Should I Go Solar?

Solar Panels For the Right Reasons

With the cost of solar installations getting lower and lower, homeowners are making the smart move of going solar.

Take advantage of the low prices, rebates, and incentives, and help the environment by reducing your carbon footprint.

This move towards renewable energy is good for consumers, good for the economy, and good for the environment and the air you breathe.

Solar Saves You Money

Going solar will save you money, and you can reduce and even eliminate your electric bill.

Your solar system connects to the grid and unused power from your solar system is fed back into the grid giving you credits while saving your generated electricity for the times your solar is not producing energy.

Using solar power gives you a hedge against rising prices. And by producing your electricity and monitoring your usage, your energy bill will be more predictable and protect you from fluctuating energy prices.

If you have a PPA, then your electric bill is the same from month to month all year long.

Solar As an Investment

Whether you choose to buy or lease your solar system, you will reap the benefits of lower electric bills and save money.

By purchasing your system, the incentives and rebates will offset the upfront costs giving you a return on your investment.

In a few years, when your system is paid off, you will reap the benefits even more with tax deductions for depreciation.

And with the cost of electricity rising each year, a reduction in the cost of electricity can match or outperform traditional investment instruments.

Solar Increases Property Value

Investing in a solar system will increase the resell value of your home, and in most cases, the sale of the house will more than cover the total cost of installing the system.

Adding a solar system is considered an upgrade like other home renovations.

According to the Department of Energy, home buyers are willing to pay a premium and homes with solar tend to sell faster if they are energy efficient.

Going Solar Helps the Economy

Solar is among the fastest growing industries in both installation and manufacturing as more and more Americans are getting on board with Solar Power.

Innovation spurs economic growth, and Solar is at the forefront of bringing new ideas and new jobs to the U.S. economy.

Solar Advances Energy Independence

Solar power helps promote energy independence which protects from price fluctuations and dependence on foreign fuel sources – because sunlight is free.

Solar Helps the Environment

And most of all, Solar power helps protect the air by reducing the need to burn fossil fuels, the leading cause of pollution.

Solar produces no pollution and has a positive effect on reducing greenhouse gases.

They say that the elimination of carbon emissions from a residential solar power system is like planting around 100 trees per year.

So why not plant a few trees and have the satisfaction of knowing you are participating in the future of renewable energy while enjoying the financial benefits.

Semper Solaris offers the best in Solar products and installation. 

We have various solar financing options available from buying to leasing and guarantee our work with a 25-year warranty.

If you are contemplating installing a solar power system in your home or business, we have the experience, credentials, and expertise to make going solar an easy option.

Call Semper Solaris for an appointment today and let us help you go solar.

How does Solar Energy Work?

The sun rises and shines down on your solar panels. Sunlight is made up of photons, tiny bursts of energy which emanate from the sun and hit the photovoltaic panels (solar panels).

Photovoltaic is the process of chemical conversion of light to electrical power.

And so, begins the progression of collecting the sunlight and converting it into electricity for your home.

It produces clean energy, has no moving parts and needs no fossil fuels for power.

Solar Panels

Solar panels are comprised of a system of various parts that work together to collect and transform the sun’s energy into electricity.

Many smaller units or photovoltaic cells are linked together with metal frames and wiring connecting throughout the panels.

The panels have a mounting system and are arranged at the best angle facing the sun to convert the power generated into Direct Current (DC).

The total cells per solar panel and the number of panels in a solar system is directly related to how much energy is created.

Solar Cells

Semiconductor material like silicon forms the small photovoltaic cells or modules. Although there are several types of semiconductor materials, silicon is the most common type used in making solar panels.

These are busily at work allowing particles of light (photons) to pass through the material causing the electrons to break free to begin the process of creating an electrical current.

Each cell needs to create an electrical field to generate a current. Each cell has both a positive and negative layer and works like a battery.

The electrical field forces the electrical current out of the cell, or semiconductor, into the metal contacts and wiring that connects the cells and the panels.

The current flows into the inverter where it converts the Direct Current (DC) into Alternating Current (AC) which is the current that runs throughout your home.

Solar Inverters

A solar inverter takes the DC from the solar panels and transforms it into AC. The inverter operates much like the Central Processing Unit, the brains, of a computer.

It not only inverts DC to AC, but the inverter also provide grounding protection, monitors the system, voltage, and current on the circuits, monitors the production of energy and Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) which is the maximum available power.

There are central inverters that optimize the entire solar system, and Micro-inverters which monitor each panel.

Inverters are tied into your home and usually to the grid through a meter. 

The process of collecting and converting sunlight to electricity goes on throughout the day until nightfall, when the panels stop generating energy. The energy that was not used by the home during the day is funneled back into the grid, and that power is credited back to you.

In the evening, the network begins to deliver the unused credits in the form of electrical power back to the home to run the lights and television and other devices used at night.

Semper Solaris knows how solar works, we know how to find the best and most cost-effective options available with the highest quality products and installation.

We have various options for panels, for inverters, and should you want to be energy independent, we provide solar backup systems to store your unused energy for later use—saving even more money on your utilities.

Call us for an evaluation of your property and let us help you go solar.

Choose the Right Solar Financing Options

With the cost of solar going down, now is the time to cash in on low prices, incentives, and rebates which are available from the Federal and State and City governments.

These incentives paired with a solar loan are an attractive investment for homeowners and homeowners are cashing in.

The upfront costs of solar, should you choose to buy, will be eased by the tremendous savings, tax deductions, and added value to your home.

And if you decide to lease there is no upfront cost, a PPA is the way to lower your utility costs and regulate your monthly electric bill —saving money from the get-go.

You will benefit not only financially, but your community and the environment will reap the rewards.

Solar Loans

A solar loan is a good option for those wanting to purchase their system.

Solar loans are comparable to other home improvement loans but focused on energy efficiency projects.

They are offered at banks or solar panel manufacturers.

And, you can take advantage of the Tax Credits and available deductions as well as the incentives and rebates.

Things to Consider:

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Loans

Finance your solar energy installation with a PACE program.

A PACE loan is available to homeowners through an authorized PACE provider.

PACE financing is attached to your property and paid through the annual property tax bill.

The tax rate determines the interest rate, and if you sell your home before you pay off the loan, the balance transfers to the buyer.

Home Energy Renovation Opportunity (HERO Program)

The HERO program is a residential Property Assessed Clean Energy PACE program offered by Renovate America, a home renovation lender.

HERO financing is for home improvements and solar and energy efficiency residential projects.

Fannie Mae Homestyle Energy Loan

With a Fannie Mae Homestyle Energy loan, you can finance your solar installation.

They offer affordable and flexible options to homeowners for energy efficiency and disaster preparedness improvements.

Solar Lease

Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)

What is the difference between a solar lease and a PPA?

PPAs offer all the benefits of using a solar panel system without having the upfront cost of purchasing it.

The PPA provider installs solar panels on your property, and you pay them a below market rate for the electricity for a set term, usually 20 years.

The provider owns, maintains the system, an in return, receives the rebates, incentives and Tax Credits for the installation.

Things to Consider:

Whether you lease or buy your solar system, it is a smart idea to reduce your home’s energy expenses while reducing your carbon footprint.

Semper Solaris offers a variety of financing options.

You will enjoy the benefits of low-cost financing for your system and reap the rewards of going solar.

Call us for an evaluation of your property and to discuss all the financing options available and go solar.

Choose the Right Solar Company

So, you have decided to join the trend of going solar.

What next?

Investing in Solar is an important decision and a long-term investment.

The most critical step in making this big decision is to find the right solar company.

Your installer should be experienced and have a good reputation for top quality work and the very best solar panels available.

Going solar is a complicated process, and there are many things to consider when choosing a solar provider:

Many situations can arise during the process of installing a solar system.

Your installer must be very thorough in assessing your home’s readiness for solar.

For instance, if your roof is too weak for the system, your roof could collapse under the weight of the panels.

The company you choose should be expert in roof repair and construction. 
Here are the most important qualities to look for when selecting a company to install your solar system.

You can Google to find solar companies in California and see which companies are a good fit.

You should have a list of more than one company and get quotes from each one.

Reputation & Reviews

Check companies in your state local areas and make your list based on the reputation of the companies:

Credentials & Expertise

It is essential to know the experience of a company, and whether they have the proper certifications and licenses.

You should be able to find these out on their website.

Things to Ask Your Solar Company:

Proper Solar Company Certifications:

Quality Products & Solar Installations:

The top companies offer a variety of the most popular and reliable solar panels and equipment using the latest technology.

They offer warranties on products and their expert installation.

And they only use the sturdiest brackets and reinforcement systems available.

Attentive and Helpful Service

The relationship between you and your solar company should be built on trust.

They should accurately represent costs as well as projected savings on electricity and have a track record of happy customers.

Look for companies that have a reputation for exemplary customer service.

Semper Solaris’ core values like trust, loyalty and high-quality service.

We will steer you through the process answering all your questions and addressing all the problems that arise promptly.

We do have a track record of happy customers.

Call us today to schedule an evaluation of your home.

There has never been a better time to go solar!

Play the Safe Bet: Always Choose American Made Solar Panels

If you are thinking about going solar and want to begin the process, how do you choose the best solar panels when you finally decide to go solar?

There are numerous available options for solar panels on the market today, and the choices seem daunting.

But you can narrow down your options and choose the most efficient, reliable panels made.

An excellent place to start is by looking at the most popular and reliable brands used by the top Solar installers.

Solar panels are made in manufacturing plants all over the world. China is leading the way in sheer volume of manufactured panels.

But the unfair competition from China and their illegal practices has resulted in a tariff on Chinese solar panels, paving the way for North American Solar manufacturers to once again dominate the market here in America.

The most reputable Solar Companies use American made solar panels which have proven to be the most reliable and efficient, and are the superior option in quality, price, and economics.

Quality & Economy

American manufacturers adhere to the highest standards of quality and offer top-quality panels to their customers.

Semper Solaris chooses premium panels for both quality and economy. 

Panasonic is on the cutting edge of innovation and one of the most popular brands on the market. 

We offer Silfab, a lower cost panel and according to energy sage, Silfab is a high-efficiency panel with the most value matching higher priced models on the market.

Benefits America

Solar is the fastest growing energy source, and there are huge benefits from American solar-panel manufacturing.

Since the tariff on foreign-made panels has taken effect, American Solar manufacturing is reestablishing their standing in the field of solar technology.

Jobs in the solar manufacturing sector are on the rise as well as transportation, engineering and goes so far as to affect education, taxes and other government policies including clean energy practices.

The move towards a renewable energy economy will allow for energy independence as we break free from the price controls of the utility companies.

American Made Solar Panels

America is the pioneer of solar energy.

Solar panels manufactured in America benefit from American innovation.

They provide more choices, not only in quality and price but promote a renewable energy economy as we move away from fossil fuels.

Why Buy American Made Solar Panels?

At Semper Solaris, we use the very best products made in America and choose leaders in the manufacture of solar panels that comply with our standards.

We are leading the way in promoting solar products made in America.

You can count on our top-notch service and the highest quality products made in America.

Call us today and schedule an evaluation of your home for a solar power installation and Go Solar American Style!

Understand the Solar Installation Process

If you are considering going solar.

It is essential to understand the process from beginning to end.

There are many aspects to the process, and you need an installer has experience in every facet, so the project does not get bogged down.

You will first decide upon a reputable provider that meets your needs, and they will do an initial inspection of your site.

They will take measurements and discuss the options with you, including how much you will save on your utility bill, the available rebates, incentives, and financing options.

Site Assessment

After the initial signing of your solar contract lease or loan, you will begin the first phase of your installation which is the assessment by an engineer or technician to evaluate your home for the installation.

This visit is more in-depth than the initial evaluation to begin the process.

Evaluation

Paperwork & Documents

Your installer will handle most of the paperwork and the permitting of your solar power and will only have you sign on the dotted line.

There is much work to be done, and the paperwork lays the groundwork so that all the bases are covered before the installation process begins.

Solar System Equipment

After the paperwork and permits, it is time to choose the equipment and design the solar system for your home.

Your Solar provider will help you select the best equipment and components for your situation.  

But it is a good idea to have something in mind before you discuss final plans.

Once the equipment is on order, the date of installation will be scheduled according to your installers availability.

Installation of Solar Components

The permits have approval.

The equipment arrives.

And now it is time to install your solar.  

It will take around two or three days to complete depending on the design and preparation of the roof.

Final Approval & Connecting to the Grid

Once your inverter is installed, and the DC is converted to AC it is time to connect to the electric grid.   

The city planning and electric company will come to inspect your solar installation:

Once these have approval,  it is time to be connected to the grid and with a flip of a switch—you are now generating clean, renewable energy and the savings begin.

At Semper Solaris, we are experienced and experts at Solar Panel installations from the planning to permitting to the moment you go solar; we will be there every step of the way to see that your Solar is installed correctly and in the shortest amount of time possible.

Give us a call today,  schedule your first appointment, and get ready to go solar!

Understand the Solar Permitting Process

After you have signed your contract for your solar with your provider and done the necessary paperwork including financing and all applicable incentives and rebates, you will have an initial inspection of your site followed by site assessment. 

Any significant structural changes to your home require permission from your local government planning office.

The permitting is critical to ensure your installer is meeting all applicable building codes.

If they don’t, then you must start all over again.

Permits

Your installer will file the various applications for permits.

The permitting process can take 30 to 90 days depending on your location.

Permitting involves the city and county governments, and it is dependent on how fast they approve.

Some cities are stricter than others.

Your installer should be experienced in this process and will take it from here handling the applications for permits and follow through to final approval.

You will only need to sign the paperwork.

Building Codes

The permitting process for solar involves several parts of the Californian Building Code Title 24:

As you can see, there are many rules and regulations involved in the permitting process.

It can get very complicated and sometimes drag the process out.

The good news is, In California, the Solar Permitting Efficiency Act (Assembly Bill 2188), passed in 2014, made it a requirement that all local governments adopt ordinances that expedite the permitting process for small residential solar systems.

Other states have also implemented expedited permitting processes for Solar Systems.

Your experienced installer will know how to advance the process so that they can install your rooftop solar within the earliest possible timeframe.

Application Review

The local permitting agency must review permit applications to ensure compliance with state and local requirements.

After you have gone through the necessary permitting approval of your system design and it meets all the required building codes, it is time to order the equipment and set a date for installation.

The installation will take a few days.

And once the installation is complete, you have one more hurdle in the permit approval process.

Final Inspection & Approval

The city government inspector will check the installation to be sure the wiring was done correctly and that the mounting is attached, and the system meets all electrical and roof and building codes. 

Following that, your electric company will do a final inspection. It will take approximately two weeks to a month for final approval before your system is given the green light to connect to the electric grid.

The system will be connected, and it is time to flip the switch. Your solar system connects to the grid, and your solar panels will begin generating power and saving you money. 

Semper Solari’s technicians are knowledgeable and proficient in installing solar from the initial site inspection through the final approval of your system going live.

We handle all the paperwork and permits and are there with you every step of the way. Call us today for a free evaluation and consultation.

We will help you on the road to going solar.

Monitoring Your System: How to Keep Track of Your Energy Production

If you plan to install a rooftop solar system in your home, you already know you will save money.

But how do you see the amount of power your panels are generating or how much money you are saving?

Photovoltaic cells in the solar panels transform sunlight into energy and energy into direct current (DC).

The inverter is connected to your homes electrical system and converts DC to AC for use in your home.

You can increase the productivity of your solar panels by monitoring your system to achieve peak solar power efficiency.

You can take advantage of products and services to get the most benefit out of your system.

Net Metering

Most solar systems connect to the grid through Net metering or net energy metering.

A net meter replaces your regular electric meter on your house and is connected to the power from your solar system and the grid.

Net metering monitors your solar power generation and usage and keeps track of energy that is routed back into the network grid and stored there.

What you don’t use is credited back to you to be used when your panels are not producing electricity, like at night or on very cloudy days.

It is possible to build up enough extra credits during the summer months so that you can use them in the winter.

If you generate enough electricity from your panels, you can eliminate your electric bill.

Web Monitoring

Solar monitoring software for your system works through the solar inverter to monitor your solar system’s performance in real time.

Your solar system will come with built-in software for this purpose.

It will track the energy generated and energy use.

It will help you optimize energy usage and detect problems in your system.

t is essential to monitor your system, so you are sure it is operating at optimal levels.

The information gathered by the software is sent to your installer through a cloud-based system with a website where you can view your system statistics.

Web monitoring works with computers, mobile apps, and smart home devices.

You can access the data from your mobile devices without connecting to your Wi-Fi.

Semper Solaris’s solar panels are installed with a state-of-the-art monitoring system which allows you to keep track of your solar energy production.

Our monitoring support specialist will help you access your system through your home computer, a mobile app, or device.

You can log on any time to view your system’s performance. There is no better time to go solar, call us today for an evaluation of your home and join the solar revolution.

Maximize Your Investment: Why Using a Contractor for both Your Solar and Your Roof is a Smart Idea

Now is time to go solar.  

The cost-benefit concerning savings on electricity is enough to justify the expense of installing a solar system on your roof.  

Add to that the value it adds to your homes resale value.

The government incentives and tax rebates alone are enough to bring the price in range for homeowners.

In a few years, the system will be paid off while you continue to profit from the reduced power bills.

Solar & Roofing

The most important consideration when installing solar on your roof concerning durability and the life of your solar system is the condition of the roof.

It is essential to have your roof assessed for the ability to handle the weight of the solar panels.

But maybe it would be better to maximize your investment and start fresh with a new roof combined with your new solar panels

Unless your roof is relatively new, it is likely your roof will need repairs or will degrade faster than your solar panels.

Why not consider starting with a new roof and a new solar system and maximize your investment?

If you replace your roof when you install solar panels, you will save money by avoiding the expense of removing and reinstalling your solar panels should you need to replace your roof in the future.

Roof Repair vs. Replacement

If you do have problems with your roof needing repair or replacement, there are labor costs involved in taking the panels off and putting them back on.

If your hardware also must be removed, the cost will be a few thousand dollars higher than just the roof repair and panel removal. 

If you combine a new roof with a new solar installation, it is unlikely you will need to replace your roof for life of your panels.

Panels last from 30 to 35 years and are much more durable than roofing material, and they will protect your roof from degradation.

A solar power installation will save you thousands upon thousands of dollars throughout the life of the system.

So, the added cost of reroofing is well worth it in the long run and is better than taking a chance that there will be problems with your roof later.

The Right Solar Company

Few solar companies offer roofing services.

Choosing a solar company that is also an expert in the repair and construction of roofs, is a very safe bet.

At Semper Solaris, we have built our reputation on the construction of roofs along with our solar installations.

We offer warranties on roofing and solar as well as great discounts when you install a new roof along with your solar panels. 

If you need roof replacement anyway, consider installing solar along with the new roof.

It is a wise investment to make, and the financial benefit is enormous for both savings and value added to your home.

If you already plan on installing solar on your rooftop, consider starting with a clean slate by also installing a brand-new roof.

Call us today, and we can evaluate your home for a new roof and solar system.

Go solar with Semper Solaris.

Capitalize on Your Solar Investment – Battery Storage and How You Can Make Money with Solar

If you have or are contemplating installing a solar system on your rooftop, why not capitalize on your investment?

Maximize your savings with solar battery storage.

You can profit from your solar installation from savings on your electricity. A penny saved is a penny earned.

And battery storage can give you that extra penny or two.

Profit from Solar

With the cost of electricity rising, investing in solar makes sense.

And you can create a profit scheme from using solar energy.

Generating your power is a hedge against the rising and fluctuating energy costs.

You can capitalize on the savings on utility bills and solar rebates and incentives, as well as the increased value of your home. 

The lowered cost of electricity through net metering is essentially selling excess power generated from solar, back to the grid.

It comes back to you as credits in the form of electricity when your solar is not producing electricity.

By selling your power back to the network, you are receiving credits toward your electric bill as good as cash.

Maximize Profit with Backup Battery

Adding a backup battery to your solar system will enable you to store extra power for your use, get a financial return, or be prepared for emergencies when the grid goes down.

If your electric company charges high demand rates, or you have Time of Use (TOU) rate structures with high peak and off-peak rates, you can use your stored power to control costs.

Electricity rates are lower during the daytime, and solar panels are producing the most energy. 

You can save energy in your batteries for use during high demand or peak hours and avoid the higher rates during that time.

Or, you can use the power from your battery during off-peak hours and generate surplus energy to sell back to the grid during on-peak hours.

You will save money and create an income by adjusting to changing rates.

Some companies, like LADWP, have tiered rates designed to push your rate higher according to how much power used during your billing period.

Depending on your power usage, and for heavy use days, you could feasibly use enough of your solar power to give you a deficit which would force you into a higher tier.

With battery storage, you can monitor your energy and save your solar power to the battery to use on high use days or for overages and avoid all or most of the extra cost of higher tiered rates.

Make a Move Towards Energy Independence

If you are considering a solar system but have not yet made a move to go solar, Semper Solaris can help you make your decision with accurate and helpful guidance from our representative.

Whether you have a system already or are planning to, Semper Solaris can install an LG Chem or Tesla Powerwall backup battery so that you have surplus power when you need it.

You can use the extra energy to generate a profit from your solar power system or go off the grid.

Call us today and let us help you maximize your solar investment for a financial return and move towards energy independence.

Protect Your Solar System

Solar panels are made of tempered glass and are designed to tolerate extreme temperatures, weather, and other outside factors.

They are tested to handle falling debris, hail storms, and very high winds.

But many other factors can cause damage to your solar system, and you have no further to look than your backyard.

It is essential to safeguard your investment to avoid damage, loss of efficiency, and even theft.

If you have installed Solar Panels on your roof, you will be saving a lot of money on your power bill.

And although solar panels are reliable requiring little support, you can preserve and protect the life of your solar panels through regular inspection, maintenance, and cleaning.

Solar Maintenance

It is good to get a regular comprehensive examination of your panel system to see that it is performing at its optimal efficiency and that it is safe, with no issues to the electrical system and components.

Inspection is especially critical if your solar system is a few years old.

Comprehensive maintenance for your system should include:

Solar Cleaning

Conserve Solar Power

Protect Solar Panels

At Semper Solaris, we are committed to top-notch solar energy installation, maintenance, and service to our customers.

We offer a full system diagnostic with an inspection, tune-up and maintenance services for your solar system.

If your system is older or you have any issues with your solar system, Semper Solaris is a company you can trust.

Our solar experts can diagnose and fix any solar system problems you may have from the panels to the electrical system to the roof.

If there is a problem—we can fix it–give us a call.

Understand the Value Solar Panels Add to Your Home

Solar Panels Increase Property Value

If you are contemplating or have decided to go solar and have a solar system installed on your rooftop, you will save money on electricity.

And the benefits are not only financial you will reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to the efforts to move away from carbon-based fuels and towards renewable energy.

But how does adding solar to your rooftop affect your bottom line over time?

The research is in, and study after study confirms that purchasing a solar power system for your rooftop will increase the value of your home.

And the total cost of the system is offset by the rise in the home’s resale value even before taking into consideration the incentives and tax rebates.

Purchasing Your Solar System

Adding a solar system is considered an upgrade like any other home renovation only the return is much higher for solar than for a kitchen or bathroom.

According to the Department of Energy, home buyers are willing to pay a premium for homes with solar and homes tend to sell as much as 20 percent faster than homes without.

And beyond that, the reduction in energy costs continue to produce excellent returns on the investment, saving thousands of dollars for many more years.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory Study shows that property value goes up about 20 dollars for each $1 in savings from a rooftop solar installation.

Buyers are paying more to enjoy savings on their utility bills, which makes a mortgage payment more affordable.

According to the Lawrence Berkely Lab’s study, the rise in property value is approximately four dollars per watt on average.

A 5 kW system or 5,000 Watts will fetch around 20,000 in increased resell value. So one kilowatt (kW) equals 1,000 watts times 4 giving a $4,000 increase in resell value.

Here is the calculation for a 3.1 kW system:

3.1 kW system – 3.1 X 1,000 = 3,100 watts X 4 = $12,400 increase in resale value.

Smaller systems increase the value of even more per watt than larger systems.

Homebuyers consider any size solar installation to be an asset.

According to studies, this is called the “green cachet” effect where homebuyers are willing to pay more to have solar.

Solar is beneficial for homeowners and homebuyers alike.

It is clear that going solar is a smart investment that gives you a hedge against rising energy costs, and in most cases, outperforms traditional investment mediums.

By purchasing your system, incentives and rebates will reduce the upfront costs significantly and give you a return on your investment.

But how does Leasing affect this return and the resale value of your home?

Solar Lease (PPA)

In a Power Purchase agreement, PPA, the homeowner does not own the panels and does not make payments on the solar system.

Instead, the PPA company installs, owns, and maintains the panels.

You are either charged a set rate for the electricity produced or pay only for the energy used, and the company gets the benefits of rebates, incentives, and tax breaks. Solar leases can last up to 20 to 25 years.

If you are leasing your solar system, the process of selling gets a bit complicated.

For sure you are buying the system in the long run, but if you sell before your lease is up, how does that affect the resell value and purchase of the house?

If you sell your home and have a PPA, there are two routes you can take.

If the buyer will take over the lease and enjoy the benefits of the PPA, it can still be attractive because the buyer will save a lot of money on electric bills.

If however, you wish to take the solar with you or the buyers do not want to assume the lease, what happens?

It will likely require that you pay off the contract at a pro-rated amount and pay the cost of having the panels removed from the roof, repair the roof for the new buyers, and have the panels installed on your new home if that is an option.

Installing Solar Panels?

There are no reliable studies on how leasing solar affects the value of your home.

In the future, that will be a consideration for reviews, but there is no data on it now.

Either way, you and the buyer will benefit from lowered energy costs.

So if you are wanting to install solar panels, but plan to sell your home in the future, you should find out all the terms for this process and make it part of the contract before you sign.

Of course, with solar panel prices getting lower and lower all the time it is becoming more affordable.

And with the addition of incentives, rebates, and tax breaks, purchasing is the better option to make sure you get the most value from your solar power system.

Semper Solaris can help you with this decision.

We have years of experience in the financing of Solar panels.

There are many solar financing options, and we can help you find the right fit whether purchasing or leasing.

Solar Saves You Money

Going solar will save you money, and you can reduce and even eliminate your electric bill.

Your solar system connects to the grid and unused power from your solar system is fed back into the grid giving you credits while saving your generated electricity for the times your solar is not producing energy.

Using solar power gives you a hedge against rising prices. And by producing your electricity and monitoring your usage, your energy bill will be more predictable and protect you from fluctuating energy prices.

If you have a PPA, then your electric bill is the same from month to month all year long.

Solar As an Investment

Whether you choose to buy or lease your solar system, you will reap the benefits of lower electric bills and save money.

By purchasing your system, the incentives and rebates will offset the upfront costs giving you a return on your investment.

In a few years, when your system is paid off, you will reap the benefits even more with tax deductions for depreciation.

And with the cost of electricity rising each year, a reduction in the cost of electricity can match or outperform traditional investment instruments.

Solar Increases Property Value

Investing in a solar system will increase the resell value of your home, and in most cases, the sale of the house will more than cover the total cost of installing the system.

Adding a solar system is considered an upgrade like other home renovations.

According to the Department of Energy, home buyers are willing to pay a premium and homes with solar tend to sell faster if they are energy efficient.

Going Solar Helps the Economy

Solar is among the fastest growing industries in both installation and manufacturing as more and more Americans are getting on board with Solar Power.

Innovation spurs economic growth, and Solar is at the forefront of bringing new ideas and new jobs to the U.S. economy.

Solar Advances Energy Independence

Solar power helps promote energy independence which protects from price fluctuations and dependence on foreign fuel sources – because sunlight is free.

Solar Helps the Environment

And most of all, Solar power helps protect the air by reducing the need to burn fossil fuels, the leading cause of pollution.

Solar produces no pollution and has a positive effect on reducing greenhouse gases.

They say that the elimination of carbon emissions from a residential solar power system is like planting around 100 trees per year.

So why not plant a few trees and have the satisfaction of knowing you are participating in the future of renewable energy while enjoying the financial benefits.

Semper Solaris offers the best in Solar products and installation.

We have various solar financing options available from buying to leasing and guarantee our work with a 25-year warranty.

If you are contemplating installing a solar power system in your home or business, we have the experience, credentials, and expertise to make going solar an easy option.

Call Semper Solaris for an appointment today and let us help you go solar.

How does Solar Energy Work?

The sun rises and shines down on your solar panels. Sunlight is made up of photons, tiny bursts of energy which emanate from the sun and hit the photovoltaic panels (solar panels).

Photovoltaic is the process of chemical conversion of light to electrical power.

And so, begins the progression of collecting the sunlight and converting it into electricity for your home.

It produces clean energy, has no moving parts and needs no fossil fuels for power.

Solar Panels

Solar panels are comprised of a system of various parts that work together to collect and transform the sun’s energy into electricity.

Many smaller units or photovoltaic cells are linked together with metal frames and wiring connecting throughout the panels.

The panels have a mounting system and are arranged at the best angle facing the sun to convert the power generated into Direct Current (DC).

The total cells per solar panel and the number of panels in a solar system is directly related to how much energy is created.

Solar Cells

Semiconductor material like silicon forms the small photovoltaic cells or modules. Although there are several types of semiconductor materials, silicon is the most common type used in making solar panels.

These are busily at work allowing particles of light (photons) to pass through the material causing the electrons to break free to begin the process of creating an electrical current.

Each cell needs to create an electrical field to generate a current. Each cell has both a positive and negative layer and works like a battery.

The electrical field forces the electrical current out of the cell, or semiconductor, into the metal contacts and wiring that connects the cells and the panels.

The current flows into the inverter where it converts the Direct Current (DC) into Alternating Current (AC) which is the current that runs throughout your home.

Solar Inverters

A solar inverter takes the DC from the solar panels and transforms it into AC. The inverter operates much like the Central Processing Unit, the brains, of a computer.

It not only inverts DC to AC, but the inverter also provide grounding protection, monitors the system, voltage, and current on the circuits, monitors the production of energy and Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) which is the maximum available power.

There are central inverters that optimize the entire solar system, and Micro-inverters which monitor each panel.

Inverters are tied into your home and usually to the grid through a meter.

The process of collecting and converting sunlight to electricity goes on throughout the day until nightfall, when the panels stop generating energy. The energy that was not used by the home during the day is funneled back into the grid, and that power is credited back to you.

In the evening, the network begins to deliver the unused credits in the form of electrical power back to the home to run the lights and television and other devices used at night.

Semper Solaris knows how solar works, we know how to find the best and most cost-effective options available with the highest quality products and installation.

We have various options for panels, for inverters, and should you want to be energy independent, we provide solar backup systems to store your unused energy for later use—saving even more money on your utilities.

Call us for an evaluation of your property and let us help you go solar.

Choose the Right Solar Financing Options

With the cost of solar going down, now is the time to cash in on low prices, incentives, and rebates which are available from the Federal and State and City governments.

These incentives paired with a solar loan are an attractive investment for homeowners and homeowners are cashing in.

The upfront costs of solar, should you choose to buy, will be eased by the tremendous savings, tax deductions, and added value to your home.

And if you decide to lease there is no upfront cost, a PPA is the way to lower your utility costs and regulate your monthly electric bill —saving money from the get-go.

You will benefit not only financially, but your community and the environment will reap the rewards.

Solar Loans

A solar loan is a good option for those wanting to purchase their system.

Solar loans are comparable to other home improvement loans but focused on energy efficiency projects.

They are offered at banks or solar panel manufacturers.

And, you can take advantage of the Tax Credits and available deductions as well as the incentives and rebates.

Things to Consider:

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Loans

Finance your solar energy installation with a PACE program.

A PACE loan is available to homeowners through an authorized PACE provider.

PACE financing is attached to your property and paid through the annual property tax bill.

The tax rate determines the interest rate, and if you sell your home before you pay off the loan, the balance transfers to the buyer.

Home Energy Renovation Opportunity (HERO Program)

The HERO program is a residential Property Assessed Clean Energy PACE program offered by Renovate America, a home renovation lender.

HERO financing is for home improvements and solar and energy efficiency residential projects.

Fannie Mae Homestyle Energy Loan

With a Fannie Mae Homestyle Energy loan, you can finance your solar installation.

They offer affordable and flexible options to homeowners for energy efficiency and disaster preparedness improvements.

Solar Lease

Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)

A solar lease comes with a power purchase agreement PPA which offers all the benefits of using a solar panel system without having the upfront cost of purchasing it.

The PPA provider installs solar panels on your property, and you pay them a below market rate for the electricity for a set term, usually 20 years.

The provider owns, maintains the system, an in return, receives the rebates, incentives and Tax Credits for the installation.

Things to Consider:

Whether you lease or buy your solar system, it is a smart idea to reduce your home’s energy expenses while reducing your carbon footprint.

Semper Solaris offers a variety of financing options.

We are experienced with all of them and can help you navigate the incentives and rebates to get the best financing package possible.

You will enjoy the benefits of low-cost financing for your system and reap the rewards of going solar.

Call us for an evaluation of your property and to discuss all the financing options available and go solar.

Choose the Right Solar Company

So, you have decided to join the trend of going solar.

What next?

Investing in Solar is an important decision and a long-term investment.

The most critical step in making this big decision is to find the right solar company.

Your installer should be experienced and have a good reputation for top quality work and the very best solar panels available.

Going solar is a complicated process, and there are many things to consider when choosing a solar provider:

Many situations can arise during the process of installing a solar system.

Your installer must be very thorough in assessing your home’s readiness for solar.

For instance, if your roof is too weak for the system, your roof could collapse under the weight of the panels.

The company you choose should be expert in roof repair and construction.
Here are the most important qualities to look for when selecting a company to install your solar system.

You can Google to find solar companies in California and see which companies are a good fit.

You should have a list of more than one company and get quotes from each one.

Reputation & Reviews

Check companies in your state local areas and make your list based on the reputation of the companies:

Credentials & Expertise

It is essential to know the experience of a company, and whether they have the proper certifications and licenses.

You should be able to find these out on their website.

Things to Ask Your Solar Company:

Proper Solar Company Certifications:

Quality Products & Solar Installations:

The top companies offer a variety of the most popular and reliable solar panels and equipment using the latest technology.

They offer warranties on products and their expert installation.

And they only use the sturdiest brackets and reinforcement systems available.

Attentive and Helpful Service

The relationship between you and your solar company should be built on trust.

They should accurately represent costs as well as projected savings on electricity and have a track record of happy customers.

Look for companies that have a reputation for exemplary customer service.

Semper Solaris’ core values like trust, loyalty and high-quality service.

We will steer you through the process answering all your questions and addressing all the problems that arise promptly.

We do have a track record of happy customers.

Call us today to schedule an evaluation of your home.

There has never been a better time to go solar!

Play the Safe Bet: Always Choose American Made Solar Panels

If you are thinking about going solar and want to begin the process, how do you choose the best solar panels when you finally decide to go solar?

There are numerous available options for solar panels on the market today, and the choices seem daunting.

But you can narrow down your options and choose the most efficient, reliable panels made.

An excellent place to start is by looking at the most popular and reliable brands used by the top Solar installers.

Solar panels today are made in manufacturing plants all over the world. China has been leading the way in sheer volume of panels manufactured and sold worldwide.

But the unfair competition from China and their illegal practices has resulted in a tariff on Chinese solar panels, paving the way for North American Solar manufacturers to once again dominate the market here in America.

The most reputable Solar Companies use American made solar panels which have proven to be the most reliable and efficient, and are the superior option in quality, price, and economics.

Quality & Economy

American manufacturers adhere to the highest standards of quality and offer top-quality panels to their customers.

Semper Solaris chooses premium panels for both quality and economy.

Panasonic is on the cutting edge of innovation and one of the most popular brands on the market.

We offer Silfab, a lower cost panel and according to energy sage, Silfab is a high-efficiency panel with the most value matching higher priced models on the market.

Benefits America

Solar is the fastest growing energy source, and there are huge benefits from American solar-panel manufacturing.

Since the tariff on foreign-made panels has taken effect, American Solar manufacturing is reestablishing their standing in the field of solar technology.

Jobs in the solar manufacturing sector are on the rise as well as transportation, engineering and goes so far as to affect education, taxes and other government policies including clean energy practices.

The move towards a renewable energy economy will allow for energy independence as we break free from the price controls of the utility companies.

American Made Solar Panels

America is the pioneer of solar energy.

Solar panels manufactured in America benefit from American innovation.

They provide more choices, not only in quality and price but promote a renewable energy economy as we move away from fossil fuels.

Why Buy American Made Solar Panels?

At Semper Solaris, we use the very best products made in America and choose leaders in the manufacture of solar panels that comply with our standards.

We are leading the way in promoting solar products made in America.

You can count on our top-notch service and the highest quality products made in America.

Call us today and schedule an evaluation of your home for a solar power installation and Go Solar American Style!

Understand the Solar Installation Process

If you are considering going solar.

It is essential to understand the process from beginning to end.

There are many aspects to the process, and you need an installer has experience in every facet, so the project does not get bogged down.

You will first decide upon a reputable provider that meets your needs, and they will do an initial inspection of your site.

They will take measurements and discuss the options with you, including how much you will save on your utility bill, the available rebates, incentives, and financing options.

Site Assessment

After the initial signing of your solar contract lease or loan, you will begin the first phase of your installation which is the assessment by an engineer or technician to evaluate your home for the installation.

This visit is more in-depth than the initial evaluation to begin the process.

Evaluation

Paperwork & Documents

Your installer will handle most of the paperwork and the permitting of your solar power and will only have you sign on the dotted line.

There is much work to be done, and the paperwork lays the groundwork so that all the bases are covered before the installation process begins.

Solar System Equipment

After the paperwork and permits, it is time to choose the equipment and design the solar system for your home.

Your Solar provider will help you select the best equipment and components for your situation.  

But it is a good idea to have something in mind before you discuss final plans.

Once the equipment is on order, the date of installation will be scheduled according to your installers availability.

Installation of Solar Components

The permits have approval.

The equipment arrives.

And now it is time to install your solar.  

It will take around two or three days to complete depending on the design and preparation of the roof.

Final Approval & Connecting to the Grid

Once your inverter is installed, and the DC is converted to AC it is time to connect to the electric grid.   

The city planning and electric company will come to inspect your solar installation:

Once these have approval,  it is time to be connected to the grid and with a flip of a switch—you are now generating clean, renewable energy and the savings begin.

At Semper Solaris, we are experienced and experts at Solar Panel installations from the planning to permitting to the moment you go solar; we will be there every step of the way to see that your Solar is installed correctly and in the shortest amount of time possible.

Give us a call today,  schedule your first appointment, and get ready to go solar!

Understand the Solar Permitting Process

After you have signed your contract for your solar with your provider and done the necessary paperwork including financing and all applicable incentives and rebates, you will have an initial inspection of your site followed by site assessment.

Any significant structural changes to your home require permission from your local government planning office.

The permitting is critical to ensure your installer is meeting all applicable building codes.

If they don’t, then you must start all over again.

Permits

Your installer will file the various applications for permits.

The permitting process can take 30 to 90 days depending on your location.

Permitting involves the city and county governments, and it is dependent on how fast they approve.

Some cities are stricter than others.

Your installer should be experienced in this process and will take it from here handling the applications for permits and follow through to final approval.

You will only need to sign the paperwork.

Building Codes

The permitting process for solar involves several parts of the Californian Building Code Title 24:

As you can see, there are many rules and regulations involved in the permitting process.

It can get very complicated and sometimes drag the process out.

The good news is, In California, the Solar Permitting Efficiency Act (Assembly Bill 2188), passed in 2014, made it a requirement that all local governments adopt ordinances that expedite the permitting process for small residential solar systems.

Other states have also implemented expedited permitting processes for Solar Systems.

Your experienced installer will know how to advance the process so that they can install your rooftop solar within the earliest possible timeframe.

Application Review

The local permitting agency must review permit applications to ensure compliance with state and local requirements.

After you have gone through the necessary permitting approval of your system design and it meets all the required building codes, it is time to order the equipment and set a date for installation.

The installation will take a few days.

And once the installation is complete, you have one more hurdle in the permit approval process.

Final Inspection & Approval

The city government inspector will check the installation to be sure the wiring was done correctly and that the mounting is attached, and the system meets all electrical and roof and building codes.

Following that, your electric company will do a final inspection. It will take approximately two weeks to a month for final approval before your system is given the green light to connect to the electric grid.

The system will be connected, and it is time to flip the switch. Your solar system connects to the grid, and your solar panels will begin generating power and saving you money.

Semper Solari’s technicians are knowledgeable and proficient in installing solar from the initial site inspection through the final approval of your system going live.

We handle all the paperwork and permits and are there with you every step of the way. Call us today for a free evaluation and consultation.

We will help you on the road to going solar.

Monitoring Your System: How to Keep Track of Your Energy Production

If you plan to install a rooftop solar system in your home, you already know you will save money.

But how do you see the amount of power your panels are generating or how much money you are saving?

Photovoltaic cells in the solar panels transform sunlight into energy and energy into direct current (DC).

The inverter is connected to your homes electrical system and converts DC to AC for use in your home.

You can increase the productivity of your solar panels by monitoring your system to achieve peak solar power efficiency.

You can take advantage of products and services to get the most benefit out of your system.

Net Metering

Most solar systems connect to the grid through Net metering or net energy metering.

A net meter replaces your regular electric meter on your house and is connected to the power from your solar system and the grid.

Net metering monitors your solar power generation and usage and keeps track of energy that is routed back into the network grid and stored there.

What you don’t use is credited back to you to be used when your panels are not producing electricity, like at night or on very cloudy days.

It is possible to build up enough extra credits during the summer months so that you can use them in the winter.

If you generate enough electricity from your panels, you can eliminate your electric bill.

Web Monitoring

Solar monitoring software for your system works through the solar inverter to monitor your solar system’s performance in real time.

Your solar system will come with built-in software for this purpose.

It will track the energy generated and energy use.

It will help you optimize energy usage and detect problems in your system.

t is essential to monitor your system, so you are sure it is operating at optimal levels.

The information gathered by the software is sent to your installer through a cloud-based system with a website where you can view your system statistics.

Web monitoring works with computers, mobile apps, and smart home devices.

You can access the data from your mobile devices without connecting to your Wi-Fi.

Semper Solaris’s solar panels are installed with a state-of-the-art monitoring system which allows you to keep track of your solar energy production.

Our monitoring support specialist will help you access your system through your home computer, a mobile app, or device.

You can log on any time to view your system’s performance. There is no better time to go solar, call us today for an evaluation of your home and join the solar revolution.

Maximize Your Investment: Why Using a Contractor for both Your Solar and Your Roof is a Smart Idea

Now is time to go solar.  

The cost-benefit concerning savings on electricity is enough to justify the expense of installing a solar system on your roof.  

Add to that the value it adds to your homes resale value.

The government incentives and tax rebates alone are enough to bring the price in range for homeowners.

In a few years, the system will be paid off while you continue to profit from the reduced power bills.

Solar & Roofing

The most important consideration when installing solar on your roof concerning durability and the life of your solar system is the condition of the roof.

It is essential to have your roof assessed for the ability to handle the weight of the solar panels.

But maybe it would be better to maximize your investment and start fresh with a new roof combined with your new solar panels.

Unless your roof is relatively new, it is likely your roof will need repairs or will degrade faster than your solar panels.

Why not consider starting with a new roof and a new solar system and maximize your investment?

If you replace your roof when you install solar panels, you will save money by avoiding the expense of removing and reinstalling your solar panels should you need to replace your roof in the future.

Roof Repair vs. Replacement

If you do have problems with your roof needing repair or replacement, there are labor costs involved in taking the panels off and putting them back on.

If your hardware also must be removed, the cost will be a few thousand dollars higher than just the roof repair and panel removal.

If you combine a new roof with a new solar installation, it is unlikely you will need to replace your roof for life of your panels.

Panels last from 30 to 35 years and are much more durable than roofing material, and they will protect your roof from degradation.

A solar power installation will save you thousands upon thousands of dollars throughout the life of the system.

So, the added cost of reroofing is well worth it in the long run and is better than taking a chance that there will be problems with your roof later.

The Right Solar Company

Few solar companies offer roofing services.

Choosing a solar company that is also an expert in the repair and construction of roofs, is a very safe bet.

At Semper Solaris, we have built our reputation on the construction of roofs along with our solar installations.

We offer warranties on roofing and solar as well as great discounts when you install a new roof along with your solar panels.

If you need roof replacement anyway, consider installing solar along with the new roof.

It is a wise investment to make, and the financial benefit is enormous for both savings and value added to your home.

If you already plan on installing solar on your rooftop, consider starting with a clean slate by also installing a brand-new roof.

Call us today, and we can evaluate your home for a new roof and solar system.

Go solar with Semper Solaris.

Capitalize on Your Solar Investment – Battery Storage and How You Can Make Money with Solar

If you have or are contemplating installing a solar system on your rooftop, why not capitalize on your investment?

Maximize your savings with solar battery storage.

You can profit from your solar installation from savings on your electricity. A penny saved is a penny earned.

And battery storage can give you that extra penny or two.

Profit from Solar

With the cost of electricity rising, investing in solar makes sense.

And you can create a profit scheme from using solar energy.

Generating your power is a hedge against the rising and fluctuating energy costs.

You can capitalize on the savings on utility bills and solar rebates and incentives, as well as the increased value of your home.

The lowered cost of electricity through net metering is essentially selling excess power generated from solar, back to the grid.

It comes back to you as credits in the form of electricity when your solar is not producing electricity.

By selling your power back to the network, you are receiving credits toward your electric bill as good as cash.

Maximize Profit with Backup Battery

Adding a backup battery to your solar system will enable you to store extra power for your use, get a financial return, or be prepared for emergencies when the grid goes down.

If your electric company charges high demand rates, or you have Time of Use (TOU) rate structures with high peak and off-peak rates, you can use your stored power to control costs.

Electricity rates are lower during the daytime, and solar panels are producing the most energy.

You can save energy in your batteries for use during high demand or peak hours and avoid the higher rates during that time.

Or, you can use the power from your battery during off-peak hours and generate surplus energy to sell back to the grid during on-peak hours.

You will save money and create an income by adjusting to changing rates.

Some companies, like LADWP, have tiered rates designed to push your rate higher according to how much power used during your billing period.

Depending on your power usage, and for heavy use days, you could feasibly use enough of your solar power to give you a deficit which would force you into a higher tier.

With battery storage, you can monitor your energy and save your solar power to the battery to use on high use days or for overages and avoid all or most of the extra cost of higher tiered rates.

Make a Move Towards Energy Independence

If you are considering a solar system but have not yet made a move to go solar, Semper Solaris can help you make your decision with accurate and helpful guidance from our representative.

Whether you have a system already or are planning to, Semper Solaris can install an LG Chem or Tesla Powerwall backup battery so that you have surplus power when you need it.

You can use the extra energy to generate a profit from your solar power system or go off the grid.

Call us today and let us help you maximize your solar investment for a financial return and move towards energy independence.

Protect Your Solar System

Solar panels are made of tempered glass and are designed to tolerate extreme temperatures, weather, and other outside factors.

They are tested to handle falling debris, hail storms, and very high winds.

But many other factors can cause damage to your solar system, and you have no further to look than your backyard.

It is essential to safeguard your investment to avoid damage, loss of efficiency, and even theft.

If you have installed Solar Panels on your roof, you will be saving a lot of money on your power bill.

And although solar panels are reliable requiring little support, you can preserve and protect the life of your solar panels through regular inspection, maintenance, and cleaning.

Solar Maintenance

It is good to get a regular comprehensive examination of your panel system to see that it is performing at its optimal efficiency and that it is safe, with no issues to the electrical system and components.

Inspection is especially critical if your solar system is a few years old.

Comprehensive maintenance for your system should include:

Solar Cleaning

Conserve Solar Power

Protect Solar Panels

At Semper Solaris, we are committed to top-notch solar energy installation, maintenance, and service to our customers.

We offer a full system diagnostic with an inspection, tune-up and maintenance services for your solar system.

If your system is older or you have any issues with your solar system, Semper Solaris is a company you can trust.

Our solar experts can diagnose and fix any solar system problems you may have from the panels to the electrical system to the roof.

If there is a problem—we can fix it–give us a call.

Understand the Value Solar Panels Add to Your Home

Solar Panels Increase Property Value

If you are contemplating or have decided to go solar and have a solar system installed on your rooftop, you will save money on electricity.

And the benefits are not only financial you will reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to the efforts to move away from carbon-based fuels and towards renewable energy.

But how does adding solar to your rooftop affect your bottom line over time?

The research is in, and study after study confirms that purchasing a solar power system for your rooftop will increase the value of your home.

And the total cost of the system is offset by the rise in the home’s resale value even before taking into consideration the incentives and tax rebates.

Purchasing Your Solar System

Adding a solar system is considered an upgrade like any other home renovation only the return is much higher for solar than for a kitchen or bathroom.

According to the Department of Energy, home buyers are willing to pay a premium for homes with solar and homes tend to sell as much as 20 percent faster than homes without.

And beyond that, the reduction in energy costs continue to produce excellent returns on the investment, saving thousands of dollars for many more years.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory Study shows that property value goes up about 20 dollars for each $1 in savings from a rooftop solar installation.

Buyers are paying more to enjoy savings on their utility bills, which makes a mortgage payment more affordable.

According to the Lawrence Berkely Lab’s study, the rise in property value is approximately four dollars per watt on average.

A 5 kW system or 5,000 Watts will fetch around 20,000 in increased resell value. So one kilowatt (kW) equals 1,000 watts times 4 giving a $4,000 increase in resell value.

Here is the calculation for a 3.1 kW system:

3.1 kW system – 3.1 X 1,000 = 3,100 watts X 4 = $12,400 increase in resale value.

Smaller systems increase the value of even more per watt than larger systems.

Homebuyers consider any size solar installation to be an asset.

According to studies, this is called the “green cachet” effect where homebuyers are willing to pay more to have solar.

Solar is beneficial for homeowners and homebuyers alike.

It is clear that going solar is a smart investment that gives you a hedge against rising energy costs, and in most cases, outperforms traditional investment mediums.

By purchasing your system, incentives and rebates will reduce the upfront costs significantly and give you a return on your investment.

But how does Leasing affect this return and the resale value of your home?

Solar Lease (PPA)

In a Power Purchase agreement, PPA, the homeowner does not own the panels and does not make payments on the solar system.

Instead, the PPA company installs, owns, and maintains the panels.

You are either charged a set rate for the electricity produced or pay only for the energy used, and the company gets the benefits of rebates, incentives, and tax breaks. Solar leases can last up to 20 to 25 years.

If you are leasing your solar system, the process of selling gets a bit complicated.

For sure you are buying the system in the long run, but if you sell before your lease is up, how does that affect the resell value and purchase of the house?

If you sell your home and have a PPA, there are two routes you can take.

If the buyer will take over the lease and enjoy the benefits of the PPA, it can still be attractive because the buyer will save a lot of money on electric bills.

If however, you wish to take the solar with you or the buyers do not want to assume the lease, what happens?

It will likely require that you pay off the contract at a pro-rated amount and pay the cost of having the panels removed from the roof, repair the roof for the new buyers, and have the panels installed on your new home if that is an option.

Installing Solar Panels?

There are no reliable studies on how leasing solar affects the value of your home.

In the future, that will be a consideration for reviews, but there is no data on it now.

Either way, you and the buyer will benefit from lowered energy costs.

So if you are wanting to install solar panels, but plan to sell your home in the future, you should find out all the terms for this process and make it part of the contract before you sign.

Of course, with solar panel prices getting lower and lower all the time it is becoming more affordable.

And with the addition of incentives, rebates, and tax breaks, purchasing is the better option to make sure you get the most value from your solar power system.

Semper Solaris can help you with this decision.

We have years of experience in the financing of Solar panels.

There are many solar financing options, and we can help you find the right fit whether purchasing or leasing.

Schedule an appointment for an assessment, and we can help you choose the best course of action for going solar.

As solar technology continues to improve and sustainable energy options become more and more accessible, homeowners across California and the U.S. are beginning to line up to switch to solar. The great news about going solar in San Diego? Homeowners don’t also have to have the savings to cover all the upfront expenses of installing a solar panel system. That means all the benefits of switching to solar are available without the initial heavy financial burden.

For homeowners that don’t want to purchase their solar panels and system from day one, there are two main alternatives: solar leases and solar PPA agreements. Under a solar PPA, a homeowner purchases the electricity produced by the solar panels installed on their home (still owned by the solar company) at an agreed upon rate. They basically only get the immediate benefits of more affordable and sustainable energy.

While PPA agreements can be attractive to some, others may prefer more flexibility that general leases offer. Under a solar lease, the homeowner still doesn’t own the solar panels or other equipment installed on their home, however, they still have the same net metering process as solar owners would. Generally speaking, the monthly savings homeowners get on their electricity bill will exceed the monthly lease payment, resulting in instant savings. Over the lifetime of a system, a homeowner can see as much as 70% savings on their electricity expenses.

What’s the Best Leasing Option for Your Home?

When it comes to going solar, you have to make sure you settle on the right lease agreement. So what are your options?

Here are some of the most common solar lease agreements:

Make the Right Solar Choice

With so many options for going solar, it can be overwhelming to make decisions on everything from type of solar arrays to financial agreements. That’s why Semper Solaris is here to provide the guidance and insight you need on solar financing. Over the years, our San Diego solar company has installed thousands of residential solar projects. Time and time again, we’ve helped homeowners select the right solar agreement for their financial situation. When you work with our team, we’ll review your budget and preferences and help you select the best solar leasing option.

Interested in learning more? Give Semper Solaris a call anytime to get connected with a solar expert!

You’ve been working hard and acing life all year (extra credit if you have or are planning to install solar panels). As the holidays approach, you are well deserving of the greatest gift of all. A road trip! Cruising across America with your family or your best buds is an excellent way to escape the grind of everyday life, recharge your soul, and see some of the country’s best-hidden gems. Of course, leaving the rat race behind doesn’t mean you want to give up all of life’s modern conveniences. Besides recharging your soul, you also need to recharge your phone.

Thanks to modern technology, you don’t have to lug a huge, expensive, and polluting gas generator with you to your pristine campground. Today’s solar technology is showing up in all sorts of amazing and useful camping and road tripping gear. As you begin to plan for your next epic road trip, let’s look at ten useful, solar-powered gadget that can work anywhere that the sun shines.

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1. Solar-Powered Charger

Getting away from it all is overrated. Instead, get away from most of life’s troubles and frustrations and keep the good stuff, like listening to your favorite podcasts on your phone, reading great books on your Kindle, or actually calling your mom. (You know it’s been too long!) To do this, you’re going to need a fully charged phone, and while you’re at it, let’s keep your Fitbit alive too, so it can congratulate you on the super long hike you’re planning during your trip.

To keep your favorite and necessary gadgets going, pick up a handy solar-powered charger. There are plenty available on Amazon for under $50, including this one, this one, and this one. Stick it in the sun for a few hours, and then plug in your USB cord and start charging your smaller devices. Your mom can’t wait to hear from you!

2. Solar-Powered Lanterns

You aren’t about to go to bed just because the sun is setting. Bonfires are great, but they aren’t allowed everywhere, (especially in wildfire-prone California). Plus, you need focused light for reading or playing fun board games with your friends or family under the stars.

For these instances, use a solar-powered lantern. You might be surprised at how bright the most current solar-powered lanterns can be and how long they can last. For example, the MPOWEERD Luci inflatable lantern can last up to 24 hours on its lowest setting. This particular model offers four different light settings, including a flashing mode that can be used in an emergency to request help. Best of all, this model is currently less than $20 at REI. Take a look at REI’s entire stock of solar-powered lanterns.  

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3. Solar Backpacks

Are you planning to push yourself to the limits with some gnarly hikes during your road trip? Or maybe you prefer to spend all day getting lost in a new city. Either way, you can’t afford to have your phone (and especially your GPS or map app) conk out in unfamiliar territory. A solar backpack is the perfect solution. It charges while you walk around in the sun, and when it’s time for a snack break, plug in your phone or other devices to grab some extra juice.

This Lifepack solar-powered backpack currently selling for $159 on Amazon includes six smartphone chargers that can provide a full phone charge every four hours. It also comes with Bluetooth speakers that can play for a whopping 96 hours on a full charge. For the hiker on a budget, Amazon also offers this solar-powered backpack for less than $60, and this one for only $20.99.

4. Solar-Powered Emergency Radio

It’s always a good idea to plan for an emergency, especially if your road trip takes you to sparsely populated regions or places where cell phone coverage is spotty. If any major disaster strikes and you don’t have a phone signal, you’ll be glad to have a solar-powered emergency radio handy. This device can let you contact help, so you and your travel buddies can stay safe.

The C Crane CC Solar Observer emergency radio provides between four and six hours of radio play after eight hours of charging. If you need to use it in a hurry and don’t have enough of a charge, the included hand crank will let you charge it much more quickly to immediately request help. As a bonus, the included USB adapter lets you charge your smartphone. Not a bad buy for under $50.

5. Solar-Powered Speakers

You know what every great road trip needs? Music. Your car stereo will do the job while you’re on the road, but you don’t want to drain your battery during your stops, at night, or while camping. To keep the tunes coming, pick up solar-powered speakers. Today’s latest models are cost-effective and powerful. Most can keep the music playing all night long, or at least until campground quiet hours.

The Sol Jam stereo speaker by ECOXGEAR charges in just three hours of full sunlight and offers Bluetooth connectivity, so you can jam to all your favorite playlists. The speaker is also waterproof, so clip it to your kayak or sing in the rain. No one will stop the beat on your road trip.

6. Solar-Capable Fridge

One of the best parts of any road trip is the snacks, but if you want to bring any perishable foods or cook some tasty meals on the road, you’ll need a way to keep them cool so they don’t spoil. Unless you happen to be driving a camper with a convenient fridge installed, a cooler is probably your best option, but a standard cooler can only last so long without continual ice infusions.

Stepping up to fill this need is the ACOPOWER solar-compatible solar fridge. This baby includes a lithium battery that can be charged with a solar panel (or a generator), allowing it to keep food cold. It can even act as a freezer if you want to bring some tasty meats along on your trip. The two big downsides of this model are the cost, $599 on Amazon, and the fact that you have to buy the solar panel separately.  

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7. Solar-Powered Car Battery Charger

You do not want to find out the hard way that AAA doesn’t cover certain extremely out-of-the-way places in the country. If your battery ever dies, especially in the wilderness or on a lonely strip of highway in the middle of nowhere, you could be out of luck. (Which is another reason to have your solar-powered emergency radio handy).

To keep that from happening, consider bringing along a solar-powered car battery with you. This useful device can top off your battery to keep it strong during your whole trip. This can be useful if you need to keep your headlights on to light your campground, or if your battery is getting on in the years. The Sunway Solar Car Battery Charger is designed to keep your car battery topped off no matter where you go (as long as there’s sunshine). It can also power any 12V battery, including trucks, motorcycles, boats, snowmobiles and more. Best of all, it’s not very expensive, retailing for just $36.99 on Amazon. That’s a small price to pay for peace of mind.

8. Solar-Powered Water Purifier

If your road trip includes some major hiking, backpacking, or mountain biking deep into the wilderness, you’ll need to stay hydrated. That stream may look fresh and clear, but you can’t know if there’s some harmful bacteria waiting to ruin your trip!

The Puralytics SolarBag uses sunlight to decontaminate water without chemicals, pumping, or electricity. Best of all, it doesn’t require equipment replacements every few trips. Just fill up the bag, and then let the sun do the rest of the work. In a few hours, you’ll have three fresh and healthy liters of water to drink.

9. Solar-Powered Generator

If you need power on your road trip but would rather not have to deal with individual devices, consider investing in the Goal Zero Yeti 150 Portable Power Generator. This guy can power small devices, like your phone and e-reader, and also larger devices like your laptop if you need to handle a work emergency on the road.

The beauty of the Goal Zero is that it can charge using a solar panel (not included), or from a wall outlet or even your car battery in an emergency. A single charge of the generator can provide two laptop recharges, six tablet recharges, and 15 cell phone recharges. This really is a convenient gadget to take on any long haul, especially at the reasonable price of just $199.95.

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10. Solar Panels

Rather than purchase devices that include solar technology, you can cut out the middle step and purchase solar panels. These panels can charge your fridge or your generator or even the battery of your car. Many RV aficionados are installing solar panels on their vehicles so that they can dry dock or boondock wherever the spirit takes them.

Who says your road trip even requires a road? Boaters are also learning to love solar panels, which can allow them to charge their devices, keep the lights on, and keep the fridge humming without having to turn on their engine every hour or so.

If you want to have it all on your road trip, or if this “trip” could turn into a wanderlust lifestyle, consider installing a solar panel array on your vehicle of choice.

At Semper Solaris, we don’t sell solar backpacks or cell phone chargers, but we can help you install high powered solar panels onto your RV or boat so that you can stay charged throughout your trip. If you live in California, or if your journey will take you to the Golden State, give us a call to schedule a solar consultation. We are your California solar energy solution.

Here’s wishing you plenty of happiness, adventures, and sunshine on the road!

Are you finally ready to get solar panels for your home? What an awesome decision! Top solar panels will help you slash your expensive energy bill and even help you do your part to protect this green-and-blue marble we call home. There’s just one teeny tiny speedbump on the road to glorious sunshine power.

Your roof.

Many homeowners eagerly start the process of solar installation only to discover that a roofing problem stops the project in its tracks. Don’t let roofing issues surprise you or your wallet! If your roof is damaged, aging, or simply not strong enough to bear the burden of your new solar system, then you’ve got to deal with that problem before you can go solar!

Why Your Roof Is the Secret Key to Your Solar Panel Installation

When you begin to research solar panels for your home, you will learn about all the different brands of solar panels available, as well as other important components of a photovoltaic system, like the inverter and the racking that holds the panels in place. Rarely is your home’s roof mentioned. That’s a shame, because your roof is a key component of your solar panel system.

Your solar panels need to go somewhere, and while some homeowners choose to install their solar panels on the ground or even on carports, the majority of solar panels are installed on the roof. That means a roof must be sturdy enough to handle the solar panels.

What you may not realize is that your roof is more than just a collection of tiles or shingles attached to the top of your home. A roof is actually a complex system made up of multiple layers that all work together to insulate your home and keep the elements out!

A standard roof is comprised of:

If any component of these layers is damaged, it can weaken the entire structure of your roof and make it a bad idea to install solar panels. How do you know if your roof is damaged? Usually your roof will tell you!

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How to Identify Roof Damage

You wouldn’t trust a chain with a weak link, right? That’s the same reason you shouldn’t install solar panels on a damaged roof. The most common types of roof damage are:

Not all roof damage is easily visible and identifiable, but it will eventually make itself noticed. The most telling symptom of a damaged roof is water damage to your home. You may notice water stains on your ceiling, interior walls, or exterior walls. This may turn into ugly mold or even result in active leaks during heavy rainstorms.

If you notice any of these things, there’s a strong chance that your roof needs to be repaired or replaced before you even think of adding top solar panels.

Why Your Roof’s Age Matters

If you don’t see any water damage on your ceilings or get a free indoor shower every time it rains, does that mean your roof is fit and ready to handle solar panel installation? Not necessarily. One other factor you need to take into consideration is the age of your roof.

That’s right, your roof can get old and fragile, just like us humans. The lifespan of your roof will depend on a number of factors, including:

Many roofs in California use clay tiles, which have a particularly long lifespan of nearly 50 years. Slate and copper roofs can last roughly the same amount of time. Wood shake roofs (which are more popular in the Northeast) have about a 30-year lifespan, while cement shingles tend to retire around 20 years. If you live in a particularly harsh environment, or if you’ve never resealed your roof or fixed noticeable damage, your roof’s lifespan may be cut short.

What does it mean if your roof is nearing the end of its life, and how does that affect your goal of installing solar panels for your home?  

As the components of your roof wear out, tiles can be more vulnerable to cracking and the underlayment may easily tear. An old roof will not hold up well to drilling into tiles to install racking or carrying heavy solar panels. In fact, many older roofs were simply not built to handle the weight of solar panels.

Before you call up a solar installation team to give you a price quote on solar panels, figure out the age of your roof. Many of us haven’t lived in our homes for 30 or 50 years, so finding this information can be difficult. Look through your home’s paperwork to see if a roof replacement is mentioned in the disclosures or contact the previous owner if you have their information. If your home is less than 30 years old, chances are that the original roof is still in place.

If your roof is at or nearing the end of its lifespan, you will likely have to replace it before you can safely install solar panels.

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Why It Makes Sense to Repair or Replace Your Roof Before Getting Solar Panels for Your Home

Let’s be honest. Repairing and especially replacing your roof is not an inexpensive prospect. If you were already planning to pony up a big chunk of money to install solar panels, the last thing you want to do is spend MORE money on your roof before getting your solar panels.

As hard as it is to swallow, however, repairing or replacing your roof may be the right thing to do, even if it delays your solar panel installation. Think about it this way – you would never build a home on a foundation of sand, right? Your roof acts as the foundation for your solar panels. The stronger and better the roof, the longer your solar panels can do their job.

If you try to cut corners and install solar panels on a damaged or aging roof, then you’re going to have to address those problems anyway in the future. Imagine how much more expensive it will be to have to call your solar installation company to take down your solar panels and then re-install them on your new roof. You’ll have to pay for the roof repair or replacement anyway, but doing it before installing solar panels on your home will save you lots of money and lots of headaches.

Here’s another thing to keep in mind. Your roof plays a big role in insulating your home. One of the reasons you may always have to crank up the heat in the winter and the air conditioning in the summer is because your roof isn’t able to trap that heat or air conditioning. A new roof will make your home more energy efficient, which may decrease the size (and price) of the solar panel system you need to power your home.

Here’s one more thing to consider. A new roof will increase the curb appeal of your home and increase its value, so some of that money you spent on fixing or replacing it will come right back to you when you sell.

Why You Should Choose a Company That Provides Roof Replacements and Solar Installation

You started this article just wanting to get solar panels for your home, and now you might to replace your roof too! That means you have to search out roofing companies in your area, schedule consultations, sign a contract, bring that team out… and then do it all over again for your solar installation contractor!

Yikes, that’s a lot of work!

It doesn’t have to be. Some solar installation companies also offer roof replacement services, including Semper Solaris. There are many reasons to work with just one company for your roofing and solar needs. First, you’ll save a lot of effort. It’s much easier to work with a single project coordinator than to research, assess, and hire two separate companies. Next, you’ll save time. It can take weeks to get on a contractor’s schedule. By combining projects, it will all be done be done together.

Probably the biggest benefit of working with a single company for roofing and solar is that you can enjoy significant cost savings. At Semper Solaris, combining a roof replacement with solar installation allows us to be as efficient as possible. We are happy to pass those cost savings back onto our customers. We can even offer you financing options to make your roof replacement and solar panel installation more affordable.

Sometimes getting solar panels for your home means repairing or replacing your roof first. With Semper Solaris, we can take on your full project and get solar panels on your new, sturdy roof before you know it. Contact us today to schedule a roof and solar consultation.  

 

Do you dream of finally cutting the chord with your power company and living in peace and harmony with nature? Going off the grid – that is, living without an electrical, water, or sewage connection – is not for the faint of heart, but it is possible. More and more people in California are showing interest in an off-grid lifestyle for a variety of reasons.

How does one actually live off the grid, and how can solar panels in California play a role in that transition? More importantly, is it possible to still live a comfortable and fulfilling life without a convenient hookup to the public grid?

In this article, we’ll take a quick look at how California residents can generate and store their own power, collect water, and even take care of bathroom necessities in a fully sustainable and self-sufficient way.

Why Pull the Plug in the First Place?

We live in a world of abundant convenience. Turn on a tap at the kitchen sink and water magically flows out. Flip on a light switch, and light instantly brightens a room. Modern conveniences are so… well, convenient. Why would anyone want to unplug from the systems that bring these resources to our home without thought or effort?

There are a variety of reasons why more and more people are interested in going off the grid. Some of the most popular are:

Solar-panels-in-California-environmental-sustainability

Environmental Sustainability

Climate change is here, and unless we humans drastically change our tune and our activities, we are in for bigger and badder natural disasters and the humanitarian suffering they cause. One of the most powerful drivers in the off-grid movement is a commitment to living a more sustainable lifestyle that relies on natural resources (like the sun) rather than fossil fuels to create energy. Many off-gridders are hyper-focused on lowering their carbon footprint and also embrace a low consumerism lifestyle.

Financial Savings

While dropping the monthly energy bill and water bill isn’t usually the primary reason people decide to go off the grid, it can be a nice side benefit. It may also fit with a larger ambition to live a big life on a small budget, which may prompt California residents to change where and how they live.

No Existing Hookups

California has some of the highest housing costs in the entire country, which can make it difficult for anyone on a fixed budget or without a snazzy job to find a comfortable home. In response, some Californians are moving out of the big (and expensive) cities and buying up land in rural areas of the state. Others are bunking down in tiny homes or even living in RVs, converted warehouse containers, or other non-traditional homes. These adventurous housing options often don’t include existing hookups.

Desire for Self-Sufficiency

Whether spurred on by religious, political, or personal beliefs, some people simply desire to live a completely self-sufficient life without the assistance of any government operated systems. These folks want to know that in the event of a widespread disaster, they have the means to keep on, keepin’ on. (Hint: If the zombie apocalypse ever happens, these are good people to know!)

If one or more of these reasons hits at the heart of why you want to go off the grid, your next step is to learn what it will take to put this lifestyle into play. Here are the primary pieces you need:

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Solar Panels

Going off the grid doesn’t mean you have to revert back to the middle ages, writing with ink and quill over a flickering candle at night or keeping a herd of cattle in the yard, because refrigeration is no longer available to you. In fact, technology has come so far that you can actually power your entire home using the energy of the sun.

All you need are solar panels in California. In a nutshell, solar panels use the energy of the sun (in the form of photons) to generate electricity. This electricity is converted into the alternating current needed to power your appliances and charge your electronics. Ideally, your solar panel system should be able to power your refrigerator, heat your water, charge your cell phone, and keep your computer alive so you can blog all about your awesome new grid-less lifestyle.

In reality, things can be a little more difficult. You’ll need to work with an experienced solar team to calculate your average energy usage and then to determine the correct size for your solar panel system. Since you won’t have a connection to the public utility grid to act as a safety net, it may be a good idea to get a system slightly bigger than what you need. This could come in handy during the winter months when peak sunlight hours are in short supply or during stretches of cloudy weather.

Of course, living a life powered by solar panels means you’ll face one major challenge. What happens when the source of all your energy – the sun – checks out for the night? For that, you’ll need a solar storage battery.

Solar Storage Batteries

If you still want your refrigerator to work and your lights to turn on even when the moon is up, you’re going to need to store some of your excess energy from the daytime so that you can use it during the night. You are in luck. In just the past few years, solar batteries have become increasingly efficient even while their price has dramatically dropped.

Some companies are experimenting with lead acid and saltwater batteries, but lithium-ion batteries are still the most popular and widely used solar batteries available on the market. Before making your solar battery purchase, it’s a good idea to consult with a solar installation company that can help you understand the different battery brands on the market and work with you to decide how many batteries you will need to adequately power your home.

When comparing different solar batteries, you’ll want to look at factors like the battery’s overall capacity (how much electricity it can store), as well as its power (how much electricity it can provide over a given time). Most off-grid households will need to purchase multiple batteries, which can be “stacked” to increase power storage.

Powering your home with a combination of solar panels and solar batteries can provide you with all the energy your home needs to operate most of the time, but it is always a good idea to keep a gas-powered generator handy just in case you accidentally use more power than your panels can generate. You may also find that you need to make small adaptations to your life, like vacuuming during the sunny afternoon when your panels are generating plenty of power and holding off on doing the laundry at night when your battery stores are low.

Power is a big concern for those who can’t rely on the public energy grid, but what about the need for life-giving water? If you don’t have a water hookup, are you doomed to bottled water and sponge baths for the rest of your days?

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Rainwater Tanks

If you’ve lived in California for any time, then you already know that water is a precious and fickle resource. It can also be expensive. If you want to live completely off the grid, that means losing your access to limitless water as well.

Not to worry. The sky occasionally opens up and gives you loads of water, all for free. You just have to be savvy enough to catch it as efficiently as possible. Off-gridders use a variety of methods to “harvest” rainwater. The easiest and most cost-effective solution is to purchase a rain barrel and place it under your gutter downspout. Your roof will funnel the rainwater to the gutters, which will then send that H2O into the barrel.

The capacity of a rain barrel is limited, and in parched California, you don’t want to lose even a drop of rainwater to overspill. To increase your rain harvesting ability, you may want to consider purchasing a “dry” water harvesting system, which means investing in a larger water storage unit that can collect more water from each rainfall. For ultimate water harvesting, a “wet” system entails connecting multiple downspouts to pipes that are buried underground. These pipes fill a large tank that can be placed away from the home. The “wet” system is the most efficient, but also the most expensive to install.

Collecting rainwater is only step one in the rain harvesting system. You’ll also need to install a pressure tank, pressure pump, and filters and then hook the system up to the piping within your house. The filtering system is a must if you intend to use the water for potable purposes, including drinking, showering, and giving water to your pets. As long as you have enough water, this system will allow you to run your sink, take showers, and even flush your toilet.

One of the biggest challenges of depending on the sky for your water is that the rain isn’t always very accommodating. This is especially true in Central and Southern California where long droughts are becoming the norm thanks to climate change. If you live in these areas of California, be ready to cut back your water usage to the bare minimum. You may also want to look into installing a “greywater” system that utilizes “used” or “grey” water from the sink and shower for non-potable uses, like washing clothes and watering the lawn.

Even this may not be enough, and you should be prepared to purchase water to refill your water storage system during the long, dry months of summer.

To Flush or Not to Flush? Composting Toilets

Going off the grid can be an extremely rewarding lifestyle, but it also requires some sacrifices. One big question to answer is how to get rid of number one and number two if you don’t have a sewage hookup to take care of that unpleasant chore. Depending on your situation, you may be blessed with a waste storage system that can be emptied by a hired waste removal service. If not, then a remaining option is the composting toilet.

Several different models of composting toilets exist, but they all use the natural processes of evaporation and decomposition to recycle waste. Most incorporate the same methods of a garden composter, relying on oxygen, moisture, heat, and aerobic bacteria to turn your organic matter into fertilizing soil. We wouldn’t suggest putting the results on your vegetable garden, but if done right, you should be able to give the local trees some nice new fertilizer.

Your Off-the-Grid Journey Starts with Solar Panels in California

We never said that going off the grid would be easy, but it can be incredibly rewarding, especially if you care deeply about living a sustainable and self-sufficient lifestyle. One of the first big steps to take is to reach out to a local solar installation company to discuss your energy needs.

At Semper Solaris, we offer both solar system installation and solar battery installation. We can help you determine how much energy you need and recommend solar panels in California and solar battery system to meet your needs and keep you powered. With locations throughout California, we have local experts ready to help you get rid of your energy bills forever.

Contact us today to schedule a no-cost, no-pressure solar consultation.

 

The decision to go solar is a big one. Even though you’re nearly certain to reap a financial return on your leap of faith, it’s no small investment to turn your home into a self-sustaining green energy machine. What’s more, with so many companies getting into the clean energy market, you may have more options for providers than you know what to do with. When it comes to solar panels in San Diego, cost can vary depending on a number of factors.

Do you know what to look for in a good solar panel installer? Cost isn’t the only consideration, but we understand that affordability is probably at the top of your priority list. There’s more to cost evaluations than the purchase price of a solar panel. You can benefit from breaking down other associated costs to make sure your solar provider is giving you the most value for your investment. Here are some things to look for when you’re running a comprehensive comparison of San Diego solar providers.

Evaluate the Efficiency of the Panels Providers Use

How efficient are the panels proposed by your solar provider? If your provider uses less efficient panels, you are likely to end up needing more panels. More panels could increase the installation time, labor costs, and burden to your roof. In other words, while the panels may be cheaper individually the overall cost could increase.

As you compare the costs of getting solar panels installed on your home, consider that more efficient panels cost a bit more up front. But they pay off big, too. These panels will take up less room on your roof, have a more reliable power yield, and boast excellent degradation rates. The providers who offer the best, most efficient panels are often delivering a better value in the long term.

How long will you be in the home? If you want to personally take advantage of lower utility costs for years, going for more efficient models at the point of installation is a wise decision. The long-run value created by high-efficiency solar panels can include selling excess energy back to the grid, lower home utility costs, and may even improve the value of your home more than less efficient models.

Ask About Inverter Costs

Solar panels capture solar energy as something called a direct current (DC). Your home, however, runs most of its electronics and appliances on power called alternating current (AC). Inverters are the magic device that translates the power from DC to AC so you can use it. The type and subsequent cost of your inverter will depend largely on two things: the needs of your solar system and the preferences of your solar provider.

Solar inverters fall into three categories: string, micro, or power optimizer inverters. String inverters connect all of your panels to the same inverter and are typically the cheapest option. Micro-inverters have a separate small inverter on each individual panel, and power optimizers are a hybrid of string and micro-inverters. If you notice your inverter costs are high with one provider, ask which type they’re using. The difference in inverter costs between providers is likely that one is recommending a centralized inverter while another prefers the micro models.

Consider Labor and Permit Prices

The costs may vary between providers who are using the same panels and inverters for a few reasons, including the labor and permit factors. Faster, more experienced installers may charge a premium to get the job done in a day. On the other hand, you can often score discounts by booking an appointment during the off-season. While labor costs vary, they are often based on the same metric: price per watt of installed solar. According to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, labor costs are usually about 10% of your total system expense.  

In terms of the local market, this portion of your cost comparison is pretty straightforward. Simply ask for an itemized estimate on labor costs from a few different companies to get an average. You should do a bit of digging about proposed permit costs as well. Your provider will need to draft solar plans and submit them for approval, and they should be able to explain to you what the cost implications are and why.

Don’t Equate Expense with Quality

In addition to breaking down specific costs between panels, inverters, and permits — you should bust a few broader myths as you investigate your local provider options. First, as alluded to above, don’t assume that a lower cost on solar panels means you’re getting the “best deal.” It’s tempting to jump at the lowest bid, but you could end up with a less reliable power source because you chose a discounted panel that has fallen out of industry favor for a reason.

At the same time, paying more doesn’t mean you’re getting top of the line. Some consumers see a higher price tag and assume that they’re getting the best of the best. Look at industry reviews, ask the provider about why they recommend this panel, and look at the manufacturer’s website to view the costs yourself. There could be a lot of reason why a provider increases their prices, including the fact that national companies require a large marketing budget. Stick with quality over perceived exclusivity.

Get a Quote for Roof Work at the Same Time

Have you taken a look at the condition of your roof lately? As you look for solar panels in San Diego, cost analysis must include what, if any, work on your roof looks like. A good solar provider will recommend roof work to maximize the lifespan of your solar panels and keep them secured properly.

Working with a company that does both roof replacement and solar panels means a more seamless experience. Juggling multiple vendors can make budgeting complicated and creating a realistic timeline a headache. If your roof repair team isn’t done by the time a separate solar panel provider shows up, you’re in trouble. Simplify the process and the cost by getting a quote for your roof at the same time you’re comparing solar costs and try to work with a single service provider.

Look Into Financing Options

Potential financing offers could also alter your cost comparison. Interest rates, required money down, and repayment terms are all worth your scrutiny as you decide on a local solar provider in San Diego. A percentage point could come down to thousands of dollars in the long run. Some providers don’t offer financing but can refer you to a trusted source where you’ll be able to obtain a reasonable rate. A provider that can work with you on reasonable financing and a payoff schedule could be saving you a lot of money up front, and then you can use some of your utility savings and selling excess energy to pay off the balance as quickly as possible.

Don’t Forget About Warranties

What if you get a great deal on your solar panels but a fluke manufacturing error causes problems in 11 years? Warranties protect you in the event of a problem with the materials or the installation workmanship. Avoid a future money pit by ensuring that you’re covered by warranties from the start. A typical manufacturer’s warranty lasts for about 10-12 years, but some solar panels have a materials warranty for up to 25 years. In short: factor in future costs when you’re comparing solar providers. Warranties are the best way to offset these hypothetical expenses.

Are you ready to go green in San Diego? Solar panels cost enough to warrant a careful comparison before you accept a quote and sign a contract. Any provider worth their salt will be happy to explain their costs to you and give your project the attention it deserves. Never be afraid to ask for a breakdown of costs and post meaningful questions about anything you don’t understand. You are your own best advocate, even if you’re not a solar expert!

Contact Semper Solaris today to learn more about the best solar panels for use in San Diego. We’ll deliver a no-pressure bid on your solar system and tell you if you need a roof replacement. Becoming energy independent is a huge deal, and you may just inspire your neighbors to get on board, too!

 

SOLAR PANELS: BEYOND THE ROOFTOP

Creative uses for your solar power system

Solar rooftop installations are a booming business and with the tax incentives and rebates available, Chula Vista, residents are installing systems to save money on electricity.  But Solar rooftop panels for lower bills are only one aspect of the potential of residential solar power. You can extend the usefulness of your solar installation in resourceful ways from backup systems to heating your pool. Adding extra panels to your solar installation will enhance the potential of your solar system now while making space for future innovations in solar technology.

MORE IS LESS

Adding extra panels in various ways to your system will make room for innovative new apps and gadgets that will increase your need for electricity. More is less in terms of added value and money saved now and in the future. Why not add extra panels to expand the potential of your solar power system? It may cost a little more up front but be cheaper than adding them later. It will not only increase the value of your home, with rebates and incentives available now; it is good to strike while the iron is hot.  

HERE ARE SOME IDEAS TO GET YOU STARTED

BACKUP SYSTEMS

The addition of a backup battery to your solar system will enable you to store extra power for your home when your panels are not generating enough electricity and avoid pulling more from your utility company at a higher cost.  Or, be prepared for emergencies when the grid goes down. Have Semper Solaris install an LG Chem or Tesla Powerwall backup battery to ensure you have the surplus power when you need it and move you towards energy independence.

SMART HOME

Installation of solar allows you to take advantage of many products and services that will help you get the full benefit of your Solar installation.

SOLAR WATER HEATER

A solar water heater uses the power of the sun to heat the water in your home. It is another good reason to extend the capabilities of your solar system from the beginning.  The extra panels could pay for themselves just by reducing the cost of hot water.

SOLAR POOL HEATING

There are over 300 houses with pools for sale in Chula Vista, and that is only the tip of the iceberg.  That is a lot of electricity, and it is expensive. If you have a pool, the addition of solar panels for your pool is a bonus to your solar installation.   A solar pool heating and filtering system will allow you to heat your pool and spa and enjoy it year-round without breaking the bank.

CAR POWER

Whether you have an electric powered car now or plan to have one in the future, having an EV charging station is something that you might consider when installing solar panels.  Adding extra panels will leave room to expand and accommodate the future of automotive energy. Another move towards energy independence.

SOLAR PORCH

Ever thought about using solar panels as the roof of your covered patio?  This extension of your system will provide shade and filtered light while generating power.  Be sure to have the foundation of the patio inspected to make sure it can hold the panels, then enjoy your summer barbecue outdoors. Impress your guests.  

SOLAR WINDOW AWNINGS

On those upstairs windows, you know the ones that endure the beating rays of the sun, especially in the late afternoon? Why not install solar panel awnings as an extension of your system that will provide shade on those windows while generating power and reducing the need for the air conditioning?  

SOLAR CARPORT

Solar Carports are an easy way to add more panels to your rooftop installation.  If you have an RV or boat, you can extend the carport at an angle to shade the area– a fun way to add recreational space to your home right next to your EV station.

SOLAR SKYLIGHT

Add some eye candy to your home by having solar panels integrated into your roof to double as skylights.  They will enhance the look of your home while generating clean energy and reducing the need for added light during the day.

THE FUTURE OF SOLAR

More innovative ways to extend and use this fantastic energy resource are on the horizon as technology gives way to bigger and better ideas. Going solar isn’t just about saving money or reducing your carbon footprint.   It is also about seizing the future of technology and energy independence. The added value of having extra capabilities in your system goes a long way towards that end.

Semper Solaris is on the frontier, leading the way when it comes to residential solar power. Call us today and begin the journey into the future of solar on the rooftop and beyond.    

SOLAR PANELS:  MADE IN THE U.S.A.

Why does it matter?

As Americans know, the Trump Administration has imposed a 30 percent tariff on Chinese imports of solar cells in what the U.S. International Trade Commission considered a threat to U.S. Manufacturers through unfair trade practices and pricing.

Opponents of the tariffs on Chinese imports argue that they could cause layoffs in the solar installation business.   But solar is the fastest growing energy source nationwide. And the benefits of domestic solar-panel manufacturing industry are huge for the industry and the country.

INNOVATION

According to some leading business schools and think tanks, sending manufacturing overseas leaves a void not only for production workers but stifles advancement of technology in the U.S.   Patents, an incentive and mechanism for invention, as well as investment in research and development, are influenced by the manufacturing of products derived from innovative ideas. What is on the horizon?  Where would computer technology and advances in semiconductors be without the incentive to produce and create?

MANUFACTURING

Manufacturing is more than just factories and production workers.  Transportation, engineering, design, development of future technology along with education, training, and job creation revolve around manufacturing.  It reaches so far as to affect government policies for immigration, taxes, and clean energy implementation.

Here in Poway, one solar manufacturing company that shut its doors, along with many others throughout the country, know just how unfair competition from China’s imports of solar panels, with their illegal subsidies, trade controls, and the lack of regulation in the dumping of hazardous waste, hurts U.S businesses.

CHINA

In China, with its rapid industrial growth, polysilicon plants are a burgeoning business with the establishment of many new plants.  Polysilicon is used to manufacture solar panels. But the byproduct, silicon tetrachloride, is an extremely toxic substance that endangers the environment.

Many of these plants are dumping this poisonous chemical on farmlands, making the land infertile. And the gases emitted from the plants are affecting nearby residents–poisoning the air.  Chinese polysilicon manufacturers are saving millions by not using toxic waste recapture mechanisms. The low cost of imported Chinese solar panels comes with a price not only to the environment and poor farmers but to U.S. companies that cannot compete with the cheap imports.

UNITED STATES

Because of the threat to the environment from silicon tetrachloride, polysilicon companies in the United States are utilizing effective and costly systems for recycling the waste for reuse in the production of more solar panels. The very purpose of clean-energy is to reduce and eliminate threats to the environment.  And although they are following the rules, the U.S. is at risk of losing the very industry it pioneered, as well as the gains made towards energy independence (not relying on foreign countries for our energy needs).

GOOD FOR AMERICA

But that is all changing, and the future of solar manufacturing in America looks bright.  Solar Companies are setting up shop here in the U.S. again. Tesla/Panasonic is opening a large facility in Buffalo, N.Y. to produce solar panels. SolarWorld and others are opening facilities and reestablishing their prominence in the field of solar technology.

MADE IN THE U.S.A

At Semper Solaris, we use only the best “made in America” products, and we are proud of it.   Panasonic and SolarWorld are cutting edge leaders in the manufacture of solar panels and systems and comply with our standards.

Semper Solaris offers a 25-year warranty on products and performance, and we stand behind our work.   If you are contemplating installing solar power in your residence or business, you can count on us to provide the best service with the best equipment available.  Call us today and schedule an evaluation of your home for a solar power installation “Made in the U.S.A.”

When you make an investment in solar power, the dream is to save thousands of dollars each year on utility costs and perhaps even sell some of your excess energy back to the grid. With the proper installation and maintenance, a set of solar panels can last decades and be a sound financial decision. In fact, solar panels have been exceeding expectations when it comes to average lifespan. PV panels built after 2000 can produce up to 92% of their original power at the 20-year mark.

Even with so much good news around the improvement of solar panels, it’s still wise to choose PV panels that are known for efficiency and a good temperature coefficient. Simply put: Solar panels are improving across the board, but they’re still not created equally. The top rated solar panels in the US (all available for installation in California) check all the right boxes. The first step to choosing one of the best ranked solar panels is understanding what you’re looking for and why things like efficiency quotients matter.  

Understanding What Makes the Top Rated Solar Panels So Good

When does a solar panel go from OK to better than the rest? The top-selling solar panels typically earn great customer reviews, are efficient, and have an impressive temperature coefficient range. The first standard is pretty self-explanatory: but what exactly are efficiency and temperature coefficient ratings? Efficiency refers to the amount of sunlight that the panels can convert into electricity. The more sunlight your solar can convert, the fewer panels you’ll need to buy to successfully power your home.

Temperature coefficient relates to how the PV panels react to a temperature increase. In Southern California, this rating is especially important. If you’re living in the desert, the last thing you want is a panel that loses its efficiency during the summer — just when you need it most. Most solar panels are tested at 77 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature coefficient figure tells you how much efficiency the panels lose for every 1 degree of temperature increase. For instance, a panel with a temperature coefficient of -0.3 will lose 0.3% of its efficiency for every temperature degree above 77.

With these three components in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most highly rated solar panels for use under the California sun. These are the American-made panels that Semper Solaris has come to trust as experts in the business.

Panasonic

Panasonic panels have an efficiency range of 19 to 21.6% and a temperature coefficient of 0.258. The company uses 20 internal tests during their quality assurance process and offers an impressive 25-year warranty for the materials.  The projected output is nearly 91% after 20 years, so the panels are a good long-term investment for your property. When it comes to customer feedback, Panasonic PV panels earned a 5-star consumer rating on SolarReviews as of late 2018.

At Semper Solaris, we love Panasonic because they are truly committed to making the world a cleaner place to live. Not only are their solar panels so energy efficient that they’re at the top of their game, but even the packaging for Panasonic solar panels is eco-friendly. They minimize the cardboard waste associated with your PV panel installation, so you can feel even better about using this brand for your solar panels.

Finally, Panasonic is considered one of the top rated solar panels by Semper Solaris because teaming up with the company has allowed us to offer you one of the only 100% American made solar panels available in California. Panasonic solar panels are manufactured in Buffalo, New York. Other companies might boast American assembled or American made panels, but some of the manufacturing could be outsourced. We love that Panasonic is committed to building the solar industry in the United States — and doing it with quality panels that we’re proud to install for you.

Silfab

Silfab is another North American company that brings you a quality solar panel. The efficiency range for Silfab PV panels is 15.3 to 19% and the temperature coefficient ranges from 0.38 to 0.42. If you go with Silfab solar panels from Semper Solaris, you’re covered by a 25-year product warranty. Their residential solar solutions aim to combine esthetic architecture and maximum power density for projects of all sizes. Their all-black panels are particularly sleek if you want to install dark panels that blend into asphalt roof tiles.

Silfab has facilities in Toronto, Canada and Bellingham, Washington. Their North American production lines are certified to deliver Buy American products, and they use precise engineering. Silfab boasts the lowest defect rate in the US. If you’re looking for a great domestically made solar panel for your home, ask us about our Silfab panel options.

Why American Made is Important to Semper Solaris

You’ll probably notice that the two top brands we install in California both have roots in American production. We think creating an America that is rich in clean energy starts from the ground up. It’s not enough that we install solar panels to leverage the sun into electricity for our homes; we should also add to the American economy by creating jobs right here!

Solar has and continues to be a major job creator in states that have adopted a solar state of mind. California ranks first in the nation for solar installations and we also have more than 86,000 jobs in solar! The solar industry is a particularly great source of employment for veterans. The Department of Energy has created initiatives to take the technical skills of military veterans and put them to great use in clean energy. By supporting American-made solar panels, you’re helping your local economy and putting people to work.

Using American manufacturing for solar panels not only helps the economy and creates jobs, but it also makes it easier to protect our environment. California is rich in incredible landscapes, from the beach and mountains to the deserts and farmland. We can better protect our precious terrain from harmful carbon footprints by promoting more regional solar panel creation. Making panels at home often means they’re more affordable and can be delivered quickly, allowing installers to get jobs done fast.

The Bottom Line When Choosing Solar Panels

There is an ever-growing list of companies who are getting into the green energy game. From Mitsubishi to Hyundai, some household names you probably recognize from other industries are now on board with using their technology and manufacturing to create sustainable energy. There are also many smaller companies who are committed to creating efficient solar panels. In other words: you will always have a lot of choices when it comes to where to buy solar panels and storage.

Deciding which solar panels are right for your home depends on a lot of factors. Affordability is often at the top of any priority list, but efficiency and temperature coefficients should be close behind. Getting quality PV panels installed means less maintenance and better home value. A more efficient solar panel will also fare better in cloud cover or extreme heat, so you’ll thank yourself later for investing now.

Panasonic and Silfab products are two of the top-rated panels for a reason. Not only are they sourced from North America, but they are quality products with long warranties. But you don’t have to memorize their differences — we are here to walk you through choosing the right solar system for your property. If you’re still not sure which panels are the best fit for your property, Semper Solaris can help.

At Semper Solaris, we’re serious about helping homeowners become energy independent and environmentally friendly. We have helped many homeowners make the transition to solar seamlessly and within their budget. Call us today, and we can come out for a free consultation. You’ll get a no-pressure bid for new solar panels and we can walk you through the top-rated solar panels we prefer.

EMERGING SOLAR TECHNOLOGY

The future of Solar energy is promising as solar becomes more efficient, bringing with it innovation and the latest trends in solar technology. New chip technology, micro-inverters, and improvements to solar tech products are promising better and more efficient solar ideas. And looking to the future, groundbreaking technologies for building materials are on the horizon.

Fresh new designs make rooftop solar more attractive.

 

Bifacial solar panels

Also called double-sided panels, bifacial solar panels capture sunlight through both sides.  They produce more energy than standard panels offering more savings on the cost of energy.

 

All glass solar panels

Glass panels have a  sleek design that is more attractive and durable than regular silicon cell panels.  These can are used in creative ways such being built into skylights. They also are less prone to degradation and offer fire resistance as well.

 

Frameless solar panels

If you don’t like the unattractive solar frames in rooftop panels, frameless solar sections use a unique mounting that looks more lustrous and matches the system for a modernized appearance.

 

Clear solar panels

Clear solar panels are frameless and visually appealing. They are enclosed in glass.  They use the same technology as standard panels, but the cells are inserted between to glass casings instead of opaque backing.

 

Solar skin

New technology brings designs for a custom look to match your roof to your solar panel system with smart grids that are smaller than traditional panels.  A few companies are pioneering this

 

Solar Shingles

These designer solar roof panels are set apart from other panel innovations. You can go solar without even noticing it on the roof.  Tesla’s tiles are more durable than roof materials and will blend in with the style of your home. They are made with many styles of glass including textured and smooth glass and are one of the next great trends in solar.

 

Solar windows

Look for this amazing technology that makes sense. Solar windows generate electricity as the sun comes shining through the special hi-tech coating embedded in the glass.

 

There is a vision beyond the solar products you can acquire for your home or business or gadgets and inventions that we use in our lives.  Pioneering research is paving the way for newer and better ways to reduce and eliminate the carbon footprint and offer a quality of life that is environmentally safe and maintainable.

 

Hornets And Grasshoppers

 

As we move forward in meeting the world’s energy needs and addressing sustainability and climate control, scientists are looking to nature for answers. It is apparent that we will need more and more electricity.  We are accustomed to relying on electricity for the things we use each day—like turning on the air conditioner. And as the temperatures rise in the cities—that is not about to change.

 

Architect and Biologist Doris Kim Sung has looked to human anatomy for answers in the functioning of human skin and creating materials that work the same way.   She has designed what is called a “Thermal Bimetal Skin” which can be used in architecture to regulate temperatures much in the way our skin functions to control the temperature in the body. It uses no electricity at all and can help control the temperatures in buildings to cut down on power used for heating and cooling systems. She is also looking to the respiratory system of grasshoppers for ideas on ventilation in buildings.

 

Scientists have found that some hornets use sunlight to produce electricity inside its exoskeleton.  In an experiment, a solution was extracted then placed n a solar cell conductor, when exposed to light, the pigment in the solution generated electricity. Extracting energy from plants, animals and insects and biogenic solar cells made from living bacteria are in the sphere of scientific discovery.

 

Electrical capability from solar and other renewable sources is outdoing those from fossil fuels. Solar energy is one of the least expensive energy choices. Saving money and advances in solar technology leading to more options for the homeowner,  make it an attractive option for homeowners in Escondido where sunshine  is abundant.

 

From wearables to solar-powered cars.  Solar tech is on the move. And Semper Solaris is a leader in providing the best solar products and installation.  Call us today to begin taking advantage of the future of renewable energy—and go solar.

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