With the news of Hurricane Irma’s uncertain effects to our area here in SWFL, we have received a lot of questions regarding how to prepare solar panels just in case of impact. Here are a few tips:
Solar Electric: A hurricane may cause utility power to fail. If this happens, your inverter(s) will cease to produce power and the system will automatically shut down (unless you have a backup battery installed). You may wish, as an added layer of protection, to shut down your system manually. This can be done by turning off the main photovoltaic disconnect switch(es) located near your utility meter (If not there, a sign near the meter should tell you it’s location). After the storm passes, it is very important to not handle ANY damaged solar electric modules as they may be high in DC voltage which is extremely dangerous. They should be treated like live utility wires. Contact us for an inspection if you observe any storm damage to your equipment.
Solar Pool Heating: In the event of a hurricane, it is wise to turn your pool pump off manually. To be sure, switch the pool equipment circuit breaker into the off position. You may have a breaker located at the pool pump itself or a breaker for the pool equipment in your main circuit panel. Turning off all sources of power is usually the safest and best option. Should you choose to not turn off the power to your pump, make sure that first your solar pool heating system is turned off and then isolated to stop any water flow to the panels mounted on your roof. Turning the isolation valves off manually so that water is not being pumped up to your roof is highly recommended.
This picture is of a typical solar pool heating manifold. The valves pictured here are open. With these style of handles, in order to close the valves, you want the handles to follow the pipe. The third valve pictured here is called a diverter valve and should be in the off position prior to isolating the solar pool heating system. If you have a controller, set the solar to “manual off”. Consult your manual or contact us for further assistance.
Note: Your valves may be a different style with red handles. Red handled ball valves are closed when perpendicular to the pipe and open when parallel to the pipe.
All Solar Products: Solar products that we install are covered by most homeowner’s insurance policies. If you have storm damage to any solar products, notify your insurance company, first, then call us immediately to receive a free repair or replacement quotation. Your solar investment should be treated like any other part of your home. Insurance companies may not be qualified to assess the cost to repair your solar energy products, so it is very important that you contact us to assess any damage. Having been in SWFL for over 40 years, we are very experienced in handling storm damage repairs and replacements.
Most importantly, keep yourself safe and protected. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us 239-574-1500
After 28 years of service, Jerry Mendolusky will be leaving Fafco Solar. We would like your help in making his going-away party really special.
Jerry was a very hard worker and quickly learned everything about solar pool heaters... how to install them, how to repair them, and eventually, how to sell them which is where he really began to shine. He was very dedicated to his customers and always enjoyed speaking with them at length. Jerry loves being around people and taking the time to explain products that will make their lives better. He knows how to make customers feel like a priority because they truly are to him. He was so likable, customers would often request that only he come to their house. The bottom line was, Jerry loved to make customers happy. That's what drove him the most... making customers happy.
In 2008, Jerry retired... but... he never stopped going to the office every morning! Why? Jerry's answer: "I love it here. It's like my morning cup of coffee." So, for the next 8 years, we've had the pleasure of seeing Jerry's smiling face every morning. He would help teach new employees his customer service tips, show them how to work smarter and offer words of wisdom to anyone who listened. And, occasionally, he still goes out and talks to his customers.
Recently, Jerry announced he will be moving to Tampa to be closer to his kids.
So, please join us in showing our appreciation to Jerry for his 28 years of service.
Thank you so much!
Last week, we posted a blog to inform you of why you should vote NO on Amendment 1 this November. We explained that this Amendment is extremely misleading and deceptive in that it promises you rights and protections that we Florida citizens already have while at the same time protects the utilities monopoly market. Now here's the proof!
A leaked recording from an energy summit of Sal Nuzzo, a vice president at utility-backed James Madison Institute in Tallahassee, calls the amendment "an incredibly savvy maneuver" which "would completely negate anything they (pro-solar interests) would try to do either legislatively or constitutionally down the road," according to the Miami Herald.
This just confirms what we have known all along, Amendment 1 is a wolf in sheep's skin! It masquerades itself as a pro-solar amendment but the goal is to stop solar progression, eliminate net-metering, and allow the utilities to steal solar customer's excess energy and sell it to the public at retail rates!
What is net-metering?
Net-metering is the utilities process of monitoring a solar customers amount of energy produced from their personal solar system and measuring it against the amount of energy that same customer consumes from the utilities. If there is a difference where the customer generates more energy than they consume the utilities must buy it from the homeowner at a wholesale rate.
How will Amendment 1 change this?
Amendment 1's goal is to eliminate net-metering so that any excess energy generated is handed over to the utilities at no cost to them so that they can turn around and sell it to the public at a retail rate. Ultimately, they want to steal solar consumer's energy and make 100% pure profit on it.
It is important to understand that there is not one single solar company in the state of Florida (even the country) that is in support of this Amendment!
There have also been many Florida supporting celebrities that have spoken out against Amendment 1.
Most recently, Al Gore went on the record saying that the true aim of Amendment 1 is darker than fostering solar and that it is a "phony baloney" initiative propped up by utilities. At the Miami Dade College's Kendall campus on October 11th, 2016 he stated, "The things they claim protect solar are protections you already have... but they are trying to fool you into amending your state Constitution in a way that gives them the authority to shut down net metering and do in Florida what they did in Nevada and just kill the solar industry."
Jimmy Buffett also came forth in support of voting No on Amendment 1. He stated "It's obvious what's going on there... we've been enjoying the sun for most of our lives living in Florida. Now it's time to use it right, and use it for everybody's benefit."
This November we urge you to be informed when voting and stop the utilities from deceiving voters for their own personal gain! Please spread the word, VOTE NO ON AMENDMENT 1!
Nancy and I had the great pleasure of meeting Scott and Julie Brusaw of Solar Roadways in Sandpoint, ID this last week while vacationing.
They graciously spent an hour showing us how they make their panels and answering all of our questions about how they work.
I was very excited to see their technology, first hand, and learn about their new applications for homes.
We were amazed to learn that every panel is installed by hand right now and to hear about how they plan to someday automate their installation process.
It is definitely something we plan to keep an eye on and we are proud to share the industry with such innovative people.
They have a brilliant concept here that could completely transform the future!
Leave us a comment below to tell us what you think!
There are a lot of things that are outside of our individual control when it comes to global warming.
One thing you CAN do to help create a more sustainable world... don't give your money to fossil fuels! Check out Go Fossil Free.
Here's a good article about the movement to divest from fossil fuels from Mother Earth News: Fossil Fuel Divestment: A Growing Movement.
Ok… see if you can connect the dots between astronauts who have looked back at earth from space… and solar energy.
Edgar Mitchell gives the answer about 14 and a half minutes into this short film… the "Overview Effect".
Tesla's Powerwall is going to change the way you think about your power, forever.
It is being considered the key to personal energy independence.
It's a wall-mounted, lithium ion battery, that has inherited Tesla's already proven automotive battery technology which will power you home safely and economically.
It is completely automated, installs very easily, and requires little to no maintenance!
It has the capacity to store 6.4 kWh which is sufficient to power most homes at night using the energy generated from the solar panels during the day!
Better yet is that is comes with a 10 year warranty!
Right now the only way to purchase one is to either own a Tesla or be a customer of SolarCity, however we are anxiously awaiting our opportunity to become a distributor and installer of this product!
Stay tuned for our first Tesla Powerwall installation happening in 2016!
Congratulations to all those who went out and voted yesterday! With an amazing 73% of the votes we were able to get Amendment 4 passed!
This means that the cost to go solar will be lower due to the property tax exemption provided to those who install solar panels on their home, but this is just half the battle!
Now it is time to spread awareness and kNOwledge about Amendment 1 in NOvember.
There are two parts to this amendment and they are meant to confuse you.
The first part is a ploy to make you feel that this amendment is in support of solar energy when in all actuality it is just repeating what is already law.
It is the second part of this amendment that has the solar energy industry and its supporters ready to battle!
This second part (which is receiving 75% of its financial support from the utility companies telling us all who it will benefit most) provides government assurance that those who decide not to produce solar energy will not have to subsidize solar energy production costs.
This issue stems from something we have discussed here quite a few times- net metering.
Net-metering is a sore spot for the utilities because it requires that the power companies purchase any surplus electricity that is generated by residential solar systems at market rates.
While net-metering hurts the electrical companies, it provides a quicker recovery on the initial investment in solar by the purchaser.
The utilities allege that net-metering leads to an indirect tax placed on homeowners who do not produce solar, but what it really does is instantly creates competition to the big utilities from hundreds of thousands of private energy producers selling their solar power!
Let's show the utilities that we are not that easily confused and vote NO on Amendment 1 in NOvember!
Here's a wonderful video showing the amazing growth of solar energy in America.
I think a lot of people will be surprised to learn how fast solar is really growing.
According to SEIA (Solar Energy Industries Association) over the last 10 years the deployment of solar energy in the United States grew at an unprecedented rate.
In 2004 there were 500 megawatts (MW) of solar energy installed nationwide.
By the end of 2014, there were 20,000 MW - enough to power more than 4 million homes. 97 percent of that capacity was added after passage of the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC).
By the end of 2016, the solar industry is expected to double in size, offsetting more than 45 million metric tons of carbon dioxide - the equivalent of taking 10 million cars off U.S. highways or shuttering 12 coal-fired power plants.
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