Going Green To Save Green: Five States Where Solar Power Pays Off

In some states it really pays to go green
In some states it really pays to go green

The United States has been experiencing a green energy renaissance.  It’s now more affordable and easier than ever to stop using traditional power sources like coal and oil and start using wind, solar, and other renewable clean resources to power your home.  Some states and cities have taken more to alternative green energy sources than others.  Solar energy in San Francisco is booming, and states like Tennessee and North Carolina have been  making it easier for their citizens to use wind and solar.

There are many reasons why people choose to use green energy sources to power their home.  Some do it because they care about the environment, and others do it because they want to save money on their energy bills.  Now some people may be switching to green energy because they think it’ll help them earn more green for their wallet.

It isn’t a secret that many states offer their residents tax incentives, subsidies, and even grants for homeowners that choose to install solar panels so that they can cut back on their reliance for traditional energy sources.  The personal finance website NerdWallet did a report on which states give their residents the most money back for installing solar panels on their homes.  In order to rank the states, they focused on four main factors: The expensiveness of energy bills, the amount of economic incentives states offer, the sunniness of states, and the state’s existing solar capacity.  When you read their list, you may be surprised to learn which states are doing the most to promote solar power.

1). California

You shouldn’t be surprised to see California at the top of the list.  California has some of the most expensive electricity costs in the country, but it’s also one of the few states that has made a commitment to transitioning the population to renewable energy forms.  The state has the goal of deriving 1/3rd of the state’s electricity from renewable resources by 2020, and the state is hoping to convince their residents to make the switch by offering them a lot of incentives.  San Francisco alone has cash back incentives that range from $2,000 to $10,000 depending on household income.

2.) Hawaii

Hawaii is the perfect place to switch the solar.  The state has very high electricity costs, nearly $0.36 per kilowatt hour.  Its close proximity to the equator guarantees that this state has plenty of sunlight, and the government has done a lot to ensure that switching to solar is beneficial for its residents.  The state’s residents have the option of receiving a 35% state tax credit, along with the national 30% personal tax credit.

3.) Arizona

Arizona has very high electric costs and an abundance of desert sunshine, in other words they’re the perfect state for switching to solar.  Arizonians have the option to participate in solar leasing, or they could get panels installed on their home.  The government has made switching to solar extremely affordable for their residents.  Homeowners can have the state cover up to 50% of installation costs, and receive a 25% tax credit that is applied to the residents’ income taxes.

4.) Maryland

Maryland hopes to have 20% of their state’s energy come from renewable resources by 2022, and they’re offering their residents incentives to make it happen.  Almost all homeowners in the state qualify for $1,000 to go towards installation costs, and they receive cash back from their local utility company for every kilowatt they produce.  On top of state property and sales tax exemptions, Maryland residents that make the switch to solar stand to save a lot of money.

5.) Delaware

Delaware is famous for its lack of sales tax, but soon it could be known for its high number of residents with solar power.  The state wants to generate 25% of its energy from renewable resources by 2025 or 2026.  The state offers its residents installation rebates that are based on the size of their home’s solar system.  The first 5 kilowatts can get home owners $1,250 per kilowatt, and $750 on the next.  With their rebate system, their solar panels should be able to pay for itself in 5 years.


Solar Power: The Next Big Thing

SolarpowerCalifornia is well known throughout the country as being a state where great things are discovered. In the mid-1800’s, the gold rush brought over three hundred thousand settlers to the state, making it one of the largest findings of the century. While “gold fever” may have come and gone over a hundred years ago, a new technology is creating an even greater stir amongst west coast residents. The common family might not keep a close eye on their claims any longer, but the energy bill is a totally different story. That’s why many engineers and other scientists are deeming this century the era of “solar fever”.

Solar energy has been climbing the ranks of popular energy supply in every nation, but the results are most obvious in California. San Francisco solar power is plentiful, and you can find solar panels on the roofs a thousands of residents in the state.  In the short amount of time since the beginning of the millennium, the number of rooftop solar panel systems increased from five hundred to over fifty thousand. In fact, more than a quarter of all of the United States’ solar jobs occur in the Golden State. The solar capacity of the state alone has breached an impressive 2 gigawatts – nearly the same amount that could be produced by a pair of large coal-burning power plants.

What is the next step in advancing solar energy? A good first step for anyone is to follow and support legislature regarding solar energy. One of the most recent bills seeking to increase the likelihood of improved solar energy in California is SB43. If SB43 is passed, customers will be allowed to purchase energy that is collected from solar harvesting farms without needing to purchase their own equipment. This would reduce the cost of power greatly, and also be a completely environmentally friendly resolution to problems such as strip mining. With enough support SB43 could revolutionize the way we perceive energy costs.

If you have the time and money, investing in a “Solar Friendly” company is another great choice. Many industries will take upfront donations to help drive research and development for solar energy. These donations are treated like investments, and returns are paid out depending on how much revenue the project manages to make. Not only is this procedure helpful to the overall study of solar power, but it may even become profitable to those who are willing to help. Why not do your share and become part of the biggest shift in energy reliance since the discovery of electricity?

Solar Power Around The World: Four Impressive Solar Power Projects

solarpowerWhen it comes to utilizing solar power, none of the other 49 states has anything on California.  San Francisco solar power usage recently made the news when it was announced that the 49ers new stadium would be equipped with high efficiency solar panels to help generate power for the stadium.  There are countless towns and counties in the state that have fully embraced solar power, and in other parts of America as well as all around the world solar power is quickly becoming one of the most popular renewable and clean energy sources.

Perovo Solar Park

The Perovo Solar Park is one of the largest solar farms in the world.  Perovo is located in the Crimea peninsula of the Ukraine, and it is well known in Europe as one of their largest solar parks.  The company behind the project Activ Solar GmbH also developed the Ukraine’s first utility scale solar facility in 2011, and they also completed Eastern Europe’s largest solar plant in November 2011.  The plant consists of 440,000 crystalline solar panels and spans over 200 hectares of land.  The plant is able to cover the electrical needs for the entire city of Simferopol, Crimea’s capital.

Sarnia Photovoltaic Power Plant

When the Sarnia Photovoltaic Power Plant was completed in September 2010 it was the world’s largest photovoltaic plant with an installed capacity of 97MWp.  The plant covers 1,100 acres of land and the sprawling facility contains about 1.3 million thin-filmed panels.  The financing of the huge solar project is an excellent example of how feed-in tariff programs can help make large solar energy projects work.  In 2009 Ontario introduced a feed-in tariff payment program that paid up to CDN 44.3 cents per kW-h, and their program is now one of the top feed-in tariff programs in the world.  As of April of 2012 Ontario’s unique program has allowed for 12,000 solar power systems to be installed.

Copper Mountain Solar Facility

The Copper Mountain Solar Facility was the largest photovoltaic plant in the United States when the facility was completed and ready for service.  The Sempra Generation spearheaded construction for the project, and they managed to complete the large facility in a little under a year’s time.  The Copper Mountain Solar Facility sprawls over 450 acres in Boulder City, Nevada and the facility is expected to generate around 100 GW-h each year.  Despite the facility’s massive size, Sempra Generation is already planning on expanding it.  The company hopes to add another 58MW by 2015.

The Jasper Power Project

To be fair this South African solar power project is still in its planning stages, but once the project is completed there will be over 30,000 homes running on solar power.  The project recently made headlines because Google announced that they will invest $12 million in the project.  The Jasper Power Plant project is expected to do a lot of good for South African residents.  The project is estimated to provide 300 construction and 50 permanent jobs in the region, and the project will also vastly improve education standards and rural development

Four Fortune 500 Companies That Use Solar Power

shutterstock_57434485The business consulting firm Frost & Sullivan recently released its “Analysis of the U.S. Utility Scale Solar Power Market“, and their report found that the United States will attract a whopping $20.44 billion in solar power investments by 2016.  There is no shortage of solar companies in the Bay Area and across the state, and now more states are starting to invest more time and money into solar energy projects.

American states aren’t the only American institutions that are utilizing solar power; there are quite a few American companies that are starting to rely more on solar power for their energy needs.  These aren’t small mom and pop operations; there are big corporations that are reaping the benefits of clean solar energy.  You may find yourself a little shocked when you learn which successful Fortune 500 corporations and companies have been harnessing the power of the sun.


Wal-Mart has been condemned in the past for their questionable environmental practices, but the multinational retailer has been slowly reforming their business to become more ecofriendly.  People were shocked last year when the Solar Energy Industries Association announced that Wal-Mart was number one on their list of top commercial solar customers in the United States.  According to their report Wal-Mart has 144 solar energy systems installed in seven states that have a total installed capacity of 65,000 kW.


Intel may be one of the greenest companies in Silicon Valley.  People were amazed when they unveiled their designs for a solar powered computer processor a few years ago, but that’s only one of the many ways Intel uses solar power.  Intel purchases more than 1.4 billion kilowatt hours of solar energy per year, and the company uses solar power for more than 50% of their energy needs.  Their use of billions of kilowatt is the equivalent to taking over 180,000 gas powered passenger cars off the road, or providing green energy to over 140,000 homes every year.

Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson has been around for over a century, so it’s no surprise that this company was one of the first to really get involved in the solar energy movement.  Johnson & Johnson campuses have been generating more than 8 megawatts of solar energy since 2002.  In 2010 the company built the largest solar panel array in New Jersey to power one of their sites, and they’re currently trying to add more panels to their store locations.

Toys R’ Us

Toys R’ Us has been making steady strides in becoming a more environmentally friendly company.  They’ve installed four different solar energy systems in their New Jersey locations, and their largest distribution center in the country runs on solar power.  Their solar panels generate around 5.7 megawatts of energy every year.  All of the energy they save could provide clean energy to power 315,000 Wii consoles a year.


Three Reasons Why Now is The Right Time to Convert Your Home to Solar Power

There are plenty of states where solar power usage is growing, but when it comes to loving solar power California is its biggest fan.  California is home to the world’s largest solar power installation, and there are countless bay area solar companies that have popped up over the past few decades.  It looks like The Golden State managed to discover an energy trend a little earlier than other states.  The solar power industry in the United States reached a historic milestone this past March.  According to a report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, solar energy accounted for 100% of new utility electricity generation added to the country’s power grid in March.

This is the first time that solar power, or any renewable energy source, has accounted for the entirety of energy growth in a month.  If these trends continue, homes that utilize alternative energy will be the norm.  There are a variety of reasons why a home owner would want their homes to harness the power of the sun, but these next few reasons may be enough to convince you that it’s time to install some solar panels on your roof.solarpower (3)

There’s More Affordable Solar Energy Options Available

One of the main arguments against solar power used to be its high cost.  When solar power first became popular in the 1960s and 1970s solar power technology wasn’t nearly as advanced as it was today, so panel manufacturing and installation was extremely expensive.  Budget conscious and environmentally friendly home owners will be excited to hear that the average cost of a solar power photovoltaic system dropped by 27% over the past year, and the average price of a photovoltaic solar panel has decreased by 60% since 2011.

You Can Help the Job Market and Economy

Purchasing a solar power system for your home could do a lot to help the economy and job growth.  The demand for solar power has created a need for electrical engineers, construction workers, and other skilled workers.  According to the Solar Job Census conducted by The Solar Foundation, there were more than 119,000 solar workers in the United States in 2012.  The field of solar energy saw a 13.2% increase in employment totals in 2011, and those numbers show that the industry is growing at a rapid pace.  The value of solar panel systems has also increased over the past few years.  In 2010 solar installations made $6 billion, and in 2012 the amount nearly doubled to $11.5 billion.

You Could Be Preparing for the Energy Efficient Future

The city of Lancaster, CA has been in the news lately because of the solar ambitions of their mayor R. Rex Parris.  Parris made history with his decree that all newly built buildings in the city must have solar panels to generate electricity, and so far Lancaster is the only city in the US with this energy mandate.  His new law won’t go into effect until January 1st 2014, but it could provide a glimpse into the country’s energy future.  States around the country are making major leaps and bounds in the field of solar energy.  New Jersey recently became the third state in the United States to pass the 1 gigawatt mark in total installed solar capacity, and solar energy consumption in both North and South Carolina has been growing rapidly.  There are solar energy farms popping up in Indianapolis and Pittsburgh, it’s clear that solar power usage is on the immediate rise.  If you install solar panels on your roof you won’t just be saving money on energy bills and consuming environmentally friendly energy, you could also be ahead of a popular trend.

Lower Bills and Green Power: a Winning Combination

Many people are under the mistaken impression that there will never be any relief for high utility bills; however, more and more area property owners are discovering the value of becoming their own utility providers, which can reduce their carbon footprint and their bills almost overnight. These intelligent, well-informed homeowners and business managers have turned to Sun First Solar for the solution that leaves their money in the bank where it belongs, while still providing efficiency and green power.

Going solar makes economic sense for homeowners. A solar system is a remarkable investment that immediately pays dividends as it powers lights, kitchen appliances, electronics, heating, and air conditioning. If the customer generates more power than he or she uses, that person can sell the excess energy to the power company, usually for a credit that provides a hedge against future costs.


Energy independence has other benefits, as well. For instance, solar panels increase a home’s value to prospective buyers. In essence, the purchaser will be paying a bit extra so that he or she can have consistently low bills in the future. Considering the rising cost of utilities, a home that comes equipped with solar power is well worth the additional money. Also, since solar panels can retain their value for 25 years and are extremely weather resistant, having them ensures long-lasting efficiency.

For all of the same reasons that it is beneficial for homes, solar also makes sense for businesses. With expert installation by Sun First, solar energy can pay for itself by powering equipment, industrial machinery, and facilities, thus reducing overhead and helping the environment. Solar power also promotes good corporate citizenship in the form of green initiatives, and energy independence indicates sound financial management. In these significant ways, solar power creates a positive image that will attract potential partners, investors, and clients.

Sun First Solar can create a system that is tailored to each customer. We handle the permits, grid interconnection, rebate documentation and, of course, expert installation. Bay area solar power makes sense for the environment and for individual property owners who are seeking an economical way to face the future.

Bay Area Solar Companies are not Created Equal

If you live in the Bay area, installing solar energy in your home or business has become not only an environmentally responsible investment but — in these economically challenging times — a cost-effective decision as well. In recent years, many Bay Area companies have entered the solar power arena and choosing which one to design and install your energy system can be a daunting experience. We, at Sun First Solar, understand that you want the best. That is why we are committed to offering our clients the most innovative green energy solutions available, custom designed to suit your lifestyle and budget, and backed by our solid reputation built from 30 years of experience in the field.

As one of the first solar energy businesses to open in Northern California, Sun First Solar consistently strives to remain at the forefront of the industry by offering our clients only top-quality products, expert installation, and exceptional customer service.

Sun First partners with leading manufacturers in order to offer many innovative products not available to most solar energy businesses. This exclusive access affords every customer a broader range of options to suit their unique situation and optimize system performance. From conception and setup to interconnection with PG&E and filing for your California Solar Rebate, Sun First is with you throughout the entire process.

We are a family owned and operated business dedicated to building strong ties with our community and lasting relationships with our clients, as well as promoting environmental responsibility through education and the use of clean, renewable solar energy. We offer a wide range of financing choices in an effort to make protecting the environment with green energy a viable alternative for all. Sun First is particularly proud to be one of the only solar energy companies to offer clients both flexible loan and no-money down lease alternatives.

Although there are many Bay Area solar companies to select from, it’s always smart to choose an established company from the community that will be here to stand behind its product for the long term. Together we can help to reduce your carbon footprint with clean, sustainable solar energy solutions. We guarantee our work so choose the best, Sun First Solar!

Marin Solar Power is Local, Frugal, and Environmentally-Conscious

Every day, the environment is further degraded by pollution, some of which is caused by energy generation. Sometimes, it seems like there is very little that you can do to help, but there are actually many ways for you to make a difference in the environment. From buying local to investing in Marin solar power, each individual effort can make a significant impact.

Helping the Environment

You can help the environment in a big way by investing in Marin solar power for your home, rental property or commercial development. Personal power generation means some independence from the dominant utility systems that use coal, nuclear energy, and other polluting forms of production. When you rely less on these companies, you are also helping to move the world toward solar power. The sun is free and its power supply is virtually endless, so we should be using it to our advantage (especially in California, where we have plenty of sunshine).

Making a Budget-Friendly Decision

When you invest in solar power, your environmental effort will pay off in dividends for your personal budget, as well. Solar power produces energy that is used in the building and any excess is fed back into the grid. The power companies are required to pay you for the production of energy that you put into the general system, which means credits on your account that can be used if you are ever over on your power usage. In essence, you may never have to pay a power bill again.

Supporting Local Business

You could also categorize solar power as buying local. Think about it: when you have solar panels installed, chances are you will be hiring a local company to do the work, thereby supporting businesses in the area rather than in a coal mine far away. As coal mines are both incredibly dangerous to workers and also a source of one of the worst pollutants on the planet, investing in Marin solar power is a great way to be environmentally-friendly on several fronts at once.

With local solar power, you can help the environment, decrease your bills, and support local businesses and initiatives all at the same time. Considering the environmental and financial advantages of getting solar energy, why wouldn’t you?



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