In this week’s Solar News Roundup, the state of California will require all new homes to be built with solar panels on their roofs starting in 2020, and the number of people employed in the renewable energy industry grew to 10.3 million people globally in 2017.
The most important part of a solar panel system is the solar array itself. It holds all of the panels in your system, which is where sunlight is collected and converted into electricity. Here are some common questions to ask yourself before installing a solar panel system on your home, and to make sure you get the most productive array possible.
It is becoming increasingly popular for utilities to offer time-of-use (TOU) plans to their residential customers. In a standard electricity plan, you pay the same rate for your electricity regardless of the time of day. TOU plans are different: the cost of electricity in a TOU plan depends on the time the energy is drawn from the grid.
If you own a home, you’ve probably experienced the shock of opening your monthly electricity bill in the mail and seeing a dollar total that is higher than you expect. It’s a common part of home ownership, and one that you can hear homeowners lamenting as electricity rates increase – “Why is my electricity bill so high? Why does it keep going up?”
There are thousands of solar companies operating in the United States, most of which have been reviewed by customers online. If you’re thinking about installing solar, reviews can help you determine which company will offer the best prices, good customer service, and an attractive solar panel system design for your home or business.
Many homeowners are considering putting panels on their homes, and for good reasons: when you generate your own solar electricity you can drastically reduce your monthly bills, increase your property value, and help the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Solar is more accessible than ever, especially as the cost of solar has decreased and solar technology has become more efficient.
If you’ve been doing your solar research, you probably already know that some of the most efficient panels on the market come from SunPower, a panel manufacturer out of California. SunPower is noteworthy not just for their exceptional efficiency, but also for their aesthetics and excellent warranty offering (bumper-to-bumper for 25 years for both product and performance). SunPower is one of the brands that homeowners request most frequently when comparing offers from solar installers on the EnergySage Solar Marketplace and it has hundreds of dealers across the world.
Batteries are becoming a popular addition to solar panel systems throughout the U.S. and across the globe. Energy storage can provide backup power if the grid goes down, and also help maximize savings in utility territories that have time-of-use (TOU) rates or unfavorable net metering policies.
Solar installation companies are picking up on the trend, and have started offering battery installation as a service. The biggest residential solar installer in the country, Sunrun, has a “solar plus storage” option known as the Brightbox package. Brightbox is available in Hawaii, Arizona, California, New York, and most recently Massachusetts.
Batteries are becoming a popular add-on to solar systems thanks to the extra benefits they can offer for solar system buyers. Batteries offer backup power benefits when the grid goes down, increases the usefulness of off-grid systems, and improves solar economics if you have less than ideal net metering policies or time-of-use (TOU) rates.
When you’re evaluating your solar options, there are a lot of factors to take into account. Price, of course, is key, whether you’re paying out of pocket or financing monthly payments with a lease or loan. You should also think carefully about the installation company you choose and the type of equipment going on your roof. But arguably the most important data points are the amount of electricity your panels will produce, and how much they’ll save you in the long run.
When a solar installer starts to work with you, he or she will highlight a “production estimate” as part of their quote, which is the basis for your long-term savings. Here’s how your installer estimates your solar panel system’s electricity production.