Fossil fuels have long been discovered to be not only harmful for the environment and public health, but also finite. This makes them much less sustainable, more unpredictable, and more expensive than renewable energy sources like wind, water, and solar. For the average homeowner, the most accessible way to be a part of the sustainable energy movement is the investment in a solar energy system.
Having solar panels in Encinitas can be very beneficial for homeowners, especially considering the extensive amount of the sun the area receives coupled with high electricity costs (37.63% higher than the national average). If you are wondering how you can make solar panels work for your home.
As a renewable energy source, there are many benefits that fossil fuels simply can’t offer. While there are also some disadvantages to consider, we believe the long-term benefits of renewable energy far outweigh more traditional energy sources. At the end of the day, we need to move towards what is more sustainable for the future of our planets — and, of course, our wallets!
Protects the Environment & Public Health
With the dominant use of fossil fuels over the years, there is no doubt that water and air pollution and other damages have plagued the globe. While renewable energy sources do generate some greenhouse gases and pollutants in the process of converting the energy, it is very miniscule in comparison to the damage fossil fuels can do. Solar and other renewable sources can greatly reduce our carbon footprint as well as health issues such as respiratory and cardiac problems that stem from fossil fuel pollutants.
Renewable energy sources offer great savings, providing more accessible resources that can significantly reduce expenses with long term use. Depending on the size of the system you invest in, the amount of electricity you use, and the amount of sunshine your area gets, you could be looking at even more savings. On top of the savings to your electricity bills, as a homeowner you get the benefit of added value to your property. Studies have shown that homes with solar panels not only sell for a higher price, but also sell quicker than comparable homes without solar panels.
Compared to generators designed to use fossil fuel sources, renewable energy systems will typically require much less maintenance. Why? Renewable energy systems are designed simply to thrive in the elements and experience much less wear and tear. Solar panels, for example, have fewer parts and are not dependent on a flammable or dangerous fuel source that could cause damage to the system trying to utilize it. Further, solar panels are designed to last decades. While warranties typically extend up to 25 to 30 years, some solar panels could perform efficiently for as long as 80+ years depending on the rate of degradation.
Your solar panels allow you to produce energy directly in Encinitas, making it a local energy producer compared to many fossil fuel systems that rely on foreign energy resources. Other renewable energy resources also produce from their local area, cutting back dependence on imported energy sources. The less dependent the U.S. is on foreign energy providers, the more protected our economy remains, especially if we are producing the energy ourselves through sustainable methods.
So what are some disadvantages homeowners interested in getting behind solar need to think through? There are more upfront costs associated with getting your system up and running compared to simply plugging into the grid. Also, if you don’t live in a very sunny area, there can be intermittency (and you also have to consider that your panels can’t obtain energy from the sun during the nighttime).
While solar storage is becoming more available, not every homeowner wants to be completely independent from the grid — you will, however, gain much more control of your electricity bills in the face of rising electricity costs and often get credits for any energy produced during the daytime that you didn’t use, which can be credited towards electricity you use from the grid after the sun goes down. So all that said, yes, there are some drawbacks that traditional energy sources don’t have, but solar technology only continues to improve and become more affordable, shrinking the drawbacks even more.
With numerous state incentives, rebates, and tax credits available to homeowners looking to invest in renewable energy, solar installation in Encinitas is easier and more affordable than ever before. Transitioning to solar energy can not only help you save money in the long run, but also helps protect our environment, public health, and add value to your home. All of these factors make switching to sustainable solar energy extremely beneficial.
Whether you are looking to be completely independent from the grid and rising electricity costs or just want to help supplement your current electricity bills by using the maximum solar power when possible, our solar contractors are ready to find the right option for you. We have years of collective experience, believe in hiring vets to provide exceptional service and support, and offer a range of solar panels for our customers’ specific needs. We’ll walk you through the process to ensure you understand all the benefits of solar panels’ sustainable energy and help you determine if this is the right time for you to install a system on your home.
So you’ve already figured out the solar panel advantages of more affordable and renewable energy, but how do you put that cleaner energy to good use? Some people have found extremely creative and innovative solar uses. From charging cell phone batteries on the go to powering outdoor street lights to moving buses, trains, and airplanes along, solar power can go the distance.
Residential solar panel systems also offer many advantages, from reducing monthly electricity costs to providing a cleaner way to power additional appliances such as swimming pools. Homeowners can greatly benefit from all the solar uses available to them.
Solar energy importance cannot be denied — our environment is in danger of serious negative side effects if fossil fuel use isn’t curbed. Further, our health could greatly depend on cleaner, renewable energy sources like solar. That’s why it is important to put your solar panel produced power to thorough and good use!
Some innovative solar energy uses include:
While you could opt to have any of these self-contained solar appliances, you could also go fully solar and power your entire home with solar energy in place of traditional grid electricity. Using a converter, the energy will be turned into regular electricity, with any excess sent to your local grid. With this approach, you could even earn credits for any solar panel produced electricity you don’t use. This means all your appliances, from your home water heater to your stovetop could be run off of clean, renewable solar energy.
While having one or two appliances run by solar power can sound like a great cost-saving opportunity, why stop there? With growing solar technology and extended federal tax credits, it has never been more affordable to switch to solar power. We can help you assess your electricity usage and solar panel needs to determine how going solar could save you money. By switching your entire household to solar dependency, you help reduce your footprint and maximize your electricity savings.
If you would like more solar energy information, feel free to reach out to our experts at Semper Solaris today.
While fossil fuels are the main source of electricity in the U.S., they are very costly — both in the financial cost to harvest these fuel sources and the negative impact they are having on our environment. There is no denying that solar will be cheaper in the long run (technically the sun’s energy is free!) and helpful for the environment.
While solar panel systems still cost money to develop in order to convert the sun’s energy into usable electricity, it is growing more and more affordable as technology develops. Further, fossil fuels are arguably becoming more and more scarce, as there are limited resources available on our earth. On the other hand, the sun’s power is extremely consistent and unending. By switching over more and more applications to solar energy, we can help reduce our dependence on harmful and waning fossil fuels and protect the long-term health of our environment.
Fossil fuels are made up of once living organisms that have taken centuries to break down and transform into their current state. They primarily include carbon and hydrogen bonds.
The most common fossil fuels include:
Renewable energy are sources of energy that come from naturally replenishing sources and cleaner processes than modern fossil fuels.
The most common types of renewable energy include:
When it comes to solar and other renewable energy sources, there are many benefits. In addition to improving the health of communities, renewable energy greatly impacts the health of the environment. By harnessing the power of the sun, solar provides a source of clean and renewable power, reducing the carbon footprint across California, the U.S., and the entire globe.
Fossil fuel burning results in greenhouse gas emissions, pollution of our air, pollution of our water, wildlife and land damage, and other environmental problems. According to a study done by The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering & Medicine, renewable energy options produce much lower greenhouse gas emissions “per unit of electricity produced” compared to how much coal and natural gas plants will produce.
However, some renewable energy options like biomass and geothermal can be just as harmful as fossil fuels, which is why more research must be done on these alternative options. Solar and wind power still lead the way in the most clean and growingly affordable renewable sources.
In regards to solar, the U.S. Energy Information Administration found that by switching to solar power, an average-sized home in Connecticut (which uses about 8,756 kilowatt-hours of electricity a year) could greatly reduce emissions. Essentially, it was the equivalent to planting 155 new trees — every year. That is just one small example of what switching to solar and other alternative options could do for our environment.
While current solar technology is still fairly new, the power of the sun is no modern revelation. The sun is the most powerful and consistent source of energy available to humans.
The first solar device to produce a notable amount of electricity was created in 1954 at Bell Labs. Just several years later, the technology was being used in a few select projects, but would soon explode in interested by the 1970s due to current energy concerns. Unfortunately, the high price of PV production prevented more large-scale use of solar technology. Thanks to significant research and developments, modern solar technology is becoming more and more affordable for average homeowners and businesses across the globe.
So what does modern solar technology look like today? Photovoltaic, or PV, devices harness sunlight and turn it into electricity. The key? The materials used to make solar arrays or panels are natural semiconductors. When the electrons in them are struck by photons (energy of the sun), they are freed up from their atomic bonds, allowing them to travel through an electrical circuit to provide useable electricity. This can then be used to power electronic devices or sent to a local electricity grid.
Essentially, the uses of solar energy can reach beyond just a single home and stretch out to an entire community, even if some of the homes in that area don’t have solar panels. From homes to commercial businesses, solar panels can power both personal devices and large-scale facilities.
While having a solar panel system installed on a home seemed like a great luxury a decade ago, the dropping cost of PV has made solar more and more accessible to homeowners across the U.S. The industry has seen a great demand for more sustainable and renewable energy options, driving up manufacturing and pushing for improved technology and more efficient materials. Though the U.S. is the fourth largest market for PV installations, it is still behind other smaller countries that aren’t as dependent on fossil fuels. The more the U.S. and other major countries adopt this technology, the more it is likely to develop.
Questions? Reach out to our Orange County solar company for helpful answers.
Solar panel systems are designed to provide cleaner and more affordable energy to homeowners. So what are ways homeowners can save even more? Net metering is one of the most appealing aspects of going solar in California. Why? Because net metering allows homeowners to receive bill credits back on any additional electricity produced by their solar panels. Essentially, any energy their panels produce that isn’t used up by their household demands is able to be funneled back to them as a credit for low production times or surplus.
There have been some slight changes to the original net metering policy for California. The original net metering allowed a bill credit for one kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity for every kWh your solar panels produced and fed to your local grid. Any excess amount would be applied to the times when you had to draw upon the grid instead of the solar power grid.
With net metering 2.0, the core of the original policy remains the same – essentially credits are still equivalent. The new policy also helps prevent grid access charges, capacity fees, and other charges that don’t favor homeowners. However, the three new features – time-of-use rates, interconnection fees, and non-bypassable charges – do add some expense for homeowners. California Solar Energy Industries Association estimates expenses will increase by around $10 a month for the average homeowner.
Over the lifetime of a solar system, a homeowner could save thousands of dollars in electricity expenses through net metering. If your solar panels are able to produce a significant enough amount, you could end up having the majority of your bill covered, if not entirely covered.
For example, say you have to draw 800 kWh of electricity from the grid throughout the month of November during the times when your solar panels aren’t producing electricity (on those cloudier days). If you are able to export 600 kWh of energy throughout the course of the same month, you could cover a majority of your bill, only being charged for the net difference of 200 kWh. Again, some months your solar panels may be able to produce an equal amount to completely cover your usage needs, especially during those sunnier months.
So what are time-of-use rates and how will they impact you? Under net metering 2.0, time-of-use billing is used to charge customers more for peak hour usage and less for off times. Under the solar billing cycle, you could greatly benefit because your solar system will typically generate more power during peak hours (or more expensive windows) depending on your area. That means you can avoid the higher charges and have more credits stored up for when you need to use them during low production hours (ideally off-peak times so they go further).
Unfortunately, this could also mean that if you use a lot of energy in the early evening and your panels don’t produce much energy during this time of day, you could be paying more than you previously did. The best bet? Review your net metering time-of-use rates and adjust to the peak and off-peak hours to ensure you maximize your savings.
More questions about net metering? Let the Semper Solaris experts provide insight. Call us today to speak to a solar professional in San Diego.
PPA vs. Lease: What’s Right for Solar?
When it comes to getting a solar panel system installed on your roof, there are many decisions to be made – including tough financial decisions. For some homeowners, the ability to finance a system may not be possible. This is where solar leases and Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) come into play. These are two options available to homeowners who are looking to save on their electricity bills by switching to solar without carrying the full financial burden of financing or paying off their own solar system. Under both a solar lease and solar PPA, the homeowner themselves will not own the actual solar energy installation placed onto their roof. Instead, a PPA or lease company has true ownership over the system. While very similar, PPAs and leases have some very distinct differences between them. Selecting the right one for your project is important!
Breaking Down Your Solar Options
The specifics of the agreements can vary based on homeowner preference. For example, a contractor may offer zero down, free installation, a down payment, prepaid leases, varying kW sizes, and other factors.
Make the Best Solar Choice for Your Needs
So what’s the better option, a solar lease or PPA? At the end of the day, it comes down to what makes the most sense for your particular situation. You may prefer to not have a lease payment and be able to negotiate on the pricing of your electricity with a PPA or like the flexibility of leasing panels while buying / selling the electricity produced by it. The last option available to homeowners is financing or paying cash. For those that are able to, this is the most financially beneficial, as the homeowner will typically be able to pay offer the system in 12 or less years. Still, both solar leases and PPA agreement are viable options for those that want to benefit from the perks of solar without all the upfront costs.
HOW TO GET MORE FROM YOUR SOLAR POWER
If you have a rooftop solar installation or are considering a solar system in your Temecula home, you are already are aware of the money you will save on utility bills. The more the sun shines on your solar panels, the more electricity they generate, and you can improve the effectiveness of your system and using the best practices for optimum solar energy efficiency. Your solar installer will help you choose the best location for your panels for the best value.
Here Are Some Tips For Getting The Most Out Of Your Solar Power System
Find out when your solar panels are the most productive. There are smart apps that will monitor your solar energy panels by showing how much power the panels generate, how much power you use, and how much goes back to the grid. Then you will know when your system is the most productive.
Adjust your power usage. Find out which devices or appliances in your home use the most power and use them when your solar system is generating the most. You can also program appliances to run during those times with smart apps.
Coordinate your Time of Use rates with your Solar System’s optimum output to run your most expensive appliances like washer and dryer during the times of lowest rates.
Stagger your consumption. Using many appliances and devices at the same time could lead to using more power than your system is generating causing you to use more expensive energy from your utility provider.
Use smart plugs or power strips for standby electrical devices so they can be off instead of pulling electricity when not in use. TV’s, DVD players, and other devices on standby can add to your monthly consumption unnecessarily. With a smart plug, you can keep your DVR plugged in while the other devices are off until you intend to use them.
Use timers on your appliances and run during your optimum solar generation.
Led lights only use about 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs and last a lot longer.
Motion sensor lights in hallways and on your porch will cut down on unnecessary lighting.
Energy Star appliances use nearly 40 percent less energy.
PROTECT YOUR INVESTMENT
Weatherize your home. Don’t lose what your panels generate through leaky windows or doors.
Keep your panels clean by clearing debris, such as leaves or branches or dirt to avoid a reduction in energy yield. You can schedule a cleaning with your solar panel provider or consider installing a cleaning system
Keep trees and foliage trimmed, so they aren’t blocking or shading your panels from the sun and ensure falling branches do not damage your panels.
Store power for your home to make up for when your panels are not generating enough energy. Semper Solaris can install an LG Chem or Tesla Powerwall backup battery for surplus power. The combination of solar panels with a backup battery can meet nearly 90 percent of your energy needs when you need more.
Get a 25-year warranty with Semper Solaris solar power installations.
Temecula homeowners are joining the solar revolution. If you have not installed solar in your home, prices are lower than they ever have been with rebates and tax incentives. Call Semper Solaris for an evaluation of your home and take advantage of lower energy costs and reduced carbon footprint. We can help join your neighbors and go solar.
Solar power is on the rise and is fast becoming a mainstream energy alternative for homes, businesses, and public places. With lower costs and due to innovative and efficient designs, more people are getting on board as the price tag on solar installations is falling, becoming an opportunity for consumers and businesses to cash in.
In Riverside County, UC Riverside has installed over 9,000 panels in a solar farm that will produce enough power for nearly 1,000 homes each year. Homeowners from nearby cities like Murietta are joining in the trend with rooftop solar installations. Murietta is among the towns that enjoy the lowest prices ever for rooftop solar installations.
Consumers are taking advantage of the benefits of solar energy through government incentives and tax credits for homes and businesses. Rooftop solar and solar farms provide a choice to consumers whether to install solar panels on their roofs or rely on solar farms to reduce their carbon footprint and save money.
Photovoltaic panels made from silicon use the sun directly to generate power. These photovoltaic panels, installed on rooftops, collect and generate electricity for the home or business. Net Metering connects to the solar panel system and measures the power generated by the solar panels and your power usage. The surplus power goes back to the utility grid and is credited to your overall energy consumption. It is feasible to pay for all or most of your electricity with solar panels.
A solar farm has many panels arranged in arrays over a large area of land that receives a lot of sunlight. Solar farms benefit the community by directly supplying the grid with cheap, clean energy. Some are owned and operated by a third party that sells the power to the power grid directly. Farms in the form of Community Solar allow consumers to benefit from Net Metering through the lease or purchase of one or more solar panels tied to their utility account.
Solar farms are expanding in record numbers across large areas taking up a substantial amount of usable land. And while they provide much-needed alternative energy, there are concerns about the reduction of available land for agriculture and development. Future regulation may have an impact on the profitability of large solar farms.
YOU CAN GO SOLAR IN MURRIETA
Whether you choose a residential solar installation in Murrieta; invest in energy produced by a solar farm; want to save money or promote clean energy, there is more than one way to go solar.
Here are some points to consider:
Contact us to schedule an evaluation of your Murrieta home. With Semper Solaris, you can help shape the future of renewable energy.
Under California’s new energy storage mandates, SDG&E is required to create solar battery storage facilities for a total of 331 megawatts. So far, SDG&E has been granted approval for 5 facilities, which will cover about 83.5 megawatts, while currently a 30-megawatt battery storage center is already in function. The locations for the facilities include Escondido, Poway, San Diego, Fallbrook, and San Juan Capistrano.
Why are California policymakers pushing for solar energy storage? Currently, renewable energy faces challenges with intermittency — or consistency due to limited hours of sunlight or a lack of wind. While overall reliable, there is some issue with slumps in power. On the other hands, sometimes there is an overproduction of renewable energy without enough immediate demand to use up the energy created, which has forced California Independent System Operator to face the decision of sending this unused power to other states — or even curtail the production.
The solution? Create battery storage facilities to store the power rather than give it away or shut it off. This allows cities to capitalize on more production during peak times and rely on reserves during the lulls in energy production.
Ultimately, the goal of battery storage facilities is to help reduce California’s (and other states taking this approach) dependency on natural gas, which still holds a major grip on the state’s electric generation.
While policymakers are onboard for battery storage facilities, promoting projects across Southern California, not all people share this viewpoint. Some skeptics believe that current energy storage technologies are too expensive an investment. This mindset doesn’t take into consideration the current challenges of overproduction during peak hours (and loss of that overproduction due to lack of storage or usage), as well as issues with over-demand during lulls in solar production. Though the cost may be several cents higher, the reality is that overtime, prices can be driven down with better technology and efficiency. In addition, there are other benefits to consider when it comes to renewable energy storage.
What makes battery storages facilities beneficial:
All together, these benefits point to the reason California policymakers are pushing for storage facilities and calling upon utility companies like SDG&E to pick of the mantle in this area of renewable energy.
While there is still some debate about the cost-benefits of solar battery storage, the reality is that the technology is still new and continually improving. The more the use of solar battery spreads, the more the technology will become more affordable and accessible. That means with more and more residents in San Diego going solar, the state will be able to better capitalize on solar energy production.
Where previously California would have to funnel energy out to other states during excess times, the battery facilities will now allow more of that energy production to be kept in the state and used for dips. The battery facilities will ideally continue to become more affordable over time, becoming a practical way to store up the “harvest” of solar power during the sunniest of days so that homes can draw upon these reserves when needed. Essentially, solar battery facilities help fill the gaps in energy needs and demands so that renewable energy sources can be used more widespread.
When people think about San Francisco, they often see it as a trailblazing city — home to some of the most innovative companies and forward-thinkers. It should come as no surprise then that the city has been leading the way on the renewable energy front. City leadership has been very vocal about their ambitious goals for San Francisco, especially when it comes to renewable energy.
Mayor Ed Lee has made it his mission to push the city ahead, aiming to have 50% of the city’s electricity needs covered by renewable energy production by 2020 — a decade ahead of California’s goal. As of 2017, the city was getting 44% of its electricity from renewable sources like wind turbines and solar panels. That leaves a 6% difference to make up, which is no small feat.
If California is passionate about going green, the San Francisco is sold-out. By bumping up the target goal by a decade, the city shows how much they are making sustainable energy dependence a priority.
So how does a city as big and populated as San Francisco pull off the push towards sustainable energy dependence? A major chunk of the energy will be provided by CleanPowerSF, which is a green energy program that is run by the city. As of now, the program already pulls nearly half of its electricity from renewable energy sources, with plans to increase that percentage more and more with time.
In just a year’s time, CleanPowerSF is aiming to have the ability to power around 320,000 homes and businesses across San Francisco. The cost and health benefits of installing more renewable energy options make this move extremely attractive to local residents and businesses alike, garnering it much needed support to move forward.
While it is an ambitious move, the city leaders are confident that have the ability to make the transition. Over the years, the renewable energy economy has thrived in the Bay Area, which helps drive prices down and makes the resources more accessible and affordable. This means the city could not only produce much of the renewable energy but purchase the rest from the plethora of wind and solar sources available in Northern California.
With a long-term goal of being 100% reliable on renewable energy by 2030, San Francisco is going to have to continue pushing back against big players like PG&E to pursue a more sustainable future. Continued patience and persistence are key for this city to continue its march towards a greener tomorrow.
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