Rising Cost of Living Means It’s Time to Go Solar

The rising cost of living may mean it’s time to go solar. Installing solar panels on your property has traditionally been a great way to reduce energy costs and your carbon footprint. Over the last decade, we’ve seen a 70% reduction in the cost of solar equipment with over 10 million homes across the United States powered by solar energy. However, is it lucrative to make this investment now or wait longer for prices to drop again? Solar Bear of Tampa explains why you should switch sooner rather than later.

Waiting to install solar panels at a further reduced rate also means waiting to save money on electric bills. As we have seen inflation and interest rates rise, the cost of electricity continues to increase as well. In fact, residential electricity prices are projected to increase roughly 3.8% by the end of 2022. Additionally, the government incentives and streamlined manufacturing benefitting the solar industry may soon face obstacles too. Solar modules and panels are the cheapest they have ever been but with supply chain issues and the prospect of phasing out financial incentives, this is another reason to consider solar sooner rather than later. If you decide to delay installing solar panels, you may also miss out on a major financial benefit, net metering. One of the foundational solar incentives, this program hangs in the balance in many states. Although Florida’s Governor DeSantis recently vetoed HB 741, a bill that would have significantly reduced net metering benefits, there is talk of a new form of the bill appearing next session.

Rising interest rates have also made the housing market quite volatile. Solar panels can smooth that volatility by increasing the future potential sale of your home. Adding solar power to a home significantly raises property value and can help you sell your home faster.

If you are interested in adding a new solar system to your home or business, speak with our team of experts at Solar Bear of Tampa. Call us at (727) 471-7442 or schedule your free estimate online today!


How Solar Panels Can Power Your Electric Vehicle

Many people are switching to electric vehicles (EVs) to protect the planet, enjoy high mileage, and save money on gas over the long term. But whatever the reason, there is no denying that the adoption of electric cars is gaining traction!

Home solar panel installation can allow you to charge your EV in the convenience of your own garage! Just think about it, solar panels coupled with an EV can significantly reduce your energy costs and overall carbon footprint.

Here’s everything you need to know about powering up your electric vehicle with solar panels!

The Benefits of Charging EVs with Solar

By choosing to power your EV with solar you can make charging your EV more convenient and economical than ever.

There are some great benefits of charging electric cars with solar:

  • The expense of gird power increases over time, whereas solar systems generate electricity as long as the sun is shining
  • In many cases, the expense of solar energy is cheaper than grid power
  • Solar panels create less pollution than standard electricity grids

What is Required to Charge EVs with Solar Panels?

It is important to note that the solar system required to charge your electric vehicle is correlated to your home’s energy requirements.

That being said, you’ll want to anticipate your solar system’s capacity and size to accommodate your vehicle’s charging needs.

Apart from the solar panels themselves, you will need two other components to charge your EV with solar:

Battery Storage

When charging an EV, you need something to store the electricity that you are generating. Power storage is important since many EV owners rely on charging their cars overnight when the sun is not shining.

This is where battery storage comes in!

Charging Station

You will also need a solar charging station where you can plug in your EV to charge. These are typically located in the driveway or garage.

We suggest level two chargers since they provide much faster charging times. Like storage batteries, many options are available for at-home charging stations.

Charging Your EV with Solar

Follow these simple steps to charge your electric vehicle at home with solar!

#1. Determine The kWh Your EV Requires Based On Your Driving Habits

This step is straightforward. You will just need to track or mileage or estimate how much you drive your EV by using an average number of miles/days.

#2. Determine the Number of Solar Panels You Will Need

An average solar panel generated about 350 watts under full sun conditions and should receive between three to seven peak hours of light per day.

This means that an average solar pane produces between 1.05 kWh to 2.45 kWh of energy each day.

Say you get around 1.75 kWh every day from your solar panel, you will need about five or six panels to generate enough electricity to charge a Tesla Model 3 for 40 miles of range. But keep in mind, that the number of panels you need will depend on how many miles you drive.

Using this approach, you can determine how many solar panels you will need to produce enough energy for your electric vehicle.

#3. Get the Right Solar Equipment

You can’t just put solar panels on your roof and plug them into your vehicle. You will also need all the equipment needed to charge your EV. This includes:

  • Solar panels mounted to a roof rack
  • A Level 2 electric car charger
  • A micro-inverter that converts solar energy output to AC, or a central string inverter that joins the solar pane’s DC output to AC

Charge Up with Solar

An eclectic car powered by solar panels at home isn’t just lighter on the pocket but can also save you from needing to charge your vehicle around town. Plus, the amount of savings you get by charging your EV with solar will easily offset your initial solar investment!

Ready to charge your EV at home with solar power? Call Solar Bear Orlando for a consultation and quote today; (727) 471-7442!


Here’s How Solar-Paneled Heat Pumps Work

If the fast-approaching winter season, and rising utility costs, have you researching solar energy for your home, Solar Bear of Tampa has a great option for you – the solar power heat pump. Read on to learn more about its benefits, the cost savings of going solar, and how to get started.

Most homes require heating through electrical wires in the flooring, through gas or fuel-based heating. Traditional heat pumps pull hot air from outside and then push it into the home. However, a solar power heat pump eliminates the need for elements because the heat comes from the sun. This type of installation is especially useful for homes that are remotely located and use solar panels as their primary electricity source. Using the sun’s light provides heat at a lesser cost and is a more environmentally friendly option.

There are a few options available when installing a solar paneled heat pump. If you want to eliminate the use of electric heaters, try a solar-based heat pump that extracts solar heat from the outside and transfers the heat into the water system. Another option is to use solar-assisted heat pump technology. With this mechanism, the heat pump pulls heat from the outside but uses electricity to make this function possible through solar panels. The panels are connected to a machine that supplies the needed electrical power to run the pump and extract. Therefore, it uses two technologies (heat and sunlight) that work in tandem to operate as one.

Installing a solar heat pump has several benefits that every homeowner can appreciate. A foundational element of adding solar is how eco-friendly it is. Shifting to solar energy lessens your carbon footprint and dependence on non-renewable resources. Adding a cost-efficient solar heat pump also gives homeowners considerable savings, especially during the summer and winter months. Your machine can run nonstop during the winter and use the reverse function in summer to reduce the use of air conditioning. The savings continue with local and federal incentives. Solar Bear of Tampa can share a plethora of financial options that will maximize cost savings for your home.

If you are ready to lessen your home’s energy usage, schedule a free estimate with Solar Bear of Tampa. With the help of our professional team, you won’t mind that winter is coming!


Can You Write Off Solar Panels on Your Taxes?

Installing solar panels comes with many benefits, one of them being that you can start saving money on electricity almost right away. Yes, solar panels can dramatically reduce your monthly energy costs, starting on day one.

But the savings don’t just stop there. Not only do solar panels reduce energy costs, but they will also give you a tax credit on your taxes come spring.

So, does this mean that you are writing off your solar panels on your taxes? How does the federal solar tax credit work? Let’s dive in!

How Does the Federal Solar Tax Credit Work?

The federal solar tax credit is known formally as the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and is part of a congressional effort to encourage the adoption of solar panels throughout the United States.

Originally enacted in 2006, there have been many changes to the ITC in the last few years. Until 2019, homeowners received a 30% tax credit if they installed a solar panel system. The tax credit dropped to 26% in 2020 and will decrease until the program is eliminated in 2024.

To qualify, you must:

  • Own the solar system. It cannot be leased
  • Install new solar panels and equipment. Used systems do not qualify for the ITC
  • Have the system installed on your primary or secondary residence located in the USA
  • Or install the solar panels at an off-site community solar project that you are participating in

The best part of the ITC is that the tax credit covers the total cost of your solar panel installation. This can include:

  • The solar equipment
  • Solar consultant fees
  • Installation fees
  • Electrician fees
  • Engineering fees
  • Permitting
  • Wiring
  • Freight and shipping costs
  • And more!

Further, the federal solar tax credit is not capped at a specific dollar amount. No matter how much you pay for your solar system in 2022, you can claim 26% of the total cost to receive your tax credit.

Tax Deductions Vs. Tax Credits

It is important to note that the ITC is a tax credit, not a tax deduction. What is the difference? Though we aren’t accountants, here is a quick explanation:

  • A tax deduction refers to a portion of your income that is exempt from income tax if you meet certain requirements. Say you spent some of your income on a business expense or it was covered under a deduction allowance. This is a deduction!
  • A tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction of the total amount of income tax that you are required to pay.

So say your total tax bill is $15,000 but you earn a federal solar tax credit of $5,000 for installing solar on your property. You can reduce the amount of $5,000 off your tax bill and you’d owe $10,000 for the year instead. But this is mainly hypothetical, make sure to discuss your specific tax situation with a licensed tax professional as your situation might be more complicated. 

Bottom line? Tax credits generally offer more tax savings than tax deductions.

2022 Is the Year to Go Solar

Nothing lasts forever, and that includes the federal solar tax credit. If you want to install solar energy in your home, 2022 is the last year to enjoy the 26% benefits under the ITC.

Starting in 2023, the ITC will drop to 22% and it will then be eliminated in 2024 unless Congress extends it again.

Take Advantage of Solar when Filing Taxes

There are many benefits of going solar, and the ITC is just one of them! Take advantage of the solar tax credit and go solar with Solar Bear Orlando this year before the ITC drops to 22% next year!

Ready to get started with solar? Call Solar Bear Orlando today for a quote; (727) 471-7442!