Everyone knows The Bay Area is a great place to live- we’ve got perfect weather, some of the best beaches and parks in the world, good schools and jobs, melting pots of culture, and the best dinning around! Did you also know that the sunny Bay Area was rated as a “Solar Star” by Environment America’s 2014 study? They found that The Bay Area was the #2 area in the nation with more than 50 watts of installed solar PV capacity per person and the #4 area in America for total installed solar PV capacity!

As one of the leading solar companies in the Bay Area, Fidelity Home Energy isn’t surprised by the news. We’re headquartered in San Leandro and our staff installed over 500 residential solar projects in 2015 alone.

In addition to the 263 days a year of sunshine the Bay Area enjoys, the key reasons for this phenomenal industry growth include the energy cost savings for homeowners, improvements in property values (an average of a $20,194 premium to the sales price), and qualification for several government programs. The 30% IRS solar tax credit is unlimited and currently available until 2017. Lucky citizens of the surrounding Bay Area have access to financing at attractive rates and terms through the Property Assessed Clean Energy or PACE program.

While some home owners are hesitant to buy solar now, fearing that prices will continue to go down in coming years, energy costs are only rising and crunching the numbers on a solar calculator show that your family will be recouping costs more quickly than ever. Another reason solar power is becoming so popular in the Bay Area and across America is the ability for a solar systems to be designed specifically to maximize your energy harvest. A solar solution can now be installed that powers your home, Jacuzzi and pool, and that can be placed on a wide variety of rooftops- from concrete to Spanish tile.

If you’re a Bay Area resident ready to join your neighbors in saving money, living more sustainability and investing in your home, contact us to find out how easy it is to go from a free in-home energy analysis to power on!

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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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