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Solar Power: Fact or Fiction? (INFOGRAPHIC)

As the solar industry becomes more accessible around the world, many misconceptions are following it. Here are 14 commonly asked questions and answers about solar power.

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MYTH 1 – Solar power systems are not available everywhere

Solar power systems can function anywhere the sun shines.

MYTH 2 – Solar panels can cause roof damage.

Many solar power systems actually help protect and presrve roofs. They help slow down the deterioration process and leaking.

MYTH 3 – Solar power systems only work in warm weather.

Solar panels do not produce electricity from the heat of the sunlight. they photons found in daylight are what the solar panels need. Temperature does not determine how much electricity a panel produces.

MYTH 4 – Batteries cannot store extra energy.

Most solar power systems are connected to a grid using a net metering system. The recent invention allows it to store extra energy within the solar energy system rather than send it back to the grid.

MYTH 5 – Solar systems are too expensive

Costs vary by type of solar panel system and state. In many states you may qualify for tax credits, reducing the cost by several thousand dollars.

MYTH 6 – Solar power systems require high levels of maintenance.

Solar power systems require little to no maintenance throughout their many years of operation. They are built to withstand extreme weather conditions.

MYTH 7 – It’s better to wait until prices drop to invest in a solar power system.

The price of installing solar panels has decreased significantly in the past fifty years. However, it is not expected to drop much lower.

MYTH 8 – Solar panels work even when the power goes out.

When the house loses power, so does the solar panel. Some solar energy systems can operate on a backup battery or generator.

MYTH 9 – Solar power systems prices are fixed and do not depend on the house’s size.

The price of a solar power system depends on the house’s size and where the house is
located.

MYTH 10 – Large-scale Solar Energy isn’t feasible.

The sun produces enough energy every hour and a half to meet the entire planet’s energy needs for one year.

MYTH 11 – Solar panels increase house property taxes.

Solar panels can raise property value, but most states have laws in place to prevent them from raising property taxes.

MYTH 12 – Solar power system production is not environmentally friendly

A solar power system reduces a large amount of carbon dioxide more efficiently than traditional energy methods.

MYTH 13 – You a need to own a house to install a solar power system.

The US Department of Solar Energy created community solar program entities who live close together to split the cost and share a solar power system.

MYTH 14 – A depleted solar power system is not recyclable, harming the environment.

The sun produces enough energy every hour and a half to meet the entire planet’s energy needs for one year.

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Solar Energy Conferences 2021

There is always a lot to learn about solar energy. Solar technology is still evolving and developing. If you want to learn more, check out upcoming solar energy conferences in spring 2021. Also, these will all be in the U.S.

 

Spring Energy Conferences

Keep in mind, some of these may be virtual and subject to change date/setting.

  • On April 14th, the SEIA and NREL will host a roundtable and demonstration highlighting Solar TRACE along with SolarAPP. This will cover solar technologies and city regulations. Sign up for this virtual free webinar here.
  • The American Solar Energy Society will be hosting webinar series. It contains information about solar technology. There will be one on April 14th and 15th. Also, there will be one on May 19th. Read more about it here.
  • New York has an abundance of solar conferences this month. Specifically, on April 22-24. It goes quite in-depth, such as the financial and political aspects of solar energy. For example, the Business in Renewable Energy Sources and Innovation Management Conference.
  • The Smart Energy Market Tour will be going on April 26-30 in North & South Carolina. It will be outside on all 3 days. CED Greentech will be the host. Whether you’re an attendee or a vendor, you can register here.
  • On April 22 & 23, Boston will host the International Conference on Renewable Energy, Green Technologies, and Environmental Sciences. This will be a scholarly event with dissertation presentations. The goal is for scientists and researchers to share their knowledge and discoveries. Sign up here. Additionally, the Solar Energy Engineering Conference will be going on simultaneously.
  • Here are more Boston clean/solar energy conferences.

May Solar Events

  • The Solar and Energy Storage Texas 2021 conference will be in Austin, TX, on May 27 & 28th. It will feature exhibitions, workshops, and networking opportunities for business. Sign up here.
  • Head out west for the California Solar Power Conference 2021 on May 14th. It will cover solar storage and installation. Read more about it here.
  • Back to New York: the Advanced Energy Conference will be going on May 19th all day long. Here, you can brainstorm with others on the future of solar power. Check it out here.

But wait! There’s more.

There will be more conferences and webinars coming up this summer! Stay tuned to see where you can attend your next solar energy conference in 2021. Feel free to let us know about any other events you know of. Additionally, check with your city for local conferences.

 

Interested in marketing assistance? Contact Redwood Creative today!

 

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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!

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How To Find Out If Your Home Is Solar-Friendly

It is becoming apparent that electricity is moving from power plants to solar energy. Solar panels are becoming popular and for a good reason. If you’re ready to make the change to go solar, here are ways to see if your house is ready, too.

Solar-Friendly Home

For starters, there are several factors in this equation. Obviously, the location of residence is the most important. While solar panels prefer sunny climates, they still function in cloudy/rainy environments. However, if your panels receive more energy than what you consume, then you can sell the excess energy to the electric company. The next step is the roof. The roof must be in good condition and newer to support the heavy panels. The size and angle of the roof are critical as well. South-facing roofs are optimal because it best catches the sun going from east to west. The most effective roof slope is between 15-40 degrees. Additionally, the roof’s composition matters, too. Composite/asphalt shingle, concrete tile, standing seam metal best support panels. You can still install panels on other roof types, but make sure you get an expert specializing in your roof type.

The next thing to consider is your home’s surroundings. Panels cannot intake as much sunlight if trees or buildings block the path—factor in tree trimming/removal costs. The condition of your home overall matters. Some older or cheaply made homes may not be suitable for this fancy technology. Also, you may need to check with your HOA and city to obtain a permit and make sure your panels are adhering to regulations. There’s also the option to install panels in your yard.

The last and most important thing to keep in mind is finances. Solar panels may cost more than what they are worth. Make this commitment only if you are committed to your house and do not plan on moving. Solar companies recommend switching to solar if your energy bills currently run at $75 or more. Also, check with your city/state to see if you qualify for tax exemptions or rebates. If you are still on the fence about whether your home is solar-friendly, see if you can rent panels.

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solar panels on green field

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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Current Update on Solar Power

Now that Biden stopped the Keystone XL Pipeline, renewable energy has now moved from the back seat to the passenger seat. This term, oil and gas will step aside for wind, solar, and electricity. Here’s an update on Biden’s plans for solar power.

Solar Power Update

So, Biden cracked down on petroleum and it’s looking serious. While oil workers are rightfully frustrated, Biden promises to give them clean energy jobs instead. Seeing how solar is more efficient than wind and coal, solar will likely assume power. First, the United States is now awaiting admission back into the Paris Agreement, a 2016 international treaty that focuses on battling climate change. This will aid funding and support for Biden’s claim to transition into a cleaner country. His total clean energy plan will cost roughly $2 trillion. For now, he’s focusing on reducing carbon emissions. Therefore, air-polluting factories will be first priority. However, the full plan will begin operations in the spring.

Because the plan will not go into effect until spring, there’s not much else to report. We just know the Biden administration is raising money and formulating the ideal proposal that will work for everyone. They’re focused on how to best allocate funding and alternative jobs in order to help those who may lose their oil jobs. In the meantime, we will keep a close eye on solar energy’s update. Let us know if you hear anything, or what you think!

Want to get more leads for your solar energy business? Contact us about solar marketing services 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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The Energy Industry Under Biden

Now that we know that Joe Biden will be our new president, we can follow up with our previous blog and take a look at what the energy industry might look like in the next few years. It appears  that Biden plans on battling climate change with clean energy. This blog will continuously update as time and policies progress.

Clean Energy, Clean Economy

According to his own personal website, Biden plans to push for cleaner energy with the Clean Energy Revolution. In this policy, he addresses how the economy relies on the environment. Therefore, his policy will go in a clean economy direction. Specifically, eliminating fuel emissions by 2050. It’ll start by initiating clean energy in environments that need it most. Factories and refineries that heavily pollute the air will have to adapt to cleaner emission policies. Or, revamp into a clean energy facility. Soon, solar and wind energy will take over oil and coal. But, Biden plans to transition out, not completely shut down fossil fuels. It is important to remember the Clean Energy Revolution will be a hefty project. Due to the time and engineering this change requires, there’s time for compromise between Biden and the oil industry.

One of the rising issues in our environment is fracking. In the second debate, Biden claimed to want to put an end to fracking. Currently, fracking is causing tectonic plate problems in Oklahoma and other areas. Oil companies may have to find another way to drill, or restrictions may be placed on fracking.

 

Jobs

Because the policy’s main goal is to transition efficiently, oil & gas-based jobs will be replaced with clean energy jobs. And, the project will create new jobs for the energy industry, too. According to The NY Times, Joe is not sleeping on this- he’s already drafting ideas and plans. His administration is also considering creating a White House branch specifically for climate change. You can read here about what Biden plans to do for the energy industry’s job sector.

 

We hope to see the Biden administration leading the energy industry with care. Clean energy and a clean environment is important to us. But, we understand that many depend on petroleum and coal. With careful innovation and compromise, every factor of the energy industry can prevail under Biden.

Interested in marketing tips? Contact Redwood Creative 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.

 

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Energy Industry

Message Ideas For Energy Industry Customers

In the expanding field of energy industry, keeping your messages interesting is important. If the money aspect can’t keep your clients around, then your words can. Remind your readers that there’s more to the energy industry than money- it’s what fuels our daily lives and deeply impacts the environment. How you say it is important as well. Expressing your thoughts through blogs and e-mails is excellent because you can articulate your thoughts and edit your words to best get your message across. Or, you can put out a live broadcast/video so your audience can match your tone with your message. Caption your video for clarity.

Remind your audience that technology is continuously being advanced to improve the energy industry thanks to their support. This technology will in turn help them in the future. Keep your readers in the loop and see them get exciting about your own progress.

If you are explaining a product or a project idea, use words that everyone in your audience can understand. The energy industry can get pretty scientific, and audience members could lose interest if they can’t understand what you’re talking about. Either explain what you mean or put in terms that a grade schooler could understand.

Make your reader feel like they are making a difference just by donating and participating in energy conferences. As more heads enter the field, policies and knowledge evolve to better the community. Their involvement is the reason why the energy industry is expanding- thank them for that.

Keep your message short and sweet. Format your message with an opening, the body, and a conclusion to make it easy for your reader/listener to follow. For more tips on how to resonate with your clients, check out this article.

Interested in marketing tips? Redwood Creative is here to help!