Club News

Meeting May 10, 2017 - Solar power
Zack Logan is sales director of Solar States, a locally based installer of solar power for homes and businesses. The company serves Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and parts of Massachusetts and New York. Although most of its work has been in residential installations (over 300), it is now moving to larger projects, such as at the Trolley Car Diner, Temple University, and Swarthmore College. (Contact: Two characteristics of the company are first, that it uses no outsourcing – everything is done in-house. Second, the company has an apprentice program to educate newcomers into the use and installation of solar power. Currently, two former apprentices are now employees of the company. Zack pointed out that his company is interested in home energy efficiency, not merely solar panels. In that regard, he gave examples of various appliances that can be used (e.g., split air-conditioners and smart ligh tbulbs). He gave the example of “Sense “, a new easily installed technology that allows one to pinpoint the use of power by individual appliances in a home. Solar panels work by feeding power into the general grid of power distribution, resulting in an individual electric meter revolving backwards. During the night, when electricity is being used, the electric meter moves forward again. He gave one example of a house with installed panels that cost $28,000, less the 30% federal tax credit. In this particular case, the homeowner calculated that his monthly savings on electricity bills approximately equal the payments on the loan that he took to install the panels Zack showed examples of homes and some institutional buildings that have had solar panels installed. There are various configurations possible and various modes of attachment possible, all depending on individual circumstances. A number of people in the audience inquired about the status of the roof underneath the solar panels. Zack pointed out that a roof over 10 years old should probably be replaced before installing solar panels. The panels themselves are warranted for 25 years, and are expected to last 37-40 years. Installation is also currently available for a federal tax credit of 30%.