SEPT. 21, 2012
FALL HOME & GARDEN SPECIAL SECTION
Solar panels â€˜more affordable than ever,â€™ company says Most people know that solar panels are good for the environment and could help relieve political tensions. But Leo Bautista, owner of Smart Energy USA, said thereâ€™s an even better, less talked about reason to use solar panels â€” they save money. â€œThe cost of solar has plunged in the last year,â€? Bautista said. â€œWeâ€™re at the point where your bill will be cheaper if you use solar.â€? Solar Panels traditionally required a high initial investment. However today, Smart Energy USA offers solar panels with no upfront cost or initial investment. Homeowners are taking advantage of this affordable option to go solar and are seeing energy saving results from day one. With utilities increasing as much as six percent a year, solar panels are financially
Most people know that solar panels are good for the environment and could help relieve political tensions. But Leo Bautista, owner of Smart Energy USA, said thereâ€™s an even better, less talked about reason to use solar panels â€” they save money. Courtesy photo
sound, Bautista said. Also, because San Diego receives year-round sunshine, itâ€™s an ideal place for solar panels, Bautista said. Smart Energy USA,
which has an â€œA+â€? grade with the Better Business Bureau, has installed and serviced solar panels at more than 5,000 homes. Bautista said his business offers free cost estimates to
those who are interested in solar. â€œOur trained solar consultants will tell you the price and size of the equipment your home will need,â€? Bautista said.
Smart Energy USA exclusively uses a solar panel made by SunPower that currently holds the record for efficiency in the Guinness Book of World Records. Compared with
competing solar panels, SunPower panels produce 30 to 50 percent more power. â€œSolar is taking off,â€? Bautista said. â€œAnd weâ€™re committed to bringing it to more homes.â€?
Pools can transform ordinary home into a â€˜palaceâ€™ There is no luxury like having a beautiful backyard to make the most of Southern Californiaâ€™s outdoor living, and Bart Jacobs of La Jolla Pools knows how to deliver that from the first spadeful of dirt to a complete remodel and update. The San Diego native took over La Jolla Pools in 2005, bringing a struggling company back to health. His secret was learning the business from the
ground up, working in every aspect, which has given him a real understanding of how to pair a quality product with ongoing, reliable service. â€œI have the same phone number I had 18 years ago, so former clients can call me and discuss any problems they might be having or questions they might have,â€? Jacobs said. â€œI think the success of La Jolla Pools is based on how much time
we put in to make sure things are done right and people are taken care of.â€? Jacobs began his education working in a pool retail store where customers asked every possible question. Next he worked at a wholesale warehouse, where tradesmen shared their knowledge, and then a pool service route taught him the hands-on side of water chemistry and pool
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There is no luxury like having a beautiful backyard to make the most of Southern Californiaâ€™s outdoor living, and Bart Jacobs of La Jolla Pools knows how to deliver that from the first spadeful of dirt to a complete remodel and update. Courtesy photo
equipment. From there, he tackled remodeling and replastering, rounding out his skills. He and his team work to find the pool design that fits a clientâ€™s budget and still makes their pool dreams work. In addition to new pools, Jacobs is seeing a trend in remodeling older pools, taking them right down to their original shell and giving them new, energy-efficient plumbing, equipment, stone, tile and special features, like a shallow shelf for the children. â€œOne of our top goals is to make pools so much more energy efficient,â€? Jacobs said. â€œWith todayâ€™s technology, clients can save between 50 to 90 percent on their previous pool power bill.â€? We specialize in making sure the plumbing is larger which makes it more energy efficient, coupled with todayâ€™s more efficient pumps. The advent of ozone systems also add to that
package. Any increased cost in installation and equipment is paid for within the first year in lowered energy costs. Joined with solar panels for water heating, owners extend their swimming season and â€œwe feel like we are making the most of energy technology and being kind to the planet.â€? Jacobs makes sure he is personally involved in every project, keeping the volume of jobs at a level that delivers real quality. â€œWe make sure to form a partnership with every client. It is never us-versusthem. We offer the longest warranties of anyone around, because we are confident in our work and do things right. Our clients are able to have the original person deal with any followup.â€? Another point of pride is that almost all the work is handled in-house, with almost nothing subcontracted out. â€œWhen we do subcontract any task, we know
our craftsmen and keep a close eye on the work.â€? La Jolla Pools also offer a staff designer, Jim Bellamy, who is a master of three-dimensional computer design. His goal is to make the entire backyard design mesh with the style of the home so the outdoors easily flow from the indoors. Another current trend is toward the vanishingedge pools that turn an ordinary backyard pool into an artistic water feature. â€œWe have the technology now to have pools that disappear off all sides, creating a reflecting pool that adds a visually stunning element to any yard,â€? Jacobs pointed out. â€œI tell our customers that once we have their system installed and working properly, I will drink the water from their pool before I would drink it from the tap.â€? Contact Jacobs and La Jolla Pools at (858) 4834500 or email email@example.com.
Published on Sep 21, 2012