Author Archives: Casey McDevitt

About Casey McDevitt

Casey is an EnergySage writer covering solar, community solar, and sustainability. She is passionate about making clean energy more accessible to everyone and has worked in clean energy communications since graduating from the University of New Hampshire with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration.

expanding solar markets

Where are solar markets expanding?

With global markets that span across various industries, solar power is one of the fastest-growing energy sources. Certain countries and states, like China and California, have dominated the solar industry for years. But, between net-zero carbon emission goals and various climate policies, solar markets around the world are growing. In this article, we break down the countries, U.S. states, and solar market segments that are expanding. 

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sustainable solar

Most sustainable solar companies

Solar energy is an emission-free alternative to traditional power production and undoubtedly lessens our reliance on fossil fuels – but there’s still room for improvement to make solar even sustainable. As the solar industry continues to mature, more and more companies are entering the booming market. But, just like any other company, solar companies are ultimately trying to turn a profit. So, how much do they value sustainability? And what are some solar companies doing to better the industry? In this article, we highlight a few companies that prioritize sustainability in their solar energy endeavors. 

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net billing

Net metering vs. net billing: what to know about solar production compensation

In a perfect world, your home’s solar system would precisely meet your electricity demands – nothing more and nothing less. In reality, there will be days when your panels produce more electricity than you use (sunny summer days), and days when they won’t produce enough (shorter, cloudier days and nights). When this happens, net metering and net billing allow you to essentially use the grid as storage; excess energy produced by your panels transfers to the grid in exchange for credits. In times when your solar system isn’t able to meet your energy needs and you need to pull electricity from the grid, you can use these credits to compensate.

In this article, we explain the difference between net metering and net billing compensation structures, different types of net metering and net billing, and where these programs are being offered across the country. 

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guaranteed production for solar

What is guaranteed production for solar?

Declining costs and increasing incentives make a solar investment extremely valuable – but the price tag certainly isn’t low. When shopping for solar, also known as a photovoltaic (PV) system, you want to ensure you’ll get your money’s worth. So, it’s important to understand the lifetime of the equipment and its expected energy production. Many solar installers will guarantee a certain amount of electricity production to provide peace of mind when installing a PV system. In this article, we break down solar power production guarantees, what happens when a system’s production doesn’t match the amount of power guaranteed, and why some solar companies don’t offer this for home solar panel systems

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What to know about Illinois’ SREC program

The best states for a home solar energy system aren’t always the sunniest; those who benefit the most from installing a solar photovoltaic (PV) system for their home spend a lot of money on electricity and live in a state with good solar programs and incentives.

Illinois may not have the year-round sunshine of the Southwest, but it does have a great solar power market because of the available financial incentives. In addition to the 30 percent federal solar tax credit (aka investment tax credit or ITC) for solar system owners, Illinois residents can receive additional financial benefits through the state’s solar renewable energy credits (SREC) market.

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HOAs and solar

Installing home solar panels with an HOA

Homeowners’ Associations (HOAs) exist to protect the property values of the homes within the association. To achieve this goal, HOAs sometimes restrict the renovations and alterations homeowners are “allowed” to do to their homes – including solar installations. As a homeowner, you may be ready to take advantage of the benefits of solar energy, but if you have an HOA for your property you’ll probably need to get their permission first. 

Fortunately, solar access is becoming increasingly protected by states and local governments across the country. In this article, we break down solar access rights, where those rights are protected, and how to work with your HOA to install solar panels on your property.

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how to pay for your EV

How to pay for your EV

Shopping for an electric vehicle (EV) is similar to shopping for a conventional car in many ways. There are various options to pay for your EV and, like gas-powered vehicles, many pros and cons of leasing or buying a car remain true for EVs. However, there are a few additional factors to consider when purchasing an EV. In this article, we compare buying and leasing EVs, break down EV financing, and explain how incentive programs can factor into your savings. 

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heat pumps vs. furnace

Comparing heat pumps vs. furnaces

Your heating system is a central part of your home’s safety and security, so it’s important to invest in a quality system you’re confident in. Heat pumps continue to rise in popularity due to their efficient, cost-effective, and comfortable heating and cooling solutions. But, how do heat pumps compare to furnaces? Can they really keep a home warm during the coldest months? In this article, we compare the upfront costs, efficiency, maintenance requirements, and lifetimes of heat pumps and furnaces to help you better understand your options when browsing for your next heating system (that you’ll likely spend a couple of decades with!). 

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heat pump lifetime

How long do heat pumps last?

Home heating and cooling systems are expensive, so it’s understandable for homeowners to expect this investment to last them through the years. A heat pump offers an efficient, complete heating and cooling solution in one system, whereas conventional HVAC technology requires the purchase of two separate systems, like a furnace and an air conditioner. But, is the lifetime of a heat pump compromised by its dual functionality? How long do heat pumps last? In this article, we help you understand the lifetime of a heat pump and offer tips on how to extend it. 

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air source heat pump vs geothermal heat pump

Air source heat pumps vs. geothermal heat pumps

Did you know that you can both heat your home in the dead of winter and cool things down during the hottest day of the summer using the same system? A heat pump is a highly efficient technology that serves the dual purpose of both heating and cooling spaces. But like other types of thermal technology, there are a variety of heat pumps to consider, and some may be better suited for you depending on your property, preferences, and heating and cooling needs. In this article, we’ll discuss the major differences between the two major types of heat pumps: air source heat pumps and ground source or geothermal heat pumps.

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