cost of solar

Going solar in Oregon? Here’s what to expect from PGE: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Upgrading a home to solar energy can seem like a daunting prospect. In terms of scale, many who have already gone through the process equate it to adding a room to their house. And as many of us know, remodeling projects can be an annoying hassle. Plus, legislators are always tweaking the rules and regulations governing the energy market. So it can be hard to know if the benefits you heard about last year still apply today. In spite of the effort it takes, the benefits of going solar pay tremendous financial dividends for decades to come. That’s not to mention the significant positive impact on the environment.

Blue Raven Solar Mission and Values Origin Story

Prior to working at Blue Raven Solar, I worked at McKinsey & Company as a management consultant. McKinsey has a long and rich tradition around its mission and values. Shortly after I joined the firm, I remember learning that mission statements and value statements are not two ways of saying the same thing. They serve very different purposes. A company mission statement describes “why” an organization exists. A good mission statement captures why employees should come to work every day. Company values, on the other hand, describe “how” an organization should go about accomplishing its mission. Values are the guardrails or “instruction booklet” that guides decisions and behavior along the way.

Solar seems right for me. Should I lease or buy?

If you’re wondering whether residential solar falls within your reach, a good place to start would be a comparison of the three most common purchasing options available: 

  1. Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) in which a developer arranges for the design, permitting, financing and installation of a solar energy system on a customer’s property and then the customer purchases power from the developer.
  2. Solar lease in which a complete package of solar equipment gets installed on a customer’s roof at little or no  upfront cost and then the customer pays a monthly lease on the equipment.
  3. Solar purchase in which a customer pays out-of-pocket or acquires financing for the outright purchase and installation of solar equipment which they operate from that day forward.

Estimating the cost of a solar installation

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Just because solar panels are made in a uniform rectangle shape, doesn’t mean there’s a uniform formula for designing a solar array. In fact, it’s kind of red flag if they do that without asking some specific questions first. Because every home is different, and every family generates a unique set of specific needs, installing a solar energy system to meet those needs reliably throughout the year calls for a completely custom design.

If we’re talking about cost, the one simplistic statement we can honestly make is that cost is a function of system size. Period. And size depends on too many factors to generalize. So, the first factor we consider in every custom design proposal we create is how much energy you consume.

Solar Power Myths Debunked

Common Solar Power Myths

We’ve come across quite a few myths and misconceptions about the advantages of solar energy and we’ve noticed how they can turn into stumbling blocks for people considering the switch from grid electricity to solar power. So, in the interest of setting a few facts straight, here’s a list of four solar energy myths that may not be strong, but still seem to be alive in 2019 regardless. Let’s put these babies to bed.  

What is Net Metering?

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Net metering is a two-way billing arrangement between utility companies and customers designed to account for the two-way flow of electricity between the power grid owned by utility companies, and customer-owned power generators such as rooftop solar panels. Typically established through state legislation, net metering ensures that utility customers who generate their own electricity can distribute any surplus power they produce back into the grid and get credit for it added to their utility account. Net metering customers then apply their accrued energy credits to pay for energy that they withdraw from the grid to power their homes during times when their solar array is inactive.

 

Cleaning solar panels: Is it even necessary?

Cleaning Solar Panels: is it event worth it? CAUTION: READ MANUFACTURER INSTALLATION, SAFETY, AND MAINTENANCE INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE CLEANING OR MAINTAINING YOUR SOLAR PANELS. PARTICIPATING IN SUCH ACTIVITIES INVOLVES THE EVER-PRESENT RISK OF PERSONAL INJURY, PROPERTY DAMAGE, AND LOSS. THE USE OF HARSH, INDUSTRIAL-STRENGTH CLEANING MATERIAL OR SHARP INSTRUMENTS TO CLEAN OR MAINTAIN YOUR SOLAR PANELS MAY VOID PRODUCT GUARANTEES OR WARRANTIES.

Do solar panels need regular cleaning to maintain top efficiency or does the occasional rainstorm get the job done?

The truth is, it depends. In some cases, rain or snow may clean most of the dust buildup, but in certain conditions, it could do more harm than good. In both dry climates and more humid ones, environmental factors, different types of dust, and location and installation factors will all influence: