How Much Can Solar Save You?


Going solar can seem like a huge investment. And the truth of the matter, without all the different incentives with federal tax credits and state incentives, they can be. But if you’re considering going solar and thinking about the cost you should consider the yearly savings.

The Solar Cost

Solar panels are not cheap and easy to install or otherwise, everyone would have them placed on their homes. A solar paneled flush mount system can cost about $5 per watt, that is $15,000 average to produce 3kW. But with all the incentives installing solar you’ll save from federal tax credits, state tax credits, and other local rebates.

Don’t forget when going solar you will be saving money on the amount of energy you would use because you won’t be purchasing energy from your electric company. Electricity can be expensive in many states compared to other states, so solar would be a huge benefit to you if you live in a state that offers high prices and tax breaks.

Save On Solar

Financially solar will cost, but will save you money! Going solar is the way to go. How much can you save? In general, the estimated savings you could save on average would be $20,000 through the 20-year course! Here is a great link of an infographic that gives you an estimated breakdown of how much you could be saving in your actual state.

Understand your potential saving where you live is the key. You may be thinking investing long-term on a home may be risky, but it is not. Getting to know the facts on your home appreciation with having solar panels installed. The short of the story is that solar mounting systems typically installed increase the value of your home!


Fascinating Solar Energy Facts

Capture the Captivating Power of Solar Energy

James Rich Residence - Solar AWning System - Solar Efficiency Solutions 6

Solar, the most abundant energy resource, faces its unique challenges which are unlike other usable energy sources. Despite the unique challenges, solar energy capturing has grown in stride throughout the years as a dependable energy resource. To help us understand solar energy, lets look into the history based on facts.

Fact 1: Solar energy is the most abundant energy resource on earth – 173,000 terawatts of solar energy strikes the Earth continuously. That’s more than 10,000 times the world’s total energy use.

Fact 2: The first silicon solar cell, the precursor of all solar-powered devices, was built by Bell Laboratories in 1954. On page one of its April 26, 1954 issue, The New York Times proclaimed the milestone, “the beginning of a new era, leading eventually to the realization of one of mankind’s most cherished dreams – the harnessing of the almost limitless energy of the sun for the uses of civilization.”

Fact 3: The space industry was an early adopter of solar technology. In the 1960s, the space industry began to use solar technology to provide power aboard spacecrafts. The Vanguard 1 – the first artificial earth satellite powered by solar cells – remains the oldest manmade satellite in orbit – logging more than 6 billion miles.

Fact 4: The U.S. installed 7,260 megawatts (MW) of solar in 2015 to reach 27.4 gigawatts (GW) of total installed capacity, enough to power 5.4 million American homes. Thanks to a booming residential PV market and continued realization of the utility sector’s double-digit gigawatt project pipeline, 2015 was the biggest year yet in solar history. Despite this remarkable growth, the industry is set to double more than the amount of installed capacity in 2016.

Responding to the desire to harness this  abundant energy source, TRA Snow and Sun has created the perfect  mounting solution for capturing solar energy from any rooftop.  TRA has mounting solutions for metal panels, asphalt & cedar shingles, corrugated metal, flat granule metal, simulated slate, single ply, slate, tile & wood shake.

TRA Snow & Sun Solar Products address solar energy needs as an integral part of a well-designed solar system. Our Solar Mount Systems are tested & engineered from the fail point of the entire system, not just our products.


All requesting clients receive free engineered layouts within 2 working days for each project’s specific requirements. For a free layout, data sheets, specs & quote contact us at 855-542-1861 or

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The No Cutting, Hassle Free Solar Tile Mount

Solar Tile Mount

No hassle is bigger for an installer than finding out you have to re-cut tile because it won’t line up. With TRA Snow and Sun Solar Tile Mount, there’s no cutting required, saving you time on your project. Our Solar Tile Mounts are available for low, medium, and high profile tile roofs, and are adjustable for secure attachment to the structural member of the roof. We guarantee a variety of tile mounts, superior strength, and the option for custom made designs.

What Makes Our Solar Tile Mount Unique?

As mentioned above, TRA Solar Tile Mounts are easy to install and don’t require any cutting. Made of high quality, extruded aluminum that diverts the mount around the tile instead of going through it. With not cutting, this type of mount will not compromise the strength of the customer’s tile. In addition, mounts are adjustable up to six inches for easy layout planning and to make installation easier.

How Will The Solar Tile Mount Benefit Me As An Installer?

Tile Mount Hook3We offer a plethora of installation materials and resources to make experience as simple as plan, purchase, and install.

TRA’s cutting-edge tile mounts are:

  –  made of corrosion-resistant extruded aluminum

  –  quick and easy to install

  –  require no cutting

  –  require no special flashing

Solar mounts must be fastened to structural members of the roof, such as rafters, purlins or trusses, and in order for tile pans to line up in the correct locations, are adjustable up to six inches to the left or right.

A Stronger Foundation

Your solar energy system is only as strong as the mounting structure on which it’s built. We guarantee top-of-the-line products, accessories, and fastening systems. Every component is reliable and built to last. Click here to contact us for an estimate and to begin your Solar Tile Mount plan today!

This Is The Year To Go Solar

TRA Snow & Sun wants you to make a news year’s resolution, not for yourself, but for your residence or business. Solar power provides you with the cleanest form of energy and reduces your carbon footprint, while also saving you money right from the start.  So why not resolve to go solar in 2016?

With federal tax incentives and state and local rebates, it has never been more affordable to go solar. First,  let’s take a look at the solar industry and how it could be affected in 2016, according to data from the Solar Energy Industries Association.

  • Residential costs have dropped by 45 percent since 2010
  • Utility-scale costs have dropped more significantly, with contracts at prices below $0.05/kWh (Kilowatt hour)
  • As of mid-2015, there are 784,000 U.S. homes and businesses with solar energy systems, with a new system installed every two minutes
  • Roughly 20,000 Megawatts of solar capacity is forecasted to come online over the next two years, doubling the country’s existing solar capacity
  • The top 25 corporate (solar) users have more than doubled their solar capacity since 2012

Federal and State Benefits

The Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), a 30 percent federal tax credit on solar energy units for residential and commercial properties, has been extended and remains in effect through Dec. 31, 2016. A tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction on the income taxes that a person or company claiming the credit would otherwise pay the federal government. Since the implementation of the ITC in 2006, the cost to install solar has dropped by more than 73 percent. There are also additional state and local rebates that vary from state to state. Learn more about federal and state solar energy benefits and rebates.

Reduces Carbon Footprint

Installing solar mounting for your business not only reduces carbon emissions, but it also shows your customers that you are dedicated to preserving the environment and willing to do what’s necessary for that cause.

James Rich Residence - Solar AWning System - Solar Efficiency Solutions 6Increase The Value of Your Home

It’s commonly known that buying a home in a good school district or a home with low property taxes will increase the resale value of your property. Now, consider the advantages of having a high quality, energy efficient solar system for your home. Many studies have been done analyzing solar energy systems and residential home values, and most found that homes will sell quicker and for more money. According to a study of California by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, homes with solar power systems sell 20 percent faster and for 17 percent more money compared to homes without.

Start Saving Immediately

Instead of dumping money into a utility bill, you could be saving money each month with solar energy. In some places around the country, customers are saving well over 100 dollars a month. What about over a long period of time? On average, solar users save 20 thousand dollars over 20 years.

Raw costs of going solar can be very high, but purchasing power agreements (PPAs), or solar leases, allow a home or business owner to install solar panels for a fixed, monthly rate to use the energy derived from solar. In addition to a fixed rate, a warranty will cover solar energy systems for 20-25 years, and the industry standard guarantees 80 percent performance after 25 years. Even though most energy panels have been around for less than ten years, there’s reason to believe solar panels will be generating a good amount of energy after 30-40 years of use.

The benefits of adding solar energy to your home or business are enormous, for your wallet and the environment. There has never been a better time to go solar, so don’t hesitate to contact us for information on solar products and services.

We’re at Solar Power International in Sunny CA! Stop By and See Us!

It’s a big week for us here at TRA Snow and Sun! This week our team is in Anaheim, California to attend the Solar Power International convention. At SPI, we’ll learn about the newest products and technology in the solar energy industry, share our expertise and (hopefully) soak up a few rays of the California sun.  Stop by and see us at Booth 6814.

About Solar Power International

Established in 2003, the goal of SPI is to provide a place to exchange ideas, knowledge and expertise in efforts to further develop solar energy and its uses. SPI is the largest solar show in North America with more than 15,000 industry professional attendees representing over 75 countries. Over 600 manufacturers, service providers and vendors will be participating in the conference.

What to Look Out For

Earlier this summer SPI was selected to join the International Buyers Program. This program is a joint government-industry exhibition that connects international buyers to the United States. In lei of this, at this year’s SPI there will be sessions like “International Markets: Best Practices from Around the World to Drive the US Market.”

What We’re Doing

Here are the top five highlights from TRA Snow and Sun at the SPI convention:We’ll be
featuring our easy to install and versatile Solar Awning Solution.

  1. Grounding Mid Clamps and Grounding End Clamps-we’ll be introducing this product and demonstrating every half hour how easily they clip into the top channel of our Power Rail.
  2. Prior to the conference, we attained our UL Listing on our Ground Mount System
    marking our product’s credibility and safety. Look out for this newly certified product!
  3. Our displays will showcase our solar flush mount roof attachments, EZ Solar Mount for standing seam metal roofs, Solar Tile Mount for tile roofs, L Foot for asphalt shingles, slate, shingles, etc. Come check out our state-of-the-art products.
  4. You’ll see us in our bright yellow shirts!




We’re excited to be a part of the Solar Power International convention to show our expertise and products while also learning more about the industry. Stop by TRA Snow and Sun’s booth to see what we have on display!

Case Study – Glendale Library, SLC, Ballasted Solar System Required Creative Solution

The Problem

The new Glendale Library in Salt Lake City, completed in Spring 2015, offers 20,000 square feet of media and meeting space for a diverse populace in an older section of the city.  Designed with an EPDM membrane roof, and achieving LEED Certified Gold rating, Intermountain Wind & Solar was contracted to install solar panels.  However, with a 115 miles per hour wind speed rating, and a maximum allowable five pounds per square foot dead load on this building, they needed an unusually light ballasted solar mounting layout.  But the Class C exposure category of the building added additional complications.  The problem was apparent:  How do you stay under the 5 psf dead load requirement but provide enough ballast for the class C exposure?

solar racking for flat roof

The Solution

Intermountain Wind & Solar contacted TRA Snow and Sun, Inc., of American Fork, Utah, designers and manufacturers of solar mounting and racking systems.  TRA frequently engineers ballasted mounting systems, with arrays that are completely interconnected, one right after the other, commonly spaced out six feet apart with 100-200 lbs of ballast weight per tray.  However, this typical layout wasn’t going to work in the case of the Glendale Library.  The engineers at TRA and the folks at IW&S had to be creative to keep the weight of the system under 5 psf but provide enough weight for the wind speed and class C exposure.

The integrators originally considered spreading out the panels to lessen the impact/weight on each rafter/truss, so TRA Snow and Sun suggested a layout with all panels close together and the ballast trays linked as well, creating an interconnected solar mounting system.  However, since all of the ballast was tied together in the system, the weight per square foot was uniform over a small area and overloaded the localized rafters/trusses.

ballasted solar mounting

The solution to this loading issue was to separate the continuous, closely laid out array, and create smaller arrays. These smaller arrays were still interconnected in the north/south direction but with a  gap  created in the east/west direction.  Each smaller array only had one tray per 3 panels, therefore reducing the amount of ballast on the rafters/trusses drastically.  The new design allowed the load per tray to satisfy the required ballast for a 115 mph wind load and a class C Exposure.

According to Jake Owsley, TRA sales team member who worked on this design, “The result of our efforts created a uniform, functional system providing adequate maintenance space, while also satisfying the necessary requirements for the Glendale Library.”

ballast solar mounting system

Solar Energy Rebates and Savings

The summer sun is shining and that means one thing – energy. Energy? Yes, solar energy. Solar energy is the cleanest and most abundant renewable energy source available. If you’ve wondered about the costs of installing a solar system the truth is that it is a significant investment. However, there are lots of rewards to having one. Of these rewards are financial benefits including government rebates and cost savings:

Federal Solar Rebates

Many of us think that rebates only come in the form of a check in the mail. However, solar rebates are distributed as tax credits. The Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is a 30 percent tax credit for residential and commercial properties. This means you get a dollar-for-dollar credit of up to 30 percent of the qualified expenditures of your solar system. The credit has no limit and is available for installments made before December 31, 2015.

State Solar Rebates

These rebates differ per state. You can find tax credits, rebates and savings programs sorted out by state when you visit The state considers things like the amount of kilowatt-hour or tax codes when determining these rebates. Incentives can be found in every state showing the government’s push to use clean energy.

Lower Utility Bills

The fact that solar is a source of “renewable energy” means it doesn’t run out when you use it. There is plenty of energy to go around. By replacing your traditional electricity source with solar power, you can save over $1,000 per year.

There are lots of benefits when you invest in solar energy. You’ll be able to find even more when you search your local area to see what programs are offered. Not only are the financial incentives for solar energy great but you also protect the environment by using clean energy. If you’re looking to securely mount your solar panels, contact us!

How Many Solar Panels are Needed for Your Home?

When installing solar panels, there are many factors that help determine how many panels are needed for a home. Taking these factors into account before installation will help guarantee you have the right number of solar panels installed on your home. Before determining how many solar panels you need, assess these items.

The Climate of Your Region

An area such as Florida will end up having many more sunny days than the Oregon Coast. Before determining how many solar panels your home needs, it is important to assess the area you live in. A professional solar panel installation company will have a better idea as to how many solar panels you will need based on the average sunlight your home receives. This plays a big role in how effective installing solar panels will be in your region, as well as how many will be needed.

Current Energy Usage


Every home is different. Some families use large amounts of power every month while someone who lives alone may not require the same level of power. Assessing your current energy usage is crucial in determining how much power you will use in the future, and thus, how many solar panels are needed for your home. It is best to have a year’s history of your home’s energy use so you can assess it not only at the low points of use, but at the highest points as well.

This assessment becomes the perfect time to analyze your current energy use, and determine if anything can be cut back. Switch from incandescent light bulbs, turn the TV off when it isn’t in use, and work from your laptop instead of desktop. Making these little changes can make a big difference in your energy bill over time.

Sunlight’s Ability to Reach Your Home

Are there large trees surrounding your home? Is your home a rambler surrounded by multi-level buildings? Will your solar panels be facing east, west, north, or south? These are all questions that will affect the sun’s ability to reach the panels. Even if you live in an area with many days of sunlight, it won’t do you any good if this sunlight is blocked. Take this into consideration and determine where solar panels will work best on your home.

Engineered Layouts

Not only do you need to determine the above factors, engineering the racking system for your solar panels is essential as well. By taking these things into account, we can determine the number of solar panels you need, as well as the right racking system for your situation with a warranty. Ensure you’re prepared with the best solar solution for your home.

Before investing in solar panels, ensure you have the right solution for your situation. The right amount of solar panels and the right type of racking system both must be installed correctly. At TRA Snow & Sun, we have racking systems and solar solutions for everyone. Ensure your home is solar ready.

Solar Energy: A Better Way to Power Your Home?

Solar energy is the most renewable and sustainable form of energy around. Because it is the energy provided by sunlight, we will never run out of it. These days it is more accessible to the average homeowner than ever before.

How is it more accessible? With affordable, custom solar panels (photovoltaic panels) that convert the light from the sun into electricity.

Solar mounts used to be quite costly, but with the growing number of homeowners taking steps to lessen their carbon footprints, the price has lessened as well.

Solar energy does not produce pollution, and subsequently does not contribute to the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and, once they are installed and operating at full capacity, the mounted panels require a relatively low level of maintenance.

There are options to have a solar mount installed on your property that is still connected to the main grid of your city, which makes it possible for electricity to power your home when the sun isn’t out. With this option, you don’t need backup batteries to accommodate for times when there is little or no sunshine.

The benefits of solar energy add up much faster than your electric bill in the summer (powering A/Cs can be expensive), as you are actually generating and using your own power; meaning that your utility expenses will decrease.

TRA Snow and Sun provides custom and code compliant solar panel mounts for those interested in investing in a renewable and sustainable way to power their homes.

Get a free Solar Mounting Checklist and a free layout to see how you can incorporate solar energy in your life!

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Solar Energy

Solar energy is becoming increasingly popular around the world. As other costs rise, it is important to look towards other means of producing energy. Solar energy can be a great solution for homes and businesses looking to save money on these bills, generating their own energy. Learn more about solar energy and what it entails. You may not have known these things about this more natural means of energy production.


The Sun is Continuously Striking the Earth

Storm clouds are no match for the sun as it can still reach through them. 173,000 terawatts of solar energy are hitting the earth as we speak. This is continuously happening every day. 173,000 terawatts may not mean much to you, to put it in perspective, that’s over 10,000 times the demand of the world’s energy usage.



Solar Energy has been Looked to for Decades


Since the 1980s the US Department of Energy has been researching how to invest in this source of energy. The earliest project to do this was known as Solar One. This research of solar power has continued with more research projects aimed at determining how we can better rely on this type of energy.


There are Tax Incentives that Come with Solar Energy


Not only will you have the financial benefit of lower energy bills, solar power can help increase the refund on your taxes. In most situations, homeowners will see their savings outweigh the initial cost in about 5 to 10 years. Understand how this solar energy can benefit your home or business when tax season comes around.


There are Two Ways Solar Energy is Captured


Many people don’t understand how a solar panel actually works. Solar photovoltaic cells take in the sun’s rays, converting the energy directly. From there the concentrated solar power takes the energy produced and moves it to a receiver where it can then be used to produce electricity. This is then used to power your building.



Concentrated Solar Power Projects are Underway

Solar panels in the Mojave Desert.

The Mojave project is one of many areas where concentrated solar power projects are underway. The Mojave Desert in California is currently the largest in construction, and takes advantage of 350,000 mirrors. In the future, it is predicted that this project alone will be able to power more than 140,000 homes.


Learn more about the benefits of solar energy and what it can do for your home or business. Understanding more about the function and benefits is essential when choosing solar. Take advantage of this money saving means of energy.


TRA Snow and Sun manufactures economical and easy to install mounting and rail systems for solar panels.  Contact us for a free, engineered layout for your solar project.

Become One of the 75,000 Solar Workers Obama Plans to Train Before 2020

Become One of

Recently Obama launched a new initiative that will significantly impact jobs, specifically those dealing with solar energy, in the next few years. His plan to grow our nation’s solar industry workforce by 75,000 people is set to take motion before 2020. This program is specifically targeted at veterans after leaving the service.


Solar energy is important not only because of the jobs it creates (which it is doing at a rate 10 times faster than other areas of the economy), but also because of the impact it has on our environment and climate change. It doesn’t matter if you’re a veteran or not, you can join the solar industry’s workforce. Whether you are installing panels or developing future technologies, you can make an impact on the future of solar energy. Read more to determine what you need to do to make an impact in the solar industry.


Plan for Veterans

Solar panel installation

Across the United States President Obama is focusing on 10 military bases, including Hill Air Force Base, which already has solar panels on site. The Solar Ready Vets Program will focus on training veterans who are transitioning out of military service. They will join the SunShot’s Solar Instructor Training Network, which is tailored to veterans, building off the skills they’ve learned in the service and adding the necessary technical training. Some of the things learned in this program include:

  • sizing and installing solar panels
  • connecting electricity to the grid
  • learn and comply with building codes on a local level


Solar Training Steps

install solar panels

Those who are not veterans but want to work in the solar industry can use this initiative to start a new career. Some things that will be a necessary part of your training include:


  • Safety training – there are training courses through OSHA on the safety guidelines required. Once you complete these course, you’ll receive a completion card.
  • Licensing – some states require solar workers to receive a solar-specific license. Determine whether or not your state has this requirement.
  • Choose the faction of solar energy you’re interested in – from installation to project development, from sales to manufacturing there are many different areas of the solar industry. Determine which area you are qualified to work in, or the training you need to achieve your desired position.
  • North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners – this is a certification open to solar PV installers which can give you the additional training you need.


Whether or not you’re a vet, you can join the fastest growing job segment in today’s economy. No matter what part of the solar industry you choose to join, you can take advantage of government programs to learn and succeed.

3 Things to Consider When Choosing Solar

3 Things to Consider When Choosing Solar

Choosing to go solar for your home and business can bring many benefits, not only to you but to the environment as well. While going solar may seem as simple as installing solar panels to your home, there is much more to it. Understanding these three things before investing in solar panels will help give you a better idea of your solar panels and what you need to get the greatest benefit from them.


1. Calculate Your Energy Use


Without an understanding of how much energy your home uses every month, you don’t really know what solar panel requirements you need. Energy usage may be different depending on the season, but you can factor an average for your home. Take this into account when considering the solar panels you need.


Rather than just calculating your current energy use, take into account what it will be down the road as well. Whether that is having children, older children moving out, or upgrading to energy efficient appliances in your home. Each of these factors can influence your energy needs and can determine what solar panels you require.


2. The Pitch and Materials of Your Roof


Solar panel mounting needs will depend partially on the structure of your roof. Before investing in solar panels, first check your roof. Determine what type of solar racking system your home needs. Take into consideration:


  • How old your roof is – if it is falling apart, it may be time to replace this first before solar panel installation
  • The angle – roofs without much of an angle may require a tilt frame, which angles the solar panel towards the sun to increase efficiency
  • The strength – if your roof isn’t very sturdy, it may require additional reinforcements before solar panels can be installed


Take these factors into consideration before installing solar panels on your home.


3. Solar Panel Location on the Roof


Photovoltaic Solar Panels on tiled roofA big thing to consider is where exactly the solar panel will be installed on your roof. In an ideal situation, the solar panel would be on the south facing part of the roof to gain the most sunlight. When this isn’t possible, there are ways to adjust the solar racking systems to get the optimal amount of light.


Even areas that often have clouds can take advantage of solar panels. WIth the right angle, you can gain the most advantage from your solar panels, ensuring your energy costs are cut significantly.


Solar panels can be a great addition to your home, but make sure you think through the logistics first. Make an effort to understand what you need before installing solar panels to ensure you will see the most benefit from the addition.