Category Archives: Cost Benefit

Articles concerning the pricing of solar and the economic benefits of going solar.

5kw solar energy system

What does a 5,000 watt (5 kW) solar system cost in the U.S.?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

5 kW solar systems are near the average size for solar panel installations in the United States, so for those wondering how much solar will cost to install, looking at some price data for 5,000 watts of power is a good place to start. Prices will vary based on the size of your system, the type of equipment you choose, and the state that you live in. Learn more about how much solar panels cost, how much electricity a 5kW system can produce, and the smartest way to shop for solar. 

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time of use rates

Understanding time-of-use (TOU) rates

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Across the country, utilities are beginning to introduce innovative rate structures for residential energy consumers. These rate structures–from time-of-use rates to demand charges to real-time-pricing–all have a common goal: to incentivize customers to consume energy during times when the cost of generating electricity is cheap, and to disincentive energy consumption when the cost of generating electricity is high. As a result, understanding the ins and outs of a time-of-use rate can help you reduce your monthly cost of energy.

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commence construction 2020 clause

An overview of the “commence construction” clause

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The country’s best solar incentive, the federal investment tax credit (ITC), is in the process of winding down. 2019 was the last year you could claim the full 30 percent tax credit. Starting in 2020, the credit dropped to 26 percent, and will drop to 22 percent in 2023 and disappear entirely for homeowners in 2024. This impending deadline has prospective solar shoppers rushing to take advantage of the maximum credit while they still can – but how can you make sure you’re eligible for the current 26 percent credit? 

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pennsylvania srecs

SRECs in Pennsylvania: prices, projections, and program status

Reading Time: 3 minutes

If you’re considering installing a solar panel system in Pennsylvania, one incentive to be aware of is solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs). Pennsylvania is one of the few states that offers this performance-based incentive to property owners generating solar electricity. Pennsylvanians who buy and install a solar panel system can earn hundreds of dollars each year by selling SRECs.

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cost of solar equipment declining over time

How have solar equipment costs declined over time?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Over the last decade, the costs of solar have decreased from over $8 per Watt in 2009 ($/W) to $2.75/W in 2019 on EnergySage, a decline of more than 65 percent in 11 years. Over this timeframe, a primary driver of the declining cost of solar in the US has been technological improvements in the actual hardware that’s included in solar energy systems: solar panels and solar inverters.

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feed in tariff

Feed-in tariffs: a primer on feed-in tariffs for solar

Reading Time: 4 minutes

There are a number of financial incentives offered to property owners going solar. From rebates to tax incentives and net metering policies, there are many policies that bring down the cost of installing solar panels on your house. One such policy is the feed-in tariff, which, when designed properly, can provide substantial financial benefits to solar customers.

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cheapest time of day to use electricity to save money

What are off-peak electricity hours? All about the cheapest time to use electricity

Reading Time: 5 minutes

It is becoming increasingly popular for utilities to offer time-of-use (TOU) plans to their residential customers. In a standard electricity plan, you pay the same rate for your electricity regardless of the time of day. TOU plans are different: the cost of electricity in a TOU plan depends on the time the energy is drawn from the grid.

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electricity rates and solar

How electricity rates impact solar savings

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Have you heard that solar panels only make sense in sunny states? Well, don’t believe it for a second – while it’s true that solar panels typically produce more electricity in sunnier areas of the country, how much you can save from installing solar panels rests heavily on one major factor: the costs you avoid paying your utility company for electricity. 

People all over the country–even those that live in cloudy areas–can reap solar savings. Generally speaking, the higher your electricity rates, the more money you can save by switching to solar.

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