Author Archives: Spencer Fields

About Spencer Fields

Spencer is the Manager of Market Strategy & Intelligence at EnergySage, where he's able to showcase his expertise around all things energy. Prior to joining EnergySage, he spent five years at Synapse Energy Economics, providing environmental, economic and policy analysis for public interest groups. Spencer has degrees in Environmental Studies and Hispanic Studies from Brown University, meaning when he's not in the office you can find him outside or traveling somewhere to work on his Spanish.

lumin complete review

An overview of Lumin’s energy management system

When thinking about installing a solar or a solar-plus-storage system at your home or business, there’s one piece of information that is of the utmost importance: how much electricity do you use, and which of your home appliances use that electricity. That’s exactly where Lumin can help: the three-year-old, Charlottesville, Virginia-based company is joining the relatively nascent field of creating smart circuits, allowing you to dynamically choose or automate what to power with your solar and storage, which is especially useful in the event of an outage.

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electricity rates and solar cost trends

Is the price of residential electricity going up or down?

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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Duracell energy storage system

The Duracell Home Ecosystem battery complete review

For as much as the solar and storage industries have grown over the last couple of decades (half a million homes installed solar in 2021 alone, and the residential storage market continues to grow quarter over quarter), there really aren’t that many household brand names involved in the industry. Certainly Tesla has become a recognizable brand name, Generac is a familiar company to anyone who has considered a backup generator for their home or business, and Panasonic provides many household appliances and also offers solar panels and batteries –  but, it’s not a stretch to suggest that the residential solar and storage industry is missing a true, major, household brand name.

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running a house on a battery

How much of my house can I run on a battery–and for how long?

If you are researching a solar battery there’s one major question that you likely have: how much of your house can you power with a typical solar battery, and how long can you provide power to your home? As with most things, the short answer is an ever unsatisfying: it depends! The longer answer is a complicated one, so we’re here to help. 

We’ve split this article into two separate questions–how much and for how long–since both questions are important as you decide which battery to install, but the answers rely on different factors.

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high solar panel prices in the u.s.

Why is solar more expensive in the US than in other countries?

The cost of solar has plummeted in the US over the last five years. With solar prices dropping to an average of $2.77 per Watt for residential solar shoppers, the industry has hit a very important and impressive milestone. However, the cost of solar in the US remains higher than the cost in other countries, most notably Australia. But just how much less expensive is solar in Australia, and is it possible for the US to slash solar costs even further?

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continuous vs startup power

What is the difference between continuous and startup power?

As you compare options for energy storage systems, there are a few key technical specifications to focus on and questions to answer. How much energy can the battery store? How much of your home can the battery power, and for how long? Can the battery keep powering some or all of your home if the grid is down? And can your battery provide a momentary burst of power large enough to start up your largest appliances, like your air conditioner? 

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how long do solar batteries last

How long do solar batteries last?

Most people who install energy storage do so for the resiliency benefit: they’re looking specifically for backup power in the event of an emergency. That particular ability is what makes storage such an enticing purchase and an increasingly frequent pairing with solar. But the value of resiliency depends on how long you expect–or need–to run your home, leading to one main question: how long do solar batteries last? 

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power outages with solar and batteries

PG&E power outages: what you need to know

If you live in Northern California, you’ve likely been impacted by electric power shut-offs or outages from Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) over the last couple of years. As wildfires and high winds become increasingly prevalent in the state, and as the link between utility infrastructure–like transmission lines–and wildfires becomes increasingly clear, that trend is set to continue for the foreseeable future.

With that in mind, we wanted to take a step back and look at PG&E outages: why are they occurring, what does the past timeline of outages look like, and what can you expect moving forward. 

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100 percent renewable targets

100 percent renewable targets

Since Hawaii became the first state in the country to pass a 100 percent renewable energy target in 2015, a number of other states, cities, and utilities have followed suit. In fact, more than a dozen states and US territories have gotten in on the action with targets to procure all of their electricity from either renewable or non-emitting resources. As new states pass legislation, we will be sure to keep this list up to date.

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