Category Archives: Residential (Property Type)

Advice about going solar for residential properties and homes.

Pros and Cons of DIY Solar Panel Installation

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.


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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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Solar Panels and Electric Cars: Can I Use Solar as an EV charger?

solar panel charging electric car battery on EnergySage

Solar panels and electric cars are a match made in heaven ­– when you install a solar energy system on your home, you can use it to both power your home and charge your electric car for emissions-free transportation. The cost of solar is falling rapidly, and companies from Tesla to Nissan are manufacturing electric cars for your daily use. Now, the ability to install a solar PV system large enough to power both your home and your car is an option within reach. But even with incentives and rebates available for both technologies, most homeowners still can’t afford to install solar and buy an electric car at the same time. Luckily, it’s easy to install a solar energy system today that takes your future electricity consumption into account, if you take a few additional factors into consideration.

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Consumer Reports reviews solar panels, declares, “Never Been a Better Time to Switch to Solar”

solar panel consumer reports

Solar is no longer the uncommon renewable energy it once was. Today, trusted review organization Consumer reports is offering its insight about the best solar companies and best ways for consumers to install solar panels.This year, the millionth home solar panel system was installed in the United States. If you had any doubts about whether solar is now in the mainstream, Consumer Reports’ recent guide around the best way to go solar should erase them. In its August 2016 issue, the industry-leading nonprofit magazine declares, “There has probably never been a better time to switch to solar” – and suggests that U.S. homeowners use EnergySage’s Solar Calculator to determine whether solar makes sense for their homes.

The research team at Consumer Reports took on the entire solar shopping process, covering topics from equipment to financing to evaluating the installer you choose to build your solar energy system.

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