Category Archives: Solar 101

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

solar interconnection

Solar interconnection: what you need to know

Reading Time: 4 minutes

There are a number of important steps along the path to installing solar: obtaining quotes, choosing your equipment, selecting an installer, and the actual installation itself. Arguably the most important step is connecting your solar energy system to the utility grid, commonly known as solar interconnection.

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solar panels for home

Low cost solar panels for your home: how expensive is solar electricity in 2019?

Reading Time: 5 minutes

The past decade has engendered the era of solar panels for home use. Homes and businesses across the country are transitioning away from a fossil-fueled electricity grid towards a clean energy economy, necessitated by emissions reduction targets in a time of global climate change. Amidst this period of energy reform, solar panel systems for houses are taking off at a remarkable rate. It’s time to give residential solar the credit it deserves. Learn everything there is to know about the booming residential solar industry in our list of home solar FAQs. Continue reading

Depth of discharge (DoD): What does it mean for your battery, and why is it important?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Batteries are becoming a popular add-on to solar systems thanks to the extra benefits they can offer for solar system buyers. Batteries offer backup power benefits when the grid goes down, increases the usefulness of off-grid systems, and improves solar economics if you have less than ideal net metering policies or time-of-use (TOU) rates.

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How Roof Angle Can Affect Solar Panel Performance

Reading Time: 3 minutes

There are a lot of factors that can affect the performance of your solar panels and the economic benefits they can generate—things such as where you live and how sunny it is, how much you pay for electricity, which way your house faces—even the pitch of your roof. Variety is the spice of life, but the diversity of our architecture can affect the performance of solar panels. It’s important to understand how those differences in production performance related to the angle of your roof will affect the overall financial performance of your solar power system. Continue reading

how many sunlight hours do solar panels need

How many sunlight hours do I need? Calculating peak sun hgours

Reading Time: 4 minutes

When weighing the decision of whether or not going solar makes sense for your roof or location, one of the first questions you may ask is “how many sunlight hours do I need for solar to be worth it?” The reason this question is important is because there is a significant range across the country for average peak sun hours. In this article, we’ll explain which states offer the best sun hour value and how much sunlight intensity in your state should impact your decision to go solar.

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investment tax credit

What happens if your tax liability is too small to claim the Investment Tax Credit for solar?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is a generous incentive from the federal government. It was put in place to encourage uptake of solar energy and other renewable energy systems in 2006. It has been tremendously successful in this goal: the number of solar installations in the US has increased 1,600% since the ITC was introduced.

Many EnergySage customers quickly understand the potential benefits of the ITC, but have questions when it comes to the particulars of how it operates. Frequently, we field questions about whether or not they can claim the ITC at all, and when and how it can be applied to their tax bills. Continue reading

what is a kilowatt-hour?

What is a kilowatt-hour (kWh)? The difference between kWh and kw

Reading Time: 4 minutes

If you’ve been thinking about your energy costs lately, you may be looking into energy efficiency upgrades for your home such as installing solar panels, adding smart thermostats or pursuing an EnergyStar home certification. And when comparing various energy solutions and the prices for new options, you’re going to hear one metric used incessantly: kilowatt-hour (kWh). So what exactly does a kWh mean and how does it differ from a kilowatt (kW)?

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DIY solar panels graphic energysage

The Pros and Cons of DIY Solar in 2019

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Solar is a trendy thing in 2019 and many adventurous homeowners are beginning to wonder about “diy solar panels” – the concept of building a solar panel system by yourself. Of course, there’s a lot involved in a solar installation and there’s a right and a wrong scenario for do-it-yourself solar projects.

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