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The White House has solar energy.

The White House in has solar energy, so the federal government has been using solar energy long before the general public, but won’t support the mass adaption of the technology. In 1980, The Regan administration removed working solar thermal panels from the roof of the White House. It wasn’t till 2002 when the White House brought back solar thermal (solar hot water) and a 9 kilowatt of solar panels back onto the White House Roof. The National Park service made the decision on using Solar Energy at the White House complex in 2002, not President...

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City aims to make solar power more affordable for residents

The city of Tucson in Arizona is trying to finance the upfront costs of solar power through long term interest loans paid back through property taxes. Similar to a successful program in Berkley, CA in which the city made residential solar power possible for its citizens. Unfortunately Arizona Law does not allow for these type of loans to be paid through property taxes and is causing a headache for the city council to push through. Councilman Steve Leal, stated he’s not giving up on Tucson’s version of a plan pioneered in Berkeley, Calif. Purchasing solar power is requires a large investment upfront for most people to eliminate their bill, even when half the cost is covered by rebates and tax credits. When the city steps in and helps the citizens it not only stimulates the local economy but helps the city become energy independent. Its great to see all the grassroots, local government supporting solar even though the federal government isn’t supporting solar power as much as they...

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Estimating the size of a solar power system using the square footage of your home or business

Many consumers always tell me the square footage of their home or business and expect a quote for a solar power system based off the square footage. You can use a general rule of thumb to estimate the size of a system of 2 watts of solar power per square feet. So lets say you had a 2000 square feet home and you were looking to size up a solar power system to eliminate your bill. 2 watts * 2000 square feet = 4000 = 4 kilowatt So in the case above for the homeowner above, they would need 4kW system to meet their entire electrical needs. This is obviously a very rough estimate of how much solar power you would need to eliminate your electric bill, although I suppose it is a great place to start your analysis. If you are looking for a more accurate estimate start by gathering 12 months of electric bills and look at your monthly kWh (kilowatt hours) usage. This will give you an idea of how much electricity you are using which can give you an accurate picture of how much solar power you would need to reduce your...

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eBay goes solar!

Just like every major corporation that knows the 30% federal tax credit for renewable energy, such as solar power is expiring the end of this year is rushing to get solar power installed on their business to take advantage of the generous federal tax credit coupled with the state rebates, really makes it a no brainier for corporations based in California. Google, another dot com company showed off their large solar power system last year and now it seems like EBay is now jumping onto the Bandwagon. SolarCity installed the 650 kilowatt solar power plant on Ebay’s north campus in San Jose, California. Ebay’s solar power installation is the largest commercial installation in San Jose. The solar power system will save EBay around 0,000 in electricity costs for just in the first year of operation. According to Lyndon Rive, SolarCity’s chief executive officer, “While many companies talk about environmental responsibility, eBay is ‘walking the walk’ with a multi-faceted commitment to clean power and green building, Our managed solar installation will allow eBay and its employees to measure their collective, positive impact on the environment.” Sure, Mr. Rive…..eBay went solar to exclusively save the environment, it had NOTHING to do with the fact of the high return on investment and all the money the corporation will get back from the federal government and the state of California. I’m so positive when you went into your sales call with eBay executives that all you mentioned was how much the system would do for the environment, give me a break. Mr. Rive of SolarCity sold this solar power system to eBay purely on its financial return. I’m being EXTRA critical because when ever I see a press release about a large corporate solar power installation, I always see quotes from the executive management that the corporation did it for the environment and they never mention how good of an investment it is for their type of entity. The bottom line is that they are “greenwashing” the real reason why eBay purchased the solar power system. All consumer research in the solar power space has proved that consumers buy solar power only if it makes sense financially. Very few people or organizations just do it for the...

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The Myth of the Zero Electric Bill

Every consumer who is thinking about solar power always dreams of the day they won’t receive an electric bill from their utility. Once the typical consumer finds out the cost of a solar power system that eliminates their entire bill, they face what we in the industry call, “sticker shock” Well, there are a certain class of consumers in which money isn’t really a problem for, if they have the surface space there is a potential for solar power to supply their entire electrical usage. Even if you have all the money in the world and buy a system that produces more that what you use, if you are grid connected you will always receive an electric bill from your utility company. Your utility charges you a monthly fee just to have their outdated meter calculating your usage and what you send back into the gird. The typical meter access fee is around a month, but the fee depends on your utility company. So if your thinking about a grid connected solar power system, but and your assuming you’ll never see an electric bill, think...

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