Author Archives: Spencer Fields

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About Spencer Fields

Spencer is the Manager of Market Strategy & Intelligence at EnergySage, where he writes about 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.

energy storage and battery terms

Energy storage glossary: the most important terms to know

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Home energy storage systems are becoming increasingly popular in the US. In fact, solar installers say that one-third of customers nationwide express interest in energy storage, while on EnergySage’s Marketplace that number is even higher, with over 70 percent of solar shoppers also interested in energy storage. 

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power outages with solar and batteries

PG&E power outages: what you need to know

Reading Time: 4 minutes

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 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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sgip program updates 2020

SGIP 2020 program updates: what you need to know

Reading Time: 3 minutes

(Updated November 2020)

California’s Self Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) is one of the first incentives for battery energy storage in the country. The program has been very successful, helping California to lead the nation in residential energy storage deployment. Recently, the program has received additional funding, with a slightly revised charter for how to use those funds. Below, we detail the adjustments to SGIP and how it will impact individual, residential solar + storage shoppers in California. 

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future proof solar installation

How to future proof your solar installation

Reading Time: 4 minutes

People who invest in solar are inherently forward-looking: solar panels last for 25 years or more, producing clean energy for decades to come. For people who are considering a new solar–or solar plus storage–installation today, it’s worth thinking about more than just what solar panels to install on your property. There are a few specific ways that you can set up your solar panel system now so that it’s future-proofed for anything else you might want or purchase over the next three decades.  

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generator vs. battery

Backup generators vs. energy storage: do the math

Reading Time: 4 minutes

More and more homeowners are looking for ways to improve the resilience of their home’s electricity systems. Historically, many people who wanted backup power for their homes in the event of an emergency–think natural disasters and other outage events–looked to back up generators for that resilience. These days, however, homeowners are increasingly looking to energy storage systems, and solar plus storage systems in particular, for that peace of mind during outages. 

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Comparing efficiencies for AC vs DC-coupled batteries

Reading Time: 3 minutes

As is the case with comparing solar panels and inverters, when comparing solar batteries, there are a number of different technical specifications that differentiate one battery from another: power ratings, usable energy capacity, warranties throughput or cycles, start-up power, and the efficiency of the battery. Unlike solar panels and inverters, though, the stated efficiency of each battery is not necessarily directly comparable to the efficiency of other batteries. Here’s why: 

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Highlights from the eleventh EnergySage Solar Marketplace Intel Report

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Last week, EnergySage released our eleventh Solar Marketplace Intel Report. The free, publicly available report provides insight into the state of the solar market nationwide and at the state level through July of 2020. In this report, we take a look at the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the solar industry, check in on how solar pricing compares on EnergySage to data from the rest of the market, and introduce a few brand new analyses of energy storage data, from cost to brand preference. A few key takeaways from the report are outlined below, and we look forward to your analysis and feedback on the report. 

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utility energy storage

Why utilities want you to have a battery

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Although utilities and the solar industry haven’t always had the most positive relationship across the country, there’s one distributed technology that utilities have been very quick to embrace: energy storage. When installed at a home or business, energy storage systems provide myriad benefits to both the owner of the system, as well as to the electricity grid as a whole. As a result, many utilities throughout the country are now actively encouraging the adoption of energy storage systems. Here are just a few of the reasons that utilities want you to have a battery. 

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tesla battery day

Tesla Battery Day: what you need to know

Reading Time: 4 minutes

It’s rare that very technical demonstrations of technology and supply chain advancements manage to jump beyond industry and into the public consciousness. But as with all things Tesla, the announcement of the company’s Battery Day was met with significant hype beyond just the storage and electric vehicle industries, and with good reason: teasers in anticipation of the event seemed to indicate that Tesla had discovered a breakthrough in energy storage manufacturing that would reduce the price of batteries to the point that they could begin to produce and commercialize a truly affordable electric vehicle. 

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solar companies covid pandemic

How are solar companies making it easier to go solar during the COVID pandemic?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Investing in solar is a big financial decision no matter the state of the economy. As everyone around the country (and the world) grapple with the ongoing health and economic impacts of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the question of whether it’s the right time to go solar has become harder to answer financially for many homeowners. With that in mind, a number of solar companies throughout the country introduced new programs to help make paying for solar easier for people who install solar today. 

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