dangerous and typically a consumer must hire a service provider or window washing company to get up there and clean the panels. When making a decision for going solar, maintenance is an important factor in selecting between a ground or roof mount...

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