Category Archives: Solar 101

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

4 kw solar system

How much does a 4,000 Watt (4 kW) solar system cost in 2020?

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.

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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.

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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. 

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DIY solar panels

DIY solar panels: the pros and cons

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Solar is a trendy thing in 2020 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.

Going solar has major financial benefits: it reduces your monthly electricity costs and can even increase the value of your home. Incentives like the federal tax credit for solar can reduce your net cost by 26 percent or more, but solar is still a big investment, and the price tag can result in sticker shock. To save money, it’s no surprise that many homeowners are considering DIY. Below, we break down the top pros and cons that you need to know about do it yourself solar energy before making a decision as well as the DIY solar process.

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is your home good for solar on energysage

Is my home a good fit for solar?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Home solar power is more popular than ever in the United States. It’s no wonder homeowners love being powered by the sun: when you install solar PV, you can save money on your electricity bills, increase your property value, and do your part to protect the environment. If you’re starting to think about going solar, knowing that your home and solar are a good match makes the shopping process even easier. Here are the top five questions and answers that will help you determine whether solar is right for your home (read on, it might surprise you):

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solar panel critter guards squirrels birds

Critter guards/bird netting for solar panels: protect your system from squirrels & birds

Reading Time: 3 minutes

A surprising threat to your solar panels may be the animals that live in the area surrounding your home. Birds and squirrels can damage your solar setup in several ways, leading to unwanted repair costs and headache. One solution to solar’s animal problem is to install “critter guards,” a physical barrier between your panels and the local fauna.

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solar energy pros and cons

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

Reading Time: 6 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. 

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