Real Goods Solar Shows Americans How to Keep Their Cool In Record Summer Heat with No-Cost Tools That Help Assert Their Energy Independence

Real Goods Solar Helps Liberate Consumers from Worries Over Rising Energy Costs with Tools to Throttle Skyrocketing Energy Bills.----- New Zero-Down and Pre-Pay Lease Options Make Solar Affordable to Record Number of American Households, Empowering Consumers to Comfortably Beat the Heat *and* Cut Energy Costs.

(Orange, CA: July 3, 2012) – Real Goods Solar is helping Americans assert their energy independence this Fourth of July with a spectacular array of solar financing options that allow families from California to Connecticut to live large on smaller utility bills, despite the season's sweltering heat.

The path to energy independence is manifested in a trifecta of tools that 1) dispel common myths about solar technology, 2) make the benefits of solar technology affordable to tens of thousands of new American households and 3) provide simple, straightforward solar solutions that allow consumers to harness the sun's energy to save money on powering their homes and businesses -- and fueling their electric vehicles -- from month one.

"A recent Associated Press poll found that in today's economy, a majority of Americans ranked lower energy bills a higher priority than taking a summer vacation1," said Real Goods Solar's Southern California General Manager Josh Price.

"We're here to let people know that they don't have to be held hostage to skyrocketing energy bills. With the right solar solution, folks can take control of their energy costs and invest their savings in areas that reflect their core priorities, for instance quality-of-life issues that include education, recreation – and time with friends and family," he said.

Step one in Real Goods' approach to energy independence is arming Americans with facts about solar energy. "There's a great deal of misinformation circulating about solar, and it does homeowners and those of us who create jobs in the energy sector a great disservice when it comes to evaluating the benefits of today's solar energy," said Real Goods Solar Sales Manager Scott Schumacher of San Diego.

With that, Real Goods recently announced the availability of "87 Solar Myths," a free, downloadable eBook that separates solar fact from fiction. "It's a fast, fun read that can help folks bust the most pervasive myths about solar today, while equipping them with an arsenal of facts that illuminate how solar can help curtail their energy anxieties," said Schumacher.

There's a reason solar is America's fastest growing industry2 – and that reason is primarily economic. So step two on the road to energy independence is a review of a household's energy bills and home orientation to determine potential solar savings. Recent thermometer-popping temperatures compound the problem of high energy bills, as people turn to pools, fans, freezers and air conditioners for relief.

"Harnessing solar power is a great way for families to live comfortably without breaking the bank– even when feeding energy-hungry summer staples like air conditioning and pool pumps, which can add a whopping 25% to summer electric bills," Schumacher noted.

Solar, however is no fair-weather energy solution. It provides year-round benefits for consumers, not only offering monthly energy savings but a hedge against rising energy costs. A University of California, San Diego (UCSD) study3 confirms that roof-top solar also has insular properties, keeping homes 5-degrees cooler in the summer and 5-degrees warmer in the chill of winter. And a recent Berkeley National Laboratory study of Southern California households shows that solar improves the resale value of properties.

Once it's clear solar is a viable solution, homeowners are introduced to a menu of palatable new financing options that are making solar affordable to more American households than ever before4.

"With zero-down lease agreements, pre-paid solar and hefty tax credits for those who wish to purchase systems, it's simple to bust Solar Myth #1, that solar is too expensive," Schumacher added.

Schumacher says another important message for consumers is that solar is not the most expensive source of electricity anymore. "In almost all cases, for residential applications, solar is the least expensive way to get energy today," he said. And while solar in time's past was perceived as only for more affluent environmentalists, he says today's economic incentives make it a prudent play for homeowners across the board.

"Solar's just a smart move for anyone who wants to live comfortably, slash their electric bills and improve their property values. Solar's benefits of reducing carbon emissions and creating a cleaner America strengthen the value proposition."

Understanding how solar technology works to benefit consumers (and the many ways Americans can choose to deploy it in their quest for energy independence) is an important leg in the race to beat the heat and vanquish rising energy bills. Real Goods Solar customers have three simple module and inverter offerings, some engineered in America, some manufactured in America, but all employing Americans in one way or another.

"Today, the U.S. exports nearly $26 billion a month to satisfy our appetite for oil, a great deal of which we get from nations hostile to American interests," observed Price. "Empowering Americans to obtain their electricity from a clean, domestic and often cheaper source that creates local jobs just makes sense," he added. "It's the American way."

With its job-creating, money-saving, property-improving qualities, Real Goods Solar's prescription for solar energy independence is something Americans can celebrate not just on Independence Day, but every day.

Perhaps renowned author and energy guru Tom Friedman got it right when he said, "When it comes to energy, green is the new red, white and blue."

About Real Goods Solar: Real Goods Solar is a leading solar energy integrator, having installed over 13,000 solar electric systems. We offer turnkey solutions, and have 34 years of experience in solar energy, beginning with the sale of the first solar photovoltaic panels in the U.S. in 1978. With offices in California, Colorado and the Northeast, Real Goods Solar is one of the largest residential solar installers in the country. For more information, visit or call 1-888-56-SOLAR.

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