When people hear the words solar batteries, it’s easy to conjure up an image of something similar to a car battery installed in your home.  However, today’s solar system batteries are more similar to cell phone or computer batteries based on their components, not based on size.  Today’s batteries are constructed of lithium-ion offering greater energy storage per square foot and weight.

What Types of Different Batteries are There?

Solar batteries are traditionally AC- coupled or DC- coupled.  In the case of AC- coupled batteries, solar power gathered throughout the day is converted through a grid connect inverter from DC to AC, before the battery inverter converts the power to DC power and stores it in the batteries.  When energy is needed, the inverter converts it back to AC power to supply to the load.

DC- coupled solar batteries directly channel solar power to a solar battery charger, regulating how the batteries are charged. Because solar panels produce DC power and batteries store DC power, there is no need to convert the power.

How Residential Solar Batteries Work

Throughout the day, your residential solar power system collects energy from the sun and then sends that energy to its batteries for either storage or immediate use.  Top Tier Home Energy systems integrate with various kinds of solar batteries allowing more freedom for homeowners.

Once the batteries collect the power, intelligent software automatically manages which power source you’re connected to and drawing energy from.  Your home could be connected to the power grid or it could be drawing power from the batteries in your solar system.  So on a cloudy day, if your battery is not full, you may be drawing power from the grid to keep the lights on in your home or to power your water heater.  When homeowners’ batteries are full, the energy necessary to power their home is drawn from batteries, not the grid.  This allows them to save money by not drawing power from the grid provided by the electric company. Similarly, these batteries can help offset peak energy usage at night when people are home from work.

As homeowners’ energy needs change, they can scale up their solar power system to meet their changing energy needs.  This includes adding more solar panels and batteries to meet these changing energy needs.  If a homeowner suddenly makes an electric vehicle purchase and needs to charge it, their residential solar power system will be able to meet the increase in demand for energy.

With the power of solar system batteries, homeowners can become less reliant on grid power, lowering bills.  Eventually, as they generate more energy and more energy is stored, they can also sell energy credits back to the electric company.  The answer to energy independence and significant savings lays in the form of the clean renewable energy of solar.

Have questions? Call today, we’re happy to answer any (949) 296-2296.

As experts in solar power systems, we often are asked by nervous homeowners how solar panels work.  They’re interested in saving money on electricity, trying to sell credits back to the electric company, or even the sunsetting benefit of tax benefits tied to solar power.  It’s a valid question and something that most homeowners aren’t aware of- how do solar panels work to gather, convert, and store energy?  It seems mystifying to many and yet it’s not as complex as homeowners think.  In the following article, we’ll teach you how solar panels work and what you can expect.

What is Solar Energy

The sun is a huge source of energy.  Shining almost daily, the sun produces energy in photons.  Photons are light particles that penetrate our atmosphere to feed plants via photosynthesis and indirectly feed the animals and people who feed off of those plants.  While animals and people die over time, taking millions of years to become fossil fuels, solar energy does not take that long to produce power.  Instead, solar panels collect energy directly from the sun to power electricity including water heaters, and more.  While fossil fuels are finite in their collection and usage, solar power is not finite.  Instead, solar panels help to collect the power from the sun as a renewable clean energy source.  Solar power systems installed on residences and commercial systems help to minimize our carbon footprint because solar panels help collect clean green renewable energy.

How Do Solar Panels Translate Into Electricity- What’s the Process?

Electricity is a fascinating topic and one that few homeowners understand, whether from their own electric company or because they are obtaining electricity in other ways.  It’s something that homeowners often take for granted until they start to investigate solar panels and the power of solar energy.

Traditionally, electricity is the result of a current from charged particles.  This includes both positively and negatively charged particles.  As Paula Abdul once sang, opposites attract.  Solar panels include this same current of negatively and positively charged particles.  The sun hits the solar panels and creates a direct current from the negative side and positive side to create DC electricity.

As anyone who has bought new appliances knows, they traditionally run on AC power.  If solar panels connect DC power, how does that translate to AC electricity?  Solar power systems make use of an inverter to create AC electricity from the DC electricity that solar panels collect.

How Do Homeowners Cash In on their Solar Panels

Homeowners hear a lot that over time, their solar panels will pay for themselves or that they can become energy neutral as a result of their residential solar system.  This is true because electricity in California is on the grid system.  The grid allows for the production of energy that isn’t necessarily guaranteed.  When people gather solar panels credit, they are able to sell it back to the electric company.

Even though homeowners who have not yet collected enough solar power from their solar panels to make money off of it are still dependent upon the electric company, there’s potential to overcome that.  Over time, homeowners begin to walk away from needing to purchase electricity at off peak hours such as night time to earning enough credits to gain a check from the electric company based on their energy consolidation. At times, solar battery storage helps fill in the gaps as well.

Over time, the installation of solar panels is a very smart decision for homeowners. While the tax benefits are slowly going away, the benefits of reduced electricity bills and increased home resale value are huge for homeowners.  If you’re curious about the benefits of solar power and solar panels, call Top Tier Home Energy experts at (949) 296-2296.

 

If you’ve ever looked at the market, there’s a wide variety of different residences out there ranging from single family homes to town homes, condos, manufactured homes, and more.  As many different homes as there are, there are also as many different roof types.  No matter your home or your roof type, installing solar panels on your residency is as easy as calling the experts at Top Tier Home Energy.

Installing Solar Panels Includes the Following Types of Roofs

As we’ve said, there are a variety of different kinds of roofs that homeowners can install solar panels on, including the following kinds:

  • Clay or slate tiles
  • Asphalt shingles
  • Concrete tiles
  • Wood or cedar tiles
  • Rubber roofs
  • Metal

Installing solar panels on these different roof varieties necessitates different installation techniques, but experts can safely and efficiently install a brand new solar power system on any kind of residential or even commercial roof.

Wooden and Cedar Roof Tiles

Wooden and cedar roof tiles are common to older homes.  While many homeowners with older homes ask themselves if they’re good candidates for solar power, the good news is they are.  In order to install solar panels on wooden or cedar roof tiles, solar power installers will drill a stud into the tiles and insert flashing underneath the wooden or cedar roof tiles in order to prevent leaking.  By installing solar panels in this manner, homeowners can rest easy that they can gain more energy efficiently and without concern for leakage.

Installing Solar Panels on Clay Tile Roofs

In Southern California, many homes have traditional Spanish tiles on the roof.  This is also a part of a Mediterranean trend in home building.  Traditionally, these tiles are made of clay.  As any homeowner with clay tiles knows, they are extremely fragile and can break very easily.

This is why when installing solar panels on a clay tile roof, experts take extra precautions.  This means the experts will remove your clay tiles to mount racking feet, metal hooks and flashing directly onto the home’s roof.  Then, new tiles will be inserted above these to conform with the home’s aesthetics.  In some cases, expert installers may place a new metal piece in its place instead.

Asphalt Shingles- the Most Common Type

The most common type of roof material is asphalt shingles.  These affordable shingles are very popular with home builders.  Because they are so common in residences, installing solar panels on asphalt shingles are easy and straightforward.  Installers will typically drill studs, install panel mounts and flashing to prevent any water from creeping in.

Metal Roofs

Some homeowners have really artistic homes and use metal roofs.  Installing solar panels on a metal roof isn’t as complicated as one would believe- it’s actually as easy as either clamping solar systems onto a raised metal seam or drill holes and add flashing to prevent any water damage.

Concrete Tiles or Rubber Roofs

Concrete tiles and rubber roofs are less common, but are still found in multifamily units.  In order to install solar panels on these roofs, solar power installation experts will install tilted or slanted metal racking in order to hold up the solar panels at the exact angle necessary to gather solar energy.  Alternatively, a ballast system might be used as a weighted racking system to hold solar panels in place.

As you can see, installing solar panels on a variety of different kinds of roofs is not difficult.  Homeowners can take pride in knowing that the experts they’re working with at Top Tier Home Energy can do it all.  For more information or to take advantage of solar power, call (949) 296-2296..

 

 

January is when people start to get their taxes in order for the previous year.  They collect their W-2’s, gather their receipts and contact their tax preparer.  This year, homeowners have the perfect opportunity to save money on their taxes with a solar power installation.  The key is to obtain a solar power installation now before the federal solar power tax incentives disappear.

The Federal Solar Tax Credit was established in 2005, a tax credit applied to solar power home installations and solar heating systems and fuel cells.  While extended multiple times since 2005, 2019 is the last year for homeowners to take advantage of their first year of solar tax credits on their taxes.

How a Solar Power Installation Can Help Homeowners Save Money

The Federal Solar Tax Credit will soon be phasing out by percentages over the years homeowners have a solar system.  Homeowners who obtain a solar power installation in 2019 will be able to obtain a 30% credit, but over the years, this percentage will drop.  For instance, in 2020, this credit will drop to 26%, 22% in 2021, and disappear entirely in 2022 for residential solar installations.  Businesses with a solar power installation in 2022 can still enjoy a 10% credit, though.

As it currently stands, the 30% credit would be of the total cost of homeowners’ costs for a solar power installation.  For example, if a residential solar system installation cost $20,000, the 30% would account for a $6,000 credit on homeowners’ taxes.  Depending upon the amount owed in taxes, this could potentially work out to be a nice return for homeowners or potentially owing nothing to the federal government and rolling those credits over to the next year. Depending upon homeowners’ tax situation, this could end up being very lucrative for homeowners.

Qualifying for the Federal Tax Credit

In order to qualify for the federal solar tax credit, homeowners need to meet the following criteria:

  • The homeowners’ solar installation must occur prior to December 2019
  • Only homeowners, not renters, or business owners will be able to qualify
  • Solar panels must be owned, not leased
  • Homeowners must owe more than the solar tax credit in taxes in order to take advantage of the federal tax credit

Claiming the Federal Solar Tax Credit

Tax season is in the very beginning.  That means over the next few months, tax preparers will be very busy filing taxes on behalf of a variety of homeowners.  In order for homeowners to claim their federal solar tax credit, tax preparers should be careful to fill out the forms to collect the Residential Energy Credits. This process can help homeowners to claim the federal solar tax credit for their residential solar power installation.

To install a new solar power installation, consult the experts and call us at (949) 296-2296..

Top Tier Home Energy proudly services Riverside, San Diego and Orange County.

Recent Global Warming deniers have set back much of America’s energy policies and environmental policies by undermining efforts to embrace cleaner and more efficient forms of energy.  A recent report by the Environment America Research and Policy Center concludes that if America were to embrace even a fracture of the limitless and pollution free energy that shines on it every day, we could meet all of our energy needs.  This is the power of solar energy.  If more homeowners and businesses embrace solar energy, we’ll be able to leave behind a cleaner, more sustainable environment for our children and grandchildren.

The Potential for Solar Energy to Power More Energy than We Consume

Within the report, it states that the United States has the power to generate over 100 times more energy than it currently consumes by embracing solar energy.  Each state could in fact, generate more solar energy than its citizens and businesses consumes, freeing us from reliance on less clean energy initiatives.

The report offers a conclusion that states can obtain anywhere from 1 to over 100 times their energy needs from solar energy.  The majority of states that could obtain over 100 times their energy needs are largely a block from Middle America to the Southwest and Northwest. These states have populations that range from very dense to not very populated.  By embracing solar power, they can ensure they are able to generate more clean energy and leave behind a brighter future.

Solar Energy and You

Homeowners researching solar power installations can take comfort that their participation in this, by installing solar power systems, are able to contribute to a better future.  As more homeowners embrace solar power, they are able to generate more clean renewable energy, contributing to the self sufficiency of the state.  Moreover, they’re able to dramatically reduce their energy bills, and even make money by selling solar credits to the electric company.

It’s clear that solar power is the wave of the future and a smart bet for people and businesses to embrace.  Consider how we can minimize our carbon footprint, reduce the effects of Global Warming and help leave behind a better world for everyone.

 

(949) 296-2296.

Once upon a time, it was thought that residential solar was only a smart investment for those who planned to be in their home for “forever.”  However, as electricity rates skyrocket and more homeowners are selling their once “forever” homes to make a profit, realtors and lenders alike have realized that residential solar adds significant value to a home on the market.  Whether you plan on being in your home for 5 years or 50 years, adding a residential solar system adds significant value for resale.

Residential Solar is Less Expensive

These days, most homeowners are able to pay off the installation of a residential solar system in 4 to 5 years.  At that point, they’re able to start reducing their energy bill and eventually start generating energy credits to sell back to the electric company.  This is extremely attractive to home buyers as many are nervous about mortgage payments, home owner association fees, and more.  Buying a new home with residential solar reduces this nervous feeling because they’re able to imagine a future where they won’t have huge electric bills that often come with home ownership. Suddenly large homes with fancy built in amenities such as washers and dryers, dishwashers, dual refrigerators and more are more affordable to new home buyers.

Going Green is Cool

There is a cache of cool surrounding having a green home.  Many homeowners love being able to say they’re helping the environment by owning a home with residential solar.  It’s not unusual to have residential solar installed but it is highly sought after for homeowners seeking to minimize their carbon footprints and to reduce their energy usage.  In today’s society, where American energy has seemed to take a step back with the resurgence of older forms of energy, solar power emerges as trendy, cool, and something that educated people choose to provide for a better future of the planet.

Whether homeowners are seeking to reduce energy bills or to embrace a cool form of energy, the addition of solar panels to a home translates to higher resale value, which multiplies homeowners’ return on investment. In the current housing market, an increased resale value can translate to big dollars overall.

We’ve heard for a while now that the solar tax credit will be reducing from 30% to lower over the years to come.  That’s why this is the perfect year for you to take advantage of the 2019 solar tax credit.  Homeowners will be able to take advantage of the federal investment tax credit with solar systems installed in their homes.

How the Solar Tax Credit Works

The federal solar tax credit was intended to encourage homeowners to go green and reduce Americans’ dependency on fossil fuels.  Due to popular demand, the federal solar tax credit was extended to 2020 by Congress in order to extend the 30% credit to homeowners.  In California, there is a mandate that all new homes install solar panels, but older homes are not required to install solar panels.  However, it’s anticipated that homeowners will rush to take advantage of the solar tax credit.

To acquire the solar tax credit, your solar installation company will offer you a receipt for the solar system’s total cost and installation process.  When tax season comes around, homeowners will be able to provide this information to their tax professional including items such as storage of solar batteries.

It must be noted that in order to take advantage of the federal tax credit, homeowners have to own their own solar panel system instead of renting it from a solar company. Additionally, in order to qualify for the solar tax credit, solar batteries must be entirely charged by the solar panel system, not an outside source.  These are important distinctions for homeowners seeking to make use of their tax credits for switching to clean green renewable energy.

Solar Tax Credit Eligibility Broken Down

As mentioned previously, there are a few conditions in order to make use of the 2019 federal tax credit:

  • Homeowners MUST own their own solar panel system and batteries in order to be eligible
  • Batteries must be fully charged from solar panels, not other sources
  • You must be a homeowner, not a renter of a property
  • Your solar panel system needs to be installed before the end of 2019

The Time to Act Is Now

Before the solar tax credit begins to diminish significantly, it’s time for you to act and install solar panels.  Go green and begin earning credits instead of paying major electricity bills.  Don’t wait to collect on your 2019 solar tax credit.  Consult with a skilled solar panel installation expert today and begin generating clean green renewable energy today that will save you money in the long run.

Call Top Tier Home Energy today (949) 296-2296.

We proudly service Orange County, Riverside County, San Diego County.

When considering a switch from electricity to solar power, it’s important to listen to the good advice of not only your solar power provider but your solar installation experts.  After all, you wouldn’t take solar installation advice from your gardeners or your neighbors.  It’s important to get the right information from the people who know best how to install and amplify your solar power.  You can’t start gathering solar power and selling enough credits back to the electric company if you don’t listen to your installers when it comes to installing solar panels at the right angles, how to maximize usage and clean your solar panels.  Consider the following reasons why you need to listen to your solar installation experts:

Your Solar Installation Experts Know How to Help You Gather the Most Energy

Think about it- your solar installation experts know what they’re doing.  They’ve worked with hundreds or thousands of homeowners just like you- nervous about how solar energy will work out for them, hopeful that solar energy will lower your energy bills and that one day you might be able to sell energy credits back to the electric company in order to make money instead of spending it on your utilities.  It’s a tense process in the beginning.  But take comfort in the fact that your solar installation experts know what they’re doing and they know how to help in the following ways:

  • they can calculate your energy demands for a new solar installation and the household’s energy usage
  • they know how to take things such as tree shade into account when performing a new solar installation
  • they can estimate the size of your solar panels necessary for a successful installation and system size in order to provide the most bang for your buck
  • they can take your budget into account and provide you with real life options that can turn you onto other options in order to reap the benefits of clean renewable solar energy

An experienced solar installation expert knows what they’re looking for when they come to your home.  They know your energy goals after a conversation to confirm their suspicions.  An expert such as this is seeking to help you lower your energy bills and help you to start making money.

Make Sure You Have the Best Solar Installation Expert on the Job

When you’re considering a change from electricity to solar power, you need to make sure you have the very best solar installation expert to do the job.  With such an investment upfront, you can’t afford to mess around with a fly by night company who claims to be all things to all people.  Do your research and ensure that your solar installer is asking you the right questions and seeking to help you as best they can.

 

For quality solar panel installation, call (949) 296-2296.

 

Southern California Edison is about to make a big change in the way it charges its customers, and it will have a huge effect on the economics of adding solar to their homes. The change, set to go into effect on March 1st, will alter Time of Use (TOU) billing for Edison customers by moving the peak hours to later in the day. To understand how this will affect you, let’s get clear on two terms:

When considering whether or not to go green in your home, consider that with SunPower solar panels, you can produce over 70% more energy over the first 25 years.  Once you’ve installed SunPower solar panels, how you use that energy can be quite creative.  Consider the following ways in which you can use your new clean renewable energy:

 

Lighting Up Your Back Yard

With the clean renewable solar energy that you’re generating with SunPower solar panels, you can light up your back yard with colorful and creative lights.  You can impress your house guests and company when they come over with colorful light displays.  Imagine lighting up your pool, pergola, walk ways, trellaces, and patios with clean renewable energy.

 

Turning Up the Romance with SunPower Solar Panels

With SunPower solar panels, the energy you generate can be used to turn up the romance.  Picture how much you can enjoy powering and heating your hot tub sipping champagne.  With clean renewable energy, you can turn up the romance and not worry about how high your electric bill will be for your efforts.  You can take a dip every night and ignite the romantic spark in your relationship.  If you’re single, you can impress your dates with your elegant hot tub.

 

Powering Up A Holly Jolly Christmas Light Display

With SunPower solar panels, you can be the envy of your neighbors next Christmas with an intricate and bright light display.  You could deck your home out with every light you can find at the store and still be paying less for powering a massive display than your neighbors.  You can keep cozy all winter knowing that you’re producing more clean renewable energy and saving money at the same time.

There are many uses for clean renewable solar power that range from powering up your kitchen appliances to heating your home during the winter and keeping it cool in the summer. There’s no better way to do it than with SunPower solar panels.  If you’re ready to try out the many ways you can use solar power, give us a call at (949) 296-2296.

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