Benefits of Solar Panels

Westmark Construction cares about the environment and is always looking for ways to reduce utility use & carbon footprints.  As solar power becomes an increasingly important component of the country’s “energy mix,” it’s worth taking a look at five major benefits of solar power.

1. Less Public Utilities

Solar power users gain a measure of independence from their utilities. Even if their solar panels don’t produce all of the power that they need on a daily basis, they’ll need to buy less conventional power. If they produce more power than they require, their utilities may actually pay them for it at a fluctuating wholesale rate. For cash-strapped homeowners, this can turn into a significant source of revenue.

2. Tax Incentives

Generous subsidies may be available for businesses as well as homeowners. Generally speaking, these incentives allow solar power users to claim tax credits in proportion to the amount of generation capacity that they install on their property. This reduces solar power start-up costs and increases the profitability of the technology.

3. Minimal Environmental Impact

Although the production of solar panels does require some inputs of raw materials and energy, solar power’s environmental impact is minimal. The technology produces none of the carbon, methane or particulate emissions that fossil fuels emit, and it doesn’t demand large-scale mining or drilling operations. Since panel arrays can be placed on rooftops or in isolated desert areas, solar power’s physical footprint is manageable as well.

4. More Jobs

The solar power industry has resulted in the creation of tens of thousands of jobs in the last decade alone. Although proponents of conventional energy technologies argue that the solar industry destroys more fossil fuel-related jobs than it creates, this is a misleading claim. After all, solar panel production is just a small facet of an overall industry that demands contributions from installation technicians, salespeople, battery-storage designers and other key players.

5. Self Reliance

Since the dawn of the fossil fuel age, reliance on unstable or hostile countries to supply oil, gas and other energy resources has caused plenty of trouble.  Since all of the solar power that we need can be generated within the country’s own borders, the technology has the potential to eliminate this less-than-ideal reliance.  In the long run, such a development could increase the economic and physical security of every citizen.

In the future, solar power will have a lasting and overwhelmingly positive impact on our society.

 

Photo Credit: Solar Energy Benefits/shutterstock

Original Article: http://theenergycollective.com/whirlwindsteel/247416/how-solar-power-benefits-society

 

 

Building Greener & Gadgets That Can Help

Our theme this month for information is on building greener and being conscience of the environment and our effects on it.  Check out how you can help the environment by incorporating some of these gadgets in your new space!  Click the link below. Read & Share this article. #WestmarkConstruction

 

How The Internet Of Things Is Changing Everything Article – Douglas Magazine – July 2014

 

 

Benefits of Rain Barrels

If you think green as we do at Westmark Construction, you will love that we have implemented using rain barrels in several of our developments.  We feel the benefits help your pocket book, your gardens and environment.  Below you will see why.

Money Saver

Rain barrels save homeowners money on their water bills. Garden and lawn irrigation accounts for 40 percent of residential water use during the summer.  By using rain barrels, homeowners can save 1,300 gallons of water during the growing season.  Half-inch of rain fills a typical 50- to 55-gallon rain barrel so connecting multiple barrels maximizes rain capture and the possibilities are endless.   Rain barrels provide a free water source for irrigation and ease reliance on the city’s water supply.

Healthy Plants and Soil

Tap water contains inorganic ions and fluoride compounds that accumulate in the soil over time and potentially harm plant roots and microorganisms in the soil.  Rainwater does not contain the same additives found in tap water.  It benefits plants in your garden by cleaning the soil of salt buildup, thereby promoting an environment conducive to root development.

Reduction of Runoff

Rain barrels help reduce the flow of storm runoff.  When it rains, runoff picks up soil, fertilizer, oil, pesticides and other contaminants from hard surfaces and landscapes.  Storm runoff is not treated and flows directly into streams, lakes and other bodies of water nearby.  Runoff fertilizers increase algae growth in lakes, and excess soil alters the habitat for fish.  Bacteria can even make lakes and oceans dangerous for recreational activities.  Rain barrels capture water that would have swept over a paved surface or lawn, thereby minimizing runoff pollutants.

References:

http://homeguides.sfgate.com/benefits-rain-barrels-78431.html

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