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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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.
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 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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One of the first questions that we ask when a homeowner inquires about solar power is to see a copy of a recent energy bill. This is because we want you to see the maximum benefit from your investment in a solar electric system, and an analysis of your rooftop size, conditions such as shading, and your typical energy usage will tell us what can be realistically expected.
The number of solar panels needed to power a home or building does not depend on the size of the structure, because many different factors play into the overall energy usage. A large home with Energy Star appliances, replacement windows, and an energy efficient roof may use less electricity than a smaller home with drafty windows, a leaky roof, and old and outdated appliances. Even the habits of those living in the home affect energy use.
The fact is that your roof can only fit so many solar panels. If you have a lot of property, you may also be able to choose a pole mounted solar panel system in order to add more panels. However, an easier and more convenient choice would be to reduce your energy usage and live more efficiently, so that you can reduce the amount of electricity used, which means that your solar power system will need to produce less to keep up with demand.
A home energy audit will help you improve your energy efficiency by identifying the points in your home where electricity is wasted, and will provide you with the solutions to fix them. Reducing the amount of energy wasted will improve the benefit of a home solar system, and can help you save money, or even earn it, depending on the incentives available.
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We have great news for homeowners and property owners interested in solar power: our Solar 101 Workshops are back, starting November 3rd!
Start your Saturday with breakfast and an information session about solar power by Solar Energy World, at our headquarters in Elkridge, MD. Admission is free with RSVP ($10 at the door), and attendees will receive a free gift. Join us to learn everything that you need to know about residential solar power, including various tax incentives, information about different solar panels and technologies, and even take a tour of our solar rooftop.
For more information, and to RSVP for free admission, visit our Residential Solar Workshop page.
By Samantha J. Majka
One of our Solar Energy World Facebook fans requested a blog post about solar power and nanotechnology. These two technologies combined could pave the way for even more efficient and cost effective solar power generation in the future. This post will give an overview of the concept of nanotechnology, and the effect that it may have on the future of solar electricity.
Nanotechnology is the specific branch of technology and engineering that focuses on matter on the molecular scale. Specifically, it concerns structures that are smaller than 100 nanometers, and constructing devices made of individual particles.
Currently, solar panels are comprised of silicone cells that absorb solar energy, which is converted to electricity. This type of solar panel boasts around 20% efficiency, meaning that 20% of the sunlight that hits a silicone photovoltaic cell is absorbed and used as electricity.
Nanotechnologies in development would be able to absorb and use more than just sunlight, utilizing ultraviolet rays, and infrared (heat) radiation as an energy source as well. Porous or microscopically textured materials have a much greater surface area than smooth, flat surfaces of the solar cells of today, meaning that more energy can be absorbed and used as electricity.
However, efficiency is not the only benefit of nanotech as it applies to solar power. Extremely thin and flexible materials mean that the generation of solar power would no longer be limited to rooftop or pole-mounted systems. Instead, photovoltaic film could be applied to windows, turning them into highly efficient solar panels, while still maintaining transparency. Using nanotechnology, solar power could be incorporated into the design of products, making electricity easily accessible when needed.
Accessibility of electricity is a major benefit of nanotech developments because it also would decrease the cost of solar technology, meaning it would be available for many people who currently do not have access, or the means to purchase it. Because the material is so thin, it is printed on other surfaces, which requires less expensive manufacturing than the solar panels of today.
Is nanotechnology the future of solar power, and electricity in general? Leave your thoughts on the Solar Energy World Facebook page.
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