How Solar Power Helps Build a Healthy Economy

July 26, 2021

South Central Texas has many days of sunny or mostly sunny weather. That makes it an ideal location for the installation and use of solar panels on rooftops and properties throughout the area. Solar energy not only helps panel owners save on electricity bills, but this form of renewable energy is beneficial to the earth and a boon for the economy, too. Here are some of the ways solar energy contributes to economic growth. Panels Produced in the USA When solar panels are manufactured in the United States, the manufacturers create jobs. These are skilled jobs, but they don’t require advanced education. People who work in these jobs are able to make a good living. Local Workers Install the Panels Local workers install solar panels, also adding more jobs to the economy. According to a report released in May 2021 by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, The Solar Foundation, BW Research and the National Solar Jobs Census, 67% of all jobs across the U.S. solar energy sector in 2020 were related to installation. The total number of industry-related jobs for the year was 231,000! Excess Power Gets Returned to the Grid When solar panels generate more power than homeowners can...

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How Much You’ll Save on Electricity With Solar Panels

July 12, 2021

South Central Texas is an ideal place for solar panel installation and use. The area has many mostly-to-completely-sunny days every year. You may be wondering how much money you could save on electricity bills by installing a solar panel system. Here’s what you need to know, so you can plan ahead for your monthly expenses. Estimated Monthly Savings The amount of money you save on your electric bill each month after a solar panel installation will vary based on many factors. The capacity of your solar array is the top factor. You’ll also need to consider how many kilowatt-hours of power your home uses, too, and how much your electricity provider charges per kilowatt-hour. On average, Texas homeowners could save between $65 and $100 per month on electricity costs after the installation of a solar panel system that meets 50% or more of their electricity needs. Keep in mind, though, that this range represents an average, so your own monthly savings could be less or more. Selling Extra Power It’s not unusual for solar owners to generate more electricity from their panels than their home actually needs. This extra power must be stored, used immediately or sold to your electricity...

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How Heavy Rain and Floods Affect Solar Panels

June 23, 2021

Installing solar panels on your home in Seguin, TX, is a wise decision for your budget, carbon footprint and lifestyle. Once in a while, the area may experience heavy rain or flooding. It’s important to know how these weather events can impact your solar panels. Reduced Solar Absorption On a day with heavy rainfall, the clouds obscure the sunlight. This reduces the short-term solar absorption of your panels. However, these effects only take place until the weather clears. Once the clouds lift, the water-resistant solar panels will immediately absorb the sun’s energy. Removal of Dirt and Debris In certain areas, typically dry, sandy soil may become airborne on warm and hot days. Just a little wind will spread soil particles through the air. Some of them will land on your solar panels. Your solar panels can also accumulate layers of dust, pollen, bird droppings and other debris. That’s when rain can come in handy. Heavy rainfall does a great job of rinsing this dirt and debris off the panels. Floods and Solar Panels If your solar panel system is installed on your home’s roof, floodwater shouldn’t impact them. The installers place multiple strong attachments between the panels and your roof....

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How Do High-Winds Impact Solar Panels?

June 9, 2021

Understanding how high winds impact solar energy systems is important before making an investment in these panels for your home. Severe weather is a common occurrence throughout various parts of the nation. Hurricanes are a major factor impacting residents living on the Texas coast, while tornadoes can be an occasional threat for anyone living in other parts of Texas. Wind-Resistant Fortunately, solar panels are highly resistant to strong winds, which makes them a great option for homes in South Central Texas and throughout all areas of the country. A well-built solar racking system is essential in reducing uplift, as the wind can pass through the small area between the roof and the panels without causing problems. The majority of solar panels are rated to withstand high wind speeds. Flying Debris Another potential source of solar panel damage is flying debris from storms. However, solar panels are designed to remain resistant to the majority of flying debris. Solar panels can even withstand hailstorms due to their innovative design. The ability to withstand severe weather is just another one of the many benefits of investing in solar panels. Following Building Codes Many locations require homes to meet certain building standards to stay...

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Why Home Battery Storage Solutions Are the Best Option for Home Backup Power

May 26, 2021

Although GVEC works hard to prevent power outages across our service territory, circumstances beyond our control do sometimes cause our members to experience service interruptions. Thunderstorms, for instance, are not uncommon in our region during spring and summer. These can sometimes lead to outages. As we experienced this past February, summer and spring aren’t the only times of year when extreme weather can lead to rotating outages. And of course, weather isn’t the only possible cause of power outages. Whatever the cause, though, a power outage isn’t just inconvenient . Depending on their duration and cause, outages can cause food to spoil, your sump pump to stop working and the home’s temperature to drop too low or soar too high for safety and comfort. This is why a backup-power solution is an excellent investment. Home Batteries Versus Generators At GVEC, we’re big believers in the power of home battery storage. When it comes to savings over time, noise levels, dependability, flexibility and home solar compatibility, batteries are hard to beat. However, GVEC recognizes that backup generators still offer an important option for many consumers seeking dependable backup power. These devices do offer one primary advantage over battery systems. Below, we...

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Why Installing Home Battery Without Solar Is Less Valuable Than Pairing Them

May 19, 2021

The sunny weather in Seguin, TX, and throughout South Central Texas, makes it an ideal region to install solar power for your home. If you’re thinking of installing a battery backup system, you might wonder if you can do so without home solar panels. Read on to learn why batteries alone is a less valuable option and won’t give you as many benefits as installing both the panels and the battery storage solution at the same time. No Solar, No Federal Investment Tax Credit To be eligible for the federal investment tax credit (ITC), you must purchase a renewable energy system. That credit currently stands at 26% and will remain at this level through the end of 2022, when it drops to 22%. You won’t get the ITC if you install a battery storage solution without solar panels or if you lease the solar system used at your residence. If you’re thinking about adding battery storage without solar and just connecting batteries straight into the electrical grid for charging, we suggest rethinking the investment. If you buy and install a home battery storage solution and a home solar panel system at the same time, you will qualify for the ITC...

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Why You Should Install a Home Solar Panel System Before the End of 2022

April 19, 2021

If you’ve been considering a solar panel installation on your Gonzales, TX, property, don’t wait any longer. Now is a great time to install solar panels and battery storage at your home. You can qualify for a federal tax credit and start lowering your home’s electricity bills as soon as the panels are installed. Consider these three reasons why you should install a residential solar panel and battery storage system in before the end of 2022. 1. Get a Federal Tax Credit In 2006, the federal government established the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). This tax credit provided a 30% savings on solar panel installations for homes and businesses, In 2020, the ITC decreased to 26%. In 2023, the tax credit will drop to 22%. 2. Maximize Your Savings If you wait too long to install solar and battery storage, you could miss out on higher savings on your federal income tax bill. This means you might leaving a lot of money on the table if you stall your decision to go solar. 3. Lower Your Electricity Bills Another reason not to wait any longer to install a solar panel and battery storage system is that you could have lower...

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Is My Home Battery Storage Solution Eligible for an Investment Tax Credit?

April 5, 2021

When you make the decision to install a home solar panel system in New Braunfels, TX, it’s wise to also include a battery storage solution with the array. The battery allows you to store excess solar power produced by the panels during the day. Read on to learn about whether or not your home battery storage solution qualifies for an investment tax credit (ITC). What Qualifies for an ITC Battery storage solutions qualify for an ITC as long as you charge the battery with solar power collected on your property by a solar panel system that you own. You can’t get the tax credit if you charge the battery with grid power or with a solar panel array that is on your property but leased to another entity. Why Now Is the Time to Install Battery Storage and a Solar Panel System The ITC is 26% for 2021. Even if you’re just purchasing battery storage for an already-existing solar panel system, installing it this year could save you several hundred dollars. If you’re adding a battery storage solution along with a solar panel installation, you could save even more. Waiting to install could mean receiving a lower ITC. The credit...

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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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