• Go Live with Solar

How to Go Solar in San Antonio

If you're like most homeowners in the San Antonio area, you've probably found yourself considering solar energy at some point the past few years. Many residents in town have already moved to solar for their home's energy, and after the events of SNOVID this year, there are even more who are making the move and looking into solar storage as an additional option. If you’re thinking of going solar in San Antonio, this is one of the best home upgrades. The city enjoys a lot of sunshine throughout the year, making it a perfect place to harness solar energy. What’s more, the cost of solar panels and hardware continues to fall with more favorable renewable energy policies. On top of that, CPS Energy also has multiple solar energy incentives, which makes solar energy installation a smart investment. With a solar panel system, you’ll save money on the biggest item in your home maintenance. What’s more, solar energy boosts your property’s value and helps cut harmful emissions. There's also a statewide property tax exemption, so you won't be charged extra for your home's taxes after installing solar panels. This is a long-term investment that keeps on paying back. But how do you get started? Many property owners miss out on the incredible benefits of solar energy because they don’t have the right information. In this post, find out some simple steps to follow to go solar in San Antonio, TX. 1. Do Your Research Start with dedicated research to understand the potential of solar in San Antonio, TX the availability of solar installers, and the most reputable installation companies. Create a shortlist of the best solar companies by reading reviews and testimonials and even seeking referrals [...]

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What Can You Run on Solar Energy in Your Home

We’re not fond of burying the lede, so...you can use solar energy to power anything in your home! Want to start your own bitcoin mining enterprise? You can do it. Are you a snowman who uses 3 AC systems to cool your home to -4 every summer? You can power them all with solar energy. That is, if you have a big enough solar array. With that in mind, let’s hone in on what you should really focus on: the size of solar array you’ll need to power your home. The needs of someone living off-the-grid with a home designed for low power usage will differ from those of a family living in the suburbs with modern amenities. Both of these homes can be entirely powered through solar energy. What size of solar array do you need? There are a ton of different methods for calculating power consumption. You’ll want a solar array that meets the needs of your household - that’s why no two solar arrays are exactly the same. Generally, it’s a good idea to overestimate how many solar panels you’ll need. After all, we can only ever calculate average power consumption - by overestimating, you’ll account for spikes in electricity usage. The easiest way to find out how much power you use is to check your electrical bill. Most utilities will provide a figure for the number of kWh of power you use - this is often per month, per quarter, or per year. You’ll then divide that number by the number of days in a month/quarter/year to get how many kWh your household uses per day, then divide that number by 24 to get your hourly power usage. You’ll be able [...]

  • San Antonio solar panel leasing versus owning

Leasing versus Owning Solar Panels in San Antonio

If you’re a homeowner who’s looked into San Antonio solar panels as a means to slash utility bills, you’ve probably heard a pitch similar to this: “With leasing or a power purchase agreement (PPA), you don’t need to bother with purchase, installation costs, or even maintenance!” This pitch can sound quite appealing, but only highlights one option and doesn’t contrast owning vs. leasing solar panels. Leasing can save you upfront costs, but there are ways of owning solar panels that don’t drain your bank account. Leasing vs. Owning Solar Panels: Benefits of Owning Financing Options It’s a big decision when choosing between leasing and owning, but considering the long-term investment is key. Solar panel ownership can be very rewarding. There are quite a few ways to finance your solar panel system. Texas, and quite a few other states, offer financial incentives for renewable energy ownership. The most convenient way to own solar panels is to work with your solar panel installer or contractor, but you can also finance with banks and lenders easily. Financial Benefits Owning your solar panels lets you maximize your long-term financial benefits. You can drastically reduce the total cost of your solar panel system with cash rebates and state and federal policies. Meanwhile, PPA and leasing disqualify you from these programs. For example, the Federal Solar Tax Credit (ITC) program is based on purchasing your solar panels. Solar ownership is a great way to increase your property value, while leased panels can actually discourage potential buyers because they usually would have to assume the lease themselves if not bought off. In this way, leased panels aren’t considered an asset when you’re selling your property. Solar panel systems that are purchased can [...]

  • Solar Panels on Roof

7 Things to Know Before Going Solar in San Antonio

It seems like each year, you see more and more solar panels pop up around your neighborhood. It seems like everyone is installing solar panels in San Antonio. Soon enough, the whole block will be full of roof-mounted photovoltaic panels! Is it time to consider making the switch in your home? Before you decide to install solar panels, it’s important to assess the solar potential of your area. Is your house suitable for this energy production system? We’ve put together 7 things you should consider in advance:   The Condition of Your Roof A roof that’s in rough shape is a poor candidate for solar panels. Watch for any signs your roof is damaged, including leaks or broken shingles. These issues need to be repaired before you can install panels. Consider the age of your roof before installing solar panels—if it’s due for a replacement, now is the time.    Location Matters Did you know that there is an ideal location for solar panels? It’s a place that’s clear of trees and facing south. Even the angle the panels are tilted affects their energy production.  To optimize your panels, you may need to remove any trees in the way. This will prevent your solar panels from being in the shade.   Estimate Your Energy Usage The size of the solar array you require is entirely dependent on your energy needs. To get an idea of what you’ll require, calculate how much energy your household uses in a year. Next, contact an experienced solar installation company to determine how many panels you’ll need to generate that amount of electricity.    Off-Grid or Grid-Tied Solar? There’s another important thing to consider before going ahead with your installation: [...]

  • san antonio solar panel companies american sentry solar

Importance of Home Solar Panel Inspections

You would think that getting a solar panel system would be a simple feat considering the many San Antonio solar panel companies available. However, many installers that work for some of these companies have little field experience resulting in shoddy work and inefficient panels. Did you know that an alarming number of solar panel contractors go out of business within a decade or less? If you’re unsure about your contractor or previous work done on your solar panel system, getting a home solar panel inspection done by a reputable company may be in your best interest.  Getting Your System Inspected  It may seem obvious to get a home solar panel inspection if your system is having an issue, but inspections are also commonly done when a home is bought/sold or if insurance inspection is required. It’s also possible that a homeowner may request an inspection if the previous solar panel installer goes out of business (which, as we covered earlier, happens more than you think). If you find yourself in any of these situations, save yourself some trouble and pick a highly qualified and experienced technician to inspect your home!  Inspections By American Sentry Solar  It’s possible to run into system failure issues in the future if your solar contractor isn’t using the proper techniques and practices. Everything should be carefully installed and checked in great detail. From the correct solar arrangement on the roof to ensuring the wiring and connections are tightly sealed, having a skilled technician that knows all the ins and outs will spare you any headaches down the road.  When your solar panel system is installed correctly the first time, you can expect efficiency, smooth operability, and safety (our number one [...]

  • top benefits of solar energy in San Antonio Texas

Benefits of Solar Energy in San Antonio

Cut Expenses & Enjoy a Positive Return on Investment Are you considering a solar panel installation? Thousands of homeowners and businesses in the San Antonio area have made the switch to enjoy the countless benefits offered by solar technology. American Sentry Solar offers professional solar services in San Antonio with the best in panel technology, system installation, and energy efficiency. Please call (800) 823-0555 to learn more about the benefits of solar energy for your  home or business! Benefits of Solar Energy in San Antonio Solar is an investment and offers money-saving benefits and a positive ROI for homes and businesses. You are making the proactive choice to remove yourself from the use of electricity, gas, and petroleum and using the natural energy from the sun to power your home or business. Solar offers benefits that include: Renewable energy Thousands of dollars saved in electricity costs Immediate savings Low maintenance An increase in property value State and federal incentives and rebates Reduced dependence on foreign energy Benefits for the environment Reducing your carbon footprint The diversity is another benefit of solar energy, as it can be used for a wide range of applications. Photovoltaics can be used to generate electricity without access to the energy grid and can be used to generate heat for homes and swimming pools, power EV chargers, and much more. Modern solar technology is being integrated into roofing and building materials. Solar overhead structures can be placed over pools and patios, so you can extend your space and use solar. How Switching to Solar Works Switching to solar in San Antonio is easier than you may think. At American Sentry Solar, we work to make the process as easy and efficient as possible, [...]

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San Antonio Solar Increases Your Home Value

Increase Your Home's Resale Value with a San Antonio Solar System The benefits of solar power are numerous, especially in San Antonio where the sun is abundant year round. Installing residential solar panels results in your home using less energy from the utility because you are replacing that energy with solar produced on your rooftop. This saves money on your energy bill and protects our environment by reducing the home’s carbon footprint. All this good stuff has led many San Antonio area home owners to invest in solar for their homes and commercial properties. But, what many people have not yet caught on to is that solar panels also increases the resale value of your home. A recent report from Zillow shows that homes with solar panels are increasing home values on average of 4.1% across the country A multi-institutional study led by the department of energy’s Lawrence-Livermore Labs, in partnership with Sandia National Laboratories, universities, and appraisers found that: “Home buyers consistently have been willing to pay more for homes with host-owned solar photovoltaic (PV) energy systems —averaging about $4 per watt of PV installed—across various states, housing and PV markets, and home types.” This equates to a premium of about $15,000 for a typical PV system. The data set used in this study was extensive. The team analyzed almost 22,000 sales of homes, “almost 4,000 of which contained PV systems in eight states from 1999 to 2013—producing the most authoritative estimates at that time of price premiums for U.S. homes with PV systems.” A recent article in Energy Sage made the important distinction that solar panels on a home only translate to increased value if the panels are owned and not leased. Can your property [...]

  • Solar Investment Tax Credit

The Solar Investment Tax Credit for San Antonio

The Solar Investment Tax Credit, also know as the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), allows you to deduct a percentage of the cost of your solar panel project from your federal taxes. The ITC is available for both residential solar projects and commercial solar projects in San Antonio.  At it's peak, the highest percentage you could deduct was 30%.  In 2020 the percentage has dropped to 26%, and is scheduled to drop in 2021 to 22 percent.  And in 2022 the Investment Tax Credit is scheduled to disappear completely.  If you plan to take advantage of the solar investment tax credit with your San Antonio solar panels, time is of essence. Enacted in 2006, the Solar Investment Tax Credit was one of the most important factors in the growth of solar energy in San Antonio. Across the nation. the U.S. solar industry has grown over 10,000 percent since it's inception. Eligibility is based on a "commence construction" standard laid out in the IRS issued guidance. Taking a good look at the time line of the claimable percentage, you will see that in 2020, the percentage is at 26%, and scheduled to drop to 22% in 2021.  Those who decide to wait on their solar project beyond 2021 will risk the government not revitalizing the tax credit, and it will drop to 0% for residential solar projects. How Does the Solar Investment Tax Credit Work in San Antonio? The 26% federal tax credit claimed against tax liability for residential (under section 25D)  is for investors in solar energy.  Residential ITC allows a homeowner to apply the credit to their personal income taxes.  This credit can [...]

  • San Antonio Texas Skyline

Top 8 Benefits Of Solar Energy in San Antonio

Top 8 Benefits of Solar Energy in San Antonio There are over 50 great benefits of solar energy in San Antonio, but we've narrowed it down to the top 8 benefits that will help you make your decision to go solar in San Antonio, Texas. If you want to hear more of the incredible benefits, scroll down to the bottom and contact one of our solar experts for a free consultation today! Lower Electricity Bills That hot Texas sun rarely lets up to allow your electric bill to drop, making your utility bill a large part of your monthly expenses. One of the main reasons our customers inquire about solar, is to eliminate or reduce their monthly electrical usage.   With a solar system, the sun will generate free electricity for the 25+ year lifetime of the solar panels.  Even if the system you chose doesn't produce 100 percent of your mostly energy cost, it will help bring your utility bill down to a reasonable amount. Installing a Solar System Adds Value to Your San Antonio Home The average home with solar panels installed, sees an estimated increase of about $3 per watt of installed solar panels.  Multiple studies have also found the homes with solar installed not only have a higher resale value, but sell faster than homes without solar installed. Solar Power is a Great Return on Your Investment Your solar panels aren't an expense, they are an investment with returns.  An average american pays off their solar panels in 7 years, and with the 25 year warranty on the solar panels, will see a great return on their investment.  Why throw your money away paying utility bills every month, when you [...]

  • Best Time to Buy Solar

The Best Time for San Antonio Solar

The Best Time for San Antonio Solar Panels Installation One of the most frequently asked questions about solar power in San Antonio, is when is the best time to install solar panels and save the most money.  Here's 5 reasons that right now is the best time to install solar panels in San Antonio, Texas. Solar Investment Tax Credit - The Investment Tax Credit(ITC), also known as the federal solar tax credit, allows you to deduct a percentage of your total solar installation from your federal taxes.  Applying to both residential solar systems, there is no cap on it's value.  But unfortunately, this program does have an upcoming end date for residential applications.  The ITC started out at an incredible 30%, decreased to 26% in 2020, and drops to 22% in 2021.  Looking forward to 2022, the ITC is scheduled to go to 0% for residential solar installations and 10% for commercial solar installations. To receive a 22% federal tax credit, you will need to start planning now and not put it off another year. CPS Energy Solar Rebates - San Antonio has an incredible partner in their CPS utility company.  Currently, CPS Energy is offering up to $2500 per installation of a new solar system, with an additional $500 if you install locally produced solar panels. In addition, CPS Energy has chosen to promote local solar installers by decreasing his rebate by 75% for not using a local installer. Financing has Incredibly Low Rates Right Now - American Sentry Solar has many long standing relationships with a wide variety  of the best lenders available in Texas.  We work with residential and commercial solar lenders to get you some of the best [...]

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