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Energy-Efficient Upgrades for Your Home: An Interview with John Leonard of Emerald Energy

By John Leonard

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

Emerald Energy is a North Carolina licensed general contractor that you can trust to provide you with the most effective energy saving solutions and building practices for your home or business. We want to provide all of our customers with the best products and services available, and really promote green building and renewable energy! Our services include both grid tied and batter back up solar PV systems (electricity producing), solar water heating, solar pool heating, solar attic fan, attic air sealing and insulation, sealed crawl spaces, gutters, and several other general contracting services.

Can you briefly explain the difference that having a more energy-efficient home can make?

Having a more energy-efficient home provides you with a more valuable asset, as well as keeping your monthly expenses down! A more efficient home is a more valuable home. The dollar savings really add up over a short period of time. Those are after tax dollars the homeowner can save!

What are some of the most popular energy-efficient upgrades that homeowners are having installed?

Solar PV (Electricity) is the most popular upgrade that we are seeing right now, due to the huge tax credit savings as well as the quick payback on the systems. 30% Federal and 35% North Carolina, dollar for dollar tax credits. That is 65% of the total system cost! When you add up the tax credits and the energy produced from the solar system, the overall investment makes a lot of sense in a lot of cases.

What are the best renewable energy options to help homeowners save money in the long-run?

Solar PV (Electricity) is here to stay, and will continue to be more relevant in the overall energy grid and everyday use. The systems now have become very affordable, as well as financing options that we can offer. The 30% Federal and 35% state as well as some utility companies offering incentives, really makes solar a great option in renewable energy.

Solar Attic fans coupled with air sealing your attic can really make a huge difference in your attic temperature, and save a lot of money on your energy bills. The solar attic fans also are eligible for both tax credits.

What is one of the easiest ways that homeowners can start saving energy?

One of the most effective ways to start saving energy, is to have your attic air sealed and updated with insulation and/or radiant barrier. These services can quickly begin to save you energy and make your home more comfortable! Some utility companies offer incentives for air sealing and insulation upgrades.

Do you have any advice for people who are interested in energy-efficient upgrades but have a limited budget?

Again, air sealing, insulation upgrades, sealing around windows and doors, and any penetrations into your home or business. By air sealing and adding updated insulation, you can really start saving quickly! After that, start looking into solar or renewable energy.

What's the best way for people to contact you and your company?

The best way to contact us is our phone or website. The phone is 1-855-919-7652 and our website is My email address is

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