Solano County

Is My House a Good Candidate for Solar?

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If you’re thinking about going solar, you’re probably wondering: Is solar cost effective? Is my roof suitable for solar panels? Will solar energy generate enough electricity to power my home? Who makes the best solar panels?

But first, it's important to explore if solar panels for your home make sense. Here are some key questions we ask anyone interested in buying or leasing a solar energy system to make sure their home is best suited for making power with solar panels.

1. How much is your energy bill?

Knowing how much you pay for energy is the first step in evaluating whether your house is a good candidate for solar. The main question is, will it save you money? In some areas, electricity is very inexpensive. For most homeowners, the electricity bill is a dreaded monthly expense. The general rule is that solar makes the most financial sense for someone with a monthly electricity bill of at least $75. Why? Because going solar replaces utility energy with solar energy, and we want our customers to see a return on that investment by paying less for that energy. A utility bill of $75 is the threshold at which residential solar customers will see solar savings. There are several ways to go solar, depending on a customer’s needs and goals. SunPower offers zero-down lease, loan and cash purchase options — each with different benefits. Ask your local solar expert about local and federal incentives and electricity policies where you live. 

The overall idea is to pay less than you currently pay, lock in your electricity rate and save money by generating your own clean energy onsite. 

2. What kind of roof do you have?

Solar panels work best with strong, durable roofing materials, such as composite or asphalt shingle, concrete tile or standing seam metal. For roofing materials such as wood shake and slate tile, or for roofs made of clay with mortar or composite metal/stone coated steel, you can still go solar but you’d want to choose a solar professional who has experience installing solar panels on those types of roofs. Also, the type of mounting hardware your solar installer plans to use is important. SunPower Equinox™ uses InvisiMount™ hardware that is designed to work with most roof types and is visually attractive.

3. Does your roof need to be replaced?

It’s a good idea to replace a roof that is near the end of its life before installing solar because SunPower solar panels have an expected useful life of 40 years, and you wouldn’t want to unnecessarily have to remove them. Solar panels should be installed on roofs that are in good condition and will not need to be replaced in the near future. Considering that your savings from high efficiency solar panels could pay for the cost of a re-roof in as little as five years after installation, it may be worth it to do any needed roofing work before your solar installation.

4. How much sunlight does your roof receive?

To see if your house is a good candidate for solar, try out a solar panel suitability checker such as Google’s Project Sunroof. Then set up an appointment for a solar consultation with an expert who will visit your home to inspect its orientation (solar panels facing south capture more energy), roof angle and tree shading to see if your roof will receive enough sunlight to meet your family’s energy needs. SunPower’s solar consultations are free, and you can learn a lot about your home and best energy options. The more direct sunlight your home receives, the more power the panels will produce. While SunPower solar panels are known at being extremely efficient at generating power in low-light situations, excessive shading will reduce the amount of power that can be generated.

It’s also important to know that SunPower’s Equinox solar solution has factory integrated micro-inverters in each panel, an innovative solar design feature that means if one panel isn’t producing energy because of shade, neighboring panels that might be receiving more sunlight can still generate solar energy for your home.

5.  What is your local climate like?

Solar energy can be generated in all sorts of extreme climates, from rainy areas such as Seattle, to extremely hot locations such as Los Angeles, California Solar suitability checker tools can help you understand how this could affect solar on your house. High-efficiency solar panels convert direct and indirect sunlight into electricity, so they work even on cloudy days. A solar consultant will estimate the amount of energy your system will produce so that you can see the potential savings before you decide to go solar.

If your area is prone to severe weather, check the durability rating of the panels you’re considering for your home. SunPower panels are rated No. 1 in third-party durability testing, which means they can withstand some of the harshest weather conditions, including hail up to 1 inch in diameter.1 In fact, SunPower technology is so reliable that NASA chose our solar cells to power its GROVER project, which explored Greenland’s vast and inhospitable ice sheets. Solar that’s tough enough for Nasa is tough enough for your roof, too.

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