Skip to Content

Blog Archives

American-Made Solar Panels – Equisolar Inc


American Made Solar Panels EquiSolar Solar Company Consumers are always looking for the best products to install in their homes and businesses, so why would it be any different for solar panel systems? If you’re on the market for solar panels, then you need to find a California company that sells and installs them.


Why is this important? Because only the best solar companies in San Diego will stand behind the systems they install for its customers. At Equisolar, customers get everything in one place – experts and engineers who can help them find the best solar panels for their properties. You also get a team of professionals to install them in your home or business. Many companies that sell solar panels don’t offer solar panel installation services, so make sure to inquire about this.


Why Buy American-Made Solar Panels?


Equisolar Inc offers an array of solar panels that are American-made and it’s based in California. Buying from a solar company in California helps the local economy and it reduces energy costs. There’s no need to ship from far distances, which only increases the carbon footprint you’d leave behind. When you go with American-made solar panels, you’re getting products that are right here in the states.


But what makes one solar system better than another? It’s the quality. This is one of the reasons why people opt for products that are American-made. There’s an increasing amount of solar panel companies popping up in the U.S. and many of them make it to the list of best solar companies to buy from.


Top Solar Companies in the U.S.


The biggest rival to the American solar panel market is Asia. China and Japan are major manufacturers of solar systems, and because of the friction between America and Asia, an influx of production ensued, leading to an oversupply. This caused the prices of solar panels to drop by nearly 50 percent back in 2011. This was great news for consumers, but the solar panel industry took a real hit.


As demand for solar panels increased, so did the prices. But consumers have grown more aware of the different brands and are seeing the benefits in shopping for U.S.-made panels, even if it costs a bit more. If you’re interested in supporting American solar companies, then you need to ensure the product is labeled “Made in USA.”


In order for a solar panel to qualify for the “Buy American” provision, it has to add value to America. There are several steps in the production of solar panels – all of them aren’t required to be on American soil. However, a substantial portion of the value added must be performed on American soil to meet the requirements.


So which companies fall within these standards? Here is a quick list of “Made in USA” solar panels:


  • Kyocera is a Japanese company, but its solar panels are made in San Diego. This brand offers 20 year power output warranty, as well as a five year       warranty for workmanship.
  • Sharp is one of the biggest companies in the solar industry. It too is Asian, but qualifies as American-made.
  • Sunpower is known for selling solar panels with the highest efficiency (24% efficiency to be exact). Because of this, expect to pay a little more.
  • First Solar also offers efficient panels (12% efficiency), but mainly targets commercial customers, such as developers and utility companies.
  • General Electric uses the same technology as First Solar, but provides 15% efficiency on commercial glass.


This is just a short list of the various options available. Equisolar is a California solar company that can help you find the best solar systems carrying the “Made in USA” label and will even install them for you.

0 Continue Reading →

How Long Does Solar Installation Take?


Solar panel technician californiaYou’ve made the decision of installing new solar panels onto your property. Now that you’re on the market for a solar system, you’re going to be looking for the best deals from the top solar companies in California

What will set apart one from the rest will be their customer service and professionalism in getting the solar panels installed.


While quicker is sometimes better, it’s not always so. For the sake of getting quality solar panels, you want to ensure that the system you’re purchasing is high-end and that the contractors performing the installation will do a great job, however long it takes. So it’s not about speed, but quality.


But to give you an idea of what the process entails, read on.


Week 1-2: Signing the Dotted Line and Surveying the Property


Once you’ve found the California solar company you want to buy your panels from, you’ll have to go through and sign all the paperwork. Since all of the estimations have been performed, this process should be rather seamless. In most scenarios it is, but there may be some instances where it isn’t, such as when the customer has to wait on a loan application to be approved.


Your property will have to be surveyed by the solar company’s experts, which can sometimes take up to two weeks. Specific data must be collected, such as utility connections and whether there’s faulty wiring. This isn’t uncommon in older model homes and buildings. If this is the case, then an electrician will be needed. In most cases, their work will only consist of several hours (for a residential property).


Week 3-5: The Design Phase, Owner Approval and Obtaining Permits


The team that will be installing your solar panels will design how the system will be implemented into your property. This includes making a blueprint for all of the wires, components and batteries. Once this is done, the owner will have to approve and then the permits can be submitted to the proper authorities. The waiting process is up in the air, but can take up to two weeks.


Week 6-8: The Installation and Inspection


After the permits have been approved, the contractor will schedule the installation. This can normally take one or two days, depending on the size of the property and complexity of the design. You’ll receive an estimate before work begins.


Finally, once the job is complete, an inspection is performed within one to two weeks. This is done by the utility company, which will then upgrade your meter once the system installation passes inspection.


It’s not uncommon for it to take up to two months for the entire process to complete. The company you hire will give you a time frame before installing the solar panels. The above can be used to help you understand the various steps involved.

0 Continue Reading →

Solar Home Companies – Make Your Electric Bill Disappear


Equisolar Solar Company Reduce Electric Bill
Any investment you make in your home or business should generate some type of return. Thanks to the tax rebates and cost-savings associated with solar panels, it makes the system and installation service well-worth the price. In California, solar panels are a big deal, especially as energy costs soar. There are both state and federal tax incentives you can and should take advantage of.


In one study done by the Edison Institute, energy costs rose by 2.5 percent per year between 2000 and 2006. This was higher than inflation, which was rising at 1.99 percent each year, during the same period. The hike in energy rates has a lot to do with the increasing costs for various fuels, including natural gas and coal.


Since it’s expected that these rates will continue to rise, so shall electricity bills. The best way to counter this is to hire a solar company to install a system for your home, business or other property. It won’t take long for your panels to pay for themselves either.


Tax Credits From Solar Drive Down Cost


The U.S. government and various states introduced tax credits to help drive more citizens to go solar. This allowed solar panel service providers to get 30 percent back from new projects and those who install it on their homes also get a 30 percent tax break, which is expected to end Dec. 31, 2016.


Then the additional state tax breaks can also be combined to help increase your savings even more. The state tax credits are higher in areas where the solar rating is high. A solar rating is the average solar energy available per home, which is higher in states like New Mexico, California and Arizona. In these states, you can also get extra incentives, such as waived fees, expedited permits and cash back.


How Much Are Solar Panel Systems?


The cost of solar panels varies depending on where you buy it from and from what brand. You can expect to pay a bit more for American-made panels, but higher quality is guaranteed. Some solar panel services charge $5 per watt, which is around $15,000 for a 3kW system. Although the system will eventually pay for itself, you also get immediate monetary benefits, such as a reduced or eliminated electric bill.


On average, Americans use around 1kW of electricity hourly and 900 kW monthly. If you’re using an energy efficient refrigerator that uses 350 kWh per year (about $50 annually) and a LCD television that uses 700 kWh per year ($100 annually), your 3kW solar panel system will generate 450 kWh monthly, which will cut your monthly energy bill in half. So if your bill was $150 monthly, you can expect to pay $75 for as long as you have your system.


Here’s an example of how your solar system can save you money:


  • The system costs $10,500 after tax rebates
  • You save $600 annually on your energy bill
  • It would take 17.5 years to get a return on your investment


Those who live in California can save the following monthly when using solar energy:


  • Sacramento – $65
  • San Francisco – $187
  • Fresno – $107
  • Oakland – $187
  • Los Angeles – $101
  • Long Beach – $131
  • San Diego – $137


Is it Better to Lease Solar ?

You have the option of leasing the solar panels you have installed by a service provider, but is this a good idea? For one, you will forfeit your ability to get the 30 percent tax credit, since this is only available to those who purchase the system. If you’re looking to save as much money as possible, but don’t have the cash on hand to pay off a solar system, you can instead finance. At Equisolar, there are excellent financing plans that start as low as $0 down.

0 Continue Reading →

Top 10 Tips When Looking for a Solar Company in California

Solar Company CaliforniaHarnessing the energy from the sun is great for the environment and your wallet, which is why Californians across the state are opting to upgrade their homes and businesses with solar panels. If you’re considering doing the same, then you’re going to need to find a California solar company you can trust.


Although the solar industry is still young, there are reputable companies out there that can provide great products and services. You can even find those that sell American-made solar panels, allowing you to help the U.S. economy at the same time you’re reducing your carbon footprint.


If you’re on the search for California solar companies, but aren’t sure which to choose, then allow the following tips to guide you.


Experience is Everything


Again, the solar panel industry is still in its infancy, but is quickly growing in popularity. This means there are a lot of so-called experts emerging that don’t have any real experience. The company you choose to install your solar panels should have a strong background in the industry. You’d be better off paying more with a company with over 20 years of experience than going with the cheaper guy with only two years of experience.


Ask for References


It doesn’t really count when someone boasts about their own work. This is why references are so important. If others will vouch for their work, then they’re a professional worth considering. Ask to see the past work performed by the company and/or to speak to past clients. Most established solar companies in California will have a portfolio and testimonials they can show you.


Consider Buying American-Made Solar Panels


Quality is hard to come by these days, especially since most factories have been sent overseas. Many solar businesses sell panels that come from China and other countries from around the world. Buying U.S.-made panels helps guarantee quality and helps support American businesses.


Determine if they’re Licensed and Insured


The company you decide to do business with should be licensed, bonded and insured. This is one of the first questions you should ask before considering hiring a business. Ask to see proof or inquire about their license number. Also, make sure their license is valid within the state of California.


Obtain At Least Three Quotes


Shopping around for the best deal is more than just about who can offer the lowest price. It’s about getting the best quality product from a quality installer at a price that won’t break your budget. The California solar company you interview should offer assistance with determining what you can afford. You want to be smart about the cost of the solar panels you purchase.


Check the BBB


The Better Business Bureau is still a great resource for finding out the quality of a company before you do business with them. Go to the website and look up the company names of the contractors you’re considering.


Go Over the Solar Warranty


This is where things can get pretty shady, so make sure you ask the company to shed light on the details of their warranties. Most will offer warranties for 20 to 25 years, sometimes longer. However, there are key components that may have shorter warranties, such as the inverter.


Consider Your Finances


Solar panels is a solution that can help drive down your electric, if not eliminate it altogether. However, you need to determine the monthly costs for both to ensure you can afford it. If needed, you can start off with a few solar panels, then work your way up.


Think Twice About Solar Leasing


The idea of leasing solar panels seems like a good idea at first, but when you look at the long-term aspects of doing so, you will see that this is a waste of money. When you lease solar panels, you’re never going to own them, which means you’ll have that bill forever (or two bills if it doesn’t offset 100 percent of your utility bill).


Find a Solar Company with Great Financing


The next best option would be to find a California solar company that offers financing options. You can find those that offer as low as $0 down and 0 percent interest rates for the first five years. Explore your options before signing the dotted line.


0 Continue Reading →

Solar Batteries – Back Up Systems for Solar Home


Solar Battery and solar panelsSolar energy is highly sought-after by both businesses and residences throughout California for a number of reasons. Gasoline is cheaper than it was a few years ago, but that likely won’t last for much longer. Now, folks are turning to solar companies in Los Angeles as they prepare their properties to withstand economic downturns and rising energy bills.


However, many of the solar panel systems sold today don’t come with back up systems, which means you have to dish out additional cash to set this up. In the past, it was too expensive to get enough deep cycle batteries to store sufficient amounts of energy for your home. It also took a level of knowledge to set up, which most homeowners don’t possess, so hiring a professional to perform this task was required.


Because of the complexity and expenses involved with these systems for solar panels, batteries were largely used for off-grid applications. Thankfully, the tides are beginning to turn, as lithium ion batteries evolve. The newer generation of energy storage will be cheaper and streamlined.


There are even solar panels coming soon that will have battery back up power included with the system. It’s better looking and the solar system installation can be done quickly by solar companies in California.


Why Did it Take So Long?


Deep cycle batteries have been around for over 100 years, but it wasn’t until the ‘70s when Stanford University colleagues figured out how to make batteries rechargeable (through storing lithium ions in the titanium sulfide layers).


The issue was that the batteries would explode or break down quickly, making them ineffective for long-term use. Then in 1980, a man named John Good enough, who is pretty much the father of the lithium-ion battery, discovered how to stabilize the batteries and able to hold energy for three times longer. This also opened the door to smaller batteries being manufactured.


Lithium-Ion Batteries for Residential Energy Storage


This technology has been around for a few years now, bringing forth a variety of concepts that include connecting batteries to inverters. There are a number of brands collaborating with Tesla to develop components that are compatible with solar power systems.


How Solar Battery Energy Storage Works


Before the emergence of these new battery backup systems, technicians from solar companies in Los Angeles had to use techniques like AC and DC coupling, which is more complex and definitely not aesthetically appealing. Let’s take a look at how these new systems operate:


  • The solar panels in your home create electricity using sunlight (DC)
  • The surplus of DC energy charges the battery pack
  • The inverter converts DC power into AC power
  • A special inverter is used to convert AC to DC to keep the battery back charged


Why Invest in Solar Battery Back Up Systems


You’ve already made the decision to invest in solar systems for your property for whatever reasons – i.e. to offset your power bills, lessen your carbon footprint or maintain power during storms. These are all great reasons to cross over to solar energy, but it doesn’t make sense to remain off the grid during the day only. You can further reduce your energy costs and save the environment by implementing a battery back up system. This will enable you to power up your home long after the sun has set.


This is a great time to invest in such systems, which are available for pre-order at Equsiolar. Solar panels integrated with battery back up systems will be the new norm and will be far cheaper than setting it up separately. Now is the time to safeguard your property from blackouts and high energy costs. Consult with a solar company in Los Angeles to see how you can upgrade your home with solar energy and back up systems.

0 Continue Reading →