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This Month In Solar: October 2021

The world is power-hungry and energy demands are steadily rising. According to a solar panel news report from this month, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that the world will require 50% more electricity by 2050 and that renewables will account for most new power consumption globally.

The main factors driving solar power as a preferred energy source are climate change based regulations, incentives, and falling costs in solar installations.

Are you on the fence about making the leap to residential or business solar power for your energy needs? Going solar is a big step but one that may very well be the wisest decision you can make.

In this post, we will cover the latest in solar panel news. Follow along as we explore the exciting developments in the industry that are leading millions of people to energy independence.

Solar Panel News for October 2021

Solar energy is continually increasing in popularity. Encouraging the use of renewable energy is also high on the agenda for governments seeking to meet their targets with regard to the fight against climate change.

With this in mind, there are constant changes occurring in the solar industry, many of which have a knock-on effect on consumers. Let’s take a look at what’s been happening this month in solar news.

Solar Installations On 50% of Rooftops Are Needed to Power the World

A recent paper published on Nature Communications predicts that 100% of the world’s annual power needs could be met if 50% of the world’s rooftops had solar PV installations.

Further to this, three hot spots for solar production were highlighted; North America, Europe, and Asia.

The report goes on to find that solar power has the potential to help reduce energy poverty by putting the means of production into the hands of homeowners throughout the world.

Illinois Clean Energy Bill Means Massive Savings On Solar

The end of last month saw Illionois’ massive Clean Energy Bill being signed into law. The bill seeks to have a million electric cars on the road, and an end to the use of fossil fuels in energy production by the year 2050.

The bill ushers in a raft of savings for green consumers with savings on electric cars and solar panels, as well as reduction in energy bills for those taking advantage of the community solar plan. It’s estimated that homeowners opting to get solar panels installed will save between $8,000 and $9,000.

These savings will be in addition to the already existing federal tax credit scheme which currently sits at 26% of the cost of your installation.

It may still take several years for your solar electricity to completely repay the initial cost, but given that a solar panel system is designed to last for 25 years, looking at the long-term, you’ll enjoy free energy for many years to come.

IRENA Publishes Annual Renewable Energy and Jobs Review for 2020

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has recently published the annual renewable energy and jobs report. The report estimates that there were 12 million people employed worldwide in the renewable energy industry, of which 4 million worked specifically within the solar PV market.

Although global sales of PV solar installations suffered due to the global COVID19 pandemic, layoffs in the sector were minimal. The report also notes that 2020 saw unparalleled growth in PV installations in the United States, despite the pandemic.

The report predicts that by 2050, there will be a total of 122 million renewable energy jobs globally.

Are Solar Panels Worth It?

For many people, getting home solar panels installed is a matter of environmental importance. The main benefit of having solar panels is that your household’s carbon footprint will be greatly reduced.

The average U.S home has a carbon footprint of 48 metric tonnes per year. By generating your own renewable source of energy, you’ll put a serious dent in the carbon emissions that your household is responsible for

But, of course, for the majority of households, getting solar panels installed represents a major financial commitment.

If you’re currently on the fence about switching to solar, you may be wondering are solar panels worth it? To decide whether solar is right for you, we’ll explore how much the average installation costs, the various types of solar panels that are available, and how much you’d be able to save through solar rebates and incentives.

How Much Are Solar Panels Today?

The national average price for a 5 kW residential system is between $15,000- $25,000. This figure is before any deductions such as the federal tax credit or any other rebate you may be entitled to in your state.

For any solar installation fitted before 2023, you’ll be entitled to a 26% rebate from the federal tax credit scheme. From 2023, this figure will drop to a 22% rebate.

In addition to this, many states operate their own initiatives and you may also be entitled to a rebate through your energy supplier. You may also be interested to learn about any net metering schemes that operate in your state too. This is where you sell any excess energy that you produce to your energy provider in exchange for credits.

The specific cost of solar panels for your home will be dependant on several factors, most notably, how much energy you currently consume. The amount of electricity you use will determine the size of installation that you’ll need.

Of course, energy consumption varies from household to household, the best place to start will be to look at your previous energy bills. You’ll also need to know how much sunlight you get in your area.

Other factors to consider include the size of the solar panels and the efficiency of the panels you opt for.

The best way to get a true understanding of the potential cost of solar panels for your home is to schedule a consultation where a proper estimate can be put together.

More Variety: Types of Solar Panels

With installing the means to generate your own electricity being a major long-term investment, you’ll need to be sure that you’re getting the best solar panels available. But what types of solar panels are there?

Most PV solar panels are made using polycrystalline silicon or monocrystalline silicon, with monocrystalline silicon being the most popular and the most efficient option. This is the same material that silicon computer chips are made out of.

The issue with monocrystalline silicon is that it’s not cheap. That said, the prices of solar panels have dramatically decreased in recent years.

With both polycrystalline and monocrystalline silicon, you have the option to purchase a Passivated Emitter Rear Cell (PERC) which is an additional layer of silicon that stops electrons from getting trapped, making your solar panels more efficient.

Whichever solar panel material you choose, you’ll still be helping the environment and saving money in the process.

Maintaining a Solar System

With solar panels being a serious commitment, you may be wondering how much work is involved in the upkeep of your solar installation. Thankfully, keeping your solar panels in great working order doesn’t require too much effort.

Because solar panels work best when they’re in direct sunlight, you’ll want to make sure that any trees that surround your home don’t start to overshadow your panels.

You will need to make sure your solar panels are kept nice and clean. Debris and dirt could affect their efficiency. With this in mind, cleaning your panels often is essential.

You may find cleaning companies in your area that offer solar panel services, or you might want to have a cleaning system installed to make the job easier.

If you choose to undertake the cleaning yourself, use a long-handled wiper along with biodegradable soap to clean the panels from ground level to ensure you don’t injure yourself or damage your panels.

Because solar panels have no moving parts, you won’t have to worry about anything rusting or seizing up. This means that there’s no need to worry about having your solar panels serviced or maintained.

Join the Renewable Energy Revolution Today

There truly has never been a better time to switch to solar. With new incentives launching all the time, and a shift in the global commitment to using renewable energy sources such as solar, is it time you made the switch?

If you’re ready to enjoy energy independence while helping save the planet, fill in this form and we’ll be in touch to help you on your solar journey.

With exciting solar panel news updates happening every day, check back next month to see what’s happening in the ever-evolving world of PV technology.

Everything You Need to Know About High-Efficiency Solar Panels for Your Home

If you’re designing a solar energy system to power your home, you obviously want the most effective solar panels you can find, right? Homeowners from coast to coast are turning to rooftop solar arrays to provide clean, renewable, and affordable energy for their families. Not only does this protect the environment, but it also protects your wallet by reducing or even eliminating your reliance on the traditional utility company.

High-efficiency solar panels have become increasingly popular for homeowners all across the country, but not everyone needs or can take advantage of these panels. To help you decide whether you should install residential high-efficiency solar panels, we’ll walk you through several important distinctions in this high-efficiency solar panels comparison guide.

Why Does Solar Panel Efficiency Matter?

To start, let’s quickly define what solar panel efficiency even means. When you hear the term “solar panel efficiency,” this is referring to the amount of direct sunlight that the panel is capable of converting into electric current. There is some variance when it comes to the number of cells in a solar panel (some panels have as few as 60 cells, while others get close to 100 of them), and these cells can also vary in efficiency and quality.

Therefore, a solar panel’s efficiency rating is determined by the number of cells present in the panel, how efficient each of those cells is, and how much space there is between the cells and the body of the panel itself. So, what does this mean for high-efficiency solar panels? It’s important to understand that high-efficiency solar panels don’t necessarily generate more energy than other panels. Instead, they simply require less room to generate the same amount of power.

So, for instance, if you’re looking at two solar panels that both produce up to 400 watts of energy, the smaller of the two panels is the more efficient one. As a general rule of thumb, the typical residential solar panel usually has an efficiency rating in the ballpark of 15-18%, while high-efficiency panels can approach 23%.

Can Hot or Cold Days Affect the Efficiency of Solar Panels?

All solar panels are affected at least somewhat by changes in temperature. As with most other electronic devices, a solar panel’s efficiency increases as the temperature drops. Manufacturers usually test high-efficiency solar panels in controlled-temperature environments set around 40 degrees Fahrenheit. As the temperature rises, the panel’s efficiency suffers a bit, although it’s typically not a big deal.

For instance, solar panels in 60-degree weather will typically produce about 5% less power, while 80-degree heat reduces efficiency by roughly 8.5%. Some solar panels are less affected by temperature changes than others, but this does not factor into the distinction between high-efficiency solar panels and standard panels.

That said, the temperature does not affect solar panel efficiency nearly as much as light levels do. As you might expect, solar panels produce significantly more energy in direct sunlight than they do on an overcast day — and they generate very little energy at all in the evening. This is why, in some scenarios, your solar panels will actually generate more energy on hot days because the abundant direct sunlight outweighs the loss of energy generation due to the heat.

How Much Does Geography Affect Solar Output?

Where you live has a tremendous impact on your residential solar energy system’s output. In certain parts of the country that receive lots of sunshine (say, Arizona or New Mexico), solar panels can have a 50% or even higher efficiency advantage over the exact same panels in cloudy climates, like parts of the Pacific Northwest or New England. Google’s Project Sunroof is an excellent tool to help you determine the solar viability of your specific address within the U.S.

How Expensive Are High-Efficiency Solar Panels?

The cost of high-efficiency solar panels does vary from company to company, and it’s possible that you may pay higher or lower rates than average depending on who you choose as your solar installer. However, we can still make some general statements. As you probably expect, high-efficiency solar panel costs are indeed higher than those of a typical panel.

As a quick benchmark, the SunPower MAXEON 3 is one of the most efficient commonly available solar panels on the market today. For a 400W MAXEON 3 panel, you will likely pay around $435. Meanwhile, you can often find a typical 400W panel for less than $300, and used panels can cost significantly less than that.

In Conclusion

If your roof is large enough to handle your entire solar array, you likely don’t need to spend the extra money on high-efficiency solar panels. However, high-efficiency panels are a fantastic option if you need to generate lots of energy from a relatively small footprint. To create a system with identical power levels, the version with high-efficiency solar panels will take up significantly less space.

Still have questions about the cost of high-efficiency solar panels, or whether you need them to begin with? Simply contact LGCY Power at your convenience by calling 855.903.1909, and one of our expert representatives will be happy to help you find the answers to your toughest questions.

Residential Solar Array Installation: A Comprehensive Guide

Are you ready to make the leap into residential solar energy production but you’re not sure how the process works? You’ve come to the right place! A new solar array installation — or even just adding solar panels to an existing array — has several important steps, as well as some crucial questions you’ll need to answer about your energy needs and production capacity.

That said, there are some basic guidelines that we can walk you through before you contact a reputable local solar installer to handle the specifics of your solar array installation. Let’s discuss some universal aspects of residential solar panel array installation and determine how a solar array can help your home achieve energy independence.

Definition of a Solar Array

The solar panel array is a vital part of any residential solar system as without it, your system would simply not generate any energy. “Solar array” is a term that typically refers to a group of solar panels, linked together into a cohesive system. Working with the solar inverter (and the solar battery, if you choose to install one), the solar array generates energy in a direct current (DC), which it then sends to the inverter for conversion to alternating current (AC), which you can easily use to power your home.

Types of solar arrays

Before we move on, we’ll briefly mention that the term “solar array” is also sometimes used to discuss massive photovoltaic power stations or solar farms. However, for the purposes of this guide, “solar array” solely refers to a collection of panels used for residential energy generation.

Location and Capacity: The Details of Solar Array Installation

There is a lengthy list of variables to consider when planning your own solar panel array. The size of your home, where it’s located, the angle and direction of your roof, your family’s daily energy usage, how much shade your property receives — this is honestly just the start of the list of factors that go into determining how much energy you need your system to generate, or where to install it. In this section, we’ll dig into the answers to three commonly asked questions about the location and capacity of residential solar arrays.

How many panels are necessary to build a residential solar array?

We always recommend that homeowners install enough of a solar panel array to no longer require energy from the utility company, or at least to significantly minimize the occurrences where you need to pull power from the grid. After all, what’s the point if you’re still paying an energy bill every month? A good way to figure this out is to analyze your recent utility bills to determine how much energy you’ll need your solar array to produce.

How does my home’s location alter the equation?

That said, there are other variables that can significantly affect the number of panels you need. Most importantly, where you live can have a big impact, as some parts of the U.S. (like the Southwest) receive nearly twice as much daily direct sunlight as other regions (such as the Pacific Northwest).

In addition, the direction and angle your panels face are important as well. For most people, you’ll want your panels facing south at a roughly 35-degree angle. Some homeowners will require west-facing panels, while others will need a greater angle of installation. To nail down an exact figure for how many solar panels you need in your array based on your energy needs and location, speak with a reputable solar installer.

Should I install multiple solar arrays or just one?

For the majority of homes, you will be able to get by with one solar array. Installing more than one solar panel array can get quite costly due to increased installation expenses, and most homes don’t need two or more arrays anyway. However, if you’re adding solar panels to an existing array, or if your roof doesn’t have enough space for all of the panels you need in the same location, there are times when multiple solar array installation is a necessity.

How to Acquire and Install Your Own Solar Array

At this point, you’re probably thinking about installing a solar array of your own. And who could blame you? Our most important piece of advice when installing a solar energy system for your home is that you should only work with reputable, experienced local installers. In addition, we recommend getting a rough estimate of your electricity needs before contacting an installer. You can use the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s handy PVWatts Calculator to get an estimate to use as a benchmark for quotes from installers.

In Conclusion

If you still have questions about installing a solar array, give LGCY Power a call at 855.353.4899. Our expert representatives have a wealth of knowledge to draw upon, and they can help you answer many of the tough questions you might have. In addition, we can send one of our reputable, experienced solar installers to your home to do an in-person analysis of your solar energy needs.

Solar array installation isn’t always easy, but with a partner like LGCY Power in your corner, the process will feel a whole lot simpler.

How to Decide The Best Direction For Solar Panels

Making the decision to buy solar panels for your home is a smart choice for several reasons. Most importantly, a residential solar array can help you save money over buying energy from the utility company, and it’s also highly beneficial to our environment to replace fossil fuels with clean energy from the sun.

One of the most important questions we hear from people who are transitioning their homes to solar power is, “what is the best direction for solar panels?” Some people don’t have much of a choice, due to issues like rooftop slope, shading, and more. However, if your roof presents opportunities to aim your solar panels anywhere you want to, some options are certainly better than others. Let’s discuss the finer details of solar system installation and determine the best direction for solar panels to face on your roof.

What is the ideal installation angle and direction for solar panels?

For just about everyone living north of the equator, south-facing solar panels are the preferred option. While the sun’s angle does vary throughout different parts of each year, it always shines from the south in the Northern Hemisphere. The angle of installation matters too, as the ideal amount of tilt for a rooftop solar array is somewhere in the neighborhood of 35 degrees. As a general rule of thumb, people living near the equator should have a bit less of an angle, while people living further north may want to tilt their panels more.

Standard tier-based rate structure

Especially for customers of utility companies that operate on tiered rates, the best direction for solar panels to face will most likely be south. A tier-based rate structure results in customers paying higher prices as they use more energy from the utility. For instance, a company might charge five cents per kilowatt-hour for a customer’s first 500 kWh of the month, with prices escalating to ten cents per kWh for the next 500 kWh, and 15 cents for anything beyond that first 1,000 kWh.

Because this system determines pricing based on average usage, it doesn’t really matter what time of day you’re generating electricity with your solar panels, or when you might need additional energy from the grid. However, as we’ll discuss shortly, different rate structures present different challenges and preferences regarding the best direction for solar panels.

The benefits of a west-facing solar array

Interestingly, many people choose to install their residential solar panels facing west, despite the fact that for most households in the Northern Hemisphere, facing south is the best direction for solar panels. This is all based on a common rate structure used by utility companies known as “time-of-use.”

Time-of-use rate structure

Earlier, we discussed how a standard tier-based rate structure works. However, not all utilities use this format, as some instead opt for a time-of-use structure. Instead of using averages, a time-of-use structure focuses specifically on when you’re using energy from the grid, charging higher rates during peak periods. This system typically does not vary rates based on how much energy you use in a month.

We mentioned that a west-facing system may be the best direction for solar panels to face under a time-of-use rate structure, but why is that? The answer lies in when utilities choose to charge peak pricing, which is almost always between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. This is the time of day with the highest electricity usage, as most people return home from work and school in this window, and the sun also starts to set.

Therefore, under a time-of-use rate structure, you would want west-facing panels that could generate the most energy at the same time your utility company charges its highest rates. That said, this consideration doesn’t matter nearly as much if your residential solar array has a battery, which allows you to store excess energy until you need to use it.

In Conclusion

Depending on the specifics of your home’s location, roof slope, and more, it’s possible that the best option for your home may vary from those presented in this guide. That’s why it’s so important to have a qualified solar installer consult with you when planning your residential solar energy system.

Thankfully, LGCY Power makes it easy to find a reputable local installer. We partner with hundreds of solar consultants and installers from coast to coast, ensuring that you can get top-notch assistance no matter where you live in the U.S. A LGCY Power local installer can help you figure out the best direction for solar panels to face at your home, how many panels you should purchase, and much more. Give us a call today at 855.812.2467 and find out why LGCY Power is the best choice for residential solar installations in America.

How to Add More Power to Your Existing Solar Energy System

If you’ve already installed a solar energy system for your home, you’ve taken a huge step toward energy independence. You’re saving a significant amount of money compared to buying energy from the utility company, and you’re doing your part to protect our environment as well. However, there are some situations in which homeowners realize their solar systems aren’t producing quite as much power as they’d like. Thankfully, there are solutions to this issue that may be less of a hassle than you might expect.

If this sounds like you, perhaps it’s time to consider adding solar panels to your existing system. To determine whether you should be adding solar panels to your house, let’s walk through a few different indicators that it might be time to expand your system.

Aspects to consider before buying more solar panels

Compatibility concerns

The first and most important question to ask yourself before adding solar panels to an existing system is, “Are my current panels compatible with the panels I want to add?” The best option is to add the same type of panels you bought in the first place, if they’re still available. This has some practical applications, as it’s advantageous to have solar panels with similar outputs and efficiency ratings. Likewise, it just looks nicer to have all of your solar panels match when it comes to appearance.

If you can’t find the same exact panels, or you would prefer different ones, you should still make sure that any new panels you install have the same power output ratings. If you don’t, you could cause significant damage to your current system due to compatibility issues.

Do you have room for more solar panels?

This may sound like a bit of a silly question, but you’d be surprised by how many homeowners make the mistake of adding solar panels to an existing array that doesn’t actually have room for more panels. Rooftop systems often don’t have much room for expansion, especially if your roof is shaded or significantly angled. If you have a ground-mounted array instead, this is usually much less of an issue.

How much energy do you need?

There is a fine line between having the right amount of solar energy for your home and generating more power than you could ever actually use. It’s important to carefully consider your home’s energy usage before purchasing additional solar panels, especially if you live in an area that doesn’t have net metering regulations. With net metering, you can sell excess energy back into the grid, but this isn’t allowed everywhere.

If you decide that you do want more energy, you will need to decide how many panels you should add. In this scenario, you should have a respected solar installer (like one of LGCY Power’s local installers) help you analyze your energy needs. Providing your installer with copies of your electric bills both before and after adding your solar system will help them figure out how many panels you need.

Inverter capacity issues

Does your inverter have the capacity to handle adding panels to the solar system? Your residential solar energy system was originally installed with an inverter that can handle the output of your existing panels. If you’re adding more than a panel or two, the significantly increased size of your array may present issues that your current inverter cannot overcome.

This is one of the reasons why microinverters are becoming increasingly popular. Because they’re attached to each panel itself, adding panels is simply an issue of adding microinverters, as opposed to replacing an optimizer or string inverter.

Who should install your new panels?

Many homeowners simply contact their original solar installer to add new panels to their systems, and it’s easy to see why. After all, that installer already knows the ins and outs of your array and can easily expand on it. In fact, some solar installers won’t work on projects they didn’t originally install.

First off, solar add-on projects are often quite small, making them financially inefficient for the installer. Furthermore, there can be warranty issues and disputes between installers if the system ever fails — many installers find it easier to only add onto their own original work.

Connectivity and permits

Another aspect to consider is whether adding solar panels to a house will require you to acquire any permits. While most small additions won’t require additional permitting, if you add more than a couple of panels and/or have to swap out your inverter, there’s a very good chance that you’ll need to acquire further permits for the project. Thankfully, any reputable local solar installer can help you figure out your permitting and interconnectivity needs.

Solar incentive availability

Finally, when adding solar panels to an existing system, you should consider the solar incentives available to you. In many states, incentives are limited to one use per address or per person, meaning that if you took advantage of solar incentives to originally build your array, you may not be able to use them for your add-on project.

In Conclusion

If this seems like a lot to keep in mind, just remember that LGCY Power’s local installers can help you answer all of these questions and more. If you have concerns about adding solar panels to an existing array, contact us at your convenience at 855.546.0851 and we’ll be happy to walk you through the process. We can help you figure out the cost of adding solar panels to your house, adding a portable solar panel to an existing system, and much more.

Adding solar panels to a house can be more complicated than it seems on the surface, but with a partner like LGCY Power, you won’t have anything to worry about!

This Month In Solar: September 2021

In the first quarter of 2021, America made the investment of inserting 5 GWdc (gigawatts, direct current) of solar capacity throughout the nation.

To put that into perspective, that is enough energy to supply roughly 18.6 million American homes with power.

Annually, hundreds of thousands of panels are installed across the country, leaving both businesses and homeowners delighted with energy savings.

These installations aren’t just in solar farms or on the buildings of tech companies, but on the homes of regular everyday Americans.

Many people are turning to solar panels because of the plethora of advantages they provide. Therefore, if you’re looking for a solar panel installation company so you too can get in on the action, then keep reading.

The Benefits of Solar Panels on Your Home

Some people are still in the dark, asking themselves, “Are solar panels worth it?” And the truth is, there are many benefits to having solar panels installed on our homes.

Some of these benefits are clear and obvious, and others are a little more subtle. Let’s look at a few of them here, so we’re a little more certain of some of these advantages.

1. Reduced Carbon Footprint

With climate change and global warming accelerating every year, solar panels are an effective way for all of us to do our part. It’s clear that we as a society, collectively, have to cooperate and be adaptable.

Solar panels can reduce carbon emissions by as much as 5 to 10 times per module of energy compared to the alternatives (natural gas and coal).

That’s an astonishing amount that perfectly illustrates how solar panels are a cut above our traditional methods of power usage.

Introducing this solar investment could change everything and get us on the right track as a society.

2. Lower Energy Bills

Depending on location, the cost savings of energy bills are going to vary. For example, living in Florida will yield lower energy bills than living in Alaska, for the obvious reason of the amount of sunlight that each state receives.

But even then, as long as panels are properly installed, we can still experience solar energy savings, regardless of the state we reside in — which is something we should all try to take advantage of.

Yes, sunny days will generate more power, and as a result, more savings. But solar panels will still continue to extract energy even when cloudy weather is imminent.

Earn Rebates and Tax Credits

The cost of solar is something that once we look into it, is well worth it. Because once installed, we actually get paid by our solar panels!

Being responsible has never sounded so good!

For starters, we receive 30 percent of the entire cost of the system back once federal income taxes are filed. What this entails is that if we spend $30,000 on a solar panel installation, then we’ll get back $9000 in return.

This along with the SREC (Solar Renewable Energy Credits) and the expense of installing solar panels can be reduced by as much as half.

Moreover, this investment has a graceful payback period of about three and a half years. The solar panels themselves retain a warranty of about 10 years and a functional life of an impressive 25 years.

This means it will produce free electricity, as well as additional credits for more than 20 years! Not bad, right? That’s the power of being self-sufficient!

Furthermore, if you can’t afford to make the initial investment, installers offer another option. There is what is referred to as no-cost installation.

They will front you the cash for the panels, install them, and then charge based on electricity usage at a lower rate. How convenient is that?

Begin Saving Immediately

When it comes to solar benefits, this is certainly one of the most appealing. Yearly energy expenses can jump up into the thousands.

In fact, the annual costs of the average American for energy consumption tops out at $3,891.

Solar power has the capacity to dispense with these costs the moment the panels are installed.

You can begin seeing your solar energy savings immediately and that is guaranteed to please everyone.

What Is The Cost of Solar Panels?

Many of us are left wondering, “How much are solar panels?” Sure, we understand the benefits, but how much do solar panels actually cost?

While installing prices certainly will require an upfront investment, it will more than pay for itself down the line.

Furthermore, the cost will also vary based on the solar panel installation company we choose, as well as other factors, such as our location, the size of our home, how many panels we want, etc.

But once it’s all said and done, the medium price for the installment of solar panels is about $12,000.

If that’s a bit of a stretch, there are also smaller systems that can be installed for as little as $5000. And on the other end of the spectrum, there are also more high-priced options that can be upwards of $50,000 or more.

So when it comes to the cost of solar, we definitely have options.

How Many Solar Panels Are Needed?

The answer to this question will be determined by the specific energy needs of your household. Many homeowners want the goal of being completely self-reliant for their energy needs.

Meaning, to have their panels produce enough energy where they no longer rely on a company or any external source to supply it for them.

To completely terminate the electric bill altogether, we would need to produce 100% of the electricity to sustain our needs and run our household. How ecstatic would that feel??

But in order to do that, it could take anywhere between 25 to 35 solar panels.

Of course, there are other variables that can affect this number. However, this is a good rough estimate.

For a more detailed analysis, we can use a satellite photo of the rooftop of our home to do a more reliable calculation.

Based on the square footage of our rooftop, it will be easy to see how many panels will fit, and therefore, we can get a more accurate number of exactly how many panels will be needed to achieve energy independence.

When we invest in solar, we take our lives — and our savings — to another level! This is how we secure our energy needs and create a more stable future.

Industry Updates on Solar Panels for the Month of September

Everything is changing at such a rapid pace these days, and the world of solar energy is no exception. The solar energy industry is constantly being inundated with a flood of technological advances and sudden changes.

Here are a few of the latest developments you’ll want to be up to date on:

Over 700 Solar Companies Requested Congress for a Long-Lasting ITC (Input Tax Credits) Extension (September.8/2021)

Close to 750 companies from the American solar supply chain sent letters to Congress asking for action on programs that promote clean energy distribution to assist in the fight against global warming.

This letter was a part of a campaign headed by SEIA (Solar Energy Industries Association) to bolster the revelatory solar and clean energy programs in the federal economic development constitution.

The ITC acts as the primary program driver for the American solar industry. The industry is now valued at over $25 billion and employs over 231,000 workers in valuable, in-demand jobs in every one of the 50 states.

September Solar Program Snapshots (9/7/2021)

A $1 trillion economic development bill was passed by the U.S. senate. The bill holds provisions for the storage of energy development, as well as power grid modifications.

All of which would be needed to enhance solar distribution. This bill is to make its way to the fine House of Representatives, where it may then be refused unless, of course, the Senate decides to pass a detached $3.5 trillion program bill come fall.

The Solar Panel International Event Canceled for 2021 (9/3/2021)

A statement was released on Friday, September 3, by SETS (Solar Energy Trade Shows) that the landfall of Hurricane Ida left officials no choice but to cancel Solar Power International. The event was set to go from September 20 to 23.

But unfortunately, the monstrous Hurricane had left a good portion of New Orleans without any power.

Additionally, the restoration of electricity is expected to be weeks, as the city is now declared a disaster zone.

Refunds will be issued via email with instructions about how attendees can be reimbursed for their ticket money.

Clearloop Starts Construction on Solar Project in Tennessee Financed by Small Businesses (9/2/2021)

The corporation of Clearloop is working hard alongside big as well as small businesses to minimize their carbon footprint. They are doing this by broadening access to pure energy and stimulating profitable development.

Every one of Clearloop’s allies in this venture will get carbon credits for backing their part of the undertaking.

Clearloop’s structure allows for smaller businesses to contribute a one-time payment that is directly connected to the amount of carbon they wish to reclaim.

Are You Ready to Choose Your Solar Panel Installation Company?

As you can see, this industry is continuously evolving and always growing with the times. Furthermore, solar energy is something that has tremendous advantages for all of us.

The benefits of solar are numerous and far-reaching, not just for us and our everyday lives, but also for the environment as well as the planet that we call home.

So if you’re looking to go solar, and need a reliable solar panel installation company, then look no further, get in touch with us for a free quote!

Everything You Need to Set Up a Residential Solar Power System

In every corner of the country, homeowners are adding solar power systems to their homes, allowing them to reap the benefits of financial savings and environmental responsibility. Before you set up your own residential solar panels, you should have a strong understanding of everything you’ll need to get your solar system up and running. As it turns out, there can be quite a bit of solar equipment required, but your specific home may not need every single component discussed in this article. Let’s take a look at the equipment needed for solar power and figure out what you’ll need to purchase for your new residential solar panels!

Five Core Components of Residential Solar Equipment

Solar Panels

For most homes, there are five core components of residential solar equipment. The most important item is your solar panels. There are many different styles and sizes of solar panels available, and which ones you choose comes down to the details of your home. In general though, if you want the most efficient panels possible, you’ll want to go with monocrystalline panels. However, if you’re seeking a more affordable option, you might want to take a look at polycrystalline panels, which don’t operate as efficiently but also cost significantly less money.

Solar Inverter

Once you’ve acquired your solar panels, the next piece of solar equipment you’ll need is the inverter. Your solar panels typically harvest energy in the form of direct current (DC). However, almost all residences use alternating current (AC). Therefore, you’ll need a solar inverter to convert the DC energy to AC energy that your home can use. The most affordable option is a string inverter, which you’ll connect to your solar panels. Because the entire system operates on one inverter, any performance issues present in any of your panels will affect the whole “string” or system.

For maximum efficiency, you can spend the extra money on micro-inverters, which you attach to each panel. That way, any efficiency loss present in your system is isolated to one individual panel while the rest of your system continues to operate at peak efficiency. There is also an in-between option known as a power optimizer, with costs and efficiency occupying the middle ground between string inverters and micro-inverters. 

Micro-inverters and power optimizers are usually the best options for roofs that don’t face south or don’t have enough room to orient all of your panels at the same angle. On the other hand, if your roof does face south and has plenty of space for panels, you can likely get by with a string inverter. If you’re not sure which solar power equipment option is the right one for your needs, speak with a qualified solar installer.

Solar Racks and a Performance Monitoring System

Most homeowners will also need solar racks to mount panels on their roofs, along with a performance monitoring system to track your residential solar system’s output. The majority of people choose to install their solar power equipment on their roofs, but some applications require ground mounting. For instance, if your roof is heavily shaded or has an extreme angle, you may need to opt for a more expensive ground-mounted system.

Solar Batteries

Especially if you live in a state that doesn’t have net metering, you’ll also likely need solar batteries to store your electricity. With net metering, you can transfer any additional energy back into the grid. In exchange, your local utility will provide energy for your home during times when your solar panels aren’t producing as much energy. However, not all states offer net metering. If yours doesn’t, solar batteries are a must.

Safety Equipment

The next step in solar equipment acquisition is safety equipment. You will want safety disconnects to protect your system from power surges and isolate your solar panels from the grid. Grounding equipment is also crucial because it can prevent surges due to things like lightning strikes, malfunctioning solar power equipment, and more.

At this point, the most important question remaining for your residential solar equipment is who should install it? How do you find the right local installer to set up your solar power equipment? Fortunately, LGCY Power is here to help. If you’re looking for reputable, certified solar installers in your local area, simply schedule a consultation with one of our highly qualified professional Solar Consultants.

LGCY Power’s Solar Consultants are true experts in the residential solar power industry, and we can help you acquire every piece of solar equipment needed to build your new system. We can also design your new solar energy system, acquire all relevant permits from government agencies, and install your solar power equipment. LGCY Power will even collaborate with your local utility provider to connect your system to the grid and activate your panels.

We aim to make the entire setup process as quick and easy as possible, getting you ready to reap the rewards of residential solar energy. Contact us today to learn what makes LGCY Power the best residential solar provider in the nation! We’ll get you on your way to saving money and protecting our environment in no time.

Why You Should Not Install Solar Yourself: It’s Very Dangerous – Part 4

Solar power is helping more homeowners than ever save money on their electric bills. So, it’s understandable that you’ve started to look into having a solar system installed at your home, too.

The best way to begin the process is to simply call or contact LGCY Power, the nation’s leader in residential solar. However, a very small percentage of homeowners inevitably start poking around YouTube or Googling “Can you install solar panels yourself?” as they consider a DIY solar install. 

There are many reasons why you should abandon your DIY aspirations and leave your solar install to the pros, including the overwhelming paperwork, potential damage to your roof, and the fact that you probably won’t save any money at all.

But the most important reason not to attempt a DIY solar panel installation is the danger involved. We can’t stress enough how potentially dangerous it is to install solar panels yourself. Keep in mind that it could be dangerous not only for you, but for others.

There are four main reasons why it’s inherently dangerous to install solar yourself:

  1. The height and installation process
  2. Risk of electrocution
  3. Damage to your home or electrical system
  4. Potential fire or burns

The height and installation process

The vast majority of solar panels are installed on the rooftop of a home, which means working and navigating around a hazardous slope and surface at elevation. Whether your roof is one story high, two stories up, or more, the danger of being injured in a slip-and-fall is extremely high for homeowners who aren’t professional contractors. 

Remember that each solar panel can weigh 30 to 50 pounds, and you’ll likely need to carry at least several panels, as well as racking for installation, wiring and fittings, and tools.

Roof work like this is so precarious that solar installers have specialty training and certifications to work on rooftops, handle this type of equipment, and adhere to safety protocols. 

However, homeowners are taking a huge risk to their health and safety if they attempt DIY solar panel installation.

Risk of electrocution

If climbing onto your roof with heavy, unwieldy materials and working on a slope isn’t dangerous enough, the risk of electrocution is always a reality with DIY solar panel installations

Solar panels can generate up to 600 volts of electricity when exposed to the sun, and several solar modules connected in a series can potentially deliver even more of a charge to DIYers who aren’t professional electricians.

Not only will you need to affix racking and panels to the roof, but you’ll need to correctly install fittings and connections to your photovoltaic solar system.

It’s such precise, technical, and hazardous work that in many states, regular electrical contractors are not even allowed to work with solar systems, as the panel installation is far different from conventional wiring.

Electricity is not to be taken lightly – and working with electricity on a rooftop with a complex solar system magnifies that danger exponentially! 

Damage to your home or electrical system

Not only does a DIY solar panel installation present a hazard to you, but it can seriously damage the structure of your home, too. We’ve talked before about the potential for harming your roof and causing leaks and water damage when installing panels yourself, but there’s a more pressing danger. 

With such a complex and intricate electrical system, any incorrect installation of the wiring or even fittings can mean the solar system can damage itself once turned on, even starting an electrical fire. The wrong size wiring, substandard wiring or materials, or other connection issues could lead to the solar panel’s inverter overheating and exploding. 

As a DIY solar installer, you may even be instructed to solder parts together or build wood brackets to support the panels, which creates a highly combustible fire hazard.

Potential fire or burns

The greatest risk of your solar system catching on fire or even exploding on your roof doesn’t come from overheating or combustion, but faulty wiring and incorrect installation in the vicinity of flammable gases or vapors. Therefore, you should always contact the city and local utility providers to check if there are any hazardous gases or vapors in the vicinity of your home. Or, even safer, trust the installation to licensed and certified professionals!

You’re far too likely to end up with a serious burn when installing solar panels yourself, as any liquid that comes in contact with the panels can also steam and cause almost instant burns. Certain parts of the solar system, such as the collector manifold, will also become extremely hot, which can severely burn an unwitting homeowner who is trying to do the install work themselves.

As you can see, installing solar panels yourself is nothing to take lightly, Doing it yourself is not recommended as there is a serious inherent risk involved.

If you’re serious about saving with solar at home and want to make sure you do it the right way, contact LGCY Power today!

Do Solar Panels Increase Home Value?

Installing a solar energy system for your home allows you to save money on electricity while also doing your part to protect our environment. The financial benefits of residential solar systems are significant — in the long run, a one-time purchase of solar panels is much cheaper than buying electricity from your utility company. But do solar panels increase home value?

There is plenty of information out there about the cost of solar energy compared to paying your monthly utility bill, but not nearly as much about whether solar panels improve resale values. However, thanks to recent research by Zillow, we now know that a residential solar power system increases a home’s value by roughly 4.1% or $9,274 on average.

Ten States Where Solar Panels Increase Home Value the Most

That said, you might be surprised to find out how significantly this increased value can vary from state to state. Therefore, we should possibly rephrase the question to, “how much do solar panels increase home value in your state?” To answer this query, we took a deep dive into the findings of Zillow’s study, and we discovered the ten states where solar panels increase home value the most.

There are five states where solar panels add more than 4% to the resale value of a home:

  • New Jersey (9.9%)
  • Pennsylvania (4.9%)
  • Louisiana (4.9%)
  • North Carolina (4.8%)
  • Washington (4.1%)

In addition, there are five other states where you can expect at least a 3.5% increase in home value due to solar energy systems:

  • Florida (4%)
  • Hawaii (4%)
  • Maryland (3.8%)
  • New York (3.6%)
  • South Carolina (3.5%)

It’s also interesting to take a look at how the relationship between solar panels and home value varies between different metropolitan areas. Zillow examined home values in several metros and found that three of them stand head and shoulders above the rest:

  • In New York City, solar panels increase home value by 5.4%.
  • In Orlando, Florida homeowners earn a 4.6% boost in home value with a solar energy system.
  • In San Francisco, homeowners can expect a 4.4% increase if they have solar panels.

Zillow isn’t the only company studying how much solar panels increase home values. According to The Appraisal Journal, researchers report that a homeowner can expect the value of their house to increase by around $20 for each dollar saved per year on energy expenses. How much do solar panels increase home value within this framework? Even if your solar power system only saves you $100 per month compared to buying electricity from the utility company, that still comes out to a value increase of $24,000.

Meanwhile, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory frames the question of “do solar panels add value to your home” a bit differently, but with similar findings. The Berkeley Lab states that solar panels boost home values by about $5,000 per kilowatt of power available from the home’s solar system. This means that once you subtract the upfront installation costs, a 10-kW system would add around $32,500 to your home’s overall resale value.

Regional Electricity Costs Impact Solar Savings

Of course, the cost of electricity in your region is another major factor in this equation. Energy costs vary considerably in different parts of the country. Generally speaking, Hawaii (34 cents per kilowatt-hour), Alaska (18 cents), and Connecticut (17 cents) have the highest electric rates in the nation. In contrast, West Virginia, Wyoming, and Arkansas have the lowest rates, averaging just under eight cents per kWh. The more costly your electricity, the more you can save with solar. On average, the typical American home’s value increases by 4.1% if you install solar panels.

In addition to your region and the price of electricity in your area, there are several other important variables that affect the added value of a residential solar energy system. These include the price of installation, the replacement value of your solar system, homebuyers’ environmental priorities, how often the local utility suffers outages, how old your solar panels are, how much energy they generate, and state and local incentive programs.

You might still be wondering if solar panels increase home value for your specific situation. If so, ask yourself a few key questions:

  • How much do you spend on energy from your utility company? 
  • What kinds of solar incentives are available in your state? 
  • Do you have a roof that receives direct sunlight with southern exposure? 

By discussing these questions with a reputable solar installer like LGCY Power, you can determine how the relationship between solar panels and home value affects your house.

Solar Homes Sell Faster

One final advantage of residential solar energy is how solar homes sell faster than homes that rely on energy from the utility company. In general, you can expect a home with solar panels to sell roughly 20% faster than a typical home with no solar system.

How much do solar panels increase home value? To find out, look up your address in Google’s Project Sunroof. This handy tool provides personalized solar analysis for your specific address and allows you to conveniently compare financing options for your potential solar system. 

Another great way to determine how much you can save is by contacting LGCY Power today! Our knowledgeable representatives can help you determine your potential savings and provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision.

Popular Solar Incentive Programs You Should Know About

When it comes to determining how much money you can save by installing solar panels for your home, one of the crucial factors is which government solar energy incentive programs you have access to. Each state has its own rules and regulations for residential solar systems — for instance, California solar incentives differ from Florida solar incentives. Depending on which solar incentives you use, you can save even more money with a home solar system installation than you might think!

To help you understand the different programs available across the country, we narrowed down the list of solar energy incentive programs to the top handful that you should know about before installing your own solar panels. Let’s take a look at each of these valuable programs and discuss how they can make solar energy even more affordable.

Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit

First up is the Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit, as described in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. This incentive provides tax credits for solar energy systems, as well as fuel cells, geothermal heat pumps, and small-scale wind turbines. As one of the most popular federal residential solar incentives in existence today, this program provides a 26% tax credit for all solar energy systems installed before January 1, 2023. For systems placed in service after that date, homeowners still receive a 22% credit. Homeowners are eligible for this program whether they live in pre-existing homes or newly constructed houses, and the program applies to both first and second homes.

Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC)

Another popular solar incentive is the Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC) program, which allows homeowners to sell energy to their utility provider in the form of certificates. Each certificate represents 1,000 kilowatt-hours, and their value can exceed $300 in some areas. Currently, more than half of all U.S. states have SREC programs, although not all of them are considered to be “active” markets, meaning that some states are no longer accepting applications.

Performance-Based Incentive (PBI)

A somewhat similar program is the performance-based incentive or PBI. These solar incentives provide homeowners with payment based on how much energy their residential solar power systems generate. Typically, PBIs are paid out on a monthly or yearly basis over a predetermined amount of time (in California, for example, incentives are paid over five-year periods) at a set dollar-per-kWh ratio. Because these solar energy incentive programs pay based on a system’s actual output, they encourage homeowners to maintain their systems in prime condition, as systems with subpar energy generation are not incentivized as much.

Subsidized Solar Loans

Subsidized solar loans have gained in popularity in recent years, as homeowners look for alternatives to solar lease agreements and up-front cash purchases. These solar incentives are quite similar to typical home improvement loans, with one major caveat: a solar loan not only increases the value of your home (much like a newly remodeled bathroom or a new wraparound porch), but it also generates energy, which puts money directly into your pocket. In this way, subsidized solar loans are truly the best of both worlds.

Solar Rebates by State

Next, let’s briefly discuss solar rebates by state. While we’re not going to run down each and every rebate available on a state-specific basis in the United States, we will quickly touch on a few of them, starting with California solar incentives. This is one of the most popular states for residential solar systems, and a quick look at the state’s solar energy incentive programs illustrates why.

California offers a statewide net metering policy to help homeowners save money by selling their excess energy back into the grid. In addition, the state provides residents with Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing, which helps homeowners pay for energy-efficient home upgrades, such as solar panel installations. If that’s not enough, California also provides property tax exemptions for residential solar energy systems, exempting the entire value of the solar system from the owner’s property tax responsibilities.

How about Florida solar incentives? While residential solar systems aren’t quite as popular in this sunny state as they are in the similarly cloud-free California, Florida has some intriguing government solar energy incentive programs of its own. For instance, Florida has a similar net metering policy to California’s, and it also provides homeowners with exemptions for both property taxes and sales taxes. This makes solar installations cheaper up-front and into the future.

Texas solar incentives are another interesting case study. The only statewide solar incentive in this state is a property tax exemption. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of any other government solar energy incentive programs. That’s because several of the state’s largest municipalities — including Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio — offer solar rebates to help homeowners deal with the up-front costs of residential solar energy system installations.

As you can see, there are quite a few different solar incentives available to homeowners today. While some of them can be accessed on a nationwide basis, some others are only available on a state-specific basis. This is just one of the many reasons that you should partner with a reputable solar installation company like LGCY Power.

Here at LGCY Power, our representatives know all the details of the solar energy incentive programs available to you. We can help you plan out your system in a way that takes advantage of every solar incentive you can access in your state, increasing the productivity and profitability of your residential solar system. For more information, give us a call today at 855.649.4019 and consult with one of our expert team members!

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