All posts by brilliance

What is carbon footprint? Why should it matter?

What is carbon footprint? Why should it matter?

11 April 2022 2 min read

What is carbon footprint?

Driving to the office, using electricity to heat up your house or going on a shopping spree are things that we take for granted. But they lead to the release of greenhouse gases like carbon and methane. Manufacturing of products, construction of buildings – activities that signify development also release greenhouse gases. The earth receives energy from the sun, and it emits excess energy into space. But greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere absorb and trap the surplus energy. This leads to rising temperatures and increased heat.

Carbon footprint is measured as the total greenhouse gas emissions released into the atmosphere. It is measured in terms of carbon dioxide emissions (CO2). The carbon footprint of an individual, company or a nation can be measured.

Why does carbon footprint matter?

While we need some carbon dioxide (CO2) to keep the planet going, too much of it is not suitable for us. When there is too much carbon in the air, it results in many issues that can lead to disastrous results-

Disrupted weather patterns – There can be a rise in extreme weather patterns such as more flooding, more wildfires, etc., which can lead to destruction and loss to humankind.

Increased heat – Earth’s global average surface temperature in 2020 tied with 2016 as the warmest year on record, according to an analysis by NASA. Rising temperatures can lead to more intense heat waves and shifts in plant and animal habitats. In addition, some pests can thrive in warmer climates leading to large-scale damage to farms and vegetation.

Loss of ice levels and water issues – It leads to a decrease in snow cover, resulting in lower levels of freshwater. Higher temperatures lead to the melting of the ice reserves that can lead to a continuous rise of the sea levels.

Warming of oceans – Rising temperature of oceans and seas can disrupt marine life. It also results in rising sea levels that increase the risk of flooding of coastal areas during extreme weather. As a result, settlements around the coastline and even entire islands can be disrupted or destroyed, leading to the destruction of human life and economic losses.

In the USA, the biggest contributors to carbon emissions are:

Transportation 29%
Electricity generation 25%
Industrial activities 23%
Commercial and residential heating 13%
Agriculture 10%

Source: https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/sources-greenhouse-gas-emissions

How can going solar reduce our carbon footprint?

We can play a part in reducing our carbon footprint by switching to solar. Homeowners in the USA can install solar solutions and reduce their carbon footprint as they will use lesser fossil fuels and also save a significant amount of money. Businesses and government organizations can install solar panels to generate energy, thereby reducing their carbon emissions.

GreenBrilliance can help you to switch to solar with our high-quality, turnkey solar solutions for families, businesses and the government. We also have a wide range of financing options that will help you reduce your carbon footprint and have peace of mind.

What Factors Affect the Cost of a Business Going Solar?

What Factors Affect the Cost of a Business Going Solar?

05 April 2022 2 min read

Is your business interested in investing in a solar system? It is a great idea to reduce your monthly energy costs, and your business will be more environmentally friendly, contributing to a greener planet. You are probably also thinking – “What is the cost of going solar?”. To answer that question, you will need to know the main factors involved in implementing a solar solution. We list down the top drivers that will impact the cost of going solar for a business:

System Size

The larger the system, the more energy it will produce but oversizing the system will result in inefficiencies in cost. A business will have to evaluate its energy needs and then compare the capital invested to the system capacity to find out the cost of the solar solution. Of course, you can always start with a moderately sized system and then scale it up as per your energy requirements. GreenBrilliance offers a comprehensive consultation session to arrive at the perfect solar solution to be installed.

Type of installation

Typically solar systems are either rooftop installations or ground-mounted systems. Rooftop panels have the roof as a foundation, but ground-mounted systems need land and a base to implement them. Therefore, ground-mounted systems can be more expensive. But you can install larger ground-mounted solar solutions as compared to rooftop installations.

Equipment

The equipment such as solar panels, solar cells and storage systems determine the efficiency of the solar system. The better the quality of the components, the greater value you will get out of the solar system. GreenBrilliance offers high quality, made in USA systems that are efficient. It means you can get more energy generated with our solutions at affordable costs.

Interconnection costs

These are the costs involved in connecting your solar system to the utility grid. It depends on existing infrastructure and specific requirements of the utility company related to equipment, wiring, etc.

These are some of the critical factors that impact the cost of a solar installation. But each project is different. GreenBrilliance, with its expertise and vast experience, can take you through the process of evaluation to determine the best solar system for your needs and implement it at the most optimal cost. Contact us @ 703-657-0090 or email us @ gosolar@greenbrilliance.com to power your business’s solar future.

How to choose a solar panel

How to choose a solar panel

20 March 2022 2 min read

How do I know if a solar panel is of high quality? Is the solar solution efficient? Can I trust these solar panels? We often get such questions from our customers. While going solar is a smart decision, we understand that it is a significant financial investment. It is but natural that you want the most value for money spent. While going for a solar energy solution, solar panels form a considerable chunk of the investment. Therefore, it is critical that you choose the right solar panels. Here are some tips on choosing top quality and high-performing solar panels –

Choose high-efficiency solar panels

The amount of electricity that a solar panel can generate can be determined by its power rating, power tolerance, efficiency and temperature coefficient. Check these factors to buy the solar panels most suitable for you, depending on your home’s energy consumption.

Choose solar panels that are low on maintenance

Solar panels generally require little to no maintenance. But do remember that solar panels are installed on the roof, and it is not easy and dangerous to clean them effectively regularly. So choose solar panels that have features for zero or minimal maintenance. Nowadays, you have many options as some solar panels come with features that prevent debris, snow or rainwater from accumulating on or around them.

Check the warranties available on the solar panels

Most solar panels are guaranteed to last anywhere from 10 years to 30 years. When you buy solar panels with a warranty, repairs and maintenance are easier. GreenBrilliance provides a warranty of 25 years for its solar panels.

Go for cost-effective solar panels

The cost of solar panels is a crucial factor to decide whether you want to go solar or not. But rather than choosing the cheapest one which may not give the right return on your investment, choose solar panels that offer optimal value. The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) estimates the national average cost of a residential solar panel system at $2.94 per watt.1 GreenBrilliance operates in tri-state (DMV) Virginia, Maryland and D.C. and Pennsylvania. The average cost in these states is approximately between $2.60 ad $3.00 per watt2.

Choose solar panels that add to the aesthetics of your home

Solar panels can be in different colors. Choose even colored solar panels that suit the aesthetic appeal. Usually, solar panels come in two types – Monocrystalline and Polycrystalline Monocrystalline panels have a black tint and are more stylish. They have higher efficiency as well but are priced higher. Polycrystalline panels have a blue color and are not as efficient as monocrystalline panels. Polycrystalline panels are cheaper.

GreenBrilliance offers high quality, Made in USA systems

With a growing thrust towards sustainability, solar energy is in focus, and there are many benefits in installing solar solutions in the form of rebates, incentives and lower prices. The team at GreenBrilliance will be happy to talk to you. Connect with us @ 703-657-0090 or email us @ gosolar@greenbrilliance.com for a consulting session on the best solar system for your home.

Climate change and solar power

Climate change and solar power

11 March 2022 2 min read
  • 2020 was the hottest year on record, tying with 2016.
  • The average annual Northern Hemisphere snow cover was among the lowest between 1967-2020.
  • Carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, the three main elements driving climate change, have reached the highest levels in the atmosphere.

Climate change is real and here to stay unless we make some drastic moves to halt the adverse effects of climate change, such as an increase in the frequency of natural disasters, extinction of animal species and serious effects on people’s lives and health.

Renewable energy i.e. energy from resources that are naturally replenished on a human timescale has to be used. They can be replenished and are not harmful like using fossil fuels to generate energy.

Solar power is the best energy source to combat climate change

Solar energy is the way to go among the various renewable energy sources considering the amount of sunlight Earth receives and the rapidly evolving technology around solar solutions. Humans must utilize solar power optimally as it can help protect our environment in various ways:

Solar energy is good for the environment

Utilizing solar power for our energy needs decreases emissions of CO2 as there will be reduced usage of fossil fuels. It will minimize greenhouse gas emissions and reduce our carbon footprint. In this manner, we can stall climate change, and with widespread use, even revert the harmful effects of climate change in the long run.

Solar energy improves our standard of living

Usage of solar energy means pollution levels are lower and the environment is cleaner. This will positively impact our health as people will have better air to breathe and reduce respiratory and cardiovascular problems.

Solar energy is widely useable

Solar energy solutions are easy to install at both small-scale and large-scale levels. GreenBrilliance has expertise and experience in delivering turnkey solar solutions for homes, offices and government organizations. Once installed, they start giving results in the form of zero emissions, reduced use of water for generation and quickly begin paying back on the investment in the form of reduced energy costs.

Solar energy reduces dependence on conventional electricity grids

With solar energy, grid dependence can be reduced, which will result in lower utility bills, independence from power outage and rising electricity prices. It will also mean you use less non-renewable energy, contributing to a greener planet. Many of our customers who have installed an integrated solar system look forward to many years of zero CO2 emissions and energy bills netting to zero.

Climate change is a complex problem, and we all have to work towards solving it. Switching to solar is an effective way to contribute to combating climate change.

Get in touch with us @ 703-657-0090 or email us @ gosolar@greenbrilliance.com today to go solar and save the environment for future generations.

All about solar batteries

All about solar batteries

18 February 2022 2 min read

What are solar batteries?

Solar batteries are used to store solar energy. Rechargeable solar batteries can be used in PV systems to store excess electricity generated by the solar system. The electricity can be used whenever required. So even when you are connected to the grid, you can remain “off-grid” and use the electricity stored in the solar batteries.

How do solar batteries work?

When you install a solar solution, the solar panels generate electricity from the sun. This is direct current (DC) electricity. It is converted to alternating current (AC) electricity which powers home appliances, etc. The unused electricity charges the solar batteries. When the sun goes down, or when there is an outage or when you do not want electricity from the grid, you can use the energy from the batteries to power your electronic devices and appliances.

What are the advantages of using solar batteries?

When you connect a solar battery to your solar system, the excess energy produced by the solar panels is stored in the battery. This energy can be used in multiple ways:

  • When the solar panel is not generating enough energy required for the electricity needs of the house, this extra energy can be used.
  • When there is an outage, you can use the excess energy to satisfy your basic power needs.
  • You can also connect your solar panels and the solar battery to the grid. You can fill your battery and sell it to the utility company. If the electricity rates vary at various times of the day, you can use energy from the backup battery when the rates are higher and use electricity from the grid when the rates are lower.

Storage solutions from GreenBrilliance

GreenBrilliance offers various intelligent storage solutions by partnering with leaders in the energy industry like Generac. Our bundled solar solutions include battery storage solutions that

  • Capture and store power from solar panels for extended durations.
  • Protect your home and family during power outages.
  • Utilize stored electricity during peak demand, grid outage or when electricity costs are high, thus incurring lower energy bills and saving money.
  • Gain greater independence from the grid as you have the freedom to avoid peak rates and control your electricity supply and demand.

Connect with us for battery storage solutions

Solar is great for our homes and offices, and solar batteries make it even better. With smarter batteries and improving technology, solar batteries support a higher number of charge/discharge cycles and do not require much maintenance or frequent replacement. Solar batteries are perfect for going green, being energy independent, and saving money.

Contact us @ 703-657-0090 or email us @ gosolar@greenbrilliance.com to know more about solar batteries.

Solar energy versus nuclear energy

Solar energy versus nuclear energy

07 February 2022 2 min read

Nuclear power plants harness heat produced during nuclear fission to heat water to produce steam. The steam is used to spin large turbines that generate electricity. Typically, the fuel used is Uranium.

Solar energy is generated when solar panels use the sun’s energy to generate electricity. In simple terms, solar cells interact with incoming light to generate an electrical current.

In light of the climate change crisis, there is no doubt that we have to meet our energy needs using cleaner sources of energy. Both solar and nuclear energy are considered clean energy sources. They leave minimal or no carbon footprint and are renewable energy sources. The solar versus nuclear energy debate has been going on for quite some time. Let us look at how they stack up against the other:

Costs

The cost of building a facility to generate nuclear power compared to setting up a solar system is much more expensive. However, you can set up a solar system in your home or office relatively easily and start reaping the benefits immediately.

Time

As per Lazard, a leading investment banking firm, the average time to build a nuclear plant is 69 months. On the other hand, the average time to set up a home or commercial solar system is 3 months or less and the time to build a large-scale solar utility unit is not more than 9 months. GreenBrilliance will take you through the entire process, from assessment, solutioning, permit issuance to engineering and installation in a smooth, quick and efficient manner.

Capacity

The capacity of a nuclear power plant might be more than that of a typical solar farm or solar solutions implemented in a community or town. This is because it has the capacity to generate power continuously, and solar is dependent on the sun, which is not available to us 24 hours a day. But the long time taken to be operational and high costs outweighs it making solar a favorable choice.

Time to become operational

Solar becomes operational pretty fast compared to nuclear energy. We need this right now, considering the serious issues that planet Earth is facing due to climate change.

Risk

There have been instances when people living around a nuclear facility and the environment have been endangered. Solar energy production is free of such risks making it a safer choice.

If we want lower emissions quickly and cost-effectively, solar energy bests nuclear power as the leading source of carbon-free energy.

Should I buy or lease solar panels?

Should I buy or lease solar panels?

12 January 2022 2 min read

Going solar has become a viable option with prices of solar panels going down, technological advances and increased production of solar systems. With access to solar energy, people, businesses and government organizations can reduce their utility bills, manage their energy consumption and positively impact the environment. Did you know that you have the option to either buy solar panels or lease them? Let us look at the differences of owning a solar system and leasing solar panels:

Buy solar panels Lease solar panels
An upfront cash purchase will involve a bigger cash outflow in one go. But as per EnergySage, it gets paid off in five to seven years in terms of reduced utility bills and savings in terms of tax credits, rebates and incentives. By leasing solar panels, you do not have to pay any money upfront. But the lease agreement will be a long-term agreement of up to 20-25 years. In addition, a lease will not qualify you for tax credits, depreciation, rebates or other incentives.
If you have the financial means or can avail of a loan, buying solar panels is a sensible choice as you can maximize the financial benefits. GreenBrilliance offers various financing options to purchase solar solutions. When you have limited financial ability but want to reap the benefits of reduced electricity bills and reduce your carbon footprint, leasing is a viable option. Contact us @ 703-657-0090 or email us @ gosolar@greenbrilliance.com to find out the leasing options we offer.
As the owner, you will be responsible for the maintenance and monitoring of the solar panels. Usually, a solar lease comes with a maintenance package, with some solar companies offering performance guarantees. So, if the equipment is not producing energy as promised, the lessee will be compensated for shortcomings in production.
Owning a solar system enables you to earn money with the power you generate either by using Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SREC’s) or selling excess energy generated to the power company. Solar leases will not help you generate any additional revenue. The lease will usually require an annual payment escalator of 1% to 5% per month.

Solar is the way forward

Owning a solar system involves higher upfront costs and maintenance efforts. But it offers higher savings and flexibility in terms of selling the premises where it is installed. On the other hand, a lease is better if there are barriers to buying solar panels and you do not want to be involved in maintenance and monitoring of the system. Either way, solar energy is the best way to go forward for better financial returns and a cleaner and greener environment.

Why are corporates moving to solar panels?

Why are corporates moving to solar panels?

04 January 2022 2 min read

Solar energy has emerged as the most practical and environmentally friendly alternative for companies to meet their energy needs. Most big and small businesses have either gone solar or are planning to embrace solar energy. Why?

Companies aim to be responsible corporate citizens with an environmental conscience along with achieving their corporate objectives related to revenues and costs.

Let us look at the various benefits of going solar for businesses:

Increasing energy requirements

As a company becomes more successful, the energy requirements increase. Non-renewable sources of energy such as coal and oil are limited in supply. On the other hand, there is substantial growth in solar energy generation. In the US, around 91 billion kilowatthours of solar energy was generated in 2021 compared to around 24 billion kilowatthours in 2015. It makes sense for businesses that need access to constant power supply and increasing energy requirements to adopt solar.

Cost benefits

Prices of conventional energy sources are expected to rise raising the costs of running the business which can pose problems for your budget. The best way to save on energy expenses is to generate the power yourself. It is very easy to set up a solar system that can generate energy, store excess energy and help you save money in the long run. There are various financing options to acquire solar systems that can be availed of as per your requirements. Moreover, the prices of solar panels have dropped, and their efficiency has increased over the years.

Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

By reducing dependence on traditional energy sources, the company can decrease its carbon footprint. By adopting a clean and green energy source like solar companies can play their part in protecting Earth with no greenhouse gases or harmful chemicals released into the air.

Federal Investment Tax Credit

Businesses that install solar systems will receive a federal tax credit for 10% of the gross installed cost of the solar system. If the company cannot use all the tax credit related to the commercial ITC in one year, it can carry the tax credit back one year and 20 years forward.

Better Goodwill and more Customers

Customers and society are increasingly conscious of the activities of companies. A company that cares for the environment is regarded highly in society. Customers also tend to choose the services of those companies that have eco-friendly processes and offer “green” services and products. By adopting solar power, a company contributes to sustainability and will be seen favorably by customers, partners and investors.

Solar is the way to go

While going solar is a significant investment, it will pay off in the long run. To sum up, we need a cleaner, greener environment. Going solar will be your contribution to a greener future. With the various strategic business advantages it gives, solar will also make your business competitive.

You can call us @ 703-657-0090 or email us @ gosolar@greenbrilliance.com to know more about our commercial solar installations, products and solar project financing options.

West Virginia, It is time to go solar

West Virginia, It is time to go solar

13 December 2021 2 min read

Solar energy can be used on industrial buildings, government organizations, commercial units and residences. There are a host of reasons as to why it is the right time for West Virginia to go solar:

  • As of mid-2021, the total solar capacity installed in West Virginia was 15 MW. It is expected that solar can power up to 23% of West Virginia’s power needs. It means there is potential to install 6300 MW. Moreover, the solar industry is undergoing rapid changes in terms of advancing technology and optimization of costs. There is also increasing awareness of the benefits of solar energy and the unsustainability of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas. They cause irreparable damage to the environment and have a shelf life for job opportunities.
  • Solar panels that leverage solar energy to convert to electricity are moving ahead in efficiency and aesthetic value. Their prices are being optimized too. The government offers several incentives for solar installations. People can claim up to 26% of the cost of a solar photovoltaic system for installations in 2020-2022 as tax credit. For installations done in 2023, they can claim up to 22% of the cost for systems installed in 2023.
  • With the thrust towards renewable energy across the country, flexible and easy financing options for solar installations are available. People can buy them in cash or by taking loans with favorable terms for borrowers.
  • All utility companies in West Virginia have to offer net metering. It ensures that any resident or organization installing a solar system will get full credit for the production of surplus energy. The utility company will give a one-for-one credit for every kilowatt-hour (kWh) sent back to the utility company.
  • It is also interesting to note that while the coal industry played an important role in West Virginia, things are changing. Coal mining jobs declined from 86,507 in 2010 to 42,117 in 2020, and solar energy related employment grew from 93,552 jobs in 2010 to 2,31,474 jobs in 2020 all across the US. Moreover, solar energy is the way forward. It is environmentally friendly to produce it, and people have better working conditions.

Go solar now

So, a drop in the installation costs, electricity bill reductions, tax savings and the chance to build a greener future make solar energy a great investment for West Virginia businesses, farmers, and homeowners. GreenBrilliance is in West Virginia now. You can call us @ 703-657-0090 or email us @ gosolar@greenbrilliance.com to know more about our solar installations, products and solar project financing options.

Are solar panels worth it?

Are solar panels worth it?

04 December 2021 2 min read

The solar industry added a record 19.2 gigawatts of new capacity during 2020. It was a 43% jump from 2019, and by 2030, solar installations are expected to quadruple from current levels.1 The Biden administration aims to generate 45% of the total U.S. electrical generation through solar power by 2050.

We also experience an increase in the number of power outages and blackouts. By using solar energy, we will be in more control with solar, thus facing lesser unpredictability.

On the other hand, going solar is a significant investment, and there are many accounts of increasing investment costs. In addition, people are unsure of equipment maintenance and the extent of power generation.

So, are solar panels worth it?

Solar panels provide us with multiple advantages:

  • Sustainability: We can generate emissions-free energy. It will help us reduce our carbon footprint and thereby do our bit to combat climate change.
  • Financial benefits: We get many financial advantages. With solar panels, you generate your own electricity which means you do not have to pay utility bills. Even if your solar panel installation doesn’t generate enough power for all your needs, you still reduce your use of traditional energy sources. If there is surplus power, you can sell it and receive payments in your account or get credit in most states. Many studies have concluded that solar installations increase property value. The federal government and many state governments offer solar tax credits and incentives for homes and businesses.
  • Optimum use of the availability of sunlight: Our planet gets plenty of sunlight. Solar panels can leverage it to produce electricity for homes, offices, and factories.

Still unsure about going solar

Review your electricity bill

With many of us still spending many hours of our day in our homes, the electricity bills could be high. The higher your bill, the more likely you will benefit from switching.

Estimate your solar panel cost

The main cost involved in going solar is the price of the panels. But with the increasing efficiency of solar panels, tax incentives and lowering of electricity bills, the cost is offset. GreenBrilliance provides high-quality, ‘Made-in-USA’ products that maximize benefits for our customers.

We also offer a range of financing options so that your switch to solar is within your means.

Watch out for incentives

The government offers significant incentives for installing solar panels as an alternate energy source. As of now, federal tax credit allows taxpayers to claim 26% of installation costs for systems placed in service by Dec. 31, 2022. The credit lowers to 22% in 2023 and expires in 2024, unless the policy changes. Moreover, many states offer additional incentives in terms of property tax exemption, waived fees, and expedited permits. You can take advantage of the incentives and get more value for your investment.

Want to know more about going solar?

We understand going solar is a big decision. With solar panels, you can avoid energy cost fluctuations, have a sustainable lifestyle, and enhance the value of your home. Contact us @ 703-657-0090 or gosolar@greenbrilliance.com, and we will be happy to engage with you so that you make the right decision.