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Residential

SDG&E Rate Increase Alert!

By | Residential, Solar, Utilities | No Comments

SDG&E announces 10.9% rate increase.

SDG&E Rate Increase, Solar Panel Installers San Diego, Solar Panel Financing

You might have noticed this chart in one of your recent SDG&E bills. This year San Diego will be raising their residential rates by 10.9% when we are already 7% higher than the current average California electricity rate and 37% higher than the average national electricity rate. The annual National Rate Study was released recently and the numbers are alarming! For lower consumption users San Diego has the 4th largest average electricity bill in the United States.

If that wasn’t shocking enough, it gets worse for those who consume more energy. San Diego has the highest average electricity cost in the nation by a significant amount! Just under $60 per month than the next highest city, Honolulu.

Last year as part of SDG&E’s Rate Reform plan ( you can find more information about that here ) they decreased the 4 tiered structure down to 2. What this effectively means for customers is people who use lower amounts of electricity likely saw a $1-$7 monthly increase and if you were already on one of the higher tiers your would end up seeing a $5 decrease. This change effectively made the majority of customers pay more for their energy consumption. For those who consume more energy and are now thinking, “well for me that means I save money”, SDG&E wants to change that for you too. Later this year their announced Super User Surcharge will be coming. This will, in their words, “penalize people who have excessive energy consumption” and that means for those of you with higher bills will be seeing that increase in the very near future.

This isn’t something new or a one time change. SDG&E raises the rates an average of 7% annually. The best way to protect yourself from the rising rate hikes is to go solar. We can help you immediately save up to 50% off your monthly energy costs and with us being one of the few certified Tesla Powerwall Installers in San Diego, we can design a system that will maximize your savings for its entire lifetime.

Call us today at 858.547.4300 or click here to get your free solar quote and find out how you can start saving today!

 

7 Stunning Residential Solar Installations

By | Residential, Solar | No Comments

Some people say solar panels can’t be aesthetically pleasing, these people usually belong to HOAs. Today we are going to prove them wrong by showcasing 7 examples of energy-efficient homes that have perfectly integrated solar power. Most homes on this list are from California and a few are from around the world, but all the homes on this list show just how beautifully solar panels can by applied to an array of architectural styles.

1. Venice, California.

Solar Panels Venice CaliforniaDubbed the Solar Umbrella House, this renovated home boasts a collection of environmentally smart upgrades: solar water heating panels, a storm-water recycling system, ethically-sourced materials, and of course, a solar panel array that produces 100% of the home’s power needs. The building’s design provides a modern (and virtually off-grid) take on Paul Richard’s 1953 Umbrella House.

2. Denver, Colorado.

Denver Home With Solar Panels

John and Paige Damiano have learned to work with the elements, both professionally and domestically. As a territory manager for Burton Snowboards, John relies on the area’s snowfall, but as homeowners, the Damiano’s put their faith in the sun with solar water heating and rooftop solar panels. It seems that their commitment is going to pay off too, since Denver actually has more sunny days per year than San Diego!

3. San Francisco, California.

San Francisco Solar PanelsBelieve it or not, this modern San Francisco home is over 100 years old. Thanks to a recent overhaul intended to update and reinforce the structure, the home now sports a more open layout, roof landscaping, a glass penthouse, and bi-facial solar panels. Looking good for a centenarian!

4. San Diego, California.

San Diego Solar PowerPaying respect to San Diego’s historic textile industry, the architects at Jonathan Segal FAIA updated what was previously the textile manufacturers’ union hall. The old block building was transformed into affordable housing and architectural office space, with each unit generating its own power from rooftop solar arrays.

5. Barcelona, Spain.

Solar Panels in SpainThis beautiful building is called Endesa Pavilion and updates the principal of “form follows function” with the concept of “form follows energy.” In keeping with this saying, the south-facing areas open to the solar path based on angles of optimization, while the north-facing walls serve as insulation and protection. Over the course of a year, it will serve as a monitoring station for all aspects of intelligent power management.

6. Italy.

Italian Solar PanelsThis Italian take on a modular getaway is intended to seamlessly integrate the surrounding environment – whether in the woods or on the beach – with the nature of the home, both in style and in purpose. Called the “Green Zero” home, the building aims for zero environmental impact, a goal facilitated by the thin-film solar panels which decorate the wraparound roof.

7. Bessancourt, France.

French Solar PanelsWhen most people think France, they don’t think bamboo. But the experimental brainchild of architects Milena Karanesheva and Mischa Witzmann disrupts this notion with a bamboo-clad and energy-efficient farmhouse outside of Paris. The family home was one of the first Passive Houses in France, meaning the building is ultra-low energy – in fact, it only uses about a tenth of the energy that conventional French homes use!

How Much Do Solar Panels Cost?

By | Projects, Residential, Solar | No Comments
Do You Know How Much Solar Panels Cost?

Solar panel harness energy of the sun

Are you planning to install solar systems? Do you want to know about the expenses? It is not easy to calculate the exact solar panel cost on a house. You need to collect information about your energy spending and some other factors to get a fair idea. Some websites can help you with this. You can also take the help of the Solar Power Authority that offers a free solar calculator and quote tool. But you need some technical knowledge to get into the details.

If you are looking some guidelines for the estimation, then can go through this article. In this article, you will get a rough estimate of solar panel cost depending on your average electrical consumption and your location. If you have your power bills and you are able to find the average kWh per month, then it will be much easier for you.

How to Get an Estimation

First, collect the electric bills of a year and then notice the difference in the energy consumption in the summer and winter seasons. Now you can average the bills into the monthly kilowatt-hour usage. This is the amount of the average energy that you are using every month. You can also estimate it by the load evaluation calculator. Once you know how much energy you are using per month, then you can focus on the solar system.

You will have to understand how much sun-hours you are receiving on the most average days. If you take the help of any professional service then they can help you sun-hours map to help you to get more accurate information about the sun-hours.

If you are in the San Diego area and would like a free solar estimation, click here. You can also use our solar calculator to estimate how much going solar can save you.

The next thing is the type of the solar system.

You should know what type of the systems will be helpful for you. Two types of the solar systems are widely used, Grid-tied systems and the off-grid systems. The grid-tied system will be an ideal option for those who want to reduce the electrical bill and want a solar panel for the emergency power. Off-grid systems enable you to work and live with the electricity in such areas where the utility power is either too expensive or unavailable. The off-grid system is preferable. With this system, you will have to operate within your means, energy-wise and financially. It is inexpensive as well.

Another factor that affects the cost of the solar system is what percentage of the house you want to offset with the solar system. Many people prefer offset 100 % of their electrical bill for the maximum savings. But if you are starting it, instead of considering 100% offset, you should start it with a smaller system. If you are satisfied with the result then you can expand it later.
Many things decide the cost of the solar system of your home. Some of the key factors are your energy consumption, your location such as how much sun lights you get on an average day, and the type of the solar system. You can take the help of the experts to get the exact estimation.

The Ultimate Guide to Residential Solar

By | Installations, Prices, Residential, Solar, Uncategorized | No Comments

Residential Solar Roofing

Solar power has been in existence for a considerable amount of time; however, it was not until recently that it became embraced by people globally. This was after the realization of the need to turn to green energy in efforts of realization of the Millennium development Goals. Due to this reason, people are still very green in this industry and this, in turn, poses a great challenge. If you would like to buy a car today, you will have several people to consult and guide you on the car market. Should you make a mistake, you will probably say next time you will make a better decision.

When it comes to solar panels, things don’t run this way. Installing solar systems is considered to be more expensive than acquiring your first car. Most people who have solar systems installed have only been using it for several years. Among these people, only a handful have used solar panels to their full life cycles. Unlike buying a car, buying solar panel is a crucial affair and this means that there are no rooms for mistakes. It’s for this reason that we felt the need to come up with a complete guide, we call it “ The Ultimate Guide to Residential Solar.” We want to guide you and ensure you know what to look for before buying your residential solar system.

Enjoy reading.

Roofing

To begin with, you need to ask yourself. Do you have a good roof that can support solar panels? This step can be easily overlooked, but it’s critical. Is your house always covered by shades for the better part of the day or throughout the year? Does it have a favorable solar window that can justify the cost of solar panels? If your roof passes this, you need to ensure it’s in good shape structurally. If your roof looks like it needs some repair in the next few years to come, it’s better to repair it first before starting the installation process. That way you would save on costs that would have incurred if you would have sought for a technician to disconnect the solar systems for you in order to start the renovation. It’s thus important to visualize the future of your residential home. If it’s unobstructed at the moment but you have planted some trees nearby, then your solar systems might end up being short lived. You also need to factor in your neighbor as well. If they plan to build a skyscraper in the next few years, then solar panels might simply not work for you.

Improve Efficiency

Before installing residential solar panels, you first need to ensure you have done everything that can improve efficiency. The amount of solar energy you will need to produce will largely depend on how much energy you use. For this reason, it will make more sense if you trim down your energy use before paying for the solar panels. An energy audit ensures you improve efficiency as much as consumption is concerned, and this is what you need to do before drawing the blue prints.

Type of Solar System You Need

Two prominent solar systems are primarily the photovoltaic cells which turn sunlight into electricity and the thermal one which uses sunlight to heat air or water. If your residential home consumes a lot of power for heating or if you live in locations where heating fuel is expensive when compared to electricity, then, your solar investment can break sooner, advises Timothy Wilhelm. Timothy coordinates electrical technology, and he teaches about solar installation in Kankakee Community College, Illinois.

Connecting to the Grid

Although details vary depending on location, it’s, however, paramount that you need first to seek out logistics before connecting with a utility. Are there fees to pay? How long does it take for you to get hooked up to the utility? How will you be credited for the electricity you generate once you are connected? These are some of the considerations you have to ponder on.

Credibility of Your Installer

Once you hire someone to install solar panels in your residential home, you need to realize that as much as it’s about home improvements, there are logistics that come into play. The connection touches on the already installed electrical works. Kelly Larson, an electrical contractor in California with over 20 years experience says “You need not hire someone who has never done any electrical work to come and make changes in your house.” Credentials and references play a significant role. You are looking for a company that will be with you all the way. They will stick around and come to help you when things fail. Though solar systems don’t have major problems as they are not moved up and down, you still need a company that sticks with you for the lifetime of your installation.

To Lease or to Buy

After you have decided you are ready to go the solar way, you need to do a cost-benefit analysis by trade off. While buying your solar systems is cost intensive, it still tables bigger dividends. On the other hand, leasing will grant you access to cheaper electricity though the benefits here are limited. You will have to pay the company the agreed on the amount and when the lease is up, they may as well decide to take away their systems and your residential home will be in jeopardy. Owning the system will pay the cost of purchase in the long run. You thus need to do a good comparison on the total life cycle cost of the lease and weigh it against ownership benefits. Wilhelm advises that you need to keep in mind that while the solar system can last for decades, some appliances like the power inverter have a shorter lifespan. While budgeting, it’s thus good to factor in the cost of system replacements.

Financial Incentives

With the federal government recent efforts of giving incentives to people ready to go green, it’s good to inquire and learn if there are incentives or government subsidies that you can capitalize on while doing solar panel installation. Some solar rebates can, in fact, pay off. The federal government provides tax credits for solar panels, and this can cut costs by up to 30%. Some states, however, might lack such rebates but before you make a conclusion, consult first. Your solar installation team should be in a position to give you a good guide on how to get the maximum rebate.

If you are in the San Diego area and would like us to find out the best solar rebate options for you, contact us.

Building Permits

Before installing solar systems in your residential home, it’s good to ensure that you have the required or proper building permits. This step is crucial because if you simply overrule it, you might have to bring down and redo the entire project once more. Regulations differ from city to city. In some, you are required to have at last a three-foot clearance around your roof. Some will, however, allow you to install the systems up to the very edge. In the USA, building permits are issued at local levels; this explains why there are differences in requirements as you move from one city to another. Besides building, you further need to ensure that your solar panel system meets the requirements of electrical codes.

Electricity Output

Another factor you have to consider before getting solar panels installed in your residential home is electricity output. Ideally, one panel produces around 250 watts of electricity; this means that for you to have at least 2.5 kW a day, you need ten panels. Settling for a smaller number of panels will thus mean that you will have limited the amount of electricity you can produce and it will also reduce the money you receive from feed-in tariff. A normal household requires 3.5kW of electricity a day, and that equates to 4,800 kW a year. Such statistics imply you have to dig deep in your pocket if you want to power your residential home fully on solar panels. If it’s difficult, you might consider getting some bit of electricity from the national grid system as well.

Amount of Money You Want to Spend

Another factor you have to consider before installing residential solar systems is the amount of money you want to spend versus the amount of money required. Money defines everything. Money is the determining factor from the type of solar panel to buy all the way up to who will install for you. You might be wishing to have one of the largest solar systems installed in your residential home, but you may only have a buck or two in the bank. The cost of installation is largely determined by the brand of the panel, type of the panel and the size of the panel. Other factors are labor and number of batteries that you may need to store power that is generated by the solar panel.

Use of the Solar Panel

The main reason you might want to set up a solar system is maybe you want to have a mere backup at times when there is a blackout in your area. Another reason may be to run your kitchen or to power one or two appliances that you recently acquired. Another person may want to fully utilize solar energy in everything he or she does. Some solar systems might be connected to the grid systems using a grid inverter. In this scenario, if there is a major blackout or if there some maintenance being done on the national grid, they don’t want electricity to feed into their grid and for this reason, you may also be in a blackout. For this reason, you have to clearly define the need and use of your solar panel before you calculate the cost of installation.

Types of Residential Power Installation

When it comes to residential solar power installation, you need to understand that there are two types of them. The first type connects your solar panel system to the main electricity grid. This is by far the most common type of solar installation. The grid connection system allows you to feed energy back to the grid system via your meter. With this option, you are rewarded by the power company for the amount of energy you have added to their system. The second type of residential power system is referred to like the stand alone solar power system. With this system, the cost of connecting solar panels to the main grid system is prohibitive. In this system, the solar panels charge a battery which in turn gives power to the house. Usually, a generator is kept on the stand by to back up power to the systems.

How Long Does it Take to Install a Residential Solar System?

Most solar companies will give you a free quote or estimate, including us! If your residential house is not so big, solar installation will take less than a day. It’s very rare to find incidences where solar installation in a residential has taken more than two days.

If you are in the San Diego area and would like a free quote please click here.

Solar Power Installation on Residential Homes

In most cases, solar installation is done on the roof, however, should you prefer your residential solar systems to be installed somewhere else; it can always be done but a cost. They will only need to erect free-standing solar panels in your preferable area. To get maximum solar energy, companies’ advice that you tilt your solar panels at a certain angle that is uniquely dependent on your geographic location. For most people, an angle of 30 degrees does well.

Solar Inverter

Depending on the type of installation, you might need to purchase some solar inverters. Inverters convert current from DC, direct current, to 240V AC electricity which is suitable for your home. Most inverters tend to be smaller than standard suitcases and are placed near the main electric switch boards.

Residential Solar Power Maintenance

To maintain your solar panels, you need to at least clean them every year. Since most solar panels are immovable, they should be able to last you up to twenty years or more.

Residential Solar Power Benefits

Solar energy is green energy. It thus has lots of advantages. To begin with, it’s a renewable source of energy. It’s also readily available and in abundant quantities. Solar energy is sustainable and environmentally friendly. Solar power reduces electricity costs, and this means that your home will end up saving more as far as costs of energy is concerned. In addition to that, solar panels are silent unlike generators and can be redistributed or shared. It also receives government support or aid.

Disadvantages of Residential Solar Energy

One of the major drawbacks of this type of energy is that it is expensive to setup and install. It’s also intermittent in that at times, access to solar energy is interrupted. Interruptions are mostly weather or climate oriented. Lastly, it requires a considerable amount of space.

The Bottom Line

Solar panels provide clean energy that is pollution free. It has more advantages both economically and environmentally. We hope that this article will go a long way in helping you make the right decision as far as installing residential solar energy is concerned.

SDGE Bill Ready Notification

By | Customer Support, Net Metering, Residential, Solar, Utilities | 2 Comments

Understanding Your SDGE Bill Ready Notification

SDGE has changed the format of their Bill Ready Notification in an effort to provide some quick insight to customers, however – as per usual, they seem to have made the information more confusing and convoluted than before. In an effort to help our customers understand their energy consumption and SDGE billing, this page will explain how to read SDGE’s notification.

Time-of-Use Rate Example
DR-SES & EVTOU2

SDGE Bill Notification - Time of Use

The terminology used on this new SDGE Bill Ready Notification is confusing, perhaps even incorrect. SDGE shows two initial sections, CONSUMPTION and GENERATION, but these only represent CONSUMPTION from the utility or GENERATION sent to the utility. SDGE does not have the ability to measure “behind-the-meter” consumption, which is energy produced by your solar PV system and consumed immediately on-site. The only energy (and data) they see is when your system is producing more energy than you are currently consuming or when you are drawing electricity from the grid, such as at night or on a cloudy day.

These categories shouldn’t be labeled as CONSUMPTION and GENERATION, but more accurately as IMPORT and EXPORT. If you read these sections as SDGE implies, you would assume that your solar panel system is under-producing. Because SDGE does not have full data for production, they can only provide limited insight into your system’s performance. These numbers are “netted,” however, which does give you some good insight into your monthly performance for Net Metering. In the NET ENERGY box (located below the incorrectly labeled CONSUMPTION and  GENERATION), you’ll be able to see an accurate account of the difference between these two numbers. If this number is a positive number, that means you imported more electricity from SDGE than you exported during the billing period. If this is a negative number, that means you exported more electricity to SDGE than you imported. A positive number will mean that you’re deducting from your cumulative Net Metering balance, while a negative number means you’re adding energy credits to be used later.

To get an accurate assessment of your system’s production, look at the online monitoring system for your inverters (Enlighten for Enphase customers, SunnyPortal for SMA customers). Through this system, you can pull energy production reports (customizable to the correlating billing period). This report will show you overall system generation, including “behind-the-meter” electricity which is consumed immediately on-site. This number should match or exceed the production expectations set by Solare Energy, though sometimes it may be a little less, depending on weather during the selected period. Solare Energy takes into account factors such as weather variations when designing systems, so rest assured that over the annual period, your system will produce enough electricity to meet or exceed expectations.

Tiered Rate Example
& Enphase Reporting 

The Tiered Bill Ready Notification shown below also has a few discrepancies in the information presented by SDGE. The most obvious mistake is listed in the NET ENERGY box that shows a negative number (more electricity exported to the utility than imported from the utility), yet the text states “You consumed more energy than you generated this period.” This is an obvious mistake, as the “netted” total is listed directly above this statement, on the graph toward the bottom of the page, as well as in the My Account section on SDGE’s website. As this is a new format they’re sending out, it appears that they haven’t yet performed a detailed quality check of these automated emails. Rest assured, if you see this, they will hopefully correct this error before you receive next month’s notification.

While the graph on SDGE’s notification email is the best resource for accurately understanding your NET ENERGY for this billing period, it only represents electricity exported to the utility, and doesn’t include “behind-the-meter” consumption. By running a report for the same period through Enphase Enlighten monitoring, you can see that the system produced 600kWh for the period, well above expectations (even with a few cloudy/rainy days). Taking the NET ENERGY number from SDGE (300kWh) and comparing to the Enphase Enlighten reported production (600kWh), you’ll see that the home in this example consumed about 300kWh over the 29 day cycle, which is on par for this customer’s typical usage. While the tiered rate structure is a bit easier to understand, it usually earns less credit per kilowatt-hour than the time-of-use rate structures.

SDGE Bill Notification - Tiered Rate
Enphase Enlighten Reporting

SDGE Rate Structure Changes

By | Prices, Residential, Utilities | 4 Comments
2015 SDGE rate structure changes

SDGE Has Implemented Significant Rate Structure Changes

With approval from the California Public Utilities Commission, SDGE and the other major investor-owned utilities in California have enacted the beginning of their “tier-flattening” strategy. This plan will allow them to adjust rates and eliminate tiers, getting to a two-tier structure by 2019. Once finished, the goal is to have two tiers (and a “super-user surcharge” that will essentially create a third tier) with a difference of 20-25% in price between the lower and upper tier. The surcharge will be added to the price of second tier energy once the high-use threshold is reached.

The changes began September 1st, 2015 for SDGE by lowering the price for tier 3 (which has absorbed tier 4), and an increase in prices for tiers 1 and 2. Here’s what the changes look like for the typical homeowner (Schedule DR – RESIDENTIAL SERVICE Effective 9/1/2015):

$10/MONTH MINIMUM FOR ELECTRIC
-AND-

TIER 1

PREVIOUS PRICE
17.41¢ per kWh

NEW PRICE
18.08¢ per kWh

TIER 2

PREVIOUS PRICE
20.46¢ per kWh

NEW PRICE
20.53¢ per kWh

TIER 3

PREVIOUS PRICE
40.36¢ per kWh

NEW PRICE
39.61¢ per kWh

TIER 4

PREVIOUS PRICE
42.36¢ per kWh

COMBINED WITH TIER 3
39.61¢ per kWh

While this may look like good news at first glance, the overall assessment is that this is the beginning of price increases through 2019 for the majority of SDGE residential customers. As price adjustments continue, the goal is to get to a 20-25% difference between two tiers. The assumption is that the lower tier will continue to climb in price as the upper tier price comes down slowly. Effectively, everyone will be paying significantly higher costs for the lower tier but less for the upper tier… until the super-user surcharge comes into play. At this point, it will be as if there is still a third tier, which will be much more expensive than the baseline price. Once these changes have been completed by 2019, SDGE’s next goal will be switching all customers to a time-of-use rate to allow prices to reflect demand.

Lock-in Lower Energy Rates With Solar

With utility companies making so many changes to how they charge their customers, and prices continually increasing, there is no certainty for the future of electricity rates. Going solar now allows you to lock-in lower energy rates (as low as $0.06/kWh) and, in many cases, requires $0 down. That means you can start saving on your energy costs and immediately see an increase in monthly cash flow. With about 10 different financing options such as 1.89% financing, and PACE programs such as HERO and YGRENE, we’ll be able to help you find the solution that’s best for your personal situation. Don’t delay – get started now to lock-in the current Net Metering Agreement for the next 20 years and SECURE YOUR SAVINGS WITH SOLAR!

2014 SDGE Rate Hike

Net Metering Status Update

By | Net Metering, Prices, Residential, Solar, Utilities | No Comments

ACT NOW – BEFORE THE NET METERING RULES CHANGE

Net metering, the agreement customers enter into with SDGE when they install solar, is going to be changing soon. The California Public Utilities Commission has finalized NEM 2.0, which will go into effect once solar production capacity reaches 5% of peak energy demand. Customers who have already installed a solar panel system, and those who install soon, are grandfathered in for the next 20 years and will receive retail rates for the surplus energy they produce and put back onto the grid. Net Metering 2.0 has been announced and retains much of the value of the current program, with a few minor modifications.

Current Net Metering Status (as of March 31, 2016)

94.47%

This represents the current NEM Installations and Applications in Queue (Cumulative MW Installed under NEM + NEM MW in Queue). This number is calculated by SDGE and was last updated on March 31, 2016.  Of the 617 MW available under the current Net Metering Agreement (5% of peak demand), 582.9 MW are already installed or in the queue (4.72% of peak demand). 34.1 MW remain until the current Net Metering Agreement closes.

WHEN WILL THE NEM CAP BE REACHED?

Some solar companies in San Diego had been claiming that “the sky is falling” since mid-2015. However, the timelines provided by more reliable sources (SDGE, the California Public Utilities Commission, and the California Solar Energy Industries Association) estimate different dates when the NEM cap could be reached.

CALSEIA ESTIMATE: May-June 2016
CPUC ESTIMATE: March-July 2016
SDGE ESTIMATE:
 July-December
 2016

SDGE Net Metering Changes

NOW IS THE TIME TO GO SOLAR!

With the current net metering agreement coming closer to the cap in SDGE’s territory, those who act now can benefit by locking-in retail rate credit for surplus energy production for the next 20 years! Net Metering 2.0 will still help homeowners and businesses save significantly on their energy costs, but does include a nominal upfront fee and some non-bypassable charges for energy consumed from the grid.

If you’ve been thinking about going solar, it’s time to get serious or risk missing out on the best value with solar and SDGE. Request a free quote and see how much you could be saving.

Enjoy Comfort & Savings – Live Better With Solar.

Data for Net Metering Status provided by SDGE.
View the full report at: www.sdge.com/clean-energy/net-energy-metering/overview-nem-cap

Advice on properly setting your thermostat for efficient cooling.

3 Ways To Boost Your A/C Efficiency

By | Energy Efficiency, Residential | No Comments
With Summer right around the corner, it’s time to get ready to crank that air-conditioning and stay cool. These helpful tips will keep your system running smoothly and as efficiently as possible, creating less work and less wear on your equipment. Everyone can use these quick and easy tips to save a little electricity, so share this info with your friends – especially those who haven’t gone solar yet. They’ll need it most!

1. Replacing Your Filters

By replacing your filters, you significantly reduce the airflow restrictions and allow the fans and motors of your cooling system to operate more efficiently with less burden. Not only does this make your system more effective at cooling the house, it also saves energy and extends the life of your system by reducing the work load required. As an added bonus, changing your filter also removes any allergens that were trapped, allowing you to breathe a little easier.

Advice on replacing filters for efficient A/C usage.

2. Setting Your Thermostat

If you’re like most homeowners in San Diego with air-conditioning, you’ve probably already made the upgrade to a programmable thermostat. The most efficient method is to set your thermostat to 12 degrees above the desired temperature while you’re away, then have it begin cooling to the desired level about an hour before you get home. If you leave the A/C off while you’re gone, you’ll come home to a hot house full of hot furniture, walls, and flooring. It takes a lot longer (and a lot more work) for your cooling system to dissipate radiant heat from every object in your home rather than keeping them cool in the first place.

Advice on properly setting your thermostat for efficient cooling.

3. Cycling Your A/C

For those who don’t have a programmable thermostat, or those who just don’t know how to program it, your best option is going to be allowing your A/C unit to cycle, as opposed to leaving it off until you want it and then turning it on. When you keep your temperature set to a moderate level (even when you’re away), your air-conditioning system is able to cool the whole house then turn ON and OFF automatically to maintain the temperature. Though it may seem as if this would be more costly to keep the A/C setting ON all day, it actually is more energy efficient. Once the desired temperature is achieved (even early in the morning), your system will cycle ON for 10-20 minutes and then OFF. If the house and furnishings get hot, the system will be forced to work continuously without ever achieving the desired temperature.

Advice about cycling your A/C for efficient energy usage.
SDGE Net Metering Changes

Solare Energy Recognized with 2015 Guildmaster Award

By | Awards, Residential, Solar | No Comments
Recognized for excellence and customer satisfaction for solar installation in San Diego.

Customer Satisfaction Is Our Highest Priority – And It Shows!

Thank You To All Our Customers Who Participated In The Survey.

Solare Energy, Inc. Recognized among North America’s Best Customer Service Leaders within the Residential Construction Industry
GuildQuality’s 2015 Guildmaster Award Honors Solare Energy, Inc.

San Diego, California, May 19, 2015 – Solare Energy, Solar Installation Contractor in San Diego, California, has been awarded a 2015 Guildmaster Award for exceptional customer service. GuildQuality, an independent customer satisfaction surveying company, has powered the Guildmaster Award since 2005 to celebrate service excellence in the building, remodeling, contracting, and home services professions.

Solare Energy was selected as one of the over 300 North American builders, remodelers, developers, and contractors recognized by GuildQuality for their superior delivery of customer care.

Over the past few months, GuildQuality reviewed numerous survey responses submitted by customers of Guildmaster candidates. In granting awards, GuildQuality considers two primary metrics for each candidate: the percentage of customers who would recommend and the percentage of customers who responded. Solare Energy achieved a recommendation rate of greater than 90% from their customers, who were surveyed through GuildQuality.

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For more on the 2015 Guildmaster Award and qualifications, visit www.guildquality.com/guildmaster/.

About Solare Energy

Solare Energy provides residential, commercial, and non-profit customers in San Diego County with smart energy solutions that integrate solar and energy efficiency systems to provide the highest energy, economic, and environmental benefits to customers.

800-411-SOLAR      www.SolareEnergy.com

About GuildQuality

GuildQuality helps builders, remodelers, and contractors manage their most valuable asset – their reputation. Our members rely on our service to gather customer feedback, measure satisfaction and continuously improve their business. Supported by comprehensive reporting and marketing tools, GuildQuality helps its members stand out in a competitive market. For more information, visit www.GuildQuality.com.

“Our goal is 100% customer satisfaction – and it shows. Recognition for our efforts is great, yet the achievement we truly value is knowing that our customers are satisfied and eager to recommend us to friends, family, and neighbors with the assurance that we’ll do the job right and provide the best value possible to each and every customer.”

-Robert Shaw, Marketing Manager

Net Metering Changes

By | Prices, Residential, Solar | One Comment
SDGE Net Metering Changes

Upcoming Changes To Net Metering

Net metering, the agreement customers enter into with SDGE when they install solar, is going to be renegotiated soon. Customers who have already installed a solar panel system, and those who sign up soon, are grandfathered in at a $5/month grid interconnection fee for the next 20 years. Once solar production capacity reaches 5% of peak energy demand (we are at 3.1% as of January 30, 2015), SDGE will be able to enact a newly negotiated grid interconnection fee. Though the actual amount has not been approved yet, some experts expect the monthly fee to increase to as much as $30/month.

WHEN WILL THE NEM CAP BE REACHED?

Some solar companies in San Diego are claiming that the cap will be reached sometime this summer. However, the timelines provided by more reliable sources (SDGE and the California Solar Energy Industries Association) estimate different dates for the NEM cap to be reached.
SDGE’S ESTIMATE

April or May 2016

CALSEIA’S CONSERVATIVE ESTIMATE

Between May and August 2016

CALSEIA’S AGGRESIVE ESTIMATE

January 2016

NOW IS THE TIME TO GO SOLAR !!!

With the current net metering agreement coming closer to  the cap in SDGE’s territory, those who act now will benefit greatly by locking-in the $5/month grid interconnection fee for the next 20 years! While we don’t yet know how much this charge will go up, everyone in the solar industry is aware that SDGE wants to significantly increase this monthly fee for customers with solar.

If you’ve been thinking about going solar, it’s time to get serious or risk missing out on lower fees from SDGE. Request a free quote and see how much you could be saving!

Lock-in Lower Energy Rates With Solar

With utility companies averaging a 6-7% annual increase, you can expect your bill to double every 12 years. Going solar now allows you to lock-in lower energy rates (as low as $0.06/kWh) and, in many cases, requires $0 down. That means you can start saving on your energy costs and immediately see an increase in monthly cash flow. With about 10 different financing options such as 1.99% financing, and PACE programs such as HERO and YGRENE, we’ll be able to help you find the solution that’s best for your personal situation. Don’t delay – get started now to ensure your eligibility to take the 30% Federal Tax Credit for 2015!

2014 SDGE Rate Hike
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