Top 2016 Home Solar Trends

Remember summer? That lovely, fleeting season (in the Northeast anyway) when we enjoy bonfires, s’mores, BBQ’s, camping, gardening….ah, I could go on and on….but I won’t.

Although not “official” until June 21st, it’s FINALLY feeling like summer here in the Green Mountains of Northern Vermont. The grass is green, the days are warmer (it was 95° last weekend!), I’m rocking my flip flops, and my pool is open. Yes, to me anyway, summer is here. And this girl sure is happy about it!

Pool.

With summer (almost) here, and the sun sticking around longer every day, we thought now would be a great time to share this post that the folks at Modernize were kind enough to send us.

Since EcoFasten Solar manufactures solar roof mounts, and our Sister company, Alpine SnowGuards manufactures rooftop snow management systems, we figured the wealth of information the Modernize crew has in their bank would be not only relevant, but helpful. After all, their tag line is (are you ready for this?) “HOME EMPOWERMENT”….Hoorah!!!! I LOVE the sound of that! I mean, who doesn’t want to be empowered when it comes to improving your home? Oh, and they have an entire sub-site dedicated specifically to solar. LOVE these guys….The more we know, the better off we are. Firm believer.

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So, with that being said, we know you’ll take away a lot of great info from this piece. On behalf of the Modernize crew and us….ENJOY!!

TOP 2016 HOME SOLAR TRENDS by Kaitlin Krull

When it comes to residential solar power, most homeowners think of two things: garish rooftop panels and money. At Modernize, we relish the opportunity to debunk solar myths. While the vast majority of residential solar use does, in fact, come from roof-installed photovoltaics, there are actually many other ways to utilize solar power in the home. As for the perceived exorbitant cost of solar power, advances in technology and a wider variety of solar offerings make this renewable energy source more affordable than you might think. A quick look at some of the top solar trends for 2016 just might change your mind about residential solar power.

Photovoltaics

Rooftop photovoltaic panels, or traditional solar power to most of us, have been around for decades but are, not surprisingly, just as popular as ever. In fact, it’s estimated that the United States alone will install more than 10 GW of solar panels in 2016. Taking into account these current figures, an excess of 1 million American homeowners will have installed solar photovoltaics to date. Increases in photovoltaic technology and aesthetic appeal, as well as decreases in building and installation costs, mean that homeowners will continue to invest in solar power this year—and likely for a long time to come.

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Community Distributed Generation projects

Cost and location are two factors that hold many homeowners back from taking the leap into traditional solar panel investment. Thankfully, 2016 will see the rise of shared solar power that has the potential to benefit entire communities from a single site at a reduced cost. Community Distributed Generation projects are run by remote net metering, whereby meters located at a host solar site are accessed by the public. These meters are owned and monitored by project sponsors with preset allocation limits for members, who can sign up for access to their local CDG project and reap the benefits of shared solar power. This new trend, although currently only available in several states (Minnesota, Massachusetts, Vermont, Colorado, and most recently New York), is becoming more popular all the time and is particularly useful for renters and homeowners in less-than-ideal financial situations or physical locations for traditional home photovoltaics.

Battery storage

While universal grid-based solar power is the ultimate goal for the future of our country’s energy use, many homeowners remain uncertain about dependence on utility companies for power. Battery storage used to be the only way to make use of excess generated solar power before the more convenient (and affordable) regulated and grid-based solar came along, but increases in both technology and a desire for self-sufficiency have helped solar batteries to make a comeback. Specifically, the Tesla Powerwall, a home battery developed by Elon Musk in 2015, provides homeowners with a way to harness the power of the sun at any time of day or night, thereby ushering in a new age of solar storage and the potential for significant and widespread off-grid residential renewable energy use.

Off-grid solar products

Technological advancement and economic uncertainty are also responsible for the development of other solar powered appliances and gadgets that will become more popular in homes this year. Solar powered water heaters (as seen below), televisions, and other appliances are currently used in developing economies around the world that have no reliable link to grid-based energy sources. However, as off-grid living becomes more appealing to American homeowners, these kinds of products will see an increase in popularity in homes across our own country. Existing products such as solar charging stations and decorative solar-powered exterior lighting will also see a rise in sales as homeowners become more aware of the potential of renewable energy in their own homes.

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It’s clear to see that residential solar use is on the upswing for 2016 and beyond. Developing technologies and new products are changing the way we use solar and paving the way for both sustainable living and renewable energy.

Thanks again, Modernize!


EcoFasten Solar will be exhibiting at Intersolar North America booth #9733. We hope to see you in San Francisco!

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Industry leader EcoFasten Solar designs, engineers, and manufactures patented, watertight solar roof mounts. The company provides mounting solutions that are easy to install, cost-effective, rugged in fabrication, and unsurpassed in quality. Comprised of a seasoned and growing team of professionals with talent, ability, and drive, all EcoFasten Solar products are precision-designed with the installer in mind.

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