Solar Appreciation Day
Solar Appreciation Day

On the second Friday of March each year, people celebrate Solar Appreciation Day globally to learn more about solar technology. Solar Appreciation Day marks a fantastic opportunity to discuss the value of solar energy and celebrate sustainability and energy independence on a global scale.

The value of renewable energy is soaring during this time of climate crisis uncertainty. Common energy commodities can come at a premium, and when we have access to an everlasting source of power in solar, making the switch to save money and reduce our carbon footprint is more appealing than ever.

If you’ve been curious about solar for a while, Viridiant is launching the 2021 edition of our SolarizeRVA campaign to help our neighbors understand the technology, the logistics of an installation, tax credits, financing options, and the overall opportunity. This campaign is a continuation of a long-time project of the Richmond Region Energy Alliance, with whom Viridiant merged a year ago. SolarizeRVA 2021 is kicking-off with an informational webinar on Thursday, March 25, 7:00-8:00pm with Viridiant’s Energy Services Director, Andrew Grigsby.

Here is Andrew’s family’s solar story.

We’ve had solar panels on the roof of our house for almost exactly 4 years. St. Patrick’s day is our “solarversary”… appropriately green. In that time, the only problem we’ve ever had is with my router dropping its connection with the equipment. Meantime, they panels have produced over 32,867 kilowatthours of electricity. At 11-12 cents per kilowatthour, that’s $3665. After the federal tax credit, we paid $10,400 for this 6KW array (20 panels). Using the simple payback method, we’re in the clear in around 11 years – at today’s electricity prices. Where else are you going to get a guaranteed 9% return on an investment?

But we pay for this array as part of our mortgage. We did a rehab mortgage and borrowed a little extra to pay for the solar. So, I look at it from a cashflow point of view. I pay about $53/month to have the array there. That’s the cost of applying $10,400 to my mortgage. But it makes an average $76/month worth of electricity. I call that making money – from day one. If you’re considering refinancing your mortgage or buying a new home, this could be as good a deal for you.

So what makes a good solar site? First, it’s sunshine. Lots of sunshine. The area should be unshaded most of the day. And if it’s a roof, it should be facing generally south and in very good shape. You want your solar panels to produce as much electricity as possible. They produce the most when the sun’s rays hit them straight on.Reach out to our team today to learn more about solar viability at your home.

Here’s how SolarizeRVA works: You call us, email us, fill out our on-line form, or join one of our webinars or community meetings. Our staff take a look at your roof (or yard/field) and your electric bill and talk you through how much solar electricity you could generate and how that could work for you financially. We’ll also discuss other energy-smart technologies and offer you an in-home energy analysis for as little as $45. Basically, you get easy access to some of Virginia’s most experienced residential energy and construction professionals to provide un-biased expertise without a sales pitch. In addition to providing education, SolarizeRVA includes access to vetted installers to whom we can refer you.

It’s a great time to go solar. The federal tax credit of 26% is set to go down to 22% at the end of 2022 (details at https://www.seia.org/initiatives/solar-investment-tax-credit-itc). Installation on your roof takes just 1-3 days depending on the complexity of the operation, and 99% of the work is outside, so it really is a safe undertaking during social distancing. Our re-design of the Solarize model offers both consumers and industry partners more flexibility to get to the best solutions and best prices on a customer-by-customer basis.

Don’t forget to sign up for our SolarizeRVA 2021 kick-off webinar on Thursday, March 25, from 7:00-8:00pm. Register here.

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