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.
Tim Cherry has been thinking about going solar for a long time. For the past forty years he’s been contemplating putting panels on the buildings on his 75 acre farm near Nacogdoches, Texas. But Tim wasn’t able to find an installer that he felt comfortable with, and he wasn’t sure about the price, until he got the information he needed on the EnergySage Marketplace. Continue reading →
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 →
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.
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
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 →
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.
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 →