So you know you want to finance your solar panel system, but one big question remains: should you lease your system from a company, or own your system and finance it with a solar loan? The answer here depends on a few factors, including your preferences, needs, and financial goals.Continue reading
As you consider joining a community solar project, it’s important to understand how and when it will deliver value to you. This article breaks down the two main types of pricing models – ownership and subscription – in order to help you more accurately compare and decide between various offers.Continue reading
Of all the incentives for installing solar panel systems, solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs) are some of the most potent, yet least-understood. You may have heard enigmatic terms like “SREC markets,” “solar renewable portfolio standards,” and “minimum compliance payments” thrown around in discussions about SRECS, but sifting through of all this jargon can be downright mind-numbing. However, SRECs can provide sizable streams of money to owners of solar power systems, so learning about what SRECs are, where they are available, and how they can make solar more financially-rewarding can, quite literally, pay off in a big way. In this article, we aim to answer the simple question: “how do SRECs work?”
Choosing the right solar panels is one of the most important steps in designing your solar power system. There are hundreds of options, and while all panels are designed for one purpose – to convert sunlight directly into electricity, not all panels are created equal. Different solar cell technologies and the quality of manufacturing can impact the performance of your panels. For these reasons, comparing solar panels and finding the right one to meet your specific system needs can sometimes be a complicated task; but, it doesn’t need to be.
In this article we’ll explain important metrics like PTC power rating, STC, degradation rate, efficiency and temperature coefficient.
Reading Time: 6 minutes
Solar loans are gaining popularity as a solar financing option across the country. Because of the superior savings and similar benefits that solar loans promise, some industry analysts now predict that they will overtake third party-owned (TPO) solar leases and power purchase agreements (PPAs) as the dominant option for solar financing in the USA within a few years.
A new report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) examines this phenomenon and sheds more light on the possible advantages of financing your solar system with a loan as opposed to TPO solar lease / PPA.
The most important conclusion of the report is this: While going solar with either of these options is likely save you money on your electricity bills, financing your system with a solar loan could save you up to 30% more than if you go solar with a solar lease or PPA. Continue reading
Reading Time: 5 minutes
Don’t have a roof of your own to put solar panels on? So-called community solar gardens have begun to appear in many states across the USA, promising to make it easy to go solar even if you don’t have anywhere to put your panels. ‘Community solar’ has created quite a buzz as the number of solar garden projects has grown.
But we here at EnergySage argue that participating in a solar garden only makes sense if you’re benefitting in some way: whether that be saving money on your power bill, or possibly just knowing that you’ve helped your community take a step towards energy independence.
Community solar gardens: How to go solar without a roof
EnergySage has published a number of articles on the topic of community solar power. You access them with the links below:
Reading Time: 3 minutesOur Go Solar Checklist post provided you with useful information to get you ready to start shopping for your own solar power system. We’ve pulled together a short follow-up checklist below that’s aimed at helping you cross the finish line. Here are a few more things to consider: Continue reading
Reading Time: 3 minutesIf you’ve been paying attention at all, you’re probably already a believer in the financial benefits of solar power. One of the critical benefits of EnergySage is the tremendous amount of time it saves you throughout the entire process of shopping for solar power. When we talk about these financial benefits, we don’t usually assign a monetary value to the time you save using EnergySage, but as we all know, time is money. Ultimately, how you value your time affects the choices you make. Here’s an interesting analysis of how to put a dollar figure on the time EnergySage will save you. Continue reading
Reading Time: 3 minutesOne of the most critical components to a successful solar panel system installation is, of course, choosing the right solar installer. No matter if you are in Massachusetts, New York or California, a knowledgeable and competent installer is key to achieving your financial goals. This is true not just in terms of what you will pay to install your system, but also in terms of maximizing your system’s economic benefits by installing an appropriately sized system, maximizing production levels, taking advantage of incentive and rebate programs, etc. So what should a property owner look for in an installer? Here are some of the criteria that EnergySage uses when choosing installers for our own network of pre-screened high-quality installers: Continue reading
Reading Time: 2 minutesAs the owner or lessee of a solar panel system, you are entitled to the electricity it produces free of charge. Throughout the year, though, the electricity your solar panels produce will vary—sometimes you may produce more than you need and at other times, not enough. The practice of “net-metering” helps to even out how these peaks and valleys in electricity production affect your electricity bills. Here’s how it works: Continue reading