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With PG&E and SMUD raising rates starting this month, consider going solar to offset high charges

With PG&E and SMUD raising rates starting this month, consider going solar to offset high charges

From June 1 to September 30, customers of both the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) and Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) should expect to see a rise in their service costs. SMUD is more than doubling its cost per kilowatt hour during high demand times, from 15 cents to 32 cents. For PG&E, rates will jump from 41 cents to 50 cents per kilowatt hour.

This increase is part of an alarming trend we are witnessing with California utility companies, where they raise their rates year after year, often leaving customers shouldering the burden of these mounting costs.

With these relentless rate increases, homeowners might feel they are at a loss for what to do. However, this is where alternative energy sources, such as solar power, come into play. Despite regulatory changes such as Net Energy Metering 3.0 (NEM 3), going solar remains a financially viable and environmentally friendly alternative.

Understanding NEM 3.0

Before we delve into why solar power is still a compelling choice under NEM 3, it’s important to understand what NEM 3.0 entails. Net Energy Metering is a billing system that enables residential solar customers who produce their own electricity to return surplus energy back to the power grid. In return, they are credited on their utility bills for this contribution.

NEM 3.0, the latest version, has introduced some changes, including a small grid participation charge and a slight reduction in the value of exported solar power. However, despite these changes, the fundamentals that make solar energy an attractive proposition remain unchanged, and taking control of your energy bill in the face of utility company rate hikes is part of it.

Learn more about our NEM 3 offerings here.

The Financial Sense of Solar Power

While utility costs continue to rise, the price of solar panels has been dropping, making the upfront cost of installing a solar energy system more affordable than ever. Furthermore, with solar panels typically offering a 25-year lifespan, homeowners can anticipate decades of lower energy costs, allowing them to recoup their initial investment and ultimately save money in the long run.

Even under NEM 3.0, solar customers can still offset their electricity bills by tens of thousands of dollars over the life of a solar system. This means that despite the slight reduction in the value of exported solar power to the grid under NEM 3, solar customers can continue to lower their utility costs significantly.

The Environmental Perspective

Beyond the financial benefits, choosing solar power is also a vote for environmental sustainability. As we grapple with the impacts of climate change, moving away from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources is crucial. Choosing solar energy allows homeowners to minimize their environmental impact and actively participate in creating a greener, more sustainable tomorrow.

Combining Solar Panels With Solar Battery Storage

Considering the integration of solar battery storage into your Sacramento solar system could be an astute move. Solar batteries yield a wealth of advantages for homeowners, making them a valuable addition to existing solar setups. These storage systems collect and store surplus energy produced by your solar panels throughout the day, making it available for usage during the evening or nighttime when solar production is reduced. This guarantees households a continuous power supply, even during outages, and allows them to benefit from lower electricity rates during off-peak hours.

In addition, solar batteries prove to be a sustainable choice for long-term use, with an average expected lifespan exceeding 10 years and practically no need for regular upkeep. Making the move to integrate solar battery technology in Sacramento not only helps you make the most out of renewable energy sources, but also boosts the effectiveness of your current solar system and allows you to take control of your energy bill.

The Path Forward

Yes, the landscape is shifting with utility rate increases and regulatory changes. But it’s clear that solar power continues to provide value and stability in an otherwise volatile energy market. NEM 3.0, despite its modifications, doesn’t change the core benefits of solar power – the chance to achieve long-term savings, gain energy independence, and make a positive environmental impact. Not to mention, California has an abundance of sunshine. So, as the summer sun heats up, and utility rates rise, remember that solar energy remains a cool and viable choice for Californians.

To learn more about our solar offerings that will still save Sacramento residents money during NEM 3, click here. And to calculate your solar savings in just 9 seconds, click here.

How to keep pool temperature warm consistently

How to keep pool temperature warm consistently

Pool owners – we know how challenging it can be to keep your swimming pool at your desired temperature. Swimming pools are exposed to the elements, which can lead to a change in water temperature. During hot Sacramento summer days, the water in your pool may become too warm, while on cooler days, it may become too cold.

Keeping a constant pool temperature is also tough because of evaporation. As water evaporates from the surface of your pool, it takes heat with it, causing the pool water to cool down. Additionally, wind can also contribute to heat loss by blowing across the surface of the water and causing it to cool down.

If you are a pool owner, here are some ways to help you maintain a comfortable swimming environment.

The Different Types Of Pool Heaters

A pool heater is a device that increases the temperature of pool water. Most pool heaters use either gas, electricity or solar power as a heat source.

The most common type of pool heater is a gas pool heater. It creates heat using natural gas or propane. However, when considering pool heating costs, a gas heater can be expensive to operate and requires regular maintenance to keep it running efficiently.

Electric pool heaters create heat using electricity and use a heating element to transfer the heat to the pool water. They can take longer to heat up the pool water and may not be as effective in colder temperatures.

By utilizing energy from the sun, solar pool heaters warm up the water in your pool. Typically, the pool pump circulates water into a solar energy system, where it undergoes significant heating before being returned to the pool, thus achieving the desired temperature. Notably, this eco-friendly option can lead to substantial savings on energy expenses in the future as the heat source is free.

Choosing Aztec Solar for your Sacramento solar pool heating needs is a smart decision if you’re looking for reliable, efficient and cutting-edge technology that is built to last. Not only do we offer competitive prices, but our products are industry-leading in terms of quality, performance, efficiency and reliability.

A Pool Cover

A pool cover is a simple, yet effective way to help maintain a constant temperature in your pool. Covering the pool when it’s not in use helps prevent heat loss from evaporation and keeps the water warm longer.

When water evaporates from the surface of a pool, it takes heat with it, which results in a drop in the water temperature. This is especially true on hot, sunny days when the sun’s rays can cause the water to evaporate more quickly. A pool cover helps to trap the heat in the water and keep it from escaping into the atmosphere.

Solid covers are the most effective at preventing heat loss and debris buildup, but are likely at a higher price point than other types of covers. Mesh covers are more affordable and still provide some protection against debris, but they’re less effective at retaining heat.

No matter which type of pool cover you choose, be sure to properly install and maintain it according to the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure maximum effectiveness.

A Windbreak

In the context of a swimming pool, a windbreak such as a fence or hedge can be an effective way to prevent the wind from cooling down the pool water, especially in areas that experience frequent gusts of wind.

When wind blows across the surface of a pool, it can cause the water to evaporate more quickly, which in turn can lower the temperature of the water. A windbreak helps to reduce the amount of wind that reaches the pool, which slows down the rate of evaporation and helps to maintain a more consistent water temperature.

Fences and hedges are two common types of windbreaks used around swimming pools. A fence can be built around the perimeter of the pool or installed on one side where the wind is strongest. It should be tall enough to block the wind and sturdy enough to withstand strong gusts. A hedge can also be planted around the pool to provide a natural windbreak. Popular hedge species include arborvitae, boxwood and privet.

In addition to reducing heat loss, a windbreak can also make the pool area more comfortable for swimmers by reducing wind chill and creating a more private and intimate setting.

An Electric Pool Heat Pump

A pool pump is an essential component of any swimming pool system, and it plays an important role in maintaining a consistent water temperature.

An electric heat pump works by drawing water from the pool through a skimmer or main drain and then pushing it through a filter and back into the pool through return jets. This circulation process not only helps to distribute heat, but also helps to filter the water and distribute pool chemicals evenly throughout the pool.

In summary, using a pool pump to circulate the water in your pool is important for maintaining a consistent water temperature and distributing heat evenly throughout the pool. Regular maintenance and smart scheduling can help ensure that your pool pump operates efficiently and keeps your pool comfortable for swimming.

As you can see, there are many effective ways to keep your pool temperature constant and comfortable all season long, solar pool heating is among the best. Looking for Sacramento solar pool heater options? Contact us at Aztec Solar to get started today.


The benefits of solar under NEM 3

The benefits of solar under NEM 3

For those who are questioning the worth of solar panels in California under the newly implemented NEM 3 system, we have some information for you. Specifically, despite the changes, solar panels can still be a cost-effective option for homeowners under NEM 3.

To understand the context, you have to dive into NEM 3 and how it affects solar panel savings. While there may be slightly lower savings than under the previous NEM 2 system, solar is still significantly cheaper than getting electricity from PG&E. There are many reasons for this, including California’s high electricity prices and abundance of sunshine. Additionally, there are massive issues with the state’s electrical grid, including its inefficiency, outdated infrastructure, and reliance on importing expensive, dirty energy from power plants from other states.

Why Solar Saves You Money In The Midst Of California’s Aging Grid Infrastructure

The electric grid in California was primarily established in the last century. The energy requirements in urban regions were catered to by natural gas-fired electric generation, with remote hydro, nuclear and geothermal energy supplementing them. However, the existing design didn’t consider the phase-out of urban gas-fired electric generation and the substantial increase in energy delivered from wind and solar energy generated at remote locations.

As a result, the electric grid in California largely relies on fossil fuels, but there is a significant shift happening toward renewable resources such as solar and wind energy. State officials support the electrification of the economy, including the transportation sector, by promoting electric vehicles, which is great, but the transition is expected to increase the load on the electric grid in California.

On the other hand, PG&E’s electric rates for residential users are considerably above the national average, estimated to be around 80%. Additionally, the California Public Utilities Commission has anticipated a gradual increase in electricity rates for the three primary power companies that operate in California during the next ten years.

This means that as utility rates rise due to lack of infrastructure, solar panels can help in fueling bill savings even under the NEM 3 system.

The Lifetime Savings Of Solar Under NEM 3

Additionally, homeowners must consider the savings that still remain over the life of a system under NEM 3. Savings can increase depending on if the solar system is paid for with cash or the length of loan taken out, with a potential for tens of thousands in savings for a 7.6-kilowatt solar panel system paid for in cash. And though maybe not as high when leased, there will still be significant savings over the life of a system.

So, while the savings may not be as high as under the NEM 2 system, it’s still crucial to note that going solar is very much worthwhile.

Other Benefits To Going Solar Under NEM 3

Energy savings are not the only benefits of installing solar panels. Other advantages include contributing to a cleaner grid and reducing carbon emissions. Also, installing solar panels can increase one’s home value.

According to a study carried out by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, installing solar panels in a home can increase its resale value by as much as $5,911 per kilowatt of installed capacity. Furthermore, when used in combination with battery storage, solar energy has proven to be a reliable backup power source during power outages.

Combine Solar Panels With Solar Battery Storage

Solar customers should consider adding solar battery storage to a panel system.

Solar batteries offer a variety of benefits for homeowners with existing solar panels, making them a worthwhile investment. By storing excess energy produced by your solar panels during the day, solar batteries allow you to use it later in the evening or at night when there is less sunlight. This provides households with access to energy storage, which can be used during power outages, and to take advantage of lower-priced electricity rates during off-peak hours.

Additionally, solar batteries are a long-term solution, offering over 10 years of average expected life span and virtually no maintenance required. Investing in Sacramento solar battery technology helps you harness the full potential of renewable energy sources, while also maximizing the efficiency of your existing solar system.

Solar Company Near Me

For more than four decades, Aztec Solar has established itself as the foremost provider of solar power in Sacramento, known for its exceptional products and unparalleled customer service. With a team of knowledgeable staff, we offer customized solutions that cater to the unique needs of our clients, while ensuring the highest efficiency and performance from our systems through our excellent expertise in renewable energy.

Our commitment to energy security means that we provide reliable after-sales support to ensure that your Sacramento solar system functions optimally throughout the year. Investing in an Aztec solar system guarantees peace of mind.

If you want to calculate how much you can save with solar in just 9 seconds, click here.


Solar pool heating near me

Solar pool heating near me

If you are looking to extend your swimming season past this summer, then you might be considering solar pool heating systems.

Solar pool heating is an excellent way to take advantage of the sun’s natural energy and heat your pool with minimal maintenance requirements. Not only does it provide an efficient, cost-effective means of keeping your pool warm day or night, but it also provides environmental benefits too. Installation is easy and straightforward and no additional equipment is required – making it a great choice for those seeking uninterrupted swimming in their own backyard.

In addition to all these advantages, solar pool heating systems are also incredibly reliable and require very little maintenance over the years. So, if you’re looking for an efficient and economical way to keep your pool warm year-round, then solar power could be the answer!

Choosing Aztec Solar for your Sacramento solar pool heating needs is a smart decision if you’re looking for reliable and efficient energy production. Not only do we offer competitive prices, but our products are industry-leading in terms of quality, performance, efficiency and reliability. What makes Aztec Solar stand out is our commitment to providing cutting-edge products that are designed and built to last.

Why you should get solar pool heaters in Sacramento 

Sacramento residents have a great opportunity to take advantage of the sun’s natural energy with solar pool heating systems. Not only are solar collectors an efficient and cost-effective way to keep your pool warm, but they also provide environmental benefits too. With solar pool heating you can reduce your carbon footprint as well as save money on electricity.

The Sacramento area is known for its sunny weather – making it the perfect place for solar pool heating systems.

So, if you live in or around Sacramento and want to take advantage of solar heat and the sun’s natural and renewable energy too, then investing in a solar pool heating system is the perfect choice!

How a solar pool heater works

Solar energy is collected via solar panels and then transferred to the pool water. The transfer of energy takes place inside the collector pump – a device that has two separate pipes: one for carrying water from the pool filter to the collectors, and one for returning the now heated water back to it. During this process the heat from the sun will slowly warm up your pool’s water through direct contact with its surface area so you don’t need any additional equipment or pumps to assist in transferring the heat.

How much a solar pool heater can warm up your swimming pool 

During summer months a solar pool heating system can easily raise the temperature of your Sacramento swimming pool by 7-12 degrees higher than the natural pool heat from the sun. And during colder months, these systems can help keep the temperature of the water at least five degrees warmer than normal – ensuring your family gets maximum use out of their backyard oasis no matter what season it is.

Solar pool heaters are low maintenance 

Not only are these systems cost-effective and eco-friendly, but they can also offer a level of control and convenience that other heating systems simply cannot match – because not only do they require minimal maintenance, but they also don’t need any additional equipment or gas heaters or pumps to operate either.

The great thing about solar pool heaters is that it doesn’t take much effort to install and keep them running smoothly. As long as the collectors remain clean and in good condition, these systems should be able to provide all the warm water your family needs without much fuss. Additionally, there are no filters or heat pumps here that will need to be changed or maintained – making it even easier than ever before to keep your swimming pool heated with minimal effort and expense.

Common misconceptions about solar heating systems for pools

Despite their growing popularity, there are still a few misconceptions about these systems.

One common misconception is that solar panels and pool heaters are too expensive – but this isn’t necessarily true. Although they may cost upfront, they can actually save homeowners money in the long run by reducing energy costs and offering a low-maintenance solution.

Another misconception is that solar panels and pool heaters will only work when the sun is shining – but this too is false. Solar pool heating systems don’t just rely on direct sunlight to heat your swimming pool, they also use ambient heat from the surrounding environment, making them effective even on cloudy days.

Finally, many people believe that solar pool heaters require complex maintenance or cleaning – but in reality, all it takes is a periodic visual inspection and some basic cleaning every now and then and you should have no problem keeping your system running smoothly for years to come! So, if you’re looking for an efficient way to keep your pool warm without dealing with hefty energy bills or heating costs, then investing in a solar pool heater might be the right choice for you!

If you are interested in solar pool heating, then contact us today to get started!

What you should know about Sacramento commercial solar panels installations

What you should know about Sacramento commercial solar panels installations

If you’re a Sacramento business owner, you know how expensive your monthly energy bills can be. The good news is that you now have more options than ever to mitigate these costs, one of which is commercial solar panel installations. With advances in solar technology and decreasing installation costs, many businesses are considering this option to reduce overhead expenses and reduce their carbon footprint.

When it comes to investing in solar energy for your business, it’s essential to choose a provider that has the expertise and experience to ensure that your installation is a success. Aztec Solar is one such provider that has been serving commercial customers throughout the Sacramento region for over 40 years. With that sort of experience, you can trust that we can deliver everything you are looking for with your solar power needs.

Aztec Solar has a team of experts with the knowledge and experience to help guide you through the entire process of solar projects, from project planning and design to installation and maintenance. They work with state-of-the-art equipment and software to provide you with the most efficient and effective solar solutions.

In this article, we will explore the benefits of commercial solar panel installations, and how your business can make an informed decision.

Reduced energy costs

Investing in a solar system is a great way for businesses to reduce your monthly energy bills. Solar power is freely available, meaning that once you install a solar panel system, you can take advantage of free energy immediately.

With the right installation, which you would get with Aztec Solar, businesses can significantly reduce their monthly energy bills while also taking advantage of tax credits and other tax incentives too.

In addition to reducing energy costs, commercial solar panel installations allow businesses to take better control of their spending by providing predictable solar power production over long periods of time. With commercial solar panels, businesses can plan ahead for their long-term energy needs and budget accordingly. This is especially beneficial for those with fluctuating usage patterns or seasonal shifts in demand.

Lower carbon footprint

Not only do solar panels provide businesses with an abundant source of renewable energy, but they also help lower their carbon emissions. This is because solar power is generated without burning any fossil fuels, meaning that businesses are not contributing to climate change when they use it.

This can be a huge plus for companies that want to signal their commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability without having to make drastic changes to their daily operations, which their employees will appreciate.

Increased value

Investing in a commercial solar panel system is a great way for businesses to increase their value in multiple ways. Not only do they provide cost savings by taking advantage of free solar power, but they also offer other advantages such as increased energy efficiency, sustainability credentials and long-term reliability.

When it comes to cost savings on utility bills, switching to solar energy can significantly reduce or even completely eliminate the overhead of paying for electricity, resulting in major long-term savings for businesses. This is especially beneficial for those with fluctuating or seasonal usage patterns, allowing them to better predict their energy costs over time.


Investing in a commercial solar energy system is a great way for businesses to enjoy reliable, long-term power production with minimal maintenance requirements. Solar panels require only occasional cleaning and once installed, can last for up to 25 years or more – making them an ideal solution for commercial buildings and those wanting uninterrupted energy supply.

Plus, because they have no moving parts, solar systems are much less likely to experience breakdowns than other sources of energy. This means that businesses using commercial solar systems can rest assured knowing that their operations won’t be disrupted due to unexpected repairs or maintenance costs – something that can have disastrous effects on productivity and profits.

Commercial solar panel systems near me

If you are a Sacramento business looking to add a solar power system, then look no further than Aztec Solar. As you read above, commercial solar power systems offer an array of the benefits. So, what are you waiting for?

Our vast experience with commercial and residential solar panel installation should put your mind at ease that your power needs are in good hands. Aztec Solar’s solar energy systems are designed to be highly efficient and cost effective – meaning businesses can benefit from reduced electricity bills and decreased reliance on traditional sources of power. Using the sun’s free, limitless energy enables businesses to reap the rewards of sustainable and renewable energy.

What makes Aztec Solar stand out is our commitment to providing reliable, cutting-edge products and services that are industry-leading in terms of quality and performance. Our solar panels require only occasional cleaning and are capable of lasting up to 25 years or more – making them an ideal solution for those seeking uninterrupted clean energy and supply.

When it comes down to it, investing in a commercial solar system from Aztec Solar provides your business with the opportunity to save money while gaining access to dependable energy and improved sustainability credentials. So, if you want long-term savings and reliability from renewable resources – then put your trust in the sun today!

If you would like to see how much you could save with solar in just 9 seconds, click here.

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