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Buy American and Save

For the month of February SES is offering $1000 off of any solar system that includes US Manufactured Panels.  That’s right, support US manufacturing and Save!  All you have to do is reference this offer during or before your site visit.

Here’s 5 More Reasons Why:

1.    Provides Jobs

The Solar Industry’s growth and inherent job creation is no secret, we are leading the pack among every other industry nationwide. Most of these jobs are being created on the installation side, but we also need to support the rest of the value chain.

2.    American Independence Includes Energy Independence

We as Americans have pride in our nation and in our independence. By generating our energy locally, with renewable resources, and US products, we strengthen our country and our independence, both individually and collectively as Americans.

3.    Do It for The Environment

Current technologies allow manufacturers in the US to support a greener, cleaner solar manufacturing process. If we invest in American-made products, we strengthen our manufacturing base, support US jobs, while insuring  that we are doing our part to contribute to a cleaner environment for ourselves, and the generations to come. Also, by reducing the need to ship overseas, the net carbon footprint is much lower

4.    We Control Labor Standards, They Don’t

The US is a leader in fair labor and safety standards. With minimum wage and safety regulations in the workplace being upheld, you can be sure that your panels are made by people who are being supported and treated fairly in the workplace.

5.    Guaranteed Quality of Goods

The term “Made in the USA” speaks of quality, excellent craftsmanship and a superior product. With a lower cost of labor abroad, many factories rely on fabrication and assembly processes by hand. This introduces higher rates of  failure when compared to the American Standard of automated soldering and assembly. While panel quality continues to improve in the aggregate, US products remain the leaders in quality and performance.  Price tags are slightly higher for Made in USA products, but you find true value among longevity and performance.

Solar panel, solar energy,Solar in Critical Areas Annapolis
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Solar in Critical Areas – Maryland, Virginia and Delaware

Solar Panels, Solar Energy, Solar in Critical Areas AnnapolisWhat is the Critical Area?

The Critical Area includes all land within 1,000 feet of Maryland’s tidal waters and tidal wetlands. Along our precious shoreline of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, we have had many homeowners looking to take advantage of enhancing their waterfront landscape with solar panels.

Aside from the clear economic advantages, we are in solar for all the right reasons; to protect the environment, preserve our natural resources, and to leave the world a better place. With that said, installing solar in the critical areas encourages us to comply with two important regulations that ensure shoreline preservation.

Lot Coverage

In the critical area, you are allotted a certain amount of lot coverage depending on the size of your lot. Our first step in the process is to prepare a “Lot Coverage Calculation” worksheet that indicates how much lot coverage you have available and ensures that there is legally enough space to account for the square footage of your new solar panels.

Buffer Management Plan

Though lot coverage is not impacted by solar installations outside of the critical area, the total area of additional lot coverage leads us to our next calculation. The Buffer Management Plan requires that every square foot of additional lot coverage is mitigated by planting either grasses, shrubs, or trees within 100 feet of the shoreline. The goal for this mitigation is to slow down the erosion of the shoreline, and we are big supporters of this mission. There is some flexibility with the types of flora that can be planted in this area, so we consult the homeowner in selecting preferred plants for their new shoreline oasis.

Though this process involves a few more steps in terms of permits, we have become subject matter experts thanks to our waterfront solar supporters in Kent County, Queen Anne’s County, Talbot County, Dorchester County and Anne Arundel County. Every county has a slightly different twist on their permitting requirements, and this helps local companies like SES thrive.

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Press Release: Ribbon Cutting for SES in Talbot County – Eastern Shore

On Tuesday, February 21, the Talbot County Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting for Solar Energy Service at Hot Desks, located at 7 Goldsborough Street in Easton.

Pictured above include Easton Town Councilman Pete Lesher, Talbot County Chamber of Commerce President/CEO & Easton Town Councilman Alan Silverstein, Bruce Strazza, Sarah Boynton (Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy), Easton Town Councilman Ron Engle, Adam Shellhamer (BDK, Inc), Sabine Simonson (Talbot County Free Library), Kristin Lockerman (Avery Hall Benefit Solutions), Sue Waite (RAUCH inc.), Cynthia Jurrius (Mid-Shore Mediation),Dane Schriver (1880 Bank), Solar Energy Services Consultant John Marrah III, Dave Wooten (Office of Comptroller of MD), Adam Jones (Shore United Bank), Robin Marrah (Patriot Cruises), Rick Peters (Solar Energy Services), Bill Ewald (RAUCH inc.), Bill Bernard (Eating Easton/Eating St. Michaels), Rod Renner (Renner Management), Jameson Harrington (RAUCH inc.), John Marrah (Patriot Cruises) and Laura Heikes (Shore United Bank).

With over 35 years of solar experience, Solar Energy Services, Inc. (SES) is the regional leader for both residential and commercial solar systems.  We are a full service team providing solar design, installation and lifetime support to all our prospective and existing residential and commercial solar applications including Solar Power (PV)Solar Thermal (Water Heating) and Solar Pool Heating.

Maryland owned and operated SES is proud to announce its commitment to serving Talbot County and the Eastern Shore at large. A resident of St. Michaels, John A. Marrah III is your local resource to education on industry trends, product developments, and emerging technologies in the solar industry. John will advise the right solar installation for a particular project (Solar Power, Solar Thermal, Solar Pool Heating), and will work with the end user to calculate and design the most cost- effective and energy- efficient solar installation for your home or business.

SES’s leadership, administrative and installation teams live locally, hire locally and have deep ties to the regional solar industry as well the communities they serve.  410.226.6212

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Offset Your Oil-Guzzling Water Heater with Solar!

Offset Those Oil-Fired Water Heaters with SOLAR

Why oil-fired water heaters?  In many parts of the country there are no local gas lines for residential distribution.   In the Chesapeake Bay region where we operate, this issue is very common in the many river communities that are close to our world famous estuary.  The reason for this is primarily because there are so many peninsulas that don’t offer the high density to justify pipeline expenses.  In these areas, customers are forced to use other fuels like electricity, propane, and oil to heat their homes and domestic hot water.  This article will focus on the oil-fired boilers that are common in this region as well as in the Northeast US.

Cost of Gas Alternatives:  Many homes have heating boilers that run on fuel oil.  These boilers have tremendous heating power and can recover loads quickly.  They also tend to be relatively inefficient, dirty, and expensive to run.  Many of these boilers also have an on-demand water heating feature that adequately satisfies the household’s water heating load without the need for a standby tank.  This all sounds great except the price of home heating oil continues to climb with recent prices around $4/gallon on in our area.  To put that in perspective, the equivalent price for natural gas on an energy density basis would be about $1.00/gallon.  When oil users are paying 4 times the rate of those who have access to natural gas, they can hardly afford to be wasteful in how they operate their boilers.

Summertime Blues:  Here’s the dirty little secret about that on-demand oil-fired water heater on your boiler.  It is typically programmed to keep that big hunk of metal hot, all summer, waiting for you to call for hot water.  So a premium for your oil (compared to gas) is not the only thing you are paying for.  During summertime your air conditioner is competing with your heat-radiating oil-fired water heater.   So, here’s the way I – a not-so-proud owner of an oil heater – circumnavigated this issue:

My Solution:  I have solar photovoltaic (PV) on my home, but when I got into the solar business in 2008 the first thing I did was deploy solar water heating in my family’s home which allowed me to shut down our boiler for about half the year.  We also did some other control modifications for efficiency.  The first simple control is used to automatically reduce the boiler target temperature as the outside air temperature increases – for example, you don’t need 180 degree water to heat the house when its only 50 degrees outside.  Secondly, we converted the boiler to “cold start”, so it no longer wastefully heats on standby when we have a big tank of solar-heated water waiting to be used.  My family’s solar thermal system is slightly oversized (there are 3 forty square foot panels instead of 2) so that it could be integrated with our hydronic space heating system to give us a little space heating help from the sun.  [See our recent blog on combi-systems (hyperlink)].

So that’s the good news.  The GREAT news is that there has been absolutely no convenience impact on how we use hot water or space heating.  The system has saved us about $800/year in oil       expenses, the majority from offsetting our inefficient water heating, and the remainder from space heating.

Furthermore, the solar heating system is optimized in the summertime, all-but-negating the use of the oil-fired water heater.  The air conditioner has to work far less without having that heat-radiating boiler inside the home – like most are.

People are learning that different homes and circumstances often can benefit substantially more than others when you consider various renewable or energy efficiency technologies.  Oil fired water heaters are some of the sweetest low hanging fruit in solar.  In fact, I joke with my residential oil supplier that we should team up so he can get out in front of this trend that is eating into his oil sales.  He said, “no thanks – I’ll ride this as long as I can”.

If you forgot to make a new year’s resolution this year and you heat your home and your water with oil, then plant your flag!  If you’ve got some solar exposure, you must commit to get a free solar thermal assessment in 2014 and stop pouring money and finite resources down the drain.

Residential Solar Panels, Solar Service ,Home Solar Panels
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SES Selected as Installer for Solarize Frederick County Initiative

Residential Solar Panels ,Solar Service ,Home Solar PanelsFREDERICK, MD: Today SES was informed by the Frederick County’s Solarize Committee that they were chosen to be the official Solar Water Heater installer for the Solarize Frederick County initiative.

The pilot program aims to increase installations of solar water heaters, as well as solar electric (PV), systems in Frederick County County.  The financial incentives include County grants and volume purchase agreements, in addition to pre-existing state and federal grants.  Astrum Solar were selected as the solar electric (PV) installer.

While funds last, all Frederick County residents are eligible to apply for the incentives that reduce the cost of a solar water heater (or solar electric PV system) by up to 85%.

Residential Solar Panels, Solar Service,Installation
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Solar Thermal Energy for The Delano

Residential Solar Panels, Solar Service,Installation

2745 29th Street NW Washington, DC 20008. Photo © Tony Powell. April 17, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC:  The Delano, an upscale Apartment complex in downtown Washington DC, now has a solar thermal system providing a large portion of the building’s hot water supply.

Working in conjunction with Skyline Innovations, a third party solar developer, SES designed and installed a system that will offset a large portion of the building’s conventional gas-powered water heating system.  The solar system consists of 32 solar thermal panels and a 3,200 gallon solar storage tank, as well as a 200 gallon buffer tank.

Residential Solar Panels, Solar Service
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Environment Showcase at the Annapolis Film Festival 2013

Residential Solar, Panels Solar ServiceSave the Date: March 23rd, 9.30am at St. Johns College (Francis Scott Key Auditorium)

In February 2012, a few of us local, environmentally-minded companies got together and welcomed ex-CIA director James Woolsey, among others, to lead a panel discussion after the showing of Energy On Trial. The event was a great success

– just what you’d want from at this type of event – a few hundred local folks showed up, we watched a thought-provoking movie and either participated or bore witness to the controversial banter back and forth between panel members (nuclear vs other renewables).  As folks tumbled out into the lobby of the Auditorium they were met with some yummy treats and a few of us local, sustainable organizations and businesses ready to mobilize their renewed commitment to the environment.

This year, we’ve joined the larger platform of the Annapolis Film Festival and incorporated an Environmental Showcase at St. John Francis Scott Key Auditorium that features Robert Redford’s film “Watershed”, an environmental panel discussion as well as sustainable company/organization presence and refreshments.  Non-for-profits such as Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Annapolis Green will be alongside locally owned businesses such as Solar Energy Services, Inc. and Rain Barrels of Annapolis.

Download the Environment Focus flyer

Purchase tickets and passes here.

The Environment Showcase is part of the larger Annapolis Film Festival, March 21-24, 2013. In partnership with the City of Annapolis and the local Arts and Business Communities, the Annapolis Films festival aspires to bring a major new cultural event to our area.  90 films in four days will be showed at various sites around Annapolis involving guest speakers, filmmakers, parties, and much community involvement.  For more information contact The Annapolis Film Festival

Residential Solar Panels ,Solar Service, Home Solar Panels
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DC Condos Use Solar Energy to Pre-Heat Hot Water

Residential Solar Panels ,Solar Service ,Home Solar PanelsWASHINGTON, DC:  Solar Energy Services, Inc., in partnership with third party solar developer Skyline Innovations, recently finished the installation of a solar water heating system for Shoreham North, a condominium building in downtown Washington, DC.

The solar thermal system includes 26 collectors southerly mounted on the roof, closed-loop plumbed to a 1,500 gallon solar storage tank inside the building.  The system is expected to reduce the building’s water heating utility bill by about 30%.

ommercial Solar Energy, Residential Solar Panels ,Solar Service
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Hagerstown Correctional Facility Installs Solar Water Heating Systems

Commercial Solar Energy ,Residential Solar ,Panels Solar ServiceHAGERSTOWN, MD:  Earlier this week Solar Energy Services, Inc., a Maryland based solar installer, completed installation of five separate solar water heating systems at the Hagerstown Correctional Facility.

SES was engaged by Johnson Controls, Inc. to design, install and commission the solar systems in order to offset a larger portion of the facility’s traditional heating system.  Four of the systems, each consisting of 6 solar thermal panels closed-loop plumbed to 220 gallon solar storage tanks, were installed on four housing buildings.  The larger 12 panel system and accompanying tanks were installed on the facility’s dining hall.

Commercial Solar Energy, Solar Energy Services
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Assisted Living Complex Installs Solar Water Heater

Commercial Solar Energy, Solar Energy ServicesGLEN BURNIE, MD:  Glen Square, a senior assisted-living complex in the heart of Glen Burnie, MD now have a solar water heating system that will offset a large portion of their natural gas water heating system.

The solar system is financed by Skyline Innovations, Inc., a Washington, DC based third party solar developer, who engaged Solar Energy Services of Millersville, MD to design and install the 42 panel solar thermal system.

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