House & Home

Solar Energy Can Bring Your Electric Savings into the Future

Use that magic East End light to power your home.

Everyone loves the Hamptons in the summer. How could you not? The warm weather, the great food, the acclaimed light—Winslow Homer, William Merritt Chase, Jackson Pollock, Robert Dash, Chuck Close and David Salle have all cited the revered light of the East End as a source of inspiration. Using solar energy, that light can also power your home.

While not all of us can be world-famous painters, we can discover the smart, ecological and economic way to celebrate the light of the East End. From projects small to large, solar panels may be the fix you’re looking for to save both the environment and your financial investment.

Harnessing the power of solar energy doesn’t mean you have to affix giant bug-eyed panels across your entire roof and wait for the savings to come. If you’re looking to start small, a solar pool heater is a great way to go. These devices come in many different shapes and sizes, and can fit in a small patch on your roof or a remote place on your lawn. With proper maintenance, the machine can run smoothly for up to 20 years, much longer than a conventional pool heater.

Or perhaps you are ready to take the plunge and outfit the entire house. Solar roof panels may be the answer. We calculated the costs of solar panel installation for the Dan’s Papers offices in Southampton. The savings come to $44 a month, or $11,000 over a 20-year period. That doesn’t sound like too much, but it doesn’t include additional incentives, rebates and the 30% tax credit.

There are two major options when it comes to solar panels. Monocrystalline silicon, or Mono-Si, can be used for residential and commercial solar projects and polycrystalline for residential, commercial and utility-scale solar projects. The monocrystalline, like their name suggests, are made from a single crystal structure and are a little more efficient and therefore expensive.

Polycrystalline silicon panels are a newer, cheaper technology and have many different crystals, giving them a less uniform appearance. Various types of panels can be installed by regional companies such as Green Logic in Southampton and Sunshine Soar Technologies, based in Plainview.

Tesla Solar Roof
Tesla Solar Roof, Photo: Courtesy Tesla

If you want to go all in and step into the future, inventor Elon Musk may be able to help you. The Tesla Solar Roof is the latest and greatest when it comes to solar power. Rather than having panels attached to your roof, the panels are your roof. The tiles come in different styles, from textured to smooth, Tuscan and slate.

These offer the most discreet option, and the glass tiles are stronger than most asphalt and clay roofs. The solar tiles show their beautiful finish from an angle, but when flat and pointed toward the sun, they are completely transparent, allowing the solar cells to do their work for 30 years. These tiles work in tandem with the Tesla Powerwall, allowing homeowners to use solar energy whenever they choose, and for uninterrupted electricity during grid outages.

Big or small, solar energy can be implemented in any home or office. So next time you’re lounging around taking in the summer rays, think about what the sun can really do for you!

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