Energy storage is a great option for commercial properties looking to cut energy costs and improve reliability. With storage prices decreasing in recent years, state and federal incentives to install storage, and increasingly complex–and pricey!–electricity rate schedules for businesses, there’s never been a better time to install solar and storage at your business. To help you decide whether storage is right for your organization, here’s a rundown of how storage works and the primary reasons that businesses are installing storage.Continue reading
If you think comparing solar panel warranties is confusing, you’re certainly not alone. Even if you take the time to sift through pages of dense documentation, understanding the differences in warranties across the various manufacturers can feel like comparing apples to oranges! We sat down with some of the top solar panel companies to better understand their individual warranties, and to get a feel for the key warranty factors to be on the look out for. To help you compare different company’s warranties, we developed a scoring system that allows you to compare different options head to head. In this article, we’ll explain our scoring system and break down how each of the companies stack up against one another.Continue reading
Solar has entered the mainstream as the world’s cheapest energy source, leaving many people wondering how solar PV can be so efficient and inexpensive while still providing “green” energy. Answering that question means understanding how solar energy work, how solar panels are manufactured and what the parts of a solar panel are. Most panels available on the market are made of monocrystalline, polycrystalline, or thin film (“amorphous”) silicon. In this article, we’ll explain the different ways solar cells are made and what parts are required to manufacture a solar panel.Continue reading
Let’s face it – warranties aren’t the easiest (or most gripping) documents to read. There are often a lot of details and fine print included that can be hard to digest, leaving many to wonder: what does the warranty actually cover? Am I vulnerable? Anything I might be missing?
To make it as easy as possible, we’ve read warranty documents for the top solar equipment manufacturers–and talked to them to confirm what is and isn’t included–and plan to point out the most important aspects of each in a series of articles. This article reviews the warranty offering of AXITEC, a German-engineered solar panel manufacturer with locations around the world.Continue reading
The investment tax credit (ITC), also known as the federal solar tax credit, allows you to deduct 26 percent of the cost of installing a solar energy system from your federal taxes. The ITC applies to both residential and commercial systems, and there is no cap on its value. The average EnergySage Marketplace shopper saves nearly $9,000 on the cost of going solar as a result of the ITC. Curious as to how much you can save on solar? Read our article for more information based on your unique energy needs.Continue reading
As the cost of solar energy has plummeted in recent years alongside major improvements in technical efficiencies and manufacturing quality, many homeowners across the U.S. are starting to look at solar as a viable renewable energy solution. And as solar enters mainstream energy markets, the big question is, “how do solar panels work?” In a nutshell, a solar panel generates electricity when particles of sunlight, or photons, knock electrons free from atoms, setting them in motion. This flow of electrons is electricity, and solar panels are designed to capture this flow, making it a usable electric current.
In this article, we’ll break down exactly how solar panels produce renewable energy for your home and how pragmatic going solar really is.Continue reading
The industry standard for a solar panel’s productive lifetime is 25-30 years. However, a solar panel won’t die after 25-30 years, rather, their output will decrease a significant amount below what the manufacturer projected. 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
Solar and storage are just two components of a fully energized home. Energy management is the next most important piece of the puzzle: to truly understand and manage how your home uses electricity, you also need consumption monitors with built-in controls. Consumption monitors can tell you what is using electricity, how much each device in your home uses, and ultimately how it costs to run each device in your home; meanwhile, the controls allow you to act on that information, shutting off–or scheduling–certain devices at certain times.
Smart plugs are a great, easy and inexpensive first foray into energy management for your home: just plug them into any device in your home and start receiving actionable insights about how your home uses energy. In this article, we’ll explain what you need to know about smart plugs.Continue reading
Solar panels aren’t just good for the environment – you can benefit from serious savings over the lifetime of your solar panel system.Continue reading
As we accelerate home electrification across the United States, the energy management industry continues to grow. More and more homeowners are looking for actionable insight into their energy usage so they can reduce their consumption – and save money! According to Energy Star, the average American household spends over $900 on heating and cooling each year. So, it’s no surprise that one of the first products to gain major traction in this space was the smart thermostat.Continue reading