Author Archives: EnergySage

solar panel orientation and angle

Solar panel performance: how much does roof orientation and angle matter?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Many people are under the misconception that they can’t install solar panels on their roof for a variety of reasons, whether because of the material, their location, shade, or the dimensions of their roof. Truthfully, there are many factors that make a roof more or less suitable, but while some roof qualities make them a total no-no for installations, others have a minimal impact on a solar panel system investment. In this article, we’ll review two roof factors that impact the performance of solar panels: orientation and tilt.

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types of thin film solar panels

Types of thin-film solar panels

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Have you ever come across “flexible solar panels,” or “stick-on solar panels”? Both fit under the wider umbrella of thin-film solar panels, which is a type of solar panel technology known for being lightweight. Compared to traditional solar panel cells, thin-film solar panels are made up of electricity-producing layers that are hundreds of times thinner than typical silicon cells. 

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trees shading solar panels

Should you cut down trees to go solar?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

When we talk about the environmental benefits of solar power, we often compare the overall carbon offset of a solar panel system to the environmental impact of planting trees. Ironically, maximizing the benefits of solar power may mean cutting down a tree or two prior to installation.  It’s a difficult truth, but unfortunately, solar power and trees don’t really get along. Branches and leaves can block sunlight from hitting your roof, which means your solar panels aren’t generating as much clean electricity as they could otherwise be in a sunny area.

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top solar panel companies and manufacturers

What are the top solar panel companies & manufacturers?

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Who are the top solar companies in the world and in the USA? Industry analysts from SPV, SEIA and other organizations offer their top rankings, based on updated shipping forecasts from each of the companies included. *Note: if you are looking for information about the Trump Administration’s tariff on U.S. solar panel imports, read our complete analysis here.

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6kw solar energy system

How much does a 6,000 watt (6kW) solar system cost in 2020?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

If you’ve been looking into going solar, you’ve probably at some point seen quotes for a 6kW solar system. 6kW solar systems are one of the most popular system sizes in the US because in most places they will produce about the right amount of electricity to meet an average household’s daily electrical needs.

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compare quotes in massachusetts with energysage graphic

Compare solar panel prices in Massachusetts: how to get the best deal

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Its a great time for consumers considering installing solar panel systems in Massachusetts.  Solar PV system prices fell over 64% during a recent 5 year span. It’s figures like this that have analysts from Deutsche Bank reporting that solar is well on its way to beating conventional generation technologies on cost.

In line with this trend, prices for solar panels in Massachusetts are also on the decline. But how can residents of the Bay State make sure that they’re not paying last year’s prices? We’ve identified three things shoppers can do to make sure they get a good deal based on some analysis of price figures from across the state (summarized in the chart below).

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Solar Cost Terminology: Cost Per Watt, $/W and LCOE

Reading Time: 6 minutes

What should you look at to determine if you’re getting a good deal on solar? There are lots of things to pay attention to when deciding on a solar energy system; but two of the most useful metrics for evaluating the cost and value of a solar power offer are price per watt, measured in dollars per watt of energy ($/W), and ‘levelized cost of energy’ (LCOE).

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electricity rates and solar cost trends

Is residential electricity price going up or down?

Reading Time: 8 minutes

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.

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compare top solar lease companies

Compare the top solar lease companies: Sunrun vs SolarCity, Vivint, SunPower & Clean Power Finance

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Who are the top solar leasing companies in the country, and how do they differ in structure and business model? This article aims to answer these questions, examining some of the biggest solar lease providers in the US – SolarCity, Vivint SolarSunrun,  SunPower and Clean Power Finance.

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