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For most of its history, the US has heavily relied on fossil fuels. Starting with the industrial revolution and going through countless technological advancements, coal, oil, and natural gas have been at our side. But, unfortunately, the current climate trends and depleting fossil fuel reserves necessitate that we steer away from traditional fuels. We need to turn towards clean energy through solar panels, wind turbines, and hydroelectric plants. Even off-grid solar panels are a viable option for the more rural parts.

 And, while we are all aware of this reality, some states are better than others in implement eco-friendly solutions. So, to congratulate those states and, hopefully, learn from them, we will list them out. Without further ado, here are the states that are winning on clean energy.

Our list of states that are winning on clean energy

We will base our list on one simple metric: “The amount of clean energy created within a state.” We preface this so that there is no confusion regarding what “winning” means when it comes to clean energy.

If you are planning to move and are using this article for research about eco-friendly living, we strongly suggest that you contact Best Long Distance Movers. That way, you can learn how to make your relocation as eco-friendly as possible while moving to one of the states that use the cleanest energy.

Vermont

Let’s start our list with a state that is not only the winner in clean energy but arguably the most eco-friendly state in the US. As it is now, Vermont generates around 99.6% of electricity from renewable sources, 55% of which comes from hydroelectric sources. Wind farms also play a significant role in Vermont’s energy generation with about 18%. It is fair to say, though, that Vermont consumes about three times more energy than it produces. But, the total energy consumption is still the lowest among the US states. So, all things considered, Vermont has a decent claim for the most eco-friendly US state.

Idaho

81.6% of Idaho’s electricity is generated from clean energy sources. These are primarily hydroelectric utility-scaled power plants, which produce 56% of state energy. This considerable reliance on relatively abundant energy has led to Idaho’s low energy prices (among the lowest five in the US).

Washington

As we’ve seen, hydroelectric energy production is a big part of both Vermont and Idaho’s clean energy infrastructure. Well, when it comes to the amount of hydroelectric energy produced, you can hardly beat the state of Washington. Over 25% of US hydroelectric energy comes from here. The Grand Coulee Dam alone can use the Columbia River to create energy for 2.3 million households. So, you can imagine just how invested Washington is in clean energy production. The sole reason why we still consider it a close second to Oregon is that 44% of state-wide energy use is clean.

Oregon

With over 76.3% of its energy reserves coming from clean sources, Oregon easily comes on top of our list. Once you consider how windy it is, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that it uses more than 1,900 turbines with 3,400 megawatts of generating capacity. This energy infrastructure allows Oregon to have 11% of its electricity net generation come from wind. And, as luck would have it, the wind isn’t even Oregon’s greatest clean energy generator. 65% (over 8.2 GW total capacity) of energy is hydro-based. Therefore, with an already developed infrastructure and high production of clean energy, we proudly declare Oregon, the winner on clean energy.

Maine

With 75.9% of its energy being clean, Maine is very high on the list of the cleanest states. A large part of Maine energy production relies on biomass fuels, mostly related to wood and wood derivatives. Apart from that, there is a substantial amount produced through water, with around 31%. Currently, Maine is trying to incorporate wind production as much as possible, as it promises to be a better long-term solution than relying on biomass. With 24% of in-state energy generation, Maine is on a good way towards increased wind use. The one potential downside to Maine being truly eco-friendly is that almost two-thirds of households still use fuel oil as a primary heating source.

South Dakota

Standing right behind Maine is South Dakota, with 73.1% use of renewable energy. 45% of in-state energy generation came through hydropower. Seeing the large mass of powerful rivers going through South Dakota, it is easy to understand why the state is so reliant on its power generation. Apart from hydropower, South Dakota also uses wind, coal, and natural gas. Wind accounts for nearly 25% of energy net generation, so it is nothing to scoff at. Most South Dakotans still use electricity as the primary source for heating, which isn’t entirely eco-friendly.

California and off-grid solar panels

The previous states all have over 50% of their energy come from clean sources. Now, unfortunately, we move to countries that are below the 50% line. The first one in this group is California, with 47.2% clean energy production. When it comes to solar, geothermal, and biomass energy, California is at the top. So, if you plan on using solar energy, even with off-grid solar panels, you should definitely consider living here.

Furthermore, when it comes to standard hydroelectric power generation, California is second in the US. California is often difficult to categorize, as different metrics related to energy production and consumption place it in wildly different spots. For instance, California has the second-highest energy consumption in the US. But, when it comes to per-capita, it has the fourth-lowest.

If California is one the list of states you wish to move to and eco-friendliness is among your top priorities, it is worth considering it. However, we suggest you dig a bit deeper before you decide. There are many moving elements when choosing your next place for life. It’s not only where, but also when and how you will relocate. You need to consider a lot to make the right choice, hire the right moving company, and find the best new home.

Final thoughts

If you are trying to find the states that are winning on clean energy to choose the right one to relocate to, we suggest that you do a bit more research. As we’ve mentioned, you’ll find it challenging to boil down the eco-friendliness of a state to a single metric. Instead, we would advise you to focus on your individual efforts and check for energy-efficient neighborhoods. Even off-grid solar panels can be a great solution if moving to an eco-friendly area seems too difficult.

People decide to go solar for two prevailing and all too familiar reasons – saving the planet and saving money. But, what is unfamiliar is how to find the right Austin solar installers. Doing this is quite different than finding plumbers or electricians, for example. Moreover, doing this can quickly become intimidating, stressful, and complex. So it’s no wonder why people do not know where to start. 

Do not worry; we are here to help you out! Finding the right Austin solar installers is not hard; it just requires a lot of research. After all, you want to be sure that the people you hired to bring to life this new, expensive investment of yours are the best in the field, right? Of course! Thus, here is everything you need to know when hiring solar installers in Austin or anywhere in Texas. 

Get in the Right Mindset – the Solar Mindset 

As previously mentioned, many people had had the experience of hiring plumbers or electricians when they had an annoying leak or wiring gone wrong. But, hiring people to help you go solar is a whole other thing. Installing solar panels on your roof is a time, energy, and money-consuming investment; thus, make sure you understand what you are getting into. 

When looking for the best solar companies in Texas, it is crucial to get in the right mindset. Research as much as you can about different solar options to know what kind of installers you will have to look for. It is similar to finding a contractor, really. Just prepare yourself for many long conversations on this topic, as that is the best way to find the right Austin solar installers. 

Get Recommendations  

Imagine having to move right away and having found just one company, say Heavenly Moving and Storage, to help you out with that – what would be the first thing you would do? You would probably try to get recommendations from the people you trust or online reviews to make sure you are making the right choice. That is a smart thing to do if you want to find a legitimate company and one that suits your needs and budget! The same thing applies to finding the right Austin solar installers. After doing online research and finding several companies you seem to like, you must ask around. 

If, however, none of your trusted people have had the experience with solar panels, do not worry; there is another way to get recommendations. Just look around you – there must be a house with solar panels on its roof somewhere in your neighborhood, as many people in Austin have gone solar over the past several years. Knock on their doors, introduce yourself, and ask your questions. Most people will be glad to help you. 

Do a Background Check 

After getting recommendations from the people around you about which solar installers in Austin to go for, choose two or three companies you like the most, and do a background check on each. As previously said, this is a substantial investment, so ensuring that the company you plan on hiring is the right one is crucial. Thus, start by interviewing the companies you chose. Ask them about their business, experience, licenses, etc. Ask them about the good, the bad, and the ugly things about going solar. Be sure to listen carefully to all the things they are saying because you can pick up a lot from their behavior. 

Moreover, do an online background check too! Visit the website of each solar installer company. If a website is full of helpful information, blogs, comments, etc., that is a good sign. If a company does not have a website or a social media account, stay away! 

As for an Estimate and a Quote 

If you thought you would not have to deal with paperwork when installing solar panels on your roof, you were wrong. Just like moving, as previously mentioned, installing solar panels on your roof requires a lot of paperwork. But, unlike dealing with bureaucracy after your relocation, this bureaucracy can be a lot more complicated to handle. You will need to get a permit, insurance, an estimate from an expert, etc. 

The good news – a legitimate solar installer company can do all of this for you! All you have to do is call them and ask them to come to your home and give you an estimate and a quote. In there, you will have all the necessary information and all the prices that will help you decide which Austin solar installers are the best for you. Another good news – all legitimate and trustworthy companies offer free estimates and quotes! 

Our Advice – Opt for Local, Experienced Solar Installers 

All the advice from above proved to be very helpful for finding the best Austin solar installers. However, it is no secret that there are a couple of great solar installer companies in this city, as well as in the state of Texas itself. So, how does one make up his/her mind on which installers to choose? Our advice – go for locals! Local installers know the city well. You may think that this is not important, but it is – local installers will know which solar panels are right for you just by examining your neighborhood and your roof. Of course, do not neglect other characteristics of a good and legitimate solar installer companies. One of those characteristics is experience. Only the most experienced installers will be able to get the job done safely, quickly, and most importantly, with the best quality.

There are many reasons why more and more people decide to invest in solar panels in Texas. Some want to save the planet, while others want to have a lower electric bill. Whatever your reason for going solar may be, be sure that this process will require a lot of your time, energy, and of course, money. But, do not worry, everything will pay off eventually!

However, before it does pay off, you must do a lot of research and information-gathering so that you end up with the best possible solar system for your home. The best way to do that is to know about all the errors you can make during the process. So, without further ado, here are those mistakes to avoid when going solar in Texas. 

  1. Basing Your Decision on the Price 

You have probably heard about the saying – you get what you pay for! This saying can be applied to almost all areas of one’s life, and it can be applied to installing solar panels in Texas too! Of course, we are not saying that the least expensive options are always the worst; there are some exceptions here and there. But, what we are saying is that you need to do a lot of research to find the solar option that works best for you. 

If you want to get the best possible solar panels in Texas, ones that will protect the planet, and ones that will save your money, you need to find the right company. That company must be professional and experienced. Moreover, it must also have a legitimate track record standing behind its work. So, spend some time interviewing different companies, looking into their business structure, talking to their previous customers, etc. Never base your decision on the price; base it on your research! 

  1. Getting Just One Quote 

It’s similar to making long-distance moving arrangements. If you want to have relocation with the best possible assistance, you have to find and compare many different moving companies. The same applies to finding the best solar panels in Texas! You cannot hire the first company you come across and hope for the best. Of all the mistakes to avoid when going solar, this one is probably the biggest! 

Just as previously mentioned, for you to find the best solar company in Texas, you have to do a lot of research. Thus, find several companies that suit your needs and budget, and ask them for a quote. Pay attention to every detail when comparing two seemingly identical things. Keep in mind that not all companies calculate their price equity. If you have some difficulties understanding the quote, the services mentioned, the way of calculating the final price, etc., do not hesitate to ask each company for clarification. 

  1. Not Taking Advantage of Incentives 

Most people investing in solar panels think that they will only save on the electricity bills. But there are other benefits of going solar in Texas too! For instance, if you install solar panels on your residential home, you can significantly reduce your taxes. Moreover, there are solar panels for business, which will enable you to capitalize on accelerated depreciation. 

In addition, every state offers a local incentive for installing solar panels. However, it is essential to educate yourself on how the incentive works – some people confuse incentives with credit and loans, which are two completely different things. If you are unsure where to look for incentives and which one is the best for you, you can always ask the solar installer company you chose to help you out.

  1. Not Knowing About Warranties 

Installing solar panels and inverters in Texas is expensive, so failing to familiarize yourself with different warranties is one of the mistakes to avoid when going solar. Thus, ask the company you are planning to hire to explain all the different kinds of warranties they offer before you sign any contract. This is important because not every company offers the same warranty. 

For example, some companies offer a linear performance warranty, some offer product warranty, while some offer both. Some companies provide a workmanship warranty too. As you can see, there are many options, so explore all of them. 

You can even get a warranty for replacing or taking off the solar panels and converters from your home or business in case of relocation. However, you cannot get a warranty for moving them. Your moving company gives a warranty for that. Thus, do not hesitate to ask either your solar installer company or the Verified Movers consultants to explain all the warranty details before you do anything. 

  1. Using a Third-Party Electric Supplier 

If you are a nonsolar electric consumer, you can save a lot of money with a third-party electric supplier. However, if you are a solar consumer, contracting with third-party eclectic suppliers will end up being very expensive because you will not have the ability to use Net Metering. 

Namely, if your solar system produces more energy than you need, you will get credits for that. And, you can use those credits at night when your solar system isn’t working. Net Metering is the one that will allow you to use that extra energy instead of the electric one. When looking for the best solar power companies for your home or business in Texas, make sure to ask them about Net Metering – it is a beneficial thing that can save you a lot of money in the long run. 

These have been the most common mistakes to avoid when going solar in Texas. So, if you have thought about installing panels on your home, we hope this has been helpful.

Using solar energy is a great way to provide clean, sustainable, and renewable power. For decades, it has been one of the efficient and growing trends. Given all the advantages it offers, everything shows it will continue to be so in the future. However, like most other things, solar panels don’t have an unlimited duration. Some materials expire, parts can stop working, and the system stops being so energy efficient. The approximate lifespan of these solar photovoltaic panels is about 25 years. After which, you might want to consider a suitable replacement. If you wonder what to do when your solar panels expire, there are a few viable options to consider.

Things you can do after solar panels expire

With proper maintenance of all the components, your solar equipment will last for decades. However, you will eventually need to consider alternative solutions once it reaches its end. On the other side, this doesn’t mean your panels will stop producing energy. In most cases, they won’t just suddenly stop working. If external factors do not physically damage them, they will still continue to produce energy. But, their energy production will deteriorate after long years of use. In that case, you should call your South Texas Solar Systems professionals to help you evaluate their condition and provide you with solutions.

How are solar panels working

Solar panels are made of various materials. In a large percentage, they contain glass, silicon, aluminum, and numerous conductive materials. Once exposed to the light, it starts the reaction within the silicon, and we get electric power. Since it’s an immediate activity, it provides electricity to your grid in an instant. We can then use batteries to store extra power for later use.

Why solar panels degrade

After years of usage, solar panels become less efficient in producing energy. This process, known as degradation, happens at different rates, depending on the quality of panels. Today, the average degradation rate is about 0.5% per year. This means that after 25 years, your solar panels will work at 87.5% efficiency. This is not too significant, but you should consider replacing your panels once it falls below 80% efficiency.

On the other side, there is a possibility your residential solar panels suffer physical damage due to extreme weather conditions. Intense cold, hail storms, severe temperature changes, and falling debris can eventually cause small cracks. While this is a rare occurrence, it’s also a potential situation to consult your Austin Solar Installers.

Maintaining and cleaning to prevent solar panels expire before time.
Solar panel maintenance in San Antonio to increase the system’s effectiveness.

Steps you can take when your solar panels expire

Removing and storing  your solar panels

If you notice your energy production is falling behind, it can mean something is not working right. The electrical power in your home might not be sufficient enough to sustain your household. And, you may also notice the increase in your monthly bills. If this happens, then it’s perhaps a time to replace your solar panels. If you are moving to a new home, you might want to take your solar system with you. Whatever the reason, you will need to remove your panels and other parts first, and you may need a place to store them for a bit. If you are moving, you should consider Professional Moving & Storage to keep your panels safe. But before you do that, always call your professional solar companies in Texas to take care of the removal. It’s delicate equipment and requires expertise to avoid any damage.

New solar panels installed on a house roof.
Moving your new solar system to a new home is also a viable option.

Replacing your solar panels

Depending on the situation, you will eventually have to replace your solar panels. After removal, damaged panels can be fixed. But if they are expired, you will have to replace your old solar panels with new, more efficient ones. Besides the situations when you will store your old panels, the course of action is to recycle them.

Solar panels recycling

Many companies are working on providing effective recycling procedures for solar panels. Even though some of the materials might be hazardous, a large percentage of materials can be reused. Whether your panels are thin-film or silicon-based type, there are industrial methods to extract valuable components. They can be completely torn apart, treated with chemicals or high temperatures in an effort to extract silicone and other semiconducting materials. So, after you use green solutions for storing stuff away while installing your new solar panels, consider visiting one of the recycling centers afterward.

Is it possible to extend the lifespan of your solar panels?

Overall, solar panels are exceptionally durable systems. Not only do they last longer, but they are made to withstand significant external factors like severe weather. One of the attributes that contribute to this durability is that they mostly don’t have any moving parts. However, to extend their lifespan, they do require some maintenance. The best way to ensure their durability is to have your solar panels maintained by certified industry experts. Another factor that can contribute to their durability is carefully considering the right system location. For example, if you are in an area with strong winds, don’t install them near trees. Branches may fall off and damage your solar panels.

Solar system technician checking solar panels.
Call your South Texas Solar Systems technician to check if everything is in order.

Replacing other parts

Even though there is little chance you will have to repair your panels, some other parts of the system might need replacement after a while:

  • Inverter – you might have to replace your inverter after 10 to 15 years. This is one particular part that is continuously working under high pressure to convert DC to AC. Even though it’s also durable, it will wear off faster than your solar panels will do.
  • Racking system – depending on where you want to install the solar systems, you will probably use some kind of racking. Whether it is a ground or roof solar system, rackings are more susceptible to external elements. After years of use, you should check them and replace them if they are not in good condition.
  • Solar batteries – an essential part of the solar system if you want to store the extra power for later use, such as an off-grid solar system. However, they also degrade faster than panels, and their approximate lifespan is about ten years.

To sum things up, a reliable solar system company is a way to go if you want your solar panels to last longer. Not only will you ensure top-quality equipment, but you will also get quality maintenance. And professional solar panel company in Texas can help you prevent your solar panels expire before expectation.

There is a common misconception that solar panels are only fantastic for the environment. They are, but they are also fantastic for your wallet! And, we are talking about some serious savings. For instance, an average home in Texas can save anywhere between  $10,000 and $30,000 over the entire lifetime of their solar panel system. 

People avoided them in the past as their installment was way too expensive. That is true; solar panels cost a lot upfront, but, as we have mentioned earlier, they do pay off big time! Thus, consider solar panels – they will save you money and, of course, they will protect the environment. So, if you want to know how much money you can save with solar panels in Texas and what the advantages of solar energy are, keep on reading. 

How Much Money, on Average, Do Solar Panels Save? 

If you think about installing solar panels in Texas, you are probably wondering will they actually save you some money, right? Well, of course. So, let us make it easy on you right away and tell you the answer – Yes, solar panels will save you money! But, how much money will they save you? Well, that answer depends on several factors. For instance, it depends on the number of direct daily sunlight hours, the size of your roof, the angle of your roof, the solar company you chose, and the local electricity rates, among other things. 

If you do install solar panels, you will be able to save money on many things. However, where you will save the most is on your electrical bill. Electrical bills in Texas are high, and solar panels are so appealing because of that reason. In the next chapter, we will explain the process of calculating the savings on the electrical bills using solar panel systems.

How Much Money Do Solar Panels Save on Electrical Bills? 

As we have mentioned earlier, each case is different. But, everything can be calculated. To find out how much money solar panels will save you on your electrical bill, you must first calculate how much you are currently spending on your electricity monthly and then yearly. For instance, an average Texan family household uses around 10,649 kWh annually. When you multiply that number with the national average electricity rate, you will come to the conclusion that that same Texan family spends just under $1,450 a year on electricity alone!

So, the amount of money your solar panels in Texas will save during their lifetime (which is considered to be around 20 years) is $18,142. That is precisely why an increasing number of people moving to Texas, and pretty much anywhere, is looking for a home with an already installed solar panel system. And, if you too want to settle down in your new green home in Texas soon, you will be glad to find out that houses with these features are not hard to find – Texas takes the environment seriously! 

What Happens to Your Electricity Bill? 

When people choose the solar panels that are right for them, they often ask themselves: what happens to my electricity bill? There is a misconception that installing solar panels means the electricity bills will just disappear. But, that is not true. It does not matter whether you have installed enough solar panels to offset your electricity use completely, your electric bill will keep on coming. However, that does not mean that you will still have to pay for something. 

In most states, including Texas, there is a thing called ‘net metering.’ Thanks to this, all the energy your own solar system produces is sent to the grid, and in exchange, you get credits on your electric bill. During the night, when there is no sun, you can draw energy from that same grid. You will not have to pay extra as long as you use less or the same amount of energy you provided to the grid. However, if you draw more power than your solar panels produce, you will have to pay for that difference. 

Solar Panels Save the Environment!

By calling evolutionmovingdfw.com and moving to a state that has developed solar systems everywhere, you will be able to save a lot of money in the long run. However, when you live in a home with a solar system installed or when you install one by yourself, you will be able to save the environment. How? By lowering your carbon footprint! Try to think about the planet. Instead of asking how much money solar panels can save, ask how much Co2 they can prevent. 

Reasons For Investing in Solar Panels 

Until now, we have discussed the two most important reasons for investing in solar panels – reducing the energy bill and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. However, some other reasons make solar panels great. For instance, the price of energy is always on the rise, and thus, the electric bills will only be higher. On the other side, the cost of installing solar panels has improved; that is, the prices have fallen. And, not only that but solar panels are easy to maintain and do not require any additional upkeep. 

If you were wondering how much it costs to install a solar panel system in your home, we are here to answer that question too. On average, this installation costs approximately $13,142. Of course, the price can be lower or higher, depending on various factors. For example, the cost mainly depends on your roof size and the type of solar panels you chose. 

If you want to install this system, you can use the federal tax credit, which is currently 26 percent. It was created to encourage and help people with this investment. However, the federal tax credit will step down to 22 percent during the following year. So, the sooner you decide to install solar panels in Texas, the better. Just keep in mind that this ‘project’ will lower your electricity bill, increase the property value, and save our planet.

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