Tag Archives: Mother Earth News

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.

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. read more

How long do solar panels last?

One of the most common questions we hear from homeowners considering a solar panel installation is, “how long will my solar panels last?” It’s hard to make sense of the upfront cost of going solar without knowing how long you can expect that small power plant on your roof to produce ample energy. Your solar panels will be able to offset your electricity use for decades, but it is also important to understand industry projections and degradation rate. In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know about solar panel lifespan.  read more

How to Calculate Solar Panel Payback Period (ROI)

Understanding the solar panel payback period

The financial benefits of going solar are now well documented. Solar panel systems actually function as investments with strong rates of return, and homeowners generating solar electricity can avoid paying increased utility rates by eliminating their electricity bills. According to a 2015 report by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, installing solar panels on your home can even increase your property values. If you’re reviewing multiple quotes, there are plenty of metrics that can help you make a decision about which solar option is best for you, but studies show most solar shoppers rely on one metric in particular: the solar panel payback period or break-even point. read more

Community Solar: How to Go Solar Without Rooftop Panels

community solar projects for your home

Solar adoption is surging across the U.S., and it isn’t just limited to rooftop solar. The newest innovation in the solar industry: community solar, which offers many of the benefits of a home solar energy system without the need to install solar panels on your roof. To understand whether community solar is right for you, you’ll need to learn about the process and technology, when you should consider it, and how you can find local community solar projects near you. 

The Most Important Warranties For Your Solar Installation

most important solar warranties

Choosing the right equipment for your solar panel system, and the right company to install it, are both crucial decisions to a successful home solar installation. Solar energy systems come with multiple warranties that apply to different parts of the installation, and trying to keep track of them all can get confusing. Here’s a simple guide to the different warranties for your solar energy system, and which ones you should really pay attention to.

Best Solar Incentives: the Top 5 Cities for Solar

The benefits of owning a solar energy system significantly increase when you take advantage of available rebates, tax credits and incentives. This is because these incentives will reduce your upfront installation costs, and as a result accelerate your payback period – paying less up front means breaking even more quickly. These programs can reduce the upfront costs of your system by 30 to 50 percent, but vary state-by-state as well as city-by-city. Read on to see if your city is one of the top 5 cities that incentivize solar! read more

Solar Can Increase Your Home Value: Here’s How

Solar and home values EnergySage

If you own your home, you’ve probably heard that going solar can help you reduce your electric bill, delivering major savings over the 20+ years that your solar panels produce electricity. You may have also heard that installing a solar energy system on your roof can increase the value of your home – but by how much? It’s time to get past the sales pitch and understand exactly what solar companies mean when they say that your home value increases when you install solar.

Solar Power as a Home Improvement Strategy

solar panels increase home value EnergySage

When you make improvements to your home, it’s smart to take into consideration how they will impact your home’s value. The conventional wisdom from HGTV and home improvement magazines is that updating your kitchen, renovating your bathroom, or building an addition are the smartest ways to increase the value of your property. But there’s another home improvement that you may not realize adds to your property’s value: installing a solar energy system on your roof.

Why You Should Combine Eco Friendly Homes with Solar Panels

Pairing energy efficiency and solar panels

There’s a reason why home energy efficiency measures are referred to as the “low-hanging fruit” of home energy upgrades. Achieving an eco friendly house can be as simple as swapping out incandescent light bulbs for LEDs or installing a programmable thermostat that only heats or cools your home when you’re there to enjoy it. Simple energy efficiency measures are one of the easiest ways to make an investment in your home and reduce your home energy costs – but they will only take you so far. read more