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Solar Power: Fact or Fiction

As the world becomes increasingly environmentally conscious, solar power systems’ demand continuously rises. Solar technologies take sunlight and convert it into electrical energy through photovoltaic (PV) panels or mirrors that concentrate solar radiation. Since solar panels are relatively new, there are many misconceptions. Here are twenty common myths about solar power.

Myth 1: Solar power systems only work in warm weather.

Fiction: Solar panels do not produce electricity from sunlight itself but rather from the photons found in natural daylight. Though panels can only harness energy during sunlight periods, the temperature does not play a role in determining how much electricity a panel produces. Read more cold weather solar power myths here.

 

Myth 2: Solar power systems are too expensive for installation.

Fiction: Solar power systems can cost anywhere between $5,000 and $40,000, depending on the type of solar power system. Depending on the state, most people qualify for tax credits, possibly reducing costs by several thousand dollars. Read more about solar panel pricing.

 

Myth 3: Solar power systems require high levels of maintenance.

Fiction: Solar power systems require little to no maintenance throughout their many years of operation. They are built to withstand extreme weather conditions, including hard hail or extreme winds. If a solar panel is somehow damaged, most solar power systems come with warranties that would cover the cost of the damage. Read more about the low maintenance cost of solar power systems here.

 

Myth 4: Batteries cannot store extra energy.

Fiction: Most solar power systems are connected to a grid using a net metering system. This determines how much energy a house is producing and how much is being sent back to the grid. This grid acts as a battery system, as a home’s solar energy system can draw from the grid when needed.  The recent invention of solar batteries allows for a solar power system to store extra energy within the solar energy system rather than send it back to the grid. Read more about solar batteries.

 

Myth 5: Solar panels can cause roof damage.

Fiction: Many solar power systems actually help protect and preserve roofs. They help slow down the deterioration process and leaking. Also, most solar panels can be easily taken off for temporary cleaning or minor repairs.

 

Myth 6: Large-scale Solar Energy isn’t feasible.

Fiction: As one of the largest energy sources in the universe, the sun produces enough energy every hour and a half to meet the whole globe’s energy needs for one year. Scientists are only beginning to understand how to take advantage of this information. Though a new development, photovoltaic technology/solar power systems are growing at an increasing rate globally. Read more about the possibilities of large-scale solar energy.

 

Myth 7: Homes with Solar power systems do not get power at night.

Fiction: Though energy can only be produced by sunlight, most solar panels produce surplus energy during the day that can be used at night. This surplus goes back to the grid where homes can draw from at night or when necessary. Read more about this here.

 

Myth 8: Solar Power is more expensive than fossil fuel energy.

Fiction: Currently, the demand for fossil fuel energy is higher than the demand for solar power. So, the price of fossil fuel energy is slightly lower than the price of solar power energy. However, as the world becomes more eco-conscious, the demand for solar energy will rise exponentially. This will cause solar energy to become more accessible while decreasing in cost. Read more about future solar energy cost benefits over fossil fuel here.

 

Myth 9: Solar power system production is not environmentally friendly.

Fiction: On average, it will take most solar panels about four years to produce the amount of energy it took to produce the solar panel. So, any energy production after four years is helping the environment. Also, a solar power system reduces a large amount of carbon dioxide more efficiently than traditional energy methods. Read more about the environmental effects of a solar power system here.

 

 

Myth 10: Solar power systems do not look good on houses.

Fiction: As solar panels and other solar power systems grow in popularity, solar panels are becoming less noticeable yet more common. Also, most solar panels are black or dark blue, often matching the color scheme with the roof. Thus, this helps make the solar power system more aesthetically appealing.

 

Myth 11: Solar panels work even when the power goes out.

Fiction: When the house loses power, so does the solar panel. Some solar energy systems can operate on a backup battery or generator, but this is only possible when the house owner supplies this; it does not include a solar power system. Read more about this here.

 

Myth 12: It’s better to wait until prices drop to invest in a solar power system.

Fiction: The price of installing solar panels in a house has decreased significantly in the past fifty years. However, it is not expected to drop much lower. If anything, due to the rising demand for solar power systems, the price could potentially rise.

 

Myth 13: Solar power systems prices are fixed and do not depend on the house’s size.

Fiction: The price of a solar power system depends on the house’s size and where the house is located. A smaller house will not require as much energy from a solar power system as a larger house would, so it would be unfair to charge the same price. Here’s more on the varying price factors of solar power systems.

 

Myth 14: A depleted solar power system is not recyclable, harming the environment.

Fiction: A solar panel can operate for up to thirty years, then can be recycled once it is no longer usable. Most solar power system manufacturers will recycle the system with little to no additional cost.

 

Myth 15: Clean coal is just as efficient and only slightly more harmful to the environment than solar power.

Fiction: Solar power is significantly cleaner than clean coal because no version of coal is genuinely clean. The more coal is burnt, the more damage is done to the environment because of the increases in carbon pollution. Read more about clean coal vs. solar power myths.

 

Myth 16: Solar panels increase house property taxes.

Fiction: Rather than raising property taxes, most solar energy systems raise the property’s value. Therefore, making it worth more with the solar energy system. However, some states have forms of protection in place. This prevents solar power systems from being included in the home’s appraisal to calculate property taxes. Read more about this here.

 

Myth 17: Solar power systems are loud.

Fiction: The most noise that a solar panel will emit is a subtle humming sound. This is due to the inverter turning DC electrical currents into AC currents. However, this is very quiet and can only be heard when standing less than two feet from the solar panel.

 

Myth 18: Solar power systems are not available everywhere.

Fiction: Solar power systems can function anywhere the sun shines. Some areas around the world might be slightly difficult to get a hold of a solar energy system, but many manufacturers are willing to ship their systems out. It just may require additional expenses. Read more about the availability of solar power systems.

 

Myth 19: Solar panels require a tracking system to be best positioned to receive the sun’s rays.

Fiction: When solar panels are first installed, they are strategically positioned directly in the sun’s path. Some solar power systems are equipped to allow the system to adjust its angle throughout the day to receive more sunlight. Still, research shows that the cost of installing these additional features is not often worth it, as it doesn’t bring in enough extra energy to make up for the costs.

 

Myth 20: You need to own a house to install a solar power system.

Fiction: The US Department of Solar Energy created a community solar program. It allows for residents, business owners, and other individuals who live geographically close together to split the cost and share a Solar Power System. This helps those who do not own a house access solar power.

 

 That’s a lot of myths to bust about solar power. Contact Redwood Creative if you have any questions about solar power myths!

Energy Footprint

Green Energy Tax Benefits in Texas

If you want to turn to renewable energy but are worrying about the cost, fret not. Texas has tax benefits that will help make green energy more affordable. The Texas property tax code states that residents with solar panels or wind turbines could be eligible for up to 100% rebate on property taxes. Here are the tax benefits in Texas for wind and solar power.

 

Solar Tax Benefits

As one of the sunniest states in the U.S., Texas is #4 for solar energy. Meaning, there’s a chance that you could get by with solar panels only.  Texas solar incentives differ by city/county. Also, individual companies have their own rewards program. Starting in Austin, residents are eligible for a solar rebate of up to $2,500. The Austin electric company will also take 10 cents per hour off your bill. San Antonio also has enticing tax relief for solar homes. Residents there can enjoy $1.20/W per panel. The Big D also has big solar savings. Their electric company, Oncor, will save you up to $500 per year on electric bills. Over in Houston, excess energy can be sold back to the utility company for a 100% rebate. South Texas is an especially sunny area, so it’s no surprise that residents along the coastline can sell back excess energy and apply for rebates easily.

 

Wind Tax Benefits

Go to South and West Texas, and you’ll see fields of wind turbines. Texans can have their own wind turbine or two for their farm/ranch. In Lubbock, where there are more wind turbines than people, residents could save about half on installation costs, and every LBK company offers rebates. Turbines in Denton are becoming increasingly popular, and they are almost able to rely on just wind power completely. As part of their plan to do so, they offer loans to pay for wind installation. As wind power is more used on a larger scale, it is a little harder to find tax incentives for Texas’s wind energy. However, Abilene has great wind energy savings on a smaller and larger scale.

 

Green Energy Benefits

We recommend switching to renewable energy, especially solar panels. If you’re worried about the HOA, make sure you’re approved before installing. Also, there is a 26% federal tax rebate for installing solar panels or wind turbines. This is the biggest incentive for the switch. But, companies want to help make clean energy more accessible, so most offer savings and rebates. Read here for more information on green energy tax benefits in Texas.

 

Interested in marketing assistance? Contact Redwood Creative, Inc. today!

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Top Ten Solar Companies in Texas

Renewable energy is on the rise as we try to balance green energy with oil and gas. About 15% of Texas’s energy comes from wind, and 3.8% from solar. Solar is a great energy source for street lights, homes, anything that requires electricity. We encourage you to go green by looking at these solar companies in Texas.

Texas gets an average of about 220 days of sunshine per year.

Top 10 Solar Companies

  •  SunPro Solar4.8 stars on Google. They cover all of Texas and a few other states as well. They have been in Texas since 2008. Last year, Solar Power World ranked Sunpro #5 for Top Residential Solar Installer in the United States. With a 25 year warranty, customers can feel safe with SunPro.
  • Freedom Solar – 4.9 stars on Google. Rooted in Texas and Colorado, Freedom Solar gained some reputable clients. The University of Texas, Whole Foods, and Austin Board of Realtors all have Freedom Solar panels. The best part is that Willie Nelson endorses them.
  • Solar Electric Texas –  4.7 stars. Buyers can enjoy installation, monitoring, repairs, and management. They service San Antonio, Houston, Rio Grande Valley, and Austin. Buyers can also enjoy service from a family-owned business. The Gonzales family has been running Solar Electric Texas for 50 years!
  • Solar CenTex – 4.9 stars. Central and West Texas turn to Solar CenTex for their solar energy needs. They offer residential and commercial solar services, but they specialize in setting up solar power for farms and ranches. They can even install solar panels on RVs, making solar energy accessible for everyone.
  • Wells Solar – 4.8 stars. This company is Tesla certified, so therefore they offer Tesla technology and engineering for solar installation. They promise this best retains leftover energy to use later and helps use less energy overall. Residents are also invited to try. Located in DFW, Austin, and San Antonio.

The future is looking bright!

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  • TriSmart Solar – 4.8 stars. Covering all of the big cities in Texas, TriSmart claims to offer “smart energy for smart people.” With smart technology, they can create a 3D custom blueprint. That way, customers can approve of the design or further customize if needed. TriSmart offers smart energy, technology, and savings.
  • Kosmos Solar – 4.9 stars. You can find them in DFW, Austin, and San Antonio. Founded by Kevin Seok, an avid advocate of green energy as well as accessibility. Seok believes that honest & quality service will help encourage solar popularity.
  • KW Solar – 4.9 stars. Based in Houston, these guys help efficiently light up Texas and the Gulf. They also offer Tesla’s Powerwall. The guys at KW are laid back, friendly, and get right to the point. Their website alone proves their uniqueness and humor, enticing visitors to collaborate with the installers.
  • Circle L Solar – 4.7 stars. This Texas company focuses on maintenance. For instance, they will come to weatherize panels as the seasons change. They also offer solar technology on window panes as well. Check out their IM chatbox on their site for instant answers.
  • IES Texas Solar – 4.8 stars. Offering Texas commercial, residential, and off-grid power since 1973. They also offer repair services for panels. As part of IES Residential, they understand all the electrical works inside a home. So, IES has the most intelligent electricians around.

 

 Go Solar, Texas!

None of these solar companies are in a particular order. Depending on where you live, one of these companies will be the right company for you. Going solar can give you some tax breaks. But more importantly, give more hope for our Earth.

 

Want to get more leads for your solar energy business? Contact us about solar marketing today!

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The History of Solar Energy

Although Jan 6 was a dark day, this is a light blog. Now, solar energy will receive more funding and attention as the democrats push for clean energy. While we wait to find out how solar power will rise, let’s go back and see first sunpower rise. Here is the history of solar energy.

A Bright History

Technically, humans have been utilizing solar power since the beginning of time to light fires. They would use glass to reflect or intensify light. The earliest civilizations, such as ancient Romans and meso-Americans, would create sunrooms to capture the sun’s warmth and light. For the Romans, it was used to heat water in bathhouses. For thousands of years, humans used various methods to keep themselves warm. Then, in the time of voyages, the sun was a blessing and curse to sailors. While the sun burned their skin, the sailors figured out a way to cook food in solar stoves.

Solar Panels Are Born

Scientists experimenting with solar power in the 1800’s. Edmond Becquerel first discovered the photovoltaic effect, which is light producing electricity. Remember, electricity was still a relatively new concept at this time so this was a futuristic discovery. It will take a couple more engineers, scientist, and years to create the first solar cell. It couldn’t generate power yet, but it set scientist on the right track. In 1883, Charles Fritts nabbed the backbone of solar technology with his solar cells. They now contain selenium, which allowed solar power to convert to electricity. As of 1883, scientist know how to create & store solar energy.

Then, it would take 70 years for the modern-day solar power panel to enter the stage. Selenium cells evolved into silicon solar cells in 1954 at Bell Labs. The cutting-edge engineering now allowed objects to be powered by solar energy. Daryl Chapin, Calvin Fuller, and Gerald Pearson are to thank for finalizing the solar panel design. At this time, solar cells operated at 4% efficiency. The United States used this new technology to power satellites and for the infamous Space Race. The first home to have solar panels was in 1972.

 

Solar Power Today

Today, solar panels typically reach in between 15-20%. But, some have the ability to hit 42% efficiency! Modern-day solar panels are a little over 5’x3′ big. They are made of silicon, wafers, and lead making up one solar cell. Then, about 32-36 cells make up one solar panel. Finally, a protective coat is applied to capture the rays, as the shiny silicon can cause the rays to bounce off. Solar power is used for everything, and more homes are seeing solar panels. It took about 100 years of history to arrive at the solar energy we have today.

 

Interested in marketing tips? Contact Redwood Creative, Inc. today!

 

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Energy Industries In Our Lives

While the petroleum, wind, and solar energy industries can stand alone, they’re all connected in some way. Many individuals use a combination of the three daily. From small devices to enormous solar panels, we incorporate these energy sources in numerous ways. Here are all the ways the three major industries play a role in our lives. Electricity is produced by two of the three. Gas heats up water, then the steam and wind work together to produce an electrical current.

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Daily Lives

The most obvious one, cars use petroleum. Scientists entertain the idea of solar-powered cars, and they may happen one day. Realistically, we use oil, wind, and solar in our homes and when we go out. While oil and wind are more accessible, solar is rising and becoming more available for common use. Residential use takes up about 40% of energy use. Our kitchen and bathroom uses gas to heat up the stove and our water. Our AC/heating system uses gas. Homes can pull their electricity from solar power. In windy climates, wind turbines are viable for powering a city. Outside of the home, crosswalk signs and other electrical signs are starting to come with a solar panel. This article gets more in-depth about how humans rely on energy sources.

Energy Industries on a Bigger Scale

Energy on a bigger scale, such as in factories and plant facilities, rely on the big three as well, mainly petroleum. Major industries are moving towards solar and wind to save petroleum. This will help the environment: factories and production plants burn through immense amount of coal, oil, and gas, which winds up polluting the air. This has come to light in recent years, igniting a movement towards solar and wind. Solar and wind farms are becoming increasingly popular. Business and office buildings are also responsible for using energy on a major scale. Power plants divert most of their energy into the inner cities, where the energy-consuming buildings are. Large engines, such as planes, trains, and large cargo ships, are powered from diesel.

 

We rely on all sorts of energy every day, including water and biofuels. It takes the awareness of common people to push for cleaner energy practices, and not waste the energy we do have. While coal/thermal energy once reigned, now gas/oil does. However, it’s harmful for our environment so we must push for solar and wind.

 

Interested in marketing services? Contact Redwood Creative today!

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COVID-19’s Impact on Solar Power

America has been running on gas, coal, and electricity for about the past 150 years. Electricity is a great source of power, but gas can be dangerous and not as renewable as solar power. Solar power is becoming increasingly popular due to its sustainability. It’s the most eco-efficient way to power your home or your phone as it produces no negative effects on the environment.

COVID-19’s impact on solar industry has not been too kind. Due to less government funding and less production, solar power investment is not as prevalent. SEIA claims that COVID-19 will take away about 5 years worth of progress. Due to the economy, commercial and private purchases have slowed. As a result, Connecticut and Idaho are being hit the hardest, with 60% of solar workers being laid off.

A New Hope

However, they hope to make a strong comeback by enforcing long-term policies. These policies will bring on new projects, creating more jobs. Influential people are writing to Congress, advocating for more money and emphasis for solar power. With the virus posing as an obstacle, solar engineers and business workers understand that this will be a slow year for them. However, they also understand that many Americans are becoming aware of the harmful effects of coal and are opting to switch to solar. They focus on the long-term goal of solar power being the dominant source of energy. They hope that in 10-15 years, gas and coal will be phased out.

Solar Strikes Back

Using solar power for your home can greatly reduce your electricity bill, reduce chances of a power outage, and cool down your home overall. Solar powering works best in the southern states, like in sunny Florida. However, they work in cloudier climates too. Panels are being engineered to improve sunlight reception through clouds. As of 2019, 12.3 million homes have solar panels on them. They’re great for office buildings, especially skyscrapers that are more exposed to the sun. More than half of Americans say that they would switch to solar immediately if they could recover their investment in 5 years. Thankfully, overall prices of solar have dropped 70% in the past 10 years. With ongoing solar engineering and better funding, the solar industry could very well strike back and shine once again!

Want to get more leads for your solar energy business? Contact us about solar marketing today!