There are many factors people use when determining where to buy a home. Despite the value, one consistently overlooked factor is the energy efficiency of the home. The energy efficiency or even a recent energy audit can drive the value of the home higher. According to The Appraisal Journal, for every $1 decrease in annual energy costs, the market value of a home increases by $20. If you decrease the energy costs by $300 per year, the value of the home increases by $6,000! Energy auditors often overlook this in their pitches – making energy renovations can improve the home’s marketability and resale value.
There are various reasons someone decides to become a solar energy professional – flexible schedule, good income, and the satisfaction in helping people become more energy independent and environmentally sustainable to name a few. But there are other factors that can tip the scale in favor of becoming a certified solar installer. There are few barriers to entry, start-up costs are relatively low, and you can be up and running quickly. Depending on the situation, these factors can weigh heavily when you compare starting a career in solar to other career choices.
Check out Kaplan Clean Tech Education’s infographic below that outlines Solar – A Career that’s Within Reach.
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This article was originally posted on Dealbook.NYTimes.com
SolarCity, the country’s leading installer of rooftop solar systems, began selling bonds online to ordinary investors on Wednesday, joining a handful of companies that are using crowdfunding to finance solar development.
Becoming a solar professional can be a confusing process for many people. It isn’t necessarily a career that requires a college education, but it does require a very specific skill set, so you can’t simply start doing business immediately. Oftentimes, becoming a professional solar installer sometimes requires an Electricians License that is regulated by the state in which you wish to install.
There are many skills that are shared by both home inspectors and energy auditors, and in fact many professionals are fully trained and certified in both of these fields. But for many who are looking for a career change, or to add a new service to their current business, it’s not clear what the difference is. Kaplan Clean Tech and Kaplan Real Estate have put our heads together to provide this information in a simply, easy to understand way.
Interested in a Career in Solar Energy?
A Quick Overview – Solar photovoltaic (PV) installers
Solar PV installers are key to the operations of solar panel installation and maintenance. They utilize a particular skill-set to maximize the effectiveness of both residential and commercial projects. They are in charge of safely attaching the modules to the roofs of houses or other buildings and guaranteeing that the entire systems works. Solar PV installers are expected to work with a variety of tools (both electronic and mechanical), have knowledge of electrical wiring, and possess basic math skills. At any given point, installers must be ready to be problem solvers, ready to repair damaged systems or replace malfunctioning components at the drop of a hat. Not surprisingly, safety is a top priority when installing solar panels because of the height of most projects and the high voltage that solar panels produce.
The world of residential solar installation has many different players, including inspectors, property managers, contractors, bankers, and government agencies, as well as prospective owners and occupants. But, the workhorses of the typical solar photovoltaic project are the people on the ground—the solar design and installation professionals.
Deciding to become a solar energy installation professional is a major move in anyone’s career journey. People enter the field of renewable energy from various occupations and careers and at various stages of their lives. Everyone has different reasons why they think solar energy is the correct career choice for them. But, one question consistently comes from people looking to enter the solar photovoltaic industry: “How do I become a solar PV Installer?”
When you consider that home appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers and laundry machines account for about 13% of your home energy costs, it only makes sense to take a close look at their efficiency. High-efficiency appliances like those with Energy Star ratings not only save money in the long run, but they also benefit the environment. Case in point: In 2010, Americans saved enough power with their Energy Star-rated appliances to prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 33 million cars, which also equaled about $18 billion in utility bill savings.
Energy Star-rated appliances can have higher price tags than their standard counterparts, but you must consider the dollars you’ll save over the lifetime of the appliance, which, in most cases, more than makes up for the initial cost increase.
What is Energy Star? Read the rest of this entry »
What better place to use the clean, infinitely renewable energy that the sun provides than in your outdoor space? “Living green” now has more meanings than one. Solar power might seem like the obvious choice over greenhouse gas-producing fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas, but we still have some hurdles to overcome. According to National Geographic, the sun beams enough energy onto Earth in one hour to satisfy global energy needs for a year. The big question here is how to efficiently harness all that energy.
Photovoltaic (PV) solar energy technology is essentially capturing the sun’s light and converting it into energy that we can use to power our homes, businesses, vehicles and more. We use panels made of solar cells that absorb photons from the sun’s rays and release usable electricity in the form of electrons. This effect was discovered in 1839, but first became available to the common citizen in the 1970s. Read the rest of this entry »