Construction Underway! - 76 Gas Station & Car Wash in Santa Maria

We are super excited to announce that we have started construction on the new solar energy system on top of the 76 Gas Station and Car Wash in Santa Maria! The solar system will replace nearly 100% of the electricity use of the business. Our engineers designed the system to cover all roof surfaces and an additional canopy structure. 

This is the second solar energy system purchased by the business owners, with the first on top of the famous Santa Maria Car Wash and Lube Station on Broadway St.

We are proud to have partnered with such conscientious business owners who not only care about saving money on electricity costs, they care deeply about the environment and reducing the large carbon footprint made by most gas stations and car washes.   

Teamsters 890 of Salinas Select Bright Future Solar Energy!

Out of the hundreds of solar energy companies in California today, the Teamsters 890 of Salinas has selected Bright Future Solar Energy as their solar provider. 

The Engineers at Bright Future Solar Energy were able to design a system that will offset nearly 100% of the organization's yearly electricity usage, making yet another smart decision with the community in mind. 

Since Teamsters is a non-profit organization, proper financing for the solar energy system was a critical piece to the project approval process. While solar financing options for non-profit organizations is extremely challenging to secure in California, Bright Future Solar Energy was able to do it. Construction starts next month! 

If you are a non-profit organization looking to make the switch to solar, be sure to contact us at: 888-7-FUTURE. 

Oops! I wish I would have know that! - Leasing vs. Buying - Making the right decision on financing your solar system.

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There are more options than ever when it comes to paying for your solar system. But always beware of those who sell you on "free solar" - solar panels cost money and so does the installation of a solar system. These businesses that are selling "free solar" make millions of dollars on people who believe them. They are a business after all, right!? 

In this blog post, we're going to break down the pros and cons of financial options, and give you the tools to make the best decision for yourself. 

THERE ARE PLENTY OF OPTIONS, BUT WHICH IS THE BEST FOR YOU? THAT'S SIMPLE, HERE'S WHY: 

PURCHASE OPTION (BEST IF YOU CAN USE TAX CREDITS!)

Solar is a solid investment, and whether you finance your solar system with a loan from your local bank, one of our partners, or simply pay cash, your solar system will pay for itself, giving you the benefit of long-term payoff and profit, simply for switching to solar. And the best thing is that most systems are paid in full within 3-5 years, leaving you with 20-25 years of nearly free electricity! Plus California and Federal tax credits give you more money in your pocket at tax time. For example, if your electric bill is $100/mo., you would be putting more than $95,000 in your pocket over the life of the system! And this is not even taking into account being able to avoid the rising electricity cost that utilities are posing against customers. It's no wonder why more and more people are opting to purchase versus lease their solar system. 

Smart Tip! Quickly compare the rate of return of your savings account or 401K plan, and you'll see why financially savvy people are electing to pay cash for their solar systems. 

LEASE OPTION (BEST IF YOU CAN'T USE TAX CREDITS)

If you wisely shelter your income from Federal taxes and cannot take the Federal tax credits for yourself, then the best option for you is to partner up with a lease partner that can use (or share) your Federal tax credits. You are still the homeowner (or building owner), however, you will not own the system unless you opt a buyout after all Federal tax credits have been issued. 

CALIFORNIA'S FIRST FINANCING(BEST IF YOU HAVE BAD CREDIT)

Property Accessed Clean Energy (PACE) is a financing option for home or business that does not require income or credit. The cost of the solar system is integrated directly into the property taxes, making it a simple option to switch to solar right away. Bright Future can help you every step of the way so that it's fast, easy and simple!

SCAM ALERT! - Don't fall victim to scare tactics.

Solar Panel technology has improved incredibly over the recent five years, so now the old scare tactics should not be used anymore, but they are. 

If you are approached by a solar company that tries to convince you that you should not own your solar system, instead you should lease it from them, and because they try to scare you with "What happens if it breaks down?" or "Are you prepared to pay for repairs?" 

Independent studies are showing that the solar panels, inverters, racking systems and monitoring systems are lasting past their manufactures warranty date, meaning that in all likelihood, any repairs would happen 25-years or more from now. 

Do your own research and beware, be smart. 

Innocently Guilty of Energy Gluttony

I don't know about you, but I am guilty of energy gluttony every time I stay in a hotel. Okay, let's be real people, you know you do it too, or at least did it until you became more green aware. 

What? You say; I mean letting the hot water run in the shower long enough to steam up the entire bathroom, letting the TV and AC run for W-A-Y longer than needed or using a thousand times more towels that you normally would at home. No big deal, right? Isn't this why you pay a hundred bucks a night to stay at a hotel that hasn't been renovated since the 1980's?

Ahhh, a long hot shower rocks, doesn't it!?

Ahhh, a long hot shower rocks, doesn't it!?

Well, therein lies the problem, some of these hotels are still using the energy sucking air conditioners originally installed in 1979, you know, the ones with the push button switches mounted by the window? 

Okay, I must admit, I love using clean towels, and especially at a hotel, I use a new towel for everything, I even use those cute little washcloths to dry my hands, a way to replace my paper towel addiction while in my usual home environment. And god forbid, I never leave that little card of the bed saying that I would like to save water and forego the clean sheet replacement, hell no, give me a clean set of sheets and blanket too if they do it! Okay, shoot me.

Um, sorry, this was a 1-night stay. :|

Um, sorry, this was a 1-night stay. :|

At least that's what I would have said in the past until I got educated by a little energy firm from the happiest city on Earth, San Luis Obispo. What the cool dudes at 3C Engineering schooled me in was the understanding of what it takes to heat water to a high enough temperature to kills the gross germs from the previous hotel guest. (Oh me? I'm never gross. :) You see, the hotel needs to use an industrial sized boiler to heat the water to clean those towels, sheets and blankets. And the amount of energy it takes to pump enough water into those boilers and then keep the water at a high enough temperature is mind boggling. 

So, it dawned on me that it wasn't just the water to wash the linens, it was the power to heat and pump the water. Same concept with that awesome water pressure out of the shower and sink that I let pour out of those heads and spigots. 

Remember when Motel 6 used to say, "We'll leave the lights on for you!" - okay, I may be dating myself, but, I hear that so differently now. 

So, the beautiful thing is, there is something all of us can do about this. And I'm not going to convince you to bring a bucket to catch your shower water to flush the toilet with, however, how much of a good idea that may be; what I will implore you to do is be aware. We live on this beautiful blue planet in space and it's only protected by a laser thin layer of atmosphere. (More on that tangent later.) 

For now, choose to stay at hotels that have completed their lighting retrofitting, replaced old pumps and boilers with new, more efficient ones, and most importantly have upgraded heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. 

How do you know this? Ask! One simple question, "Has your hotel gone green?" If the front desk doesn't know, then they haven't. Believe me, a green hotel is a big deal and very few have veered from their ways of massive energy consumption. Until we at Bright Future Solar Energy Convince hotels to catch up with the times, do your part and conserve while away from home and take 1-minute to ask your hotel staff what they are doing to save energy at the hotel, if nothing else but to give yourself a reminder that this stuff, you know, our little blue planet is important. (Well if you care to pass it along to future generations.) 

Until next time, let me know your thoughts and comments and if you like what you read, please like us on Facebook, +1 on Google and help spread the word to the world! 

Bright Regards, 
Michael

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Michael Joseph is Business Development Manager at Bright Future Solar Energy and avid writer and family man. He loves long walks on the beach and camping under the stars.