Will a Solar Panel System Cause My Roof to Leak? What Does GVEC Do to Prevent Leaks?

January 20, 2020

By installing solar panels on your roof, you could enjoy a cost-efficient and space-saving way of generating energy. However, many people are cautious about roof-mounted solar panels because they worry that the installation process may damage their roof and cause leaks. Here is what you need to know about leaky roofs and solar panel installations. Should a Roof Leak After a Solar Panel Installation? When done correctly, there should be very little risk of a roof leaking after a solar panel installation. A roof is one of the sturdiest parts of your home, and it can hold far more than the weight of residential solar panels. Most leaking happens when an unqualified installer punches holes through the roof. Keep in mind that even the best installation can cause leaks if you have the wrong sort of roof, though. Certain materials like wood or slate may not work with solar panels. Roofs over 30 years old may have dry rot that cannot stand up to installation without deterioration. How to Prevent Leaks From Happening GVEC Home’s solar experts will assess your roof condition and make sure you have the right type of structure for solar panels. All installations on angled roofs...

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How to Claim Your 2019 Tax Credit for Installing a Solar Panel System

January 10, 2020

In addition to the free electricity, one of the big cost savings associated with solar panel systems is a federal tax credit. This money can help offset some of the price of installing your solar panels. However, it is only available if you take the time to ask for it. This guide will explain what the solar tax credit is and show you how to get it. Understand What Credit You Need to Claim The first step is figuring out just what tax credit you get for installing a solar panel system. The main one is called the Federal Solar Tax Credit. This credit can be claimed in the same year you finish installing your panels. It allows a credit for a certain percentage of your cost for installing solar panels. The government plans to phase out this credit, so the exact percentage slowly goes down for each year. The official form used for this credit is IRS form 5695. Keep Track of Your Expenses Since the tax credit you get is based on the cost of installing panels, you need to keep track of all expenses. Things you can include in your calculations include the cost of equipment, installation,...

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Is a Solar Panel System Still a Good Investment if I Can’t Install it Facing South?

December 20, 2019

When choosing a solar energy system, whether for residential or commercial, prospective buyers naturally have many questions. What type and size solar panels should you use? What brand? How big a system do you need for your sustainable energy goals? Should you choose a ground- or roof-based system? One important factor many customers may not think of when purchasing a system is the orientation of the panels upon install—which direction should they face? What side of the roof should you place them on if you choose a rooftop system? You have choices regarding panel types and brands, and system size, of course, but what about the placement of the panels? Optimal Direction for Solar Panels Conventional wisdom holds that solar panels should always face south for maximum exposure to solar energy. It’s true that owning a solar power system in a generally sunny climate and that positioning the panels to face south may generate the greatest amount of power at one time. It’s also true, however, that factors like the cost of energy in your area and any financial incentives you may be eligible for will affect your actual solar energy savings more than placement alone. Positioning solar panels to...

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What New Solar Panel Technologies are on the Horizon for 2020 and Beyond?

December 10, 2019

The world is becoming increasingly industrialized. Countries striving to expand industrial capacity are faced with acquiring the necessary resources to support those efforts, including reliable power. These issue are made even more pressing as the world’s population increases. Newly industrialized countries and those depending almost exclusively on traditional electricity sources are helping drive a push around the world toward improved solar energy production and efficiency. There are many strides being made in solar energy. These innovations are on the horizon for 2020 and beyond. Increased Efficiency of Existing Materials The more efficient a solar cell, the more power can be converted without having to enlarge the panels. Solar panels manufactured from traditional technologies and materials continue to increase in efficiency. One new approach for improving performance in these panels involves slicing solar cells into two, a method that produces “half-cut” cells. Half cutting adds an average gain of five-to-seven watts of energy per panel. A New Material on the Block Another new innovation is the development of new materials in solar panels. Currently, most solar panel cells are made of crystalline silicon. Solar panels with alternative materials like copper and cadmium are also available but are used less frequently because...

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Five Reasons to Be Thankful for Solar Power

November 19, 2019

Solar power is a great new form of renewable energy that is becoming more and more accessible in the home. Here are seven reasons to be thankful for solar power: 1. Environmentally Friendly Help keep the planet safe by having GVEC Home® install solar panels on the roof of your home. This renewable energy source allows for the production of green electricity, lowering pollution. 2. Reduce Utility Bills Since the electricity you use will come from the solar panels, you will be able to reduce the amount you spend on electricity every month. Additionally, a battery storage system, like the Tesla Powerwall, can help you save even more. 3. Attractive Solar panels can be an attractive option, especially for a modern or contemporary home. 4. Increase Home Value An attractive roof that supplies electricity for the home increases the value of your home significantly. It’s a great selling point if you are in the market. 5. Attract Green Buyers More and more people are going green these days. This makes it more important than ever to make your home green to be more attractive to potential buyers. People will pay more and feel good about it if the home is...

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Why Graphene Offers Exciting Possibilities for Future Solar Panels

November 9, 2019

Solar technology is improving at rates rarely seen in the energy field or any other industry. Panels are becoming less expensive, and new advancements are happening all the time. Among the major recent developments is the potential for creating solar panels out of a revolutionary substance called graphene. The professionals at GVEC Home® can evaluate your home anywhere in south-central Texas and install solar panels and battery storage systems that reduce your reliance on other energy sources while lowering your utility bills. What Is Graphene? Graphene is technically just carbon, but carbon arranged in a particular way. It is a single layer of carbon atoms, bound together in a honeycomb lattice structure. Graphene is the thinnest compound currently known; it is only one atom thick. It is also the lightest material yet to be discovered, with a square meter of graphene weighing less than a milligram. It is six times lighter and 200 times stronger than steel. How Do Graphene Solar Panels Work? The properties of graphene make it one of the most exciting materials ever to be developed. It is likely to change many industries from building bridges to manufacturing clothing, but one of the areas in which it...

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How Do I Decide What Size Solar Panel System I Need for My Home?

October 21, 2019

Solar photovoltaic technologies are becoming more appealing to many homeowners as the equipment costs continue to drop and the potential for long-term savings continues to rise. However, many homeowners wonder how to size a solar panel system for their particular homes. Assessing Your Energy Consumption GVEC Home is a leading solar solutions provider serving the Guadalupe Valley and surrounding areas. Depending on your situation, an energy audit may be a good starting point in determining which solar panel system is right for you. GVEC offers a free Home Energy Audit for members. Auditing your home’s energy efficiency will help determine where the inefficiencies and trouble spots lie, and what steps you can take to improve overall efficiency. You can also determine and assess how much electricity you’re consuming on a daily basis. Determining How Much Solar Energy You Want Once you know how much energy you consume each day on average, you’ll want to determine how much electricity you want to generate from a solar panel system and how much will come from the grid. Determine Peak Sun Hours and Number of Panels Next, you’ll need to determine which solar panel system is best suited for your individual needs. How...

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Which is Best, a Roof-Based or Ground-Based Solar Panel System?

September 8, 2019

Once you decide that solar panels are right for you, your next decision will usually be where you want to install them. The two most common locations for solar panels are on either the roof of your house or the ground near your home. Both of these spots come with their own unique advantages. Here are some things to consider when figuring out which one is right for you. Ease of Access and Installation Since ground mounts are not placed at dangerous heights and technicians do not have to worry about damaging your roof, they are easier to access for installation and maintenance. However, it takes longer to install a ground-mounted solar panel system because there are more parts involved. For Lower Installation Costs, Roof-Mounted Solar Wins the Day When it comes to cost, roof-mounted panels are usually better. If you choose to have GVEC Home install solar panels on the roof of your South Central Texas home, it could be less expensive because our technicians don’t need to build a support structure for roof-mounted panels. For Greater Versatility, Opt for Ground-Mounted Solar Ground-mounted solar panels can be placed almost anywhere on your property, giving you more options for positioning...

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How Do I Sell Surplus Solar Power Back to GVEC?

August 19, 2019

When it comes to saving energy, we firmly believe that the old saying “every little bit helps,” couldn’t be more true. If you do a Google search for “how to save money on electricity bills,” you’ll be flooded with tips like “turn off your lights” and “close your drapes on hot days.” Depending on your general usage habits and the size of your home, these excellent suggestions can have varying impact on your electricity bill. That’s why we regularly offer such tips on helping homeowners cut electricity usage. Saving Energy the Sunshine Way What if you could harness the sun’s plentiful, free energy to make a much larger impact on your bill? What if you could use solar energy to generate even greater savings for you and your family? You can with a solar panel system from GVEC Home. All-in-One Solar Solutions: An Efficient Way to Start Your Solar Journey At GVEC Home, we work hard to deliver an all-in-one, second-to-none solar experience for every customer. Our goal is to deliver a top-notch, cost-effective solar panel system, with installation, for your Texas home. Generate More Energy Than You Need In order to sell energy back to the grid, you must...

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How Does Extreme Weather Impact My GVEC Solar Panels?

August 5, 2019

Anything placed on your home’s roof could be impacted by extreme weather—hail, lightning, storms, and more. The good news is that solar panels are built to withstand harsh conditions. How Temperature Impacts Solar Panels While solar panels are designed to physically withstand the Texas summer heat, the output can potentially be diminished as temperatures rise. Extreme heat won’t change the amount of light your panels absorb, but it can affect how much of that light gets converted into usable electricity for your home. Basically, as a solar panel is subjected to extreme heat, its efficiency decreases. In Texas, rooftop temperatures can reach up to almost 200 degrees on a hot summer day; it all depends on outside conditions, the time of day and the type of materials a roof is made of. It’s not unrealistic, then, to expect slightly lower output from your solar panels in extreme heat. Extreme cold can also affect solar panel efficiency, but winter temperatures in South Central Texas don’t usually reach the sustained extremes required to have much if any, noticeable impact. As a result, don’t be surprised if your panels are more efficient in cooler months of the year. Panels Are Made to Withstand...

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