Solar Power Economy SuperGreen Solutions

Why Solar Power is Important to The Economy

While most people know that solar is good for the environment, what is seldom discussed about the technology is why solar power is important to both homeowners and the US economy as a whole. In the last ten years, solar installations have grown at a rate of 59% annually in the US, creating an economic engine that is helping people save money and creating thousands of jobs.

So it’s clear that the industry has become an essential part of the US economy, but the question remains as to how and why it has become so important. SuperGreen Solutions of Charleston takes a look at what has been powering the industry and the reasons it has become such a critical part of our economy today.

  1. Reinvestment Through The Federal Solar Tax Credit

A large part of solar’s rapid growth has been due to the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) as an incentive to make the switch to solar. This law has been a great incentive that has allowed hundreds of thousands of homeowners to reinvest in their home, paying themselves for their solar instead of having to pay the government the average $5,000-$6,000 payment that is 30% of the average system.

  1. Financial Savings for Homeowners

With both the Solar ITC and solar installation heading more mainstream, an increasing amount of homeowners have woken up to the benefits of solar power at home.  While some may claim they install solar for the environmental benefit, most homeowners are making the switch for the financial savings that solar installation presents.  Solar helps homeowners produce their own power from the sun, which allows them to use less power from the utility company.

  1. More Savings = More Spending

As a sort of trickle-down effect from solar savings, homeowners will have a more disposable income to spend on other good, that, as a net effect, will benefit the economy as a whole.  

  1. Helping the Auto Industry

Many homeowners are using solar to power their electric cars as well, which has no doubt sparked an increase in electric car sales as well.  Data indicates that there is a strong correlation between electric vehicle ownership and solar ownership, a recent poll finding that approximately 28-40% of electric car owners also have solar at home.  

  1. Powering an American Job Growth Machine

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Due to the recent wide adoption of solar, there is now a huge demand for solar installers across the nation.  Over the past few years, the solar industry has created more jobs in America than almost any other industry, with about 51,000 new employment opportunity in 2016 alone. This increase has risen solar jobs to about 260,000.  Studies show that this growth is expected to continue and that solar installer is set to become the fastest growing job in America in the next ten years. Solar installation jobs pay well and typically provide full-time hours, so they are providing and will continue to provide great jobs for our middle class.

 

The Cost of Leasing vs. Buying Solar Panels

The Real Cost of Leasing vs. Buying Solar Panels

Buying solar panels requires an investment and more decision-making than leasing, but over the long term the benefits of owning your system are hard to beat.

Why Leasing Isn’t a Bright Idea

The steep up-front costs for a residential solar system can make a leasing company’s sales pitch sound pretty appealing: Pay little or nothing and save hundreds of dollars per year on average. (The premise is that you save because the combination of your lease payment and your electric bill is less than what you currently pay for power.) Leasing can also look seductively simple compared with buying: There’s no need to shop separately for an installer and financing; you just sign on the dotted line. So it’s not surprising that 72 percent of the people who installed residential solar systems in 2014 did so through leasing or another type of third-party arrangement. But the reality is not quite so sunny.

Your Savings Will Be Modest

People who lease their solar systems save far less than those who buy them outright or with a loan (they also miss out on federal tax benefits and any local incentives). Many leases contain an escalator clause that can further reduce savings by increasing payments 3 percent per year. So if you’re paying 12 cents per kilowatt-hour in year one, with a 3 percent escalator, you’ll be paying 18.2 cents in year 15. That means that if the cost of energy doesn’t rise as quickly as the contracted lease payments increase, your savings could evaporate.

You Lose Control of Your Roof

Leasing companies want to maximize their profit, so there’s a chance you could wind up with more panels than you want and that they could be installed in highly visible places—such as facing the street—without any regard to appearance. To avoid that, check the final system design and placement before signing the lease. It could be different from the initial mock-up.

Leases Can Scare Off Home Buyers

If you put your house on the market before the lease is up (usually 20 years), you will either have to buy out the lease or the person purchasing your home will have to assume it—which some are reluctant to do.

Some solar leasing companies may offer to relocate their systems from one house to another. That could cost $500 for an initial audit and another $500 to transfer the panels, if the leasing company determines it can be done. You would also need approval from your utility and local landmarks commission or the condo or HOA, if applicable. Plus the new house must be able to accommodate the old system.

And remember: At the end of the lease, the solar company could remove the system—and your savings along with it.

Service Plans Don’t Serve You

Though leasing companies love to tout their service plans. There’s really no scenario where the maintenance plan is going to kick in. Equipment problems aren’t covered by the maintenance plan, they’re covered by the warranty. And if a storm destroys your panels, the damage may be covered by your homeowners insurance.

That’s why—whether you buy or lease—it’s essential that you inform your insurer. (Roof-mounted solar is generally added as part of a standard homeowners policy at no additional cost; ground-mounted solar may require an insurance rider.)

Commercial Roof Solar Panel Installation SuperGreen Solutions

What Type of Commercial Solar Installation is Right for Your Business?

Businesses and organizations across the Lowcountry are waking up to the benefits that solar presents for their bottom line. From small businesses to warehouses, hospitals to large campuses that use a lot of electricity stand to save a ton on their power bills by making the switch, and many savvy business owners have realized that.  The new reality is that businesses of all sizes and types can go solar, whether it’s mounted on their roof, in their parking lot or on their lawn.

The question is then, what is holding many business owners back?  Many think they may not have space or the roof type that would make their facility applicable for solar.  This could not be farther from the truth. With new innovations in racking and carport structures, not having space on your campus is no longer an excuse.  SuperGreen Solutions of Charleston has many options for commercial installations, and the chances are that at least one solution can work for you.  Let’s take a look at the different types of commercial solar panels, and what types of facilities they are optimal for.  

  1. Rooftop Solar

This is an obvious first choice for many businesses, as the appeal is that you can utilize unused roof space to mount the solar, out of sight from your customers all while offsetting your power bill.  

  1. Carport Solar

Carport Solar Panels Super Green Solutions

Businesses and organizations that don’t have the roof space or have a unique roof, but have a large parking lot are perfect candidates for carport solar. You can utilize space in your parking lot or garage to mount hundreds of panels, which not only power your business, but provide shade and cover for your patrons to park under.  There are three varieties of this type of installation, each of them suited to different situations.

  1. Ground Solutions

Ground Solar Panels Commercial SuperGreen Solutions

In some circumstances, some businesses may want large-scale, power-plant level production solar installations.  Whether it’s for their own power, or to produce power to sell to other businesses, these large-scale installations are gaining in popularity.  Most of these installations use standard, simple ground mount modular racking systems to the mount the modules at a tilt. The design of these racking systems is usually simplified such that the design can be automated, saving cost and time.  If you have the land, and want to produce a ton of power, this type of solution may be for you.

So no matter what your businesses situation may be, chances are that solar can work for you. No matter your roof or land situation, we can figure out a solution for your organization, whether it’s roof mounted, a carport, or ground mounted, so that you can start saving money on your power bills and improve your bottom line.  If you’re looking for a quote on commercial solar, contact SuperGreen Solutions of Charleston today.

 

December is the Best Month to Go Solar! Get a “Smart” Home Package with your Solar Purchase.

Smart Home For The Holiday SuperGreen Solutions

Let’s face it, most of us look forward to winter in South Carolina as a welcome break from the sweltering summers, as well as the higher power bills. It’s easy to put off making a solar investment when your utility bills drop, but did you realize that going solar in winter actually offers the best opportunity for summer savings?

Warm weather is sort of a regular thing around here, and those bills are going to be spiking before you know it. Get started with your solar investment early so that you’ll have ample time to complete the design and installation process, and to ensure you have plenty of time to bank your energy credits (net metering) for use when the temperature starts rising again. But taking advantage of the SCEG net metering rules is just part of the story.

To make things even better, SuperGreen Solutions of Charleston is offering a smart home package to accompany any solar system purchase from Dec 1- 31st. The Holidays just got a little smarter!

Each kit includes:

  • 20 LED Bulbs
  • Amazon Echo Plus (2nd Generation)
  • (4) Philips Hue White A19  60W Dimmable LED Smart Bulbs
  • Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat with Built-In Alexa and Room Sensor

To receive a free Smart Home Kit, you must qualify, purchase, & install a solar system from SuperGreen Solution of Charleston. Solar installation agreement must be signed between December 1 and December 31, 2018. Physical system installation before 2019 is not a requirement to be eligible. This offer can’t be combined with any other offer. Certain restrictions apply, ask rep for details. Smart Home Kits will be sent to customers upon date of system installation.

CONTACT US with any questions and to get started saving green by going green!

Solar Panel Facts Super Green Solutions

Solar Panel Facts

  • The Earth receives more energy from the sun in an hour than is used in the entire world in one year.
  • In 1839 Alexandre Edmond Becquerel discovered the photovoltaic effect which explains how electricity can be generated from sunlight.
  • In 1941, Russell Ohl invented the solar cell, shortly after the invention of the transistor.
  • It would take far less than 1% of the Earth’s land area covered in solar panels to supply all of the world’s electricity needs.
  • Weight for weight, silicon solar cells generate the same amount of electricity over their lifetime as nuclear fuel rods – and are much safer!
  • The amount of energy that goes into creating solar panels is paid back through clean electricity production within anywhere from 1-2 years.
  • A solar panel can work for decades. Some installed in the 1970’s are still generating electricity .
  • Wind is a form of solar power, created by the uneven heating of the Earth’s surface.
  • Solar power does not create any noise pollution; solar panels silently create energy from the sun’s rays.
  • Coal plants are the largest producers of carbon emissions, which contribute to global warming. Oil hurts the planet too. Each year in America alone, over one million gallons of petroleum spill into waterways, oceans, and groundwater. That’s why solar power is so important—it can reduce pollution and harm to the environment.
  • A household rooftop solar panel system can reduce pollution by 100 tons of CO2 carbon dioxide in its lifetime—and this includes the energy it took to manufacture the solar panels.4 Solar panels can improve future air quality for humans as well as the millions of birds, fish, and mammals that are negatively affected by pollution each year.
  • When you buy solar panels, you’re eligible for a 30% tax break from the federal government—you could get thousands of dollars back on your taxes and offset the initial cost.
  • China has the most solar power wattage in the world—78,100 gigawatts—followed by Japan, Germany, the United States, and Italy.

Solar power is an exciting, eco-friendly, and ever-expanding industry. Sign up to stay up to date on developments in solar news by Clicking Here.

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Gound-Mounted vs. Rooftop-Mounted Solar Panels

A new solar project is installed every 2.5 minutes, and yours just may be the next one. One of the decisions you may have to make before getting started, though, is between ground-mounted and rooftop-mounted panels. Ground-mounted solar panels can be installed anywhere on your property — including the front, side, or backyard — whereas rooftop-mounted panels must be attached to your roof.

Both options have unique benefits and make sense for different household situations and needs. Before moving forward with solar installation, make sure you are confident in your panel choice. Here, we’ve simplified the decision-making process by laying out a few of the biggest differences between ground-mounted and rooftop-mounted solar panels.

Ground-Mounted Arrays

Ground Mounted Solar Panels Super Green Solutions

Costs: Ground-mounted panels often cost more than roof mounted systems because they require additional materials, time, and labor. Solar installers generally use a cement foundation or reinforced pole structure to ensure the panels are propped up off the ground, tilted at the proper angle, and then wired to your home, all of which ends up being a slightly more involved — and expensive — process.

Space: If you have a large yard or a lot of space, you can install a much bigger ground-mounted system than you could with a rooftop-mounted system, giving you the opportunity to generate more energy and save on your utility bill. However, a large ground-mounted system will consume more of your land, leaving you less space for recreation or gardening.

Aesthetics: Ground-mounted solar panels typically sit between a few inches and several feet above the ground, depending on your location and the mounting system. If you have a small yard and a bulky array, the panels may stand out more than they would on a rooftop. This can be a significant deterrent to homes with manicured lawns and landscaped gardens.

Positioning: Solar panels should face south or west, with southwest or southeast alignments as possible alternatives. With a ground-mounted system, you can make sure your panels are oriented in the right direction and at the right angle without any potential shade to generate maximum energy. It’s also a lot easier to install a sun-tracking system on a ground-mounted array, which can lead to higher efficiencies.

Cleaning and Maintenance: While solar panels don’t require much maintenance, you may need to clean or repair them at some point. As ground-mounted panels are closer to the ground, they are easier to clean and maintain than those on a roof. The only extra effort a ground-mounted array owner will need to invest is to keep the base of the panels clear during cold and snowy weather, as new snow on the panels can only slide off if the area below is clear.

Roof-Mounted Arrays

SuperGreen Solutions Charleston Residential Solar Panels

Costs: Rooftop-mounted panels are more common, and they’re usually easier and faster to install. The only thing that might increase those costs significantly is the condition of your roof. Rooftop-mounted panels require a steady, well-maintained roof that is expected to last at least 20 years. If your roof is more than 10 years old, you will likely have to replace it during the solar array’s lifetime. We can help you with our Re-Roof, Produce, and Reduce program!  Uninstalling and reinstalling solar panels is complicated, time-consuming, and expensive, so you may want to replace the roof before installing your panels, which will increase overall costs. Click here for more details about this program.

Space: With rooftop-mounted panels, you’re much more limited in how large of a system you can install.  because you likely don’t spend a lot of time on your roof, a rooftop-mounted system will preserve your land’s usable space.

Aesthetics: Rooftop-mounted systems are generally less noticeable, though it does depend on the positioning of your home. If the front of your home faces south, the panels will be very visible. If your home faces north, on the other hand, you can hide the solar panels better by placing them on the backside of your roof.

Positioning: Rooftop-mounted solar panels are restricted by multiple variables, including the type of roof, angle, and direction. A slate roof with a steep pitch isn’t ideal for rooftop solar, for example, while asphalt roofs with a gentle slope are ideal. Obstructions such as chimneys, skylights, trees, or buildings can also cast shadows on rooftop panels, reducing overall production.

Cleaning and Maintenance: Roof-mounted arrays will require a bit more caution and care when it comes to maintenance. While some owners feel comfortable cleaning their panels with a broom or pressure washer, those practices may void the warranty on certain arrays. To be safe, it’s generally a better idea to invest in a professional cleaning and checkup every year or so. We can help you find a local to clean your solar array by Clicking Here.

There’s no one right choice when it comes to deciding between ground-mounted and rooftop-mounted solar panels. Both solutions offer benefits, and the best arrangement ultimately depends on your property and preferences. If after reviewing the benefits and drawbacks of each option you’re still not sure what would be best for your home, connect with SuperGreen Solutions of Charleston for a free consultation. We can assess your property and provide a recommendation.

How to Maintain Solar Panels Super Green Solutions

How to Maintain Your Solar Panels

Solar panels are made of tempered glass, so they’re built to withstand hail and other rough weather. With the exception of tracking mounts, solar panel systems don’t have movable parts, which cuts down on the possibility of any problems.

Any issues with solar panel performance are usually related to electricity production, which is why most installers recommend monitoring your system’s production. By paying attention to changes in production, you can identify and address issues proactively.

Generally, solar panels don’t need to be cleaned. If you live somewhere where there is a lot of smog, dust, or dirt, you may see a dip in your production over time that can be remedied by cleaning your panels. If your panels are mounted on your roof, however, your best option is to hire a professional cleaning service rather than try to clean them yourself. Click here so we can recommend someone local to help you.

For more Solar Tips like these as well as the latest news in solar, please sign up for our Solar Newsletter by Clicking Here.

solar panels on a rainy day Super Green Solutions

Do Solar Panels Work in Cloudy Weather?

Solar panels generate the most electricity on clear days with abundant sunshine (not surprisingly). But, do solar panels work in cloudy weather?

Yes… just not quite as well.

On a cloudy day, typical solar panels can produce 10-25% of their rated capacity. The exact amount will vary depending on the density of the clouds, and may also vary by the type of solar panel; some kinds of panels are better at receiving diffuse light.

Ultraviolet light also reaches the earth’s surface in abundance during cloudy days (if you’ve ever been at the beach when it’s cloudy and gotten a sunburn, you’ve experienced this firsthand). Some solar cells are in development that can capture UV rays, although these are not out on the market yet. Even with a standard solar panel on a cloudy day, though, you will be able to generate some power when it’s daylight. The same thing is true in foggy weather.

When you’re looking at how solar power can help you save money on your electric bill, you’ll be considering how much sunshine you get over an entire year, not any particular day. If you’re generating more power than you need, your electric company will look at what you’ve produced over a full year as they calculate how much to pay you.

The good news is that you live in a state that is known for its sunshine!

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9 Lesser-Known Benefits of Solar Energy

  1. Zero energy-production costs
    Solar energy doesn’t require any outside supply to work, so its maintenance and energy production costs are practically zero. The only cost associated with the use of solar energy is the manufacture and installation of the components. This means that despite the large initial investment, there are no additional costs associated with its use, so the installation is recovered quickly.

  1. Less energy lost during long-distance transport
    Losses during transport and distribution of energy increase with the distance between the production and supply points. Although these losses are not very large, they do affect the performance of the installation in densely-populated areas.

     

    On the other hand, with the individual installation of photovoltaic panels on rooftops, the distances are drastically reduced, increasing the efficiency of the electrical system.

  1. Versatile installation
    The easy and simplicity of the installation means that it can be installed almost anywhere, taking advantage of both vertical and horizontal spaces with no specific use. But the most interesting advantage is the possibility of providing electricity in remote locations, where the cost of installing electrical distribution lines is too high or unfeasible.

  1. Impact on the environment
    The production of solar energy doesn’t generate noise pollution, which is an important aspect to take into account for installations in urban areas. It also doesn’t generate any waste because it doesn’t need maintenance and its lifetime is far longer than other energy-production systems. In fact, solar panels are designed to withstand the impact of the environment in extreme weather situations.

  1. Improved security of the power grid
    This is an important indirect benefit that has a direct impact on the efficiency of the power grid in the case of the common problems of blackouts and voltage dips. The possibility of introducing solar power from thousands or even millions of individual energy-production centers improves the security on the power grid against overloads or fires in transformer substations.

  1. Economic savings
    The production of clean energy from the sun significantly reduces costs, because it is an inexhaustible source of energy that isn’t subject to market fluctuations or the effects generated by speculation. And most importantly, it is an unlimited and continuous source of energy that doesn’t require any additional maintenance or usage costs.

    Nevertheless, the latest technological advances point towards a significant drop in the prices of the components required to manufacture the panels, which will translate into more efficient and affordable solar cells.

  1. Economic impact
    Lastly, most of the costs of the system come from the installation of the solar panels themselves, which promotes local job creation. The widespread use of these systems therefore promotes job creation and has a positive impact on the economy in the area.

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How Much Will The Solar System Cost?

99% of Solar programs out there are $0 down and $0 out of pocket with no monthly or yearly dues, monitoring, ext…. And the cost of the monthly payment to pay for the equipment and installation is the same or less than your electric bill.

AKA- “No cost solar program”

So, what are the ways that a system can be financed?

  1. Several different Green Energy loan/Equipment finance companies.
  2. Refi your mortgage through a 203k/construction loan/green energy mortgage
  3. Home Equity Line of Credit (This is one of the cheapest, fastest and most cost effective way)
  4. Loan from 401k-Most people don’t think about this, but this is incredible because you can borrow from yourself, paying yourself the interest back and don’t have to qualify for any traditional loan programs.
  5. Personal Loan
  6. Borrow from someone
  7. Pay cash from Savings or investments money.

Bottom line is, there are several ways to do it and we recommend certain ways based on income, credit, the amounts and financial situations of each customer, so be sure to ask me what the best way for me would be.

Give us a call or CLICK HERE to schedule your FREE Solar Consultation today!