Solar University

Solar Electricity Is Revolutionizing Our World

The world’s growing fleet of solar panels generated a third more electricity in 2015 than a year earlier, making power captured from the sun the world’s fastest growing source of energy, according to BP Plc.  

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The solar industry was responsible for creating one out of every 50 new jobs in the U.S. last year and jobs in the solar industry are some of the country’s fastest-growing occupations. 


The Cost of Solar is Dropping Dramatically

Adjusting for inflation, it cost $96 per watt for a solar module in the mid-1970s. Process improvements and a very large boost in production have brought that figure down to 68 cents per watt in February 2016, according to data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Solar photovoltaics have been around for over 50 years and some of the initial solar cells are still operating today. Solar panels are designed to produce at least 80% of their initial power capacity even after 25 years. 

You can finance a system you own that has the benefits of leasing

There has never been a better time to go solar. And now, with the EmpowerLoan, there has never been a better way.

What is Dividend Finance?  Formerly known as Dividend Solar, Dividend Finance is a finance and technology platform for solar ownership.

How is Dividend Finance different?  Dividend Finance offers solar financing that combines the best parts of the lease and PPA finance models, with the upside of solar ownership.  Dividend enables customers to go solar with the peace of mind of a 20-year full service warranty, along with a performance guarantee, while owning their system.


Solar Panels Are Efficient

The size of your photovoltaic system is based on how much energy you use and what percentage of your bill you would like offset with solar. Tell us how much electricity you use, and how much you pay on an average monthly bill and we can determine roughly how large your solar energy system will be. A typical 2500 sf home uses 5000 kwh of energy per year, and will require a system that takes up about 300 sf of roof space.

Your home or business is the best place for a solar system

The ideal photovoltaic (PV) system needs unobstructed access to the sun with minimal or no shading issues. Typically the best orientation for solar panels is a southern facing slope, however west or east facing may also be acceptable depending on pitch.  Even when solar panels aren’t facing directly south, they can still produce large amounts of electricity, even if you live somewhere that doesn’t receive much sun. In general, regardless of where you live, if your solar roof is oriented directly east or directly west instead of the optimal south-facing, you will only see a 20% decrease in the amount of electricity you produce. Even with this decrease in performance, your solar panels would still produce enough electricity to save you hundreds of dollars a year.

Another important factor is the age and condition of your existing roof. If your roof needs to be replaced, you want to take care of that before installing solar. Your solar energy will last for at least 25 years, and you don't wan’t to have to reinstall your system because of an old roof.

Solar has the cheapest cost per unit of electricity due to net metering and Solar ITC

Net metering means that excess power generated from your solar system feeds into the grid, giving you a credit from the utility company.  For more information check out our post here.

When power production is lower, these credits are used when you draw power from the grid. This explains why a solar energy can offset the entire energy bill for a house in Michigan, even when solar production is lower in the winter time. 

Solar systems can work when the grid goes down if you add a battery pack

When the power goes down, your solar system will also turn off so that it does not back-feed the grid during an outage. This is a safety feature designed to prevent your system from electrocuting utility workers trying repair power lines in an outage.

However, similar to a generator, you can add a battery pack to your solar array and place a transfer switch in your panel that can disconnect your solar array from the grid and power a back-up load center when the grid goes down.  Strawberry Solar is the leading company in the Midwest in battery back up systems for solar arrays.  


You Can Insure Your Solar Array

Damage or theft is covered regular home insurance policies, especially if mounted on roof. It’s best to check with your individual insurance provider.

Read more about it here.

Solar Array's Can Last Longer Than Your Roof

The life of the roof should match the life of the solar power system which is about 25 years. If there are any leaks due to installation, this is covered in the Workmanship Warranty, which means it will be fixed for free immediately.

Solar panels typically help to protect the life of the roof underneath it.

Read more about it here, and here.

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Have more questions? Please don’t hesitate to contact us – we’d love to help.