Compare Solar Prices on ‘EnergySage’

EnergySage, a new online solar marketplace, allows you to compare solar prices between different installers so you can find the best deal.

EnergySage Solar Power

Look to EnergySage, a new online solar marketplace, to find the best deal on home solar installation.

Photo by Fotolia/atm2003

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The average price for a solar panel has plummeted more than 60 percent since 2010, and installation costs have fallen 40 percent during the same period. If you’ve been unable to go solar in the past, now is the time to reconsider.

Despite such increased affordability, many people remain unaware of the financing options available for home solar systems, and comparing those options can be confusing. Should you choose a solar loan, solar lease or power-purchase agreement, or buy the panels outright? Now, a new online tool called EnergySage can help clear the air. This one-stop shop has easy-to-understand financing comparisons, as well as the nation’s first solar marketplace where installers compete for your business. As the recipient of two U.S. Department of Energy SunShot awards, EnergySage has been charged with moving the nation’s solar industry forward, and it aims to do for home solar power what online tools such as Expedia have done for air travel.

Here’s how it works: Input your address, and EnergySage will use aerial views of your home’s roof to gauge your solar potential and system cost. If you like the estimate, you can put it out for bid and receive three to five quotes from pre-screened, certified installers. “The competition means you can expect to pay 10 to 20 percent less than market averages,” says EnergySage CEO Vikram Aggarwal. The solar marketplace helps solar installers, too, by matching them with homeowners who want to invest in solar power.

No matter which financing option you choose, your photovoltaic panels will immediately begin paying for themselves through reduced utility bills. “If you buy your system, you’ll recover your investment in five to 10 years, depending on your location, and then receive free electricity for 15 to 20 years,” Aggarwal says.


Kale Roberts is Blogging Coordinator of MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine. His interests include renewable energy, real food and sustainable rural development. You can find him on .

molecule
1/16/2015 8:05:30 AM

Quesiton -- When using EnergySage, can I specify that I prefer Edison's original Nickel-Iron batteries to American standard lead-acid. The Edisons cost only 30% more, but the original Edisons are now over 100 yrs old and they are still getting stronger with age and abuse. Many of Edison's original betteries (whoops) are still in use! They are unique in that the more you use (abuse) them (the more frequently you draw them down into very deep discharges, below 10% rated capacity), the stronger they get and the longer they last when recharged. Just one dischargfe below 50%, and the standard lead-acid battery is permanently destroyed! The design of modern lead-acid batteries did not happen by accident. With a rated life of 7 years (under laboratory conditions) and a real life of 5 yrs, the lead-acids are profit by planned obsolesence. The Edisons use non-toxic nickel and iron, instead of highly toxic lead, which is an industrial waste, and they use common lye as the electrolyte, instead of sufuric acid, yet another industiral toxic waste. If you know what you're doing, the electrolyte in an Edison battery can be made from common fireplace ash, and if for some reason an Edison was mechanically damaged, the lye can be used to make healthy soap.