Category Archives: Solar 101

Articles all about solar, from common questions to overviews of different aspects of a solar energy installation.

solar for tiny house

Solar for tiny houses: what you need to know

Reading Time: 4 minutes

In an effort to minimize energy usage (and possession of material items), homeowners across the country are moving into tiny houses. Even though these houses are much smaller than the average home, they still need energy for lighting, heating, cooling, and other appliances. If you’re living in or planning to build a tiny house, you can cut your energy bills even further by generating your own clean, free electricity with solar panels.

Continue reading

key solar panel metrics

How long do solar panels last?

Reading Time: 5 minutes

One of the most common questions we hear from homeowners considering a solar panel installation is “how long do solar panels last?” It’s hard to understand the upfront cost of going solar without knowing how long you can expect your rooftop panels to produce ample energy. Your solar panels will be able to offset your electricity use for decades, but it is also important to understand industry projections and degradation rates.  Continue reading

pros and cons of solar energy

The pros and cons of solar energy: what are the advantages and disadvantages of going solar?

Reading Time: 7 minutes

If you’re considering installing a solar panel system, you’ve probably already had your share of exposure to solar marketing, whether through spammy ads promising free solar panels or a knock at the door signaling an eager solar salesman ready to convince you why you should go solar. To make the right decision for your home, you need to be able to distinguish between the real pros and cons of solar energy and the solar myths that are sometimes communicated in the media. 

Continue reading

power output of a solar panel

How much energy does a solar panel actually produce? Electricity output explained

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Power output or wattage is an important factor to consider when comparing solar panel options. You may hear your solar installer say, “it’s a 255 Watt panel” or “the panel I am recommending is has a wattage of 300.” Or, when you are reading a quote from a solar installer, you might see numbers like 245W, 300W, or 345W next to the name of the panel. They are all referring to a solar panel’s wattage, capacity and power output.

Continue reading

solar panels different roof types

Installing solar panels on different roof types

Reading Time: 5 minutes

If you’re considering installing a residential or commercial solar panel system, you might be wondering if your roof type is appropriate for a solar installation. The good news is that solar panels can be installed on just about any roof type, but the installation process and mounting hardware might vary from material to material. In this article, we’ll explore the many types of roofs solar panels can be installed on and how each has a unique installation process.

Continue reading

4 kw solar system

How much does a 4,000 Watt (4 kW) solar system cost in 2019?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

If you’re shopping for a solar energy system, one of your first questions is probably, “how much will it cost?” Prices depend on the size of your system, the type of equipment you choose, and the state that you live in, but reviewing prices for a 4 kilowatt (kW) system is a great place to start for many smaller homes. Learn more about how much a 4 kW solar system costs, how much electricity a 4 kW system will produce, and the smartest way to shop for solar.

Continue reading

20 kw solar system

How much does a 20,000 Watt (20 kW) solar system cost in 2019?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

If you’re shopping for a solar energy system, one of your first questions is probably, “how much will it cost?” Prices depend on the size of your system, the type of equipment you choose, and the state that you live in, but reviewing prices for a 20 kilowatt (kW) system is a great place to start for many smaller homes. Learn more about how much a 20 kW solar system costs, how much electricity a 20 kW system will produce, and the smartest way to shop for solar.

Continue reading

solar permitting and inspections

Solar permitting & inspections: an overview

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Installing solar panels requires electrical and construction work. With this type of work comes safety concerns, and as such, your local government and utility company need to ensure that your solar energy system meets specific electrical and building codes before it goes live.

Continue reading

do solar panels work during winter graphic

Do solar panels work in the winter? Solar snow performance explained

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Memories of cold, snowy winters past can be discouraging even for the hardiest homeowner. If you’re considering going solar, you might be wondering whether solar panels and snow are a bad combination. On the contrary, EnergySage marketplace data has indicated that solar shoppers can often find the lowest quotes during winter months when competition is reduced. After all, if you look at solar as an investment, then it should be able to generate returns throughout the year as other investments do. Luckily, plenty of people have both solar panels and snow, and some of the most popular regions in the U.S. for solar have snowy winters. Don’t let winter weather discourage you from going solar!

Continue reading