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Looking To Cut Your Energy Bill? Here’s How

The sweltering summer heat is here in Orlando, Florida, and if you are tired from spikes in your electricity bill, you aren’t alone!

If you are looking for ways to cut your energy bills this summer, try some of the following small updates and consider installing a solar system so you can take advantage of the sun’s energy.

Keep reading to learn tips from our team at Solar Bear Orlando!

Solar Bear’s Tips to Save on Energy Costs this Summer

Save on energy costs this summer with these simple tips!

#1. Install a Programmable Thermostat

One of the biggest users of energy in your home is your HVAC system. It certainly takes a lot of energy to keep your home cool!

We recommend investing in a programmable thermostat so you can adjust your home’s temperature throughout the day. Raising the thermostat by just a couple of degrees can save up to 10% on your electricity bills!

If you can stand it, set your indoor air temperature to 78 degrees for optimal savings.

#2. Change your AC Filter

If your home has central HVAC, make sure to change your air filter every 30-60 days. A dirty filter requires more energy to run and can lead to AC breakdowns and higher energy costs!

#3. Keep Your Windows Covered

Close your blinds and curtains during the hottest part of the day to help reduce the amount of heat that is getting trapped inside your home.

When the sun goes down, open them up again since it is generally cooler outside.

#4. Invest in Energy Saving Appliances

In addition to your AC, large appliances like the dishwasher, refrigerator, washing machine, and dryer are the biggest consumers of energy in the home.

If you are going to replace one or more of these appliances, look for the Energy Star Label. Energy Star appliances use 10-40% less energy than their counterparts, so you’ll be sure to notice more savings on your energy bills!

#5. Unplug Unused Devices

Avoid vampire power throughout your home. Unplug devices and chargers around your home if you aren’t using them. This includes laptops, TVs, gaming consoles, phone chargers, and kitchen appliances.

Consider connecting them all to a power strip that you can switch on and off. This small step could save you up to $200 a year!

#6. Install Solar

Consider installing a solar system to use the summer sun to your advantage. It might be obvious, but solar systems generate the most power when the summer sun is shining and its rays are the strongest.

Plus, solar energy systems provide clean energy and don’t emit harmful greenhouse gasses like fossil fuels. And if that isn’t enough of an incentive, you can look at substantial savings on your energy costs by switching to solar.

#7. Use a Solar Battery System

You can further offset peak electric rates with a solar battery. Some utility companies offer Time-of-Use plans that raise electricity rates when energy use is at its highest. With a solar system and solar battery system, you can buffer these Time-of-Use rates by storing energy to use when you need it most.

Take Advantage of the Sun’s Rays

As you can see a few simple changes can greatly offset your electricity costs during the hottest months of the year. Plus, by choosing to install a solar system from Solar Bear Orlando, you can offset these costs even more by harnessing the power of the sun!

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

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Do Solar Panels Really Hold Up in A Hurricane?

Floridians know that summer is not all sunshine and beach days. It is also the start of hurricane season – a time that can cause worry and panic to ensure homes are up to snuff, especially those with solar panels. Solar Bear of Tampa examines how extreme weather can impact your solar panels and how you can protect against future damage.

Generally, most solar panels are certified to withstand up to 140mph winds. Certain states like Florida require installation companies to ensure that their fixtures are strong enough to hold off winds up to 170mph. High winds and heavy rain could potentially disrupt a solar panel installation but by using high-quality materials, even the heaviest of storms should not cause damage. Because solar panels are created from a combination of aluminum and glass, they are extremely waterproof. The rain actually helps clear away dirt, pollen, and other debris. If there is an incident of damage, most homeowners’ insurance plans include solar panels as a permanent part of your home. We recommend contacting your insurer before installation to see whether you’re covered and if you are not, see if you can be. 

Hurricanes can often bring with them heavy cloud cover and dark skies. But fear not, solar panels can still absorb about 25% of their capacity in those conditions. It’s hard to pinpoint an exact amount due to variables like the number of breaks in the clouds or how dark the clouds are but generally, it’s enough to keep essential appliances running. Furthermore, by installing a solar battery or stand-alone inverter with your solar system, you are better prepared than most to withstand a powerful hurricane. If the electrical grid should fail during a storm, a solar battery bank will allow you to take the excess energy stored and use it at your disposal.

Our team of energy experts can assist with any solar panel questions while we customize a solar installation that works for you. Call Solar Bear Tampa at (727) 471-7442 or request a free estimate today.

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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!

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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!