Category Archives: Residential (Property Type)

Advice about going solar for residential properties and homes.

What happens if your tax liability is too small to claim the Investment Tax Credit for solar?

investment tax credit

The Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is a generous incentive from the federal government. It was put in place to encourage uptake of solar energy and other renewable energy systems in 2006. It has been tremendously successful in this goal: the number of solar installations in the US has increased 1,600% since the ITC was introduced.

Many EnergySage customers quickly understand the potential benefits of the ITC, but have questions when it comes to the particulars of how it operates. Frequently, we field questions about whether or not they can claim the ITC at all, and when and how it can be applied to their tax bills. 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.

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The Pros and Cons of DIY Solar in 2017

DIY solar panels graphic energysage

Solar is a trendy thing in 2017 and many adventurous homeowners are beginning to wonder about “diy solar panels” – the concept of building a solar panel system by yourself. Of course, there’s a lot involved in a solar installation and there’s a right and a wrong scenario for do-it-yourself solar projects.

Going solar has major financial benefits: it reduces your monthly electricity costs and can even increase the value of your home. Incentives like the federal tax credit for solar can reduce your net cost by 30 percent or more, but solar is still a big investment, and the price tag can result in sticker shock. To save money, it’s no surprise that many homeowners are considering DIY. Below, we break down the top pros and cons that you need to know about do it yourself solar energy before making a decision as well as the DIY solar process.

The 5 step process to DIY solar panels

  1. Design and size your system based on energy needs
  2. Purchase your solar equipment (solar panels, inverters, racking)
  3. Install the racking or mounts for the panels
  4. Connect the solar panels to your racking equipment
  5. Install a solar inverter

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How to build your own solar panel system

build your own solar panels EnergySage

When you install solar panels, your home produces its own clean, zero-emissions electricity. If you’re DIY-minded, you can build your own solar power system. In some cases, you can even build your own solar panels, although the amount that you can effectively DIY home solar depends on how much you want to power.

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Is residential electricity price going up or down?

electricity rates and solar cost trends graphic

What You Should Know About Solar Energy: Costs Are Going Down

If you’re considering whether going solar is a worthwhile financial move for your home, there are essentially two factors that you should look at: 1) the costs associated with solar power, and 2) the rates you pay for electricity from your utility. Going solar makes economic sense when solar electricity costs less than grid electricity.

As for solar, it is clear that costs are coming down. Rooftop solar panels are now more affordable and accessible than ever. This is why more and more households are having solar energy systems installed: going solar is a great way to reduce your power bills.

But what about the future cost of grid electricity? If electricity rates are going up, then of course going solar makes sense. As you’re probably aware, however, utility electricity rates fluctuate seasonally and annually. “What if utility electricity rates go down instead of up?” you might be asking yourself. Would it still be worth it for you to go solar? This article seeks to address this question and put to rest any idea that grid electricity rates could be going down. Continue reading

Do Solar Panels Cool or Heat Your Roof?

Solar panels don’t just power your AC on blisteringly hot summer days – they also take over some of the AC’s work themselves. This is according to a study from researchers at the University of California at San Diego, which says that rooftop solar panels not only produce emissions-free electricity, but also cool roofs and buildings to which they are attached. This lowers cooling costs, and offers an additional benefit of going solar. Continue reading

How is solar energy used? The 5 most common examples of solar power

the most common solar energy uses energysage

With so many different gadgets and technologies that could leverage solar power in the modern era, many are wondering “how is solar energy used?” Whether it’s powering renewable transportation or charging a wireless speaker, the list of examples of solar energy is endless, leaving many homeowners wondering how far they can really go when they decide to “go solar.”

What is solar energy used for?

Solar energy uses captured sunlight to create photovoltaic power (PV) or concentrated solar power (CSP) for solar heating. This energy conversion allows solar to be used to power auto motives, lights, pools, heaters and gadgets.

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New Report Says Solar Panels Increase Home Value

Solar increases property value graphic EnergySage

Installing solar panels can significantly increase your property’s value, according to a new study from the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBL). The report, titled “Selling into the sun: Price premium analysis of a multi-state dataset of solar homes“, builds on previous research which concluded that homes with solar panels in California sold for more than those without.

Do solar panels add value to a house?

In addition to California, the new study investigates home pricing trends Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, Maryland, North Carolina, New York and Pennsylvania by analyzing the sales of over 20,000 homes in these states. LBL’s analysis of the housing markets in these other states shows that the premium paid for homes with solar is not a phenomenon isolated to the Golden State. The clear takeaway: solar panels really do add value to a home.

If you are thinking about purchasing a solar system for your home, the study’s conclusions should give you a boost of confidence that you are making a smart investment. LBL finds that homes with solar panels will benefit from a ‘solar premium’ when they are sold because buyers are willing to pay more for a home with solar panels. Continue reading

Solar metal roofs 2017: top 5 things you need to know

solar on metal roof

Metal roofs are light, durable, and often made of eco-friendly recycled materials, so it’s no wonder that installing solar on metal roofs is an increasingly popular topic among homeowners. If you fall into this category, the good news is that metal is one of the best roof materials for solar panels. Ease of installation, durability, and environmental benefits are just three of the reasons to consider putting solar panels on a metal roof. Here are the top 5 things to consider if you want to install solar on a metal roof:

  1. It’s easy to mount solar panels on a metal roof
  2. Solar metal roofs can host thin film panels and standard PV panels
  3. Metal roofs are durable and can outlive your solar panels
  4. Solar panels can increase the cooling benefits of a metal roof
  5. Metal roofs and solar panels generate an eco-friendly home

Read on for a more in-depth explanation of all of these topics.

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Solar panels on condo roof: a how-to guide

solar for condos

There are many reasons to go solar. A solar panel system is a smart investment that can reduce electricity costs, increase the value of your property, and reduce the environmental impact of your electricity use. Luckily, solar power isn’t just for single-family homes – you can make the transition to solar even if you live in a condo association.

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