Why Shop Local?

 You've probably heard the term, "Shop Local." There is even a designated Saturday that takes place annually that's known as, "Small Business Saturday" that was designed to encourage consumers to shop locally. However, how often do you really shop local? If you do, major kudos to you! Keep on shopping! If you don't, that's okay but you may want to consider some interesting facts and possibly change some of your shopping habits by supporting some of your local small businesses rather than the large chain businesses. Here are 7 great reasons you should shop local (even when it comes to your Solar Project!):  1)  It improves the local economy.  Did you know that if you spend $100 at a local business, roughly $68 stays in your local economy? If you spend the same at a large business, only $43 stays in the local economy. (Source:  Civic Economics Study in Grand Rapids, Michigan ). The graphic below was created in the Economics Study in Grand Rapids, Michigan and provides interesting insight into how your funds are spent at local businesses vs. non-local businesses. 

You've probably heard the term, "Shop Local." There is even a designated Saturday that takes place annually that's known as, "Small Business Saturday" that was designed to encourage consumers to shop locally. However, how often do you really shop local? If you do, major kudos to you! Keep on shopping! If you don't, that's okay but you may want to consider some interesting facts and possibly change some of your shopping habits by supporting some of your local small businesses rather than the large chain businesses. Here are 7 great reasons you should shop local (even when it comes to your Solar Project!):

1) It improves the local economy. Did you know that if you spend $100 at a local business, roughly $68 stays in your local economy? If you spend the same at a large business, only $43 stays in the local economy. (Source: Civic Economics Study in Grand Rapids, Michigan). The graphic below was created in the Economics Study in Grand Rapids, Michigan and provides interesting insight into how your funds are spent at local businesses vs. non-local businesses. 

 2.  Know the People Behind the Product.  This creates a personal connection. Getting to know the owners and employees of the business is a great reason to shop local. They are the decision makers and they work on building personal, quality relationships with their customers. If you can trust the people, you can trust the product they are offering.   3.  Better Customer Service.  Customer Service leads to an overall better experience. Local businesses are most likely better informed about their products and know what they are selling. They choose to sell the products they do for a specific reason, not because they were being told they had too.  4.  Local Business Owners Invest Back Into Your Community.  Local businesses are invested in your community because they live and work in them too! "Studies show that nonprofits receive 250 percent more support from small businesses than large ones," explains Sue Lyn Sasser, PhD, Professor of Economics at the University of Central Oklahoma.   5.  Shopping Local Reduces Your Carbon Footprint.  Local businesses are able to operate in their local community. It's easy for them to provide products to their consumers because their consumers are nearby. Larger retailers usually get their product from out of town which increases fuel consumption and carbon footprint. One great example of how this really supports your local community is when it comes to eating locally. By buying and eating locally, consumers are able to enjoy produce that is fresh and nutritious. In addition, when you buy local, you are supporting local farmers and producers!  6.  Buying Local Helps Support Your Neighbors.  Local ownership means that important decisions are being made by people who live in your community and also feel the impact of their decisions.   7.  Creates Jobs for Your Local Community.  Supporting local businesses also helps employ those that live and spend money in your community.   There are so many other great benefits to shopping local but hopefully these 7 benefits gave you some sort of an idea on just how beneficial it can be to support your local businesses. Many of you already do this everyday and for that, WE THANK YOU!   As a local business, here are are some of the ways we've been giving back to our community the last couple of months:   

2. Know the People Behind the Product. This creates a personal connection. Getting to know the owners and employees of the business is a great reason to shop local. They are the decision makers and they work on building personal, quality relationships with their customers. If you can trust the people, you can trust the product they are offering. 

3. Better Customer Service. Customer Service leads to an overall better experience. Local businesses are most likely better informed about their products and know what they are selling. They choose to sell the products they do for a specific reason, not because they were being told they had too.

4. Local Business Owners Invest Back Into Your Community. Local businesses are invested in your community because they live and work in them too! "Studies show that nonprofits receive 250 percent more support from small businesses than large ones," explains Sue Lyn Sasser, PhD, Professor of Economics at the University of Central Oklahoma. 

5. Shopping Local Reduces Your Carbon Footprint. Local businesses are able to operate in their local community. It's easy for them to provide products to their consumers because their consumers are nearby. Larger retailers usually get their product from out of town which increases fuel consumption and carbon footprint. One great example of how this really supports your local community is when it comes to eating locally. By buying and eating locally, consumers are able to enjoy produce that is fresh and nutritious. In addition, when you buy local, you are supporting local farmers and producers!

6. Buying Local Helps Support Your Neighbors. Local ownership means that important decisions are being made by people who live in your community and also feel the impact of their decisions. 

7. Creates Jobs for Your Local Community. Supporting local businesses also helps employ those that live and spend money in your community. 

There are so many other great benefits to shopping local but hopefully these 7 benefits gave you some sort of an idea on just how beneficial it can be to support your local businesses. Many of you already do this everyday and for that, WE THANK YOU! 

As a local business, here are are some of the ways we've been giving back to our community the last couple of months:

 

 Athletic Sponsorship. #Vacaville #SolanoCounty #YouthSports #Local   

Athletic Sponsorship. #Vacaville #SolanoCounty #YouthSports #Local

 

 Raising Money for Local Schools and Education. #EducationMatters #Vacaville #SolanoCounty #Local

Raising Money for Local Schools and Education. #EducationMatters #Vacaville #SolanoCounty #Local

Finding the right Solar Installation Company for YOUR home!

It's important to find the right Solar Installation Company for you. Solar is an investment and a worthy one, but choosing the right company to do the job can be tough when there are so many options out there. Here is a great article written by SunPower that provides some great tips for those shopping around for Solar.

Finding a Solar Installation Company

Unless you’re an electrician or an experienced DIYer, if you want to switch to solar you’re not just going to buy solar panels for your roof. You’re going to choose a solar installation company for your home that you can trust.

It’s crucial that you pick the right solar installation contractor to install your solar system so you can start saving money on your electric bill. To help, SunPower created this downloadable guide: “How to Find the Right Solar Installer for Your Home.”  Here are some of the top tips from our new guide.

Choosing a Home Solar Installer

The right installer will customize a solar system that meets your family’s electricity needs. The best way to pick the right solar home installer is to ask lots of questions. Those questions should start by focusing on the installer’s experience. For instance, is it a locally based company? A local installer will understand your climate and will have experience with your local building and electrical codes and will have strong relationships with your local permitting offices and inspectors. If not, your home solar project could face potentially costly delays.

Once you find a local company you like, make sure it is licensed and bonded and ask pointed questions about the experience of everyone on the crew. You want to make sure they’re up to the job and that they won’t make rookie cost-cutting mistakes, such as using a templated solar array configuration when a customized one would ensure your system is capturing the maximum amount of sunlight to save you the most money possible.

Next, ask about the equipment. Don’t fall for anyone who tells you one brand of solar panel is more or less as good as the other. Not all solar is alike. Factors such as durability in extreme weather conditions, degradation rates and solar panel efficiency matter if you want to make the most possible energy over time.

A good installer will customize your solar system by taking your house and its surroundings in mind. Is there a lot of shade or a lot of sun? What’s the contour of the roof like? What aesthetics do you have in mind? We know curb appeal is important. The most attractive solar panels will not have visible parts and wiring. Your installer should be looking at these and other factors and letting you know upfront how they’ll impact the equipment needed.

SunPower solar installation contractors use a great digital design solar app that allows homeowners to see in real time what their array will look like on the roof, how much power it will make and how much it will cost, all right at the kitchen table. You can even make changes to the design if, say, you want to generate more or less power or choose a different style and wattage of solar panel.

Finding the Best Solar Warranty and Finance Options

It’s important to ask your solar installer about the warranty. A best-in-industry warranty should cover the panels and their power output for 25 years. Also, the warranty should cover the whole system, not just the panels.

While some solar panel providers piece together their systems from multiple vendors, SunPower’s Equinox™ solar system is designed, engineered and manufactured by one company, so we offer one warranty for the entire system. Some solar companies offer shorter warranty terms for key parts, and then refer you to another company if something goes wrong. So, if something does go wrong in 10 or 15 years, it may be difficult to sort out who’s responsible for fixing it.

A good installation company will also let you know all of your solar financing options. Depending on your location, those options may include cash purchases, loans or leasing. The solar company also needs to be transparent about who’s financing or underwriting your loan or lease.

And, as with the solar company itself, look for a finance company that has experience with solar. They’re the ones most likely to understand how to get you the most favorable terms. All of this hinges on receiving a detailed proposal from the solar company that spells out how much you can save on energy over the entire life of solar system.

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