Solar Benefits Year Round

Did you know solar benefits don’t disappear at the end of summer?

Fall is here, and the days are getting cooler and shorter. While your solar panels are most productive during long summer days, you can gain solar benefits year round.

First of all, even though days are shorter and the sun is less intense, solar panels are actually more productive in moderate temperatures. It seems counter-intuitive, but photovoltaic cells are capturing and converting light, not heat, into electricity. Temperatures between 75 and 85 degrees are perfect for solar panel productivity. This means that shorter cooler days can equal the energy output of longer, hotter ones.

The real key to having your solar panels at maximum productivity is the design and installation of your system. The size and placement of the panels on your roof and the angle of adjustment make a big difference in how much power is generated. That’s why you want to choose a company that has expertise and experience in solar system design and installation.

An additional reason that fall is a great time to go solar is that a solar system with battery back-up is the best way to deal with power outages. There are a range of weather related causes for power outages:

  • Hurricanes – what’s referred to has Hurricane Season stretches from June 1 through November 30. These storms can cause power outages from high winds and flooding, too. As we all know from recent experience, a big storm can leave thousands without power for several days.
  • Freezing temperatures – while we don’t experience the long stretches of winter that our northern neighbors do, every Texas winter generally brings some freezing temperatures. Even a slight dip below freezing combined with rain can result in dangerous roadways and downed power lines.
  • Lightning storms – Texas experiences more lightning strikes than any other state and has 15 deaths from lightning so far in 2017. Lightning can cause power outages in several ways ranging from issues such as trees falling across powerlines and power surges that knock power out. These outages are general of short duration.

Getting your solar system up and running makes sense. And, don’t forget, you can claim tax credits you might qualify for on your 2017 return. Check out this blog post for information about tax credits, incentives and rebates: http://bit.ly/SolarIncentivesEtc .

The solar company you want to do business with has a knowledgeable, trained staff who spend the necessary time and have the skills they need to create the best, most productive installation for your home. Your solar consultant should also be able to discuss the technical aspects of your specific installation with you.

Contact us today!  http://bit.ly/GetaSolarConsultation

Solar companies are all equal, right?

Glad you asked! Solar companies are not all the same. In fact, choosing a solar panel company that installs the best quality solar panels will make a huge difference in how successful you are in reaching your goal of saving money on your electric bills.

Solar energy, of course, has been available since the beginning of the solar system. Inventors were intrigued by the idea of harnessing the sun’s powerful energy since the early 1800’s.

Along the way, there were some bumps and bruises. In the beginning, panels were less efficient so they required too much roof space for practical use.

Today, scientists and engineers have developed the technology to harness that amazing energy and use it to power our daily lives. In the past 10 years, the efficiency of solar cells has increased rapidly, and the cost of production has declined.

Three things that you want to look for in solar companies

There are significant differences in solar panels and the companies that install them. The best solar panel companies use cutting edge technology to create custom panels for each installation.

  • They work through a network of companies that depend on trained solar technicians for the design and installation of systems.
  • And, they back up their products and service with strong warranties to protect their customer’s investment.

If you think it sounds like this would cost more than buying “generic” panels that are frequently offered as part of a gimmicky sales pitch, just the opposite is true. While the initial cost is more, the performance of the system quickly makes up for the initial outlay. And, don’t forget that rebates and incentives and tax credits might be available to offset the investment you are making in your home.

As with any home improvement, the pain of a poorly done installation or even dangerous installation or a faulty product lingers long after the “savings” have been forgotten.

Here at Go Pro Solar, we only install the highest quality solar panels, custom designed and backed by the best warranty in the business. Our goal is not to install a solar system and move on. It’s to delight each of our customers so that they share the advantages of doing business with us around the community.

If you would like to find out how going solar can benefit you, give us a call to schedule your consultation.

http://bit.ly/GetaSolarConsultation

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.

Finding your perfect solar home

Thinking about making a move? Is your current home too small for a growing family? Or are you ready to downsize now that your nest is empty?

If you’ve been considering going solar, you’ll want to include that into the wish list as you start looking for your next home.

Ideally, you’ll find your ideal home, already upgraded with a professionally installed solar panel system. However, a recent search of Austin homes for sale yielded only 29 homes with solar panels already installed. Chances are, then, you will need to find your ideal next home, then add the solar system.

Buying the home you want then working with a solar company to design and install your solar system is usually the best choice.  Because buying a home and all that it involves is a major commitment of your resources in both time and money, you want a home that suits your lifestyle and meets your criteria for space, amenities and community. Adding your own solar panels to your perfect home will enhance your enjoyment and increase resale value, too.

If you should find a home that fits all your needs and already has solar panels installed, you’ll need to find out if the seller bought the panels outright, financed them with a loan or if they are leased. When the seller purchased the panels without financing there are no issues. A solar loan would need to be paid off before the transfer of title. A lease can be more complicated. The leasing company will require that you, as the buyer, qualify to assume the lease. However, you may find that the terms of the lease are not favorable and you may not be willing to assume the lease.

A second consideration when you buy a home that has already been converted to solar is that the previous homeowner got the benefit of rebates and other incentives. Of course, you will be getting the benefits of low, stable energy costs without going through the work of installing the panels.

If you are considering the purchase of a home with solar panels, be sure that the solar panels are up to the quality standards you expect. You will also want to examine the warranty and other documents that accompany the installation.

When you weigh all the factors involved in buying a home that already has a solar panel system installed, you might decide that your focus will shift from finding a solar home for sale to finding your ideal home and contracting for the solar installation yourself.

At the end of the process, you’ll discover that the effort to seek out and create your ideal solar home is well worth the reward: a comfortable home with low energy costs for years to come.

Going solar from the ground up

There’s no doubt that purchasing a home tops the list of exhilarating experiences – from exploring for that perfect neighborhood to settling in and figuring out where to place treasured objects. But even more thrilling is building a home.

If you are thinking about switching to solar energy, incorporating that plan into a home you are building present the ideal opportunity to design and install a solar panel system that will meet your electrical energy needs for years to come. When you are choosing a builder, select a company that will work with you to incorporate solar into your new home.

No matter whether you are building a new home from the ground up, purchasing an existing home or upgrading your current home by installing solar panels, the first step will always be a solar site analysis. In the case of new construction, a site analysis can identify the perfect location for your home. This early planning allows you to incorporate energy saving design elements that can reduce consumption and lower energy costs even further.

One of the most important considerations is how much sunlight will fall on the proposed home site. The location of trees, the size of your property, the design of your roof and geographic features of the site will be evaluated as you work with your builder to maximize the amount of sunlight available for energy production.

During this process, your solar company will obtain the permits – typically building and electrical – that are required for your project. If your new home is in a community with a homeowner’s association, find out their requirements. Plans for your solar energy system may need to be submitted for their approval. As solar becomes more common, the permitting process is becoming easier to navigate.

Incorporating solar energy into your new home construction allows you to have the maximum amount of control over your energy bills. When you design and build your home to maximize your solar energy output and minimize your energy use, you have created the best of all possible worlds. Instead of the uncertainty about your energy costs, you will own and operate your own clean, renewable energy supply for the life of your home.

In Austin and the surrounding area, GoProSolar is the only solar company with years of experience in new home construction. If you are planning to build an energy efficient, solar powered home, you’ll want to schedule a consultation today. You’ll get the guidance you need to make your dream of a new, solar powered home a reality.

Going off grid?

Most residential solar customers will remain on the grid. In other words, they will use their residential solar panels to reduce their energy bills while contributing their excess production to the grid. They will then use the grid for backup when their energy needs surpass their own production. This is a great solution, and for many, it truly offers the ideal situation.

For others, however, there is a real desire to be totally energy independent. These customers have the available resources, in terms of the initial investment and access to enough space for their solar panels to make this dream a reality.

While installing solar panels is easy, designing and installing an off-grid system takes a considerable investment of time and resources. Before you make your final decision, here are some thoughts to consider.

Why do you think going off-grid is an option? There are a variety of reasons both practical and philosophical.

At the top of the list of practical reasons is that your home or business is in a location that currently doesn’t have access to the grid. In that case, you will need to research the cost of creating your own system. It will most likely be a substantial array of solar panels, along with a storage system. Compare the cost of your system to what the local utility will charge to connect you to the existing grid.

Another aspect of going off-grid to consider are the practicalities of producing your own energy in the same consistent, reliable way we have become accustom to. Most of us have lived for many years in a system where energy is abundant and as easy as flipping a switch. By going off-grid, you will have to put serious consideration into replicating that system with your own resources. You will most likely be required to make some lifestyle adjustments, too, so that you can effectively balance your energy production with your consumption.

When you are totally off grid, your biggest challenge will be dealing with the fluctuations in power production. When the days are long, sunny and cloudless, no problem! Your solar panels will keep all your systems running efficiently. Cloudy days and the rainy season are another story all together. That’s why it’s so important to work with a solar company with expertise in the design and installation of solar installations that incorporate an adequate storage system along with the solar panels.

Of course, this type of system can represent a significant investment.  The good news is that your solar energy back-up system may qualify for tax credits and other incentives, too. As always, these decisions should be made in consultation with your tax advisor.

The best way to determine if now is the time to go off the grid is to contact a professional solar system design company and schedule an initial consultation. Get started today and realize your goal of energy independence today.

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!

Texas Leads the Way

When you say Texas, people think “energy!”

That’s been true since Spindletop in Beaumont gave birth to the modern oil industry and it continues to hold true today.  Now, however, along with traditional energy sources like oil, gas and coal, Texas is also becoming a leader in renewable energy.

Here’s how the Lone Star State stacks up in three major types of renewable energy:

1) Biomass energy comes from plants used in livestock production and other agricultural industries. For example, the stalk, husk and leaves of corn fed to cattle can be used to create biomass fuel. Instead of going to waste, these byproducts of agricultural production help create valuable energy resources. Scientists are working toward more efficient ways to harness biofuels and put them to work.

Texas leads in production for many of the agriculture products that are used to produce these renewable energy sources. Canola, sorghum and even switchgrass, which is a Texas native plant, all have huge potential as a fuel source.

2) Geography plays a key role in the ongoing prosperity of Texas, particularly when it come to wind energy. Location and topography work together to create huge potential to harness wind energy into clean, renewable and cost-efficient electricity. One of the world’s largest wind farms is in Roscoe, Texas. Georgetown, just north of Austin, recently made history by becoming the first city powered by a combination of wind and solar energy. The decision was made based on the desire to create a long-term, sustainable energy program with predictable cost.

3) Solar is the fastest growing energy source in Texas in 2017, surpassing growth in biofuel, wind and traditional power sources, too. Just like Texas, solar energy is characterized by diversity. From huge solar farms in West Texas to rooftop solar systems installed on homes and commercial buildings, there are many ways to harness the energy of the sun.

One of the primary benefits of solar, and the key to it’s great potential, is that each individual homeowner has access to solar power. While installing your own windmill is out of the question for suburban and city dwellers, rooftop solar is a practical way to access the savings and other benefits of renewable energy.

There is a place in our energy future for all of these clean, renewable fuels. In fact, by creating multiple sources of energy, we create a stronger economy and a stronger state. Once dominated by the oil industry, today Texas is the leader in industries ranging from aerospace to entertainment to technology and tourism. Economist call this diversification. Most of us here in Texas just call it smart!

Get started today on creating your own reliable, renewal energy resource by contacting GoProSolar!

I’m ready to go solar – how do I start?

Schools out, summer’s here and temperatures in Central Texas are soaring.  It’s no wonder that many homeowners are asking this question! After all, the sunlight is intense and solar panels can harness it into a precious resource: electric power to fuel our busy lives.

If the question has crossed your mind, you will need to spend some time analyzing your home and how your family currently uses electricity. This process takes a little time and effort, but you will find ways to save money and use resources more efficiently, too. Gathering that information is the first step toward going solar and stepping away for high electric bills.

To find out how solar panels can help, you need to determine your energy needs. Start by looking at your electricity usage over the past year, or the longest period you have access to. This information will help you know how much electricity your solar panel system will need to generate. It will help you pinpoint areas when you might be able to adjust your energy consumption, too. If you have recently made other investments, perhaps in new, energy efficient appliances or installing new windows, take those factors into account.

You will need to look the appliances (refrigerators, clothes dryers, etc.) and systems (heating and air conditioning) that drive your energy consumption. This stage of your process is an opportunity to fully understand your energy use by scheduling an appointment with an energy auditor. This involves looking at your entire home to determine places where your home is leaking the heated or cooled air back into the great outdoors. Your auditor will evaluate your home, inside and out, and help you get the full picture of where you can save energy.

Your energy audit will show where you can reduce energy waste and make your home more comfortable, too. For example, if there are spots in your home that are always too hot or too cold, could be that a leak or draft keeps your HVAC system from doing its job. Finding the source of the problem and correcting it will enhance the comfort of your family and lower energy consumption, too.

This information about your energy use helps your solar panel company design a system that will provide for your energy needs year-round. It provides the basis for making a series of decisions about the type of solar panel system to help you reach your goals.

Once you determine your energy needs, your solar energy consultant will work with you to design residential solar panel system that’s right for you. Things like the size and slope of the roof and the amount of sunlight available, along with the number of kilowatt hours your household needs, will determine the cost of your system. Your consultant will provide a report that shows your potential savings.

Here in Central Texas our summer days tend to be long, bright and sunny. We at Pro Solar can help you capture plenty of that good sunshine to keep your home cool and comfortable.

Ready to get started? Contact us for your free initial consultation today!