Tag Archives: costs

Common Questions About Solar Energy

Solar offers a limitless supply of clean, safe, and renewable energy. Here are some common questions you should consider about solar energy.

How do solar panels work?  

Solar technology involves using sunlight to create a chemical reaction. A collection of panels is called a solar array. As sunlight reaches the squares, it triggers the release of electrons that are collected by tiny wires built into the cells to form an electrical current. This current is sent to an inverter, which converts it into usable electricity. Any unused energy is stored in a battery or feed into a utility grid system.

Can you install solar panels to an existing building?

Installing solar panels on an existing building is usually quite easy and offers many benefits including the environment and your bottom line.  A solar system can stabilize your utility bill, making it easier to budget expenses.  When the system is paid off, the utility bill is reduced or eliminated, and excess energy can be stored or sold to the utility company.

How much does a solar panel installation cost?

The net installed cost and system payback depends on several factors including: your location, the orientation of your proposed mounting location, the amount of sun you receive, utility rates and how much energy you use. In the Kansas City area, there are financial incentives offered by utility companies and the federal government that may offset your system costs.

Watch our team install a solar system at the Surplus Exchange:

Energy Efficient Parking Garages

Proper lighting for a parking garage can save on energy and costs.

When we think of ways to save energy, parking garages aren’t usually our first thought. But a garage typically uses 15% of the energy that the building it is attached to uses, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

A parking garage can be seen as a secondary building, but what businesses are finding is that retrofitting a parking garage and updating its lighting can save a lot of energy, costs, and still be functional and look aesthetically pleasing.

“It’s an interesting thing to look at a parking garage as not just something that’s subservient to the campus, but as a building that has its own energy-saving contributions to make,” RNL Senior Project Manager Tony Thornton said.

And considering that parking garages use as much (if not more) lighting than a traditional building, the potential for saving energy and on utilities is definitely worth exploring for any business.

Read how the DOE retrofitted their parking garage to see how they saved on energy and costs.

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