Category Archives: EnergySage News

Solar industry news & announcements.

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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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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Solar energy in the NFL in 2017: a solar powered Super Bowl LI

nrg stadium solar panels

There was a time when we asked, “Could the NFL Be Leading the Way in Renewable Energy?” We firmly believe that the more people are exposed to solar and other renewable energies in their daily lives, the more quickly these technologies can become part of the mainstream. Now, six years later, we’re happy to report that there is a definite proliferation of solar power use not only in the NFL, but in Major League Baseball and the NBA as well. More and more teams are recognizing the tremendous potential these systems have to save money, generate positive publicity, and reduce negative environmental impacts. Continue reading

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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The solar revolution is now: Solar energy beating grid electricity on cost

solar fights electric

Still think solar panels are an expensive way to generate electricity? Think again. Solar energy system costs have fallen significantly in recent years, becoming increasingly competitive with power from electric utilities across the US. And as the global solar industry grows, prices look set to fall even further.

According to Deutsche Bank’s 2015 Solar Outlook report, solar energy system costs are likely to drop 40% in the next 4-5 years, in keeping with the steep downwards trend of the past decade. Given that utility electricity rates are only going to continue to rise, this means solar is set to become an increasingly attractive financial option for homes and businesses around the US – and the world.

Another report titled “Renewable Energy Generation Costs in 2014” released in January by the International Renewable Energy Association (IRENA) backs up Deutsche Bank’s conclusions. Like the Deutsche Bank report, IRENA also concludes that falling costs have made solar financially competitive with grid electricity in many parts of the world – including much of the US. The report also shows that there have been dramatic declines in the cost of solar energy systems in the past few years (including a 3/4 drop in the cost of solar panels) – and says that there is still substantial room for further cost reductions as the solar industry expands. Continue reading

New York’s Third Industrial Revolution: State puts focus on distributed energy with Reforming the Energy Vision initiative

new york solar

New York is aiming to fundamentally reshape the way electricity is generated, distributed and marketed in the state. Under Governor Andrew Cuomo, the state government has set out to answer the pressing question of how to bring the state’s electricity system into the 21st century. The Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) initiative is a decision-making process whose proceedings will ultimately result in the overhaul the state’s retail electricity markets – while also finding ways to better integrate renewables and energy efficiency into the system

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Sharing the sun: Community solar gardens taking off around US

community solar gardens enerysage graphic
With strong government incentives and falling equipment costs, going solar has never made more financial sense on such a broad scale. Testament to this is the tremendous increase of the number of American homes & businesses with solar panels on their roofs in recent years. But at the same time, not everyone has a roof of their own, and even those who do might have one that is shaded or otherwise unsuitable for solar. Community-owned solar projects – sometimes called community solar gardens, or shared solar farms – promise a way for the roofless and ‘roof-impaired’ to go solar. Continue reading

SolarCity Gives Up on the MyPower Loan

solarcity gives up on mypower loan

February hasn’t been a great month for SolarCity so far. After reporting their fourth-quarter earnings on the 9th, shares of SCTY dropped nearly 30 percent, leading the New York Times to suggest that the company is “facing a cloudier future.” Now, it appears that SolarCity has stopped offering its MyPower loan product altogether, which it once heralded as “the greatest savings we have to offer” and offering “the perks of ownership, but none of the hassle.” As of Tuesday morning, the product page for the MyPower loan has been taken down from SolarCity’s website (although a cached version remains), and Greentech Media confirmed this morning that the loan has been pulled from the market.

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Utilities can no longer own small-scale solar energy in New York State. What does it mean for you?

The New York Public Services Commission (PSC) has introduced measures to ensure that distributed energy technologies like rooftop solar panels remain affordable for all New Yorkers. As part of the state’s forward-thinking Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) initiative, state utilities will be barred from owning distributed generation equipment (such as your solar panel system). According to Governor Andrew Cuomo, the new rules will empower state residents to take control of their electricity usage – and reduce their power bills.

The key focus of the REV program is to bring New York’s electricity system into the modern era by improving network efficiency and introducing more renewable energy sources. As Governor Cuomo points out in the announcement of the new rule last month, New York’s approach to electricity infrastructure has undergone little change since the first grid was introduced in lower Manhattan back in 1884. “This state is in need of a modern and efficient energy system, and we are proud to take the steps to build a sustainable way to deliver energy to every home in New York,” he said. Continue reading