We at EnergySage are very excited to introduce to you our newest online, educational tool: the EnergySage Buyer’s Guide. Launched earlier this month, the Buyer’s Guide is a first-of-its-kind educational tool for researching and comparing different solar equipment. As a part of the product release announcement, we want to provide an explanation of what the Buyer’s Guide is, describe how you can use it, and offer some ways you might find it useful.
What is the Buyer’s Guide?
The EnergySage Buyer’s Guide is a comprehensive, online, publicly available and free-to-use database of all solar equipment: solar panels, solar inverters, and solar batteries. The first-of-its-kind database allows solar shoppers, researchers and solar industry insiders alike to search, filter, sort and compare across all solar panels, inverters, and batteries in the market today.
Shopping for solar is almost always a first-time experience for property owners, meaning there’s a significant information gap between those buying and those selling solar. We built the EnergySage Buyer’s Guide primarily as an educational tool to help better inform solar shoppers in an easy-to-use, accessible, online portal.
How to use the Buyer’s Guide
The Buyer’s Guide is a composite of three different databases, with three different home pages: one for solar panels, one for solar inverters, and one for solar batteries. Each page is dedicated to the individual type of solar equipment while remaining connected to the other pages.
When you reach the home page, there are four different actions you can take:
- Search – using the search bar at the top of the page, you can search for specific products or manufacturers, or for specific characteristics of products. For instance, on the inverters page, you can search for just microinverters or just string inverters.
- Filter – to narrow down the results, you can filter across a wide range of product specifications, from power output to efficiency, from warranty terms to manufacturing location, to even whether the product is active or discontinued.
- Sort – once you’ve narrowed down your list of products, you can sort by a number of key metrics, to surface the most efficient or highest power versions of products from within the list you’ve created.
- Compare – finally, when you’ve found the products that you’d like to compare, check the “Compare” box on each product you’d like to view head-to-head, before clicking the “Compare” box at the bottom of the page. This will bring you to a new view where you can examine the individual characteristics of each product apples-to-apples with other, similar products. This is a great way to spot the small differences between otherwise-similar products.
Where to start with the Buyer’s Guide
If you’re unsure where to begin with the Buyer’s Guide, here are a few ideas for ways to use the Buyer’s Guide to help get you started:
- Compare multiple solar panels with the same rated power: on the home screen for solar panels, filter by rated power or search for a specific wattage (i.e., 350-watt panels) by entering that number in the search bar. From there, filter by active or inactive to get a currently available set of products to compare. Pick as many as you’d like to compare, and see what the technical specification differences are for panels with the same rated power output.
- Tesla vs. other batteries: the Tesla Powerwall may be the most well known residential energy storage system, but they are far from the only product available to solar shoppers looking to add storage as well. Head to the solar batteries page and sort by usable capacity, and pick a few competitors to the Powerwall (and the Powerwall itself!) to compare how the products differ.
- See how the two most quoted inverter brands compare head-to-head: on EnergySage’s Marketplace (and in the American residential sector overall), the inverter market is dominated by two primary companies: SolarEdge and Enphase. On the inverter page, search for specific inverter series from those two manufacturers–the HD Wave series for SolarEdge and the IQ7 plus series for Enphase–and see how they compare. Let us know what questions you have!
These are just a few of the many ways that you can use the Buyer’s Guide. Is there a different way that you’ve found the tool useful? Let us know in the comments below!
Take the next step
If, while perusing the Buyer’s Guide, you find solar equipment that you’d like to learn more about, you can register for a free account on the EnergySage Marketplace in order to receive custom solar quotes from up to seven local solar companies. And if you’re interested in researching the benefits of solar for your property before getting formal quotes, you can plug your address into our other educational, online tool: the Solar Calculator.