This past spring, Tesla announced pricing for their new solar roof product, a roof replacement for your home. And as of January 2018, Tesla has announced they are now producing the roof product at their Buffalo Gigafactory. Installations have begun for the top of their wait list though mass market availability still remains unclear.
The new solution requires that you replace your existing roof with Tesla’s blend of non-solar glass tiles and solar-enabled glass tiles. It is an elegant new product, designed with great aesthetics, and due to its immense popularity, we wanted to explore the question: does installing this new roof make financial sense for your home? After initial analysis, we’ve found that for the majority of homeowners the answer is “not yet.” Unless you’re in the market for a roof replacement, Tesla’s new solar roof is simply too expensive for the average American homeowner to justify as a home energy upgrade.
The simple answer for renters who want solar panels for their apartment or home is that it is possible. Through a number of methods, a renter can still cash in on the financial benefits of solar even if they don’t own their property.
If you’re renting and paying your own utility bills, you may think that there’s no incentive for your landlord to switch to a system powered by clean energy. But, switching to solar photovoltaics, solar thermal, wind power, geothermal, biomass or combined heat and power could be a win-win situation for you and your landlord. You already know you, as the tenant, would benefit by limiting future increases in your utility bills. But can you really convince your landlord that it’s in his or her best interest, too? The answer is a resounding “Yes!” All you need to do is present a compelling case. So, here’s how:
Determining the size of your solar energy system starts with a simple question: how many solar panels do I need for my home? As most people want to produce enough energy to completely eliminate their electricity bill, the first step is determining what size solar system will produce enough power to meet your household consumption levels. Ultimately, you will be calculating how many kilowatt hours of power you will need and finding the correct system size and number of solar panels to power your house. Continue reading →
10kW solar systems are among the most popular solar energy system sizes in the country, producing enough electricity to power a home with slightly above-average electricity consumption. How much does a 10kW solar system cost? How much electricity will a 10kW solar system produce? How do you know you’re getting the best deal on a system? These are some of the key questions we will answer in this article.
How Much Does a 10kW Solar System Cost?
As of January 2018, the average cost of solar in the U.S. is $3.14 per watt ($31,400 for a 10 kilowatt system). That means that the total cost for a 10kW solar system would be $21,980 after the 30% Federal ITC discount (not factoring in any additional state rebates or incentives).
If you’ve been shopping around for a solar panel system, you’ve probably heard at least one company advertise ‘free solar panels’ – that they will install a solar system on your roof for free. But, much as with anything, remember that there is no such thing as a free lunch (or a free solar panel).
Examples of companies advertising ‘free solar panels’
Decoding the sales pitch: The term ‘free solar panels’ is sometimes used to advertise solar lease or solar power purchase agreements (PPAs).
Under both types of arrangements, a company will put solar panels on your roof for no money up-front, but will charge you for the electricity that they produce.
Most offers will save you money but not all of them, so make sure you’ve thoroughly compared all your options. Also consider buying the solar panels or financing them with a zero-down solar loan.
Installing a home solar energy system is a smart financial investment for many homeowners. As you evaluate offers from solar companies, there are many different factors to consider – the equipment that you choose for your system, your financing options, and the installer that you select all have an impact on your solar savings. This guide will help you evaluate the different solar panels and inverters available so that you can choose the best equipment for your home. Continue reading →
What does growing cannabis in Colorado, greens in South Korea, and sustaining life in space all have in common? While it may sound like the setup to a bad joke, all three are actually related to the future of modern agriculture. Indoor agriculture enables individuals to control all of the variables that go into farming, but it also means that the farmer has to recreate all of the natural conditions on earth — from the soil in the earth to the sun in the sky. Solar power can and will play a big part in making this all achievable. Continue reading →
Did you know that the electricity rates that your utility charges increase every year? According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), retail residential electricity rates (the amount you pay per kilowatt-hour, or ¢/kWh) have risen across the nation at a rate of about 4% on average over the last 10 years. This rate change can vary significantly based on which state you live. Continue reading →
Going solar saves you money on your monthly electrical bill. The amount of your savings varies by size and location of the system. But how does it work financially and administratively with your utility? Currently, two types of policy are widely used: the Value of Solar Tariff and Net Metering. The decision of which one to use can be controversial. Continue reading →
The past decade has seen astounding growth in the U.S. solar industry across the board, but a few key states have led the way. Though many stakeholders are aware of the popularity of solar in sunny states like California, Florida and Arizona, very few are aware that Pennsylvania is one of the top states for solar in the country with some of the industry’s best prices. Over 34,000 PA homes are currently powered by solar and the state has witnessed a 64% decline in prices over the past 5 years. In this article we’ll explain what to expect a solar installation to cost in Pittsburgh and offer some advice for solar shoppers in the greater Pittsburgh area. Continue reading →