We have previously talked about community solar projects as an alternative to individually owned solar power systems. The Boulder Cowdery Meadows Solar Array in South Boulder County, Colorado is the first community solar project in Boulder, and it is now generating solar power for subscribers. According to Chris Meehan of SolarReviews.com, this is not Colorado’s first community solar installation, and several more are already underway.
“Clean Energy Collective is already working on its next community solar gardens in and outside of Colorado,
Sweeny says, though the next few to reach completion will be in Colorado. “The next one completed should be for
the City of Aurora. That’s a 500 kilowatt array as well.” He adds that the company also just broke ground on a
400 kilowatt community solar garden at the Lowry redevelopment project in Denver. Two additional 500 kilowatt
projects will also be completed in Summit County near Breckenridge.”
For the full article about Boulder’s first community solar garden, visit SolarReviews.com.
Today is the first day of May, which marks the beginning of National Home Improvement Month. Solar power is a wise choice for your next home improvement project, which can save, and even earn you money. Don’t believe us? Keep reading to see why solar power should be your next home improvement of choice.
Solar Power Saves Money
Your electricity bill will likely continue to rise, and if you cannot significantly reduce the amount of electricity that you use, solar power can offset the amount that you consume from the utility company. Depending on factors such as energy usage, sun exposure, and available roof space, you could save up to 100% of your electricity costs. Plus, with the available financing and leasing options, along with grants and incentives to offset the purchase price, your monthly payments for the solar power system will remain easily affordable.
Solar Power Earns Money
Wise investments earn money, and solar power is no exception. In fact, typical ROI on a solar power system over a five year period is 125%, reaching 500% by year 20! SRECs, or Solar Renewable Energy Credits, generated by your solar panels’ production can be sold at current market rates for additional income. Additionally, the value of a home increases by $40,000 on average with the installation of a solar power system.
If you would like to…
- save $35,700 in energy costs over the next 10 years*
- increase your home value by $40,000*
- reduce your household’s impact on the environment
…then solar is a wise investment for you.
Contact us today for your free solar analysis, and start National Home Improvement Month with the right choice for your home! Call 410-579-2009, to schedule your appointment.
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This St. Patrick’s Day weekend, homeowners came to the Be Green & Save Green Solar 101 Workshop to learn about home solar power. This two hour workshop featured Solar Analyst Brent Cotton, who discussed the benefits of solar power for homeowners, along with important information, such as the return on investment for a solar power system.
Solar Energy World hosts workshops at our Maryland headquarters so that homeowners can learn about the cost, benefits, and process of going solar. These workshops are free with RSVP, and include complimentary refreshments, a free gift, and a tour of our rooftop solar power system. Not only are our Solar 101 Workshops a great way for homeowners to gather all of the information they need to make a decision about home solar power, but they also provide the perfect opportunity to ask questions and get answers from a qualified Solar Analyst.
Stay tuned, and follow Solar Energy World on Facebook to learn when our next workshop will take place!
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Solar Energy World and SunPower Help Maryland Homeowners Go Green
On the evening of Thursday, September 27th, Solar Energy World and SunPower hosted Solar Energy World’s first Solar Stars Soiree at Turf Valley Country Club in Ellicott City, Maryland. Over 100 attendees listened to presentations about solar power by some of the most influential women involved in solar and green energy, and enjoyed an evening of awards, prizes, and hors d’oeuvres to celebrate the power of women in solar energy.
The Soiree included an informative question and answer session, where attendees learned valuable information about the benefits of solar power. Featured speakers included Laureen Peck, Vice President of Marketing for Solar Energy World and moderator for the event, Ann Elsen, founder of Elsen Energy, Susan Greene, President of American Solar Energy Society, Stelli Munnis of SunPower Corporation, as well as Summer Reed and Sara Callaghan, also of Solar Energy World. Topics included financial incentives, SRECs, and the factors that caused the women of the panel to become involved in solar energy.
Homeowners listened to presentations about solar energy, the financial and environmental benefits, and the process of installing a solar power system in a home or business. In addition, Candice Stankus, a homeowner and Solar Energy World customer spoke about her experience with the company, and with solar power in general. Summer and Sara of Solar Energy World discussed SRECs, incentives, and net-metering, and attendees participated in a question and answer session with the members of the discussion panel.
Several prominent and influential attendees received the Solar Energy World 2012 POW! Award (Power of Women)
About the POW! Award Winners
POW! Award winner, Kim Parson is President of Maryland-based Automotive Collision Technologies, one of Baltimore Business Journal’s 50 Largest Woman-Owned Businesses. She is devoted to running her business with integrity when it comes to customers, and the environment.
POW! Award winner, Ann Elsen was a contributing speaker at the Solar Stars Soiree and is the founder of Elsen Energy and the Executive Director of the Howard County Green Business Association, and, as a member of several other green organizations, is a consultant to the local government on energy issues.
POW! Award-winner, Stephanie L. Dunn-Hunt is President of Dunn & Associates Public Relations, another company listed in the BBJ 50 Largest Woman-Owned Businesses. She is the sole creator of the Baltimore African-American Home & Garden Show, and has been featured in Baltimore Smart CEO Magazine.
POW! Award-winner, Lisa Ambrose is founder, President, and CEO of Tithe Corp., also a BBJ Largest Woman-Owned Business. Tithe Corp. is a green, internationally recognized, and 100% woman owned and operated business specializing in innovative HVAC solutions.
Thank you to all of our speakers and guests who attended this event that celebrated the influence of women in green technology and renewable energy! To view even more photos from the event, please visit our Solar Stars Soiree album.
By Samantha J. Majka
How would you feel if what you thought you knew was actually causing you to spend more money every month? Well, there is good news and bad news.
The bad news is that you may have been misinformed about what you need to pay for electricity, and the expense of changing that. The good news is that this article will show you the truth about paying for electricity for your home, and clear up any misconceptions that you may have heard.
One of the most common misconceptions about solar power is that it is only available to a small percentage of homeowners, mainly because of the cost of installation. This belief, as incorrect as it may be, may unfortunately dissuade qualified homeowners from even looking into their options for renewable energy.
Incorrect assumptions about the initial cost of going solar only benefit the utility companies, as electricity costs continue to rise. Many homeowners tolerate the swift kick to the wallet every month simply because they do not believe that they can do any better.
The overall cost of a solar power system can seem intimidating at first, but consider this: purchasing a solar power system is like buying a new car, and upgrading from a gas guzzling clunker. While the price tag may seem intimidating at first, consider the cost of upkeep on the old car, such as gasoline for an inefficient vehicle, and various, unexpected repairs. Buying a new car will likely mean a reliable monthly payment, and fewer trips to the gas station, meaning a more reasonable and manageable cost per month.
That is where solar leasing comes into play. The cost of electricity fluctuates, and rises over time, but many homeowners cling to what they know. Instead, a solar panel system can be installed on your home, while you lease it for a period of up to 20 years. Depending on your down payment, that cost per month will vary, but it will be consistent and reliable. Let’s say that your home is powered 100% by your solar power system, and you finance $20,000 of the cost over a period of 20 years. Your payment for electricity (in the form of your lease payment) will be approximately $83 per month every month, no matter what your utility company charges.*
*Actual cost per month cannot be determined by this article alone. If you are interested in solar power for your home or commercial property, please contact us for a free consultation to assess your personal options and situation.
By Samantha J. Majka
Solar Energy World is the fastest growing installer of solar power systems in the region, and we are pleased to see such an increase in both solar power installations and interest in solar power in general. Naturally, interest tends to generate a lot of questions, and some of the most common questions are in regards to the performance of solar power in what some may consider “less than optimal” conditions. This is a great question, and it is completely understandable that consumers would be concerned about the performance of their solar panels in cloudy weather, or after sunset. Rest assured, if you make the switch to solar power, you will not be left in the dark after sunset, or have to worry about “running out” of power when the sky is cloudy. Your solar panels will continue to generate electricity, even on cloudy days, and, just like electricity that is generated by other means, solar electricity can be stored for a later use.
The solar energy that hits the Earth’s surface every hour is enough to power the entire world for one year. The trick is to capture this energy, and while solar panels do not collect every bit of energy that hits them, efficiency is improving. Fortunately for consumers, as the efficiency is improving, solar power is becoming more and more affordable (especially with solar lease). Needless to say, it is entirely possible, depending on the size of your solar panel system, to generate more energy per day than is required to satisfy the energy needs of your home.
So where does the excess energy go? One way to store this energy is through the use of battery systems. Batteries store the solar electricity for use at times when the sun is not shining, such as at night.
An easier and cheaper solution is store solar power in the existing electrical grid in a process known as net-metering. Your home is already connected to the electrical grid when you use power from a conventional source. The excess electricity generated by your solar panels “overflows” back to the grid, and back to the electric company. This builds up an electricity “credit” that you can tap into when the sun is not shining. You can see proof of this for yourself, as the electric meter on your home will actually run backward when you are generating more power than you are using. In some states, you can sell this excess electricity back to the electric company in the form of “SREC’s” or “Solar Renewable Energy Credits”. This means that you can be paid for having solar panels on your home or business, which shortens the payback period for the initial cost of installation.
You can learn more about solar energy and solar power by liking Solar Energy World on Facebook.
By Samantha J. Majka
Solar power, while an attractive option for many homeowners, has been out of reach due to budget constraints. Although the price of solar panel installation has decreased significantly in recent years, homeowners still cite the initial cost as a major reason for remaining solar-free. Luckily, there is a new option that allows homeowners to reap the benefits of solar power with little to no money down. Solar leasing is now available, and for homeowners that cannot or do not wish to purchase solar panels upfront, this is a great way to make the switch to clean energy.
Anyone with approved credit can have solar panels installed, and pay a monthly fee to lease the panels. All components of the system will be covered for the duration of the lease. There are currently two different solar leasing options that homeowners can choose.
- Homeowners can opt for zero down payment, and pay a set fee to rent the panels every month. This option saves homeowners about $50 per month over what they would currently pay for their electric bill.
- There is the option to put money down, which would mean greater monthly savings. There would still be a set fee for leasing the panels every month.
At the completion of the 20 year term, homeowners can decide to purchase the solar power system at its market value, renew the lease for another term, or have the solar panels removed.
With Solar Energy World, homeowners who wish to lease are not limited in the brand or quality of panels. We offer a wide selection of high quality solar panels for a system that is uniquely customized for your home.
By Samantha J. Majka
Solar power is a great way to bring clean energy to your home, and reduce your family’s carbon footprint. In today’s society we are often removed from the source of the electricity we use, and therefore unaware of just how much pollution we create. With solar power, you can stand on the lawn, and look up at the solar panels on the roof of your house and know exactly where your electricity comes from, and exactly how much waste you create (nothing!).
Financially, there are several benefits that you can take advantage of as a homeowner. The most obvious is the fact that solar energy is free. Therefore, as electricity becomes more and more expensive for the average homeowner, the solar panel installation on your home will become more valuable. You may also qualify for certain grants and tax incentives that can help with the initial cost of solar panel installation.
At Solar Energy World, we want the process of solar panel installation to be as simple as possible for you. That’s why, on Saturday March 17th, we are hosting a free Solar Workshop for interested homeowners. Join us over a complementary breakfast and learn how you can go solar and start saving, today– we will even provide activities for children, so the entire family can attend.
Please RSVP by March 11th. Details and RSVP at MySolarWorkshop.com.
By Laureen Peck, Vice President of Marketing, Solar Energy World
Let’s say you have decided you want to reduce your dependency on your utilities company, have pledged to spend less on your home’s energy costs and are committed to decreasing your carbon footprint. You don’t need to be convinced that getting more of your energy from renewable sources is a responsible way for you to help end your country’s dependence on foreign oil. You also hold the fervent belief that leaving a healthier, greener world for future generations is the right thing to do. You have reviewed various clean energy options and are leaning towards solar.
The problem is that when you do a Google search, although you can see there are several solar energy companies listed for your area, they all look the same and appear to offer similar savings, financial and environmental benefits. So, how can you narrow down your choice to the solar installation company most likely to answer your very specific needs? Here are a few tips that could help save you some time;
1. Be wary of automated processes. Some solar energy panel installation companies provide a calculator or “typical” costs on their website so a homeowner can estimate their energy savings, rebates and tax credits and then sometimes “order” a solar system online. The problem with this automated approach is that in order to get a truly accurate estimate, a home solar energy expert really needs to have a conversation with the homeowner(s) and ideally come to the actual installation site so they can make sure all the elements of your home’s energy usage, roof and/or yard layout, family budget, financial goals, and your home’s current energy efficiency rating are all factored into the recommended solution. There is no question that a knowledgeable human being is more accountable and helpful than a computer can possibly be. Also, it can take time for a company to update their website, so sometimes the information shown is no longer accurate as incentives and rebates change.
Although going online to gather information is a good idea, going online to get a solar installation estimate and/or order an installation package is like going online to get a comprehensive medical checkup. A good doctor does not make a diagnosis or prescribe medications to her patients based on educated guesses. A solar installation company cannot give a homeowner a customized energy solution based on guesswork either. To make certain you are getting the best solution for your needs, it is smart to schedule a free in-home analysis with a solar energy expert, preferably from a company that also provides home energy audits and is experienced making homes more energy efficient overall.
2. Trees matter – but there are other options. It’s a myth that solar energy won’t work in colder, greyer climates. Remember when your mother told you to wear sunscreen lotion, even on the cloudy days? Mom knew that UV rays still get through the clouds. The fact is that solar works in all types of climates. If that were not true, Germany, a country certainly not known for sunny weather, would not be one of the world’s top photovoltaics (PV) installers in the world. Shade is a different matter, however. If your roof is shaded, you might need to cut down a few trees, or trim them. If you don’t want to do that, but have a good amount of property and your zoning allows it, you can still use the sun to power your home by having solar panels installed on mounts. To see an example of what pole mounted solar panels can look like, click here.
3. Good customer service is proactive, not reactive. Once you have narrowed down your selection to a specific solar energy company, make sure that company will take care of you before, during and after installation.
Prior to making a commitment, find out how much of the leg work you will have to do for yourself once you agree to buy. Will you have to be the one dealing with the utilities company or filling out all the forms for energy rebates and solar energy credits? Or will your installation company do that for you? The more the solar installation company does for you, the better. The company you choose should be the experts on all of the processes and have the most recent information about money saving options that you may not be aware of. They should also be experienced managing the bureaucracy involved with utilities so you won’t have that headache to worry about.
Also prior to installation, find out if the installers are subcontractors or actual company employees. There is nothing worse than having untrained, or barely trained installers on the job. Make sure the installers work directly for the solar installation company and are accountable to that company for their performance. Keep in mind that solar installation companies, in particular larger ones that are part of national chains, hire subcontractors most of the time so if you decide to go that way there is no assurance you will be getting the most qualified workers installing your system.
Make sure the company you hire will take care of you once you buy or lease from them. The whole point of using solar panels to power your home is that there is hardly ever a need for repairs or major services. However, there are rare times when the system goes down. In this case, it will be a lot less stressful for you if you are working with a company that not only allows you to monitor your system yourself online, but also continually monitors your system for you. What this means is that you should expect that your solar installation company will be on top of any problem that might occur and will be on their way to have it fixed before you even know there was a problem. If you bought your panels from a large solar installation retailer, it’s unlikely you will get that type of proactive service.
4. Cheapest may not really be cheaper. If you want to get the most out of your solar panels and/or feel it is your patriotic duty to get panels from an American manufacturer, do your research to make certain you are making an informed investment. Not all solar panels are equal. Your panels should be designed to absorb the most solar energy possible and have a guarantee to help increase the value of your home.
Hopefully the tips above will help you with your decision to go solar. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to us by email: email@example.com, or by calling us at 1-866-856-4580. You can also follow us on the official Solar Energy World Facebook page.
Perhaps the biggest myth about solar energy is that it is too expensive. The reality is that solar energy is more affordable than ever. In fact, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the cost of solar panels is down 70% since 2009. But it is more than just low cost that makes the investment of solar energy affordable. Federal, state and local grants and incentives help to reduce the upfront cost of installation as well. Maryland solar incentives are considered to be among the top of the table.
On the Federal level, incentives for solar energy were introduced as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 2009. Customers who go solar receive a tax credit equal to 30% of the cost of installation for renewable energy systems, including solar electric, solar hot water, and photovoltaic solar panel systems. The best part? There is no cap to the credit, so residents receive the full 30% credit no matter how large or small the installation.
While everyone is eligible for Federal tax incentives, states and local incentives vary a great deal. In fact, incentives don’t just come from the government. Local utilities offer rebates and incentives for switching to renewable energy. Incentives also vary in form, whether they be tax deductions, rebates or grants.
Solar incentives and grants change regularly and are different for every location. If you want a comprehensive look at what benefits might be available to you, then you might consider scheduling a free solar analysis, where one of Solar Energy World’s representatives can go over all your options in specific detail.