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5 Solar Panel Myths, Debunked

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Making the decision to install solar panels for your business can drastically cut or even eliminate electricity bills, reduce a business’ carbon footprint among other things.

The cost of solar panel installation has fallen dramatically in recent years. Not to mention, with the option of having a third-party install the system, there is little to no effort needed from you so you can focus on your business.

All of this explains why the number of business, farms and corporations installing solar has skyrocketed across America. So, why are many business owners still skeptical about taking control of their energy use and installing solar? The various myths that persist around solar power could be to blame.

If you’re considering installing a solar panel system on your business, here are five common myths – and why you shouldn’t believe them:

Myth #1:  Solar panels only work in warm, sunny climates.

As you might imagine, solar panels do work best when they are in contact with a lot of sunlight, however, a lack of bright sun doesn’t mean they’re not working. Panels are created in a way that allows them to absorb ample sunlight, even on cloudy days or in regions that get less bright sun. Better yet, the solar panels of today are more energy efficient than ever. Newer systems maximize sunlight absorption and generate the maximum possible output. This higher efficiency means that solar panels can work in virtually any climate and every season.

Myth #2: You need a lot of space for solar panels.

In fact, solar panels are getting smaller, more powerful, and more efficient day by day. High-efficiency panels take up less space because fewer panels are needed to produce the electricity to power your establishment or agricultural needs. Even if you have a smaller establishment, it could have enough roof space, or space in general to fit the number of panels needed to generate power, and save money.

Myth #3: Installation is a long, drawn-out process.

Although installing solar panels should be done by professionals, installation usually takes only a day or two. New models streamline the process further, eliminating the need to install a separate inverter. Most solar panels require a separate inverter to bring electricity into your establishment. Panels with newer technology actually incorporate the inverter, which simplifies and accelerates the installation process.

Myth#4:  If something goes wrong, you’re on your own.

As with any investment or installation, you should understand the manufacturer and installer warranties for your solar panels, including how long the coverage lasts, and what types of problems are covered. And unlike a furnace or an air conditioning system, a solar installation has no moving parts to wear out, so it typically requires little maintenance and repair. Also, if you experience any difficulties or malfunctions with your panels, Spectrum Energy Development is here to help. We will come in a fix your problem.

Myth #5: Solar panels will look big, bulky, and ugly, making a business appealing.

As mentioned above, solar panels are becoming smaller, sleeker, and more aesthetically pleasing. Instead of having to cover an entire roof with panels in a specific arrangement to generate power, modern options allow you to arrange panels to meet your own sense of aesthetics. Even for bigger establishments, it is possible to create a sleek and aesthetically pleasing set up for your panels.

Adding solar power to a home offers business owners many benefits, from reducing energy costs to increasing the value of your business, to helping the environment. All in all, solar is a great option for your business and the earth. Do your part to help while saving some money. Give us a call and we will help you get started today!

Understanding Electricity and Why You Should Go Solar

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As with anything, it is a good idea to have a good understanding of how something works and how it will benefit you before purchasing it. The same can be said for solar power. Before investing, it is important to have a clear understanding of what electricity consumption entails. The details of this is not a common thing that people learn about. Many people have no idea where to begin when it comes to calculating personal electricity expenses or understanding how electricity consumption varies between appliances. However, it all varies depending on the use and application of the energy. We’ve put together a simple guide to help you understand how your electricity bill is calculated.

Measuring a unit of electricity.

The power of an electrical appliance is measured in watts (W). However, the amount of energy converted in a one hour period is known as kilowatt-hours (kWh). Units of energy on electricity bills are equal to the kilowatts of electricity consumed per hour. In other words, 1 unit of electricity is equal to 1000 watt-hours (Wh) or 1 kWh.

Electricity use of appliances.

An appliance will use its wattage worth of electricity in an hour if left on and uninterrupted. In other words, a 100 watt light bulb will use 100 watt-hours of electricity in one hour and 200 watt-hours if left on for 2 hours.

Saving with solar

Through solar, you basically only have to pay for installation. The solar system will produce your energy. You don’t have to pay for the sun. Another of the many solar power advantages is that it protects you from the inevitable electricity price hikes of the future that will fluctuate and kill your wallet.

This is just the beginning of solar power changing the word. Just think where solar energy will go due to innovation in the coming years. Let’s eliminate wasteful traditional electricity all while saving you money. The future is bright for solar energy and for your business’ energy supply.

Ready to get started?

Contact Spectrum Energy for more details on how your business can make the switch to save you money and time. Our experts have a combined experience of 100 years and we are ready to apply our knowledge to your facilities.

Clever Ways to Use Solar Energy for Agricultural Purposes

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The entirety of the world’s reserves of oil, coal, and natural gases is matched by the energy that sun provides for the earth in just 20 days of sunshine. It’s a wonder why the enter world has not converted to solar energy with this information. However, solar energy has made a huge impact on the carbon footprint across many industries. It is now booming in the agricultural industry.

As we progress into the future we have solar energy has made many technological advances and the installation prices have dropped causing the global use of solar energy continue to grow significantly. Agriculture solar power is highly significant today, with farmers investing in cost-saving and sustainable technology that is friendly to the environment.

Traditionally, solar power has been used to generate electricity and heat water. When used correctly, the power from the sun can be harnessed to fulfill many useful functions throughout farms.

  1. Solar Powered Data Sensors

On most farms, gathering data is crucial for optimal growth including efficient watering systemization. This data is collected through a series of sensors across a large area of land. With such a large area covered, it is often difficult to run a means of powering the sensors so they are often battery powered. With the battery powered option, there is still the chore of having to replace the batteries which is inconvenient and time consuming.

This is where solar-powered sensor technology comes in, offering an easy and cost-effective way to gather data. These solar powered data collectors allow you to determine precipitation, soil moisture, and levels of sunlight, making watering easily be regulated.

The same goes for electronic tags on livestock. By going solar, you won’t have to regularly change the sensor batteries. Solar powered sensors can make it possible to track and automatically monitor and control the feeding and watering of animals.

  1. Solar Fence Chargers

With large amounts of livestock to look after and manage, livestock farms require fencing that is effective, adaptable and dependable. Electric fences powered by the sun are perfect. Either moveable paddocks or permanent installation, solar power can withstand the work and adapt to the needs of the farm.

Not only are the parts for these purposes adorable, they are amply available. Due to this, solar fencing is quickly becoming a cost-effective and convenient component of farming. Installation is easy and quick so there is not a lot of time spent away from tending to the farm.

  1. Solar Greenhouse Heating

Solar power is not only important for your farm, but for the wellbeing of the earth. In 2011 it was found that the agricultural sector emits about 13% of the total global greenhouse emissions. This makes farming the world’s second-largest emitter, after the energy sector. This puts up a large red flag regarding the need for solar power for farms

With the production of anything comes the emission of at least some greenhouse gases. However, other than panel production, solar energy does not emit any greenhouse gases. This is drastically less than any other option for farming. This makes it one of the most popular green energy choices.

In traditional practices, commercial greenhouses rely on gas or oil heaters in order to maintain constant temperatures. Through the use of solar, the greenhouses collect and store the solar energy during sunny days, retaining the heat for use during the night and on cold or cloudy days.

  1. Solar Irrigation

Photovoltaic (PV) water pumping systems are becoming more and more popular. Basic systems run pumps directly when the sun is shining, the more sun the more powerful. This ensures that they work the hardest when they are needed most.

If you are looking for something that is reliable, affordable and requires little maintenance than solar irrigation systems are for you. Not only do they fit all of the aspects listed above, they are also adaptable upon installation to fit the needs of your farm.

  1. Solar Powered Vehicles

The future is here and it is bright! While solar-powered vehicles are still relatively uncommon with farming, this is expected to change in the coming years. Tractors are typically diesel-powered, which not only contributes to global warming and air pollution but also soil and groundwater pollution through diesel spills, affecting your farm and the wellbeing of your livestock as well.

Electric vehicles powered by solar energy are a great solution to this problem. Zero emission across every farm in the united states, just think what that would do for the world. Research has shown that agricultural electric vehicles could avert 23.3 tonnes of greenhouse gases each year.

Just by switching to solar on your farm you will be doing your wallet, your farm, and the earth a huge favor. Not only will it allow your farm to flourish with little room for error, you will save hundreds of dollars on initial payment as well as future payment that have been necessary to fix issues on the traditional systems. Are you ready to make a difference in your life and the world? Give us a call and we will get started on our quick installation process.

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Why Your Business Needs Solar Power

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Why solar power for your business?

No matter what industry you are in, solar power has the potential to deliver real cost savings to your business. Solar power is an environmentally conscious and affordable way to lower your electricity costs. By improving your business’ green credentials you have the opportunity to make your building more attractive to prospective tenants, clients, or buyers.

Enjoy long-lasting benefits for your business

Solar power could potentially deliver long-term cost savings to your business. Here at Spectrum Energy, we understand that there is no one size fits all when it comes to solar panels. We create solar systems to fit your business using top quality products that won’t fail. We take every step necessary to ensure that your solar system will last, with little effort from you or your business.

Tend to your commitment to the environment with ease

Solar power is a renewable resource that has the capacity to power the world. By switching to solar, you would be doing your part in having your business leave less of a carbon footprint on the earth. Not only is it great for the environment, but you are also doing your part to help with ease. It’s as easy as turning on a light switch. Not to mention, solar systems are a highly visible way to show your clients that you are committed to helping the environment.

Power your business with solar sooner

By taking the leap into renewable energy as a means to power your business, you will only pay less, but you will be taking a step forward in making your business more innovative. Move forward, don’t get left behind!

By working with Spectrum Energy, you will be apart of a team of solar pioneers. We will help you make the better energy choice! Are you ready for solar?

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Solar Laws Update – Net Metering 2.0

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How New Solar Laws Will Affect New PV Systems

New solar laws for California will be taking affect around October/November this year and we wanted to fill you in on how these laws will affect new solar projects going forward.  The law pertains to Net Energy Metering (NEM) and describes the rules that both utilities and customers must follow for grid-tied PV systems.  The overall news is that nothing drastic has changed and net metering is alive and well in California.

First, customers are now allowed to install more than 1 MW on their property.  Now there is no maximum on system size for those large users like food processors, etc.  However, large systems may require electrical service upgrades and those costs will be the responsibility of the customer and not the utility.

Second, for customers that produce more electricity than they use during peak times, they will be charged a very small fee to the utility for the over-produced electricity.  The fee is called a Non-Bypassable Charge (NBC) and it goes to fund various public purpose programs like energy efficiency and nuclear decommissioning.  This figure will likely only represent 1%-2% of the monthly savings, and will only apply in certain cases.

Third, existing solar customers and those who will likely interconnect in the next 6-8 weeks will be grandfathered in to the existing NEM laws and will not be affected by the NBC charges even if they over produce during peak times.

For more information please feel free to reach out to your Spectrum representative or read more analysis from our partners at the California Solar Energy Industry Association (CALSEIA).

READ MORE FROM CALSEIA →

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Spring Referral Rewards

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Your Referral is the Best Advertising

What better way to earn some extra summer vacation funds than telling a friend or colleague about Spectrum Energy?  As always, if you refer a friend or business associate to us we will gratefully send you a referral reward of $2,000 or more for very large systems.  Feel free to reach out to your Spectrum representative for more details.
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Global Solar Installations Continue to Break Records

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Last newsletter, we highlighted the record breaking US solar market, now the global market is taking center stage.  In 2016, the global PV market saw a 50% increase in installed solar from the year before.  An astonishing 75 Gigawatts of solar capacity was installed around the globe, with the lion’s share of that installed in China and North America.  To give some perspective, 75 GW is enough to power 15,000,000 homes.  The record breaking year of 2016 brings total global solar capacity to 303 GW.  More information and details from the International Energy Agency (IEA) report found here.

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Battery Storage Rebate Program Prioritizes Solar + Storage Projects

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Starting May 1st, the statewide Self Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) will open up to new solar + storage projects in all three of the major IOU territories of PG&E, SCE and SDG&E.  Under this program, battery + storage projects could see a rebate equal to 12%-15% of the total project cost which will often result in a shorter payback time than a stand alone solar project.  Also, battery + solar projects will actually receive priority funding should the program become over-subscribed.  Feel free to contact your Spectrum rep to find out more, or check out some excellent SGIP resources from GELI.

Finally, we want to acknowledge the hard work done by our friends at CALSEIA for making these new incentives possible!