Solar Panels Keep Working

Solar panel maintenance will be one of the easiest routines on your end of summer checklist!  Did you know that solar panels are one of the most maintenance free assets in your home? After installation, solar panels keep working for years, even decades, almost maintenance free.

Even so, there are a few, easy tasks that need to be performed on a regular basis to keep the panels producing the maximum amount of clean energy. Most of these tasks can be incorporated into the routine seasonal chores you already perform to keep your home in good repair year-round.

Solar panels are virtually maintenance free because they have few working parts. When you work with a company that does a professional installation of top-quality panels, expect years of energy production from them.

The focus will be to help the panels produce the maximum amount they are capable of by keeping them free of dust, dirt and other debris that can accumulate during the normal course of the year. Spring may bring a heavy coating of pollen. Sometimes our central Texas summers can be dry, resulting in a layer of dust that can reduce solar panel productivity. This year, however, there was plenty of rainfall, so that’s not a concern.

As we move into fall however, leaves, pine needles and other plant material can find its way onto your roof and solar panels. If this sounds familiar, it’s the same list of “stuff” that can clog the gutter system around your home. The remedy is the same, and can be handled at the same time. Some homeowners enjoy the fall ritual of climbing a ladder and cleaning the gutters, others prefer to find reliable pros to do the job.

If you decide to tackle the job yourself, keep in mind that while solar panels are tough and durable, rakes and other sharp implements can cause damage. Do your research by consultant the materials you received from your installer before climbing up on the roof. Be sure you understand the tools and techniques for maintaining your investment. Or, ask your solar installer about the best way to handle the job. You will also want to get their recommendation about maintenance routines for the inverter, which is never a do it yourself job!

Start planning now, and adding these simple chores to your fall to do, or to hire, list will pay dividends as your solar panels provide low-cost, reliable energy for years to come.

Photo information: http://bit.ly/photocreditlevkr

Want to avoid power outages? Invest in Solar

The solar eclipse on August 21 brought an intense focus on the electric grid as scientist and energy experts studied the effect of a sudden decline in solar power on our electricity supply.

Now, virtually on the heels of that test, south Texas and parts of central Texas experienced another sort of test as Hurricane Harvey made landfall near Corpus Christi. This category 4 hurricane brought high winds and flooding. Damage from the storm caused power outages that resulted in more than 300,000 residents losing electric power. Utility companies and their employees will be working night and day to restore power to those Texans affected by the storm.

Here are some facts for homeowners with solar panels installed, and those who are considering the solar option for their home:

  • Studies have shown that high quality, professionally installed solar panels are able to resist extreme weather.
  • For customers who have invested in a battery back-up system it’s possible to avoid power outages entirely.
  • As a storm passes, it is typically followed by sunny days that allow maximum solar power production so that solar customers are among the first to have power restored.

Solar professionals are in the business of working with their potential customers to design and install a system that delivers maximum benefits for years to come. That includes presenting options like a battery back-up system, EMP protection and other enhancements that go beyond the basic installation of solar panels that capture free sunlight and convert it into a valuable resource: electricity.

A disaster like Hurricane Harvey, the most destructive storm to make landfall in recent history, reminds us how important it is to build quality into all our projects, particularly when we make improvements to our home. Adding a solar system to your home will increase its value and provide greater safety and comfort to your family for years to come.

When you trust your solar installation to true solar panel experts, part of your consultation will include information about things like electromagnetic pulse (EMP) protection. When homeowners chose this option, their installation includes additional features that protect against this phenomenon. In fact, when our customers choose the Gold Package, EMP protection is provided as a bonus.

As the storm passes and the sun comes out, it’s time to call Go Pro Solar and schedule your no obligation consultation.

Financing Your Solar Investment

There are plenty of ways to fight the summer heat, but one of the smartest is to stay inside and research ways to save money on your electric bills during the dog days of summer next year! Get the process started now, and your solar panels will be installed and ready to keep you cool during remaining warm days and keep you warm when winter chills arrive, too.

There are two approaches to making your solar investment affordable and increasing the ROI of your solar panels. The first is to explore the rebates, incentives and tax benefits available for solar panels. There are also financing programs and loans that to make clean, efficient solar energy fit within your budget.

Here are the three types of financing that homeowners can use for purchasing solar panels:

1) Solar financing companies. These companies specialize in providing financing for residential solar panels. Because they are specialist, they have expertise in the solar industry and have programs designed to maximize the benefits of solar for their customers. They also have relationships with other companies in the solar industry that can help make the process seamless, like partnering with installers for one stop shopping.

2) The Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Program allows homeowners to pay for their approved renewable energy projects when they pay their annual property tax assessment. This acts as a vehicle for differing the payment instead of setting up a monthly payment plan. To find out if this type of arrangement is available in your area and if it is a viable option for you, take a look at this Fact Sheet from the Department of Energy: http://bit.ly/PACE_Info

3) Home equity lines of credit and home improvement loans can be used to finance solar panel systems. While other types of financing might offer significant advantages, if the solar upgrade is part of a larger home renovation or remodeling project, using this type of financing might make sense.

The easiest way to to start your research about how solar loans and other financing might fit into your plan to save money on your electric bill and enhance the value of your home is to schedule an appointment with a Solar Energy Consultant. When you chose a reputable company like Go Pro Solar, you will be given all the information you need to make an informed decision about the best products and programs for your unique situation.

Ready to get started? Contact GoProSolar today and schedule your consultation.

Credits, rebates, incentives, oh my!

Would getting a generous tax credit make your decision to go solar easier? Or maybe getting a rebate that reduces the cost of your investment in going solar? Interested in learning about what financial incentives are available?

If so, keep reading to learn where you can find the latest information about what’s available to help make your dream of going solar a reality.

Let’s start at with the Federal Government programs. These programs generally use tax credits to reward individuals by allowing a credit that reduces any tax owed. In 2017, the solar credit is up to 30% of the investment made.

Always consult a tax expert about your individual situation before making a decision about items that affect your tax return.

The state of Texas does not have an individual income tax, so there are no rebates or incentives for solar investment offered at the state level. However, Texas residents who install a solar system on their home are increasing the appraised value of their home. State lawmakers recently decided that this increase in value will be given an exemption from property tax. As always, please check with your personal tax advisor regarding these questions.

At the local level, here’s a sample of the type of programs available in the area GoProSolar serves

  • Austin Energy offers rebates to homeowners who install Photovoltaic panels on their home. To find out what they are currently offering and how to get started, visit their website:  http://bit.ly/SolarRebatesATX
  • Austin Energy has programs for business/commercial property, too: http://bit.ly/AustinSolarBiz
  • San Antonio is working hard to increase the solar capacity of their city, so CPS has a residential solar rebate program. Visit their page for information on their program and tips for getting started: http://bit.ly/CPSSolarRebates

In addition to these programs for homeowners and small business, there are many programs at the federal, state and local level.  Visit: http://bit.ly/dsiretexasprograms for a searchable database of programs for Texas homeowners and businesses.

Solar is always a great investment, but incentives, rebates and tax credits make the decision even easier – go solar!