The Build Up Blog

Home Renovation Tips: Understanding Solar Energy

At Hebert Design/Build, we're proud to be green builders, and we love working with people who think green. 

The good news for homeowners committed to a cleaner, more sustainable environment is that plenty of green options exist in terms of building materials, advanced energy systems, and innovative heating and ventilating techniques.

In honor of Earth Day 2016, we thought we'd share some home renovation tips and resources regarding a green topic that we're hearing about (and seeing) a lot lately: solar energy.

Here are four excellent articles that will give you the inside scoop.

1. Energy 101: Solar PV. This is from and includes a video that explains what solar photovoltaic (PV) systems can do. Array of solar panels on sloped roof of detached house on an overcast morning.jpeg

Insightful quote: "Enough energy from the sun hits the earth every hour to power the planet for a year."

2. The Homeowners Guide to Solar Power. In this article from Fortune, the author talks about his own personal experience having solar panels installed on his house. He discusses the pros, cons, and surprises along the way, including the fact he had to shovel his roof more often during the winter in order to ensure the panels could work. 

Insightful quote: "The incentives are generous, to be sure, but harvesting them all takes vigilance, effort, and time. This year [2014] I’m anticipating a 30% tax credit from the feds worth about $3,800, plus another $1,000 from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts."

3. Everything You Need to Know About Adding Solar Panels to Your Home. Written by Houzz contributor Christine Tusher, this piece in Forbes provides an excellent overview, with plenty of details regarding pricing, incentives, and whether installing panels can be a DIY project. (Note: if the embedded link doesn’t work, try copying this link and pasting it into your browser:  

Insightful quote: "Installing solar panels isn’t as simple as slapping cells on a rooftop. You’ll need to install additional wiring, and panel placement is key to building an efficient system. So this is one that’s best left for the pros." 

4. Solar 101. The Center for Sustainable Energy has an easy-to-digest look at what solar is. This piece includes a helpful glossary of terms as well.

Insightful quote:  "Making sure your home is energy efficient prior to installing solar is an essential first step. By reducing your overall energy use, you can reduce the size of the system you need, potentially saving thousands of dollars in up-front costs."

Happy Earth Day!

Tags: green builders, home renovation tips, design build