Author - Katharine

Solar Makeover – Gus the Bus!

Sunsense Solar has joined the Preschool on Wheels initiative! Gus the Bus, of the Aspen Community Foundation, provided the foundation for Sunsense to give a solar makeover. Gus the Bus uses a diesel generator to provide power. Sunsense is installing solar panels on the roof, plus providing battery storage. The aim is to reduce the diesel generator use by 50%. This is a perfect opportunity for Sunsense and solar to grow in our local community. To highlight what this project stands for, “The Preschool on Wheels program is an essential extension of our district schools. It helps ensure every child is ready for kindergarten. Without this program, a significant number of students would be at a disadvantage.” – Julie Knowles, [...]

Solar Variety

Some of our clients plug into solar in multiple facets. If you're considering solar for your home, there's a benefit to learning a little more from this example. Here in this photo you can see solar energy being used in three different ways: 1. Solar PV We learned about solar PV in our Solar 101 series for July, but for those whom didn’t tune in on that blog... Photovoltaic, or PV energy conversion, directly converts the sun's light into electricity. Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems can generate clean, cost-effective power anywhere the sun shines. You’ve probably seen PV panels around for years, but recent advancements have greatly improved their efficiency and electrical output.  Enough energy from the sun hits the earth every hour to [...]

Solar Energy 101 – Choosing a Solar Contractor

Now that you have learned about the multiple benefits of going solar and looked at the array of solar options the final step is choosing a solar company to complete your installation. What to look for Pre-screening for technical expertise, licenses and insurance, industry experience, market reputation and longevity in the solar industry. These pre-screening traits should be met and explained by your solar contractor, and here is some basic knowledge of each. Experience and Expertise When looking for your solar installer, they should have a well-trained and highly experienced staff. The gold standard is the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners’ (NABCEP’s) Solar PV Installation Professional Certification. Solar companies should have NABCEP-certified professionals on staff in order to provide quality assurance for [...]

Solar Energy 101 – Purchase, Lease or Loan – Finding the Right Solar Option for You!

Solar panel systems bring many advantages including reducing your electric bill and protecting you against rising utility costs. Solar on your home can increase your property value and produces clean energy which also helps to protect the environment. Most importantly, with the falling costs of equipment and accessible financing solutions, solar is affordable! Purchase, Lease or Loan? Your financial goals will help you decide whether you should own your solar panel system or lease it. Here are some differences between owning and leasing: Ownership: If you buy a solar panel system, either outright (if purchasing with cash) or repaying within a solar loan, benefits include being eligible to reduce your federal tax liability through the federal investment tax credit and increasing the [...]

Solar Energy 101 – Top 3 Benefits of Going Solar!

Going solar has a wide variety of benefits. From improving the environment to cutting energy costs, many people install solar to reduce their carbon footprint while also improving their property value. No matter your motivation, here are some top reasons for consideration: #1 – Reduce or even eliminate your electric bills. If you are a home or business owner, then you know that electricity costs can be a large portion of your monthly expenses and electricity prices can be unpredictable, making management of your budget difficult. When you install a solar panel system, you fix your electricity costs and make them more predictable. This is especially beneficial for anyone with a fixed income, as well as for businesses that could gain [...]

Solar Energy101 – What is it and how does it work?

What is solar energy? Solar energy is radiant light and heat from the sun that is harnessed using an array of various technologies, including photovoltaic (PV) cells aka solar panels. The photovoltaic process is the direct conversion of sunlight into electricity using semiconducting materials. A solar cell is a type of semiconductor. The most common type of silicon solar cells are comprised of 2 types of silicon wafers overlaying each other. When the solar cell is exposed to light, positively and negatively charged particles (positive holes and electrons) are generated. The negatively charged particles are attracted to n-type silicon and the positively charged particles are attracted to p-type silicon. As a result, when a light bulb or other electrically powered [...]

Solar Storage and the 30% Federal Tax Credit (ITC)

The 30% federal tax credit, also known as the Investment Tax Credit (ITC)  is perhaps the best-known incentive for making the decision to invest in a solar photovoltaic system for your home or business. Since its introduction in 2005, the ITC has been an important driver in helping solar energy grow and evolve into the thriving industry we see in the US today. The solar storage market continues to grow The latest trend in the industry is towards the addition of batteries to store solar energy. Of course, for the off-grid customer solar storage has always been an essential component of the solar photovoltaic system design. Now we are also seeing a growing number of residential gird tied customers adding batteries [...]

Sunsense Solar Recognized as a Top Solar Contractor in Colorado and Nationwide

Coming off the biggest year ever for U.S. solar installations, local installer Sunsense Solar is proud to be named one of the top solar contractors in the United States by Solar Power World magazine. Sunsense Solar achieved a rank of 259 out of the top 500 solar companies nationally and 10th of a total 219 [1] solar contractors located in Colorado. The Top Solar Contractors list is developed by Solar Power World to recognize the work completed by solar contractors across the United States. Produced annually, the Top Solar Contractors list celebrates the achievements of U.S. solar developers, subcontractors and installers within the utility, commercial and residential markets. “The 2017 Top Solar Contractors list features 500 of the best solar contractors in [...]

Taking Action on Climate in the Era of Trump

The impact of Climate Change on our environment is ever present. Recently, a trillion-ton piece of ice roughly the size of Delaware broke off of Antarctica. This event, along with many other scientifically researched metrics, demonstrate that our world has reached a tipping point and we must make fundamental policy changes or our planet may not be able to recover. It is apparent that the current  administration does not support policy aimed at mitigating Climate Change, including the Obama era Clean Power Plan (CPP). Instead of supporting innovation and renewable energy which would benefit America’s environment, public health, and economy, the current administration is focused on trying to revive the coal industry. This is unfortunate because not only would the CPP be beneficial to the [...]

Solar Financing for Homeowners

Going solar seems like a no-brainer when you think of the incredible benefits: lower electric bills, smaller carbon footprint, and increased home value. Over the past couple years, equipment prices have decreased dramatically, so solar is more affordable than ever! However, solar is still a financial investment and not everyone may have the upfront capital necessary to purchase a system outright. Fortunately, there are lots of great financing options currently available for solar customers! New Home & Mortgage If you are thinking of building or purchasing a new home, you should also be thinking about going solar! For a little extra cash a month, you can easily roll your solar cost into your new mortgage. Also, if you have decided to [...]