2020 New Build Mandate in Effect

California has always been the state leading the country towards a brighter, greener future. At the forefront of the nation’s green revolution, California constantly seeks new ways of innovating upon existing technologies to revolutionize society. Recently, solar panel installations have received renewed interest by the state, and are the subject of the California 2020 New Build Mandate guidelines. The new California Green Building Standards Code requires all newly built single residence homes to have solar panel installations. With home buying up in Orange County, San Diego County, and Riverside County, one has to wonder how these guidelines will affect Southern California residents?

Will The California 2020 New Build Mandate Save Money?

The answer is yes, the California 2020 New Build Mandate will. Newly built homes after Jan. 1 are required to have solar panel installations, while existing homes do not have to install solar panels. However, the California Energy Commission estimates that over a standard 30-year mortgage, a solar panel installation can save homeowners $19,000. Regardless of whether or not you are building a new home, solar panel installations are a sound investment to both save the environment and your money.

How Will The California 2020 New Build Mandate Affect Home Builders?

Home builders may be wary of the California 2020 New Build Mandate for new homes, however these new guidelines can help them just as much as home buyers. Home builders have the opportunity to form lasting business relationships with expert solar panel installation experts who can work closely with them on multiple projects, potentially driving down the cost of their bulk solar panel installation purchases. The California Building Industry Association estimates that solar panel installations will add $8,000 to $13,500 to the price of building new homes, making wholesale discounts of solar panel installations a great way to add surplus value to new homes. With home builders expected to absorb most of the cost of the California 2020 New Build Mandate, making connections with expert solar panel installation providers should be at the top of every home builder’s todo list.

Top Tier Home Energy: Ready For Change

At Top Tier Home Energy, we are more than ready to assist home builders in complying with the California 2020 New Build Mandate. When you need an expert solar panel installation provider for Orange County, San Diego County, Or Riverside County, look no further. We back all of our work with an industry-leading 25 year warranty. That’s nearly the entire length of a home mortgage, meaning that potential home buyers will feel confident in their new home’s solar panel installation. We’re excited to work with home builders in Orange County, San Diego County, and Riverside County as they strive to meet the exceptionally green goals set out in the by this ambitious new law.

How Can Solar Panel Installation Help Me?

One of the best perks of living in Southern California is undoubtedly our weather. Going to an Orange County or San Diego County beach in the summer is high up on nearly every resident’s list of favorite activities. But increasingly, our summers are plagued by heat waves wherein our perfect weather takes a turn for the worse. Surprisingly, solar panel installation may hold the key to beating the heat this summer.

The last thing you want to be worrying about during one of these heat waves is your energy bill.  California has the 7th highest energy prices in the nation according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, with prices even higher in Orange County, San Diego County, and even Riverside County. 

Solar Panels Save Summer

The very same sun that is beaming down on you can be utilized to actually cool your home. Reliable solar panels from Top Tier Home Energy can not only lower your energy bill, but also eliminate the guilt you feel when you turn down the thermostat. Top Tier Home Energy is not only a leading provider of solar panels in Orange County, San Diego County, and Riverside County, but we also install custom heating and air systems that are built to take full advantage of solar panel installations.

Top Tier Home Energy installs Sunpower solar panels, which are consistently rated among the highest grade solar panels on the market. Not only are these durable solar panels the most efficient solar panels on the market, we at Top Tier Home Energy back them up with an industry-leading 25 year warranty which make our solar panel installation services risk free!

Yes, you read that right: 25 years of guaranteed lower energy bills, guilt free air conditioning, and the knowledge that you are doing your part to help save the environment. Even when the sun isn’t shining, our industry-unique battery storage systems will keep your home powered in the greenest possible way. 

Whether you’re a resident of Orange County, San Diego County, or Riverside County, Top Tier Home Energy can help reduce your monthly energy bill and keep your home cool. While summer may seem months away, it’s only a matter of time before the weather warms up and you’ll be wanting to turn the thermostat down. Be prepared for the summer’s heat wave today with Southern California’s leading solar panel installation provider. 

 

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.

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.

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:

As December draws to a close, we’re all looking forward to a bright future in 2019.  With a new year, it’s the best opportunity to make new positive changes such as finally going to install solar in your home.  If you’ve been curious about solar power, then this might be the year you finally decide to embrace it.  Consider the following reasons to bite the bullet and install solar in your home:

Looming Electricity Rate Hikes if You Don’t Install Solar

There are looming regulatory rate hikes you may not have heard about.  Last May, Southern California Edison (SCE) and the California Public Utilities Commission announced a $5 billion rate hike that will increase an average homeowner’s electricity by 19%.  If your electricity bills are already too high, this is the perfect time to install solar in your home.  Start acquiring your electricity from the sun and lowering your electric bill when you install solar in your home.  Make SCE send you a check for the electricity you’ve contributed back to the power grid.

The Federal Tax Credit

If you install solar in 2019, you’ll still be able to enjoy the 30% federal tax credit prior to the government’s phase out plan.  You might as well take advantage of the full benefits afforded by the federal tax credits before it reduces significantly over the next few years.

California’s 2020 Mandate

While all new homes built in 2020 or later require solar installation, you might want to take some inspiration from those homeowners.  Global warming is expected to hit California particularly hard, and we have opportunities to be leaders in cleaning up our environment. It helps that saving money goes hand in hand with saving our environment as well.

If you’ve been considering switching to the clean renewable energy provided by solar power, then 2019 is your year to make some big changes and install solar in your home. By going green, you can put a little bit more of the green back in your wallet too. Call Top Tier Home Energy  (949) 296-2296.

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When considering switching from using traditional electric power to solar power, many home owners are confused about how solar batteries work.  It’s often one of the most misunderstood elements of a solar power system. It’s understandable as most homeowners don’t have a degree or specialty in science and engineering.  Not to worry, the experts at Top Tier Home Energy are able to demystify solar batteries for you so you understand exactly what you’re getting and what you can expect:

Solar Batteries Allow for the Generation of Solar Power to Turn into Electricity

When homeowners install solar panels on their homes, they do so to dramatically reduce their electricity bills.  The potential to generate a separate income from the energy produced and stored in solar batteries is also extremely appealing.  Over time, the installation of solar panels can pay for themselves when you consider that they can last approximately 25 to 30 years with proper maintenance and care.

Typically, when homeowners purchase a solar system, this includes solar panels at just the right pitch to collect enough energy from the sun.  A system also includes an inverter, and a performance monitoring system to ensure homeowners are able to track exactly how much energy they’re generating from the sun- a clean renewable energy source, and stored in solar batteries for later use.

In order to create electricity or energy to power your home, solar panels collect energy from the sun.  This is then passed through an inverter to convert it into a form of electricity and energy to power a home.  Solar batteries store this energy so that when the sun goes down at night, homeowners are still able to access energy to power their homes.  Just because the sun has gone down, it doesn’t mean that homeowners are living like our prehistoric ancestors by fire light.

Making Your Solar Batteries Work for You

Typically, homeowners’ solar panels and solar batteries are tied to an electricity grid.  In California, this could be Edison, for example. When your home solar power system is collecting more energy than you can consume as a homeowner, you’re energy neutral and reducing your carbon footprint.  You’re also eligible to make some money.  Excess energy from your solar batteries sent back to the grid can make you money in the form of energy credits towards future energy bills or a check cut to you.  It’s not a stretch of the imagination that this is a major caveat for homeowners considering the installation of a full solar system, from solar panels to solar batteries, and more.

Solar power has been exploding in popularity, but homeowners don’t necessarily know how they work.  If you’re still confused by the process by which solar batteries collect and store energy, give our experts a call at Top Tier Home Energy (949) 296-2296.

 

When homeowners hear solar savings, they have expectations that they’ll instantly be flush with extra cash.  However, solar panels take time to acquire energy from the sun and produce energy for your home.  This means that as more time goes on, homeowners will start to see more solar savings with reduced or completely eliminated electricity bills. Within months, you’ll begin to see your investment paying off and within years, a solar system can completely pay for itself.  Consider the following ways in which you can determine your solar savings with a new solar system:

Use a Cost Calculator to Determine Solar Savings

A free cost calculator can help you to predict how much you will save by switching from electricity to solar power. Generally speaking, a solar cost calculator can take into account geographic data, shade homeowners experience and monthly electric bills.  Using this data, a solar cost calculator will produce a general idea of what you can expect in solar savings.  This is a great first step to determining whether a home is a good candidate for solar panels and it also provides a great benchmark for determining solar savings as time progresses.

Keep Close Track with Net Metering

Most homes that are solar powered are connected to the grid via net metering.  This is a system of billing that keeps track of homes’ utility meter to determine the amount of energy produced.  The electricity homeowners’ solar panels generates is recorded in net metering and the solar savings are reflected in monthly electric bills.

Generally, homeowners can generate enough electricity to avoid paying an electric bill.  These savings can add up significantly for homeowners used to paying hundreds of dollars in electricity every month. If solar panels produce more energy than is actually used, then that energy is sold back to the grid and the electric company will reimburse homeowners for the extra power. A check every month can be a great way to keep track of the cost savings from switching to solar power.

The initial investment in a solar system can be daunting for some homeowners, but as they begin to see their solar savings for themselves it’s clear they made a smart investment.  Becoming energy neutral and paying nothing to your electric company is a great feeling, but as time goes on, your solar panels will pay for themselves and that is an amazing feeling.

If you are wondering how much you can save with solar panels, we can help! Call us today for an estimate.

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

 

While we’re all busy making merry this season, chances are we’re also all consuming a lot of energy.  If you’ve already got your Christmas lights up, your tree plugged in, and the heating cranked up in preparation for hosting friends and family, you’re likely consuming a lot of energy.  It may be the perfect time for an energy audit.

Why Do You Need An Energy Audit?

An energy audit can help tell you where you waste energy.  If you find your electricity bills are consistently high, and not just through the holidays, you could be missing opportunities to lower your energy consumption and your energy bill.

While California’s 2020 mandate for solar energy is looming on the horizon, many homes across the state and nation are still wasting massive amounts of energy.  This could be due to unnecessary electricity use from too many appliances being plugged in to insufficient insulation to poor heating and cooling efficiency.  Whether you have a newer home or an older home, you should perform an energy audit.

Energy Audit Steps Towards Identifying Energy Waste

According to the Department of Energy, 48% of energy use is from heating and cooling systems and another 18% from water heaters.  What this means is your energy audit should be examining the devices you use to heat and cool your home including:

  • Checking heating and cooling appliances and replacing these with energy efficient units
  • Performing an energy audit on hot water use
  • Looking for spaces around doors and windows where you might be leaking air
  • Installing low flow showerheads and energy efficient dishwashing and washing machines

Another culprit for energy waste is poor insulation and sealing.  If you discover in your energy audit that your home is poorly insulated and sealed, you could be overpaying by thousands of dollars per year in energy bills. To perform an energy audit on insulation, try the following:

  • Look for gaps and leaks in insulation and sealing from gaps in your doorways, floors, electrical outlets, faucets and other fixtures
  • Check to see if you have adequate insulation in your attic or if there are gaps, especially around chimneys, windows, and ducts that could be filled in as a result of your energy audit
  • Perform an energy audit on your floors to determine if you’ve got properly insulated crawl spaces to prevent heat loss in your floors

And finally, perform an energy audit on your electricity consumption. Are you leaving lights on all day when you’re not home? Do you have inefficient appliances? All of these could contribute to preventable energy waste. Try the following steps:

  • Unplug appliances that don’t always need to be plugged in. You’re not using your toaster 99% of the time, so it’s safe to say appliances such as that can be unplugged
  • Toss out appliances that no longer work but you keep plugged in anyways
  • Use sleep functions on your computers, laptops, and televisions when they’re not in use or when you fall asleep before turning one of those items off
  • Use energy efficient light bulbs
  • Weigh the results of your energy audit against your ability to save with solar power

Explore Converting Your Home to Solar Power

Solar power is a clean, renewable source of energy that can significantly reduce energy waste and reduce your electricity bills.  It can also be a great source of tax rebates and income from selling energy credits.  To find out if you’re a good candidate for solar power, contact our experts today at Top Tier Home Energy (949) 296-2296 or try our handy cost calculator tool.

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