I have lived in southern California for my entire life.

That being said, I have learned quite a few things over the years. Seasons are more of a quaint notion than a fact of life in California. Rather than having fall, winter, spring, and summer, we have three and a half summers and a few weeks of fall. This may seem ideal to some, but here’s another fact of life about living in southern California: it’s expensive.

These two facts overlap in more ways than one, but I want to briefly touch on the one that comes back to haunt us each and every month. Let’s talk about electricity.

Southern California Edison services most of the residential accounts in the Inland Empire, barring a few cities that have private utility companies. SCE’s rates are based on two separate systems. One of the ways they charge is Time of Use, which is based on heavy and light electricity usage during corresponding times of day. The other option is a three-tiered system, which is the traditional billing type. As of May 2018:

Tier 1: 17¢

Tier 2: 25¢

Tier 3 (High Usage): 35¢

What Does Solar Do?

With the average cost of electricity capping $150 and continuing to rise on an almost annual basis, it was only a matter of time before residential solar energy became a widely used and common solution. As a matter of fact, it became a booming industry. With California approving AB-2278, mandating that all new residential construction projects have solar panels by 2020, it would appear that solar energy is the end-all-be-all solution that California needs. Or is it?

In my professional life, I have had extensive experience in the solar industry. I have studied it, I have sold it, and I have recommended it to countless people. I watched it grow into a multi-billion dollar industry in the span of a decade. That being said, a nagging thought kept gnawing at me.

“Is solar actually fixing the problem of excessive energy consumption?”

The short answer? No.

Don’t Make the Solar Mistake

Solar panels were designed to do one thing and one thing only, despite what the friendly people that come to your door tell you. They off-set energy costs. That is the true value of going solar. While they do fall into the “renewable energy” column on an official level, they do little to actually fix the issue of rising energy costs and outrageous kWh (kilowatt hours) usage. In a typical set of circumstances, a 1,700 square foot home built in the late 80’s (much of the IE) housing two adults and two children consumes right around 900 kWh in fall and winter and around 1,200 kWh in the summer months. Looking at these figures and assuming that much of that time falls into SCE’s third tear (you’d be right), it’s no wonder electric bills climb to such staggering heights.

Enter: the solar company.

With promises of striking your electric bill down by as much as 50% while simultaneously allowing you to run your A.C. like you are trying to support Arctic life, solar panels seem like an obvious choice. Easy lenders like the PACE Program partners have made home improvement projects easier than ever for just about everyone to afford by breaking up the payments over an extended period of time. Sound too good to be true? Well…

As I stated earlier, solar essentially only changes how you pay for your electricity. It may save certain people a decent amount of money, maybe even that prized 50%. What solar does not do is fix the reason your electric bill is so high. It does not make your home comfortable or energy efficient. It simply changes the way you pay for your electricity for 5 to 25 years, sometimes longer. Reality is beginning to set in a little, eh?

So if solar panels only act as a band-aid on a bullet wound, how do you actually heal the wound that is your excessive energy consumption? I have good news and I have better news. The good news is that it isn’t rocket science, and the better news is that it tends to be a bit more cost-effective in most cases.

How to Save Money on Energy

I want you to make a mental checklist. Your left column should consist of the following: windows, doors, HVAC, and insulation. Now, I want you to figure out the approximate age of each of the above. These products have a finite lifespan and dramatically affect your home’s energy efficiency. Construction-grade windows typically last about 12 years before the seals break down and render them mostly useless. Doors may last a bit longer, but they also become far less efficient after repeated use and abuse from the dramatic temperature swings we experience. HVAC units may last quite a while with regular maintenance, but most people don’t maintain them. Let’s give those 15 to 20 years, at best. Insulation also lasts a long time, but that’s assuming your attic space is vented properly and there is no breakdown due to exposure or rodents. These often-overlooked items were originally designed to keep the heat out and your bills low, but nothing is forever. Going solar before fixing these problems is what we call The Solar Mistake.

Solar panels definitely have a place in the market, but that place may not be your roof until you have really investigated the root of the problem.

If you are experiencing any issues with your home’s energy efficiency or would like an estimate on any type of remodel, please feel free to contact me personally at 951-422-9076. I am available Sunday – Saturday from 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM.

Do you need funding for your home improvement project?

Do you need a tax break?

Have you been living with old outdated windows, doors, roofing, or air conditioning? We have the solution!

The State of California offers locally-approved home improvement financing programs for a wide variety of energy efficiency investments including a new roof, HVAC systems, new windows and doors, water heaters, and other energy efficiency upgrades. For example, the PACE Financing Program is a very homeowner-friendly solution. It’s simple: if you own a home – you’re approved ! Your credit score is not evaluated, nor is your income. This program was developed to assist homeowners of any income and credit range to improve the energy efficiency of their home for an affordable monthly investment.

Home Improvement Financing in Ontario, CA

We all know quality home improvements are not cheap and major improvements such as roofing or heating systems can be a major investment. That was why government home improvement financing programs were created. Remodeling Magazine estimates the average high-end window replacement in the Riverside, CA area could cost $19,589. A single fiberglass entry door replacement could cost upwards of $3,348 in the Inland Empire. The costs may be steep, but the warranties are usually excellent for such products and the improved energy efficiency will really impress you.

Through available finance programs, you can make these significant energy upgrades to your home with a highly rated contractor like ReHome Solutions.

High Quality for Low Monthly Payments

How: PACE lending programs assist all homeowners to pay for major home improvement projects such as air conditioning, roofing, windows, doors, insulation and more! We have been able to help homeowners install multiple upgrades for as little as $150.00 per month. The ReHome team is filled with experts on PACE and can even help you apply online. You will promptly receive a pre-approval amount for your home. In most cases, you can use 15% of your home value for energy efficient home improvements.

Here is an example of how PACE programs help homeowners in Ontario and it can work for residents of Riverside and other Inland Empire cities. We have been working with a young homeowner in Ontario. They had just purchased the home and needed to upgrade the attic insulation and the air conditioning because the latest heatwave kept the house very hot. They noticed their A/C system never shut off. This Ontario homeowner also was paying an average of $275-$375 per month in electricity costs. ReHome Solutions recommended new R38 Owens Corning Attic Insulation, a New York 16 Seer High Efficiency air conditioning system with new R8 air ducts, and new 360 air vents. With these energy efficiency home improvements this homeowner was able to be much more comfortable in their home while lowering their energy bill by almost 30%. The homeowner’s monthly payment dropped to only $188.00 per month and with the energy saving rebates and tax benefits, this homeowner was able to make this investment pay for itself in just a few years.

Inland Empire Energy Efficient Projects

If you want to learn more about how to make your new roof, air conditioning, windows, entry doors, or insulation affordable with no money down, contact us today. We can help you take advantage of available tax rebates and home improvement financing programs. Contact our office today at (877) 758-4490.

Home improvement projects can be complicated. The contractor you choose is vital. Contractors offer many options for both home improvement down payment and financing. Choosing a contractor can be a tough process but here are a few key factors to ensure you home improvement project in adds value to your home and makes your everyday living more comfortable in Ontario, Fontana, or other surrounding Inland Empire communities.

Home Improvement Funding Options

ReHome Solutions offers clients many diverse funding options for your home improvement project. A key factor when choosing a contractor is determining the company’s ability to fund your materials and labor before the completion of your project. Why is this important? If your contractor doesn’t have the funding to cover the cost of skilled labor and materials the project could experience delays or even abandonment due to the shortfall in working capitol and credit on the contractor’s behalf. This is more common than you might think. How often do you hear of a project such as a kitchen or bathroom remodel taking months longer than the expected completion date? You have probably heard scenarios more than once. The reason for this is that the contractor ran out of cash or credit because they were funding other projects or diverting funds to finish another project.

ReHome Solutions in Ontario, CA offers zero down payment and “zero progress payments” as standard options on all of our home improvement projects. This ensures our motivation is as high as your expections when it comes to completing your home improvement project. You can choose one of our city sponsored financing options, or use your credit card to accrue points, or the simplicity of a check. ReHome Solutions never accepts payment until that project is complete. This ensures you and ReHome Solutions always have successful completions.

For the financial convenience of our clients, we offer PACE Funding. This is a city and state sponsored program that allows anyone who owns a home in California regardless of credit score or income to pay for residential homes improvement projects such as replacement windows, entry doors, french doors, roofing, A/C systems, insulation and many other product with zero down and affordable monthly payments that can be tax deductible in some cases.

Hiring Skilled Craftsmen

One of the most critical parts to a successful installation is the utilization of highly skilled craftsmen. ReHome Solutions employees our craftsmen to ensure the highest quality finishes. We also employ master finishers that work with stucco, paint, plaster, and acoustical finishes. Our crews are filled with experienced tradesmen who have years of experience and certifications in there field of expertise.

Contractors that use laborers without the necessary skills or experience put your home and family at risk. We prioritize your safety and satisfaction on every home improvement project. Make sure you check the certifications, experience, and references of any Ontario, CA home improvement contractor you consider. This is just as important as learning about home improvement down payment or deposit options.

Only High Quality Materials

When you choose ReHome Solutions, you can rest assure you will receive the highest quality products. Again, you should never pay a home improvement down payment. Even if you need financing assistance, that should never mean you are sacrificing quality! When choosing new windows, doors, roofing, paint, or A/C equipment, ReHome Solutions in Ontario only uses time-tested brands that come backed with full factory warranties. Also consider the use of Energy Star home improvement products. They can not only offer huge savings on your heating and cooling bill but will increase your home comfort. Choosing high end materials will ensure your home improvement project will be a permanent improvement that increases home value and improves the everyday day use.