Author Archives: Luke Tarbi

How many solar panels do I need for my home?

how many solar panels do I need image

Determining the size of your solar energy system starts with a simple question: how many solar panels do I need for my home? As most people want to produce enough energy to completely eliminate their electricity bill, the first step is determining what size solar system will produce enough power to meet your household consumption levels. Ultimately, you will be calculating how many kilowatt hours of power you will need and finding the correct system size and number of panels to power your house.  Continue reading

Tesla solar roof cost vs. solar panels: worth the premium?

tesla solar roof vs solar panels

Tesla recently announced pricing for their new solar roof product, a roof replacement for your home. The new solution requires that you replace your existing roof with Tesla’s blend of non-solar glass tiles and solar-enabled glass tiles. It is an elegant new product, designed with great aesthetics.  But the question is ultimately does installing this new roof make financial sense for your home? After initial analysis, we’ve found that for the majority of homeowners the answer is currently “no”. Just as Tesla’s luxury sports cars are out of reach for most drivers today, Tesla’s new solar roof is simply too expensive for most American homeowners to justify spending their money on.

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How do I choose my solar panels? Guide to choosing your solar equipment

how solar panels connect to the grid EnergySage

Installing a home solar energy system is a smart financial investment for many homeowners. As you evaluate offers from solar companies, there are many different factors to consider – the equipment that you choose for your system, your financing options, and the installer that you select all have an impact on your solar savings. This guide will help you evaluate the different solar panels and inverters available so that you can choose the best equipment for your home.  Continue reading

Solar Panels to Power Grow Lights: How PV Benefits Urban Agriculture

solar grow lights and urban planningWhat does growing cannabis in Colorado, greens in South Korea, and sustaining life in space all have in common? While it may sound like the setup to a bad joke, all three are actually related to the future of modern agriculture. Indoor agriculture enables individuals to control all of the variables that go into farming, but it also means that the farmer has to recreate all of the natural conditions on earth — from the soil in the earth to the sun in the sky. Solar power can and will play a big part in making this all achievable. Continue reading

The cost of electricity by state: which state’s energy prices are rising the fastest?

Measuring_Cost_Of_Energy_BlogSizeDid you know that the electricity rates that your utility charges increase every year?

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), retail residential electricity rates (the amount you pay per kilowatt-hour, or ¢/kWh) have risen across the nation at a rate of about 4% on average over the last 10 years. This rate change can vary significantly based on which state you live.
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What Will a 10,000 Watt (10 kW) Solar System Cost in Your State in 2017?

10kW solar systems EnergySage

10kW solar systems are among the most popular solar energy system sizes in the country, producing enough electricity to power a home with slightly above-average electricity consumption. How much does a 10kW solar system cost? How much electricity will a 10kW solar system produce? How do you know you’re getting the best deal on a system? These are some of the key questions we will answer in this article.

How Much Does a 10kW Solar System Cost?

As of January 2017, the average cost of solar in the U.S. is $3.26 per watt ($32,600 for a 10 kilowatt system). That means that the total cost for a 10kW solar system would be $22,820 after the 30% Federal ITC discount (not factoring in any additional state rebates or incentives).

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Austin Energy net metering: unique policies and solar incentives in Texas

VOST_Austin_blogGoing solar saves you money on your monthly electrical bill. The amount of your savings varies by size and location of the system. But how does it work financially and administratively with your utility? Currently, two types of policy are widely used: the Value of Solar Tariff and Net Metering. The decision of which one to use can be controversial. Continue reading

How much do solar panels cost in Pittsburgh in 2017?

installing solar panels in pittsburgh pennsylvania

The past decade has seen astounding growth in the U.S. solar industry across the board, but a few key states have led the way. Though many stakeholders are aware of the popularity of solar in sunny states like California, Florida and Arizona, very few are aware that Pennsylvania is one of the top states for solar in the country with some of the industry’s best prices. Over 34,000 PA homes are currently powered by solar and the state has witnessed a 64% decline in prices over the past 5 years. In this article we’ll explain what to expect a solar installation to cost in Pittsburgh and offer some advice for solar shoppers in the greater Pittsburgh area.
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How much do solar panels cost in Texas in 2017? Case study, incentives and pricing

solar prices and solar panel installation in texas

Until just recently, Texas was not even among the top 10 states for solar energy, thus many were surprised when the Lone Star State was ranked #3 in the U.S. for solar jobs in 2016. Texas is adopting solar at one of the fastest rates in the country, and for good reason. Prices dropped 20 percent last year, and a number of utilities across the state launched or extended major incentive programs for solar PV systems. In this article we’ll break down Texas solar prices and use a case study to explain how comparison shopping can help homeowners get a better deal.
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What is an SREC? Net metering credits explained

what is an srec graphic People often think SRECs and net-metering are the same thing, but really, the comparison is like apples to oranges. It’s true that they are both important to getting the best financial results from your solar PV system, but SRECs and solar net-metering actually have very different, distinct functions.

SRECs are a way to put cash in your pockets while net-metering is an efficient way to manage the finances related to your utility bill. Both can have positive financial effects and understanding the difference between the two can help you, as the owner of a solar PV system, to maximize the benefits of both. Here’s how it all works: Continue reading