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. 

 

Solar panels are a great way to offset energy costs, reduce the environmental impact of your home and a host of other benefits. If you’re wondering, “where are solar providers near me?” and want to install panels on your home, we wanted to share a few benefits to installing solar in the Orange County or Los Angeles County areas. 

Reduce or eliminate energy bills.

Did you know that Orange County and Los Angeles County have over 278+ sunny days of the year?  On sunny days, our customers who have completed a solar installation can generate a lot more energy than they consume, and then can trade that with the utility. 

Even cloudy days or locations can receive more than two hours of sunlight per day, while sunny locations receive an average of 5.5 hours of sunlight per day. Although sunny days will produce more solar energy, the best solar panels will continue to draw energy even when the weather is cloudy. Indirect, or diffused, sunlight will still help to power your home. Cloudy days usually produce around 10 to 20 percent of the power generated on sunny days.

Help the environment and help us all.

Solar power systems derive clean, pure energy from the sun. Installing solar panels on your home helps combat greenhouse gas emissions and reduces our collective dependence on fossil fuel. Traditional electricity is sourced from fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas. When fossil fuels are burned to produce electricity, they emit harmful gases that are the primary cause of air pollution and global climate change. Not only are fossil fuels bad for the environment, but they are also a finite resource.

Renewable energy also improves public health. 

Coal and natural gas plants produce air and water pollution that is harmful to human health. But replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy sources, such as solar power from a solar installation, can reduce premature mortality as well as overall health care costs.

Saving Orange County and Los Angeles County’s Water Supply 

We celebrate the fact that California is finally 100% drought-free. Solar energy requires little to no water to operate. So, not only does solar power not pollute water resources, but it also doesn’t put a strain on our county’s water supply.

Solar power also works during a drought or heatwave. Coal, natural gas and nuclear power use large amounts of water for cooling. During heat waves or severe droughts, as we’ve experienced in recent years, electricity generation is at risk. But solar power systems do not require water to generate electricity. It’s a win-win for all involved! 

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 the best solar panels with our Top Tier Home Energy solar panels.  If you’re ready to try out the many ways you can use solar power in Orange County or Los Angeles County, give us a call at (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.

 

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.

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.

 

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.

.

 

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 considering a new residential solar installation, many people are curious how soon they can start generating energy and saving money.  There are 4 factors that immediately stand out which will affect not only your production of solar energy but your savings as well.  In order to reap the benefits of a new residential solar installation, the following should be considered:

  1. Seasons

In areas such as Southern California, we experience very little in the way of changing seasons. Southern California is lucky enough to enjoy ample sunlight whether in the summer or in the winter.  It’s not unusual for a Southern California Christmas to reach 80 degrees.  Because of this warm weather, Southern Californians can expect more sunlight than most areas of the country.  This is great news for residents considering a new solar installation.  More available sunlight is better for increased solar energy production.

  1. Shade

It seems like a no brainer, but shade plays a significant role in the amount of energy produced by a solar installation.  If a home is located in large areas of shade, less direct sunlight will be available to produce energy with your solar installation.  It’s generally advised that residents with overgrown trees and obstructions do their best to trim them or remove them if they have decided they want to make use of the clean renewable energy that solar produces.

  1. Tilt

Tilt is another factor that will affect your solar installation’s ability to produce energy.  Tilt includes the slope of your roof, the angle that your solar panels are facing in your solar installation, and the direction your home is facing.  Ideally, to produce the most energy from your solar installation, solar panels should be mounted between 30 to 45 degrees.

  1. Azimuth

Azimuth refers to the angle from which the sunlight is beamed down. Getting the azimuth correct is critical to take full advantage of your solar installation.  When this is wrong, residents may experience a loss of up to 35% of available solar energy.

 

Prior to a new solar installation, it’s important to be aware of the many factors that could affect the quality of your energy produced.  When you consult with the experts at Top Tier Home Energy, you can learn more about each of these factors which will affect your energy production.  Start by calling us at (949) 296-2296.
 

 SOLAR INSTALLATION: 5 STEP GUIDE BEFORE INSTALLATION

As a homeowner considering solar installation, it is helpful to know the process of panel installation. After signing your contract there is a 5 Step process that happens before your solar panels are even installed on your roof. You have the right to the information involved in the process. Therefore, we have created a 5 Step Guide for you to know what to expect with your solar installation.

The average time for your solar panels to be installed, connected to the grid and producing energy for your home takes about one to three months once you have signed your contract with your solar installer. Solar installation doesn’t happen overnight or in a couple days as most people would think so here is the 5 Step guideline.

1. The First Step: A visit from the Engineer:

Soon after signing your contract with your selected solar provider one of two visits will occur.

You will get an engineer visit or a contractor visit to evaluate your home prior to solar installation.

An engineer will come by your property to evaluate the electrical compatibility of your home with the new energy system. The engineer will either be working for the company you signed your contract with or they will be an independent engineer directly contracted by that company.

The contractor visit involves an evaluation of the roof type, size of solar system that needs to be installed, angle of the roof, shade and sun exposure. They will, in some cases, also take pictures of the sight to show to the engineer. An engineer will then sign off on the job without coming to evaluate the home.

The evaluation process by either party includes checking your roof to make sure it is structurally sound to support the solar panels. The next thing the engineer will check is your electrical box, (the grey box located either in your basement or on the side of your house) to see if it has the capacity for the amps that will be moving through it for the new solar panels or if it needs to be upgraded. Along with the  visit, your home will be inspected by your local town government representative. This representative will make sure the whole solar installation process will be done properly.

 

2. The Second Step: Permits and Documents Prior to Solar Installation:

There are different ways to purchase solar panels. You can lease, take out a loan, purchase with cash or in-full, or through a power purchase agreement with the government. There are different forms of power purchase agreements with the government. The State and Federal Solar incentives are; Federal ITC, PACE, government Rebates, SRECs (Solar Renewable Energy Certifications) and local solar programs.

There is a lot of paperwork involved in the solar panel process just like in  most  big financial contracts. Among this paperwork you will find financial incentives along with the building permits. Depending on the state you live in there are different solar installation requirements. For example; certain states require a certain amount of space between the edge of the roof and the end of the solar panels, other states allow you to cover the whole roof from top to bottom. Your installer will know which requirements apply to you and your solar installation. A great thing about the company you choose and the paperwork is that the installer will fill out the paperwork for you. Nevertheless, you should still know what is in the paperwork and contracts .

The time frame for this second step of the process depends on your installer and how fast he fills out the paperwork and gets it all submitted. Make sure you keep checking in with your installer so that things get done in a timely manner.

3. Solar Installation Scheduling and Equipment Ordering:

Before you can order your equipment you will have to chose which equipment you would like installed. This decision will be done before you sign your contract. There are multiple companies that manufacture Solar Panels. To pick the right equipment for you there are two things to consider; Solar Panels and Inverters. The company you are working with will most likely have a company that they mainly work with but make sure you do your research on multiple companies to make sure you pick the right equipment.

What you need to look for is durability, efficiency, aesthetics and price. Spend time researching the highest rated Solar Panels, Micro inverters vs. String Inverters vs. Power Optimizers.

Once you have chosen the equipment you want installed on your home, signed the contract, had your inspection, and the paperwork has been submitted and approved, you can order the equipment and set the installation date. The solar installation date is normally scheduled the day your equipment is delivered. Scheduling also depends on how busy the company you’re working with is.

4. Installation Day:

There are multiple steps to the solar installation process. The normal solar installation time frame is one to three days.

The first step is the roof inspection; the installer inspects the shingles to make sure they are all in good condition and that they are all attached properly.

The second step is to set up all the wiring that will connect the electrical panel to the general power system of the panels.

The third step is installing the railing that attaches the panels to the roof. This railing will stabilize the panels and will be the only thing attached to the roof. This is a very important step, the installer needs to make sure everything is secure so that the panels do not come loose and fall from the roof.

The forth step is attaching the solar panels to the railing. The installer needs to make sure the railing is level so the panels are straight and level.

The fifth and final step in the solar installation process is the installer connecting the inverters to your electrical panel. The inverters convert direct current (DC) energy into alternating current (AC) energy which is used in homes and on the electrical grid.

There might be one additional step and piece of equipment needed for the solar installation; this will add time to the solar installation. The installer may need to install a power meter for Net Metering. You should do your research if you want a Net meter installed or a SREC. Net Metering is a system of “debit and credit”. If you use more energy than you’re pulling in you will still owe, if you pull in more energy than you use than you will have a credit on your energy bill.

5. Solar Installation Approval:

The last thing that needs to be done in the whole process of having Solar Panels installed on your home is to have the local government representative approve that the solar installation was done correctly. They will need to approve the wiring, railing installation, panel installation and securing and that the whole solar installation meets the local requirements and codes.

Once your solar representative approves the solar installation, a representative from the local electric company will come and do a second inspection to make sure the wiring is done correctly to their codes and requirements. When given the okay from both representatives you will be all set and ready to start generating energy for your home. The whole inspection and approval process will take about two weeks to complete.

The time frame can be extensive depending on how much research you do before making your decision and signing your contract. Once all is said and done it will be well worth the wait.

Top Tier Home Energy is committed in providing the best quality solar panels with the most efficient solar installation time. Our team provides the highest quality customer service and will be with you every step of the way.

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

.

Visit Us On FacebookVisit Us On Instagram