Author Archives: Luke Tarbi

tesla solar roof vs solar panels

Tesla solar roof cost vs. solar panels: worth the premium?

Reading Time: 5 minutes

In the spring of 2017, Tesla announced pricing for their new solar roof product, a roof replacement for your home. And as of August 2018, Tesla is producing the roof product at their Buffalo Gigafactory, albeit slowly. Installations have begun for the top of their wait list though mass-market availability still remains unclear.

The new solution requires that you replace your existing roof with Tesla’s blend of non-solar glass tiles and solar-enabled glass tiles. It is an elegant new product, designed with great aesthetics, and due to its immense popularity, we wanted to explore the question: does installing this new roof make financial sense for your home? After initial analysis, we’ve found that for the majority of homeowners the answer is “not yet.” Unless you’re in the market for a roof replacement, Tesla’s new solar roof is simply too expensive for the average American homeowner to justify as a home energy upgrade.

Continue reading

tesla powerwall case study

Case study: Tesla Powerwall installation with Green Mountain Power in Vermont

Reading Time: 7 minutes

EnergySage’s own vice president of marketing, Luke Tarbi, just had a Tesla Powerwall 2 installed at his home in Vermont through Green Mountain Power’s new program – for just $15/month! In this case study, he shares his experience with the program.

We’d just closed on the house in Southern Vermont. Fortunately, the sellers left the house mostly furnished and stocked with supplies and a helpful “home instructions” booklet. One line of their “home instructions” stood out to us: “In the event of a power outage, there are flashlights and candles in the mudroom.”

Continue reading

how many solar panels do i need

How many solar panels do I need for my home?

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Determining the size of your solar energy system starts with a simple question: how many solar panels do I need? As most people want to produce enough energy to completely eliminate their electricity bill, the first step is determining what size solar system will produce enough power to meet your household consumption levels. Ultimately, you will be calculating how many kilowatt hours of power you will need and finding the correct system size and number of solar panels to power your houseContinue reading

solar and wind renewable energy

What are examples of renewable energy resources?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Renewable energy resources are alternative to fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas. Options like solar energy, wind, hydropower, and geothermal are becoming more and more popular as their reduced impact on the environment and increasingly attractive economics turn heads in the energy industry.
Continue reading

solar panels for rental properties

Solar panels for apartment renters: can you get in on clean energy’s financial benefits?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The simple answer for renters who want solar panels for their apartment or home is that it is possible. Through a number of methods, a renter can still cash in on the financial benefits of solar even if they don’t own their property.

If you’re renting and paying your own utility bills, you may think that there’s no incentive for your landlord to switch to a system powered by clean energy. But, switching to solar photovoltaics, solar thermal, wind power, geothermal, biomass or combined heat and power could be a win-win situation for you and your landlord. You already know you, as the tenant, would benefit by limiting future increases in your utility bills. But can you really convince your landlord that it’s in his or her best interest, too? The answer is a resounding “Yes!” All you need to do is present a compelling case. So, here’s how:

Continue reading

What Will a 10,000 Watt (10 kW) Solar System Cost in Your State in 2018?

Reading Time: 5 minutes

10kW solar systems are among the most popular solar energy system sizes in the country, producing enough electricity to power a home with slightly above-average electricity consumption. How much does a 10kW solar system cost? How much electricity will a 10kW solar system produce? How do you know you’re getting the best deal on a system? These are some of the key questions we will answer in this article.

Continue reading

How much do solar panels cost in Texas in 2018? Case study, incentives and pricing

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Until just recently, Texas was not even among the top 10 states for solar energy, thus many were surprised when the Lone Star State was ranked #3 in the U.S. for solar jobs in 2017. Texas is adopting solar at one of the fastest rates in the country, and for good reason. Prices have continued to drop, and a number of utilities across the state launched or extended major incentive programs for solar PV systems recently. In this article we’ll break down Texas solar prices and use a case study to explain how comparison shopping can help homeowners get a better deal.
Continue reading

“Free solar panels”: Are they really free?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

If you’ve been shopping around for a solar panel system, you’ve probably heard at least one company advertise ‘free solar panels’ – that they will install a solar system on your roof for free. But, much as with anything, remember that there is no such thing as a free lunch (or a free solar panel).

Free solar panels pure energies

Examples of companies advertising ‘free solar panels’

Decoding the sales pitch: The term ‘free solar panels’ is sometimes used to advertise solar lease or solar power purchase agreements (PPAs).

Under both types of arrangements, a company will put solar panels on your roof for no money up-front, but will charge you for the electricity that they produce.

Most offers will save you money but not all of them, so make sure you’ve thoroughly compared all your options. Also consider buying the solar panels or financing them with a zero-down solar loan.

Continue reading

how solar panels connect to the grid EnergySage

How do I choose my solar panels? Guide to choosing your solar equipment

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Installing a home solar energy system is a smart financial investment for many homeowners. As you evaluate offers from solar companies, there are many different factors to consider – the equipment that you choose for your system, your financing options, and the installer that you select all have an impact on your solar savings. This guide will help you evaluate the different solar panels and inverters available so that you can choose the best equipment for your home.  Continue reading

solar for grow lights

Solar grow lights: how solar panels benefit urban agriculture

Reading Time: 4 minutes

What do growing cannabis in Colorado, greens in South Korea, and sustaining life in space all have in common? While it may sound like the setup to a bad joke, all three are actually related to the future of modern agriculture. Indoor agriculture enables individuals to control all of the variables that go into farming, but it also means that the farmer has to recreate all of the natural conditions on earth — from the soil in the earth to the sun in the sky. Solar power can and will play a big part in making this all achievable. Continue reading