home with solar panels and a battery

Does solar-plus-storage still work during an outage?

Battery storage paired with solar panels is a great way to save money on electricity bills in the long term, especially with new rate plans like time-of-use becoming more prevalent. But does adding a battery mean you’ll be able to produce, store, and use electricity with solar when the grid is down? Do you even need a battery? In this article, we’ll dissect how solar and storage can make for an effective grid resiliency technique.

Continue reading
lumin complete review

An overview of Lumin’s energy management system

When thinking about installing a solar or a solar-plus-storage system at your home or business, there’s one piece of information that is of the utmost importance: how much electricity do you use, and which of your home appliances use that electricity. That’s exactly where Lumin can help: the three-year-old, Charlottesville, Virginia-based company is joining the relatively nascent field of creating smart circuits, allowing you to dynamically choose or automate what to power with your solar and storage, which is especially useful in the event of an outage.

Continue reading
solar panels with air source heat pumps

Benefits of solar-powered air source heat pumps

If you’re already considering installing a solar panel installation, you’re probably familiar with the positive impact it will have on your monthly electricity bill: but what if you could also substantially decrease your monthly heating and cooling bills with your new system? You can maximize your energy bill savings and decrease your carbon footprint by pairing your solar panels with energy-efficient air source heat pumps

Continue reading
storage solutions and inverter companies

Comparing storage options from inverter companies

As interest in energy storage increases from homeowners across the country, more and more solar equipment manufacturers are beginning to offer their own energy storage solutions. In fact, a number of solar inverter companies have recently launched, or are on the verge of releasing their own energy storage systems. Here’s a list of the storage options developed by inverter manufacturers that are currently or soon-to-be-available for homeowners in the US.

Continue reading
tracking the sun report

Highlights from the Tracking the Sun report

One of the best resources for tracking trends in the solar industry was just released. The recently published annual Tracking the Sun report from Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) describes price and technology trends for distributed solar projects nationally, collecting project-level data from approximately 1.6 million systems through the end of 2018. The latest edition of the report, which is now in its twelfth year, finds that prices for distributed solar power systems continued to fall in 2018, that industry practices continue to evolve, and that systems are getting bigger and more efficient.

Continue reading
solar contract

Should I sign a solar contract before a site visit?

Solar is a first-time investment for most property owners in the U.S. today. As such, at some point during the process of researching solar, you may want to sit down with an installer, ask questions and get a finalized proposal for the job. With this request (often referred to as a ‘Site Visit’) a number of installers may ask you to sign an agreement before coming out to the house. 

Continue reading
off grid with solar

Going off-grid with solar: what does it mean and how much will it cost? (Part 2)

This is Part 2 of a two-part series that explores the economics of going completely off-grid with solar. Part 1 focuses on what it actually means to go “off-grid” and how to start thinking about calculating the costs for cutting the cord with your utility. Part 2 discusses two real-world examples of sizing an off-grid solar energy system, along with the feasibility of going through with an off-grid solution. Check out Part 1 here.

Continue reading
home with solar panels and ev

Tesla Q3 2019 earnings call: what you need to know

As a publicly-traded company, Tesla presents quarterly reports to shareholders, analysts, and the media about the state of the company. While most coverage of these quarterly earnings calls focuses on the company’s electric vehicle business or their financial standing, we want to provide an analysis of what their reports reveal about Tesla’s solar and storage business. With that in mind, here’s what you need to know from Tesla’s Q3 2019 earnings call: 

Continue reading