top of page

Educational and Informational Resources 

Here at Solar Nosh we are focused on education and information sharing. By providing insights and resources on a variety of topics related to solar energy, we hope to shed light on these areas and help boost homeowners’ confidence to explore “going solar.” We hope to inspire more people to adopt this sustainable and cost-effective energy source. If you want to learn about the potential benefits, financial and otherwise, please check out the information below or stay tuned for information that will be posted over time. If you’re interested in finding out if your home qualifies, schedule a Discovery Call today.

  • Overview of Clean, Renewable Energy
    Energy derived from natural resources that is replenished faster than it is consumed is considered renewable energy. Sunlight and wind are examples of natural energy sources that keep replenishing and do not run out. Finite, non-renewable sources of energy that could get used up, include fossil fuels like coal, gas and oil. While renewable energy is easily reproduced, non-renewable fossil fuel sources can take hundreds of millions of years to form. Furthermore, when fossil fuels are burned to produce energy, it causes harmful greenhouse gas emissions, such as carbon dioxide. Renewable energy generates significantly lower emissions than burning fossil fuels. Generally, electricity that is generated by facilities that do not directly emit greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide during the generating process are considered “clean” energy. With current urgent environmental and climate challenges threatening the planet, there have been increased efforts to implement policies and measures to help deal with these problems. One such approach is to invest in clean energy, and as a result, utilization of clean, renewable sources are on the rise. Renewable energy can be used to generate electricity, water heating and cooling, and transportation. TYPES OF RENEWABLE ENERGY Natural resources that can be converted into clean, renewable energy, include biomass, geothermal resources, sunlight, water, and wind. See more below: Bioenergy Geothermal Energy Hydrogen Hydropower Marine Energy Solar Energy Wind Energy
  • Introduction to Solar Energy: Exploring the basics and benefits of solar energy
    Solar energy, the radiant energy emitted by the Sun, is a powerful and clean source of renewable energy. By converting sunlight into thermal or electrical energy, solar technologies offer a sustainable solution for powering homes, businesses, and industries. The abundance of solar energy is awe-inspiring - in just one hour, Earth receives more solar energy than the world consumes in an entire year. Solar energy opens doors to an array of possibilities: Solar Photovoltaic Technology: Directly transforms sunlight into electricity, powering various devices, homes, and commercial establishments. Passive Solar Design: Utilizes the Sun's heat and light to naturally warm interiors and illuminate spaces during the day. Solar Water Heating: Harvests solar heat to provide hot water for households and businesses, promoting energy efficiency. Solar Process Heat: Applies solar energy for commercial and industrial heating or cooling purposes, reducing carbon footprints. Concentrating Solar Power: Concentrates solar heat to produce electricity on a large scale, catering to city-wide power needs.
  • Benefits of Going Solar
    There is a vast array of benefits of generating power via solar energy. Here are some to consider: Benefits of Solar Energy: Embrace a Cleaner, Greener Future By harnessing the power of the sun, you can make a positive impact on the environment and your community: Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Solar energy is a clean and renewable resource that produces electricity without emitting harmful greenhouse gases. By choosing solar, you contribute to the reduction of carbon dioxide and other pollutants, helping combat air pollution and its adverse effects on human health. Promote Sustainability: Solar power is a sustainable energy solution that relies on an abundant and inexhaustible source—the sun. Embracing solar energy fosters a sustainable lifestyle, preserving natural resources for future generations. Enhance Energy Independence: With solar panels generating power on your property, you become less dependent on traditional energy sources. Embracing solar energy empowers you to take control of your energy needs, reducing reliance on fossil fuels. Protect Natural Habitats: Expanding renewable energy, such as solar, reduces the need for land-intensive fossil fuel extraction. This helps protect and preserve natural habitats, safeguarding biodiversity and wildlife ecosystems. Create Local Jobs: Investing in solar energy stimulates economic growth by creating local jobs in the solar industry. From installation and maintenance to research and development, solar energy contributes to the prosperity of communities, fostering job opportunities and driving employment growth. Support Grid Resilience: Distributed solar energy systems enhance the resilience of power grids. By generating electricity closer to the point of consumption, solar helps minimize power disruptions during extreme weather events and natural disasters. Foster Energy Security: Reducing dependence on non-renewable resources enhances energy security by diversifying energy sources and minimizing vulnerability to supply chain disruptions. Harnessing solar energy unlocks a world of environmental benefits, allowing you to be part of a cleaner, greener future that positively impacts our planet. Financial Benefits of Going Solar: Empowering Your Future Beyond the environmental benefits, going solar may have a direct impact on you and your home. It offers a host of financial benefits that often make it a wise investment for homeowners and businesses alike: Home Value Appreciation: Installing solar panels adds value to your property. Studies have shown that homes with solar systems have higher resale values, making it a smart long-term investment. Energy Bill Savings: By harnessing solar energy, you can significantly reduce your electricity bills. While the complete elimination of utility bills may not be guaranteed, solar energy allows for considerable savings and provides a sense of financial stability. Federal Tax Credit: Currently, the Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) offers up to 30% credit on renewable energy purchases. While the percentage may vary based on individual tax liabilities, securing the ITC can substantially offset the cost of your solar system. (Note: This is potentially available to those who pay federal taxes.) State Rebates and Incentives: Depending on your location, some states offer additional incentives and rebates to further support your solar investment. These can further enhance your financial savings and shorten the payback period. Net Metering: In select areas, net metering programs allow solar system owners to sell excess electricity back to the grid, providing potential credits on future bills. Energy Independence: Investing in solar energy grants you energy independence, liberating you from the unpredictable fluctuations of utility costs. This empowers you to control your energy expenses and avoid ever-increasing electricity prices. Financial Freedom and Investment Opportunities: The savings achieved through solar energy enable you to allocate funds to other important aspects of life. Whether it's saving for your children's education, travel, home improvements, or any other life goals, solar energy opens the door to financial stability and greater flexibility. By going solar, you not only contribute to a cleaner future but also gain a powerful financial advantage. Embrace the opportunity to invest in yourself, secure your financial future, and make a positive impact on the environment.
  • Solar Energy Systems: Exploring the components of a solar energy system, including solar panels, inverters, and monitoring systems, and how they work together to generate clean electricity
    Solar electric systems, also known as photovoltaic (PV) systems, capture sunlight energy and convert it into electricity. Everything in your home, including lights, appliances and electric vehicles, can be powered by PV systems. This gives an overview of how Solar PV Systems work: Individual Photovoltaic (PV) Cells are connected to each other in a Solar Panel or Solar Module. The energy from sunlight is converted by the Solar panels into direct current (DC) electricity. The DC electricity is delivered to the Inverter, which converts direct current (DC) electricity into alternating current (AC) electricity. We can then use this electricity to power most of our appliances and electrical gadgets in our homes and business. The net amount of energy consumed by utility customers is recorded by the Utility Meter. When the solar produced by the customer is more energy than they use during the day, the meter will "spin backwards.” In this case, the excess electricity is sent to the electric grid. The utility company bills the customer for the net amount of energy they purchased from the electric grid at the end of each month.
  • Going Solar: Understanding the process of transitioning to solar energy, from initial assessment and system design to installation and grid connection.
    Please note this sample process may not perfectly reflect every company’s timeline or procedures, but we hope it will shed some light on the kinds of steps that would occur when going solar. Discovery Call Before a homeowner can go solar, there are steps to take to ensure eligibility. This is very important since not every home qualifies. Determining eligibility usually occurs at the time of a Discovery Call. Not only will you have an opportunity to connect with your solar consultant, the consultant will use this opportunity to gather some information about you, your home, and your energy needs. They do this to have a solid understanding of your energy usage, to make sure your home is eligible for solar, and also to ensure you qualify financially. This is not particularly complicated, but it’s best to ensure eligibility before going any further into the process. Review of Electric Bill Obtaining a copy of a current electric bill is essential. The consultant needs to know the amount of energy a homeowner uses to determine the size and cost of the solar PV system they need. The bill shows how much money the homeowner is currently paying per kWh of energy. Also, the usage shown tells how much power needs to be offset by solar. Having the information helps the consultant calculate the value proposition and savings the homeowner may see in their solar proposal. The bill will generally show the usage over the past 12 months. The consultant will likely want to ask questions to elicit whether there may be any changes to the homeowner’s current or future energy needs (for example, college students moving out of the house, electric vehicles being purchased, pools or saunas being installed, etc.) Home Eligibility Review This usually happens before or during the Discovery Call as well. Roof orientation, size, type, and quality are essential in determining eligibility. The consultant will likely pull up satellite imagery of the home during the Discovery Call to verify details of your home, your roof, and the area around it. Usually satellite and street-view images are sufficient to get a sense of the general eligibility, but they may have questions for you to better understand the property. They are mainly looking to ensure there are no, or only limited, obstructions to the sun. The images online can be on the older side and sometimes trees or branches have since been removed. Confirming the type, quality, and age of the roof is also key. It is important that the roof is in good condition. Don’t let that stop you if you do need a new roof. The consultant may be able to include a roof proposal and financing for that as well, or at the very least a roofing referral. You will likely be asked about your main electric panel is well to ensure it can handle the needed capacity for solar energy being supplied to your home. Only by looking at your roof can it be decided if your home is a good candidate for solar. Additionally, this enables the design such that the panels can be placed where they will provide the best overall solar production. A ground mount is another option if, for example, the home’s roof is not facing in an advantageous direction or there are too many obstructions. After gathering that information, the consultant may need to share the information and insights with the company’s engineering department to help confirm eligibility and help facilitate the best design to maximize the sun exposure.. The financial eligibility, including tax incentives and rebates, vary by homeowner and by location. Depending on your geographical market, you may have more incentives to help offset the solar system costs. Aside from that, it would be good to indicate if you plan to borrow all the money, whether you plan to pay in cash, or whether you will do both – cash and financing. Understanding a homeowner’s financial situation where it relates to the solar purchase is not only important to determine eligibility, but it's also important so the consultant can try to provide the best financial option and proposal for you. Again, if the homeowner does not currently have the funding, there are plenty of financing options available. Most financing options require a minimum credit score of 650 or higher, however. Proposal/Presentation Every company, and each consultant for that matter, may present a solar proposal in a different format. Generally, each would seek to have taken your energy usage and needs into consideration, along with information about your roof to provide you with the most beneficial design and appropriate number and types of panels and inverters that maximize your property’s sun exposure at the most affordable price. Obviously, this too may vary for a number of reasons, including different pricing on equipment as negotiated by each company. Hopefully each proposal would show the value proposition and produce some sort of energy savings report to help the homeowner evaluate whether solar is right for them and their home. Loan Prequalification If the homeowner is going through a lender for financing, the consultant will likely have the customer pre-qualified for the loan before moving forward. Contract Signing and Financing Agreement Implemented If all parties want to move forward with the proposed plan, there will be an agreement or contact signed prior to moving forward. On-site Survey Prior to any installation, either the installer or someone certified to do the site survey assessment would go to the house to make certain the home is eligible and ready for solar. That individual doing the site survey would look at the roof, the property, and the main panel to make sure there are no issues. Design After the On-site Survey has been finalized and any pending issues resolved, the Solar System Design using CAD drawings would need to be confirmed. Permits An application for a permit will be submitted to the utility company, as well as an interconnection application. When going solar, the homeowner needs an interconnection agreement, which gives them the approval for their solar energy system to connect and transmit energy to the utility’s grid once it is generating energy. The utility company also needs to ensure the solar system will be safe and code compliant. To make that judgment, they’ll need to see component spec sheets and a wiring diagram to ensure everything is properly designed. The timeline for permit to approval varies by location. Installation Once the permit has been given the “green light”, the installation can be scheduled. The installation is usually completed over the course of a day or two. Inspection After the system is installed, the permitting office will do an inspection to make sure everything has been installed correctly, according to code, and safe for use. Permission to Operate (PTO) Permission to operate (PTO) is an essential step that grants the homeowner approval to connect their solar panels to the electrical grid and turn their system on. It is the utility and local building authority which grant PTO after your system passes inspections.
  • Assessing Solar Potential: Understanding how a home's solar potential is evaluated, including factors like sunlight exposure, roof orientation, shading analysis, and energy consumption patterns
    As part of the Discovery process, the consultant will seek to determine whether your home qualifies for solar. Unfortunately, not every home is eligible or the roof’s capacity for solar production may be limited. In the case of limited production, it may still be very worthwhile to go solar. Your energy consultant can help provide a cost savings report to help you evaluate this. Ground mounts, depending on the availability of space on the property, may be another option. Understanding the homeowner’s energy use, future energy needs and current energy rates, combined with an evaluation of the physical attributes of the home (the roof in particular), is key to determining the home’s solar potential. The goal would be to be able to provide the homeowner with 100% coverage of their energy needs. Depending on the roof, only partial coverage or offset may be achieved. Again, depending on the amount of coverage, it still may be worthwhile to pursue solar and obtain as much energy savings and expense reduction as possible. There are a multitude of factors which are considered in the process of evaluating eligibility and assessing the potential solar production – including but not limited to the geographical location of the home, the orientation, size, and shape of the roof. A roof facing South with sufficient spacing for the panels to be mounted on the roof is ideal. In some situations. East and West-facing roofs are not ideal but could be feasible in certain situations. To maximize energy production, placement of the solar panels is important. Each home has a different roof size, shape, and orientation. The number of panels that can be placed on a roof may be limited by its size or by obstructions like vents or skylights. There are also fire setbacks and building code requirements which restrict where the panels can be placed. Of course, shading by trees, branches, utility poles, antennas, or other structures may also play into the home’s eligibility or placement of the panels. A good candidate for solar will have good Solar Access (the sun has good access to your roof!) A very steep roof may reduce production, so the tilt or pitch of the roof will be considered in assessing eligibility and placement. Panel placement consideration will be given to identifying the most optimal roof planes for your market, ones that will yield the best production and would be distributed accordingly with maximum energy production in mind. The Azimuth angle is also a critical consideration, as it is the angle between true south (desired angle for the northern hemisphere) and the direction a building faces. Therefore, the azimuth determines how much sunlight a building receives throughout the day and throughout the year. For the northern hemisphere, solar panel placement should face true south as much as possible, to maximize the amount of direct sunlight received. The quality of your roof is also an essential factor for solar eligibility. The shingles, tiles, and roof material must be in good condition and undamaged. A site survey would generally take care of assessing the roof’s condition, and if not a roof inspection, will occur if there are any uncertainties. Homeowners should not put off considering solar if they need a new roof. This can be done prior to the installation, if needed. Your consultant may be able to provide a roof proposal or put you in touch with some local roofers. There are a variety of reasons why a home may be ineligible for solar. It may not meet the necessary requirements for meeting local building and safety codes or there could be challenges with roof ownership that could disqualify it. Some examples include: manufactured homes, mobile homes, co-ops, multi-family homes with ineligible roof ownership rules, homes without internet access. If you’re unsure about your home’s eligibility, check with your energy consultant to help make that assessment. Plus, there may be workarounds or exceptions. Also, your consultant should have the tools needed to assess your home’s solar production capacity.
  • Solar Financing Options: Discovering different financing models and incentives available for solar installations, such as solar loans, leasing, power purchase agreements (PPAs), and government incentives and rebates
    Going Solar isn’t free, but one no longer needs to have money saved up for this purchase as zero down options are available making it more affordable than ever. That said, some are able and choose to pay for their solar system with a CASH PAYMENT either in full or in part. This would obviously reduce the cost of the system immediately and avoid some or all lender fees. Even a partial payment is helpful to reduce the expense. When paying cash in full is not an option or not the option of choice, there are plenty of financing options to make the purchase feasible. If you’re paying your electric bill, you can probably switch to paying for solar instead. Loans Available to Finance a Solar PV System There are a variety of financing options that a homeowner may use one or combine to purchase a solar system: cash, solar loans, property assessed clean energy (PACE) loans, home equity loans, or a bank low-interest energy efficiency and renewable energy loan. Solar Loan: Solar loans that allow homeowners to finance their solar installation through loan products specifically designed for investments in residential solar. Property assessed clean energy (PACE) loan: This type of loan is only available in some markets and it is approved based on property value and not on personal credit. The loan stays with the property and ownership transfers to the new homeowner. Home Equity Loan: A bank loan secured with equity from the house. Low-interest Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Loan: Typically offered by credit unions or banks, these loans are a secured loan with low interest rates. Leases and Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) Leasing a system or entering into a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) are other financing options. In either case, this means the system is third-party owned, and they pay per month. They pay a fixed monthly rate in a lease no matter what your system produces. You pay a fixed amount with a PPA for each kWh the system produces. The typical terms for a lease or PPA are usually 20 or more years. Please note: Leases and PPAs are not available in every market. Cash, Loan and Third-party Ownership Differences Here are some comparisons between purchasing (or financing) and third-party ownership such as a Lease or PPA: GOVERNMENT INCENTIVES AND REBATES Federal Tax Credit The Residential Clean Energy Credit, also known as the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), is a tax incentive of up to 30% gross solar system cost. To take advantage of this tax incentive, you are required to own the system by purchasing your solar via cash or a solar loan. (Those with leases or PPA financing are not eligible to claim the tax credit.) You also must have an income tax liability, which is what this incentive reduces. Please note: If your 30% tax credit is $7,000 total, and you only have $6,000 in personal income taxes one year, you can roll over the remaining $1,000 to next year’s income taxes. State and Local Incentives Depending on the state or locality, there may be additional grants and tax incentives offered to the producers of renewable energy. Please note that applications for these grants or rebates, along with submission deadlines, may apply. Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SREC) Certain states offer Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) whereby renewable energy producers are granted the RECS for every 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWhs) their system contributes to the electric grid. In order to meet their renewable portfolio standards, some utilities or renewable energy aggregators may compensate solar producers for their portion of solar RECs. Here's a short video about SRECs: More information is available at U.S. Environmental Protection Agency website.
  • Solar Battery Storage and Backup Solutions: Understanding the benefits of solar battery storage, backup power systems, and their integration with solar panels to enhance energy independence and resilience
    Combining solar panels and an energy storage system allows you to store electricity from your solar system so you can use it whenever you need it. Energy storage generally refers to batteries, or a battery backup system which provides a power source even when the grid goes down, like during a power outage. Installing energy storage solutions brings homeowners a number of benefits. The primary benefit, however, is energy independence. By having SOLAR and STORAGE it protects homeowners from grid outages, saves them money from rising rates and fluctuating utility rate structures, and offers a level of control and energy independence that is only attained with both solar and storage. Battery storage is becoming increasingly common and even necessary in some markets. Having solar and storage is the best alternative to the traditional electric grid because it offers homeowners the flexibility of a battery backup, along with having clean, affordable energy. For homes that have solar panels, any excess power that they are generating during the day is generally delivered to the grid. When a storage solution is available, though, that excess solar power production can be stored in batteries. This way the excess energy can be used in the home when it is needed. When batteries are fully charged, the excess power can flow to the grid. Benefits of Having Solar and Storage Energy security, financial benefits, and energy independence or control are the biggest benefits of having solar along with storage. This combination protects homeowners from grid outages and provides energy security by supplying energy to your essential appliances during an outage. This does not happen with solar panel only. This economical combination also enables homeowners to avoid Time-of-Use (TOU) rates when utilities may charge a different (often higher) rate depending on when you use your electricity throughout the day. If your home has battery storage, you can consume the excess energy generated during off-peak hours and offset your consumption of more expensive power by drawing from your battery during peak hours. You can take control of your energy production and consumption with battery storage by taking ownership of your power. Homeowners with solar and battery storage are less dependent on the grid, so they can lower their carbon footprint even further by relieving demand pressure on the grid during peak hours, and controlling how much they're paying for power when they need to draw electricity from the grid. Energy independence and control are the main benefits of having both solar and storage solutions.
  • Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Solutions
    An Electric Vehicle (EV) is a vehicle that can be powered by an electric motor that draws electricity from a battery and is capable of being charged from an external source. An EV includes both a vehicle that can only be powered by an electric motor that draws electricity from a battery (all-electric vehicle) and a vehicle that can be powered by an electric motor that draws electricity from a battery and by an internal combustion engine (aka, a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle). Homeowners with EVs, or who will be purchasing one in the future, can derive more value by having EV outlets and EV chargers along with their solar system. EV Chargers and EV Outlets can complement solar for homeowners who are making, or already made, the shift to clean energy. EV owners prefer to do the majority of their EV charging at home, as it’s obviously more convenient! So, it’s an added value for homeowners to have an EV Charger and Outlet on their own property where they can charge their EVs whenever they want using their own affordable clean energy generated directly from their roof. Plus, as demand for EVs continue to rise, so does the demand for the Public Charging Stations, such that having your own charging station comes in handy! When you have solar with an EV charger, not only are you eliminating your gas costs, but you’re also eliminating your electric costs! Clean, green, and affordable all the way!
  • Smart Energy/Smart Panels
    The standard electric panel is 100-year-old invention! Manufacturers have reinvented this old version and have developed “Smart” electrical panels instead, products which enable electrification and simplify the adoption of clean energy including solar, batteries, and electric vehicles. These Smart panels give homeowners circuit-level management, real-time monitoring, and actionable energy insights through their Smart app’s intuitive interface. Depending on the smart electric panel’s capacity, homeowners with batteries can extend their battery duration by 40% during an outage so that they can get through longer and increasingly frequent outages, uninterrupted. There are also Smart electric vehicle (EV) chargers which provide an efficient and integrated solution for any home. These Smart panels allow for unprecedented visibility into power consumption—and, better yet, the ability to control it. This is super essential if you’re dealing with a backup battery. Additionally, it gives them the flexibility to adjust the backup settings to power any need at any time – and from anywhere. There are Smart electric panels that can also be used without battery backup and provide real-time control with consumption data at the circuit level. The Smart panel enables load shedding based on customizable priorities of essential and non-essential energy needs. You can back up any circuit in your house (32 circuits/Panel) versus only "critical loads" hardwired at time-of-install. Real-time energy production and consumption data at the circuit-level can be tracked, as well as getting estimates of time remaining (for your battery backup) as you adjust priorities. Smart panels provide unparalleled intelligence into the energy performance of your home. Besides accessing your energy data, you can also receive recommendations to optimize your home for energy efficiency, cost savings, appliance health, fossil-free sources. Smart panels can be installed as a Subpanel to the Main Panel. Whereas, sometimes the Smart panel is installed as the new main panel. In certain markets, the Smart panels can be used to avoid a main panel upgrade. Internet access is required to accompany the Smart panel. For more information, check with your consultant.



Our videos are intended to provide valuable and streamlined information about solar energy, so you can have a clearer understanding of the benefits of going solar, the products, process, and timeline.  We also hope you’ll be entertained along the way! Feel free to let us know if you have any topics or questions you’d like to be covered in future episodes. 

Solar Nosh Video Channel Coming Soon!

bottom of page