Build Native http://buildnative.com Leading Green Home Building and Residential/Commercial Solar Power Experts Sun, 02 Aug 2015 18:30:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 7 Reasons to Not Go Solar http://buildnative.com/7-reasons-to-not-go-solar/ http://buildnative.com/7-reasons-to-not-go-solar/#comments Tue, 21 Jul 2015 20:38:24 +0000 http://buildnative.com/?p=13525 Want to go solar? Here are 7 reasons you shouldn’t. 1. This can’t possibly power our homes and businesses. 2. Nobody else is going solar. 3. Fossil fuels are good for the environment. 4. Solar panels won’t increase my home value. 5. Solar panels are ugly. 6. No one gets excited about having an...

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solar panels
Want to go solar? Here are 7 reasons you shouldn’t.

1. This can’t possibly power our homes and businesses.
go solar

2. Nobody else is going solar.
go solar

3. Fossil fuels are good for the environment.
go solar

4. Solar panels won’t increase my home value.
solar homes sell for more

5. Solar panels are ugly.
solar is beautiful

6. No one gets excited about having an electric bill with a credit.
go solar

7. Solar is only for rich people.
solar is cheap

Think that it is difficult to find out if solar is for you?

It’s not.

get started on your solar project
We will be able to determine if your home is a good candidate for a solar array
in 10 minutes or less.

* Solar panels, not just for rich homeowners anymore – Fortune
* Solar growth rates – SEIA
* Solar Increases home value – Forbes

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Interview with Texas Solar Energy Society’s Lucy Stolzenburg http://buildnative.com/texas-solar-energy-society/ http://buildnative.com/texas-solar-energy-society/#comments Mon, 20 Jul 2015 23:21:43 +0000 http://buildnative.com/?p=13509 Lucy Stolzenburg Texas Solar Energy Society Executive Director Tell us a bit about yourself (education, hobbies, family, pets etc.) I have a BA degree in Journalism, but my work background is very eclectic. I have traveled extensively, both in the US and abroad, once spending four months in India an...

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Lucy Stolzenburg
Texas Solar Energy Society Executive Director

Texas Solar Energy Society

Tell us a bit about yourself (education, hobbies, family, pets etc.)
I have a BA degree in Journalism, but my work background is very eclectic. I have traveled extensively, both in the US and abroad, once spending four months in India and Nepal. I look forward to more travel in the next few years but for now, the Texas Solar Energy Society needs my attention as we look to the future of renewable energy and a greater degree of solar adoption in this very sunny state. I live in Dripping Springs with my husband and three dogs, probably the fewest number of pets in 20 years. At last our son has moved back to Austin after admitting that Boston winters are horrendous and it’s more fun here.

How were you introduced to solar?
In 2007 I was fired from a job where I made buckets of money, but hated the work. I took many months off to take care of elderly family members who were putting on their flying shoes. When they became late, I volunteered for the Austin Cool House Tour, a collaboration of the Texas Solar Energy Society (TXSES) and Austin Energy Green Building. I had been involved earlier with Green Building as a Realtor and wanted to explore it further. In that down time in 2007, I heard Ed Mazria, who had just created Architecture 2030 and the 2030 Challenge- that all new buildings developments and major renovations shall be carbon neutral by 2030. I was hooked. I volunteered for TXSES, which became a job, which became a career.

What is your role in Texas Solar Energy Society (TXSES)?
I’ve been the Executive Director since 2012.

What do you feel is the future of solar?
The Texas Solar Energy Society concentrates on solar adoption for homes and businesses so I won’t delve into utility scale solar. In the future solar will become so accessible to homeowners and businesses that it will just be a part of the built environment. I have a joke that makes my board nervous- I want to print a bumper sticker that says, “Solar is just an appliance.” I do think the utilities are going to bite back hard at solar, but if I live long enough, I believe I will see a diminishing number of lines and poles in the landscape.

If we could each do one thing to make a change to promote solar what do you think it would be?
This is not really a change, just something to ramp up. Solar is contagious, and if you put people who have solar with people who are interested in solar, it expands the conversation and ultimately the adoption exponentially. We should all badger our representatives in Washington to continue the Federal Tax Credit for residential solar beyond 12/2016. Those representatives need to be reminded that the tax assistance to fossil fuels is ridiculously huge and so deeply imbedded in the tax code that you need a klieg light to find it.

What would you say to someone who is investigating solar?
Go to our website: http://www.txses.org/solar/ (a new website is in the works) and please take a look at your utility bill to understand how many kilowatt hours of energy you use each month.

What changes have you made in your life to live as efficiently as possible?
Back in 2007 when I started getting interested in energy efficiency, I changed out all our lightbulbs to CFLs and dropped our electric bill by 20%. I installed a metal roof last year that is raised on lath for ventilation in summer months and I just had a 17 SEER dual stage HVAC system installed. I drive a Prius and get 46 mpg.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?
It sometimes seems difficult to get the general populace to recognize that a 10-12 year payback (I’m talking no incentives but the FITC) is such a short period of time. Take into consideration the value of a free fuel source, a practically indestructible hardware setup with a long warranty, and the opportunity to say “no” to a future of continuing oil spills, destroyed habitat, dirty air and water shortages. The largest purchasers of residential/commercial solar are ages 45-60, perhaps because they have a more realistic understanding of time. The purchasers should really be the younger generation as they will benefit the most. Our society has created ridiculous expectations for very short term financial gains.

texas solar energy society

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Willow Street http://buildnative.com/portfolio/willow-street/ http://buildnative.com/portfolio/willow-street/#comments Tue, 14 Jul 2015 21:25:21 +0000 http://buildnative.com/?post_type=portfolio&p=13508 Willow Street – Austin, TX Click Image for Gallery The Willow Street Project is a 4.86kW residential solar photovoltaic (PV) array consisting of 18 270W LG solar panels, 18 Solar Edge Power Optimizers, and a Solar Edge 3800 centralized inverter. Our Willow Street client can expect to generate ...

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Willow Street – Austin, TX

Click Image for Gallery

The Willow Street Project is a 4.86kW residential solar photovoltaic (PV) array consisting of 18 270W LG solar panels, 18 Solar Edge Power Optimizers, and a Solar Edge 3800 centralized inverter. Our Willow Street client can expect to generate a minimum of 25 years, maintenance free, clean energy from this NATiVE solar array, offsetting hundreds of tons of CO2 over it’s lifetime.

get started on your residential solar project
 
 

Project Features:

4.86kW Solar Array
(18) 270W LG Solar Panels
(18) Solar Edge Power Optimizers
(1) Solar Edge 3800 Centralized Inverter

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Shavano Cove http://buildnative.com/portfolio/shavano-cove/ http://buildnative.com/portfolio/shavano-cove/#comments Tue, 14 Jul 2015 20:00:50 +0000 http://buildnative.com/?post_type=portfolio&p=13493 Shavano Cove – Austin, TX Click Image for Gallery The Shavano Cove Project is a 4.00kW residential solar photovoltaic (PV) array consisting of 16 250W PHONO solar panels and a SunnyBoy 4000 centralized inverter. Our Shavano Cove client can expect to generate a minimum of 25 years, maintenance ...

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Shavano Cove – Austin, TX

Click Image for Gallery

The Shavano Cove Project is a 4.00kW residential solar photovoltaic (PV) array consisting of 16 250W PHONO solar panels and a SunnyBoy 4000 centralized inverter. Our Shavano Cove client can expect to generate a minimum of 25 years, maintenance free, clean energy from this NATiVE solar array, offsetting hundreds of tons of CO2 over it’s lifetime.

get started on your residential solar project
 
 

Project Features:

4.00kW Solar Array
(16) 250W PHONO Solar Panels
(1) SMA SunnyBoy 4000 Centralized Inverter

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Covered Bridge Drive http://buildnative.com/portfolio/covered-bridge-drive/ http://buildnative.com/portfolio/covered-bridge-drive/#comments Tue, 14 Jul 2015 19:22:01 +0000 http://buildnative.com/?post_type=portfolio&p=13480 Covered Bridge Drive – Austin, TX Click Image for Gallery The Covered Bridge Drive Project is a 7.56kW residential solar photovoltaic (PV) array consisting of 28 270W LG solar panels, 28 solar edge optimizers, and a Solar Edge 7600W centralized inverter. Our Covered Bridge Drive client can exp...

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Covered Bridge Drive – Austin, TX

Click Image for Gallery

The Covered Bridge Drive Project is a 7.56kW residential solar photovoltaic (PV) array consisting of 28 270W LG solar panels, 28 solar edge optimizers, and a Solar Edge 7600W centralized inverter. Our Covered Bridge Drive client can expect to generate a minimum of 25 years, maintenance free, clean energy from this NATiVE solar array, offsetting hundreds of tons of CO2 over it’s lifetime.

get started on your residential solar project
 
 

Project Features:

7.56kW Solar Array
(28) 270W LG Solar Panels
(28) P300 Solar Edge Optimizers
(1) Solar Edge 7600W Centralized Inverter

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Convict Hill http://buildnative.com/portfolio/convict-hill/ http://buildnative.com/portfolio/convict-hill/#comments Tue, 14 Jul 2015 19:06:42 +0000 http://buildnative.com/?post_type=portfolio&p=13471 Convict Hill – Austin, TX Click Image for Gallery The Convict Hill Project is a 4.50kW residential solar photovoltaic (PV) array consisting of 18 250W PHONO modules, and an SMA SunnyBoy 4000TL centralized inverter. Our Convict Hill client can expect to generate a minimum of 25 years, maintenan...

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Convict Hill – Austin, TX

Click Image for Gallery

The Convict Hill Project is a 4.50kW residential solar photovoltaic (PV) array consisting of 18 250W PHONO modules, and an SMA SunnyBoy 4000TL centralized inverter. Our Convict Hill client can expect to generate a minimum of 25 years, maintenance free, clean energy from this NATiVE solar array, offsetting hundreds of tons of CO2 over it’s lifetime.

get started on your residential solar project
 
 

Project Features:

4.50kW Solar Array
(18) 250W PHONO Solar Panels
(1) SMA SunnyBoy Centralized Inverter

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Barton Hills Drive http://buildnative.com/portfolio/barton-hills-drive/ http://buildnative.com/portfolio/barton-hills-drive/#comments Tue, 14 Jul 2015 18:38:02 +0000 http://buildnative.com/?post_type=portfolio&p=13455 Barton Hills Drive – Austin, TX Click Image for Gallery The Barton Hills Drive Project is a 6.75kW residential solar photovoltaic (PV) array consisting of 27 250W PHONO modules, and 27 Enphase M215 Microinverters. Our Barton Hills Drive client can expect to generate a minimum of 25 years, main...

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Barton Hills Drive – Austin, TX

Click Image for Gallery

The Barton Hills Drive Project is a 6.75kW residential solar photovoltaic (PV) array consisting of 27 250W PHONO modules, and 27 Enphase M215 Microinverters. Our Barton Hills Drive client can expect to generate a minimum of 25 years, maintenance free, clean energy from this NATiVE solar array, offsetting hundreds of tons of CO2 over it’s lifetime.

get started on your residential solar project
 
 

Project Features:

6.75kW Solar Array
(27) 250W PHONO Solar Panels
(27) Enphase M215 Microinverters

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East 8th Street http://buildnative.com/portfolio/east-8th-street/ http://buildnative.com/portfolio/east-8th-street/#comments Tue, 14 Jul 2015 18:14:58 +0000 http://buildnative.com/?post_type=portfolio&p=13440 East 8th Street – Austin, TX Click Image for Gallery The East 8th Street Project is a 9.60kW residential solar photovoltaic (PV) array consisting of 32 LG 300W modules, and 32 Solar Edge P300 Optimizers. Our East 8th Street client can expect to generate a minimum of 25 years, maintenance free,...

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East 8th Street – Austin, TX

Click Image for Gallery

The East 8th Street Project is a 9.60kW residential solar photovoltaic (PV) array consisting of 32 LG 300W modules, and 32 Solar Edge P300 Optimizers. Our East 8th Street client can expect to generate a minimum of 25 years, maintenance free, clean energy from this NATiVE solar array, offsetting hundreds of tons of CO2 over it’s lifetime.

get started on your residential solar project
 
 

Project Features:

9.60kW Solar Array
(32) 300W LG Solar Panels
(32) Solar Edge P300 Optimizers

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Solar Power in San Antonio http://buildnative.com/solar-power-in-san-antonio/ http://buildnative.com/solar-power-in-san-antonio/#comments Mon, 13 Jul 2015 17:28:29 +0000 http://buildnative.com/?p=13409 The CPS Solar Rebate is Ending If you are a customer of CPS Energy, the opportunity to own your own solar system at the lowest possible cost to you is nearing the end. CPS Energy has decided to end its hugely successful solar rebate program at the end of 2015. The time to go solar is NOW! CPS Energy...

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solar power in san antonioThe CPS Solar Rebate is Ending

If you are a customer of CPS Energy, the opportunity to own your own solar system at the lowest possible cost to you is nearing the end. CPS Energy has decided to end its hugely successful solar rebate program at the end of 2015. The time to go solar is NOW!

CPS Energy has been offering upfront solar rebates to its residential and commercial customers since 2009. This program has allowed over 2000 customers to install solar systems on their roofs cheaper than anywhere else in Texas. These systems are a great investment, and provide benefits to CPS Energy, CPS Energy customers, the city, and the community.

Rooftop solar energy is generated right where it is used. This is the most efficient way to utilize energy as it avoids any line loss or congestion costs associated with energy generated at remote power plants. Solar energy is 100% renewable and sustainable; it creates no emissions and uses no water. Solar power in San Antonio and surrounding areas produce electricity that CPS Energy does not have to buy. This allows CPS to sell power from their generation fleet in the market to other areas of the state.

As importantly for San Antonio (the #1 city in Texas and #7 in the USA for solar power capacity), solar installations result in significant creation of living wage jobs. It is estimated that over 500 industry jobs have been created as a result of the rise of the solar industry in San Antonio.

With all the benefits of solar that aggregate to the various constituents of San Antonio, we urge you to do two things:

  1. GO SOLAR! If you are interested in the lowest cost solar installation possible, then take advantage of the rebates now before they expire. In order to be assured that an installation can be completed by the end of the year (as required by the rebate program), you will need to start the process in the next 6-8 weeks.
  2. Email your council member and tell them that you support extending the CPS solar rebate program. There is plenty of Save for Tomorrow Energy Plan (STEP) budget left that can enable CPS customers to realize the value of solar systems that they own.

 

The time to act on solar is now. Take advantage of the rebate now before it expires.

Get Started & Install Solar Panels at the Lowest Price NOW

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Celebrate Energy Freedom http://buildnative.com/celebrate-energy-freedom/ http://buildnative.com/celebrate-energy-freedom/#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 19:52:26 +0000 http://buildnative.com/?p=13331 It’s that time of year again to celebrate life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. To thankfully remind us of our freedom every year, we have our most beloved summer holiday, the Fourth of July, which is finally here. Undoubtedly, you’ve got the cooler already filled, the lawn chairs set in plac...

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energy freedom

It’s that time of year again to celebrate life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. To thankfully remind us of our freedom every year, we have our most beloved summer holiday, the Fourth of July, which is finally here. Undoubtedly, you’ve got the cooler already filled, the lawn chairs set in place and the grill all ready to go for Saturday. Why not celebrate the holiday by going solar this summer and enjoy the long-term benefits of energy freedom?

Why Energy Freedom Now?

  • Federal Income Tax Credit expires in Dec. 31st, 2016. The FITC covers 30% of your system. If you go solar now, you can claim the tax credit for the 2015 and 2016 tax years.
  • Utility Rebate – Austin Energy gives a rebate to customers currently at $1,000/kW.
  • Lowest System Prices – due to an increase in panel and inverter supply, the prices are the lowest they’ve ever been.
  • Own Your Energy – most of us rent our energy from our utility, wouldn’t you rather own what it takes to operate our daily lives?
  • $0 down financing options – You can have energy savings from day one.

 

energy freedom

Solar energy systems are an attractive asset for Homeowners looking to sell their homes, as rooftop panels have been shown to increase the value of the home while reducing its time on market. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, homes with solar sell at up to twice the rate of their conventional counterparts.

 
 
 

energy freedom

The cost of electricity for homeowners has gone up in 28 of the past 30 years, with an almost 40% increase in the last decade alone. History indicates that Homeowners who remain completely grid-dependent will pay more in utilities next year than they do now, and will continue to pay more with each coming year.

 
 
 

energy freedom

According to the Berkeley National Laboratory, a standard 6 kilowatt hour (kWh) system performing for 25 years can reduce your carbon footprint by over 150 tons of carbon dioxide, equivalent to planting over 3,500 trees, not burning 15,750 gallons of gasoline, recycling 50 tons of waste, and displacing carbon emissions from the annual electricity use of 19 homes.

 

As it stands right now, the majority of us are merely renters of excessive amounts of nonrenewable energy, and based on what your electric bill said lately, it is downright expensive. In 2012, the U.S. Energy Information Administration found that 9.8 million homeowners in Texas had an average monthly electricity consumption of 1,168 kWh, paying an average of $128.27 every month. Although we blindly associate it with the cost of living, it is unfortunately a great deal of money to be spending on what is really a one-way investment in favor of the electric company. In this business model, you are completely dependent on the electric company for your energy needs.

Consider how you could change that around simply by using the resources available to you, namely the sun and photovoltaic technology. Going solar means that you become a producer of energy, not just a consumer of it, and with the excess energy you can sell back to the grid, you are now more of a partner to the electric company. Unlike the standard consumer approach, a professionally installed and optimized solar panel system is an investment of your hard-earned money not only into your home, but your future. Want to ensure you have a stronger selling point to your home? Want to make sure you are taking an active role in going green and normalizing the use of solar energy in the American home? Want to stop wasting time and money? This is how you do it – by going solar today.

Now, ready your fireworks and get creative with how you display your red, white and blue this Independence Day! You might surprise yourself at how financially rewarding and environmentally smart going solar can be for your home or business.

Declare Your Independence!

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