Category Archives: Solar 101

Why are solar panels so expensive? Understanding the cost of a solar panel system

The Cost of a Solar Panel System

 

While the most expensive part of going solar is paying for the equipment, it still only represents 25 percent of the overall expense. Soft costs, or the outlays that installers spend just trying to find you and appeal to you, also contribute a significant percentage. Here’s a breakdown so that you can understand the cost of a solar panel system, plus tips on how you can save money!

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The Pros and Cons of Solar Energy

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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 power and the solar myths that are sometimes communicated in the media. 

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What are the most efficient solar panels on the market?

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For those looking for the most efficient solar panels for their PV system, the first thing you need to know is how to compare efficiency metrics for different manufacturer brands. Simply put, efficiency (expressed as a percentage) quantifies a solar panel’s ability to convert sunlight into electricity. Given the same amount of sunlight shining for the same duration of time on two solar panels with different efficiency ratings, the more efficient panel will produce more electricity than the less efficient panel.

In practical terms, for two solar panels of the same physical size, if one has a 21% efficiency rating and the other has a 14% efficiency rating, the 21% efficient panel will produce 50% more kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity under the same conditions as the 14% efficient panel. Thus, maximizing energy use and bill savings is heavily reliant on top tier solar panel energy efficiency.

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What is the average solar panel size and weight?

solar panel size and weight

Solar energy systems are an increasingly common sight on rooftops all across the U.S., but unless you climb up onto a roof, it can be difficult to figure out how big solar panels are and how much they weigh. This article will help you understand solar panel size, solar panel weight, and whether your roof can support solar panels.  Continue reading

“Free solar panels”: Are they really free?

If you’ve been shopping around for a solar panel system, you’ve probably heard at least one company advertise ‘free solar panels’ – that they will install a solar system on your roof for free. But, much as with anything, remember that there is no such thing as a free lunch (or a free solar panel).

Free solar panels pure energies

Examples of companies advertising ‘free solar panels’

Decoding the sales pitch: The term ‘free solar panels’ is sometimes used to advertise solar lease or solar power purchase agreements (PPAs).

Under both types of arrangements, a company will put solar panels on your roof for no money up-front, but will charge you for the electricity that they produce.

Most offers will save you money but not all of them, so make sure you’ve thoroughly compared all your options. Also consider buying the solar panels or financing them with a zero-down solar loan.

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Top 5 Reasons to Shop for Solar in the Winter

solar winter

More and more homeowners are discovering the financial benefits of solar and installing solar energy systems on their property, but what many people don’t realize that winter is actually the best time to start shopping for solar. Here are the top five reasons why homeowners should start shopping for solar in the winter.

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How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in the U.S. in 2018?

solar panels cost in the u.s. graphicYou’ve probably heard about how solar energy can reduce your electricity bills, but how much do solar panels really cost? The easiest way to calculate the average cost of solar panels is to look at its price in dollars per watt, which is relatively consistent across the United States. Continue reading

Solar panel safety: what you need to know

solar panel safety

As with any electrical appliance, solar panels can be at risk to certain electrical damages and dangers, such as solar panel fires and power surges. Luckily, there are plenty of measures in place to ensure your solar panel installation is safe. This article will discuss some of the common safety concerns around solar panels, and what mechanisms are in place to prevent dangerous solar panel scenarios.

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Solar Panel System Design: How Solar Installers Map Out your PV System

solar panel system design

The process of of how solar installers design a solar energy system is often a mystery for most consumers. Because of this, we would like to give you some insight into how solar installers design a solar power system for your home or business. A solar power system is designed considering two important factors – the amount of space that you have available for installing solar panels and the amount of electricity you consume annually. Other factors, like shading analysis and the efficiency of solar panels and inverters also come into play.   Continue reading