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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There are many options for solar power installations, and the most common types are rooftop or ground mount systems that are placed on the property of the person who has purchased or leased a solar power system. However, there are other options, including community solar farms or gardens.
A community solar farm is a solar array that several members of a community invest in, and benefit from. For example, let’s say that ten families on Main Street are interested in solar power. Several of them sign up for a free solar analysis, but are told that they will need to remove several of the trees surrounding their homes, and that solar power is not a viable option for the homes at one end of the street, due to a tall business complex that casts a significant amount of shading over part of the neighborhood. Some of the neighbors do not want to remove their trees, and nothing can be done about the shading caused by the existing business complex. So, what can the homeowners on Main Street do about their desire for solar power?
The remedy for this situation is for the neighbors who are interested in solar power to choose an ideal location for a solar array, and then each invest in the construction of the project. This location could be a nearby field, or even, with the cooperation of the property owner, the rooftop of the existing business complex. The community owners of the solar power system will then each benefit from the production of the solar array, by being credited for the amount of power generated by the solar power system depending on the portion of the array owned by each household.
Community solar power is a beneficial option for people who are not in the ideal situation for solar power, such as those in the example above, or for condo owners who do not each have their own rooftop space available.
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Earth Hour will be held on Saturday, March 23, 2013 from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm. It is not specific to a certain time zone, but will be observed separately in local time zones as the clock strikes 8:30.
So what exactly is Earth Hour, and what is the point?
For the past nine years, Earth Hour has been celebrated as a symbolic act by those who wish to prevent global climate change, and reduce their impact on the environment. The idea is simple: turn off your lights for one hour, starting at 8:30 pm local time. But your commitment to the environment should not end when the hour is over, and Earth Hour is meant to last beyond the hour itself. Participants are asked to get involved as individuals, or with their communities or businesses in order to make a difference. Suggestions could be to plant trees, improve the home or workplace to be more energy efficient, or other green action of your choice, and then to spread the word and encourage others to do the same.
This Sunday, households everywhere will be tuning in to watch the Superbowl. Whether you are traveling to the big game, or cheering for your team with friends at home, fans of football and sustainable living can celebrate in the fact that the NFL is making the effort to go green.
Football uses a lot of energy. Lighting entire stadiums requires a lot of electricity, not to mention the energy used by players and spectators travelling to and from games, or even the fans that will watch from home.
Let’s take a look at the teams that will be playing this weekend. The San Francisco 49ers’ efforts to go green include plans for a completely new stadium by next year. According to NewSantaClaraStadium.com, the structure will be solar powered, and feature a living, green roof that will not on be covered in vegetation, but will contribute to the stadium’s energy efficiency. Other green features include parking for bicycles and electric vehicles, and recycled construction materials.
M&T Bank Stadium of the Baltimore Ravens is making efforts to be green as well. According to the Maryland Stadium Authority, the football stadium (along with Camden Yards) attempt to recycle as many materials as possible. From trash after game days, to construction material and old equipment, hundreds of tons of materials were recycled in 2012 alone. Plus, according to the Baltimore Sun, materials that can not be recycled are sent to the nearby RESCO plant, which uses the material to create steam energy, and reduces the total waste volume by 90%. The stadium is in the process of LEED certification.
Many other NFL teams and stadiums have joined the green movement as well, such as the Philadelphia Eagles and the Arizona Cardinals, both of which offset 100% of their electricity usage with renewable energy. Smaller sports facilities are considering the environmental and economic impacts of green operations, as well. At Solar Energy World, we have seen this locally with our own solar panel installations at Metuchen Sportsplex, and Soccer Dome II.
Solar power can definitely help homeowners save money on their energy costs, and at Solar Energy World, we have installed plenty of residential solar power systems. Many businesses are also seeing the benefits of solar power, both economical and environmental.
Furniture retailer IKEA aims to be powered by 100% renewable energy. This is part of the company’s commitment to sustainable operations, and many other businesses are following suit. This infographic from Solar Energy Industries Association shows the top 20 corporate solar users in America.
Solar power is not just for large companies and national corporations; several businesses have gone solar in Maryland. Our installation at Boarman’s Old Fashioned Meat Market will reduce the grocer’s carbon footprint by an estimated 560,000 pounds!
Last year, the town of Thurmont, Maryland saw it’s first commercial solar installation with the completion of a solar electric system at Federal Stone Industries. In addition, Waldorf, Maryland saw the construction of the first ZeroHouse 2.0, a house that uses solar power and energy efficient design to net zero energy usage, on the east coast.
Many businesses and homeowners are making the switch to solar power, proving that renewable energy is not a fad, but a change that brings real benefit. Solar adopters are seeing lower energy costs, revenue generated by their solar systems, and they are significantly reducing their impact on the environment.
If you have landed on this page, there is a good chance that you are a homeowner who is interested in using solar power for your home energy needs. While our website is full of great information about residential and commercial solar panel installation, those of you in the Maryland area have the opportunity to have your questions answered in person at our Solar 101 Workshop.
This two hour workshop will be held at the Solar Energy World headquarters in Elkridge, Maryland, and attendees will learn everything that they need to know about solar power for the home. This includes the process of analyzing your specific needs, the actual installation, financing and leasing information, as well as the details about special tax incentives for going solar.
Other benefits of attending the workshop include complimentary refreshments, and a tour of our solar powered rooftop, so that you can see the solar panels up close.
This event is free with RSVP or $20 at the door. RSVP is available on our Solar Workshop page.
The Solar Holiday Photo Contest is under way, and Solar Energy World is looking for photos of solar-powered homes that are decorated for the holidays!
If you are a home or property owner that has chosen solar power, and you have decorated for the holiday season read the contest rules and submit your entry. Hurry, because all entries must be submitted by Wednesday, December 19, 2012.
All entries will be uploaded to the Solar Holiday Photo Contest Pinterest board by Solar Energy World. Vote for your favorite photos by “liking” the pins, and don’t forget to re-pin your favorites to encourage your followers to vote!
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Solar Holiday Photo Contest Rules and Entry
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Solar panels rely on solar energy in order to produce usable electricity for home and property owners. It seems like common sense would dictate that solar panels would be best used in hot, sunny weather. This logic would mean that solar production would significantly drop in colder weather, meaning that homeowners should only rely on their solar panels in the summertime, right?
Actually, solar panels perform even better in colder temperatures. This means that during the wintertime, sunny days and chilly air will benefit homeowners that have chosen energy independence. The reason for this is that cooler temperatures allow solar panels to produce a higher voltage, which results in higher wattage for your home.
What does reduce solar power production is the decrease in daylight hours. Because solar electricity runs on sunlight and not heat, the winter sunlight is enough to create energy. The catch is that the amount of daylight is decreased, and production time is shortened. However, home and property owners will still see a significant benefit from the installation of a solar electric system, and reduction or elimination of their energy bills during the winter months.
1. Electricity prices rise over time.
Paying the utility company is never a pleasant experience, especially when the expense only grows over time. So why wait, and waste even more money on electricity costs when you can cut that expense now?
2. Solar power is more affordable than ever.
The option to go solar is now available to everyone. Many financing options are available, whether you choose to purchase or lease your solar panels, and various tax incentives and grants can help cut the cost as well.
3. Solar panels won’t go out of style.
It is always a little disappointing when your new gadget is suddenly “last year’s model”. Luckily, with solar power, your system will still be “in style” for the next twenty years, or more!
4. Solar power saves money.
It’s true! Solar energy is free, and a solar power system that uses it to power your home can cut your electricity costs from 50-100% on average.
5. Solar panels come in several different options.
Our team of professionals will design a system that best suits your needs. We factor in your budget, HOA requirements, and any other concerns that you may have.
6. Your home solar system can earn money.
Saving money is great, but earning it is even better. Depending on current rules and regulations in your area, you may be able to sell excess energy produced by your solar power system back to the utility company.
7. Solar power is clean energy.
We all know that fossil fuels produce pollution. Solar power is clean, non-polluting, and environmentally friendly.
8. Solar power keeps your energy cost under control.
While your electric bill may a surprise every month, making the switch to solar can alleviate the suspense. If you finance your system, you will know exactly what you will pay every month.
9. Going solar is simple.
At Solar Energy World, we handle all of the paperwork for you. Our goal is make the transition to solar power as easy as possible. We are always willing to answer your questions, and discuss any concerns that you may have.
10. The initial solar analysis is free!
What do you have to lose? Our no-obligation solar analysis is completely free of charge.
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By Faith Fernandez, Guest Contributor
Solar power is free and accessible to everyone. It supports the planet’s entire ecosystem, nourishing plants and animals. Now, we are learning how we can use it to create houses that don’t require so much energy from fossil fuels.
Solar Energy Can Help to Create a Greener Household
- through the production of electricity using solar panels;
- through the use of a solar water heating system;
- through the use of solar air heating; and
- through the growth of plants for cooling.
The Sun Can Generate Electricity
Solar panels, or photo voltaic panels, convert the sun’s radiation into a current of electricity. They are usually installed on south facing roofs (or north facing, in the southern hemisphere), and the energy produced is sold to the local power company and added to the electrical grid. The household that produces the power receives a proportional discount on their electricity bill, and many jurisdictions are paying for solar energy at high rates to encourage the installation of solar panels. With solar panels, it’s theoretically possible to get paid by the power company rather than vice-versa.
The Sun can Heat Water
Barring government incentives for solar PV systems, the most cost effective solar technologies available to homeowners today are solar water heating systems. These systems work with regular water heaters, either tank-based or on-demand, to save energy. Solar water heating systems usually consist of a network of heat absorbing, rooftop water pipes. They preheat the water before it’s brought to its final temperature by a gas or electrically powered system. This can amount to an energy savings of up to 60 per cent.
The Sun Can Heat Air
It doesn’t take a high tech system to make use of solar power for space heating. On cold, sunny winter days, a solar wall or rooftop air heating system can reduce the need for gas or electrically powered space heating substantially. These systems work by allowing interior air to circulate through metal ducts that are being heated by the sun. It’s that simple.
The Sun Can Make Plants Grow
Not only can sunlight be used directly as a heat source, it can also be used to help cool your home. Did you know that plants naturally cool the air? House plants absorb the sun’s heat and cool the air through transpiration. In other words, when a plant “breathes,” it cools the air rather than heating it. Filling windows with plants during the summer helps control solar gain and it also provides natural cooling.
Creating a greener household using the sun’s power is easier than you may have thought. Solar panels and solar-assisted mechanical systems are powerful ways to reduce your use of conventionally generated electricity and natural gas, and a simple awareness of passive heating and cooling can bring your energy use down, too.
To learn more about solar technologies for your home, schedule your free solar analysis today.