<![CDATA[creativesolarusa.com - Blog]]>Mon, 26 Aug 2019 07:41:50 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Urging Congress to Extend the Solar Tax Credit]]>Wed, 21 Aug 2019 16:43:32 GMThttp://creativesolarusa.com/solarblog/urging-congress-to-extend-the-solar-tax-creditOn July 17th, 2019 the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) sent a letter to Congress signed by roughly 1,000 companies in the solar sector across the nation, urging them to extend tax code section 48 and section 25D known as the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for Solar Energy which has proven to be one of the most prosperous clean energy policies in history. 

In this letter, SEIA laid out the contributions that the ITC has brought including “creating nearly a quarter-million well-paying jobs and driving down electricity costs for consumers, businesses, and municipalities. It also has generated significant economic activity, accounting for $140 billion in private investment since its inception.” They also explained the economic benefits of solar with “more than 240,000 Americans work[ing] in solar energy today, a figure that has more than doubled since 2010. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “solar installer” could become the fastest-growing occupations in America.”

So what’s the big deal?
Well, after 2019 the ITC will be reduced from 30% down to 26% in 2020 and 22% in 2021, and finally, in 2022, the residential renewable energy credit is eliminated completely. This could mean serious problems for the growth of the solar industry, according to the letter, “the solar industry has experienced $8 billion of cancelled or deferred investments and the loss of 9,000 jobs in the wake of federal policy changes singling out solar” which is a result of the tariffs placed by the federal government. According to James Ellsmoor a contributor at Forbes, “the U.S.’ decision to add a 30% tariff on foreign-produced solar panels had a negative effect on its domestic solar industry, which heavily relies on cheap imports. The loss of the solar ITC is likely to have some negative impact on the development of new solar energy projects as well. Without new solar energy systems coming online, utility customers are more susceptible to high rates of pollution and rate-hikes as utilities rely on fossil fuel generation that is becoming increasingly more expensive to build and operate.

Specifically in the state of Georgia changes impending on the local level could also result in heavy impacts for residents. For example, Georgia Power and its partners are pushing forward with their nuclear power plant construction. With the financial influence of continued construction at the Alvin W. Vogtle Electric Generating Plant, also known as Plant Vogtle, not only will Georgia Power rates continue to rise (to pay for the long exceeded budget and plan to build the plant) but it will also impact other residents who do not get their power through Georgia Power (or one of the dozens of EMCs and municipalities who also have a stake in Vogtle). According to the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy “A utility company’s energy resource mix affects all residents in Georgia, even if they aren’t Georgia Power customers since it influences power generation across the state”.

It makes sense to rely on an energy source that is not only good for the environment but also good for the people and solar is the natural selection for that, but until we the people stand together for a change in energy resources solar may never reach its full potential for Americans. As stated by Luke Richardson at Energy Sage “solar’s low-cost trajectory is likely to continue: unlike oil, gas, and coal, solar PV is a technology not a fuel – meaning that its costs will continue to fall every year as research continues and technology improves.”

So, while there may be a few roads bumps a future with solar energy is bright and there are ways to save with solar!! Give Creative Solar USA a call secure your install before the end of 2019 and receive all of the incentives you can before they could be gone!!

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<![CDATA[Three Things to Consider When Going Solar in Georgia: Rising Electricity Costs, Payback Period, Your Home’s Location and Value]]>Tue, 20 Aug 2019 14:58:00 GMThttp://creativesolarusa.com/solarblog/three-things-to-consider-when-going-solar-in-georgia-rising-electricity-costs-payback-period-your-homes-location-and-valuePicture
Did you know that the state of Georgia receives approximately 217 sunny days per year? That means that solar energy is a perfect option for residents wishing to save on their utility costs!   Here are three things to consider before going solar in Georgia. 

The first question to ask is what are the future factors that are on the horizon that could affect utility costs. In Georgia, the first thing most residents think of is the Alvin W. Vogtle Electric Generating Plant (AKA Plant Vogtle), a multi-year and multi-billion dollar project led by Georgia Power and it’s partners. This plant is the only nuclear power plant currently being built in the United States and its way over budget. Unfortunately, to cover those costs, utility companies will likely be turning to their customers to make up that difference. Solar and solar storage can help you avoid these rising costs in electric bills by allowing you to produce and store your own power. 

Another thing to consider when going solar is the time it will take to recover your initial investment in a solar energy system via the energy savings it produces. This is often called the Payback period. For Georgians, the typical solar payback period is roughly 8-9 years for a system that is accurately sized for your use (compared to Florida's 10 year ROI). This means that in Georgia you will have an end date of approx. 8 years for when you will begin receiving free electricity in your home. 

The other factor to think about is your home’s location. If your home is surrounded by forestry and your roof rarely gets sun, it will likely take a longer period of time for you to see any major savings in energy as solar panels need a good amount of sunlight to produce enough energy for you not to have to resort to the grid. However, with adequate sunlight solar can add significant value to your home. On average it can increase your home’s value up to $15,000.00 making it a no-brainer for any smart homeowner. 

Remember, a solar energy system qualifies for the federal tax credit that will be fading away prior to 2020 so it’s wise to jump on board now so you can receive all of the incentives possible!! 

It’s a good idea to look over your utility bill and see how you can save by making your own energy with solar. While we support producing as much of your own energy as possible, this does not mean you will be totally off the grid, but simply that you will not have to resort to it as heavily and thus save on utility costs.
At CSUSA we would be glad to give you a free consultation and see if solar would be a good fit for you. Give us a call TODAY and see how you can save with solar!!


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<![CDATA[CSUSA is Now a Tesla Powerwall Certified Installer]]>Mon, 12 Aug 2019 20:58:19 GMThttp://creativesolarusa.com/solarblog/csusa-is-now-a-tesla-powerwall-certified-installer
Tesla’s rebranding of residential-use batteries is in line with their legacy of re-imagining existing products. Tesla's battery may represent the first time in history that everyday homeowners are truly excited about the potential of storing energy at their home. 

Tesla describes the Powerwall as a “rechargeable lithium ion battery with liquid thermal control.”  Tesla battery packs are the perfect the perfect complement to existing or newly installed solar systems.

#TeslaPowerwall


Thanks to Georgia's lack of net metering solar owners aren't able to capitalize on all the energy they are producing unless they have a way to store excess solar power. During the day, while your solar energy system is soaking up the most energy from the sun, most residential solar owners are away at work. So, instead of that energy going to waste (or getting sold back to the grid) why not store that energy for when you do get home in the evening?
Introducing Tesla's Powerwall. The second-generation Tesla Powerwall  offers one of the best ratios of cost to capacity of any product available in the United States. A single Powerwall can store 13.5 kWh (which can power essential appliances for a full 24 hours, for the average home) and all Powerwalls come with an integrated inverter.

The Powerwall has a 10-year warranty that is based on your battery being used for daily charging and use. As part of their warranty, Tesla offers a minimum guaranteed capacity that states Powerwall will sustain at least 70 percent of its capacity over the course of its warranty period. A solar storage solution like Tesla's Powerwall allows you to maintain a sustained power supply during the day and night, as well as when the utility grid becomes unavailable. As a Tesla Powerwall Certified Installer CSUSA is proud to offer you the best recommendation about the Tesla home battery and other energy storage options available to homeowners today, so give us a call and let us show you the power the sun can have in your home!


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<![CDATA[Declare Your Energy Independence This Year]]>Thu, 20 Jun 2019 14:44:34 GMThttp://creativesolarusa.com/solarblog/declare-your-energy-independence
How to take advantage of batteries / energy storage and become independent from traditional methods of energy.
 
Becoming more independent in every aspect of our lives is something we all strive to accomplish, and when it comes to our homes and businesses, energy shouldn’t be the exception.
 
Did you know that energy storage — more commonly known as batteries — is the fastest developing element of renewable energy today? In fact. according to this Green Tech Media article, one of the predictions for this year’s solar energy trends is that the record for solar storage will be broken. “The second prediction for 2019 is bolder than the first — the observation that the record for solar-plus-storage deployments in 2018 will be broken yet again in 2019. That’s based on the forecast for falling solar and battery prices, combined with a continuation of the federal Investment Tax Credit for solar that can include the cost of batteries as part of the installation,” the article explains.
 
So how will people and businesses continue to benefit from energy storage? To name a few, energy storage benefits users by:
  • Optimizing your photo-voltaic (PV) system by capturing excess energy produced to be used later on site
  • Expanding the hours you can use clean, self generated power in your home or business
  • Providing greater independence and autonomy from the grid
  • Load-shifting- as batteries store excess energy generated by PV to be used at a later time, typically at night and cloudy days or also during the hours of grid peak pricing rates
  • Working as back-up, in case of emergencies, as it enables your home or business to sustain power during a utility grid outage or commonly known as a “blackout”

You can save money too!

The federal tax credit of 30%*, which fades after 2019, applies towards all costs of battery installation when installed within the same year as PV. Make sure to take advantage before it goes away!
 
Getting Started
 

Now that you know the benefits of energy independence, why not get started right away? At Creative Solar USA our energy experts are happy to talk you through the process and answer any questions you may have. Click here for a free consultation!
 
*The federal tax credit has upcoming changes. Creative Solar USA does not warrant or guarantee rebates, grants, credits, awards, or ROI. ​See your tax professional to assess which financial advantages will apply to your installation. ​​
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<![CDATA[Message from the CEO: This is why Solar could be saving you money this year]]>Thu, 20 Jun 2019 14:38:01 GMThttp://creativesolarusa.com/solarblog/message-from-the-ceo-this-is-why-solar-could-be-saving-you-money-this-year
The savings on an immediate basis Is a challenge. There’re different parts of the country where solar is prominent, and other where it’s not. Regardless, homeowners are accustomed to having a 30-year mortgage or timeline, as opposed to the immediate investment that it would take to add solar to their home. Solar is a 5 - 15 year economic break even which means that there is an additional 15 - 25 years of free on-site electricity and generation. The icing on the cake is that the energy that is produced locally and is money that’s being attributed and benefiting the local community rather than being distributed to countries other than our own.

Gasoline, as a fuel is far more expensive than solar, because solar is a natural energy source from the sun as opposed to money spent on coal and foreign sources of oil. Because we are accustomed to the ever-changing increase of gasoline fluctuation ranging from 20-30% a month, converting to solar and electricity as a fuel in electric vehicles buffers that fluctuation, and reduces the cost of transportation as we know it. Solar and electric vehicles can drop to the equivalent cost of 40 cents per gallon, making it an immediate advantage. Not to mention, within the 25-year warranty period that the solar systems operate in, the systems consistently generate net savings greater than $10,000.

Historically, solar has been restricted to single-family home ownership. And while the utility companies are advancing programs to accommodate solar with apartment dwellers and condominium owners, there’s ongoing lobbying to permit a more direct and greater benefit to renters and owners alike. So, we can expect in the future that the cost drops of home battery storage systems will allow pairing with solar panels to enhance savings and provide better security should outages occur.  

In conclusion, solar is no longer an “if” or and unknown benefit. There are clear benefits surrounding solar energy so there’s no reason to wait. The sooner homeowners start the solar process, the sooner savings will occur.
 
About Creative Solar USA: Creative Solar USA is a Georgia-based, turn-key installer of innovative solar panel systems, dedicated to alternative energy solutions for your home or business. Become a member of the Creative Solar USA community. We're your solar power resource long after the installation is complete because we don't just build PV systems for our clients – we build relationships.
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<![CDATA[Summer Travel: Solar Trends for RVs and Vehicles]]>Tue, 28 May 2019 12:24:39 GMThttp://creativesolarusa.com/solarblog/summer-travel-solar-trends-for-rvs-and-vehicles
Why solar could be the future of transport.

Much like solar panels for homes, solar energy for vehicles has been in the works for a long time, as solar energy could potentially provide enough energy for a car to run. “Like solar-powered homes, solar cars harness energy from the sun by converting it into electricity. This electricity fuels the battery that runs the car's motor. Instead of using a battery, some solar cars direct the power straight to an electric motor.  Great examples of the latest solar powered cars are the University of Michigan solar car, the MIT solar car, and the Berkeley solar car,” this article explains.
 
So, what are the main solar trends we should be on the lookout for with RVs and vehicles? Here are a few things to know:
 
Electric and Hybrid Vehicles
"Solar-powered vehicles are of two types: electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles. An electric vehicle contains electric motors and stores energy in rechargeable batteries. Solar electric vehicles charge their batteries through solar energy. Hybrid vehicles contain two types of power: the internal combustion engine present generally in vehicles and the electric motors to power the vehicle electrically."
 
For Hybrid vehicles, it is predicted that the market will reach $243.2 billion by 2026.
 
The Benefits

The environmental benefits of solar panels for cars are undeniable, as they don’t create greenhouse gases as gasoline engines do. On the other hand, people also benefit financially as solar energy is free, widely available, and grants the solar car driver complete independence from foreign oil.
 
Finally, an often overlooked benefit to solar panels is that they don’t add to the noise pollution because they are silent.
 
Targeting Millennials

In order to target new audiences, the recreational vehicle industry has been obligated to adopt new, more appealing technologies. According to this USA Today article, "Many of even the smallest RVs and trailers contain solar panels, entertainment systems, and wiring to charge smart phones and tablets far from plug-in power."
 
Because hybrid cars are environmentally friendlier than conventional gas engine cars and have lower emissions, consumers who prioritize the environment when making their purchases have helped make these cars more popular across the world. But did you know that the car industry is not the only one focusing on the environment? In 2015 a solar-powered aircraft successfully traversed the United States without the use of any fuel whatsoever, and we will continue to see these initiatives as technology continues to advance.

Learn More About Solar Energy
 

Are you ready to take a step towards solar energy and how it can help power your home or business? Let us help! Contact us today to explore options that'll save you money.

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<![CDATA[Solar group donating panel system to local charity​]]>Wed, 22 May 2019 14:28:09 GMThttp://creativesolarusa.com/solarblog/solar-group-donating-panel-system-to-local-charity
Solarize Carrollton-Carroll is donating a solar panel system to Open Hands Ministry as part of the ministry’s efforts to build a new facility on Newnan Road.

The Solarize Carrollton-Carroll coalition is comprised of nonprofits, businesses and individuals who work together to promote the use of solar energy in west Georgia. John Hinman, chair of Solarize Carrollton-Carroll’s steering committee, announced Tuesday the donation of a minimum 4 kilowatt-hour solar panel system to the ministry. This will be installed at the ministry’s new location.

“One hour of solar power offers more electricity than the entire population can use in a year,” Hinman said. “We use coal and natural gas because it’s cheap, reliable and controllable. There’s a fear of change when it comes to using solar power because we’ve always had an electric bill and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

He said Solar CrowdSource of Atlanta is handling the administration of the system and Georgia-based solar company Creative Solar is installing the panels. Through a group purchasing program, 32 residential and three commercial systems have been bought through Solar CrowdSource. By purchasing these systems in bulk, consumers can get the systems at a cheaper price, Hinman said.

“Over a million dollars is being invested in local solar systems for a total output of 370 kilowatts of electricity,” Hinman said. “This will avoid 278,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually.”

A subcommittee of Creative Solar was formed, Hinman said, and a local search was conducted to find an organization to donate the system. He said a percentage of the funds generated by businesses and residences purchasing their systems will fund the panels being donated to Open Hands.
“We were impressed with the organization, and they already have the funds necessary to build the facility and hope to have it done this summer,” Hinman said. “After the building is built, we’ll put the system on the roof. It won’t completely replace outside electricity, but it will reduce their costs.”
The 1.19-acre property located at 501 Newnan Road at the corner of Bledsoe Street was recently donated to Open Hands for the construction of its new operations building.

This allows for the construction of a 5,500-square-foot facility that is five times larger than the ministry’s current location, according to its website.
Sue McGukin, executive director of Open Hands, said the organization has been in need of more space for four years.
She said because having a larger space is a “double-edged sword” with more maintenance costs, the donation of the solar panels will help reduce overhead. The organization plans to bring the design for its new facility before the city in the next few weeks.

Food and financial assistance are offered by Open Hands, as well as referrals to other agencies as needed. The ministry is a collaborative effort by member churches and the community through which services are provided to those in need in Carroll County.
“The fact that we can use this as an aid is fabulous and will give us more latitude,” McGukin said.

“We’re very excited that this will help offset those costs because 86 cents on every dollar goes back into the ministry. This is huge for us.”

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<![CDATA[Creative Solar USA Sets Record Growth in the First Quarter of 2019]]>Mon, 06 May 2019 15:22:46 GMThttp://creativesolarusa.com/solarblog/creative-solar-usa-sets-record-growth-in-the-first-quarter
Surge reflects sustained solar market expansion throughout the Southeast

​KENNESAW, GA -- Creative Solar USA experienced record-setting growth during the first quarter of 2019, reflecting a decade-long trend in the growth of the solar energy market in the Southeastern United States.

CEO and Founder of Creative Solar USA, Russell Seifert said he is elated by the company’s role in ongoing solar market expansion throughout the region.
“Residential and commercial solar energy are on pace to have the market’s strongest year ever in Georgia. Creative Solar has seen tremendous revenue growth over the past four quarters,” he said.

​“In our 10th year of business, we performed three times the number of installations in 2019 compared to first quarter 2018. We are confident that we can carry this momentum forward, providing high-quality, affordable solar energy installations to the growing community of businesses and homeowners interested in reducing their electricity bills with clean energy.”

“Our current business strategy is projected beyond a three-year window, reflecting the confidence we have in the industry’s continued growth in our region, and Creative Solar’s strong position within this trend,” said the company’s Chief Revenue Officer, Rob Blatecky.

Georgia solar energy installers are experiencing a surge in demand to complete installations as 2019 marks the final year for consumers to take advantage of the full 30% Federal Investment Tax Credit for clean energy systems. In 2020, the clean energy tax credit begins to decline and will be eliminated entirely for residential consumers by 2022.

For additional information contact Chris McMahan at chris.mcmahan@creativesolarusa.com or 770-485-7438, or visit our website at www.creativesolarusa.com.

About Creative Solar:
Creative Solar USA is a turn-key solar power and energy storage installer based in Kennesaw, GA. Creative Solar works to provide clients with energy management systems that meet or exceed their generation and financial goals.
 
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<![CDATA[Going Solar: Home Improvements and Resale Home Values​]]>Tue, 23 Apr 2019 17:07:28 GMThttp://creativesolarusa.com/solarblog/solar-home-improvements-and-resale-home-values

How solar energy panels will improve your house for you and future buyers.
 
When it comes to remodeling and keeping your house looking updated for both your family and potential future resale, homeowners often focus on paint, appliances and other superficial aspects that are aesthetically pleasing. Even though staying on top of every detail is always important, an often forgotten home improvement that could make a huge difference now and when you go to sell your home is implementing solar energy. Here are a few reasons why:
 
Increase Your Home Value

According to Wholesale Solar, “A recent study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory concludes that solar panels increase home value by $14,329 on average. Homes equipped with solar power systems sell for 3.74% more than comparable non-solar properties.”

This, in addition to how much you’ll be saving in utilities, makes acquiring solar panels a no brainer from a financial standpoint. Click here to learn why the higher your bill is, the more solar energy benefits you’ll see.
 
Sell your Home Faster

Studies have shown that solar homes sell 20% faster as solar panels are viewed as upgrades, just like a renovated kitchen or a finished basement. Because potential buyers are aware of the benefits of solar energy, they’ll be more likely to make an offer faster and save you and your family time and effort.

Reap the Benefits Right Away

Even if you’re not planning on selling your home for a few years, solar panels are a great investment because you can start reaping the benefits right away. The main benefits of solar energy are:

  • Reduced dependence on fossil fuels
  • Solar may provide energy to your home when the power is out
  • Savings on energy bills now and hedges against rising costs of power in the future
  • ​Better performance than an Individual Retirement Account (IRA)
  • 30% Individual Federal Tax Credit* (Fades after 2019)
  • Alternative energy leaves a legacy of environmental sustainability to future generations​

So what are other benefits of solar panels when it comes to home resale? Believe it or not, aesthetics is a big one, as solar panels can look good too!
 
A big concern for those considering solar energy is the thought that their house won’t look as good with bulky, old fashioned panels. Fortunately, this doesn’t have to be the case, as new designs and technologies make solar panels attractive and modern. This HGTV article explains that there are many different options for designs that blend with your home’s architecture. “The latest generation of solar products integrates photovoltaic cells with traditional building materials, such as roof shingles or slates, so they are part of the building, not an add-on,” they explain.
 
 At Creative Solar USA we’re here to help!
 

At Creative Solar USA we want to help you make the best decisions for you and your family. This is why we are here to walk you through every step of the journey towards acquiring solar energy. For more information on financial incentives, what to expect and other solar energy benefits, contact us today!
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<![CDATA[Solar Tours, New hires and State Rollouts, Oh My! Interview with Creative Solar USA’s CEO, Russell Seifert.]]>Tue, 09 Apr 2019 00:47:13 GMThttp://creativesolarusa.com/solarblog/interview-with-creative-solar-usas-ceo
 
What do you hope to achieve on this month’s Solar Tour?

More or less, the solar tour this month is an extension of the Solarize Middle GA program, and because there is a low concentration of people in the middle Georgia area, we hope to provide more workshops to educate home and business owners on the cost benefits and overall benefits of solar energy. Our goal is to educate, provide solar industry insights and create new ways of powering homes through using a Sustainable resource like solar energy in the middle GA region.

Our team is growing rapidly. What do you have to say to future employees of Creative Solar USA?

Now’s the time to be excited to join the solar industry. Creative Solar USA has created a sustainable and growing platform that advocates for internal promotions to take place before external hires are made. The benefits of healthcare and a 401K that you’ll soon enjoy are supplied for our talented team to help ensure that those who are passionate and committed to the solar industry are taken care of. We cannot wait to welcome you to one of the coolest solar teams around!

We recently hired Rob Blatecky as VP-Chief of Revenue. Can you tell us a little more about his role and what he will be providing for CSUSA?

Rob is going to help with the outward expansion and growth of the company in our residential market but will also help take on some of the internal responsibilities as well - like supporting operations and helping mitigate cost overruns, so we can provide even better service for our customers down the road and help sustain the great quality workmanship program that we’ve already implemented.

How are sales looking for end of Q1? Are we on track to meet our goals?

We are! We have already had a better quarter than last year by 25% and are expecting an even bigger lift in Q2. Although we’re on track for more growth in Q3, there is a concern regarding the solar panel supply chain shortage. If you’re planning on undergoing a commercial project in Q2, Q3 and Q4, you may face delays and difficulty in getting materials. Panel prices have gone up because of high demand, so naturally, solar pricing may also rise too. However, we feel that because of our long-term relationships with our suppliers, this shortage should not affect our customer base as harshly. 
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