Solar Roofing, Tesla, and Energy Rebates

Traditionally, solar roofing consists of panels mounted onto your roof. They are made up of photovoltaic cells. That's a big, fancy phrase that means it converts sunlight into electricity. The solar panel works by allowing photons (particles of light), to knock electrons free from atoms which generates a flow of electricity. Solar panel technology has continued to evolve and become more efficient in the past years, resulting in a new products coming onto the market.

Enter Elon Musk, the co-founder and CEO of Tesla, among other companies such as SpaceX, PayPal, and HyperLoop. Needless to say, he likes things that move fast and efficiently. May 22, 2017, launched the sales of Tesla's "Invisible Roof". The roof is made of glass tiles that perform the same way solar panels do, but they are invisible from the street, leaving the home to look as if it has a traditional roof.

The goal of creating the "Invisible Roof" was to create a solar roof that looks better, costs less, and lasts longer than non-solar roofs. The roof comes with a lifetime warranty and install costs will be around $69,000 for a 240 square meter home.

As a landlord, you may be asking, why would I want to invest this money in my rental property? The simple answer is that the rental pool is getting younger, and a younger renter looks for efficiencies and products like this in their potential home. In the United States, there are 75.4 million people between the ages of 18-34, which is the largest living generation. To be able to compete with mixed-use developments and apartment complexes that offer these amenities, it is necessary to stay ahead of the technological curve that motivates this demographic to rent your home.

If a price tag of $69,000, sounds a bit too expensive for invisible solar panels, CPS Energy provides a rebate program on traditional solar panels. To qualify for the rebate program, there are some terms and conditions you must abide by. The new terms and conditions provide protection to you by requiring that you purchase your panels through a legitimate and local company. If you are interested in learning more about the rebate program, please visit the CPS website.

Another green initiative coming up quickly is the Energy Star Sales Tax Holiday. May 27-29, you can buy specific ENERGY STAR® appliances tax free. Qualifying products include air conditioners, refrigerators, ceiling fans, light bulbs, washing machines, dishwashers, dehumidifiers, and programmable thermostats.

Keeping Your Grass Green and Your Wallet, too.

Best Practices for Your Lawn 

Did you know April is National Lawn Care Month? It makes sense since we're drowning in April showers! Follow these 6 simple steps and your lawn and wallet will be lined with green.

  1. Get water wise. Conserve water by giving your lawn a deep watering every few days, not daily. Frequent, light watering can cause water to evaporate and leads to shallow root growth.
  2. Keep grass at a longer, finished cut height. Never remove more than one-third of a grass blade while mowing. The means about 2-3 inches tall after you mow. It is best to mow in the morning and not after a fresh rain.
  3. Consider grass-cycling. Keeping some grass clippings on the lawn after mowing allows nitrogen and nutrients to be returned to the soil for a healthier lawn. It protects against fungal disease. If the grass is long, you may have to double cut it to properly mulch clippings. Never leave excess clippings on top of the lawn.
  4. Check your balance. Healthy grass starts at the soil. A simple soil test can determine its pH balance, which can help indicate nutrients and is appropriate for the season and your lawn type.
  5. Think smart lawns. One of the top landscape trends of 2017, cultivars, or cultivated grass varieties, are selectively bred to withstand the elements while still delivering an aesthetically beautiful and healthy lawn. A landscape professional can help you determine if these grass varieties are best for installing or overseeding a lawn.
  6. Care about more than color. Don't worry if your grass isn't always green. A brown lawn does not mean it is dead. It could be dormant due to factor like extreme heat or drought.

Tenants should consult with a professional regarding lawn care guidance for their individual property. For more tips and to find a qualified landscape professional, visit LoveYourLandscape.org/Find-A-Pro.