Solar Sells Itself, Right?

Solar is the best thing since sliced bread: solar is good for the environment, solar creates jobs, solar advances innovative technology, and of course solar saves you money! While all of these things are true, solar doesn’t sell itself.

It seems like a no-brainer; why would anyone not want solar?

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San Francisco: Mandatory Solar Panels on All New Buildings

Mandatory Solar Panels in California: San Francisco has passed a law stating that all new buildings are required to have solar panels on their roofs.

This historically significant bill, introduced by city supervisor Scott Wiener, was voted unanimously by the San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors. This makes San Francisco the first major American city to require the installation of solar panels.

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Top 3 Factors Affecting Electricity Prices

The cost of electricity varies greatly based on a number of factors: the prices of coal, natural gas, renewables and other sources of power.

Let’s examine some of the most important factors more closely:

#1 The capacity factor of different power sources

A capacity factor measures the running intensity of a generating unit.

A crucial shift has taken place last year: the average capacity factor of natural gas combined-cycle plants ended up higher than coal power plants.

What does this mean?

For example, a capacity factor approaching 100% tells us that this unit is 1) operating near its maximum possible power output and 2) operating almost constantly. This increase of capacity factor indicates that electricity generation in the United States is shifting towards using a mix of energy sources. In fact, the use of coal steam power plants has experienced a steady decline in the past ten years, while the utilization of natural gas combined-cycle plants is much higher today.

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The Top 10 Solar States to Watch in 2016

The solar industry had a record-breaking year in 2015: more than 135,000 solar panel installations were completed in the first half of 2015, and impressively, 40% of all new electricity-generating capacity came from solar. Approximately 785,000 American homes and businesses have gone solar, and with the extension of the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), there’s no sign of this momentum stopping.

We’re excited about the record-setting year for solar energy in 2015, and we believe 2016 will be even bigger than 2015!

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Congress Passes ITC Bill Pushing The Solar Industry Forward

The Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), a vital piece of legislation for the solar industry, was recently extended by Congress.

This extension aligns with American’s demand for solar energy, and continues to support a green energy future for the U.S.

What is the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), how does it work, and why is it important?

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Follow the Guvernator: Why California’s Solar Initiative is a Good Model for ITC Extension

The solar industry has emerged as a major economic driver and is becoming a robust industry. Over 170,000 people are employed by the solar industry.

The potential end of the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) could mean ½ of those jobs are lost in 2016.

Solar is providing increasingly cheaper and more reliable power, while allowing for domestic energy independence. In 2014, 32% of all new electric generation came from solar, largely because solar is economically viable. The abrupt end to this program will crush growth and set the industry back. What is needed is a clear ramp to allow a transition to new business models that allow for continued and possibly accelerated growth. You may have seen Schwarzenegger’s facebook post about climate change, but what you might not know is that he started the Million Solar Roofs initiative, which lead into the California Solar Initiative. Read on to find how why we should follow this model and extend the ITC.

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Why We Chose to Build Our Own Lead-Distribution Software

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Everyone at SolarLeadFactory is proud to announce the release of our own fully-featured lead-distribution platform.

We developed this in-house to solve one problem: how can we provide better service and a better product to all our customers?

It’s a fundamental startup dilemma: build your own technology, or use what’s already available?

If we had a dollar for every time we were told not to build our own software–we still wouldn’t be rich–and we certainly wouldn’t be able to make this announcement: we’ve taken a bold step forward to provide the best product and service we can by developing our own state-of the art customer qualification and lead distribution platform.

In plain English this means we can, at a much higher degree of accuracy and quality, identify prospective solar customers and connect them with qualified solar installers.

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What do Homeowners Want to Know Most About Going Solar?

After working in the solar industry for over a decade, it’s hard to imagine not understanding the most fundamental details about solar power, including how much it costs, where it’s suitable, and so on.

But the reality is that the average homeowner doesn’t know that much about going solar.

In order to learn more we decided to directly ask prospective solar customers during the signup process (i.e. when filling out a solar request form). While we don’t claim to have come to a scientific consensus here (n=220) we do think these results are consistent with our experience in what potential solar customers most want to know.

And big surprise: everyone wants to know how much it’s going to cost.Continue reading

From Installing Solar Panels to Scaling With Solar Leads

My first job in solar was as an installer straight out of college.

There was something gratifying about getting up on the roof in the early morning and making tangible progress happen. You’d start with a plan, a truck full of parts, and full tool belt. By the day’s end you’d see real progress: mounting rails where before there had been a barren roof, solar panel after solar panel securely fastened to the racking and conduit perfectly bended to take the home runs into the inverter. When the switch flipped and the meter started spinning backwards and I felt a sense of pride — we did that!

Now that I’m focused on unlocking the overwhelming public support for solar (check out this recent public poll from Gallup and SEIA), I don’t get to see the tangible progress on a daily basis.Continue reading

These States Will Lead the Solar Pack this Summer (and Beyond)

At the recent Green Tech Media conference in Phoenix, Arizona the panelists talked not only about how hot the solar market has been, but how and where the hottest aspects of the solar market will continue. Notably, 94% of all solar ever installed in the USA was installed between 2010 and 2014, which goes along with the SEIA report showing how almost 1/3 of all new energy capacity installed in the USA last year was solar PV.

We follow the hot solar markets pretty closely, and wanted to share a few breakdowns on what the hottest markets are.

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Green Tech Media Analyst Cory Honeyman showed that 13 states and Washington DC are all at a ‘tipping point’ where direct ownership of residential solar yields a payback of 10 years or less. Here are some observations on the states he outlined:

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