Wanda Explains the Section 201 Tariff

Wanda the Wealth Warrior talks about the new solar tariffYou probably heard the news that tariffs will now be imposed on imported solar equipment. The Section 201 tariffs will be in place at least for the next four years, starting at 30% and ending at 15%.

We at Icon Solar are disappointed in the recent tariff because it will increase the price of solar power. Even with the tariff in place, we believe our business will continue to grow and thrive because producing electricity with solar power is still much less expensive than purchasing that same electricity from the utility company.

As the public becomes more educated about the benefits of solar power, it will continue to increase in popularity and more homeowners will opt to produce their own electricity with solar to save money and help the environment.

What’s My Carbon Footprint (and Why Should I Care)?

Dear Wanda,

 What’s My Carbon Footprint (and Why Should I Care)?

 -Big Foot

Hey Big Foot!

You may have heard the term “carbon footprint” for quite some time now, but most anyone would struggle explaining what it is to someone. You might know that it has something to do with the environment or that it is something that you want to reduce.

A carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other carbon compound emissions that you produce in a year. We emit carbon compounds in a variety of ways, but it all goes back to burning fossil fuels. Many of our daily activities use fossil fuels, such as driving a car, using electricity and disposing of waste.

So what’s the big deal? Why should I care?

Those carbon emissions accumulate and negatively impact the environment, potentially leading to global warming. Americans are among the worst offenders in generating carbon emissions. In fact, according to an MIT study, Americans who consume the lowest amount of energy – the homeless – still double the global average!

The good news is that you can reduce your carbon footprint. By taking steps like carpooling, recycling or switching to solar power, you are making strides to a cleaner environment.

Calculate your carbon footprint here!

The Steps You Should Take to Get the Most Out of Your Panels this Winter!

Solar panels thrive in the sunlight, so this begs the questions: How do solar panels perform in colder months? Thankfully, solar panels only require sunlight, not heat. This means that solar panels are absolutely capable of powering your home during the winter. In fact, some solar panel users have reported higher solar panel output when there is snow since it can act as a reflective blanket for sunlight. 

Another question people interested in solar power frequently may is if solar panels can be harmed by snow. The answer is no! Solar panels are designed to be able to bear more than the weight of a typical snowfall, so your precious panels should be safe. With the pitch of the solar array, rain and wind should take care of the cleaning itself. Heavy snowfall should collapse and fall.

However, if snow interferes for over a week in blocking sunlight, it is important to dust off snow or leaves from your panels. We don’t recommend that you try for your own safety. There are several rakes made in various lengths depending on your home height that are designed specifically to clean off your panels— even simple rake can do the trick!  

For extended periods of time without sunlight, the Tesla Powerwall 2 may be your secret weapon. Although your panels should function well in these months by themselves, the Powerwall 2 can store the extra sunlight on sunnier days so that you’re fully fueled for cloudy weather.  

Ask Wanda: I’m selling my home, should I install solar power now or wait?

Ask Wanda: I’m ready to install solar power, but I expect I’ll be selling my home and moving to another one in the next few years. Is this even worth my money to do now, or should I wait until I’m in my next house?  

Dear Making Moves, 

When it comes to solar, there is no time like the present. It’s as simple as asking the question, “Do I want to start saving now or wait a while?” Why wouldn’t you want to start saving immediately on your electricity bill? 

An investment in solar power is unique from other home renovations because you start seeing savings before your house is even sold. Moving is expensive and those monthly savings would certainly be useful when it comes to moving truck costs or new furniture in your future residence! 

Solar panels also make your house more marketable. Imagine you are looking at two very similar houses, yet one has solar panels, meaning you’ll only pay pennies for your electricity. I can see what way you’re leaning already! Of course, you’d be willing to dish out a little more for these unlimited savings. 

 Wondering how much solar panels could increase the value of your home? Check it out here! Wondering where to start your solar journey? Call us at 513-396-9777! 

Cincinnati is Proudly Green and Getting Greener!

Cincinnati reigns green supreme! 

According to Site Selection, the City of Cincinnati has established itself as the top metropolitan green leader in the United States and Ohio is ranked as the third most green state!  

 The good news continues!  

 Recently, Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley agreed to power the Queen City’s municipal buildings with 100 percent renewable energy through at least the year 2021.  

 Not only will this deal save the city over $100,000 per year, it also is an investment in our community and the environment. In an effort to have Cincinnati 100 percent solar powered by 2035, Cranley also agreed to add on 25 MW of solar panels throughout the city. Installation of these panels will begin in 2019.  

 Site Selection says Cincinnati has surpassed other metro areas such as Boston, Seattle, Cleveland and Chicago in being “green,” in part because of Procter & Gamble’s efforts to be sustainable as well as the University of Cincinnati’s six LEED-certified buildings. Procter & Gamble strives to eliminate waste at all of its manufacturing plants and its Cincinnati headquarters, while UC continues to make strides toward a LEED-Gold certification.  

 With solar leaders like the city of Cincinnati, GE, P&G, the Cincinnati Zoo, and YOU, it’s easy to see why Cincinnati ranks #1 in sustainability! 

10 Great Solar Gift for this Holiday Season

Finding a fun gift for everyone on your list can be tough, so Icon Solar is here to help you out—no cords attached! Solar powered presents are perfect for the techie, environmentalist or anyone in your life looking for a cool gift that won’t run up the electric bill. Here is a list of ten fun products you might even add to your own wish list!

#1 Solar Powered Christmas lights

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Ditch the old tangled up pile of Christmas lights and switch to these fun, solar powered ones instead!

#2 Solar Powered Candy Cane Decorations

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Staying on the seasonal side of things, why not ditch the extension cord for these outdoor, wireless, light-up candy canes!

#3 Solar Powered Book Light

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Read electricity-free day or night!

#4 & #5 Solar Powered Luxury Watches

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Would you look at the time? It looks like it’s just about time to buy one of these solar powered watches.

#6 Solar Powered Backpack

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A backpack that keeps you prepared and your devices energized? Talk about dressed for success!

#7 Solar Powered Security Camera

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We knew solar power could help you with financial security, but who knew it could keep your family safe too?

#8 Solar Powered Flashlight

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When the power fails you, these won’t!

#9 Tesla Powerwall 2

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Speaking of being there for you no matter what, the Tesla Powerwall 2 can keep your whole house powered for a full 24 hours!

#10 Solar Panels

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For those of you who have been extra good this year (or even a little naughty with some of your spending and need to save!) a set of solar panels can be a powerful gift and get you off on the right (carbon)foot for the new year!

This list is certainly putting us in the holiday mood and we are hoping you as well! Call Icon Solar to start your solar journey today and happy holidays!

We already have the largest publicly accessible solar array in the country. Are we about to get bigger?

What could make Fiona the Hippo even more lovable? How about the fact that she relies on solar energy? The Cincinnati Zoo is the Greenest Zoo in America currently, thanks to the solar canopy that is installed above the parking lot. These panels make our zoo the largest publicly accessible urban solar array in the country! The parking lot produces 20 percent of the Cincinnati Zoo’s needed energy and generates additional solar power to send back to the utility company.  

Cincinnati, or should we say Suncinnati? This solar mega-house may get EVEN bigger! 

Recently, discussions began around the idea of creating the largest municipally-sponsored solar power project in Ohio. The plan is to install solar panels at city-owned properties like the Lunken Airport. 

Originally proposed by Cincinnati mayor John Cranley, the project also aims to have 20 percent of the city’s powered operations get their energy from solar panels; this would move us closer to our city’s goal of running entirely on renewable energy by 2035. Currently, we are at about one percent—we can do better than that! The project also helps Cincinnati contribute to the world’s environmental goals.  

We at Icon Solar think these plans of action are awesome! And hey, if you need someone to help install those panels, Cincinnati, you know who to call! 

We’re Terrible at Keeping Secrets: Icon Solar’s Formula for Success

Success may be random at times, but continued, reliable success requires a plan. We at Icon Solar have created an exact formula to our success. We take certain steps to guarantee the satisfaction of our customers and the results they want.  

Let us walk you through our exact formula.  

  • We analyze the financial benefits for you – firstly, we survey your utility bills and home to verify that you will reap all the financial benefits of solar power that you expect.  
  • We guide you through the process – we walk our customers through every step of the process—before and during every step of the way. This ensures that the consumer understands and is comfortable with the process of moving to solar.  
  • We share our knowledge of solar with you, and pledge honest answers, respect and integrity  knowledge is power! We are excited about solar energy at Icon Solar and we are eager to share everything we know about it with our customers. We’re sure you’ll be as thrilled as we are after hearing the facts!  
  • We provide turnkey service to manage every detail from permit to grid hook-up – although we’ll be sharing all the details of your installation with you, you can rest easy knowing that we will take care of them all. We pledge to make the switch to solar power as easy as possible for you.  

So there! We’ve shared the secret formula with you. To witness the foolproof method in action, give us a call to get started today.  

Icon Solar’s Accreditations and Certifications, and Why It Matters to You

A lot of licensing and certifications are in place to prove capabilities. For instance, not many of us would trust a 17-year-old without his license to cart people around in a car. Similarly, a lot of trust is instilled in nurses, teachers and firefighters because of the processes they went through to prove their skills and interest.  

Our employees are eager to prove their abilities to you. That’s why we’ve gone through many additional certifications to make us as knowledgeable as we can be about solar power, and to make our customers even more comfortable with us. Listed below are some certifications and accreditations we’ve pursued to prove our dedication: 

  • Certification from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) is a testament that someone has undergone rigorous testing to show their knowledge and expertise in solar power installation. NABCEP is a non-profit corporation that works alongside experts and stakeholders to ensure quality credentialing. Icon Solar is very proud to have a NABCEP-certified expert on staff!  
  • Icon Solar is a member of multiple professional organizations. We value our memberships because they provide us with current news on industry changes, a method to communicate with other solar professionals, and in turn, the latest and greatest technology for our customers. Icon Solar is a member of American Solar Energy Society, Green Energy Ohio, US Green Building Council and Green Umbrella.  

 Feel free to further research these credible measures of skill or give us a call and let us prove the quality of our work ourselves!  

Help Your Country Get Ahead with Solar Power

With the amount of energy we are consuming as a planet, countries are starting to lean away from nonrenewable sources of energy such as gas and coal. Solar power is one of the leading options as the energy source of the future.  

So which countries are leading the world in solar power usage?  

Germany is the leader in solar energy. By creating a framework that subsidizes this power source, Germany has allowed solar power to be competitive in the energy market. According to Business Insider, China, Japan and Italy follow Germany in solar power leaders.  

The United States lands fifth on the list of solar power usage—despite having much more room for solar panels than three of the other leaders. Although we are ranked lower, The Guardian published that the US and China’s implementation of solar power grew the worldwide usage by 50 percent in 2015. The industry calls that growth “very significant” and a critical way for the world to make adjustments for the climate.  

Icon Solar is passionate about solar everywhere. Although choosing solar power keeps the United States ahead of the pack, any country doing this is good for the entire planet since other power sources can be hazardous to the environment.  

Anyone can make an investment in their country and planet by choosing solar power—call Icon Solar today to start making your impact!