Comparing the Top Solar Panel Brands: SunPower vs LG, Panasonic, Canadian Solar, SolarWorld and Suniva

comparing the top solar manufacturers

When it comes to residential solar panel manufacturers, there is no shortage of options for homeowners in 2016. Solar panel technology is improving every year, and many solar panel companies offer products that boast both high conversion efficiency numbers as well as impressive long-term warranties. SunPower is the leader with regard to efficiency across the board, but companies like SolarWorld and Suniva offer much more appealing prices. How do the top manufacturers stack up? We’ll help you compare and contrast your options among the industry leaders – SunPower, Panasonic, Canadian Solar, SolarWorld, LG and Suniva.

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Are Community Solar Gardens Right For You?

Community solar gardens EnergySage

Community solar gardens, also known as “roofless solar,” “shared solar,” or simply “community solar”, are one of this year’s most exciting solar developments. While solar gardens are only available in certain areas, many states are considering regulations that will enable community shared solar options across the country. Homeowners, businesses and utilities are all excited about solar gardens, because you can support a specific solar project and see noticeable electric bill savings without hosting solar panels on your own property.

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Solar Panel Technology: Learn about Advances in Solar Energy

latest advances in solar panel technology graphic

Solar power has been in a constant state of innovation in 2016, with new advances in solar panel technology announced almost every week. In the past year alone, there have been milestones in solar efficiency, solar energy storage, wearable solar technology and solar design tech. Read on to get the complete update on all the breakthroughs you should know about in the world of solar panel technology.

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Will Tesla’s Solar Panel Roof Be the Next Solar Shingles?

Tesla solar roof tiles

If you’ve found it difficult to stay up to date on the future of Tesla Motors and SolarCity in recent weeks, you are not alone. Numerous industries (solar, electric vehicles, and ridesharing, to name a few) worldwide are starting to feel the impact of a merger that could significantly alter growth plans for manufacturers and executives across the globe. 

We’ve already heard about Tesla’s plans for total clean energy integration – a one step carbon reduction process that involves pairing solar panels with your Tesla electric vehicle. Now for the latest: thanks to a surprise appearance of Chairman Elon Musk in SolarCity’s 2nd quarter earnings call, we’ve learned that the company has set its sights on a roofing metamorphosis that will reinvent how we think about solar installation. Building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) are going to be a part of SolarCity’s – or should we say Tesla’s? – future.

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Solar on Flat Roofs: Top 3 Things You Need to Know

solar on a flat roof EnergySage

Solar is a smart energy decision for homes and businesses with flat roofs, but there are a few considerations you’ll need to keep in mind as you go through the installation process. Here are the top three things that you need to know if you want to install solar panels on a flat roof:

Key considerations for solar on flat roofs

  1. Flat roofs are an ideal location for solar panels
  2. Flat roof solar often costs less than standard installations on sloped roofs
  3. Flat roof solar panels can be installed to maximize electricity production

 Read on for EnergySage’s in-depth explanation of each of these topics.
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Solar News: Solar Tracking Gains Huge Popularity, Tesla/SolarCity Decision Expected on November 18th

solar panel tracking mount

This ground mount solar installation has tracking capability that allows it to track the sun as it moves during the day.

The past week in the solar industry, like many that came before it, can only be described with one word: optimistic. A promising emissions report thanks to significant growth from solar and wind, growing customer preference for tracking systems that improve the efficiency of solar systems, and a new community solar program in Missouri are three bright headlines we’re talking about from this week’s Solar Energy News report.

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Mass Save: Save Money on Energy Efficiency in MA

mass save energy efficiency program review

The Mass Save program is Massachusetts’ all-encompassing energy efficiency program, and is sponsored by both your electric utility and energy efficiency providers. The program is available to renters, homeowners, and businesses across Massachusetts. Here’s the complete breakdown of all the different measures that you can take to reduce your energy use and resultant utility bills through the Mass Save program.
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Comparing the Top Community Solar States: Minnesota, California, Massachusetts and Colorado

comparing the top states for community solar graphic

Community solar – the concept of leasing or owning a share of a large solar array rather than having a personal solar installation on your rooftop – continues to gain popularity across the continental United States. According to the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA), there will be a 1.8 gigawatt (GW) increase in installed photovoltaics from community solar arrays over the next five years.  Minnesota, Colorado, California and Massachusetts – the undisputed best states for community solar – will drive the majority of that growth. You might wonder, why are these four states so ideal for roofless solar compared to the 46 others in the U.S.? Here’s how these community solar leaders rose to the top.

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Community Solar: How to Go Solar Without Rooftop Panels

community solar projects for your home

Solar adoption is surging across the U.S., and it isn’t just limited to rooftop solar. The newest innovation in the solar industry: community solar, which offers many of the benefits of a home solar energy system without the need to install solar panels on your roof. To understand whether community solar is right for you, you’ll need to learn about the process and technology, when you should consider it, and how you can find local community solar projects near you.  Continue reading

What is the Average Cost of Solar Panels in the U.S.?

average solar panel cost in the u.s. energysage You’ve probably heard about how solar energy can reduce your electricity bills, but how much do solar panels really cost? The easiest way to calculate the average cost of solar panels is to look at its price in dollars per watt, which is relatively consistent across the United States.

How Much Do Solar Panels Cost?

As of early 2016, most U.S homeowners are paying $3 to $4 per watt to install a solar panel system, and the average cost per watt in the U.S. is $3.57 per watt. Using the national average for pv system size at 5 kW (or 5000 watts), the average cost of solar: $12,500 (after the Federal ITC discount).

That’s 12 percent lower than it was a year ago, and solar panel system costs are continuing to fall. However, to really understand what a single solar panel will cost and what a complete solar system will cost, it’s important to compare prices quoted to homeowners in your area – total costs can vary depending on the state that you live in.

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