REAP Grants: What You Need To Know

The government is under increasing pressure to combat the effects of climate change, while making solar systems more affordable. One major way they’re doing this is through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). You may have heard about REAP grants, but what are they, who is eligible, and how does one apply for the grant? Our solar energy company in NJ has compiled a guide of what you need to know. 

REAP Grants (Overview)

REAP grants provide financial assistance to small rural businesses and agriculture producers to buy, install, or build renewable energy systems, or to make efficiency improvements on existing renewable energy systems. These grants cover aspects  including:

  • Geothermal for electric generation
  • Small and large wind generation
  • Small and large solar generation
  • High-efficiency HVAC systems
  • Lighting
  • Insulation
  • Cooling and refrigeration units
  • Switching from diesel to electric

Small rural business owners are under unique financial pressures and often don’t have the extra funds to install or upgrade renewable energy systems. REAP grants can provide much-needed assistance and you can check the official website to learn more about eligibility requirements. 

REAP Grants for Farms

Farmers across the country can benefit greatly from REAP grants. Whether it’s upgrading the existing infrastructure or switching over to solar power, farmers can utilize more energy-efficient equipment and help reduce the massive costs that come with operating a farm. If you’re unsure about how solar panels or other energy-efficient equipment would work on your farm, our team is happy to discuss your options. 

REAP Grants for “Rural” Businesses

Rural business owners can also benefit from REAP grants. Think about changes you’d like to make like installing new windows and doors to prevent heating and cooling loss, upgrading your existing refrigeration units or building a customized solar system. If you’re a rural business owner and you qualify for a REAP grant, you can receive loan guarantees on loans up to 75% of total eligible project costs, grants for up to 50% of total eligible project costs, or you can combine both grant and loan guarantee funding for up to 75% of total eligible project costs.

Solar systems have become much more affordable over the years and the government has created various programs to incentivize business owners to embrace renewable energy. REAP grants can help offset what might otherwise be prohibitive installation costs, and the grants also allow you to upgrade your existing infrastructure to save money on your monthly energy costs. As a farmer or a rural business owner, you’re undoubtedly under pressure to keep costs low while increasing your production and your sales, and renewable energy can help you do exactly that. 

For more information about REAP grants including how to find out if you qualify for one, or if you have any questions about NJ solar panel installation, please contact our team at Green House Solar today or visit us at: http://greenhouse.solar

The Pros And Cons Of Net Metering

If you use solar panels to generate electricity for your home or business, you’ve probably heard of net metering, but do you know how it works? Solar systems have become much more affordable over the last decade, and with a range of financial incentives and tax credits available, many people are choosing to use solar power and net metering for their energy needs. When you have a solar system you can opt in to net metering, but what exactly is it, and what are the pros and cons? Let’s take a look. 

What Is Net Metering?

Net metering, sometimes called net energy metering (NEM), is when someone who privately owns their solar panels gives any excess energy generated to the electric grid. So if on a sunny day your solar system generates more electricity than your home or business can utilize, the excess electricity is fed back to the grid and the customer builds up a surplus.  At night or on a cloudy day, they can draw on that surplus and get the power they need from the grid.  Customers enrolled in this program are only billed for the net amount of power that they use, which in some cases means no charges at all.

To use net metering you must be connected to the grid, which the majority of people who have solar systems are. If you want to determine if you’re eligible to opt in to net metering, please contact your solar installer and they’ll be able to explain your local regulations.

The Pros of Net Metering

  • Increased control over your energy bills. Once you start paying closer attention to how much energy you’re using on a regular basis, you can be more mindful about not leaving lights on when you don’t need them, or not leaving your hot water running unnecessarily. 
  • Reduced demand on the grid. Sending your excess energy to the grid means there is less reliance on non-renewable energy. 

The Cons of Net Metering

  • It isn’t available everywhere. Most states in the US currently mandate net metering, but not all of them do. That’s why it’s important to ask your local solar installer about the regulations for the state you reside in. 
  • It requires being connected to the grid. If you’re completely off the grid, you won’t be eligible for net metering. You must be connected to your local power grid in order to send excess energy to it. 

For more information about how you can use net metering with your home solar system, or if you have any other questions about solar panels, please contact our team at Green House Solar today or visit us at: http://greenhouse.solar/

 

 

What documentation do I need when installing solar panels?

If you’ve made the decision to install a home solar system, obtaining the necessary documentation is an important first step. Each year, thousands of homeowners go off the grid and make the switch to solar, but before you can have your solar panels installed, there is certain documentation that needs to be completed. In this article, our experienced solar technicians will explain the permits and the documents you’ll need, and if you have any questions – our team is happy to help. 

Permits and documents: the logistical paperwork required for your solar panel installation

The first step is to contact your county and city government offices and ask what their requirements are. If you’re working with a licensed solar company, then chances are they know the requirements and can help you understand them. It’s worth noting that not all cities require permits.

If your city requires you to obtain a permit, you’ll now need to prepare all the documents for your permit application. These typically include a roof plan, a site plan, a construction plan, an electrical plan, and a location plan, among others. Your solar installer should be familiar with the process and may be able to assist you in submitting your permit application. 

Next, your local government may ask you to attend a hearing before issuing your permit for solar panel installation. If this is the case, your solar installer can attend on your behalf and answer questions, such as what your panels will look like, but we also encourage you to attend the meeting as well. 

Solar panel permit approval and interconnection

Once your permit has been approved, your solar installer will pay for and pick up your permit, which needs to be on site during the installation of your solar panels. The permit will include information about which inspections are required during and after installation, and your solar company can help you schedule the necessary inspections. 

Many solar panels draw energy from the grid as a back-up electricity source, so you’ll also need to complete an interconnection agreement, which is between you and your utility company. This agreement notifies the utility company that you’re installing a home solar system and will be connecting it to their energy grid. 

For more information about the documentation needed to install a home solar system, or if you have any questions, please contact our team at Green House Solar today. We’d be happy to walk you through each stage of the solar panel documentation process.

Solar panel system installation: what to expect

If you’re considering installing a solar panel system at home, you may be wondering what happens during the installation process and what you can expect. More people are opting for home solar systems now because they want to break free from conventional energy, reduce their environmental footprint, and lower their monthly energy costs. 

In this article, we’ll discuss each step of the installation process from start to finish. If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact our team today – they’ll be happy to help.

Step #1: Install Solar Panel Mounts

The first step is installing solar panel mounts. These pieces are affixed to your roof, and then your solar panels are affixed to the mounts. Your solar installer will inspect your roof to determine what type of mounts will work best, and then they’ll place them in the ideal position for maximum sun exposure. While it’s true that solar panels generate energy on cloudy days, you want your solar panels to be in the best position possible to absorb as much sunlight as they can, hency why it’s so important to properly place the mounts. 

Step #2: Install the Solar Panels

Once the mounts are firmly in place, it’s time to attach the solar panels to the mounts. Your solar installer will ensure the panels are properly attached to the mounts and that they’re angled correctly. It’s important that your solar panels are securely affixed to the mounts.

Step #3: Wire the Solar Panels

After your solar panels have been secured to the mounts, you’ll need to install the electrical wiring. Turn off your home’s power supply before this step. 

Step #4: Install Solar Inverter and Consumer Unit

The solar inverter is a crucial part of the home solar system. It converts sunlight into the energy used to power your home. Solar inverters are usually placed near the main solar panel, and we recommend they be kept in a cool place away from direct sunlight. 

The solar inverter will need to be connected to the consumer unit, which is your fuse board, in order to generate electricity. 

Step #5: Start and Test Solar Panels

You’re now ready to turn your power back on and let your solar panels get to work. Once your home solar system is up and running you can install an app on your phone that allows you to monitor your electricity usage in real time.

To learn more about solar power and how our team can install a home solar system for you, please call us today or visit our website at: http://greenhouse.solar

How long can solar energy be stored -

Are you thinking of transitioning to solar energy for your home or business? More and more people are turning to solar panels because they are becoming more interested in free, clean, completely renewable energy from the sun. Instead of relying on traditional energy, why not invest in a solar system that gives you total control?

Solar panels are consistently generating energy, and when they generate more energy than you’re using, the excess energy is stored in a battery pack. While there are differences in battery types, a standard solar battery can store energy for one to five days.

How is Solar Energy Stored?

For home solar systems, solar energy is stored in batteries. The most common type is a Lithium-Ion battery, and other types include saltwater batteries and lead-acid batteries. Your solar installer will recommend the best batteries for your system, and batteries are useful for storing solar energy during high-production, low-use periods, like on a sunny day while you’re at work. 

The number of solar batteries you’ll need depends on several factors, like the size of your home, how many people live there, and how much energy you all use at various times of the day.

Can I Use a Solar Powered Battery Pack instead of a Generator?

Generators are loud, dirty, wasteful, and very inefficient. They also only provide power for a limited amount of time. On the other hand, solar powered battery packs are environmentally friendly, have a longer life than generators, and emit no noise. 

Additionally, solar powered battery packs don’t require any servicing or maintenance, they come with a 10-year warranty, and they are smart home ready. There’s a misconception that solar panels only work on bright sunny days. However, solar power battery packs make it possible to use solar energy at night and during adverse weather conditions, meaning your home will never be without a steady supply of energy. 

How long will the charge on battery storage last for?

Like all batteries, solar batteries do need to be re-charged from time to time. An average fully-charged solar battery can last anywhere from one to five days, while Tesla batteries can last as long as seven days without a charge. 

Solar batteries have a very long life, lasting on average nearly 20 years. How frequently you need to re-charge your solar batteries depends on several factors, including the make and model, and how frequently you use it. 

To learn more about solar batteries or solar panel installation for your home, please contact us today or visit our website at: http://greenhouse.solar