Author Archives: Sara Matasci

should I wait for tesla solar roof

The Tesla roof: when will it be available and should you wait for it?

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For those asking themselves, “should I wait for the Tesla solar roof?”, you are not alone. Elon Musk, co-founder and CEO of Tesla Motors, has a well-earned reputation for creating innovative 21st-century products that combine attractive designs with exceptional performance – and generate high levels of consumer interest as a result. The latest Musk technology to make a splash is the Tesla solar roof, which he revealed to great fanfare in October 2016. Here’s everything you should consider before making your decision, including what Tesla roof rivals you should consider.

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form 5695 instructions solar tax credit

How do I claim the solar tax credit (ITC)? Form 5695 instructions

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If you’re considering solar, you’ve probably heard about the federal solar tax credit, also known as the Investment Tax Credit (ITC). The Federal 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 2018 is $18,840. At that price, the solar tax credit can reduce your federal tax burden by $5,652 – 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 the instructions step by step from Form 5695 to Form 1040.

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best solar panels 2018 graphic

What are the best solar panels on the market? The complete ranking

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Finding the best solar panels for your home can feel like a daunting challenge. There are more than a hundred different brands of solar panels and other equipment on the market at any given point.

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cost of solar panels

How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in the U.S. in 2018?

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You’ve probably heard about how solar energy can reduce your electricity bills, but how much do solar panels really cost? The easiest way to calculate the average cost of solar panels is to look at its price in dollars per watt, which is relatively consistent across the United States. Continue reading

how to compare solar panel kits for sale

Solar panel kits for sale: how much will they cost and how to compare them

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Most home solar panel systems are installed by a qualified solar installer, but more DIY-minded homeowners are exploring options like solar panels for sale online and solar panel kits for home available for purchase in hardware stores. If you’re one of the millions of Americans considering solar, you’ve probably come across some of the DIY solar products available – but do you know how to choose the best product out of all the solar panels for sale? Here’s your complete guide to finding the right option for your home.

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mass solar loan program overview

Mass solar loan: banks, prices, and program details

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For homeowners in Massachusetts, finding a low-interest loan to finance their solar power system just got a lot easier thanks to the launch of the Mass Solar Loan program. The program, jointly administered by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) and Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER), leverages $30 million in public funds to make low-interest, fixed-term solar loans more accessible for homeowners in Massachusetts.

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3,000 Watt (3kW) solar systems: compare 2018 prices and installers

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If you have high electricity bills, installing a 3,000 watt (3 kilowatt) solar energy system on your home can be a great way to significantly reduce your monthly costs. In order to maximize your long-term solar savings, you want to be confident that you’re getting a good price for your solar energy investment. The best way to feel confident about your purchase: compare multiple offers for 3 kW solar systems against the prices that other solar shoppers in your area have been offered. Learn more about the cost of a 3 kW solar system in your area, the amount of electricity you can expect your 3 kW system to produce, and the smartest way to shop for solar in EnergySage’s guide to 3 kW solar panel systems. 

How much does a 3kW solar system cost in 2018?

As of January 2018, the average cost of solar in the U.S. is $3.14 per watt ($9,420 for a 3 kilowatt solar system). That means that the total cost for a 3,000 watt (3kW) solar system would be $6,594 after the 30% Federal ITC discount (not factoring in any additional state rebates or incentives).

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solar inverters

How do solar inverters work? Comparing inverter types and technologies

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Solar panels aren’t the only component that you should be thinking about when you evaluate your solar system equipment. Solar power inverters play an equally important role in a solar system: they convert the electricity your solar panels create into a form that can be used by the appliances, lighting, and other electronics that are in your home. Once you understand how solar inverters work, and the different types of inverters available for solar, the EnergySage Solar Marketplace can help you compare solar quotes with different inverter types.

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best solar inverters enphase vs solaredge vs sma

Best solar inverters review: SolarEdge vs. Enphase vs. SMA vs. Tigo

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If you want to maximize your solar energy system’s production, finding the best solar inverter is as important as the solar panels you choose. For an “uncomplicated” roof – one that faces south and has no gables, chimneys, or other obstructions that can cast a shadow – the best solar inverter for you may be a standard string inverter. However, more than half of new residential solar installations are using module-level power electronics (MLPEs) like power optimizers and microinverters to maximize electricity production.

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