Does Solar Energy Work in Winter?

One of the first ways we know that Winter is around the corner is when we set our clocks back. This ritual is inevitably the start of shorter days and higher costs to heat your home. The best way to protect yourself from the rising costs of heating your property is by converting to Solar Energy.

There is a misconception that solar panels do not work during the winter. Contrary to this belief, the cold temperature will typically improve solar panel output. As solar panels work with light, not heat, the snow naturally reflects light and can help improve PV performance. While it is true that solar panels covered with snow do not produce energy, most panels are installed at the angle that best captures sunlight, therefore most snow should melt and slide off on its own. Solar panels are smooth so snow doesn’t stick to them like it would to rough roof shingles.

Quality solar panels are designed to bear the weight of accumulated snow. Quality solar panels undergo pressure tests to assess durability and are assigned a rating. Higher pressure ratings indicating that your panels are better at withstanding the weight of heavy snow.

Another plus for going solar in the winter is that most solar panels function more efficiently in cold weather than in hot weather. Your panels will produce more power per hour of sunshine during the shorter days of winter.

In addition to considering Solar Energy to save money on your utility bills, Geoscape Solar recommends 5 simple steps to maximize your energy usage during the cold, winter months ahead:

1. Replace your furnace filter; get it serviced to increase efficiency.
2. Check your attic to make sure it is fully insulated.
3. Install weather stripping on your windows and doors.
4. Use window treatments to let sunlight in during the day and block out the cold at night.
5. Inspect and clean your fireplace before you light the first fire of the season.

Solar energy can reduce or eliminate your utility bills during ALL 4 Seasons of the year in any climate. However, the most important step in your solar journey is not when you go solar, but who you chose to design, install and finance your solar energy system. Going solar is an investment in both your property and your financial future. Geoscape Solar is a proven solar partner that has been trusted by property owners or over a decade.

Geoscape Solar consistently demonstrates the highest possible standards of quality, transparency, and customer service. Geoscape Solar’s financial team keeps abreast of the latest New Jersey Solar Energy Tax Credits, SREC incentives and offers a wide range of financing options for solar projects. Geoscape Solar was named Sun Power’s Top Commercial Regional Producer for 2017 and consistently makes Solar Power World’s List of Top 500 Solar Companies.

What does it take to Succeed in the Solar Industry for 10 Years?

No Solar Company dreads incoming phone calls. Except the ones that begin with: “ I used Solar XYZ and then they went out of business and now I’m stuck with a system that doesn’t work. Can you help?” We empathize with the property owner who is reaching out to us and are starkly reminded of how competitive success in the Solar Industry remains. These calls are a constant reminder of how high the standard is to compete in the solar business and our journey to build the Geoscape Solar brand as one that is synonymous with trust and confidence.

Geoscape Solar was founded a decade ago on the principle of Solar Done Right. Solar Done Right encompasses the three guiding principles that enabled Geoscape Solar to avoid the pitfalls that many conglomerates and start-up solar companies make.

1) Geoscape isn’t looking to sell our clients the cheapest solar installation, we’re looking to sell them the best solar installation.
2) Each property owner’s financial situation demands a customized solar solution from both an engineering and financial perspective.
3) Geoscape Solar installers are Geoscape Solar employees. Geoscape Solar is accountable for what happens from the day a client signs their contract to the day they get Permission To Operate (PTO) their system.

When Geoscape Solar was founded in 2008, the SEIA reported that Solar Energy had grown to “new heights” reporting additional installations of 1.265 PV megawatts. A decade later, the SEIA reported an impressive 10.6 PV gigawatts was installed in 2017. Non-Residential solar remained at a steady peak.
Such a huge jump in solar consumption would lead many to conclude that this opened the doors for many solar companies to open their doors and thrive. Many solar provider’s doors opened, however, most companies did not thrive.

The high bar set for solar providers worked in the favor of skilled solar installers such as Geoscape Solar. The rise of solar conglomerates proved to be a short-term spike because conglomerates were unable to deliver the quality and customer care that local providers such as Geoscape Solar are able to provide. Most of the HVAC and roofing companies that added solar to their letterhead mast wound up failing because their focus on Solar Energy was secondary at best.

These business models failed to focus on the intricate nuances of the Solar Energy Industry in the same personalized manner that Geoscape Solar delivers. As a result, these types of providers fail to deliver quality financing and installations to commercial, non-profit and residential property owners.

After a full decade of quality solar installations, Geoscape Solar has grown into a leading New Jersey Solar Provider for Commercial, Non-Profit and Residential Solar Projects. Geoscape Solar boasts outstanding solar customer testimonials and a spotless record with the Better Business Bureau.

Why Go Solar in the State of New Jersey?

Why Go Solar in the State of New Jersey?
New Jersey saw the most dramatic solar growth last year, rising from 10th largest state by installed PV capacity to 5th while also entering the top 10 for solar job creation for the first time. A number of strong solar incentives in New Jersey make solar even more affordable for local homeowners, including strong net metering policies and good values for solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs) – a process that allows homeowners to earn cash every year for the energy their solar systems are producing.

What is Net-Metering and how does it work for New Jersey Residents?
New Jersey allows for Net-Metering which allows property owners who have converted to solar energy to sell excess electricity back to the grid at the retail rate. This is great because the retail rate of NJ net metering is significantly higher than the wholesale rate that large power plants receive for the electricity they sell to the utility. Additionally, the ability to both buy and sell electricity from the grid allows property owners to balance consumption and production, instead of letting any excess electricity go to waste.

What are SRECs and What Are Their Benefits?
When New Jersey property owners install a solar energy system, it produces more than just electricity – for every megawatt-hour (MWh) of solar power, panels also generate one SREC. These SRECs can then be sold on a market to utilities to help meet the New Jersey Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). Prices for these certificates vary with supply and demand. Geoscape Solar has a core team of qualified SREC portfolio managers who are experienced in procuring optimum returns for these valuable commodities.

Solar Sales Tax Exemption
When a New Jersey resident purchases a home solar system, they are 100% exempt from any sales tax, due to the PV energy sales tax exemption. This translates into spending 7% less on solar equipment.

Property Tax Exemption
With the property tax exemption for renewable energy systems, New Jersey property owners who invest in a solar energy system do not have to pay any additional property taxes on the value which solar panels adds to their property.

Federal Investment Tax Credit
In addition to the incentives and programs mentioned above, the Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) reduces the cost of solar energy systems by 30 percent. The ITC applies to property owners who buy their system outright (either with a cash purchase or solar loan), and have enough income for the tax credit to be relevant.

Why Go Solar in New Jersey with Geoscape Solar?
After 10 years in the industry, Geoscape Solar has grown into one of the leading solar companies in New Jersey. Geoscape Solar installs and helps finance solar energy systems for commercial properties, non-profit organizations and residential homes. Geoscape Solar has been trusted for over a decade to design innovative systems that yield maximum output and deliver top quality installations.

Geoscape Solar has a core team of qualified SREC portfolio managers who are experienced in procuring optimum returns for these valuable commodities. Geoscape Solar also offers propitiatory financing that allows Non-Profit, Commercial and Residential property owners to take advantage of the benefits of converting to solar energy in the state of New Jersey.

Geoscape Solar is a proud member of the SEIA – Solar Energy Industries Association.

Why Your Choice of a Solar Installer Matters

Installing a solar energy system is a powerful way for property owners to control their bottom line. Whether that means revenue, disposable income or freeing up operating capital, the choice to go solar eliminates the challenge of budgeting based on unpredictable monthly utility bills. It is also an opportunity to strengthen the local economy and produce green energy in the process. How can the choice of solar installer influence the outcome on installing solar panels on your property?

While the industry is committed to strong standards for consumers, some solar installers have recently come under scrutiny for aggressive sales tactics and unfair business practices. Many start up solar companies quickly fail and leave their current solar customers stranded. For many solar installers, solar is not their primary focus and they lack experience in financing, system design, optimizing tax credits and technical installation. Selecting a solar company that has been company that exclusively installs solar (as opposed to a roofing company or HVAC company that also installs solar), has been in business for a significant period of time and is able to provide quality references to ensure the best outcome of any solar investment.

After 10 years in solar installations, Geoscape Solar is an industry leader in New Jersey. With local offices in Mount Laurel, Cape May and Florham Park, Geoscape Solar installs and helps finance solar energy systems for commercial properties, non-profit organizations and residential homes.

Geoscape Solar consistently demonstrates the highest possible standards of quality, transparency, and customer service. Geoscape Solar’s financial team keeps abreast of the latest New Jersey Solar Energy Tax Credits, SREC incentives and offers a wide range of financing options for solar projects. Geoscape Solar was named Sun Power’s Top Commercial Regional Producer for 2017 and consistently making Solar Power World’s List of Top 500 Solar Companies.

Going solar is an investment in both your property and your financial future. Geoscape Solar is a proven solar partner that has been trusted by property owners or over a decade.

Water, Wet: 80% Of U.S. Electricity Could Be Produced By Renewables

By Frank Andorka, Senior Correspondent

What Happened: Researchers at the University of California at Irvine (UCI) report that the United States could produce 80% of its electricity needs with solar and wind power, as long as the nation commits to building the grid to accommodate them, including up to 12 hours of battery storage. Someone should tell Rick Perry and the president, because they seem to have missed a memo somewhere along the line.

SolarWakeup’s View: Honestly, this isn’t news to anyone in the solar industry, is it? Or the wind industry? After all, employees wouldn’t be flocking to an industry they didn’t believe was sustainable. That much seems obvious.

But what the scientific study does it get that news into the hands of a public that, as ThinkProgress reports, believed renewables could never produce more than 20% to 30% of the nation’s electricity.

The key, of course, is electricity storage (the study focused an awful lot on batteries, but as well all know, that’s not the only storage technology out there). The solar industry has already shown that solar is cost competitive, and battery storage prices are coming down, too. One can quibble about whether they’re coming down fast enough, but no one can legitimately say they aren’t coming down at all.

Let’s be blunt: The solar industry has shown the path forward to reaching the 80% mark laid down by UCI and is developing more sustainable ways to move electricity to the grid with bankable offtakers. Now we just need to force state and federal legislators to remove the regulatory obstacles—put in our way by the entrenched electricity-production interests—out of our way. Once that happens, the solar industry will lead the way to 80% because we’ve already shown we can.

 

More: 

Geophysical constraints on the reliability of solar and wind power in the United States (UC Irvine)

Solar and wind power alone could provide four fifths of U.S. power (Think Progress)

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