Author: thesolarstore

Snake Oil in the Solar Industry Pt 1.

How I am so ashamed of the industry that I am so proud of.

This is part one of a 3-part series. Part 2 will deal with installation and construction faux pas, and part 3 will go over our solar orphans.

Have you seen any or all of the following?

“Get solar at no Cost”

“2022 is the last year you can get solar!”

“See if you qualify.”

These are all statements made by unscrupulous contractors in the solar industry, shame on them. This solar 

The Solar industry is changing the way we generate and use electricity for our homes. Through advances in technology, burning fossil fuels for energy will become as obsolete as starting an open fire to make coffee. I am proud to be a part of this   evo/revolution. However, there are many contractors in the industry that use dubious tactics in their marketing and sales activities… For shame.

Let’s look at the first statement – “Get solar at no cost.” This can only be on a leased system which would  have no upfront costs, but can have enormous financial, logistical and emotional costs if you ever try to get out of the lease. They place a lien on your house and if you try to sell, the new owner either needs to either take on the lease or the leasing company needs to release the lien.  This can add months to the closing. Real estate agents often cringe with they see a solar system on a possible listing because of these lease related nightmares. In actuality, if the system is owned, it will increase the value of the property by 3 to 5%, and houses with solar sell faster.

The purchase of a residential solar system has a very significant upfront investment usually in the tens of thousands of dollars. However, it is the best home improvement investment you can make. It will not only garner the property value increase of a new kitchen or bath, it will all but eliminate your electric bill.

The second statement – “2022 is the last year you can get solar.” Again, not true! The Investment Tax Credit is set to go from a 26% federal tax credit to 22% in 2023, and then phase out in 2024. It was supposed to be 22% this year and then go away next year. The Build Back Better Act would have pushed the credit back up to its high of 30%. Even though residential solar is a great investment, these tax credits make it even more appealing. As political fortunes ebb and flow, so will these incentives. We have no way of knowing what will happen in the future. For shoddy sales people to use this as a way to build urgency is disingenuous. Dovetailed with this statement is the following – “You only qualify if your bill is more than $100.00 per month.” Solar contractors will purport that this is a utility mandate. Again, not true. It just means that they do not want to bother with small systems, they are only interested in the whales. Really? Shame!

Last, my personal favorite – “Enter your information to see if you qualify.” This is used by marketers for geographical and demographical analysis. Further, your social media platforms will be inundated with specious ads.

Another Interesting Solar Industry Tactic

At the recent Southern Arizona Home Builders Association Home Show there was a solar contractor building urgency by telling potential customers that they need to get a solar system now before their area becomes saturated and Tucson Electric Power will not allow any more systems. This is a thing, but we have never had a system turned down because of it. Further, TEP has had their hand slapped for trying. Why can’t we just sit down and have an intelligent conversation about the realistic benefits of residential solar power. It’s shameful!

There are other methods contractors will use such as door knocking, robo calling and inundating emails with misleading information.

Some further words about the utilities:

They attempt to block installations of  systems at every turn. They tried to confine system sizes to 10 kW on any shared transformer. Also, much of the solar that they generate is sold to California. There is a certain amount of logic in their actions, every time a new system is commissioned, they lose a very valuable revenue stream. Even though they profess support for solar power, they fight its implementation where ever they can.

The advantages of solar power are numerous from environmental and financial standpoints. It is too bad that the advantages of solar must be corrupted by such shameful practices.


southern arizona solar

Southern Arizona Solar

Southern Arizona homeowners could be saving up to 30% on their energy bills with the installation of cost-effective solar. Solar modules generate their own power and can therefore greatly offset your monthly electricity bill or potentially even eliminate it. More sun means more energy produced and a greater potential to save, making solar module installation in Southern Arizona an excellent choice. 

Improve Home Value

Not only will solar module installation save you money, but it can also make you money! Solar modules are viewed as home upgrades, like a renovated kitchen or a finished basement, so purchasing a solar energy system will likely increase your home’s value. Studies show that on average, a solar installation can increase home value by $15,000.

Become Energy Autonomous

Many Southern Arizona homeowners dread their summer electric bill, and, in most cases, there is little you can do to control your utility electricity rate. While the cost of solar has decreased by more than 70 percent in the past decade, the cost of electricity has risen by about five percent, and that trend of rising electric cost is expected to continue. Going solar puts you in the driver’s seat when it comes to energy generation. Utilities are quickly adapting to the rising adoption of renewable energy and the U.S. government is quickly increasing its goals for greenhouse gas emissions reduction. With this in mind, there has never been a better time to become your own energy producer.

The Best Possible ROI

Due to a number of solar incentives in place across the United States, solar modules can actually generate profit, in addition to generating savings, that will pay off the cost of the system. The state of Arizona offers both tax credits and tax exemptions for those generating their own solar power. With these solar incentives in place, you can expect both immediate and long-term returns from your solar investment. 

With nearly 300 days of sunshine a year, there’s no better place for solar energy than Southern Arizona; and with more than 60 years of combined experience, there are no better professionals to perform your solar installation than the well-equipped team at The Solar Store.

Federal Tax Credits

Federal Tax Credits for Solar Installation

Federal Tax Credits for Solar Installation

April 06, 2020

Back in 2005, the Energy Policy Act created incentives to promote solar energy and support our country’s transition to renewable energy. While these incentives were supposed to end in 2007, the benefits of this Act can still be felt today, especially by homeowners. Today, our team at The Solar Store is sharing what the federal tax credit is, and how you can take advantage of it for your very own solar installation.

The federal solar tax credit, also known as the investment tax credit, was built to save home and business owners on the upfront cost of solar. For 2021 and 2022 homeowners can receive a tax credit of 26% deducted from the cost of their system. There is language about further incentives for solar in the new spending bill. We will have to pass it to see what’s in it!

You don’t need to jump through a ton of hoops to qualify for this tax credit either. As long as you own your solar energy system, you are eligible. When you file your federal tax return, speak to your accountant about form 5695, which will validate your renewable energy credits.

The Solar Store Can Save You Big

With over 60 years of experience, The Solar Store has been providing southern Arizona exceptional value on solar services. We believe solar solutions are not only better for the environment but for your bottom line as well.

3 ways solar can save you money:

  1. The Solar Store stays up to date on current federal and state tax incentives, so we can walk you through the best way to save on installation costs, sometimes drastically cutting the upfront price.
  2. Producing your own solar energy will significantly reduce your energy bills. Those monthly savings can really add up.
  3. Solar energy systems on your property will increase the property’s value, with studies finding that properties sell faster and for more than homes with traditional energy systems.

If you’re curious about the upfront cost of installing solar for your home or business, call our team of experienced solar professionals. We will work with you to understand your property’s needs and offer you customized solutions to guarantee your solar modules are perfect.

Call our team today at (520) 322-5180, or contact our skilled team online. We offer a wide variety of solar services throughout Tucson and all of southern Arizona.

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FAQs About Solar Batteries

FAQs About Solar Batteries

April 07, 2020

How Solar Batteries Can Benefit Your Home

Across the solar industry, there has been a shift in focus to battery technology for consumers. The reasons are numerous and diverse, including improving the environment and saving money and everything in between. Having a battery as part of your solar energy system allows for additional flexibility – whether you are completely off-grid and want additional insurance, or you want to safeguard your home against rising utility prices or outages, a battery can help.

Why should I get a solar battery?

Solar batteries are the next step in energy independence for homeowners. Whether you are fully off of the grid and need backup power for a rainy day or you want to ensure that you continue to get the power you need even in the event of an outage, this system is an excellent choice.

How much power can the battery store?

Unsurprisingly, the answer is extremely broad. The amount of power it can store – and therefore how long it can continue to power your home – varies depending on the size of battery you get and what your electrical needs are. In many cases, the battery acts as a way to store surplus energy generated during the day, which can then be used at night or during cloudy days when solar energy is not as plentiful. It is generally recommended that homeowners get a system that can store around 12 hours worth of electricity. From there, other considerations can be taken into account.

How do solar batteries compare to traditional backup generators?

In general, traditional backup generators represent a smaller initial investment, but greater long-term costs for fuel and maintenance. Home batteries, on the other hand, require little to no maintenance and, in your case, only the power of the sun. These systems are silent, automatic, and clean, and provide lasting energy solutions that you can depend on long-term.

How can solar batteries save you money?

Depending on your area and your unique energy needs, there are several ways to save money. In those areas where electricity prices rise and fall during certain times of day, solar batteries can charge while electricity is cheap, then power the property when prices are at their peak. These batteries also offer the opportunity to save you even more than solar panels would on their own. Additionally, net metering is still very much an option for homes with solar batteries. It may impact the amount of electricity sent back to the grid, and therefore somewhat reduce the compensation, but the difference is usually minimal.

If you have any further questions about how a solar battery could contribute to your system, reach out to our team at The Solar Store today! Call us at (520) 322-5180 to begin.

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The State of Solar

The State of Solar

August 21, 2020

Join us as ILLUME’s Victor Mercado talks with solar industry influencers and major players to bring the latest information to you! This week, Mercado talks with owner and president of The Solar Store, Katharine Kent, about a number of topics relating to the industry’s slow and steady return to work as more and more states begin to fully reopen. These topics include the solar industry’s shift toward direct-to-consumer sales, the role of government and regulation in the solar space, and how to attract diverse talent.

iTunes and SoundCloud.

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