Author Archives: Luke Richardson

What is my carbon footprint? Calculating CO2 impact

Reading Time: 5 minutes

calculate your carbon footprint energysage graphic

In an age of global climate change, people around the world are looking for ways to reduce their share of the some 15 trillion pounds of greenhouse gases emitted each year. In the United States, one of the top three polluters in the world, many Americans are looking into home energy solutions like energy efficient upgrades and solar installations. However, for some homeowners, the first question is “what is my carbon footprint, and what are the biggest contributing factors?” In this article we’ll answer the following questions:

  1. What lifestyle choices influence carbon footprint?
  2. How do I calculate my own carbon footprint?
  3. What are the best ways to reduce carbon footprint?

Continue reading

How do solar panels work for your home?

Reading Time: 5 minutes

how solar panels work

As the cost of solar has plummeted in recent years alongside major improvements in technical efficiencies and manufacturing quality, many homeowners across the U.S. are starting to look at solar as a viable alternative energy solution. And as solar enters mainstream energy markets, the big question is, “how do solar panels work?” In this article we’ll break down exactly how solar panels produce energy for your home and how pragmatic going solar really is in 2017.

Continue reading

Tesla’s Solar Panel Roof: Solar Glass Tiles are New Solar Shingles

Reading Time: 6 minutes

tesla solar roof shingles

If you’ve found it difficult to stay up to date on the future of Tesla Motors and SolarCity in recent months, you are not alone. Numerous industries (solar, electric vehicles, and ridesharing, to name a few) worldwide are starting to feel the impact of a merger that could significantly alter growth plans for manufacturers and executives across the globe. Now the concept of an integrated solar glass shingle – the Tesla solar tile – is on everyone’s mind. 

We had already heard about Tesla’s plans for total clean energy integration – a one step carbon reduction process that involves pairing solar panels with your Tesla electric vehicle. Now for the latest: with Tesla’s highly anticipated solar roofing product, we’ve seen the future of PV roofing and the future of Tesla. One thing is certain: building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) are going to be a big part of Tesla Motors – or should we say Tesla Energy’s – future.

Continue reading

How Much Do Solar Panels Save?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

how much do solar panels save graphic

Do solar panels really save you money?

With so many trendy investment opportunities available in today’s day and age, it’s easy to be skeptical of new products that boast promises of “saving you tons of money.” Solar panels are no different – saving money through reducing your electric bill is one of the main appeals and selling points for solar as a product and home upgrade. The simple answer to the question “do solar panels really save you money?” is yes. That being said, how much you’ll save depends on a number of factors. Direct hours of daily sunlight and size and angle of roof are both important, but local electricity rates play the biggest role in determining how much solar can save you.

Continue reading

Tesla solar charger: How much does it cost to charge a Tesla using solar energy?

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Tesla EV in front of solar panels

Following the news of Tesla’s acquisition of U.S. solar installer giant SolarCity, the world has been keeping a close eye on Elon Musk and his two prosperous clean energy ventures. Tesla and SolarCity, electric cars and solar panels – a two-front war waged against grid reliance and energy dependence. In 2018, Musktopia is both expanding and constricting as two of the tech entrepreneur’s five companies are joining forces around one common goal: decimating your carbon footprint.

Continue reading

2018 SREC Prices: Explaining How to Sell Your RECs in the U.S.

Reading Time: 4 minutes

srec prices ma nj and dc

What are SRECs?

If you’ve been researching the best solar energy incentives available in 2018, you have likely heard something about solar renewable energy credits (SRECs). SRECs are a tradable commodity that you obtain from owning a solar panel system and producing clean energy. Because of a common state requirement known as the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), utilities in 38 different states must generate a certain percentage of their energy from renewable sources, typically at least 20 percent. In 6 states and Washington D.C., the RPS specifies that a certain percentage of the renewable energy produced must come from solar power. States with this type of “solar carve out” are willing to pay significant amounts of money to take credit for the power generated by solar homeowners.

Continue reading

Are Massachusetts’ Solar Incentives the Best in the Country?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Massachusetts solar incentives with energysage

When you think of Massachusetts, you may think of the historical city of Boston, its championship sports teams, or distinctive pronunciation of the letter “R”. Now, it’s time to add a new association to the list because Massachusetts solar incentives and programs are now considered some of the best in the country. In this article, we break down these incentives and explain why solar panels are such a great investment in Massachusetts in 2018.

Continue reading

Comparing top solar panel brands: SunPower vs LG, SolarWorld, Panasonic and Canadian Solar

Reading Time: 6 minutes

top solar panel brands

When it comes to solar panel manufacturers, there is no shortage of options for homeowners in 2018. Solar panel technology is improving every year, and many solar panel companies offer products that boast both high conversion efficiency numbers as well as impressive long-term warranties. SunPower is the leader with regard to efficiency across the board while LG solar panels are known for top tier design and aesthetic, but companies like SolarWorld and Canadian Solar offer much more appealing prices for their solar panels. How do the top PV manufacturers stack up? We’ll help you compare and contrast your options among the industry leaders – SunPower, Panasonic, Canadian Solar, SolarWorld, LG.

Continue reading

Are Chinese solar panels good quality?

Reading Time: 6 minutes

chinese solar panel manufacturing

When homeowners are considering solar offers on the EnergySage Solar Marketplace, we often hear questions about a solar panel’s manufacturer origin and whether it’s a good idea to choose Chinese panels for an installation. This is a common question as the latest estimates indicate that China is manufacturing roughly 70% of the world’s solar panels today – a dominant market share and a clear indicator of China’s key role in the global solar industry. China has a significant impact over worldwide solar trends like pricing, warranties and manufacturing practices. For example, the 80% decline in worldwide solar prices between 2008 and 2013 occurred largely due to improvements in manufacturing costs in China. And because China is such a major player in solar, many U.S. homeowners are asking “should I choose Chinese solar panels and will it match the quality of other top brands?” In this article we’ll break down pricing, quality and brand influence of Chinese solar panels.

Continue reading