Tag Archives for " solar 101 "

Is it Possible for Solar Panels to Run Air Conditioner Units?

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How to ensure your solar system can manage AC – the biggest energy hog in any house

Can you use solar panels to run air conditioner units? In a word, yes. If your home is connected to the grid and your solar installation is net metered, it is possible to use solar energy to cool your house. Many homes already do this!

However, in another word: maybe. An AC unit requires a lot of electricity. If you live off-grid and have no method of backup power, your solar/battery system will need to be quite large.

Let’s take a look at AC energy requirements and typical solar production to see if solar panels can really run air conditioners in each setup.Continue reading

How Big and Expensive is a 5kW Solar System?

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An average-sized installation for the average home.

Residential solar installations run from a measly 2kW to a monstrous 25kW (or even bigger). Twenty-five kilowatts (kW) is a huge solar installation (at least for residential projects), equal to about 100 solar panels.

Don’t have that much space on your roof? Don’t worry! Most installations, such as the 5kW solar system, are well below that size. Most of us don’t even use enough electricity to warrant an installation that big! In fact, according to the National Renewable Energy Lab (p.5), the average installation is about 5.6kW.

Today, let’s take a peek at a 5kW installation to understand exactly how big that is, how much you can expect to pay for one, and how much you can save by installing a system of this size.Continue reading

Is Purchasing Solar Panels in Cash Better than a Lease or Loan?

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Looking to install solar, but not quite sure how to pay for it?

There’s actually a few different options for purchasing solar panels, from simply paying cash to taking out a loan or lease.

Which one’s best? Let’s run through each and discuss their pros and cons, as well as which one you should choose and why.Continue reading

Virginia Solar – Everything You Need to Know

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Information about Solar Panels in Virginia

Despite having some terrible gaps in their overall solar policy, installing solar in Virginia is still quite a lucrative investment thanks to the state’s decent net metering policy and sunny southern skies.

Saving over $15k by going solar in Virginia isn’t difficult, but of course, you need to do your homework first. What incentives are available? What do you need to connect your system to the grid? How much can you save?

We’re here to help with all these questions! Below, you’ll find all the information you need to make an informed decision on Virginia solar: savings estimates, info on solar policy, and a rundown of all incentives available to Virginia homeowners going solar.

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Arkansas Solar – Everything You Need to Know

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Information about Solar Panels in Arkansas

While the state hasn’t done much to help homeowners save money by installing solar, Arkansas solar can still be a financially rewarding investment.

The only real step the state has taken is to pass interconnection and net metering regulations (which are actually undergoing a major upheaval in 2017). However, with the federal tax credit and Arkansas’ sunny skies that are perfect for producing clean, renewable energy, you can still see a return on your investment while contributing to a healthier planet.

Read on for all the info you need to decide whether going solar in Arkansas is right for you, including savings estimates, relevant solar policies, and available incentives.

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Tennessee Solar – Everything You Need to Know

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Information about Solar Panels in Tennessee

Despite the state of Tennessee taking virtually no positive steps to encourage or reward homeowners to go solar, Tennessee homeowners can save over $17k with a mid-sized solar system -- thanks largely to TVA’s Green Power Provider program.

If you're looking for everything you need for Tennessee solar, you're covered! We’ve collected all the necessary information on going solar in Tennessee, including solar policies, available incentives, and savings estimates for average-sized installations. Ready to learn all about Tennessee solar? Let’s do it!

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Why Are Energy Prices Important to Your Solar Savings?

energy-prices

How much you save by going solar is directly related to your cost of electricity.

If you’ve received quotes or savings estimates from solar installers, you’ve probably noticed that your current electricity price is listed somewhere on the page. Next to or below that price, you’ll probably also see the phrase estimated utility rate increase, expressed as a percentage.

Typically, it’s something like “Current electricity price: $0.13 per kWh. Estimated utility rate increase: 2.5%”. If you’re like me, you’re probably wondering what this rate increase is, and if it’s really that important.

To keep it simple: Yes, it is!

Today, you’re getting a crash course in energy price increases. I know, I know. It sounds boring. But, by the end of this article, you’ll be able to rest assured knowing that your savings estimate is – or is not – an accurate look at your future savings. It’s that important!Continue reading

Washington, DC Solar – Everything You Need to Know

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Information about Solar Panels in Washington, DC

In Washington, DC (District of Columbia) solar is an excellent idea. With their fast rising electricity rates, fantastic REC program, and net metering regulations, homeowners in our nation's capital can save over $22k by installing an average-sized solar system.

Interested in going solar, but not sure where to start? We’ve got all the info you need below! Read on for savings estimates, financing options, available incentives, and relevant solar policies.

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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 Can I Find Solar Providers Near Me?

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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

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