Choosing Your Off-Grid Living Appliances: Ranges & Refrigerator’s

We were going to write our own blog about this…but why reinvent the wheel!  Michael Welch with Home Power wrote an insightful article on the topic of choosing ranges.

“Most gas ovens use either a pilot light—a continuously burning flame—or an electric element (aka glow bar) for lighting the gas flame. The downside of a […]

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Debunking Solar Myths… Myth #2

Solar will get more efficient and cheaper, so I should wait.

It definitely does not pay to wait.  Unlike smartphones and tablets, modern solar technology has changed little for decades.  The basic technology for panels is the same since the 1960’s.

While solar panels are getting slightly more efficient and cost are falling, the […]

3 Tips to Identify Common Solar Sales Tactics

Choosing to use renewable energy is a rewarding and beneficial investment on your home.  Unfortunately, the solar sales experience isn’t always a positive or easy process for homeowners. Buyer beware!  There are companies out there (solar and otherwise) who utilize high pressure techniques and methods.  In fact, recently I fell prey to similar tactics at a local gym.  That […]

Off-Grid: Lead-Acid Batteries & Low Voltage Disconnect (LVD)

Today we are discussing the battery component of an off-grid solar electric system.

Batteries store the energy that is produced during the day by solar photovoltaic (PV) panels.  The energy collected in the batteries is used during cloudy days and/or at night.  Grid-tie systems do […]

Should I store my excess energy in batteries?

Thinking of investing in a grid-tie solar PV system?  Direct grid-tie PV systems will not produce power when the grid fails. For safety reasons, your home solar power system will automatically shut off if the power goes out. This is to protect utility workers who might be working on damaged or downed […]

Debunking Solar Myths… Myth #5

I will have to change all my appliances if I get solar

Many homeowners perceive solar is a complete switchover from regular utility electricity.  In fact, you don’t have to change out any of your appliances.  With a grid-tie system, there is no change with the way power is distributed through your home or the […]

Will a Solar Power System Increase My Property Taxes in New Mexico?

One notorious myth about solar is that it increases property costs for homeowners.  Today we are here to dispel that myth…

In New Mexico, HB 233 (of 2010) exempted residential solar energy systems from property tax assessments.  HB 233 states that solar systems will not be treated as physical improvements, and therefore, […]

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PV 101: What Does “Net-Metering” Mean for Homeowners?

What is Net Metering?

According to DSIRE Solar Portal (Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency), 43 US states (and Washington D.C.) utilize a form of net metering and have enacted net metering policy.  Procedure and policy can vary for each state.

Net energy metering (or “net metering”) is a special billing […]

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PV 101: What does “Behind The Meter” mean?

Solar In the Taos Area

In New Mexico, specifically in Taos and the Kit Carson Electric Cooperative (KCEC) Territory, there exists a 5% cap on the limit of generating renewable energy.  The 5% limit is imposed on the local cooperative by Tri-State Generation and Transmission, the KCEC wholesale supplier.  Under agreement […]

Solar Installation Step-By-Step for Homeowners

Residential solar electric systems can provide energy independence for homeowners.  BUT, remember …  its always good to play an active role in the process.

Although the actual solar panel install and wiring may only take a few days, there are other considerations and factors that come into play when completing a solar installation.  Here are […]