Solar system size

Comparing quotes: why are installers proposing different system sizes?

Reading Time: 7 minutes

So you have a few quotes, sit down to evaluate them, and notice something right off the bat: installer A and installer B have proposed different sizes for your solar panel system. Why is this? And how can you truly compare apples-to-apples in this scenario?

In this article, we’ll review why this might happen – and what you can do about it!

Continue reading
Lithium mining

Lithium mining in the United States: why is it so controversial?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Lithium, the lightest element of all the metals, is a crucial resource for the United States’ clean energy future: it’s key in the production of lithium ion rechargeable batteries, which are used to power electric vehicles and serve as home storage systems. While the U.S. is the largest consumer of lithium and will only increase its future consumption as it strives to meet the Biden Administration’s ambitious greenhouse gas emission targets, America’ domestic mining of lithium is limited to just one percent of annual global production.

Currently, only one lithium mine operates in the United States, the Silver Peak mine in Clayton Valley, Nevada; most of the global lithium supply is extracted in Chile and Australia. While some politicians are calling for increased domestic mining of the metal, at the end of May 2021, Reuters reported that the Biden Administration would supply the majority of lithium from ally countries, including Canada, Australia, and Brazil. Though this strategy may seem antithetical to the Administration’s clean energy jobs goals, it comes on the heels of many environmentalists’ concerns over two potential lithium mines in Nevada that could become operational in a few years. In this article, we’ll break down lithium mining and why these two mines are so controversial.   

Continue reading
solar loans

Solar loans: what you need to know

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Want to finance your solar panel installation? Cash purchases and solar leases (or PPAs) aren’t your only options. If you don’t have–or aren’t willing to spend–the capital for a cash purchase but want to maximize the financial benefits of a solar energy system, the solar loan offers the best of both worlds.

Continue reading

Solar loans vs. solar leases

Reading Time: 3 minutes

So you know you want to finance your solar panel system, but one big question remains: should you lease your system from a company, or own your system and finance it with a solar loan? The answer here depends on a few factors, including your preferences, needs, and financial goals. 

Continue reading
buy or lease solar panels

Should you buy or lease your solar panels?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Whether you buy a system or lease it, going solar is one of the best ways to save on electricity bills. That said, the financing option you choose influences a number of factors, including  the costs, maintenance responsibilities, terms, savings, and the return on investment (ROI) of your solar panel system. 

Continue reading
F-150 Lightning

The Ford F-150 Lightning: what you need to know

Reading Time: 5 minutes

For the past 39 years, the iconic Ford F-Series, which primarily includes the F-150, has been the best selling vehicle in the United States, selling just shy of a million vehicles in 2020. As automakers across the U.S. race to electrify their fleets, there’s been one major gap in announcements of new electric vehicles: what would happen with America’s best selling car? In May 2021, Ford put an end to that speculation, launching the new Ford F-150 Lightning. 

While the Lightning won’t be the first electric pick-up truck in the U.S., it may be the most important one. It’s not only a stronger, faster version of the trusted F-150, but by being completely electric, the F-150 Lighting comes with additional features that could attract both new and former F-150 customers. In its first 48 hours of accepting reservations, Ford had almost 45,000 reservations; after a week, this number increased to 70,000. The truck officially goes on sale in 2022. 

Continue reading
Ethical Solar Sourcing

Ethical sourcing of solar components

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The solar industry is very much a part of the global economy: its supply chain traverses countries, oceans and continents, sourcing raw materials from certain regions, manufacturing products in others, and, ultimately, sending solar products to home and business owners everywhere. With how interconnected the solar industry is, it’s important to be cognizant of where and how solar equipment is sourced. In lieu of recent credible reports of human rights abuses and forced labor in parts of China that feed into the solar supply chain, it’s worth looking at how to ensure that the solar equipment you purchase is ethically and sustainably sourced. 

Before digging into this, a quick note: allegations of human rights abuses and other unethical practices are an atypical topic area for us. After all, we write about clean energy, not issues of geopolitical intrigue. But we don’t take these reports of human rights violations and forced labor lightly, and we want to make sure you’re aware of this ongoing investigation and have options to ensure your solar equipment is ethically produced.

Continue reading