Redefining Qualified

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As an Inside Sales member, most of my day is spent talking to customers interested in solar, checking out their home’s solar potential, and setting them up to speak to an expert about the benefits and perks of solar for their unique situation.

When looking at a home to find out if solar is a good fit there are three main things our designers assess: the amount of shading (from trees or other obstructions) around the house that will affect the roofs that we want to put solar on, how much space is available on the roof for the panels, and what direction the house faces.

Now, I know solar isn’t for everyone, and historically only one in five homes are qualified to go solar. Either there’s too much shading for the system to get adequate sun, the available roof space is limited, or the house is simply facing the wrong way. However, each time I have to tell a customer that their house doesn’t qualify my heart breaks a little. If I had my way solar would cover the earth, every rooftop, every open field. And SunPower has brought the solar industry a few steps closer to that dream becoming a reality.

So what did SunPower do to open up the doors of solar to those who’d previously been locked out? Check it out…

Shading

Shading is quite possibly one of the largest factors that disqualify a home for solar. Simply, if the sun can’t get to the roof (and therefore the panels) the one thing that is absolutely necessary for the solar panels to do their job is taken away. SunPower answered this challenge by inventing a more efficient solar cell. Though this may sound simple, SunPower has been the only company to figure out how to do it (they have the patents to prove it). The SunPower Maxeon cell captures low and dim light in addition to bright sunshine, converting it all into power, making shading less of an issue.

Also, the SunPower Equinox system includes the SunPower solar panel with an inverter built into the back of each module. Each micro-inverter turns each panel into its own solar system functioning almost independent of the panel next to it. This means that if one panel is shaded only that panel is affected, leaving the rest of the system to function at its best. This is quite different from other inverter systems who function much like old Christmas lights; one light breaks and the whole string goes down.

Visit our website to learn more about SunPower: http://rayahsolar.com/sunpower/

Roof Space

In New England, the next biggest concern when considering solar is available roof space to fit the panels. You need enough space on your roof to install a system to fit your needs.

As one of the oldest areas in America, our architecture many times reflects our history, with old Victorian towers and turrets, asymmetrical roof design, and mansard structures. Plus the need for extra space typically translates to shed and gabled dormers. All these different features, while many times beautiful, mean less space for panels.

SunPower’s answer to this was once again their more efficient panel technology. A more efficient panel means you need fewer panels to get the production you are looking for.

Azimuth

Azimuth is the direction your roof faces in relationship to North on a compass. Because we live in the Northern Hemisphere the best roof surfaces for solar face south. Traditionally, the further you move from true south the less production you could expect to receive from your panels.

As SunPower has continually worked to improve their efficiency of their solar systems they have worked to make use of every ray of sun that the panels come in contact with. Because of this, the panels recognize sunlight and turn on to begin producing power earlier in the morning and continue to produce later into the evening. For a roof facing more east-west than south, this is very good news. Now sunlight that would have been lost as the panels waited for the required threshold of light to turn on, is captured and used by the panels.

As you can see SunPower has completely redefined “qualified” when it comes to a home’s potential for solar. If you’ve ever considered solar but thought it wouldn’t work for you or if you looked into it but had a company (even us) tell you it was impossible, NOW IS THE TIME TO TAKE ANOTHER LOOK! Don’t count yourself out. Give us a call today and let our experts find a way to make solar work for you! (617) 564-3159

 

Article Written By Selah S. – Inside Sales, Rayah Solar

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Mass Solar Loan: A New Way for Homeowners to Save

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In 2015, designs were put in place for a $30 million residential solar loan program. Built to complement the nation’s leading solar market in Massachusetts, the Mass Solar Loan (MSL) program was born. This program was launched by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) as an initiative for Massachusetts residents interested in directly owning their solar electric projects. By the end of 2015, the Mass Solar Loan program had begun.

Designed to make it easier for homeowners to finance solar photovoltaic projects for their homes, the MSL program works with different banks and credit unions to expand borrowing options through lower interest rate loans. In addition, it encourages loans for homeowners with lower income or lower credit scores. The lower interest rates offered by the banks is made possible through a process called the Interest Rate Buy Down (IRBD), in which the MassCEC pays a percentage of the interest rate of the loan (they currently pay off 1.5% of the interest – previously it was 3%).

This program allows homeowners to not only purchase a solar system and save money on their electric bill (yes, we all know that by now), but homeowners also have the chance to be eligible for an additional rebate through the program (the Income Based Rebate) as well as receiving the other added benefits of being a solar owner such as receiving Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) for ten years.

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URGENT NEWS: The End of SREC’s

If you haven’t heard already, the Massachusetts Department of Energy and Resources (DOER)  has officially announced the end of the ever so popular Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC) Program.  Yes, what a shame!

The MA SREC program has been touted for years as one of the best, if not the best solar incentive program in the country.  Basically, when you install a solar system on your home, business or nonprofit, you get paid for the production of your solar power plant.  Yes, PAID.

How SRECs Work: For every 1,000 kWh produced, you get 1 SREC. An average single family home producing 8,000 kWh a year of solar power, would get 8 SRECs, which is equal to over $1,500 a year. Best of all, the DOER gives you 10 years of SREC’s. So $1,500 a year is really equal to $15,000 over 10 years.

 
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Setting The Record Straight

With the recent changes in the political climate, many customers I speak with are uncertain of what to expect from the solar industry in the coming months and years. There are plenty of rumors circulating about the end of solar or the eradication of incentives. We here at Rayah Solar want to help you set the records straight.

First, let me start by saying that the solar industry is as stable as the sun itself, and going solar may be one of the wisest investments you could make. The benefits add up: cost savings from your utility, tax credits, local incentives and rebates,  protecting your roof, added value to your home, and not to mention the undeniable benefits to the planet.

Most of all, it is the incentives that attract the lion’s share of solar seekers.  Over the past several years both the Federal government and the State of Massachusetts have made solar a priority, creating policies and incentives to promote the adoption of solar. . And just look around – it has worked!

Now, let’s take a look at some of the incentives, what they mean to you, and how they may change in the coming years.

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Michael Ferry: Fighting Fire with Solar

“It’s really a no brainer, once you know the facts about solar installation and the benefits associated with it. It’s really a win-win.”

– Michael Ferry, Swansea, MA

Michael Ferry, a Fall River Firefighter, after moving to the town of Swansea in 2008, had his sights set on installing solar for his new home. When Michael called our office, he basically said, “I have a quote from another solar company, but I’m not going to tell you the amount or the products, but I want you to give me your quote.” We put Brad Stoler, the Sales Manager, on the phone with Michael and he asked him a couple questions just to get a baseline; “what watt panels were on the other quote?” And, “is it designed with micro inverters or a string inverter?”

Based on Michael’s answers, Brad told Michael which panel brand he suspected was on the quote and the brand of the micro inverter. Brad also explained to Michael that if they used a specific model micro inverter, which Brad thought they did, then they had designed Michael’s system on the cheap and were short changing him power. When Brad showed up to Michael’s house, Michael just looked at him and said “you were right about everything you said, even the micro inverter model.” Needless to say, he quickly signed up to go solar with Rayah Solar. Michael wanted to work with the experts who weren’t going to skimp out or cut corners with their products.

Michael is also a fireman, and shortly after signing I got a call from his Fire Chief asking me “when are you going to put panels on my house too?”

 

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Drew Harris: Solar Power Done Right

“Basically, everything I wanted from solar, I got… No Hassle, No Problem!”

-Drew Harris – Dighton, MA

As a former EMT and firefighter, Drew Harris knew the importance of things being done right. When it came to solar, Drew initially went with another company, until he was handed over to Rayah. After what seemed to be a rocky installation process, he was pleased when the building inspector pointed to his system and said “This was done right.” He was even more ecstatic when the electrical inspector, on a separate visit to the home, echoed the same, “Yeah, this was done right.

Since being installed, Drew has told countless family members and friends about his solar experience. We recently had a barbeque for Drew, as a part of our solar process, where Drew invited his neighbors and family to see his system.

 

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Dan & Jane Hannigan: Going Solar: A No Brainer

“If I had the chance to do this all over again, I would have done it sooner…Because of the savings, it has worked out better than [we] expected…It was a no-brainier, and it made a lot of sense. I would absolutely recommend it to anyone I know.”

-Dan & Jane Hannigan

Originally from Hanover, MA, Dan and Jane Hannigan purchased a home on the shores of Scituate with hopes of building their dream summer home. As part of the construction of the home, Dan and Jane considered adding solar. After speaking with the solar consultant, they decided to purchase a residential solar system, and take advantage of Massachusetts’ lucrative incentives.

Dan and Jane have been solar for 3 years now. To date, they continue to obtain 100% of their power for their Scituate home from solar, in addition to receiving almost $2,000 in income from the energy they produce. They are thrilled to have gone solar, and would recommend it to any of their friends and family.

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Hallam Holmes: A Family Affair

I felt like it was an award show or a television network fooling me or something – telling me that I would get a solar system for free…”

-Hallam Holmes, Randolph MA

Rayah_solar_customerHallam Holmes is a resident of Randolph MA and has been solar for two years. He and his wife, Louis, have lived in Randolph for many years, among many neighborhood friends and family. As a former member of the Randolph Police Department, Hallam is likewise familiar with the town and those who live in it. After learning about our $0 Down Solar Program in 2012, Hallam made the decision to go solar and has been enjoying the savings and benefits of lowered utility bills and turn-key installation ever since. We recently joined Hallam at his daughter’s birthday party – as part of our post-install solar experience process, where he decided to share his solar experience with his family.

“I felt like it was an award show…,” was Hallam’s initial reaction after being told about our $0 down solar leasing option. “[The consultant was] telling me that I would get a solar system for free. At that point I decided to go [solar].”Hallam’s home is near the heart of the town, which allows for a seamless commute to and from work. Likewise, Hallam commented on the seamless nature of his installation process. “The installation was…easy; Just one or two days that I needed to come down and to keep the house open. They got it installed and the next day it was working.”

Hallam’s daughter recently tuned 3, and he took the opportunity to share the advantages of his solar experience with his family and friends.

In addition to being able to share his experience with his family, Hallam has also become a part of our Family – the Rayah Family.

To see more about Hallam’s experience, check out his video on our testimonials page.

Want to have your own solar experience? 
Call 617.564.3159 today for your free solar evaluation, and find out how you can share the benefits of solar with your family.

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SunPower Equinox: Excellence Runs in the Family

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What do you think of when you think of family? Mother, father, sisters, brothers. Maybe cousins, aunts, uncles, grand parents? If you’ve ever been in the military, a fraternity/sorority, or a sports team you know that family extends beyond blood relations. Looking at my own family, my definition is a little different. I see family as a group of individuals with the same foundation, receiving the same training, working together toward the same goal. Families are efficient, unified and protective of their goals and each other.

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The State Pays Homeowners to Go Solar

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Now, more than ever, is the best time to go solar. This is due to the various incentives that go along with switching to this form of clean energy. A common question I would expect anyone to have, whether or not they intend to go solar, is, “Well, what are the benefits?” Anyone could easily answer that it saves you money and saves the planet in the process. But what does that really mean? Now, picture this! You own a home, and on your land, you discovered oil. Jackpot! You don’t have to worry about buying gas for your car, or your 2016 Star Bolt C-Spec, if motorbikes are your thing. But first, you need a compact oil refiner. We all know you cannot put unrefined gasoline in a motor vehicle. That would cause problems to the engine, fuel pumps, and fuel system in general. Once you have your refiner, the next step is to refine the oil, duh! At this point, you’re all set. You no longer have to think about buying gas.  Now imagine there was a Federal Tax Credit, State Tax Credit, and a whole bunch of other local incentives.

This is exactly how solar energy is. With solar panels on your roof, you supply energy for your home, or business, without having to go through the grid. Plus, you have escaped the monopoly of your utility, and gained equity. Gaining equity simply refers to the amount of anything that you actually own. This equity also leads to an increase in the value of your home. So it’s a win-win. If that isn’t enough to see the benefit of going solar, then maybe a rebate is. Some towns in Massachusetts with Municipal Light Departments offer rebates to homeowners who go solar. In other words, you get money for striking oil and filling your tank with it.

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