Ryan Austin
Author Archives: Ryan Austin

Real Goods Solar Reviews Show Most Customers Enjoy Experience

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The bottom line: what existing customers say about Real Goods Solar

Real Goods Solar (now known as RGS Energy) was founded in 1978 – quite old for a solar installation company. They currently work in 11 states, both installing and financing (via loans, not leases or PPAs) residential solar installations.

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How you can Reduce Energy Costs and Save a Buck

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Solar is great, but aren’t there other ways to save money on your electricity bills?

Well, as a matter of fact, yes, there are! Installing energy efficiency measures – like LED lightbulbs – around your home and changing a few basic habits can drastically drop your electricity bills for much less money than installing solar.

Not to say solar is bad. Consider energy efficiency as a prelude to going solar. By reducing the amount of energy you consume, you can install a smaller solar system. Energy efficiency and solar go together quite nicely!Continue reading

How Can I Find Solar Providers Near Me?

solar-providers-near-me

Wanting to go solar, but not sure how to find the best installers in your area?

Off the top of my head, I can easily think of a couple of solar providers near me. If you’ve been jumped by Sunrun while shopping at Costco or talked at by SolarCity as you’ve browsed through Home Depot, you might think that they’re all that’s out there.

However, you couldn’t be further from the truth! While these 2 companies may be the biggest residential solar providers, there are thousands of solar companies across the US. Most of these are small, local companies, but other national or regional installers are out there too.Continue reading

Is Life Without Net Metering a Life Worth Living?

net-metering

Net metering makes solar a much more lucrative investment, but what if your state does not have it?

The majority of states in the US offer retail-rate net metering (or NEM, net energy metering), and you’re probably aware of a lot of them: California, Colorado, and Oregon, to name a few. Net metering is a basic building block of solar savings and the fact that this policy is so prevalent across the country is great news for most homeowners.

Today, though, let’s focus not on those that have net metering, but on those that don’t have net metering.Continue reading

The Enphase Microinverter: Reviews and Company Information

enphase-microinverter-reviews

What is the future of Enphase, and are their products as good as many say they are?

Enphase is the preeminent manufacturer of microinverters in the US. Their products are unique, high-quality, and fill a niche in the solar industry. However, the company has been troubled by quarterly net losses and falling stock prices since 2015. What are real customers saying about the products?Continue reading

What Can You Do with a 100 Watt Solar Panel?

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Practical uses for a 100-watt solar panel

Let’s be blunt: a 100-watt solar panel is actually pretty small. You’re not going to power your whole home with a 100 watt panel. For reference, solar panels for rooftop installations typically fall around 260 to 300 watts – that’s 3 times as big as a little 100 watt panel. Solar panels for utility-scale installations or large businesses are even bigger!

So just how big is a 100-watt panel, and what can you do with it? Let’s take a look.Continue reading

Renewable Energy Programs in US Island Territories

renewable-energy-programs

How successful are renewable energy programs on our islands?

We hear a lot about renewable energy programs in the US and all their ensuing controversies. Net metering, unhappy utilities, and even wars between the solar industry and local utilities (most famously in Arizona).

You might be surprised to find out that other areas of the US – outside the 50 states – are experiencing the same issues, but often on a heightened scale due to their isolation and the fact that they are all islands.

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What are Good Photovoltaic Panel Prices?

Photovoltaic-Panels-Prices

Everything you need to know about photovoltaic panel prices

You’ve probably heard a lot of talk about solar installation costs and how they’re constantly falling, but maybe you’re left wondering how you can tell if you’re getting a good deal. For your panels specifically, how do you know if you’re getting a great bargain? Today, we’re going to find out how much the average panel costs, to help you better understand the entire costs involved in going solar!Continue reading

Mississippi Solar – Everything You Need to Know

mississippi-solar

Information about Solar Panels in Mississippi

Mississippi’s electricity rates and great sunlight give solar the perfect soil to bloom. Unfortunately, without a renewable portfolio standard and any decent net metering, the state isn’t doing much to grow Mississipi solar and renewable energy in any way.

Even still, going solar in Mississippi can help you save money and add value to your home at the same time. Take a look below for savings estimates as well as an overview of important solar policies and incentives.

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Sunpower Solar Panels: Great Products, Hurting Company

sunpower-solar-panels

Sunpower’s solar panels are great, but recent layoffs and a factory closure are cause for concern

Sunpower has been around for over 30 years – a veritable dinosaur by solar industry standards. But they’re a dinosaur in a good way, as Sunpower solar panels are some of the best in the industry, thanks to the company’s expertise, know-how, and innovation.

Unfortunately, even with all the accolades Sunpower receives for its solar panels, and despite its high revenues, the actual company continues to suffer from debt, layoffs, and a recent factory closure.

What makes Sunpower’s solar panels so great, and what does the future hold for the company? Let’s delve into all this now.Continue reading

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