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Arlington, TX 76010

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Category: electricity

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Product Deep Dive: Smart Thermostats

Smart thermostats allow you to control the temperature in your home from anywhere you can access internet, and Nest products have become quite versatile since they were acquired by Google in 2014, adding new online apps and services to support it’s features. Their competitor, Ecobee, likewise has added a new suite of products within the Smart home industry, and have grown to include not only Smart thermostats but home security, speakers, and accessories as well. While you can now buy these Smart devices online, the installation is somewhat tricky, which is why our customers prefer an expert to install them. To learn about the different Smart Thermostat products we offer, check out the links below:

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Product Deep Dive: LED Lighting

One key example of a simple and cost effective innovation is Light-Emitting Diodes, or LED lighting. While LED Lighting can really be found almost anywhere – grocery stores, hardware stores, or online for smart lighting, check out the following products by Philips: https://www.philips-hue.com/en-us/products/smart-lightbulbs. If you’re curious to learn more about how this works, feel free to read up on the ‘Hue Bridge’, here: https://www.philips-hue.com/en-us/p/hue-bridge/046677458478#overview.

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Product Deep Dive: SMART PRODUCTS

We’re living in the era of the smart home, however the term “Smart technology” implies an important distinction – that the appliance or electrical device can be controlled by an app, remotely. Each of our smart home solutions highlights two important tenants to SUNTEX infrastructure – innovation and environmental efficiency. These types of installations may add to the sticker price of the system, however they can mitigate your energy consumption significantly, and thus allow you to save money long term. Over the next several days, we’ll explore each of these products in greater detail – so if you’re curious to learn more, stay tuned!

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Product Deep Dive: Racking Equipment

While not everyone will be interested in the literal nuts and bolts of a project, in case you are curious just how a solar panel is mounted to a roof-top shingle, feel free to check out our Racking Manufacturer’s website. UNIRAC is an industry standard for Solar racking equipment (the part that will attach solar panels to the roof top). To learn more about UNIRAC products, see here:

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Product Deep Dive: Microinverters

Just a few years ago, Micro-inverters were used almost exclusively with commercial projects. Their job is to optimize the amount of sun from each solar panel, convert the energy from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) that can be used in your home. It’s easy to confuse microinverters with power optimizers, so here’s a quick post from Energysage on the key similarities and differences between the two: https://www.energysage.com/solar/101/microinverters-vs-power-optimizers/.

Today however, microinverters and power optimizerrs are becoming more of an industry standard because of their increase in efficiency, and to some extent for their sleeker style as well (as compared to a string inverter system). Solar panels may be the most visible item, but it’s the inverter that does all the real work. Choosing the right inverter technology for your project is a critical decision you make when going solar. Luckily, there are a few products in the solar industry that make it easy on us, and our Company-favorite is the Enphase Microinverter. These microinverters offer the most advanced inverter technology on the market, which means higher production, greater reliability, and unmatched intelligence. Below are links to the Enphase Energy Microinverter website (along with the spec sheet for reference) that we use for solar installations:

ENPHASE COMPANY INFO: www.enphase.com

ENPHASE MICRO-INVERTER SPEC SHEET: https://enphase.com/en-us/support/enphase-iq-7-and-iq-7-plus-micro-data-sheet

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Product Deep-Dive: Solar Panels

Product quality is important to us, and luckily in the solar market, it doesn’t always counteract Product Cost. Using locally sourced materials and products are part of our company fiber.

Thus, we proudly use Mission Solar panels for most of our Solar-Panel System installations and we have provided their website for more information on how these panels are manufactured, with a special video featuring how they’re built with Texas weather in mind.

When Mission Solar Panels are not available however, we will substitute for other high-quality panels that are not manufactured in Texas, such as REC Alpha solar panels, or Hanwha Q-cells. For more information about these specific panels, please check out the following links from Solar Electric Supply:

If you’re curious to learn more, you know what to do – ask us for a free quote for your home, today!

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SUNTEX Home Improvement Deep-Dive

With years of industry practice in residential construction, we’re poised to help you answer questions you have regarding both small and large-scale projects, and specialize in saving energy. This is a top focus for us because it can truly help, and has helped, our customers save money both short and long-term. Solar energy is an investment, but if you’re able to find a solar payment that’s less than the average monthly cost of your energy bill, and offset your energy usage by 85% or more, it’s likely that you’ll see some real savings by going solar, with or without our company. The reason you choose us is our dedication to you, the consumer, and our superior products and workmanship.

SUNTEX is committed to the quality of their products and services. We utilize industry-standard practices and tools to help our customers analyze their energy consumption and cost reduction goals – from the initial energy audit, to project financing products – to solar panels and full system monitoring. Because of this focus, we seek the best quality products to exceed customer expectations and anticipate their needs.

Innovation, as well as information and technological knowledge, are the core competencies of the company, and are essential for current business progress. This innovation refers to the continuous improvement of all products and processes, not just technological ones. This week we’ll do a product deep-dive so you can check them out for yourself!

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2020 Record Year for Solar

According to BloombergGreen, 2020 was actually a record year for solar! To say the least, 2020 and it’s wicked step-sister, 2021, have been trialing, but despite the many downfalls we’ve collectively indured this year, we’ve made some big strides in the effort to curb our collective CO2 production also, and that’s a big step in the right direction. Globally, solar energy investments continued to increase in the past year, and as Verity Ratcliffe states in the BloombergGreen article, “A record amount of renewable energy capacity built [in 2020], thanks largely to investments in China and the U.S., according to the International Renewable Energy Agency” (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-04-05/china-u-s-made-2020-a-record-year-for-renewable-power-growth?utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=socialflow-organic&utm_medium=social&utm_content=climate&cmpid=socialflow-twitter-climate); the article continues on to read, “China, which is both the largest market for clean power and the world’s biggest polluter, built 72 GW of wind energy and 49 GW of solar in 2020, according to Monday’s report. The U.S. installed 29 GW of renewables, almost 80% more than in 2019” (see report summary, here: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-01-24/renewable-power-beat-fossil-fuels-in-eu-for-first-time-last-year). I’m not sure China will remain the world’s largest polluter if they keep this pace up for renewable installation, but I’m glad to see that the world is finally start to collectively solve this problem.

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Texas Legislative Session

I was really hoping to not have to go here, but it seems our fair state is dead set on halting progress when it comes to energy security. Before we dive into the bills at hand, let’s explore quickly how bills become laws in Texas.

First, while many of the forty-nine other United States have legislative sessions year-round, the Texas legislative session only lasts roughly six months every other year (See ‘How often does the legislature meet?’ here: https://house.texas.gov/resources/frequently-asked-questions/#:~:text=The%20Legislature%20of%20the%20State,regular%20session%20is%20140%20days.). So, if you have the desire to research suggested bills and make public comments, the good news is you only really have to pay attention for a short period of time, the downside of course is that you will have a lot of work to do and little time to do it in if you want to prepare your statements and submit them in time to be considered by your representatives and the legislative body.

Now, as for how a bill becomes law in Texas, see here: https://house.texas.gov/about-us/bill/. Basically, bills are put forth by either the Texas Senate and will be preceded with an ‘SB’ for Senate Bill XX, or a member of the Texas House of Representatives and will be preceded with an ‘HB’ for House Bill XX (XX correlates to the numbers designated to the bill). Once a bill is introduced, it is put before the respective chamber during the “first 60 calendar days of a regular session” (https://house.texas.gov/about-us/bill/), where it is then assigned to a committee. During the committee process, bills may be either formally or informally heard, and may allow for public testimony, or may not – thus it’s important to keep track of when they will be added to the committee calendars for discussion, and be sure to contact your representative prior to that discussion if you wish to provide an opinion, outside of providing public testimony of course which must be done on the exact day the bill is presented in the chamber and public comments are admissible. If passed in either chamber, the bill goes to the subsequent chamber to be read and amended (if applicable), and finally passes to the Governor’s desk. This part is crucial since it’s the last step our local government takes before a bill becomes law, so please check out the following paragraph from the same link:

“Upon receiving a bill, the governor has 10 days in which to sign the bill, veto it, or allow it to become law without a signature. If the governor vetoes the bill and the legislature is still in session, the bill is returned to the house in which it originated with an explanation of the governor’s objections. A two-thirds majority in each house is required to override the veto. If the governor neither vetoes nor signs the bill within 10 days, the bill becomes a law. If a bill is sent to the governor within 10 days of final adjournment, the governor has until 20 days after final adjournment to sign the bill, veto it, or allow it to become law without a signature.” (https://house.texas.gov/about-us/bill/).

Awesome! Now that you understand exactly how bills become laws in Texas, it’s time to read up on a few bills that could increase the cost of solar and wind in Texas:

Check them out within the links provided, and add your thoughts within the comment section below; or, call your representatives today to voice your opinion!

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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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