Preparedness and self sufficient home systems are hot topics, as we deal with the coronavirus pandemic. Just as aficionados of cooking, sewing, or gardening have skills that are handy in uncertain times, the solar energy community offers technology to supply sustainable energy and tools to integrate it seamlessly into existing home stock. In the current context, it’s more worthwhile than ever to learn the benefits of solar for building resilience for whatever comes our way.
Solving the conundrum: DIY versus hiring out your solar job
There are some home improvements to do yourself, and there are some to get help with. These differ for folks with different budgets and skills. We find that homeowners typically end up weighing how important it is to get good results and how soon the work needs to get done. For most homeowners, solar energy is a case where getting a high performing, good looking system is worth taking the time to have professionals devise, permit, and schedule installation of a legit, custom-engineered, premier-quality solar energy solution.
Here’s how to improve your home with solar and end up with the stellar results you’re looking for, to derive value every day and stay ahead of the next disaster.
The proposition: Storing up energy and replenishing your supply for free
Never running out something: It feels more important than ever. But which home improvements can contribute to this goal, creating systems that can perpetually resupply some of the vital things we rely on at home? New flooring or carpeting is a nice upgrade and boosts resale value, and your family will love it, but it doesn’t earn its keep in a crisis like a shock to the grid, food supply, or water system.
Solar, on the other hand, does. PV panels mounted on the roof or the ground are the type of home improvement that goes beyond comfort or enjoyment, and can actually support a lifestyle that prioritizes preparedness for crisis. Just like capturing rainwater, or building raised vegetable garden beds or incorporating edible landscaping, using solar harnesses the sun that reaches your home every day. Saving solar while using it daily is like serving garden tomatoes while whipping up and canning spaghetti sauce too.
By embracing solar technology, we can think about energy a little more like a garden. The energy is available as it is generated, and with a battery it can be stored just like canned food. One big difference is that once the solar and storage system is set up, there’s no work required on your part to “process” the energy to save it - it happens automatically. You can even keep an eye on the battery’s level of charge through a smartphone app, available with Tesla Powerwall, helping you to estimate how long your essentials can stay powered overnight, and allowing you to selectively depower circuits to conserve energy until the sun comes out again.
In a normal situation, when the grid is up, your solar offsets your utility bill costs and over time you earn your investment back and more, just as the proceeds from your garden would supplement and offset the groceries you’d need to buy. These days, we’re all experiencing the strange and unfamiliar phenomenon of a grocery shelf being empty - no bananas, no rice, no canned soup, no toilet paper, mirroring the disconcerting feeling you get when the grid is down. But with solar and home battery, the energy resource is virtually perpetual available to you even during an outage.
With that understanding of the benefits of adding a solar energy project to improve your home, let’s address the reasons to trust a contractor rather than attempt it yourself.
The professionals: Who can realize your energy resiliency goals
This kind of comprehensive solar and storage solution requires the work of trained professionals. There’s just no two ways about it. Certifications like NABCEP and Tesla Powerwall Certified Installer are crucial so that your project exceeds your expectations.
It should go without saying, but let’s especially note that your best solar potential is on your rooftop, and we don’t want you going up there untrained and without special equipment during a crisis that’s straining our healthcare. Plus, we can produce a solar installation that’s better looking, from top and bottom skirting on the arrays to concealed conduit for the wiring, and we have experience working with voltage - and yes, your power interruptions during the installation will be minimal, and nearly all of our projects have rooftop work completed in a single day.
At the end of the day, your system absolutely, positively has to work, as the slogan goes. With help from Ipsun, your solar installation will have the experienced workmanship that’s needed to make sure that the entire installation:
- Functions as proposed, with a 25 year warranty protecting your solar modules, aka panels.
- Is safe for line workers, your family and friends, first responders and contractors performing other work.
- Gets you utility credit for your solar energy, known as net metering interconnection, whereby if during the day you have more solar power than you are using, the grid receives it and delivers it to your neighbors and you get bill reductions in return.
- Increases your home value, as studies show professionally executed solar systems do.
- Uses panel by panel data reporting, so you have visibility on exact production information and can spot trouble in the unlikely event of a breakdown in a solar panel - and so you have a support team ready to answer your call and quote you on service.
- Serves as an example of a well-designed solar system, or solar+storage system, to inspire others to be confident choosing solar and selecting the same installer.
Let’s go a little more into this last point, which matters more than ever amid the economic shakeup that this virus pandemic has triggered.
The movement: Propelling the spread of distributed solar technology
The revolution in distributed energy, which means electricity produced at the same location where it’s used, has been growing and spreading for many decades. Proven, high-performance solar installations are more affordable than ever, but unfortunately this virus outbreak strikes at the solar installation industry by keeping us out of homes and communities for weeks all over the country.
If this crisis has made you think of renewable energy at the household level differently than before, we challenge you to channel that into a commitment to work with a local solar contractor to plan your solar project starting now. Just as people are waiting a little longer to receive online shopping orders, visit loved ones, and even sell a home and move, using a little patience now is a super smart move in the long run.
As all small businesses that were interrupted by virus safety concerns and lockdowns spring back into action, solar energy installers will be jumping right back to work too. That is, as soon we feel good about protecting our field crew and clients from any harm, and that’s when you want to make sure your solar project is in the works. Federal incentives that were created to reduce air pollution and dependence on dirty fossil fuels are still in effect, like a tax credit for 26% of your solar project along with necessary roof work, electrical upgrades and home battery systems built to store solar energy, which are also subject to this program.
All that adds up to the single most worthwhile home improvement for resilience in the face of the unexpected. Talk to us today about kicking off a custom solar and storage proposal for your home - call or click now.