The Solar Energy Revolution: How Texas Is Leading the Way

July 20, 2022

The solar energy revolution is coming, and Texas is leading the way. Texas is one of the top producers of solar energy in the United States, and it is poised to be a major player in the shift to renewable energy. It’s not just big cities like Austin and Houston that are getting in on the action—small towns and rural communities are also investing in solar. So, how is Texas leading the way in solar energy? Fastest Adoption of Renewable Energy In 2021, Texas added 7,352 megawatts (MW) of new renewable energy, solar being one of the biggest contributors. This made Texas the fastest-adopting state of renewable energy that year, outperforming California, Florida, and other top solar-producing states. Texas is also leading in the development of storage capacity for renewable energy. As of 2021, there were projects totaling 20,000 MW of storage under development in the state. This figure places it ahead of California, which has 14,000 MW. Solar Rebates and Incentives In addition to federal solar incentives, like the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), many electricity providers offer solar buy back plans to make solar even more affordable. This means the utility will buy back the excess solar produced...

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5 American Companies Leading Renewable Energy Adoption

July 10, 2022

As an increasing number of businesses are looking to utilize renewable energy , many companies have made efforts to take charge of their own energy production. Here, we’ll look at five large American companies leading the business revolution in renewable energy. 1. Estée Lauder Estée Lauder is a beauty giant based in the United States that entirely depends on renewable energy in its operations. It has installed heat pumps in all of its buildings, significantly reducing energy consumption. The company uses solar panels to power some of its facilities. It is also working on a pilot project to test the feasibility of using wind turbines to generate electricity. 2. Google Google is the world’s largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy. The tech giant has committed to purchasing enough renewable energy to offset all of the electricity used by its operations. Google has invested in solar and wind farms and heat pump installation at their data centers. 3. Tesla Tesla is at the forefront of electric car production; more recently, it has turned its attention to solar power. Tesla offers solar panels and roof tiles designed to blend in with existing roofs. Tesla also provides Powerwall battery storage, which can store...

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Tips to Avoid Solar Scams

June 13, 2022

With the growing popularity of residential solar, solar scams are becoming more common in cities across the country. To avoid becoming a victim of one of these scams, there are a few tips to follow. If it Sounds Too Good to be True… Some solar companies feel the need to make outlandish claims or unkeepable promises in order to make the sale. For instances, one such claim is totally eliminating your monthly electricity bill. The truth is, for most homeowners in South Central Texas, an average-sized solar panel system won’t achieve this goal. While it could be technically possible, you must ensure you have information you can trust to understand all the factors of making it happen. Watch Out for the Upsell Many solar sales companies work on commission. That means they’re more interested in selling you their most expensive items or even more products than you actually need. A solar company with noncommissioned representatives is more likely to listen to your needs and expectations, and they’ll work with you to find a solar panel system that fits comfortably into your budget. Always Work With a Local, Reputable Company Choosing a reputable, local company to install your system is the...

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How Often Do Solar Panels Need Maintenance?

June 5, 2022

We receive lots of sunshine in Seguin, TX, making solar panels a worthy investment considering the ever-rising energy bills. However, many new owners have concerns about how often they need to maintain the panels and if it is possible to do it themselves. In this post, will debunk everything you need to know about solar panel maintenance Do Solar Panels Need Maintenance? Yes. Generally, solar panels need very little maintenance for maximum efficiency. However, dirt, debris, leaves and bird droppings can block the sun rays and hinder the maximum performance of your device. Therefore, it is recommended to remove such obstructions once every six months. Can I Do Maintenance Myself? Proper maintenance of your solar system will help maximize the performance and lifespan of your equipment. That said, there is an extent to which you can perform the maintenance yourself. These include routine cleaning, regular checks of the inverters, and your system’s overall health from an integrated monitoring system. It is vital to involve an expert to check electrical and technical problems. Otherwise, undetected issues may lead to low power production despite the sunny weather. Physical damage, electrical malfunctions and a drastic reduction in power output require experienced technicians to...

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Why You Should Invest in Battery Storage

May 18, 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 Guide to GVEC Solar Panel Installation

May 14, 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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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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