New Construction? Are you building a new home? This is the perfect time to add a solar electric system to your new home. 30% federal tax credit still available in 2018 and 2019. State tax credit, $500.00 per tax payer makes this a great time to invest for the long term. Build the system into your plans and reap the benefits. Call SBS Solar today for your free solar estimate. 406-541-8410.
11am – 3pm
Caras Park Pavilion
This free event will showcase local solar and renewable energy opportunities and businesses, energy efficiency, and other efforts that will help move our community to 100% clean electricity.
Day of activities:
- Noon: “Solar-ease” workshop + meet solar installers
- 1pm: Release of 100% Clean Electricity for Missoula draft “Options Report”
- Mayor Engen, Amy (Climate Smart), Chase (City of Missoula). Panel discussion: Climate commitments and energy policy in Missoula & Montana, with Missoula FCU, MEIC, and more
- 2pm: “Virtual tour” of Missoula’s cool green buildings and homes
- Meet green businesses and non-profits + learn how to go zero waste and save energy
- Family-friendly activities – including pumpkins!
- Take the 0-50-100 pledge
You will often find Clover Quinn at the Hamilton Farmers Market on Bedford St from 9:00 – 12:30 on Saturdays in the summer. Clover is very excited about her solar electric system. “Last month our electric bill was $50.04. That includes the base rate of $46.00.” Clover smiles, “Who would have dreamed we would eagerly await our electric bill in the mail.”
Invest in your own Solar Electric System Today. SBS Solar Can Help
- 30% federal tax credit still available in 2018.
- State tax credit, $500.00 per tax payer makes this a great time to invest for the long term.
- 3.25% State of Montana DEQ Loans
- Missoula Federal Credit Union offers two loan options: Solar Home Equity Loan or Home Energy Loan
- For Small Businesses and Agricultural Producers in eligible areasUSDA Rural Development, REAP (Rural Energy for America Program) offers up to 25% grants for total eligible project costs, as well as loan guarantees.
Call SBS Solar today for your free solar estimate. 406-541-8410.
When possible it’s optimum to size a system for growth. SBS solar typically installs an inverter that can easily handle additional models. Examples of expansion are electric vehicles and air source heat pump‘s.
We are picky when it comes to who’s modules we use. After three decades of working with a good number of manufacturers we developed two main criteria which dominate our selection process. Number one is a company which has staying power. We have seen too many companies come and go, leaving us with a long-term warranty with no one to support the product. A 25-year module warranty is standard in the industry. You cannot operate as a module manufacture without it, whether or not the company will be there. Bankruptcy clears long term commitments unless the company takes actions to cover their warranties.
Number two qualification is a track record of standing behind their product and the companies brand. The two companies we work with are just plain proud of their product. It helps when you talk to workers on the factory Floor who when queried tell me this is the best job they have ever had and you can feel this is more than just a job.
This is why we work with SolarWorld of Hillsboro, Oregon and L.G. from South Korea. Both companies have been around the solar block, have a high-quality product which they are committed to support for the long run.
What module wattage is best and why we work with high power 355 watt or higher modules.
It’s simple really, the more power per module the less space it requires on your roof or mount structure. Lower wattages, especially below 295 watts, cost less yet this cost savings is lost as we need to install more modules to achieve the same total array output. More individual modules increase the number of mounting structure material, optimizers and installation time and costs.
Companies leading the industry put much energy into maximizing cell efficiencies. There are hundreds of solar module manufactures around the world. Like many products today, it is a buyer beware world.
Do you own a small business in Montana (outside the city limits of Missoula)? The USDA Rural Development, REAP (Rural Energy for America Program) offers up to 25% grants for total eligible project costs, as well as loan guarantees. Partnered with the 30% federal tax credit your savings really add up.
This program helps increase American energy independence by increasing the private sector supply of renewable energy and decreasing the demand for energy through energy efficiency improvements. Over time, these investments can also help lower the cost of energy costs for small businesses and agricultural producers.
- Grants of $20,000 or less: October 31, 2017 and March 31, 2018;
- Unrestricted Grants (up to $500,000): March 31, 2017;
- Loan Guarantees are competed continuously throughout the year.
Don’t miss this unique opportunity to invest in the long term health of your business with an investment in solar energy and energy savings.
Call Dan for a free solar consultation today 406-541-8410.
One of the best ways to size a solar electric system is to look at your utility power bill. On the NorthWestern Energy bill* in the upper left hand corner there is a graph that tells you how much energy your home consumes on a monthly basis. This information and a Google view of your site for orientation and shading, enable the SBS Solar team to design a system with your needs in mind. A site visit is then scheduled to verify information .We then follow-up with a detailed proposal that will quantify your total costs and savings.
*Electric Coop power users will need to contact their co-op offices to request the last years worth of power usage.
Council Groves 48kW Solar Electric System Received USB (Universal Service Benefit) Grant
The SBS Solar team recently installed a 48kW solar electric system for Council Groves Apartments in Missoula MT. Currently Council Groves Apartments maintains 72 units of low-income Housing for approximately two hundred residents, close to half of which are children under the age of 18.
A portion of the funds for this project were provided by USB (Universal Service Benefits) funding in Montana. In 1997 the Montana legislature passed an electric deregulation law that included language establishing a Universal Systems Benefits (USB) fund.
- Low Income (energy assistance and weatherization)
- Cost-Effective Conservation + R & D
- Market Transformation
- Renewables + R & D
Under this program (with these guidelines the E+ Renewable Energy Program (NorthWestern Energy) provides custom incentives for projects that benefit organizations and communities for non-profit or government facilities. Projects receiving these funds often provide civic value including education and visible representation of renewable energy technologies to a broad audience. Broad Benefit Commercial solar PV incentives are awarded twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall.
If your non-profit is interested in assistance with the grant application call Dan today. 406-541-8410.
The 5 criteria used to rank proposals are as follows:
- Non Profit
- Geographic Location
- Participant Match ( at least 10%)
- Educational Value
- System Maintenance
Fact: Though tracking mechanisms can provide efficiency gains for your solar electric system, they typically do not increase efficiency enough to justify the additional expense and maintenance of moving parts in residential situations. Generally a shade free, fixed roof mount system is he cost most effective installation.
Solar Myth # 11 Myth: Solar panels don’t work well in cold climates.
Fact: Solar panels work with light, not heat so it doesn’t matter how cold it gets outside. In fact, solar panels perform better in cooler temperatures than very hot temperatures. Solar panels are built to withstand varying temperatures, and they can produce electricity from indirect light.