The Solar Blog

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Download Residential Energy Credits 2015 Form 5695

IRS Form 5695 for Residential Energy Credits 2015 is now available for those who are looking to claim energy credits on their 2015 taxes. You are eligible to apply for this credit if you purchased and installed a solar power system on your home during 2015. Please click the link below to download the pdf: Residential Energy Credits 2015 – Form 5695  


Get ready for El Nino

El Niño is coming with a vengeance this year according to weather forecasters, bringing 33-69% more rain than normal to California. What is El Niño? Here’s a little background explaining what it is and how it works according to the NOAA  (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration): So what should you do to prepare your home for this wet winter? Here’s a handy checklist: Check your roof and make sure you don’t have any leaks. We’ve had a little bit of rain so far so if your roof hasn’t leaked yet, chances are you’re doing ok. But if it’s been a while and you’ve had leaks in the past, make sure you know which areas could be a potential issue once the [...]


Hot Autumn Temperatures

It’s mid-October and we still have record-breaking temperatures all around California. With all of this unseasonably warm weather (lovingly referred to natives as “earthquake weather”), quite a few of our customers have reported that they’re still running their air conditioners regularly, using way more electricity than they would be expecting this late in the year. So what does this unusually hot weather mean for solar panel production? Solar works best in sunny conditions but as with most electronics, the cooler the temperature, the better it works. Which means that extra hot weather is great for the sunshine received, but not so great for producing electricity. Should you be concerned that the panels aren’t producing as much as expected during hot weather like this? [...]


Don’t Just Recycle – Repurpose!

Recycling has really become a way of life for most of us in California. But there are so many items that get thrown away in the trash or recycling bin that can actually be given new life by repurposing them! Here are a few ideas to repurpose common items we regularly buy that don’t require being too crafty: Glass jars: turn those used spaghetti sauce and candle jars into cute storage containers or flower vases. Soak them in warm water to peel off the paper labels. If there is still residual wax in the candle jar, you can pour hot water into the jar and let it sit for a few minutes until the wax can be lifted out easily in one [...]


Keep Bugs Away Naturally

Bugs Bugging You? Summertime means hot weather, but it also means the creepy crawlies are out. Not all bugs are bad – in fact, some bugs are vital, like bees and ladybugs. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you want to invite them to your next outdoor BBQ. Here are a few clever ways to keep bugs from munching on your food (or your guests): 1. Hang ‘paper bag wasp nests’ from different areas surrounding your BBQ area. Simply take a paper bag and tie a rubber band around the open end, much like you were making a balloon. Blow a little air into the bag to give it a nice, round shape – wasps will think it’s a nest and [...]


Beat the Heat this Summer!

The heatwave has landed! And with our drought still going strong, doesn’t look like we’ll have any relief soon from these hot temperatures. So here are a few ideas and tips to stay cool: 1. Stay out of the sun as much as possible – especially when it’s at it’s hottest in the afternoon. 2. Stay hydrated – water is the best thing you can drink to keep yourself hydrated. No fancy sports drinks needed unless you’re exercising. You can freeze a bottle of water and take it with you while running errands or whatever you plan for the day. The ice will melt for drinking and holding the bottle with keep you cool. 3. Dress cool – light, cotton clothes are [...]


Power Quality and Your Business

When businesses wonder if solar is right for them, some of their first questions are, “Will solar affect my power quality?” and “Will solar be able to handle my high voltage equipment?” Fortunately, the answers are easy: a solar array won’t change the power quality or voltage levels your facility receives. In fact, the only change you’ll notice from installing solar array is a lower electric bill! This works because, at the end of the day, the power quality your business receives is dictated by the grid. Under heavy loads, some of your power may come from the grid to assist in meeting the needs of your facility. Installing a solar array doesn’t change your building’s power quality as the inverters automatically [...]


Be Water Smart

We talk a lot about switching to solar and making sure you've got a handle on your energy needs, but what’s happening with your water? California is in a drought that doesn't seem to be ending anytime soon, so how can you be more water smart? There’s no two ways about it - we need to use less water! And many of us who have grown up in California remember experiencing previous droughts, so it comes more natural to us to think about conserving (you remember the rhyme: If it's yellow, let it mellow...) A few ideas to help conserve water: Less baths, more quick showers (and if you do decide on a bath, make sure you reclaim your gray [...]


Spring Cleaning Checklist

We are a few weeks into spring and that means it’s a great time for thinking about spring cleaning and home maintenance. Here’s a handy checklist to make sure your home is running efficiently: If you have solar panels, make sure they’re nice and clean and that there isn't any debris collecting on them (if you need them cleaned, we can help!) Prune any overgrown trees or shrubbery that could be blocking the sun from fully reaching your panels. Check around window trim and doors for any water damage and replace soft or cracked wood. Make sure weather stripping is intact to keep the heat in and the cold out. Caulk any exposed edges. Clean the inside of your windows, [...]


Download Residential Energy Credits 2014 Form 5695

IRS Form 5695 for Residential Energy Credits 2014 is now available for those who are looking to claim energy credits on their 2012 taxes. You are eligible to apply for this credit if you purchased and installed a solar power system during 2014. Please click link below to download the pdf: Residential Energy Credits 2014 – Form 5695