Category Archives: Buyer’s Guide

Articles about solar products and companies to help consumers understand more about solar equipment/companies and best compare their quotes and options.

environmentally friendly solar scorecard

5 solar shopping tips for environmentalists

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Generating electricity with your own rooftop solar panel system is one of the most effective ways to reduce your personal carbon footprint. In fact, the average solar panel system can help offset three to four tons of carbon emissions annually–for perspective, the impact of those carbon reductions is similar to planting more than 100 trees each year!

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comparing the price of solar panel systems

Why is my solar panel system more expensive than my neighbors?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

It probably doesn’t surprise you to learn that the cost of solar varies by state, but what other factors make a solar panel system more or less expensive? If you’re comparing quotes with your neighbors and notice a big difference in cost, it’s probably due to one of five main factors:

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shopping for solar online

Solar shopping amid the coronavirus pandemic

Reading Time: 3 minutes

With many or all non-essential businesses shuttering around the country in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we at EnergySage wanted to provide an update about how the current social distancing and shelter-in-place guidelines and advisories impact solar. Given that the majority–or entirety–of the solar sales process can occur virtually, and recognizing that the majority of solar installations happen outside of your home–i.e., on your roof–installing solar remains possible and safe at the moment. Here’s what you need to know about shopping for and installing solar amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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increasing solar costs after a site visit

Why did my cost to go solar increase after a site visit?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Many shoppers, especially those using EnergySage, receive all of their initial solar quotes online before ever having a company visit their property. Occasionally, we hear back from customers about instances where they received an original, online quote for one price and, after a site visit from the installation company, the price increased. What happened?

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pg&e electric bill

How to read your PG&E bill

Reading Time: 6 minutes

If you live in California, there’s a good chance that you’re a customer of Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E). This company, based in San Francisco, provides natural gas and electricity to about 16 million people throughout northern California, making it one of the largest utilities in the United States.

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high efficiency solar panels

How to decide if high-efficiency panels are worth the cost

Reading Time: 5 minutes

High-efficiency solar panels are becoming increasingly popular, and can impact how much solar power you can produce on your roof or property. Given all of the options for high-efficiency products, though, it can be hard to get a feel for how the efficiency of your panels influences the costs you pay for solar. Here’s a quick guide to help you determine if high-efficiency solar panels are worth the added cost when comparing your solar options.

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500 watt solar panel

Technology updates not to miss: 500-watt panels

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Technology in the solar industry is advancing at a rapid pace. Solar equipment continues to become more powerful and more resilient while becoming less expensive. With so many news stories to track, it can be easy to miss the occasional new technology. But here’s a technology announcement that shouldn’t be missed: Trina Solar just released 500-watt panels. 

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california solar mandate guide

Navigating the California Solar Mandate: a helpful guide to buying a new home with solar panels in California

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Buying a home is one of the most significant and rewarding decisions you can make. As of January 2020, Californians will have the added exhilaration – and potential stress – of acquiring a rooftop solar panel system at the same time. 

That’s because the California Building Standards Commission (CBSC) approved a state-wide mandate requiring most new single-family homes, including multi-family residential buildings up to three stories, to install solar panels. The first-of-its-kind California solar mandate is designed to make new homes in California far more energy-efficient while saving homeowners tens of thousands of dollars on electricity costs.

To help people understand what it means to buy a new home with a solar energy system, EnergySage created the California Solar Mandate Guide: an educational resource for knowing what questions to ask prior to buying a solar-powered home. But before we dive into our tips and suggestions, let us first explain why paying a bit more for your new home just to have solar on it makes a ton of sense. 

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review solar quotes

How to review solar quotes

Reading Time: 6 minutes

So you’ve got a few solar quotes from different installers, each with different pricing, equipment and savings estimates – what’s next? With all the information available, comparing solar quotes can be overwhelming, but we’re here to make it as easy as possible. If you’re sitting down to review multiple solar quotes for the first time, here are the most important questions to ask yourself, and the factors to consider as you’re evaluating one solar quote against the another:

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