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Walnut Creek, California Retirement Community Residents Go Solar!

Community Solar 

A 4-plex of residents in a Walnut Creek, CA retirement community decide to go solar. The result is a small solar community, with other residents watching on and catching the “solar bug.” - “It's a win-win situation.”

Solar Communities” are beginning to pop up around the country – especially in states such as California and New Jersey where financial incentives are strong. A solar community is a block of residents joined together to install solar panels – often receiving the same bulk discounts you might get on a 42-pack of socks at Costco.

Tim O. of Walnut Creek, California recently did just that in his retirement community. Rossmoor is a large retirement community which houses single-family homes, duplexes, four-plexes, and condo apartments for those 55+.... read more

San Francisco Promotes Financial Incentives for Eco-Friendly Home Improvements

The San Francisco Department of the Environment (SF Environment) is partnering with the city Assessor-Recorder's office and Energy Upgrade California to launch the SF Home Improvement & Performance (SFHIP) incentive program. The goal of the program is to increase the affordability of "green" home improvements for San Franciscans. San Francisco is one of the only cities in California that provides governmental incentives in addition to state and federal incentives for going solar.

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Solar Panel Cost and Finance Options

In theory, going solar is a no-brainer. The amount of gas saved and emissions reduced annually is tremendous. And the long term financial savings are also clear. However, the initial Solar cost can be more than most homeowners are able to afford (the average out-of-pocket cost after government rebates is about $15k). Paying for solar panels seems out of reach... But it's not! There are many options that include solar loans with low interest rates and solar leases with no money down.

In the past decade, local and national government policies have driven private companies and public policy to make solar panels more affordable for Average Joe. Enter: Solar Loans. Power Purchase Agreements, and Solar Leases.

Solar panel leases are offered through private companies such as Sungevity and Solar City. They allow homeowners to borrow solar systems. The homeowner is often not required to put any money down and then pays a set amount of money per month. This monthly rate is almost always equivalent to the current energy bill, so the homeowner does not see an increase in monthly cost-of-living expenses.... read more

Solar Lease Versus Solar Loan

Solar LoanVersus Solar Lease

If you are considering solar panel installation for your home or business, there are many different financing options available to you. You can pay in cash, take a state-sponsored solar loan, take a private solar loan, lease a system, or enter a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).

It is important to understand your options in order to make a decision that is best for you.... read more

Independent Study Finds San Francisco the Greenest City in the US

San Francisco Greenest City

An independent study conducted in June found San Francisco to be the “greenest” city in the United States and Canada. This doesn't come as much of a surprise – the city has made headlines for leading the way with policies such as mandatory composting and a grocery store plastic bag ban.... read more

What is a Solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)?

Solar Power Purchase Agreement

Over the past 3 years, California and other states have seen a large increase in Solar Lease programs and Solar Power Purchase Agreement programs. Both types of programs allow property owners (residential and business) to power their property with solar energy without a large upfront investment. But what is the difference between a solar lease and a power purchase agreement?... read more

Home Solar Panels: An Overview

Home Solar Panels

Guestblogger Bob LoCioro gives us an overview of home solar panels:

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Solar panels are the most recognizable component of a home solar electric system. The solar panels are installed on the roof of a home to collect sunlight and convert the sunlight into electricity. Homeowners install residential solar electric systems to save on electric costs and lessen their environmental impact.... read more

Solar Panels in San Jose – San Jose, California Schools Go Solar and Incorporate Solar Technology into Curriculum

san jose solar school

Last year, East Side Union High School District in San Jose, California joined forces with Chevron Energy Solutions (CES) to install solar panels on 6 school sites. The solar project's goal is threefold: 1) to save the struggling school district $7.6 million dollars over the next 5 years; 2) to prepare students for careers in the cleantech industry and spark student enthusiasm in science and the environment; and 3) to reduce the city's carbon emissions by 3,100 metric tons per year.

“Our schools will all benefit from these savings, especially in these tough economic times when they’re needed most,” said the Superintendent Dan Moser at that time. “Also, this project reduces our carbon footprint and allows us to incorporate solar into our teaching curriculum so our teachers and students can learn about renewable energy technologies firsthand.”... read more

San Jose Solar Installation: Todd R.'s Solar Experience.

San Jose Solar Installation

Todd R. of San Jose, California describes his experience with REC Solar as part of our Go Solar! series.... read more

How Long Do Solar Panel Installations Take?

Solar Installation how long

Considering installing a photovoltaic (PV) system on your home but are wondering how long it will take? Not long at all!

Most PV systems are installed within a few days of installers starting work. It’s likely to take longer to get the installers there in the first place and to qualify for any solar rebates, credits, or incentives prior to installation of the system. If you’re planning on setting up a net metering system, it may also take the utility company a bit longer to set up a bidirectional electric meter.... read more

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