A Guide to GVEC Solar Panel Installation

May 26, 2022

Are you interested in “going solar?” If so, this guide is for you. In this step-by-step guide, we will take you through the process of installing solar panels. We’ll also show you how to save money on your electric bill and benefit from renewable energy. Steps on Solar Installation The first step is to contact . A GVEC Energy Solutions Specialist (ESS) will come out to your home or business and assess your solar needs. We will custom design and give you a quote based on the number of solar panels and type of installation to best meet your solar expectations. Our non-commissioned ESS will also explain battery storage options, like installing Tesla Powerwall and help you determine if pairing battery storage with your solar panels is suitable for your situation. The next step is to schedule an installation date. We will work with you to find a time that is convenient for you. Once we have a plan in place, we will install the solar panels and connect them to the grid. Once the installation is complete, we will activate the system and give you the tools you need to easily monitor your energy production. This will help you...

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Why You Should Invest in Battery Storage

May 26, 2022

Today’s ultra-efficient and powerful solar panels output energy to produce power for your home when the sun is shining. However, solar panels can’t generate energy at night or during a power outage. Pairing your solar panels with battery storage allows you to use stored solar power when your panels aren’t producing. But is installing battery storage a sound investment? Let’s find out below. Cut Your Energy Bills The biggest financial reward of installing a battery storage system, like Tesla Powerwall, is the reduction of energy bills. Battery storage systems work with solar panels to store excess solar energy your panels produce during the day. Then you can use the stored power when your panels aren’t producing power, lessening the amount of grid power you’ll need to purchase even more than solar panels alone. Less reliance on grid power reduces your energy bills. Tax Credits The United States government provides a 26% tax incentive to homeowners that install solar panel systems and battery storage. This Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is set to decrease to 22% in 2023, so purchasing solar and battery storage this year (2022) will ensure you are able to take maximum advantage of this credit to help with...

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A Look at a Microgrid: Solar, Battery Storage, and the Future of Microgrid Energy

April 20, 2022

In recent years, there’s been a rise in consumers’ interests to have more control over their home energy. While renewable energy resources and technology like solar panels and battery storage are immediately available and common to help energy customers with this goal, microgrids may become more common in the future. But what is a microgrid, how do they work, and how are solar and battery storage part of the future of microgrid energy? Understanding Microgrids As the name suggests, microgrids are small, local power grids that can operate autonomously from larger regional or national power delivery systems. They feature local power generation capabilities and can continue to deliver power when the traditional grid fails. Although microgrids are not very common, they’ve existed for some time. In the past, microgrids often relied on locally placed gas-powered generators to provide an uninterruptable power source. Today, though, solar power generation and battery storage are more affordable and environmentally friendly options. Why Solar and Battery Storage Is Optimal for Microgrids One of the key failings of microgrids has been that they haven’t scaled very well to meet the needs of local power consumers. Adding additional loads meant upgrading large and costly gas-powered generators. And...

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On Solar Energy Products, What Financing Options Does GVEC Solar Offer?

April 10, 2022

Investing in solar power is a wise financial and environmental decision, but it can often be expensive in the beginning. Fortunately, some companies provide financing for their clients. Texas homeowners are in luck because we offer two different financing methods for our customers at . On-Bill Financing We offer convenient on-bill financing for GVEC electric cooperative members. It has a variety of benefits. Members taking advantage of this financing program are not required to put any money down or pay interest. They can simply add monthly payments to their electricity bill. This program covers the financing of HVAC and solar energy home systems sold and installed by . There are two key points to note in the on-bill financing agreement. There is no prepayment penalty for early payoff. Some companies penalize this, but clients of can send an early payment without any consequences. You cannot finance more than $45,000 for approved systems sold and installed by ; however, this will not affect the average client. What does it take to be a qualifying member? You must have a reliable credit score and have a good credit history with GVEC. Of course, you must own the property where the HVAC and...

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Tips to Make Your Solar System More Efficient

March 24, 2022

Solar power is an attractive endeavor to make powering your home more cost-effective and energy efficient. As great as solar power is, though, you may wonder if you could be doing more to be even more efficient. Consider these five tips for optimizing the benefits of your solar panel system and continue reducing your dependence on traditional energy sources. Use a Battery Storage Solution Solar panel systems work well in South Central Texas, with over 300 days of sunshine. However, what happens during the evening when the sun isn’t out? What if the power goes out or it’s too cloudy to produce all the power you need? You may not realize it, but most solar panel systems shut down during a power outage to prevent issues with dangerous back-feeding to de-energized lines. The best way to avoid power interruptions with a solar panel system is to use a battery storage solution. Battery storage systems work by storing the energy you’re not using to the capacity of the battery. Then, when your solar panels aren’t producing enough energy on their own, your battery kicks in. Even if you only use solar to offset the amount of electricity you’re drawing from the...

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How Much Solar Battery Storage Does Your Home Need?

March 15, 2022

Installing a solar panel system in your home is one of the best ways to lower your electric bills, improve your house’s energy efficiency and increase the value of your home. When installing the system, you can choose to simply have your solar panels directly installed or to pair it with a battery storage solution to store excess energy your system creates. Having a battery isn’t necessary, but it does provide a number of added benefits. Still, you’ll need to carefully consider the goals you have in mind for your solar system to determine whether you need battery storage, and if so, how much storage you need. What Is Your Solar Goal? The first step in determining how much battery storage you need is to think about the specific goal you want to achieve with your solar power system. This will typically fall into one of three categories: energy savings, energy reliability, and energy independence. If you’re most interested in energy savings, that obviously means wanting to reduce your energy costs and make your home more efficient. While this is something that a solar panel system from GVEC will help you achieve, how much battery storage you have can impact...

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Are Electric Vehicles Compatible With Solar Energy?

February 18, 2022

Most major car manufacturers are producing fleets of electric vehicles (EV) as driving electric becomes more popular. One of the reasons for the growth in EV popularity is the cost efficiency of owning, powering and maintaining electric engines compared to traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. This may make you wonder how electric vehicles might be compatible with solar energy. Home Solar System Your home’s solar panel and battery storage systems can provide electrical power for your home needs. It can also provide power for your hybrid or electric vehicle. When you plug in your vehicle, your car cannot discriminate if the electricity comes from traditional generation or the panels on the roof of your home. In fact, charging your vehicle is a good way to use the excess electricity if plugged in while your home isn’t consuming as much power as your panels are producing. Vehicle Solar System A more direct use of the sun’s electrical generating power is the use of panels attached to the vehicle. Most often, like the panels for your home, car solar panels are located on the roof of the car. Not only is this a large, flat area for panel installation, but it...

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Why Won’t My Solar Power Stay on During an Outage?

February 4, 2022

Outfitting your home with solar panels is a great way to both lower your energy costs and lessen your carbon footprint. However, when your home is connected to the local power grid, solar panels on their own don’t prevent loss of electricity during an outage. How Grid-Tied Solar Systems Work Most residential and commercial solar panel systems tie in to your local electrical grid. This means the system is connected to the local energy grid via a solar inverter. This inverter uses a meter that both measures the amount of energy you use and also the amount of excess energy sent back into the grid. Because solar panel systems are connected to the local energy grid, your home is still affected by power outages in the same way as traditional electrical systems. Basically, when the power goes out, your inverter stops working, and thus, your solar panels stop also. This is primarily for safety, to prevent dangerous back feeding back onto power lines when the power comes back on. As a result, you’ll be left without power until the outage is over. Protect Against Power Outages With Battery Storage Solutions With a typical solar panel system, the unused power produced...

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What Do I Do with Excess Solar Energy?

January 18, 2022

If you live in a sunny environment like here, in South Central Texas, adding solar capability to your home’s power plan could be a great, money-saving option. One consideration to think about before making the decision to invest in solar for your home is whether or not you’ll store excess energy your panels produce or if you’ll sell it back to your electricity provider. How Buys Back Excess Solar Energy GVEC members who have solar panels installed sell back the excess energy produced to the Cooperative. Even members who have paired their system with a battery storage solution can choose to store some of their excess energy and sell the rest back if they decide it’s a good option for themselves. members who install solar panel systems sign an Interconnection Agreement that helps ensure the safety of member and GVEC linemen when a system is connected to the GVEC grid, along with making it possible for GVEC to purchase excess power produced from them. Members sell the excess power to GVEC for the Cooperative’s current renewable energy rate. Solar Solutions from GVEC Are you interested in installing a solar panel or battery storage system in Gonzales, Seguin, New Braunfels or...

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Different Types of Renewable Energy

January 4, 2022

Renewable energy is considered to be any type of energy source that can be continually harvested without it being depleted. There are many different types of renewable energy including solar, wind, geothermal and hydropower (water) energy. Solar and geothermal energy can be installed on a small scale and be used to power individual homes and communities in an efficient and effective manner. When paired with battery storage to reserve energy to use when the source isn’t available, renewable energy can be a viable way to power your home. Benefits of Solar Energy Solar panels can be installed on the roof of nearly any type of building. The panels collect energy from the sun and turn it into usable electricity. Panels have become highly efficient and affordable in the last decade and can have a very high return on investment. A professional can help you size a solar system to suit the specific energy needs of your home. Excess energy can be stored with a battery storage system for use when the sun isn’t shining or even in the event of a power outage. If you don’t want to have a battery system installed on your property, excess energy produced is...

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