What is a Solar Panel System Payback Period? How is it Calculated?

March 22, 2021

As homeowners in South Central Texas look for ways to save money on electricity costs and achieve greater energy independence, solar has emerged as a viable, reliable, and safe piece of the puzzle. As you research solar panels for your home, you’ll almost certainly encounter the term “payback periods”. This is essentially the amount of time that it takes to recoup your upfront investment in a home solar panel system and for the panels to begin paying you through monthly energy savings. Upon installing panels, you’ll experience an immediate reduction in monthly electric bills, but it will take these savings some time to build up enough to reach the payback point. Factors Included in the Solar Payback Period The solar solutions specialists at GVEC can help homeowners understand the payback period in greater depth, but here are some important cost and savings factors included in estimating it.  Cost of the system itself Installation cost Cost reimbursement from the federal investment tax credit (ITC) (26% through the end of 2022) Cost reimbursements through any potential rebates Solar capacity and monthly electric bill savings Any additional monthly reimbursements from selling excess solar power to GVEC or to your electricity provider 1. System...

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The GVEC Turnkey Solar Solution: What It is, Why It Matters

March 10, 2021

Solar energy is a great investment for homeowners interested in lowering their electricity bills, achieving greater energy independence, and having a positive environmental impact. GVEC is your solar energy expert in South Central Texas, and we stand apart from others through our all-in-one turnkey solar experience.  What is the GVEC Turnkey Solar Solution? We’ve designed GVEC’s turnkey solar solution to ensure an honest, transparent buying experience that’s as seamless and hassle-free as possible. From purchase to installation and setup, GVEC Solar services handles every part of the process in-house. We want to help make your adoption of solar energy easy and efficient. The process starts with our solar solutions specialists. These experts will answer all your questions about solar, providing honest information without trying to upsell you or making promises that are too good to be true. If you decide to buy, our specialists will help make sure you get any rebate to which you are entitled. Our turnkey solar experience also includes: Free evaluation and quote at your home Help with the necessary building permits Working with homeowner associations Installation Helping you understand the ins and outs of your system and how to achieve maximum return on your investment...

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How Big a Solar Panel System Do I Need?

February 20, 2021

When you’re planning to install solar panels on your Cuero, TX, home, you might not know how many panels you’ll need. There’s no single answer to this question because it depends on how much electricity your household uses and how much power you hope to generate from the panels. Keep these factors in mind when determining how many solar panels to have installed on your home’s roof. Review Your Household’s Energy Use Look at the past 12 months of your electricity bills. These will provide a good reference for how much electricity your household typically uses each month of the year. Keep in mind that spending more time at home means you’ll use more electricity. Extreme weather can also impact your home’s electricity use. Add up the total kilowatt-hours of electricity your home used for the year. If you want to attempt to meet much of your home’s full power needs, consider a battery storage system also. This will allow you to store unused power as it’s generated for use when the sun isn’t shining. Consider Future Plans If your household will be adding a new member or if someone will be moving out, this could impact electricity consumption. If...

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Is My Roof a Good Candidate for Solar Panels? How Can I Know?

February 10, 2021

If you’re curious about installing a solar panel system on your Guadalupe Valley area home, you might be wondering if your roof has the right characteristics. Not all roofs are configured in a way that makes them compatible with a solar panel installation. If that’s the case, ground-mounted solar panels may be a better option for you. Here are some important factors that we take into account when determining if your roof is a good candidate for solar panels. Age Solar panels have an approximate 30-year lifespan. If your roof is old, you may need to replace it before the solar panels can be installed. This way, you won’t have to worry about re-installing panels if your roof needs replacing later. Material Metal, clay, tile, rubber and asphalt are materials that are compatible with solar panel installations. Roofs made of wood or slate may not be compatible with solar power systems due to their brittleness. Size Your home’s roof should be large enough to accommodate the number of solar panels needed for your renewable energy expectations. Keep in mind, dormers, vents, chimneys, and other features might take up square footage when determining the size of your roof. Slope An ideal...

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Can I Monitor the Output of My GVEC Home Solar Panel System?

January 20, 2021

After installing a GVEC solar panel on your South Central TX home, you might be curious about how much power the system is generating in real-time at any given point. Or maybe you’d like to view historical data regarding panel output versus overall electric consumption in your home for a given period of time. Our systems allow for such monitoring, enabling you to more closely watch, think about and modify your home’s electricity usage, and to monitor any surpluses generated by your system that can be sold back to GVEC. SmartHub® and Battery Storage Create Powerful Renewable Savings Use the built-in monitoring capability of each solar panel system GVEC sells in conjunction with our SmartHub self-service portal (available only to GVEC electric members) for even more powerful management of home electricity usage. A battery storage solution added to your solar panel system from GVEC can add another powerful tool for helping you monitor and manage your renewable energy lifestyle. Access Your Online Account Portal With a home solar panel system through GVEC, you don’t have to be confined to monitoring your panels at home, either. You can also monitor from any internet-connected computer anywhere. Just log into your online account...

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Can I Afford a Solar Panel System?

January 10, 2021

If you’re familiar with the benefits of solar power and are considering the purchase and installation of a home solar panel system, you might be wondering how affordable these systems are. Over the past decade, solar panel prices have dramatically decreased, as have installation prices. Meanwhile, the technology behind these systems has steadily improved. Here’s some information about the affordability of home solar power systems in South Central Texas. Solar Panels Are a Long-Term Investment Think of a solar panel system as a long-term investment in your home. In the long run, the panels will pay you through decreased electric bills, and you’ll enjoy an immediate decrease in monthly bills upon installation. However, a certain percentage of the initial system costs must be paid before owners reach a “payback” point. For most solar owners, the “payback” period is between 8 and 12 years. Home solar panel systems sold through GVEC Solar are designed to last well beyond this timespan. In fact, all GVEC systems are warrantied for 25 years. And just because panel warranties expire after 25 years, doesn’t mean the system can’t continue generating power beyond that point. The majority of solar owners, then, can enjoy many years of...

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Solar Panel System or Home Renovation: Which Will Increase My Property Value More?

December 20, 2020

If you’re thinking of selling your home in Moulton, TX, or anywhere else in South Central Texas, now’s a great time. It’s a seller’s market, and homes are selling for excellent prices and in record time. But we all want to get the most from selling a home; making upgrades in preparation for a sale can really boost profit. Use these details to decide whether to invest in solar power panels or a home renovation. Return on Investment for a Solar Panel System In a report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, an analysis of homes sold in 2017 and 2018 showed that those with solar panels sold 20% faster and for 17% more than homes without solar panels. Solar panels add more value to homes in states with high energy costs. These include California, Arizona, and Florida. Solar panels tend to produce more power in these sunny climates. Consequently, although energy costs aren’t as high in the lone star state as those three, our area of Texas enjoys, on average, more than 300 sunny days a year. A solar panel system can be a valuable add-on for homeowners here. The number of solar panels also affected the resale value....

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What Is Utility-Scale Battery Storage? Why Is Important to the Future of Solar Power?

December 10, 2020

Once electricity is generated, it must be used immediately or stored for later. Electricity’s “use it now, store it or lose it” nature has helped contribute to the rise of battery solutions as an option for storing the excess power generated by solar panels. Additionally, in the past decade, the cost of battery storage solutions has declined dramatically, while the technology has improved, making battery storage more viable and more affordable. The current preferred technology for grid-level or “utility-scale” battery storage in both the United States and the world is lithium-ion. From the small home solar panel level to the large grid level, consumers, industry and power distributors alike are adopting battery storage solutions in greater numbers—especially as costs come down and system efficiency goes up. Where Is Utility-Scale Battery Storage Used? Currently, in 2020, there are 1,355 electrical energy utility-scale storage projects around the world. Eleven additional storage facilities are being built. Approximately 40% of all the online storage operations are in the United States are spread across about 40 of the 50 states. Why Utility-Scale Battery Storage and Solar Electricity Go Hand in Hand Peak electrical supply and peak demand rarely, if ever, occur at the same time....

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Why Would Solar Panels on the North Side of My Roof be Less Efficient?

November 20, 2020

Adding solar panels to your South Central Texas home can be a great way to significantly reduce your home’s environmental impact while enjoying savings on your utility bill. To maximize the amount of energy you collect while minimizing the impact on your property, many homeowners opt to install their solar panels from GVEC on their home’s roof. While this is a good option, it’s important to note that not all roofs are created equal when it comes to energy collection potential. What Is An Ideal Solar Panel Orientation? Although the sun likely illuminates all of the sections of your home during a typical sunny day, there are some sections that receive more solar energy than others. In the Guadalupe Valley region, the portion that receives the most sun exposure is usually the portion facing south, making this the ideal location to install solar panels. South-facing solar panels can receive more sunlight due to your home’s orientation to the equator. Since the earth is tilted on its axis, the angle at which the sun strikes your home is more direct on the south side. What About A North-Facing Roof If your roof is constructed in such a way that it has...

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Can Solar Cell Technology Be Used to Power Automobiles?

November 5, 2020

Since automobiles can be a substantial source of greenhouse gas emissions, it makes sense to dream about a day when cars in South Central Texas will be powered by something other than gasoline. Given the abundance of sunshine in the big Texas sky, solar power is one of the more intriguing options. The big question, though, is whether solar cell technology can be adapted for use in cars that people will actually want to drive. Plenty of Prototypes The idea of mass-production of solar-powered cars isn’t just intriguing to science fiction aficionados. Scientists and engineers also want to see this dream become a reality, which is why countless prototypes for solar-powered vehicles already exist. In fact, the concept is so popular that there are races featuring solar-powered vehicles to allow various universities to show off their engineering prowess. Challenges Although many prototypes exist, it is difficult to turn these concepts into anything more than a cool science project. One of the biggest limitations is the design of the vehicle. Most current solar-powered vehicles are designed to maximize the number of solar cells that can be installed on the vehicle’s exterior. While covering a large space with solar cells isn’t a...

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