View Post

Do Solar Panels Meet Miami-Dade Hurricane Wind Requirements?

In Education, Opinion 6 Comments

Hurricanes and wind are frequent concerns among those seeking to install solar panels in Southwest Florida, and many people have heard about Miami-Dade hurricane wind code requirements. It stands to reason that people want solar panels installed that meet the most stringent hurricane wind building codes in the country. The concerns usually involve roof leaks and integrity of the roof …

View Post

Should I Put Solar Panels on the Front of My House?

In Education, Opinion Leave a Comment

Aesthetic concerns are understandable when deciding to install solar panels on your home, and especially on the front of your home. Good planning and layout, properly selected materials, and excellent workmanship can result in great looking systems anywhere on a home. Since solar panels are ubiquitous in Florida, especially solar pool heating panels, it is an accepted norm to place …

View Post

Solar Pool Heating Panels on a Tile Roof – Design to Reality

In Education, Installation Photos, Opinion, Solar Design Leave a Comment

We have a lot of tile roofs in Florida. Sometimes known as barrel tile, S-tile, Roman tile, Spanish tile, or Mediterranean tile (among other names), these roofs are popular, especially in gated communities. Installing solar pool heating panels presents challenges on tile roofs, and we like the aluminum rack method. This method uses structural aluminum channels to act as a …

My Solar Electric System, One Year After Installation

In Education, Opinion Leave a Comment

I just got a $54 electric bill for my 3,000 square foot home. Pretty good, right? I’m walking the walk! Well, it’s not what I had hoped when I installed my solar electric system, but that’s because I’m wildly wasteful now (not that I’m proud of it). I was spoiled by the low electric bills that started coming after I …

Beware of Shady Solar Installers

In Opinion Leave a Comment

It would be great to work in an industry that is self-policing and largely above any major ethical breaches. While most solar dealers are good people, driven by ideals of a better world, there are shady solar companies out there, and you need to stay away from them. Why is it so important in this industry, and how do you …

View Post

Urban Solar vs. Suburban Solar in Florida

In Opinion Leave a Comment

I have been asked “why Southwest Florida.” The markets in Tampa, Orlando, and Miami are much larger urban centers with far greater population. It seems like the solar energy business would be much better in these populations centers where there are far more residential energy customers. Florida is a sleeping giant when it comes to solar energy market potential, but …

Floridians for Solar Choice Sponsors Ballot Initiative

In News, Opinion 4 Comments

Floridians for Solar Choice is sponsoring a Constitutional Amendment that we support, and you should, too! The purpose of the initiative is to¬†encourage and promote local small-scale solar-generated electricity production and to enhance the availability of solar power to customers. The essential goal here is to allow individuals and business the freedom to produce and sell electricity, and to purchase …

View Post

What Happens With Solar Panels When It’s Cloudy?

In Education, Opinion Leave a Comment

In a now-famous video among solar energy industry colleagues, the Chairman of the Florida Public Service Commission suggested the The Sunshine State is just a license plate slogan. Solar energy opponents have included Florida’s often cloudy weather in talking points that express doubt about the viability of solar energy in Florida. In fact, Florida Power & Light’s parent company, NextERA …

Reports of Unfair Early FPL Solar Rebate Applications

In News, Opinion 11 Comments

Note: See updates in Comments below. The last round of the FPL Solar Rebate Program was supposed to begin taking applications at 8:30 am ET today on FPL’s website. There are reports rolling in of applications being started (and possibly even completed) prior to the start time. Several applicants reported that the Apply button showed up as early as 8:23 …

Don’t Buy the Wrong Variable Speed Pool Pump

In Education, Opinion Leave a Comment

You may have heard about the fantastic energy savings that can be realized with a variable speed pool pump (aka Variable Frequency Drive or VFD pumps). It’s true that these pumps can save a ton of money. Even running at the same flow rate, variable speed pumps are inherently more efficient than the single speed variety. When used at a …

Practice What You Preach – My Solar Energy Home

In Opinion Leave a Comment

Last year I finally installed a grid-interactive solar energy system on my own home, and I couldn’t be more proud. Of course, it was expertly installed (by me), and it looks and performs great. I have learned so much about living with grid-interactive solar energy – more than I could have imagined. It is, as I knew, a seamless experience. …