If your home is going solar, or if you’re even thinking about it, you’ve probably already thought about the benefits. Reducing your family’s carbon footprint and having energy even during power outages is certainly attractive, but GreenLeaf Solar knows that you probably have a very strong interest in the cost-saving benefits of solar. Particularly, you want to know when you’re going to start to recoup your investment. The time it takes to see a return on investment (ROI) is called the solar payback period.
We are rapidly approaching a revolutionary time for the automobile. While it didn’t start with the Prius, a hybrid car the masses adopted, it will certainly be seen as an important step for the automobile in its journey. Cars nowadays have become less reliant on gasoline as a means for movement and more on electricity. Take the blossoming popularity of the Tesla Model S for example. This is a car that is not only sleek and attractive but also completely electric, able to go up to 315 miles on a single charge. The Tesla Model S is however an expensive car by most people’s standards starting at $68,000. While this is unobtainable for many of us, Tesla is planning on releasing their new Model 3 soon, a cheaper all electric car similar to the Model S. Tesla has received over 325,000 pre-orders for the Model 3 already.
Big news for solar fans, researchers in Japan have broken the efficiency record for crystalline silicon-based solar panel cells. Crystalline silicon-based solar panels are the type of solar panels one would find installed on a house, and they type we use here at GreenLeaf Solar. The panels that broke the efficiency record reached an efficiency of 26.6%. This was reached by innovative design by the researchers involving The efficiency percentage means the amount of energy from the sun that is converted to electricity. Crystalline silicon-based solar panel cells have a theoretical limit of 29% according to pv-tech.org. While other types of solar panels might be more efficient; such as Multijunction Cells that reach up to 48%, crystalline silicon-based solar panel cells are ideal for houses for a number of reasons.
Many homeowners on Long Island that are interested in going solar worry about the impacts of winter weather on their solar system; however, there are many important factors to understand when assessing how well a solar system will function in the winter. It is common knowledge that the daily hours of solar production are less during the winter months. There are a host of other important factors to consider, such as reduced electric consumption and improved system efficiency. The winter has a very small impact on your solar systems ability to produce the power needed for your home on Long Island. Below the factors impacting a solar systems production during winter months will be explored.
While it is hardly news that solar energy is booming on Long Island, the vast majority of current installations are residential solar installations. In spite of the huge amount of commercial roof space on Long Island, only a very small portion of commercial have gone solar, but that is all starting to change. Historically one of the largest obstacles to commercial solar on Long Island has been the challenges associated with funding a large commercial solar project. While there are many specialized financing options for residential solar until now there have been no solar specific loan options for commercial solar available on Long Island. In addition to the restrictions related to commercial solar financing on Long Island until a few months ago commercial buildings were not allowed to sell the excess power they produced beyond their own consumption, for this reason it previously did not make sense for large commercial buildings to max out their roof space with solar panels.
Community net metering represents a major shift in solar policy in New York State. Essentially community net-metering allows large buildings to install solar panels on their roof and sell the energy produced at a discounted rate to homeowners. Community net metering represents the first time in history that individuals have an option of where to buy their electricity from, instead of being forced to buy power from the monopolized power utility. Before further delving into community net metering it is worth understanding how traditional net metering works.
One thing that is abundantly clear, is that there is no single silver bullet solution to achieve a zero carbon economy. Rather, multiple technologies will need to work together in an interlinked fashion in order to achieve the goal of a zero carbon economy. Broadly speaking, the technologies needed to achieve a zero carbon economy can be divided into two` distinct categories; energy production and energy management. Some of the most critical technologies that fall under the umbrella of energy production include: solar power, wind power, hydro-electric, geo-thermal and “advanced” nuclear.
Unlike many major industries in the US, such as the automotive industry that are dominated by a few major players, the US solar market is notably different. While there are several major corporate players in the US residential solar space such as SolarCity, Vivant Solar, SunRun and NRG with billions of dollars of investment backing, the residential solar market is shared with much smaller solar installers that are still finding ways to thrive. Interestingly, while the top five national solar companies do control a large segment of the market, an estimated 42% of the US residential solar market is occupied by independent installers. In order to better understand how local solar companies are able to coexist with national powerhouse solar companies like SolarCity, this article will examine some of the unique features of the solar market that allow for it to be a shared by local and national solar companies.
Roughly 10,000 years ago, a major social change occurred that revolutionized human society forever: instead of hunting and gathering for food, we began to farm our food. This agricultural revolution had a dramatic impact on human society. Instead of living in warring nomadic tribes, humans began to form early farming settlements that eventually grew into major global metropolises. However, while we now farm for the vast majority of our agricultural resources as a society, we still hunt and gather for one resource: energy.
When a homeowner buys a solar system or when a solar company installs a system on your home, the federal government issues a 30% tax credit rebate based on the quoted price of the system. Sounds fair right? Unfortunately, solar leasing companies have found a loophole to exploit this government program, while simultaneously hurting the entire solar industry and squandering tax payers dollars. In the residential solar sales market, the price that a solar system sells for is dictated by the economic laws of supply and demand. In order to stay competitive, solar companies must sell their systems at a similar price point to other solar companies. However, because solar lease companies do not actually sell their solar systems, but rather lease them to homeowners, they can quote the value of their system as essentially whatever price point they want.
Many homeowners go solar due to the potential to save huge amounts of money by producing their own electricity. Few homeowners however, consider the potential savings that come with making their homes more energy efficient. In fact, making your home more energy efficient prior to installing solar panels can lead to your home needing a smaller sized solar system. This, in turn, would mean that you wind up saving a lot more money. As an experienced solar company on Long Island, we recommend that homeowners have a professional energy audit conducted prior to installing solar on their home, with the goal of knowing exactly which appliances in their home are consuming the most energy.