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You may be under the impression that installing solar panels is an easy thing to do in a weekend. However, unless you’re an electrician that isn’t afraid of heights or of handling heavy loads on a steep roof, you may want to reconsider. Here are just a few good reasons the average homeowner should hire a professional solar installer rather than doing it themselves.

Electrical Safety

Professional electricians have a healthy respect for the power of electricity with good reason. Although harvesting solar energy with the aid of solar panels is pretty straight-forward, at some point you’re going to have to tap into your existing power supply. If you’re not an experienced, licensed electrician, you could make serious mistakes that are costly to both life and property.

General Safety

As attractive as it may sound, inviting your uncle, a few friends and a case of beer over to crawl around on a hot roof is an accident waiting to happen. Chances are, none of you are that experienced at working on the roof and with a ladder. It simply isn’t worth the risk. Hiring trained solar installers to do the job safely is a bargain at most any price.

Tools And Parts

You may well be the do-it-yourself kind of person, ready to tackle most any kind of project around the house. Kudos to you and your DIY ingenuity. However, you are also the type that knows when they are about to get in over their head. Although mounting a solar installation on your roof may seem on the surface like an easy task, make no mistake that it involves more than a sturdy ladder and a few screws. A professional installer has all the specialized tools and additional parts needed to get the job done right.

Experience and Training

Certified and Trained solar installers make the job look easy because they have undergone extensive training and all the passed certifications necessary in the state of California. Additionally, they have experience with many different types of roof and mounting situations. The reality is, you’re not going to be able to manage the job as easily or quickly as a pro can.

If you’re considering solar panels for your home or business, contact us. Our professional solar installers are trained and experienced in every aspect of the installation. You’ll get the peace-of-mind knowing that when the job is done, you’ll be able to show off your brand new working solar installation and everybody will still be safe.



If you have been considering using solar energy at home, there is no reason to put it off. Take a little time to research how much money you can save by using renewable solar energy at your home or office.

Solar electricity can save you money, because any extra solar power that the panels on the top of your house generate will be sold to the local utility company, saving you money on your overall bills. You can feel great about reducing your carbon footprint and enjoy the financial benefits as well.

2016 is a great year to start your solar installation project, because the 30% federal tax benefit that is currently in place is set to expire in 2017. There is a chance the tax benefits will be renewed, which would be great for our country, our economy and clean energy industry and jobs. However, the only way to be absolutely certain that you will receive the 30% tax credit is to finish your solar installation in 2016.

The tax benefits that exist right now make this the perfect time to add solar energy to your home. The savings provided through the tax credit right now bring your initial costs down, and then you will see the long-term benefits of solar energy for years to come. You will even see a return on your investment if you sell your home eventually, because home buyers are excited about the option of solar energy.

If you are in the California area and considering adding solar energy to your home, please contact us.

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If you live in California where there’s a lot of sun, and your utility bills are high, you’re probably considering some sort of solar installation for your home. With tax credits, and credit on your electrical bill month-after-month, installing solar power is one of the best returns on investment for your property hands-down.

Going green is easy if installed by a professional.

Installing solar power for your home is a relatively easy thing to do, with most installations not taking long. Although there is a lot of information available for do-it-yourself type installations online. However a quality solar installation done by a residential solar company will assure you increase the value of your home. Plus, they will usually obtain all permitting, work with any HOA’s and handle all paperwork and negotiations on your behalf.

With home prices the way they are in California, it only makes sense to have professionals do the job right, the first time. Although having your uncle come over and help put up your brand new solar panels may sound like a good idea at first, it won’t save you money in the long run. Only a professional solar installation will come with a guarantee, and a whole lot more peace of mind.

You need a solar installation you can count on.

Professional solar installation companies carry quality products and offer custom installation services. With a professional installation, your solar array won’t look like it was just tacked on to your house. Other services usually offered by reputable companies include a professional Shading report, a Solar Feasibility Survey, a free quote and a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all parts and service.

There is such a company you can count on that has installed well over 25,000 solar projects throughout California. We have locations in San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles and serve the whole state of California. To receive a complimentary energy analysis contact us, and let us know how we can be of service to you.

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Tips For Reducing Energy Costs; Including With Solar Power

As summer approaches, you start dreading the higher electric bills that will result from trying to keep your home cooler. However, there are steps you can start taking now to cut your energy consumption this summer and take a break from high-energy bills this summer. You can choose which of the five tips you are going to follow or use them all and install solar power panels to get the most savings.

 Block the light

Blackout blinds and curtains can keep the sun from shining into your windows. Sunshine through your windows can heat up your house 10-20 degrees warmer. Window film applied by professionals or even the do yourself type can allow you to look through your windows and get light while additionally reducing radiant heat.

 Change your landscaping

If you are planning on doing any spring or summer landscaping, take a few minutes to see how it will affect your house. Trees on the southwest and west side of your home can reduce the hot afternoon heat. If you live in warm climate, you may want to plant shady trees on the east side of your home too, to help block the morning sunlight.

 Raise the thermostat

Setting your thermostat a few degrees higher can save up to 3 percent for each degree it is raised on your energy bill every summer. You can be comfortable in the summer keeping your thermostat between 75 and 78 degrees when you are home and raising it to 85 degrees when you are gone for the day.

 Time your peak electric usage

Electrical usages peak for most people between 4 to 6 p.m. Avoiding using your washer, dryer or dishwasher between these times to help save energy and prevent blackouts. Turn off lights when you are not using them, and unplug your chargers and electronics when you are not using them.

 Check your windows

Leaks between your windows will suck out your cool air and let in hot air, increasing the work your air conditioner has to do to keep your house comfortable. Use weather-strips along the side of doors and windows. Seal the edges of windows that you do not have to open. Another easy way to help lower your electric bill every month year around is by installing solar panels, especially with Califorina’s sunny weather. For more information on saving money and using solar power contact us anytime.

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Use These Energy Reducing Tips For Appliances to Boost Your New Solar Panel Savings

 

We are all looking for ways to save money as energy prices continue to soar, and solar energy is proving to do just that. If you want to boost your savings even more, consider these ideas for your home appliances.

Refrigerators

If your fridge model is older than 1990, think about replacing it. Anything newer had to be designed more energy efficient. If that isn’t feasible for you there are cost free steps you can take. The next time you do some serious spring cleaning, move out your refrigerator and dust the coils. Keep the cold settings at 37-40 degrees and the freezer at 5 degrees. Anything colder is unnecessary. If your freezer isn’t full, stock it full, even if it is only gallon jugs full of water. It takes less energy that way. An obscure tip you may never have heard is to keep all food covered as the escaping moisture makes the refrigerator compressor work harder to keep the right temperature.

Washers and Dryers

If you can afford it, a washer made after 1994 requires 5.8 gallons or less of water. Older ones use up to 10 gallons. Plus the moisture sensor setting on many models will shut off the dryer once clothes are dry, saving time and money. If you have a block of time, washing and drying your laundry loads all at one time will save as well. That way the dryer doesn’t completely cool off between loads. Two other ideas are to use the cool down cycle on your dryer to finish drying with the remaining heat and wash using cold water. It really does work just as well.

Dishwashers

Did you know the rinse-hold cycle uses 3-7 gallons of hot water? Also, using economy mode will reduce the amount of hot water and energy your dishwasher consumes.  If you are nearby, try turning it off after the wash cycle, crack the door and let the dishes air dry.

Stoves

There are some things you can do during cooking to save energy as well. Turning off the heat to the burners when food is almost done will allow the residual heat to finish the cook time. Copper bottomed pans are much more energy efficient, as are heavier duty pans. You can also move heat back to pans better if your burner reflectors are clean. Plus every time you open your oven door you lose almost 25 degrees of oven heat.

Water Heaters

Try turning off your unit when you are on vacation. A water heater will actually heat to the set temperature within an hour of being turned back on. Insulating the first six feet of pipe connected to the water heater will help it run more efficiently, and insulating wrap will make a huge difference on the tank itself. Also, check your owner’s manual to see what temperature it recommends the model be set at. Many can be set much lower than you might think and still keep your shower toasty. Tankless water heaters may seem efficient, but often the initial cost isn’t cost effective over all.

We at Fidelity Home Energy are passionate about the benefits of solar energy to save you money and contribute to a better environment. These simple ideas will only enhance what a solar system can do. Please feel free to contact us for more info.

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Tofu is now helping make more efficient solar panels. More specifically, an edible salt found in the popular health-food is at the center of a recent breakthrough in solar panel manufacturing.

Replacing Cadmium Cells

Most solar panels currently being made are produced with cadmium chloride, which is essential to the function of solar panels but is both toxic and expensive. The need for cadmium in solar panels has been one of the major obstetrical in lowering the cost of producing solar energy.

A recent study used magnesium chloride in place of the usual cadmium chloride and the resulting solar panels were found to produce energy just as efficiently as traditional models. These cells were able to be produced at a fraction of the cost of cadmium cell panels with a non-toxic alternative.

What Is Magnesium Chloride?

Magnesium Chloride is a non-toxic edible salt that is extracted from sea water. It is used in diverse applications that span from coagulating soya milk into tofu to deicing roads and making bath products. It is extremely low cost and safe, which makes it an appealing alternative to the toxic and pricey standard currently in play.

Implications Going Forward

If these methods hold up to further testing and prove viable in a mass production scale, this discovery may be a major game changer in the solar panel industry. This could majorly affect the price of solar panels, and lower prices combined with lower toxicity could bring in a whole new wave of solar customers.

If you are interested in residential solar energy systems, please contact us for more information.

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Solar energy use is on the rise among residential homes. We are quickly realizing that there is nothing more natural and cost effective than harnessing the sun’s energy, especially in such a sunny state as California.

Did you know there are some very simple, very easy and inexpensive steps you can take along with installing solar panels to make your home run even more efficiently? No, we aren’t saying this means you have to go to bed at sundown like your great grandparents did, or sell your air conditioner and suffer in the heat.

For example, have you considered using your outdoor grill for more than just grilling burgers and steaks? By using indirect heat you can turn an outdoor gas grill into a very efficient oven that won’t heat up the house. Even when using the oven is a must, by turning on the overhead vent fan you can greatly reduce the amount of passive heat an oven generates.

Power strips are a cheap way to control energy use. Laptops, tablets and cell phone chargers are energy vampires. Instead of trying to remember to unplug every charger, put them all on a power strip and simply flip the switch when you are finished. Power strips also work well for televisions and satellite systems. Even when a game console, dvd player, television or satellite receiver is off, it is still drawing standby power.

For appliances like clothes dryers, think about going outdoors. Clothes lines are a common sight in many countries. They save energy and don’t heat up your home. As an added bonus, sunlight is an effective way to brighten whites and keep away static cling. It may save you money at the drugstore as well because sunlight kills athlete’s foot fungus and is a natural disinfectant as well. Not to mention the wear and tear it will save on your favorite t shirt by not beating it up in the dryer.

Did you know using a ceiling fan means you can keep your thermostat set four degrees higher with the same results? Another thing to try is only use the air conditioner during the day. Turn it off at night, open the windows and let in that night air. In the morning close the house back up to keep in the cool air and turn the a/c back on. When you aren’t home try turning up the thermostat a few degrees, it can make a big difference in savings. Close off rooms you don’t actually live in like walk in closets and guest bedrooms. Look into a smart thermostat that will learn your routine and set itself to your normal preferences. Along with all this, simple window coverings that block out sunlight will help as well.

Motion sensing lights that will only stay on for a set period of time are becoming more popular in places like public restrooms, so why not try them at home? Inexpensive outdoor dusk to dawn solar landscape lighting and solar porch and garage lighting give an inviting glow to any home. Furthermore with the new types of light bulbs making their way to the marketplace it’s a great idea to replace bulbs with more efficient ones as your old ones burn out.

Finally, when you decide to begin to install any type of solar system, you can always start small. With the newer systems it’s becoming easy to add on as you go. Look into solar water heating as well. Energy experts state as much as one third of your energy costs come from heating water. Another solar item gaining ground is the solar attic fan (these have a government incentive just like solar panels). When compared to an electric system it is free to operate and can make a huge difference in heating and cooling costs by keeping your attic closer to your indoor temperature. They actually turn off and on by a built in thermostat.

If you are considering a solar system in your home we at Fidelity Home Energy would love to help you get started with a free home energy analysis. Contact us today.

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Unless they’re appearing in fictional entertainment like Twilight or True Blood, having vampires in your home (or business) is bad news, especially not for your energy bill. The vampires I’m talking about are energy vampires (or if you prefer a different paranormal reference, phantom energy users). These energy suckers up your energy usage – and your bill – on average 15%. With electric company rates increasing regularly, you can lower your monthly power bill by implementing some simple energy saving measures.

Here are 5 tips on slaying energy vampires from Fidelity Home Energy

1. The Right Light Bulbs?

Not all light bulbs are created equal and not all light fixtures need the same light bulb. Even if you are still using traditional light bulbs, make sure you are using no more than the wattage your lamp requires. Higher than necessary wattage not only costs more, it will damage the lamp socket and is a fire hazard. Of course, you’ll save a lot more money if you switch to energy efficient compact fluorescents (CFL’s) or LED lighting. Today, there are a variety of CFL light bulbs available so that you can select
the most appropriate bulb for your needs. They come in different wattages, sizes, shapes, and tints (I use a pink tint for my bedside lamps to create a more restful atmosphere), as well as bulbs for dimmable fixtures and multiple setting fixtures (such as 3-way lamps).

2. Unplug Chargers

Chargers for laptops, tablets, cell phones, music players, and even simple rechargeable items such as shavers and toothbrushes, continue to suck energy even when there are no electronics being recharged. Unplugging chargers when not in use will conserve energy and lower your bill. If you have more than a few rechargeable electronics you might even lower your energy usage down to a lower rate energy profile. If you plug in a few items overnight, for convenience’s sake you can use an energy strip you can turn off in the morning and turn back on when you need it.

3. Appliances and Electronics Not In Use

Other electronics and appliances stay plugged in all the time when not in use may be drawing energy. This includes any item with a clock – such as a DVR, DVD player, stereo system, game system, or even a VCR (hey, some of us still have those for our old movies that aren’t available on DVD!). It also includes our big screen TV’s, calculators, coffee makers, programmable room heaters, and air conditioners, and pretty much anything else the stays plugged in when it’s not in use. Think about what items really need to stay plugged in, such as alarm clocks, and which do not. Think about how many clocks you really need in the family room and use energy saving settings, such as sleep mode, when you can.

4. The Importance of Insulation

It may be old-school, but insulation is still an effective way to save energy. Windows, doors, and even electrical outlets can allow cold air into a house in the winter and leak cool, air conditioned air in the summer requiring using more heating and cooling than is necessary. Make sure these fixtures are installed and insulated properly. Insulate your water heater to lower the energy it uses to keep the water heated. You can also save energy by making sure your attic or crawl space is adequately insulated.

5. Could It Be More Energy Efficient?

Look at the energy efficiency rating of your major appliances. If they are older and getting near their replacement date or are too old to even have an energy efficiency rating, replacing them with energy efficient models will lower your energy bills and they will work better. With a water heater that is 8 years or older, you are not only saving energy usage, you will prevent an untimely leak that could cause significant damage and inconvenience.

Simple Steps to Saving Money

These deceptively simple ways to save energy add up fast and you can save up to 15% or more on your energy bill. If you’re interested in saving consider switching to renewable solar energy installed by Fidelity Home Energy.

Call now at (855) Solar 4 U to schedule an in-home consultation and learn how much you can save on future energy bills by installing solar. Fidelity Home Energy will even perform a FREE in-home energy analysis to help you save on your energy bill even if you don’t purchase a solar power installation.

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