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.

Solar system size

Comparing quotes: why are installers proposing different system sizes?

Reading Time: 7 minutes

So you have a few quotes, sit down to evaluate them, and notice something right off the bat: installer A and installer B have proposed different sizes for your solar panel system. Why is this? And how can you truly compare apples-to-apples in this scenario?

In this article, we’ll review why this might happen – and what you can do about it!

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microinverters and power optimizers

Comparing microinverters vs. inverters with power optimizers

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Inverters are a key component of any solar panel system: while solar panels convert sunlight into electricity, inverters ensure that you can use the electricity they produce in your home or business. 

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Sungage Loan Review

Sungage Financial zero fee loan review

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Solar loans are a very popular way to pay for a new solar or solar plus storage system, since they are a great way to take advantage of the benefits of solar ownership–from tax incentives to increased home value–without requiring you to have the cash on hand to pay for the full system up front. What’s more, many solar-specific loans offer low, fixed interest rates and flexible payment terms, helping you to find the monthly payment that’s right for you. However, a low interest rate (or APR) comes with a caveat: a low APR often means a high cost to borrow money. That cost or fee to borrow money is passed on to your installer, or even built into the overall cost of the project, making a tradeoff between the lowest monthly payment (i.e., low APR) and the lowest project cost (i.e., lowest cost to borrow money). 

Recently, Sungage Financial, one of the most popular solar loan providers on EnergySage, launched a zero fee solar loan to keep your solar project costs as low as possible. Here’s what that means for solar shoppers like you.

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Battery certification and testing process

Battery certifications and testing: what you need to know

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Like other electronic products, home batteries go through rigorous testing before installation and use at your home or business. These tests are critical to determining the quality and performance of batteries under particular environmental stresses, as well as confirming they meet mandated government safety requirements. In this article, we’ll review the most common testing and certifications for home batteries on the market today.

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Battery Warranty

Solar battery warranties: what’s covered, and what’s not?

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Tesla Powerwalls, Panasonic Evervolts, and sonnen eco – all of these batteries come with a 10 year warranty. However, simply comparing the length of one warranty term to the next doesn’t give you a full picture: what is and isn’t included in a warranty differs quite a bit from one battery company to the next. And considering how important a battery system is for resiliency and–in some markets–savings, you want to make sure you’re covered in case anything goes wrong.

In this article, we’ll review the most important aspects of a battery warranty, and discuss what’s standard for the industry.

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Inverter warranty

Solar inverter warranties: what’s covered, and what’s not?

Reading Time: 6 minutes

If you’ve already started exploring your inverter options, you may have noticed that many products come with a 25-year warranty. However, simply comparing the length of one warranty term to the next doesn’t give you a full picture: what is and isn’t included in a warranty differs quite a bit from one inverter company to the next. And considering how important a solar inverter is to the functionality of your system, you want to make sure you’re covered in case anything goes awry.

In this article, we’ll review the most important aspects of a solar inverter warranty, and discuss what’s standard for the industry.

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Schneider Energy Center

Schneider Energy Center review

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The modern home is a smart home, with everything from voice activated speakers to thermostats you can control from your home. But to truly be “smart” about your own home, you need to have insight into–and control over–more than just the color of your desk lamp. Enter smart panels: the new technology that’s taking home energy insights and the solar-plus industry to the next level. One such smart panel is Schneider Electric’s Square D Energy Center. We sat down with the team at Schneider to learn more about their brand new product.

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types of solar inverters

String inverters vs. power optimizers vs. microinverters: what you need to know

Reading Time: 5 minutes

As you consider a solar panel system for your home, one of the key decisions you need to make is the type of inverter to install. Inverters convert direct current (DC) electricity generated by your solar panels into usable alternating current (AC) electricity. Given the complex power electronics and software contained within, inverters are vital to the ongoing performance of your solar power system.

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solar panel degradation

How does solar panel degradation impact savings?

Reading Time: 8 minutes

The word “degradation” can be scary, but don’t let it frighten you too much: every product, from your cell phone to your shoes, degrades over time, and solar panels are no exception to this rule. Fortunately, solar panels degrade at a very slow rate relative to other technologies – in fact, even after 25 years, most solar panels will still generate at least 80 percent of their original solar power output!

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ccas vs green power vs community solar

Community solar vs. CCAs vs. green power plans: comparing alternative electricity options

Reading Time: 8 minutes

At EnergySage, we get a lot of questions about alternative ways to support renewable energy without putting solar panels on your roof. One of the easiest ways to do so is buying electricity from someone other than your utility company. But there are a lot of options out there, each one surrounded by a good deal of misinformation and jargon, making it somewhat difficult to weigh the pros and cons of each.

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