Author Archives: Guest Contributor

How your behind-the-meter solar system can lower electricity bills for your whole neighborhood

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EnergySage note: this article is a guest post and the views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author, and not to EnergySage. 

It’s well known that the behind-the-meter (BTM) solar on your rooftop can reduce the demand for grid-scale electricity: every megawatt-hour (MWh) produced from BTM solar is one fewer MWh that needs to come from the grid (often from a dirty coal or natural gas power plant). Lesser known, however, is the “price effect” of BTM solar. When BTM solar lowers the amount of electricity that expensive power plants need to produce, it also reduces the price that all utilities pay for that electricity. This means that BTM solar can both avoid the creation of dirty electricity, and lower the price that everyone in a region ultimately pays for electricity.  As a result, when you install BTM solar, it benefits you and your neighbors.

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LBNL LMI solar

How can the clean energy industry support low-income households in going solar?

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EnergySage note: this article is a guest post and the views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author, and not to EnergySage. 

Although there is growing interest in policies and programs to ensure that the benefits of solar power are equitably reaching households of all income levels, lower income households are still less likely to go solar. 

Some of the causes for this are well-documented and unsurprising.  Income is unequally distributed among households, low and moderate income (LMI) households have less cash, are less able to finance installations, are less likely to own their home, and are less aware of the opportunity.

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CALSSA guest post

The State of California Solar Policy

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EnergySage note: this article is a guest post and the views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author, and not to EnergySage. 

The California solar market is facing one of its biggest periods of upheaval ever and the next few months will set the fate of the industry for the next decade as the state decides the future of “net metering”. The stakes could not be higher for this 75,000 worker, $4 billion industry so let’s take a deeper dive into the forces bombarding the industry, the trials ahead, and how the industry can defend itself to make it through this challenging time.

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high efficiency solar panels

How to decide if high-efficiency panels are worth the cost

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High-efficiency solar panels are becoming increasingly popular, and can impact how much solar power you can produce on your roof or property. Given all of the options for high-efficiency products, though, it can be hard to get a feel for how the efficiency of your panels influences the costs you pay for solar. Here’s a quick guide to help you determine if high-efficiency solar panels are worth the added cost when comparing your solar options.

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tracking the sun report

Highlights from the Tracking the Sun report

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One of the best resources for tracking trends in the solar industry was just released. The recently published annual Tracking the Sun report from Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) describes price and technology trends for distributed solar projects nationally, collecting project-level data from approximately 1.6 million systems through the end of 2018. The latest edition of the report, which is now in its twelfth year, finds that prices for distributed solar power systems continued to fall in 2018, that industry practices continue to evolve, and that systems are getting bigger and more efficient.

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solar real estate

5 questions to ask a real estate agent before selling your solar home

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There may come a time when you decide to sell your solar home. At that point, you will want a solar-friendly real estate agent that understands the ins-and-outs of solar-powered homes to be able to explain all aspects of your solar energy system to potential buyers, as well as home inspectors, lenders and appraisers. A knowledgeable solar-home listing agent will help achieve the highest valuation possible for your solar home, while demonstrating to others how your solar-power system adds value to your home.

How do you know if your real estate agent will help you get the most value for your solar home? You know your solar home well, and you need a listing agent that is both experienced in selling solar homes and willing to learn the specifics of your solar home. Here are five questions to ask any potential listing agent to determine if they’ll be best for helping to sell your solar home.

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