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Why Solar?


Lock in Your Own Electricity Rates for the Future. Solar panels are one of the few home improvements guaranteed to increase the value of your home. Most home renovation choices are subjective — you may love upgrading to granite countertops this year, but when you try to sell your home, you find that solar energy is easy to make and clean to use, and cheaper than the electricity you buy from your utility company. When your home is solar powered, you can worry less about the small stuff, like recharging your family’s gadgets or turning up the thermostat a few degrees on a chilly night. And you can feel great about the big stuff, like your lighter carbon footprint and the example you’re setting for your friends and family.

Ultra Solar Systems makes sure you get the most out of your Indoor Solar Lighting: the most energy generated, the most return on your investment, the most beneficial environmental impact, and the most joy and pride each time you see a sunny day. Learn more about the Ultra Solar Systems difference here

Renewable Energy is Great for the Planet, Converting to solar energy is the biggest personal change you can make to fight global warming. Utility companies supply over 70% of electricity in the U.S. by burning fossil fuels—the leading cause of climate change. Generating electric power causes over a third of all green house gas emissions in the United States (source: Environmental Protection Agency).

Reducing the electricity we draw from the grid means reducing carbon emissions. That means cleaner air, water and soil for your family, community, and generations to come.

Lock in Your Own Electricity Rates for the Future, Solar Lighting is one of the few home improvements guaranteed to increase the value of your home. Most home renovation choices are subjective — you may love upgrading to granite countertops this year, but when you try to sell your home, you find the buyer wants stainless steel. In contrast, the value of solar lighting is objective: they decrease your electric bills, providing value to you and anyone else who owns your home.

See You Home Value Increase:

A Measurable Difference, Exactly how much impact can your solar lighting has on the environment?

Consider that solar lights have a life of at least 30 years (many from the 1950’s are still in operation, actually), so once you install your solar lights, the environmental benefits last for decades.

Here are some ways to think about the environmental impact that an average (5 kW system) solar home can have on the planet over the life of the panels:

According to a study published in The Appraisal Journal, a home’s value is increased by $20 for every $1 reduction in annual energy savings. So if you saved $1,000, you’d increase your home value by $20,000. And the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy says that a home with solar will sell twice as fast as a home without solar. A recent Business Week article reported that homes with solar panels sell faster than non-solar homes and at a higher price.

And unlike most home improvements, which depreciate in value with age, solar panels will increase in value over time as electricity prices rise. What will electricity prices be in the future when you sell your home? The higher they are, the more people are willing to pay for an efficient home, so solar panels are like a hedge against increasing electricity rates. So even if you don’t plan to stay in your home for a long period of time, your solar panels are still a good investment — better even than a kitchen or bath remodel.

Worry Free Service:

Once you install solar light panels to your home you can forget about them. For most customers, occasional rain showers provide all the maintenance necessary. The most you will ever need to do is rinse off especially dirty panels, or trim tree branches that throw shade on the panels during the day.

Once your installation is complete, you can experience the daily joys that come from making your own solar energy, whether you’re watching your meter run backward, confidently plugging in your appliances, or enjoying your lower electric bills.


Reasons for Solar?

1 Solar PV or solar hot water systems reduce, or can completely eliminate, the amount of electricity you have to purchase from your utility or electric service provider to power your home. Using solar power helps reduce our energy reliance on fossil fuels.

2The electricity generated by your solar power system is clean, renewable and reliable. It will help reduce the amount of greenhouse gases – a major contributor to global climate change.

3Solar PV or solar hot water systems save you money on your electricity or natural gas bill and act as a hedge against future price increases. Solar power systems can provide owners with fixed energy costs.

4A growing solar industry provides local jobs and economic development opportunities for states and regions.

5Using solar PV power helps your community by reducing electricity demand and providing additional electricity for the grid when you generate more than you use during the day, when the demand is highest.


Why Is Solar Energy Important?


Solar energy systems have very little impact on the environment, making them one of the cleanest power-generating technologies available today. While

they are converting the sun’s rays into electricity or hot fluids, they produce no air pollution, hazardous waste, or noise. The more electricity and heat

that we convert from the sun’s rays decreases our reliance and dependence on fossil fuels and on imported sources of energy. Finally, solar energy can

be an effective economic development driver. The U.S. PV market increased by 57 % in 2007, to 220 MW (Solarbuzz). In 2006, the cumulative installed

PV power in the U.S. was 624 MW (IEA Photovoltaic Power Systems Programme). The Energy Information Administration forecasts the long-term growth

of PV in the U.S. to reach nearly 3,000 MW by 2030, not including off-grid installations. The PV industry generated over $17 billion in global revenues in

2007 and worldwide PV installations increased to 2,826 MW in 2007, up from 1,744 MW installed during 2006 (Solarbuzz). Global cumulative PV capacity

in 2006 reached 6,634 MW (EPIA).

In 2006, President George W. Bush proposed the Solar America Initiative to accelerate widespread commercialization of solar energy technologies. It is estimated that by 2015 the Initiative will result in deploying 5-10 GW of PV (enough to power 1-2 million homes), avoiding 10 million metric tons of annual CO2 emissions, and employing 30,000 new workers in the PV industry.

Why are States Investing in Solar?

Many states have come to recognize that clean energy technologies can provide cleaner air, economic development and high tech jobs, fuel diversity, energy independence, improve power reliability, increase price stability, and reduce the need to build more expensive and more polluting electric power generation plants. Solar technologies are able to provide these benefits, but they currently cost more in terms of $ per kWh than conventional power from utilities. The biggest barrier to consumers interested in adopting PV or solar technologies is the initial cost of a PV or solar hot water system. As a way to help defray those upfront costs, states are providing incentives to residential, industrial and commercial customers of PV through tax credits, grants, loans, rebates, exemption from local property taxes, and other industry support mechanisms, such as installer training and certification programs.

Individual state programs are highlighted in the "State Solar Activities" section of this web site. For more information on incentives for solar technologies, please see the "Financial Incentives" page of this web site. Links to state solar programs can be found on this web site’s Links page.

What Can Solar Do for You?

Photovoltaic (PV) power systems convert sunlight directly into electricity. A residential PV power system enables a homeowner to generate some or all of their daily electrical energy demand on their own roof, exchanging daytime excess power for future energy needs (i.e. night time usage). The house remains connected to the electric utility at all times, so any power needed above what the solar system can produce is simply drawn from the electric utility. Solar energy technologies can plan an important role in providing an alternative source of electricity, energy, and back-up power for homes, offices, commercial and industrial buildings. It can relieve demand pressures for electricity off from the grid during peak usage, which usually correlates to peak daylight, especially in the warmer months when demand for air conditioning can sky rocket.

Solar energy can also play an important role in lowering greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by replacing coal-powered energy sources with clean, renewable solar PV technologies. These GHG emissions reductions will in turn improve air quality and lessen the harmful impacts that contribute to climate change.

Those who are putting solar on their homes, businesses or other buildings are making a difference. A study commissioned by the Energy Foundation and conducted by Navigant Consulting in 2004 concludes that with proper leadership, it is possible that PV could generate 75% of the country’s total residential electricity demand by 2010, and 80% by 2020. For every million dollars invested in solar electricity, between 5 and 15 jobs are created. For every million dollars invested in oil and gas exploration, only 1.5 jobs are created (VoteSolar).

NREL has produced an excellent consumer guide called Get Your Power from the Sun which addresses many of the basic questions about how to invest in and select a quality solar PV system. DOE EERE has published A Homebuilders Guide to Going Solar (December 2008) that offers information to help homeowners and home builders to assess the benefits of installing solar equipment or making houses solar-ready.

The Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy website has an excellent website on Why PV’s Important that further details the benefits of PV to the Economy, to Energy Assurance, to the Environment and to You!


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