Saturday, August 25, 2012

Investor paradise, Only if you know what to look for

Why investor paradise, you ask?  Because in days of low interest and high risk of the stock market. Even in these days of uncertainty and an economy that can dive into recession any day, what can you do to grow your money at better than 6% in something safe that can be dependant on for long term income. That would be solar, but only in the right ways, by investing in quality solar panels and other equipment not junk. By using a good developer that uses quality installation companies. Making sure you have a warranty that backs the product and is backed by a re-insurance policy that covers the warranty if the panel company goes out of business and you still have warranty but no one to back it.
Next is very important in who is going to buy the electricity from your investment, how credit worthy are they, will they still be around for the end of the agreement period.
Now I will tell you a couple of ways to invest in solar. First, solar for your own use at your home or business. This investment lets you take a bill that you are already committed to pay for the next 20 or 30 years, unless you are planning to live in the dark. So, lets look at this closer. You use 2000 kilowatt hours per month, lets say.  2000 kwhr times 360 months (30 years) 720,000 kilowatts, that is how many kilowatt hours you will use in 30 years. Now you times (multiple) 720,000 by what you currently pay per kilowatt hour average in Texas is 9.7 cents = $69,840. So without any increases, you know that's not happening, you are already going to pay $69,840 for electricity in the next 30 years. You will need about a 16 kw solar system to meet your electric need each year. Solar is sold by the watt, so 16,000 watts =16 kw   16,000x$3.50 per watt=$56,000 The federal tax credit is 30% so minus $16,800= $39,200  I am not going to figure depreciation as that is different for everyone and I am not a CPA.  So $39,200 divided by 720,000 is a  lowered cost per kilowatt hour to 5.44 cents per kilowatt hour. A savings of 4.26 cents per kilowatt hour= a savings of $30,672 over that 30 years that is over $1000 per year savings on something you are already going to be paying for. So you see you are saving money by paying upfront for your electricity.  Same as if you pay your mortgage off early.
The added benefits of moving to solar is the environmental issues, you will save the air and water, and non renewable resources. You will save trees, coal, natural gas, and nuclear will not be needed.
It is safer, less maintenance, does not pollute, and everyone that goes solar lowers the demand on the grid which helps everyone.' Next post will talk about investing in Solar Farms and the next after that will talk about investing in a Power Purchase Agreement for an Off Taker, I will explain more about this later.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Changes you might not be ready for

Changes you might not be ready for in the coming years. Besides black-outs and rolling brown-outs that could last up to weeks. When the electricity is on it will just keep going up as the smart meter allows them to charge time of use billing. This will make us pay a premium for midday peak hours because they can. Supply and demand, "You know!" Take advantage of the public who does nothing to change the future before it gets here. The electric companies will not move to solar because it does not afford them the opportunity to keep raising the price of electricity.

Simply put: 1. Hydro Electric plants are very costly to build, limited on locations they can be put, and can't be used by the general public to take control of their own electric needs. Hydro plants need lots of up keep and only generate when there is enough water behind the dam to generate power. Many employees needed.

Number 2. Nuclear plants are very expensive and very dangerous as we all know. Need I say more.

Number 3. Coal Fire plants are expensive to build, takes many employees to run and maintain, expensive fuel cost in Texas alone cost of coal for electricity is over $12,800,000.00 per year. That puts 252 mega tons of pollution into our air. Good Grief Charlie Brown we should be able to do something better than that. I say that cost is to great!

Number 4. Nature gas, first off there is nothing natural about it. You know they have to drill to get it that is costly because of the risk of failure. Then they are fracking to pull the gas out of the shale. To frack they pump liquid ( and they are not required to tell you or the government what liquid into the well to bring up the gas. That is causing earthquakes in Texas and Oklahoma that did not have them before. Plus they are damaging our water table where we get our drinking water. Then they burn it to make electricity and pollute our air. Maybe not as much as Coal Fire but they pollute both air and water.

Number 5. Wind, is expensive to put up because you need a lot of space to put one of those hugh wind turbines. You have large moving parts which creates liability, and maintenance issues. But does not need a lot of employees, don't have to buy fuel to operate, and does not pollute anything but our view. Normal people can't put them in their yard for personal use either.

Number 6. Solar, You pay for your 30 or 40 years worth of electricity up front at a big savings, but big hurt up front. If you are paying 9.5 cents per kilowatt hour today in 20 years you could be paying 59 cents for the same kilowatt hour without doing anything just keep paying your electric company for their service. Or pay up front for your electric at 2.5 to 3 cents per kilowatt hour for 10,000 watts and not have any increases to your electric bill. Levelize your cost and transfer the system to the new owner if you sell your house and most likely recover your initial cost back at that time since you already would have taken advantage of the 30% federal tax credit, the 50% accelerated depreciation and the savings on your electricity for however long you used the system up to that point. You made a big step to saving the planets air, and water, had little to no maintenance, no liability, you can put it on your roof or in the yard, make a car port with it.
If utility company would go solar, no pollution, little employee, no fuel cost, no liability, decreasing cost of electricity, easy growth potential just add more panels as the need grows solar utilities can grow with the demand. Energy from the Sun, What make more sense to you?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Solar Farms saving the American Farms

Solar farms should be looked at as a way to save the American farmers and ranchers. They can produce more income per acre than cattle, corn or wheat or most any other field crop or animal. On as little as 6 acres a farmer or rancher can produce over 1,000,000,000 kilo watt hours to the grid. At a cost of about $2.4 million dollars in Massachusetts after federal tax credit. Will produce in the neighborhood of a little over $500,000. per year in income. The system pays itself off in about 4 years, plus big tax benefits such as 50% depreciation in the first year, the rest divided over the next 4 years. No property tax increase with the green energy exemption. Systems are warranted for 25 years of production. So over the 25 years you would net over $11,760,000.00 profits. This model works for Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, Hawaii, and a few others. As more and more states decide to go solar the opportunities for profitable solar energy producing farms will rise. If you live in one of the states mentioned and would like to look into a solar farm for yourself to save your cattle ranch or farm contact me and I will direct you to a developer that works in your area to help you see if it will work for you. Financing may be available.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Tax season Solar can help

Tax Season, what can you do next year to save on personal income tax or corporate income tax.
Add a solar system to your home or commercial building. You can purchase the system out right in cash or finance it at your bank. Or Lease it. I will explain both ways and the advantages of each, benefits vary state to state so contact me to get specifics about your state.

 In Texas:

Homeowner purchased system will pay for itself in about 7-9 years depending on who sells it to you. Advantages of purchasing are 30% Federal Tax Credit and in some cases your developer will have safe harbored panels that will qualify for a grant (or cash to you directly in 60 days of your install from Uncle Sam) in Lew of tax credit. Plus in some areas of Texas Oncor's,  "Take the load off Texas", AEP and others have incentives and will pay up to $2 per watt you install. You will have only have to pay 20%-40% of the total cost of the install our self. You will enjoy energy from the Sun, that is clean energy and does not pollute the Air. Solar Arrays are warrantied to operate to 80% efficiency for 25 years. Your system should be paid off after 7-9 years netting you free electricity for up to 18 year under warranty. Systems placed into operation 35 years ago are still working and producing free clean energy from the Sun today.
Solar is efficient and sexy, and now more affordable to everyone. Side benefit is the system will add value to your home without raising the property taxes. Green energy Solar is property tax exempt! In most states. Some state have feed in tariffs, and Renewable energy certificates that earn you money back for production of clean energy to the grid.

Homeowner Leased system will level out your energy cost with no out of pocket cost, no maintenance, no insurance expenses. Just trading a energy bill that fluctuates and will go up 3-6% annually for the next 20 years for a flat cost per month close to what your paying today. You level out your expenses, and help clean the Air. So Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall you monthly bill is the same. If you want to lower your monthly bill from today's charges drop a little cash at the beginning of the lease and level your lower monthly lease payment. Your choice! :-) With the lease the customer gets to credit the tax credits, rebates, incentives and depreciation to the price of the install to lower the lease payment. Also in states with Renewable Energy Credits or certificates the customer can keep the SREC's or at least up to 75% of them.

Commercial purchased system is the same as the homeowner purchased system except for a couple of things. the Oncor or AEP incentive is $1.50 per watt. The Federal tax credit is the same 30% with the same rules for safe harbored panels. Corporations and business get a 50% depreciation in the first year of system service, and can depreciate the rest out over the next 4 years.  Some states have other incentives such as Hawaii has a state tax credit of 35% to go along with the 30% Federal tax credit. Also there are things called feed in tariffs and SRECs (renewable energy credits or certificates) That are worth money to the owner. Hawaii has a 19.5 cent feed in tariff which they pay you .195 cents per watt for every watt you produce to the grid even if you use it yourself. Massachusetts has an SREC that is worth between $300-$570 each. You get one SREC per 1000 kw hrs produced to the grid. So in those states you trade your electric bill for a paycheck paid to your each month.

Commercial Leased system is the same as the homeowner lease except the business owner has an option to purchase the lease out in 4 to 7 years and own the system outright.

Contact me if you want to know more about these programs and I will try to direct you to reliable solar developer to help you through the process.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

More ways to save that keep you in hot water

In addition to your new solar system you can save money on using a tank-less hot water heater for your hot water. By setting the water heater temperature to your shower setting temperature to say 99 degrees and when you shower or wash your hands you only need to turn on the hot water. You see you will not be wasting money heating water to 120 degrees and then adding cold water to cool it to 99 degrees to use it. Most people wash their clothes in cold or luke water water, and dishwashers heat their own water. You will save, save, save.

There are various models and brands of tank-less hot water heater on the market this is a picture of one.
Our opinion Rheem is one of the top brands.
They come in various sizes small for a kitchen and one bath and laundry. Medium for kitchen, 4 baths and a laundry. Large for homes with more than 4 baths, kitchen, and laundry.

Commercial units are available for Apartment complexes and Hotels.

Just think save money and have all the hot water you need and never run out...
Eemax 240V 14.6A Single Point Electric Tankless Water Heater - Top FeedThere are cheaper and very effeicent unit available that may not look as pretty but work equally as well. Eemax

For more financial money saving tips see my friends blog as

To save money on other budgeted controlable expenses check out these financial and insurance guys in Texas.
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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Saving Money Going Green

Saving money going green is easier and getting less expensive everyday. It is time to look at your opportunity to go green. The new modern solar panels or called modules in the industry, are high in efficeincy and lower on cost. Check your area for local and state incentives to help you pay for your solar energy system. There are sites out their that will help you find all the available grants and rebates. Plus there are tax incentives from the Federal Government that will help you aswell.  If you do not have the time to research all this information for yourself, there are companies called developers out there to help you. They will educate you on the solar panels, and other equipment you will need and direct you to qualified installers that will install your system to the local codes. They will also help work with the local utility provider to interconnect your system to the grid. You can expect to pay between $4-$7 per watt for the installed system. That covers everything. Then you subtract your incentives to get your net cost for the system. I some parts of Texas after rebates and tax incentives homeowners have saved 75% of the total installed price within 90 days. In some states like Massachusetts homeowners are cashing checks instead of paying electric bills.