After nearly 40 years of practical application, solar power has established itself as a viable alternative energy source—clean, renewable and reliable. As a result, thousands of homeowners in Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area have made the switch to solar, and more continue to follow their example. Besides the practical benefits, a major aspect that attracts prospective solar owners is the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), a benefit offered by the federal government. The ITC allows any homeowner who installs a solar PV system to deduct a percentage of the installation cost from their federal taxes. Both residential and commercial solar installations are eligible for the ITC, and there’s no price cap on its value. Read more
With PG&E’s Public Safety Power Shutoffs affecting millions in Northern California this year, many residents are now searching for alternative methods for powering their homes. Some have turned to portable generators. Although they’re relatively inexpensive, generators consume gasoline, produce noise and fumes, and require regular maintenance to run reliably. For a more permanent and environmentally-friendly solution, some homeowners are investigating solar power. But not all solar systems will provide electricity in the event of a power outage, so it’s important to do your homework before making a decision. Read more
Earlier this week, we posted an article featuring expert tips about residential solar power. One tip explained the importance of choosing the right manufacturer to purchase system components from. To learn more, watch this informative video by Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Bob Winn of Sky Power Systems.
Just a few decades ago, solar power was a fringe technology whose viability as a widespread energy source was uncertain. Flash forward to today, where solar panels can be seen speckled over rooftops and hillsides throughout the Bay Area and beyond. However, while most Bay Area residents are acquainted with the concept of solar power, far fewer have taken steps to incorporate this technology into their lives. Some are unsure if a solar power system would benefit them, some don’t know if they can afford the cost of installation and some simply aren’t sure where to start. To address these sources of hesitation, we’ve asked eight Diamond Certified Expert Contributors to go over some residential solar basics. Read more
Solar panels are popular with homeowners seeking environmentally-friendly energy solutions. But the reality of choosing and installing solar panels gets a little complicated once homeowners start learning about all the options that are available. Below, we define commonly used terms in the solar industry, discuss the pros and cons of going off-grid, and answer some frequently asked questions regarding solar power. Read more
On May 9, 2018, the California Energy Commission (CEC) adopted a significant update to its Title 24 Building Energy Efficiency Standards. Most noteworthy is the landmark requirement that solar photovoltaic systems be installed on all new construction homes. From the moment this groundbreaking mandate was announced, the Internet has been abuzz with commentary from both supporters and dissidents. To cut through the noise, we’ve provided some answers to frequently asked questions regarding the newly adopted mandate. Read more
Today, many homeowners are considering the benefits of going solar because of energy savings and tax credits. Systems are also getting more affordable. I asked Sungevity’s Sloane Morgan to answer some of the most common questions.
Is it expensive to install solar?
When residential solar systems were first introduced, they were expensive for the average homeowner, but solar panel prices have dropped radically since then Read more