Granite Countertops or Solar Panels?

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Life is all about trade-offs. Do you take that big trip or pay your child’s college tuition? Do you take your income tax refund and buy that home theater you’ve always wanted, or do you add it to your retirement savings? Fortunately, not all of life’s decisions are “either / or.” Some decisions, like installing a clean energy system, can actually help to increase the range of your possibilities. Continue reading

Is a House With an Unobstructed, South-Facing Roof Worth More?

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You’re in the market for a house. You’ve done your research, found your price point, and are looking at homes in the neighborhood of your choice.

You’re making the rounds at open houses, taking tours, and checking the essentials – quality of construction, design and layout, the age and quality of the kitchens and bathrooms, the fixtures and appliances, the condition of the roof and the foundation, etc. Continue reading

Can the Clean Energy Industry Benefit From Its Own Version of Edmunds.com?

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This 2011 map created by Columbia University illustrates the estimated Total Annual Building Energy Consumption for New York City. This kind of information is appealing to us at EnergySage. We’re obsessed with how much energy households are using, what it costs, where it comes from, and how to make the whole energy equation better by using clean energy systems. But if information like this were readily available, would it appeal to a broad base of residential and commercial property owners? And, what might happen if it were? Continue reading

Why Oil Prices Will Stay High and How Clean Energy Can Help

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There’s nothing as immutable as the basic laws of supply and demand. Right? Well, a recent CNN blog post is saying not so fast. With worldwide demand for oil low, CNN’s blogger asks, “so why is oil trading high at $113 a barrel, more than twice the price it was trading at five years ago when the global economy was booming? What in the world is going on?” Continue reading

Clean Energy: The Path to Energy Independence

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There are a lot of things that motivate people to switch to clean energy systems. Energy independence doesn’t usually top the list, although it’s usually included in the mix. Lately, though, it looks like Energy Independence may start to mount a strong challenge to other motivators such as cost savings and environmental benefits for the top spot. Continue reading

Search for the Solar Grail – Part 2

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Continued from Part 1

10:30 AM – the doorbell rings on Martin Luther King day. It’s 12 degrees out and the guy at the door – in blue coveralls with the NStar logo – is from the electric utility company. Carmine – that’s his name – is here to install two “net-meters” to prep for our upcoming Photovoltaic installation. He explains that normal electric meters go only one direction, but net-meters go forwards and backwards as well. Continue reading

Search for the Solar Grail – Part 1

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Hello to new EnergySagers –

I’m located in Massachusetts and I thought my recent experiences looking into solar PV for my house might be helpful for folks.

First off, I should say that I’m pretty lucky to have an unobstructed south-facing roof. I’ve been thinking about solar for a while, and watching prices go down, so a couple of months ago I started asking people who had installed solar PV panels if they could recommend companies. I found two through word of mouth and then I found three more via EnergySage.com.

Continue reading

MAJOR MYTH: Solar Panel Systems Are Only a Good Investment Because of Rebates and Incentives

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Lately, there’s been a lot of noise in the marketplace about whether or not solar panel systems would make financial sense without the government tax incentives and rebates that are available today. Even the Wall Street Journal seems to have jumped on the band wagon.  Continue reading

Retiring to Someplace Sunny: Solar and Other Renewables Improve Retirees’ Financial Outlook

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This recent blog post “For Retirement Savings, Solar Power Is a Better Bet Than the Stock Market” from thedailygreen.com shows how one octogenarian couple is using renewable energy to stretch their savings and contain costs in retirement. While this post focuses on solar photovoltaics, any clean energy system—solar, wind, geothermal or biomass—can produce the same benefits. Continue reading

Falling Demand Yet Higher Electricity Prices: Clean Energy to the Rescue

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If you’ve taken steps to save on electricity at home, but you’re not currently thinking about installing a solar energy system right now, consider the following.

A recent Associated Press headline read, “Shocker: Power Demand From U.S. Homes is Falling” but the real shocker came later in the article.

“Suddenly faced with shrinking sales, some utilities are asking for regulatory changes so they can charge higher rates per kilowatt hour in exchange for helping customers further reduce consumption . . .” Doesn’t this violate the basic law of supply and demand—that as demand goes down, prices go down, too? Continue reading