The past decade has witnessed astounding growth in the U.S. solar industry, but a few key states have led the way. Many stakeholders are aware that sunny West Coast states like California and Arizona are winners for solar power but somewhat under the radar is Nevada – the 4th biggest state in the U.S. in terms of installed capacity as well as solar job creation. Nearly ten percent of the state’s electricity comes from solar power and nearly half a million homes are running on solar in 2017. Las Vegas is also shining in terms of the top cities for solar in the U.S. In this article we’ll explain why Las Vegas is one of the best places to go solar in 2017 and what you can expect a solar panel system to cost.
In 2016, solar panel installations grew by 95 percent in the United States, a trend that is expected to continue in 2017. Though there was strong growth in solar nationwide, installations are increasing at an expedited rate in concentrated areas of the country. Washington State has witnessed a 64% decline in solar prices over the past five years and, according to SEIA, is forecasted to see a whopping 278 MW of solar installed over the next five. Seattle is quickly becoming one of the best cities for solar in America thanks to Washington’s great payback incentive and net-metering policy as well as the city of Seattle’s growing market competition.
People often think SRECs and net-metering are the same thing, but really, the comparison is like apples to oranges. It’s true that they are both important to getting the best financial results from your solar PV system, but SRECs and solar net-metering actually have very different, distinct functions.
SRECs are a way to put cash in your pockets while net-metering is an efficient way to manage the finances related to your utility bill. Both can have positive financial effects and understanding the difference between the two can help you, as the owner of a solar PV system, to maximize the benefits of both. Here’s how it all works: Continue reading →
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 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.
For those looking for the most efficient solar panels for their PV system, the first thing you need to know is how to compare efficiency metrics for different manufacturer brands. Simply put, efficiency (expressed as a percentage) quantifies a solar panel’s ability to convert sunlight into electricity. Given the same amount of sunlight shining for the same duration of time on two solar panels with different efficiency ratings, the more efficient panel will produce more electricity than the less efficient panel.
As the race for the most efficient solar panel continues, it’s important to understand how more efficient panels could mean much bigger solar savings for the everyday consumer.
In practical terms, for two solar panels of the same physical size, if one has a 21% efficiency rating and the other has a 14% efficiency rating, the 21% efficient panel will produce 50% more kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity under the same conditions as the 14% efficient panel. Thus, maximizing energy use and bill savings is heavily reliant on top tier solar panel energy efficiency.
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.
LG is well known for its high-quality electronics, and the company’s solar PV products are no different. In fact, LG solar panels appear alongside SunPower and Panasonic in EnergySage’s ranking of the best solar panels currently available to homeowners in the United States. Whether you’re debating the merits of SunPower vs. LG solar panels or simply trying to evaluate your solar PV options, a thorough review of solar panel product specifications is the best way to be confident in your solar investment. EnergySage’s LG solar panels review breaks down all of the details to evaluate how LG compares to other solar panel brands on the market.Continue reading →
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 →
You’ve probably heard about how solar energy can reduce your electricity bills, but how much do solar panels really cost? The easiest way to calculate the average cost of solar panels is to look at its price in dollars per watt, which is relatively consistent across the United States. Continue reading →