Category Archives: EnergySage

Articles & advice from EnergySage about solar power and other clean energy systems for your home, business or non-profit.

Top Community Solar States: Minnesota vs California vs Colorado Community Solar

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 and California – the undisputed best states for community solar – will drive the majority of that growth. You might wonder, why are these states so ideal for roofless solar compared to the 47 others in the U.S.? Here’s how these community solar leaders rose to the top.

Continue reading

Key metrics for comparing solar panels: PTC solar, STC rating and temperature coefficient

So you’ve made the decision to go solar. Well done! If designed right, a solar power system is a great, long-term investment with both financial and environmental benefits.

Choosing the right solar panels is one of the most important steps in designing your solar power system. There are hundreds of options, and while all panels are designed for one purpose – to convert sunlight directly into electricity, not all panels are created equal. Different solar cell technologies and the quality of manufacturing can impact the performance of ysolar panel quality and performance energysageour panels. For these reasons, comparing solar panels and finding the right one to meet your specific system needs can sometimes be a complicated task; but, it doesn’t need to be.

In this article we’ll explain important metrics like PTC power rating, STC, degradation rate, efficiency and temperature coefficient.
Continue reading

Clean Energy Examples: What are the Main Types of Clean Renewable Energy?

types of clean energy sources
With a number of similar terms in the world of renewables, many are wondering what is clean energy and what are the sources associated with it? Understanding the line between dirty energy and clean energy can be more complicated than one might think and our research shows that one of the roadblocks that discourages people from purchasing clean energy systems is the combination of too many options and too little information. To help clear the way forward for everyone, we’ve created the following simple, top-line primer to lay the foundation for learning more about clean energy options that are available to you.
Continue reading

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

SolarCity Complaints: What America’s Homeowners Think About Its Top Installer

top solarcity complaints and issues graphics

If you’ve considered installing solar panels in the United States in the past decade, chances are you’ve heard the name “SolarCity” a few times. With its recognizable sun icon slated next to a catchy phrase in bold, the U.S. green giant has made a name for itself in the residential solar market, and is widely considered the country’s top installer for the past three years.

Continue reading

How solar panel cost and efficiency have changed over time

solar panel cost and efficiency over time

Solar panel technology has been around in some form for a long time – Bell Labs invented the first useful solar cell more than 60 years ago, and scientists have known for centuries that the sun can be used to produce energy. However, it’s only in the last ten years or so that solar photovoltaics (PV) has really taken off as a renewable energy source. There are two major factors influencing the technology’s growth: the steady improvement of both solar panel cost and solar panel efficiency over time.  Continue reading

Tesla Energy: Has Elon Musk invented the first clean power utility?

tesla energy

Tesla Motors was once a company that sold solely luxury electric cars, but its founder has set his sights on the creation of a full-throttle home energy solution. The company’s expansion into energy storage and solar power has been heralded by the unveiling of a new division: Tesla Energy.

Continue reading

Congress extends solar tax credit – everything you need to know about the federal ITC

federal solar tax credit itc extension

Congress has voted to extend the solar tax credit for homeowners through 2021.

Homeowners, solar companies, and industry advocates alike were given a big Christmas gift in 2015 when Congress approved the 2016 federal spending bill and extended the solar panel tax credit. The December 18 bill contained a 5-year solar tax credit extension, which makes solar more affordable for all Americans. Wondering how this impacts you? EnergySage has the answers.

Continue reading

Solar panels for schools: how much are the costs and benefits of solar for k-12s and universities?

solar panels for schools

As solar has entered the mainstream in the past decade, corporations and institutions with massive energy bills have started to realize how much money they can save by switching to solar power. There’s already a strong case for residential rooftop solar, but you can make an even more convincing argument for solar in the commercial sector where prices are lower and overall savings can be dramatic. In this article, we’ll focus on schools and universities, explain why many educational institutions across the country are installing solar, how much solar costs for schools and detail how the process works.

Continue reading

Does my solar roof have to face south?

You don’t need optimal conditions for your solar power system to be a great investment. One of the biggest myths about the financial viability of solar is that it requires a really sunny location and a south facing roof. While these may be ideal conditions, folks outside of Southern California with roofs that face other points on the compass, such as east to west-facing roofs, can still satisfy most of their electricity needs and reap significant financial returns when they adopt solar power systems.

Continue reading