Can I Go Off the Grid with Solar Batteries?

Going off the grid with solar batteries

Newer, more efficient solar panels and inverters have been in the news recently, but advancements in solar technology aren’t limited to standard equipment. Energy storage is also moving closer to mass-market adoption, and more installers are offering solar batteries (a.k.a. solar-plus-storage) as an option for homeowners. Solar-plus-storage systems include a battery that captures and stores the excess energy generated by the system’s solar panels, opening up the possibility of going “off the grid” – a tempting proposition for homeowners who want to sever their connection with utility companies by using renewable energy.

Since solar battery technology is relatively new to the solar market, there isn’t significant solar storage capacity deployed in the U.S. That won’t be the case for long though: between utility and residential installations, solar battery deployment is expected to increase twelve times over in 2015. As solar batteries become cheaper and more accessible for homeowners, more people are wondering, “Can I use solar batteries to go off the grid with my solar panel system?”

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How Do I Claim the Solar Tax Credit?

Claim the Solar Tax Credit

If you’re considering solar, you’ve probably heard about the federal solar tax credit, also known as the Investment Tax Credit (ITC). The ITC makes solar more affordable for homeowners and businesses by granting a dollar-for-dollar tax deduction equal to 30% of the total cost of a solar energy system.

What does 30% actually mean for the average solar shopper? According to EnergySage marketplace data, the average national gross cost of installing a solar panel system in the first half of 2015 was $29,225. At that price, the solar tax credit can reduce your federal tax burden by $8,768 – and that’s just one of many rebates and incentives that can reduce the cost of solar for homeowners.

There’s plenty of information out there about the value of the residential ITC, but figuring out how to actually claim the credit when it comes time to file your taxes is another story. We’ll walk you through it.

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Green Power Explained

Green power explained

Generating your own electricity with solar panels is the most direct way to support renewable energy, and it offers significant savings for homeowners. If you install solar panels on your home, you can reduce your electricity bill, protect against rising energy costs, and increase your property value.

Curious about whether solar is right for you? Get an instant estimate of your solar savings today!

However, installing solar on your roof is a big investment, and in order to make it happen, you either need to own your home or get buy-in from your landlord. Luckily, if you rent or your home isn’t suitable for solar, there are other ways to boost U.S. energy independence and protect the environment without installing solar onsite. One option that has been gaining momentum is community solar, where you can purchase a portion of solar panels in a large solar energy installation. But maybe you’re not ready to make an investment in solar – perhaps you’re not yet a homeowner, or perhaps you’re planning to move shortly. If that sounds like you, you should look into buying green power. Continue reading

What is PACE Financing for Home Solar Power?

PACE financing for solar

If you want to install a solar energy system on your property, one of the first questions you’ve probably asked is, “How will I pay for it?” There are many financing options available today for homeowners who want to enjoy the benefits of solar. In many areas, an increasingly popular option for home energy improvements like solar is property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing.

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Commercial Solar Benefits for Business

Commercial solar benefits for business

If you’re a business owner, installing a solar energy system might seem like a risky move in a complex and confusing market. You may have heard about major Fortune 500 companies going solar, but thought that it might not be feasible for your organization. Maybe you’re considering installing solar panels at some point in the distant future, when your organization can afford to make a major investment in something that seems like an environmental “good” rather than a strategic financial decision.

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Solar Power Installation in Less Than a Minute

Have you ever wondered what the solar power installation process looks like? Check out EnergySage’s new time-lapse video, Solar Installation in Less Than a Minute, to see one of EnergySage’s pre-screened solar installers assemble a 6.7 kW solar energy system on a home in Newton, Massachusetts. The happy homeowners now save $2,250 on their electricity bills every year thanks to their new solar panels, and will break even on their investment in just 5 years.

In 2015 the average solar shopper in the EnergySage Solar Marketplace offset 85.9% of their electricity usage by going solar, and will pay off their solar energy system in just 7.5 years.

How much can you save by going solar? Receive an instant estimate of your solar savings today!