Nadia Osman
Author Archives: Nadia Osman

5 Major Ways to Save Money on Home Energy Beyond Solar Panels

So you’ve switched out all the light bulbs in favor of LEDs and turned down the heat. Now what? Why is your home energy bill still so high? 

Well, did you know the energy used in the average house is responsible for twice as many greenhouse gas emissions as the average car?

That’s right, your home is an energy suck, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are five very easy ways to start saving on your home energy bill that go way beyond replacing your light-bulbs with LEDs. (Bonus: many of these are extremely cost-efficient!)

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Cost of Solar Panels Over Time

cost of solar panels

The cost of solar has never been lower than it is right now.

Spurred on by falling installation prices and high incentives (which will soon decrease) the time to go solar is now. Below we explore the average cost of solar installations, just how far prices have dropped, and what factors do you need to consider before calculating the costs of going solar.

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It Will Pay to Get Into Commercial Solar

walmart-solar-power

Over the last few years, the boom in solar rooftop panels has gotten plenty of attention. But manufacturing, installing, and selling those solar systems takes a lot of work. Not every homeowner can afford panels right now, and not every person with a house has the right incentives to make it cost effective. That’s why more and more, it makes sense to focus on commercial solar versus residential, as large open spaces will cost less for solar installation than rooftops. And The Motley Fool agrees, which is why it recently focused on the untapped opportunity of commercial solar.

The Growing Business of Solar

As of last year, GTM Research (cited in the article) put the average cost of a residential solar system at $3.48 per watt, while a commercial system only cost $2.25 per watt. Yet commercial solar goes beyond just panels, as they’re something that relates to consumers and the grid on a larger scale. Solar needs to compete by adapting and forming partnerships with energy storage providers. For example, SolarCity has been working with Tesla to launch energy storage products so homeowners and business owners with solar panels can keep the energy they create.Continue reading

Everything You Need to Know About Solar: How To Get Started

solar-panel-roof-orientation

The future of solar is here now. 76 percent of Americans want solar. And due in part to the federal tax credit (which is set to expire at the end of 2016), they’re getting their wish.

Solar panels are cropping up all over. With increased production in photovoltaic solar panels and new financing that makes it easier than ever to install solar, there’s never been a better time to install your own rooftop panels. Here everything you need to know about solar right now, and how to get started:

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Commercial Solar is Back for 2015

While residential solar has been growing steadily, commercial solar hasn’t grown quite as much.

However, new projections state that commercial solar installations are expected to increase 40 percent over the total commercial solar installations from 2014.

The 2015 Solar Investment Index survey commissioned by financial services firm Wiser Capital shows commercial solar is on the up and up.

Survey Says: Solar!

Over 60 percent of the corporate investors who were surveyed said they plan to invest in solar, and are making a priority within the next five years. Another 20 percent said they’ve already invested in solar so far this year, which equals a total of 83 percent of investors expressing “strong interest” in going solar, according to Greentech Media.

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Rooftop Solar on Municipal Buildings Could Save Cities Millions

We talk often about California, Arizona, and Hawaii as solar leaders, but Colorado is a state that knows clean energy. It ranks sixth for solar, and has plenty of potential to become an even bigger solar hotspot. But what about its unused city space? A report from the Institute of Local Self-Reliance cited that the roofs of municipal buildings could generate thousands of megawatts (MW) of solar power for cities, saving them millions of dollars.

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What’s the Real Value of Solar in California?

Determining the exact cost — and worth — of rooftop solar panels should be getting much easier. However, it seems like the technology has yet to meet up with the precise need for utilities and solar companies alike. The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that last year, the California Public Utilities Commission used a computer model to analyze the cost-effectiveness of new solar policy proposals, but the answers it produced looked strange and slow.

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This Solar Powered Home Can Go With You Anywhere

Imagine waking up in the morning to the roaring sea as you saunter out of your tiny home turned beachfront cottage. Or putting out the campfire and getting a good night’s sleep under the stars as a tiny home serving as a yurt. Gizmodo reported on Ecocapsule, a brand new tiny smart home, is “the first truly independent micro-home” as it is powered 100 percent by sun and wind.

Ecocapsule Details

Ecocapsule is a compact, low-energy house that combines off-grid capabilities with the luxuries of small living. Think of it like energy efficient camping, big enough for two adults (or one if you don’t like to share).

The very cool features in this smart tiny home include clean energy dreams: padded walls with high performance thermal insulation, and a capsule with water filters installed in the upper surface that remove rainwater bacteria before funneling it beneath the floor. Everything in this pod house works to reduce energy requirements and maintain a temperature indoors that’s comfortable no matter the weather outside.Continue reading

Will Florida Ever Get Its Solar Energy Act Together?

We’ve talked about the problems plaguing Florida’s solar power before. Even with the building of a solar farm next to Walt Disney World, the Sunshine State has had trouble exploiting its abundant sunshine. According to the New York Times, they rank third in the nation for rooftop solar potential, but 13th in the actual amount of solar energy generated.

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