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The Earth Sequence

As we learned in an earlier post, Earth Day was founded only a few decades ago, though humans have been celebrating and giving gratitude to the Earth for centuries, all over the world. As a refresher, a former U.S. senator named Gaylord Nelson created the very first Earth Day in the United States on April 22, 1970. According to the Smithsonian, “On December 7, 1972, Apollo 17 astronauts captured a now-iconic image of Earth, sometimes called the “blue marble.” Our National Air and Space Museum explains how it became an inspiration and symbol for continuing Earth Day celebrations” (https://www.si.edu/spotlight/earth-day) – check out the link for more inspiring Earth day memorabilia. This month we’ll celebrate Earth Day celebrations around the world, and to kick it off, I’d like to share what yogi’s call the “Earth sequence,” or Prithvi Namaskara (https://druyoga.com/yoga-online/video/earth-sequence) – so don’t be shy, grab a mat, and try it out! You might be surprised by just how grounded you feel afterwards.

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Stars that Decided to Harness the Power of the Sun

Perhaps you’re not the type of person that just does something because “everyone else is doing it,” which is of course smart, but you might be interested to know that celebrities aren’t just sipping cocktails by the pool, they’re also going solar! It’s no surprise that California has lots of sunshine, making it a very appealing place for solar panels, in fact it’s the #1 state in the US in solar production according to the Solar Energy Industry association, or SEIA (https://www.seia.org/research-resources/top-10-solar-states-0). While it pains me to write this, at least in this race, Texas came in second. Even though their careers have taken them in some very funny/dramatic turns, celebrities such as Will Ferrell, Scarlett Johansson, and Jim Carrey decided to invest in this renewable energy source, see the full list here: https://www.purepointenergy.com/blog/2016/may/10-celebrities-who-support-solar-panels/.

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Happy Earth Month!

Since today is the first day of April, Earth Day is just around the corner – April 22, 2021 – so it’s time to start picking out a tree, and a spot to put it! Even if you don’t have any space in your own yard for planting, or don’t want the shade cover, there are plenty of Earth Day activities to plan for around this great state. For example, if you’re feeling active, there is an “Earth Day Challenge Run/Walk” tomorrow – you just sign up, log your miles, and see if you can run the distance of the equator, collectively of course (https://stayhappening.com/e/2021-earth-day-challenge-run-walk-carrollton-E3LUS9MUSXEL); or, if you’d like to learn more about Earth restoration projects, feel free to sign up for one of the many events MSU is hosting this month virtually, here: https://wichitafallsarts.org/event/earth-day-2021-msu-texas/2021-04-07/; whereas if you’re in the Round Rock area on April 24th, the Parks and Recreation department is hosting an Earth Day Festival at Old Settlers Park (check it out here: https://www.roundrocktexas.gov/departments/parks-and-recreation/special-events/earth-day-festival/). If your address is in one of the many Houston area-codes, you’re in luck – the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center is holding an Earth Day Celebration on April 17th – learn more about it here: https://houstonarboretum.org/event/earth-day-celebration/. For those in San Antonio, don’t fret – there’s plenty going on in your fare city on April 24th as well, including the Planet Proctors Day Camp at the Witt Museum (https://sanantonio.kidsoutandabout.com/content/planet-protectors-day-camp). If you have another event or celebration in mind, and you’d like to share it, feel free to add it in the comments section! I thank you in advance for your contributions.

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Solar Panel Efficiency

Though most of today’s solar panels are nearly equivalent in efficiency, it’s important to understand what you’re paying for, and why you might want to go with a higher wattage panel in some instances, versus a lower wattage panel which is likely a cheaper system, in others. For a simple example, using the same type of materials, a 290-Watt panel will be less efficient than a 390-Watt panel. The higher the wattage, ignoring all other factors, the higher the efficiency. Seems easy, right? The truth is that the quality may vary depending on the type of materials used, and the way in which each solar cell is built, however again, we’re talking in almost negligible differences in productivity. Let’s take a look at why:

According to CleanEnergyReviews, “solar panel efficiency is determined by two main factors; the photovoltaic (PV) cell efficiency, based on the cell design and silicon type, and the total panel efficiency, based on the cell layout, configuration and panel size” (https://www.cleanenergyreviews.info/blog/most-efficient-solar-panels). This article may seem somewhat cumbersome, however it outlines the key differences pretty well – check it out! The author goes on to explain that “The efficiency (%) of a panel is calculated by the maximum power rating (W) at STC, divided by the total panel area in meters,” however if you’re not designing a system yourself, this equation isn’t the most important part – it’s understanding how this will impact your system and your budget, based on your current and perceived energy usage. Again, to understand why – let’s keep digging! If you keep reading on to find the image below, you might start to see the differences in panels the article is referencing – for example, take a look at the labels below each to note the difference between the silicon types: “multiple busbars (MBB), and passivation type (PERC)” – while we’re here, also note the percentages at the bottom of each label – the variance is only ~7% from the lowest efficiency panel, to the highest efficiency panel, however the cost difference can be significant. Keep in mind, this is not to say that the lower efficiency panel is poor quality necessarily, since you might not need the amount of energy that the higher-efficiency panels produce (these are often used for commercial projects, instead of residential homes).

Finally, this article goes on to list the top efficiency panels from 2021 (see below, updated as recently as February of this year), but the paragraph just below it really outlines the whole picture, saying “what matters most is the manufacturing quality which is related to real world performance, reliability, manufacturers service, and warranty conditions.” Please do continue reading through the end – not only is it an interesting read, but it just might help you make a more informed decision when selecting the solar panels for your solar system. For questions on the information outlined within this article, give us a call today! We’re happy to walk you through it or provide you with a free quote for your home or business.

* List of the most efficient solar panels announced and expected to reach high volume production during 2021 – Residential 60 to 66 cell size format size panels only – Last update Feb 2021.

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Ins and Outs of Insulation

Are you insulated from the heat this summer? Since insulation lives inside of your walls, a good way to tell is whether your house retained heat during the winter storm. While it may not be the sexiest home upgrade, proper insulation in a home or business can save you tons of money on energy costs! For an idea of how much insulation should cost, check out the following article from homeadvisor.com, which outlines different types of insulation, how it works, and how to DIY a quote for your home: https://www.homeadvisor.com/cost/insulation/#:~:text=Cost%3A%20The%20average%20cost%20per,for%206%20hours%20of%20work. If you’re interested in an expert opinion, check out our products here: https://www.owenscorning.com/en-us/insulation/commercial?gclid=Cj0KCQjwmIuDBhDXARIsAFITC_6IE9eaXHYg7CGg-22EgdVHvywogaWRHih19QpSE1Q_rXpXcB9l-tMaAsutEALw_wcB&utm_id=sem%3Acommercial%3A2020%3Asearch%3A1%3A1%3Ageneral%3Aunknown, and give us a call!

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Ready to Review your Roof?

Every once in a while, your home may need a tune-up, particularly those houses that just went through a devastating winter storm. According to roofingcalculator.com a typical roof lasts about 30 years (https://roofingcalculator.com/news/how-long-do-roofs-last#:~:text=Generally%2C%20you%20can%20expect%20your,as%20well%20as%20the%20environment). If you find yourself in this situation, don’t fret over the cost or the hassle of choosing a developer, simply pick out your roof style here – https://www.owenscorning.com/en-us/roofing/shingles – and call us today! We’re happy to deliver a zero-cost quote so you can compare us to other contractors in the area, and make the decision for yourself – in either case, we’re happy to help you choose what’s best for you and your family.

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Solar Energy Forecast in 2021

Here we are again, rapping up another sunny weekend! I hope you had a lovely, restful Saturday and Sunday, because we’ve got another fabulous week of solar installations ahead. The department of energy (DOE) has recently announced a new plan to cut the cost of solar significantly – check it out here: https://www.energy.gov/articles/doe-announces-goal-cut-solar-costs-more-half-2030 – even as the cost of solar is already a viable competitor to gas and oil prices today. For a quick look on the solar energy forecast for 2021, check out the following link from pv-magazine: https://pv-magazine-usa.com/2021/01/11/renewables-to-dominate-new-u-s-capacity-in-2021-with-solar-leading-the-way/. If you’re ready to take a look at a quote and see if solar is right for you, give us a call today, or feel free to reach us in the chat window!

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Meet the Team! Jacob Stauffer, Energy Consultant

May be an image of 2 people and brick wallMeet Jacob! Jacob Stauffer began working from an early age, and started painting houses with his uncles company at just 13 years old. From his early experience it was easy to see he was a natural-born leader, with an incredible work ethic. Working while he went to school, he became the Manager of Schlotzskys while still in high school!

From there, he decided he wanted to learn a little more about the energy industry, and went to work as a Regional Salesman for the North America Venture Capital company, selling energy contracts for Liberty Power and Just energy. He worked there for a couple of years, which allowed him to become well-versed in the Texas energy market and equipped him with a better understanding for how the Texas energy grid is owned and operated.

This experience and proven ability to work with customers makes him the perfect fit to join SUNTEX as a Solar Energy Consultant, and as a very proud partner of the SUNTEX Solar Advisors organization, he is happy to help his customers understand which energy provider is best for them, as well as helping them understand whether or not solar is right for their home. His top priority however, is to help all his clients get the best solar system possible and do whatever is beneficial for them and their family.

For some fun facts about Jacob: he is a dog and animal lover, a sneaker connoisseur, and has a passion for cooking – he enjoys cooking pasta dishes and steak. Spoiler alert ahead: Jacob’s favorite marvel movie is Avengers End Game because of the role his favorite super hero, Iron Man, plays – and while his character arc is a tragedy, he likes how the movies really built up to this scene all throughout the series. He also is an avid reader of the comics, and was able to share an insider tip with me to check out the new edit of the Justice League (on HBO max) – which is way better than theater cut in his opinion. He enjoys watching/attending any of the Dallas team’s games, but is also a Seahawks fan. His bucket list includes traveling to every continent – and possibly some day even Mars!

Feel free to reach out to him directly to set an appointment – he’s looking forward to it and will see you there!

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Meet the Team! Gerardo Delgadillo Oropeza, Area Sales Manager

Meet Gerardo! Gerardo began his career in Mexico, working in sales, before completing his degree in Accounting from the University of San Luis Potosi. Graduating at the top of his class, he was afforded the opportunity to work in sales immediately upon graduation. He would later go back to school, receiving his Master’s degree in Marketing and Sales from the Technical Institute of Monterrey. His degree afforded him the ability to work in the Oil industry as the Commercial Sales manager for Golfo – Oíl de México, S.A de C.V.

Due to his large success, the company promoted him to oversee all of the U.S. market, and he moved to Denver, Colorado, to build supplier relations within the U.S. Working in this role allowed him to build a significant book of business in the U.S., and translated to a role as the U.S. Director of Enramex, Inc. As Director, Gerardo was in charge of implementing a new administrative system for the U.S. market, restructuring the commercial sales department while supporting recruiting/hiring/training initiatives to support it, and designing and implementing a new Business Development and Marketing Strategy. His success at the company enabled growth and customer satisfaction, allowing him to focus his core competencies on the 80/20 rule.

Honing in on this experience, he was then able to transition to the Regional Sales Manager of the Minsa Corporation, Inc., where he oversaw the training and development of the entire sales staff for the Texas market. In this role, he was able to build out a monthly sales budget and targets for his team to accomplish, monitor the profitability of each new market, and develop marketing strategies for each segment, while completing SWOT analysis and managing customer satisfaction across the state.

His drive, passion, and vast experience in Sales and Strategy Planning make him the perfect Area Sales Manager at SUNTEX LLC, and we’re excited to see him develop a team with the knowledge and skill set to tackle this expanding market in the solar industry.

What don’t you know about Gerardo? When I asked him about his favorite super hero, he paused a moment, and then lit up when I mentioned that it could be anyone, even a fictional character, and said “Toy Story – now that’s magical! I love Woody – he has many friends he’s always caring for – and Toy Story is a very beautiful story line.” He also loves American music – 70s, 80s, 90s music, mostly– Toto, Supertramp, Foreigner, Lionel Richie, Barry White, and Whitney Houston, to name just a few. His bucket list includes traveling and seeing the world, from the mysteries of Egypt to the culture of Italy and all over Europe, he wants to see it all!

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Meet the Team! Megan, Executive Administrator, Blogger

Meet Megan! Megan developed her work ethic from an early age, before graduating from Texas Tech University with an International business degree, and double-minors in Spanish and Psychology, she graduated high school with the International Baccalaureate program which supplied college credits towards her first year.

Her drive to truly develop her skill set in the Spanish language led her to join the Peace Corps, where she lived and worked in rural Guatemala within the healthcare industry for two years. Upon returning to the U.S., Megan went to work for Deloitte Consulting as a business analyst – writing requirements and developing the online Texas Integrated Eligibility Redesign System, or TIERS, and later for the Washington Health Insurance Exchange, or HIX, in order to implement Affordable Care Act policies for the state of Texas, and Washington, respectively. Working at Deloitte offered her a myriad of exciting opportunities such as co-leading Impact Day for the Austin office – a company-wide service day dedicated to volunteer work and helping others – as well as partaking in the U.S. Global Office fellowship where she worked alongside senior leadership to develop communication and reporting strategies within the global office, as well as working on their global deployment program.

Noticing a market trend towards renewables, she went back to school to begin a career shift to Environmental conservation, before accepting a position as the Operations Manager for a start-up solar company in Austin, Texas. While at this small start-up, she helped the company grow from about 5 employees to nearly 100, and oversaw operations for the installation teams which would bring six million dollars worth of revenue in the first year. Being new to solar, she moved to a company with a little more industry experience to see the full scope of the solar industry in Texas. During this time, she worked as a customer liaison for the sales team, before being promoted project manager to oversee the Commercial installations.

These experiences made her the perfect fit to join SUNTEX LLC to help the company grow organically in the Texas solar market. Working as an environmental consultant allows her the flexibility to also manage her non-profit, Ally Tees, which accommodates her philanthropic endeavors. Her diverse background in healthcare, IT, and the energy industries makes her the ideal candidate to manage small project development at SUNTEX, while we ramp up in the Texas energy and construction industries.

While she’s happy to converse in either Spanish or English with some fluency, you might not know that she has a passion for languages, and can say “Thank you” in several others, including French, Portuguese, Italian, Turkish, Greek, Thai, Qui’che, and Arabic. While she greatly enjoys listening to classical and country music, her favorite artist is Rihanna, and her specialty is in 90s rap lyrics (and for those she doesn’t know, she’ll gladly make up). Her favorite food is chips and salsa (and guacamole and queso, when available), and you can find her eating this snack all day long.

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