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October 4, 2016 RBI Solar Inc

Solar FAQ: Can I put solar on my home if my roof doesn’t face south?

  • September 7th, 2016
  • Alicia Auhagen

solar on non-south facing rooftop solar

Here in the northern hemisphere, it is commonly advised that the best direction for solar modules to face is south. This is because your modules would, in theory, receive the most direct sunlight. But of course, not all rooftops are oriented this way. So what are your solar PV options for a non south-facing roof? Read the rest of this entry »

December 22, 2016 RBI Solar Inc

Solar Top 500: State of the Industry

  • August 11th, 2016
  • Alicia Auhagen

the state of the solar industry report from RBI Solar

It’s been a good year for solar. Jobs are on the rise. Over one million solar systems have been installed across the country. Innovations continue to wow the world (floatovoltaics, solar flowers, and a solar plane to name a few).

As we push forward toward a clean energy future, we must constantly assess and improve upon our processes, our technology, and our methods of communicating the value of solar and sustainability to the public. While not all-inclusive, the recent publication of Solar Power World’s Top 500 Solar Contractors report offers a glimpse into the current state of the industry and the direction we are heading. There’s much to be gained from assessing the key players and sectors of the industry that have pulled ahead—and those that are falling behind. Read the rest of this entry »

December 22, 2016 RBI Solar Inc

Solar FAQ: Going Solar for Homeowners

  • August 1st, 2016
  • Alicia Auhagen

getting rooftop solar for homeowners

Question: How much can I really expect to save with solar?

There are many different factors that go into estimating your solar savings. A few important ones include the following:

  • Your state’s policies: Some states offer significant tax credits, incentives, and rebates to homeowners who install solar. These offerings change frequently, so make sure you check the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) for your state.
  • Federal Investment Tax Credit (FITC): This tax credit applies to all 50 states and affects each equally. With this credit, you can use 30% of the cost of your solar PV system to reduce your federal income tax.
  • Your energy usage: Before installing a solar system, you’ll need to assess your energy usage. Getting a PV system that meets all of your energy needs can bring you significant savings over time. But even if your system does not meet 100% of your energy needs, you can still utilize electricity from the grid in many states. Check your state’s utility rates first—some utilities charge homeowners who use less energy a higher rate. Other states offer a lower rate to those who use less energy.
  • How you pay for your PV system: Buying your solar system outright typically offers the best long-term savings, but for many homeowners, this is not an option. Purchasing a solar system does require a decent amount of capital, but you are not paying any interest through a loan or lease and you have access to nearly all available tax incentives.

Read the rest of this entry »

December 22, 2016 RBI Solar Inc

Solar FAQ: Debunking Solar Energy Myths

  • July 25th, 2016
  • Alicia Auhagen

Frequently asked questions about rooftop solar energy 

Question: If the sun is not out, will I have no power?

The primary requirement for a solar PV system to work is UV light. Direct light works best, but solar modules can still operate with indirect light. Clouds and rain are not opaque barriers through which light cannot get through, meaning sunlight can reflect or partially break through the clouds and reach the rooftop solar energy system. Solar systems are able to operate at night and at other times when the sun is not directly shining on the solar modules because the system harvests and stores unused energy for future use. Read the rest of this entry »

December 22, 2016 RBI Solar Inc

Solar FAQ: What You Need to Know About Solar Energy

  • July 18th, 2016
  • Alicia Auhagen

Frequently asked questions about residential solar

Question: Is solar energy even relevant?

Absolutely! And now more than ever. With the signing of the Paris Climate Agreement, hundreds of countries around the world have committed to reducing their carbon emission output. Solar plays a big role in these reduction goals by swapping sources of carbon-emitting energy like coal and other fossil fuels, which contribute to the warming of the planet, with sources of non-carbon emitting energy. Because solar photovoltaic (PV) systems do not emit carbon pollution, they are a great option for meeting our world’s renewable energy goals. Read the rest of this entry »