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December 22, 2016 RBI Solar Inc

What America’s Top Corporate Solar Adopters Tell Us About the State of Solar

  • October 21st, 2016
  • Alicia Auhagen

Top corporate solar adopters

SEIA recently released its fifth annual Solar Means Business report, which tracks solar adoptions by some of the largest corporations in the US. This year’s top 10 commercial solar-goers list saw Target nab the top spot from long-standing leader Walmart.

Competition aside, the Solar Means Business report 2016 offered a lot of insight into the state of commercial solar, how we interact with corporate solar in our daily lives, and where the industry can improve. Read the rest of this entry »

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

These Cities are #Readyfor100–How’d They Do It?

  • August 22nd, 2016
  • Alicia Auhagen

These cities are ready for 100% renewable energy--how'd they do it?

In a recently released report, the Sierra Club highlights 10 cities across the US that have made commitments to be fully powered by clean energy sources. (Note: their definition of clean energy does not include carbon-based energy or nuclear energy.) Out of the 10 cities described, 4 have already met their 100% clean energy goal.

So how’d they do it?

No two paths to 100% renewable energy are the same, but there are some common factors that have helped these cities make and meet their goals. Here’s our take on the Sierra Club’s 10 case studies. 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 »