Why Go Solar In 2022?
How much of your monthly bill will a solar panel system save? The best way to review this is by checking your electrical usage and comparing production. See our article that goes over calculating solar system size to offset your electricity bill.
Does Solar Add Value To Your Home?
Yes! It turns out that when it comes to selling your house, it can increase the overall value of your property. Every year the solar energy industry is expanding its horizons across the United States. By installing a solar photovoltaics (PV) system, you can safely supply energy to your home while protecting the environment.
How much does adding solar increase your home resale value?
Resale values with solar panels do vary based on your location. A recent study by Zillow concludes that having a home with solar panels can increase its value to 4.1% or more.
Do Bigger installations = Higher Resale value?
Having a more substantial system generally boosts your home value with higher wattages. However, the wattage generated by a solar installation does not proportionally raise the value of a home. A solar setup that meets your energy needs sufficiently is enough to recover the price of your installation. Installing premium solar panels can optimize your solar array’s performance, increase the overall efficiency, and result in higher resale value.
Match energy bill
batteries/ grid outage
“TheNational Renewable Energy Laboratory cites a study in the Appraisal Journal, which shows thathome value increases $20 for every $1 reduction in annual utility bills. In other words, a solar energy system that saves $400 per year would add a value of $8,000 to your home.
Why does solar add value to your home?
When assessing the long-term financial value, buyers are increasingly open to the premium of a solar-ready home. One of the main reasons why houses with solar energy systems sell for more than those without a solar PV system is that they can provide substantial savings in energy consumption ie. Lower or even get rid of your monthly power bill! For homeowners who know their energy consumption is high, these future savings are worth the investment.
What Factors Influence The Resale Value?
Some states around the country offer more substantial incentives when buying solar houses. They may offer a break on property taxes if you own a home with a solar energy system installed.
Here are some of the factors that affect a home's resale value:
The region location + state incentives for renewable energy.
The local price of electricity and how much energy you will be saving.
What type of property you own.
What the solar installation prices and solar power system replacement value are.
Understanding solar technology and what are the benefits of a solar panel system.
You need to know whether the solar panels are being leased or owned.
What is the percentage of energy generated?
What are the prime locations for increasing home value with solar?
According to Zillow’s recent findings the top 10 States with the highest return on investment for solar systems are: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Louisiana, Washington, Florida, Hawaii, Maryland, New York and South Carolina. Other States are beginning to develop solar system regulations too. California for instance, since 2020, has required all newly constructed homes to have solar systems or be solar-ready at the time of construction.
Should I still install solar if my home is not located in a prime location?
Absolutely! With increasing climate change and extreme weather events, consumers are choosing eco-friendly products, options and investments, home selections included! Regardless of location, Zillow’s recent findings indicated that more than 80% of buyers note that energy-efficient features are important in selecting their home.
Incentives for Home Buyers
When owning a solar PV system, you will be able to parlay your solar power investment and increase the property’s market value when the electrical utility grid services’ prices rise. Having a customized solar panel installation, you could potentially receive a 200% return, increasing the home value when it comes time to sell. However, you put it, buying a house with solar is a sound investment. When having a solar PV array, you can expect the grid-tied system to pay for itself 2-3 times or more in tax breaks (solar incentives/federal tax credits) and energy savings.
Incentives for Homeowners
Savings from Day 1 on your electric bill
Yearly savings throughout the lifetime of your solar panel system (up to 25 to 30 years)
How do I make money back from solar panels? What will my power company pay me in return?
Here's some basic PV system types, address what a Hybrid ESS is, the common functions found in these systems, popular batteries and inverters, and some system sizing tips. Note that in the past the term “hybrid” was used in the solar industry exclusively for combined wind and solar power systems, however, this term has been adopted also for DC coupled Hybrid Inverters, as well as Multi-Mode, or Grid-Tied with Battery Backup systems (Hybrid ESS).
Basic PV System types
First, let's review some of the general PV system types:
1) Grid-direct (utility interactive) - Owner sells energy to utility grid when the array produces power, no batteries involved.
2) Stand-alone (off-grid) - Owner is not connected to utility, solar and batteries must provide for all electrical loads.
3) Multi-mode or Hybrid ESS (grid tied with battery backup) - Combined solar and energy storage system, with the ability to store and sell energy in a variety of strategems. This is the configuration we will discuss in detail in this article.
What is Hybrid ESS?
A Hybrid ESS configuration is defined by a PV array connected both to the grid, and an energy storage system. In this configuration, the owner has the flexibility of being able to sell energy to the utility grid, store energy for self-consumption, or draw energy from the grid when needed. The energy storage system can be configured to store energy for a variety of cases, such as when there is a grid outage, or when utility time of use (TOU) charges are high, for instance.
Hybrid ESS can provide myriad functions to suit your needs, in general these modes allow the user to prioritize and limit grid import/export, and battery charge/discharge. Many functions are specific to different manufactures, such as Enphase’s Storm Gaurd function which charges the storage system to full capacity when severe weather threatens your local grid. Below are some generalized example functions:
- Battery back-up - Net-metered (NEM) or otherwise compensated for production, batteries usually floating at 100% charge in case of power outage. Size battery bank to critical loads.
- Time of Use (TOU) - Batteries used to shift loads to off-peak prices or self-consumption for lack of NEM. Surplus solar production is stored and then discharged regularly for economic benefit.
- Peak Load Shaving - Batteries programmed to cap power (kW, not kWh) draw from grid below peak load price tiers. Typically used in commercial systems.
You’ll want to read more about the specific system to confirm the exact functionality and capabilities.
For specifics on the hybrid functions of Sol-Ark inverters you’ll want to read more in their manual here:
For specifics on Enphase’s Ensemble system you can read more here:
For specifics on Growatts hybrid functions, you’ll want to read more in their manual here:
To go without batteries but still have some backup capability you may be interested in Enphase’s new “Sunlight Backup” configuration for IQ8 series microinverters. For this configuration you’d need the IQ System Controller 2, IQ Load Controllers, and IQ Combiner 4C in addition to IQ8 series microinverters.
Popular Batteries and Inverters
Below are some of the popular options our customers choose for Hybrid ESS solutions, divided into inverters, batteries, high voltage solutions, and microinverter solutions. The best solution for you will depend on if you have an existing system and its configuration. For new hybrid ESS, a hybrid inverter will likely be your best choice, however if you have an existing system you may want to consider adding on an AC Coupled ESS. If your existing system is Enphase, you may want to look into the Ensemble ESS.
Popular 48V Hybrid Inverters/ESS:
Most of our customers go with Sol-Ark inverters as a reliable option that has the versatility of function as either grid tied, off-grid, AC Coupled, or a hybrid ESS. These inverters can work with a wide range of 48V battery options. One aspect to watch for here is the wattage rating depending on the application. With transformerless inverters like Sol-Ark this rating will differ depending on the configuration. Grid tied output will be considerably higher than back-up or off-grid scenarios.
- Sol-Ark 15K All-In-One Hybrid Solar Battery System
- Sol-Ark 12K 120/240/208V 48V All-In-One Stackable Hybrid Inverter
- Sol-Ark 12K 48V Hybrid All-In-One Inverter With Solar Flare & EMP Hardening
- Sol-Ark 8K 120/240V 48V All-In-One Hybrid Inverter With 10-Year Standard Warranty
- Humless Universal 6.8kW Inverter / 20kWh LFP Battery ESS
- Fimer (ABB) Universal 4kVA Inverter / 10kWh LFP Battery ESS
Popular 48V Batteries:
There are many competing options in the 48V lithium category of energy storage, many of which work great with Sol-Ark hybrid inverters. One of the key aspects with these batteries to be considered is how you will be storing them. For outside storage an outdoor rated enclosure is strongly recommended, look for NEMA 3R, IP55 ratings or better. HomeGrid is an up and coming outdoor rated storage option.
- HomeGrid Energy 19.2kWh Stack'd Series LFP Battery
- Fortress Power EVault Max 18.5kWh LFP Battery
- HUMLESS POWER TOWER 20KWH
- Fortress Power Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery EFlex 5.4 KWh
- Humless 5.1kWh Lithium Iron Phosphate LiFePO4 Battery
Popular Growatt High Voltage ESS:
High voltage ESS is an increasingly popular option for hybrid ESS, which generally has higher inverter efficiency due to the increased voltage over 48V storage systems. One aspect to watch for here is the wattage rating depending on the application. With high voltage transformerless inverters like Growatt MIN this rating will differ depending on the configuration. Grid tied output will be considerably higher than back-up or off-grid scenarios.
- Growatt MIN 11.4kW Single Phase Storage Hybrid Inverter
- Growatt 11.4kW Automatic Transfer Switch & Autotransformer
- Growatt Whole Home Backup + 200A Circuit Breaker + Smart Meter
- Growatt 19.8 KWh ARO HV LiFePO4 Battery
- Growatt 6.6 KWh ARO HV LiFePO4 Battery
Enphase Microinverter ESS:
If you already have an Enphase system installed, or prefer Enphase microinverters to address partial shading and system redundancy, you’ll want to opt for the Enphase Ensemble system.
- Enphase Encharge-10 3.84kW Microinverter / 10.08kWh LFP Battery ESS
- Enphase Encharge-3 1.28kW Microinverter / 3.36kWh LFP Battery ESS
System Sizing Tips
Before selecting an inverter and storage system you will NEED to evaluate and understand all power and energy requirements of all loads, identify loads with duty cycles, and estimate surge requirements. Additionally, consider worst case scenarios such as high usage and low production (for instance house guests and a winter storm). Also consider how many days of autonomy you’ll want and which loads are “essential”, to be included in a backup loads panel, and which loads can be reserved for grid-tied usage only. BE WARNED: Skipping this analysis in preference to a rule of thumb can cause extremely costly and frustrating design mistakes down the line, as energy consumption can vary widely between systems and users.
There are plenty of load analysis tools available for free on the internet, so this article seeks to help you use them properly.
Below are some basic considerations for sizing your storage system. They are best used in conjunction. And remember to build in a little buffer!
- Determine loads, there are a couple of options:
- List loads with basic calculations and use measurements on cycling loads (fridge, coffee maker, etc)
- Measure all loads with current transformers. To measure energy consumption we recommend the Emporia Energy Gen 2 Emporia Vue With 16 Sensors Bundle.
- Consider energy conservation changes to reduce the amount of storage you’ll require. (NOTE: removing electric heaters and phantom loads, along with efficient lights and fridge often reduce energy usage by over 50%!)
- Once you understand your loads, you can calculate peak power and average daily energy usage. Take a look at your past year of energy bills for reference Keep starting surge requirements in mind for peak power calculations. These apply to everything with a motor as well as microwaves. Your peak power and average daily energy usage will help you to determine the minimum inverter and storage size you’ll require.
With your load analysis complete, you will have minimum sizes required for your inverter and battery bank. Keep in mind that these are only minimums, and it is always better to give yourself some room for special situations. When sizing your battery bank, also keep in mind the maximum depth of discharge and discharge rate to not overdraw from your storage system! We will cover this in more detail in the upcoming articles.
You may also be interested in ourwebinarwith Greg Smith the author of Amazon's #1 Best Seller, The Battery Powered Home. Which touches on the basics of energy calculations and dives into the depths of ESS interconnections, Whole-home vs Partial home backup, and lithium chemistry pros and cons.
Every year the solar energy industry is expanding its horizons across the United States. By installing a solar photovoltaics (PV) system, you can safely supply energy to your home while protecting the environment.
In the early days of Solar PV, before tax incentives existed and homeowners were credited for excess energy provided to the utility, there were two main drivers for someone to install solar on their home or business. One was a concern for the environment, namely countering the negative impacts of electricity generated using fossil fuels. Negative impacts such as air, water, and land pollution from generation byproducts. A second main driver, which does have some overlap with environmental drivers, was the desire to reduce one’s dependence on non-renewable and external energy sources. By installing solar, a person could independently generate and therefore have more control about where their energy was originating. By adding battery storage, a system could even become more reliable than utility-provided electricity, in addition to being cleaner and more efficient.
It is important to understand that solar PV still comes with an environmental footprint. Solar panels, inverters, wire, racking. These components all use resources and require energy to produce and transport. As solar has accelerated in implementation, its manufacturing and associated inputs have themselves become cleaner as more recycled and recyclable materials are utilized, and the energy required to run the processes has increasingly originated from renewable resources, whether from directly on-site or through other initiatives supporting renewable energy. This has resulted in solar PV having a significantly lower environmental footprint than non-renewable energy sources, and the lowest of any generation source that is available to individuals at a large scale.
With escalating utility rates for electricity and natural gas, energy independence is more relevant than ever. By having ownership and control over the generation of one’s electricity, solar owners can mitigate or even eliminate the risk of continuously rising utility rates, and the more frequent and inevitable utility rate increases become, the faster a solar PV system will pay for itself.
Whatever your reason for considering solar PV for your home or business, Renvu’s Solar Design & Quote Tool is a great place to start with designing and pricing your system and taking the first step to cleaner energy independence.
While the price of solar has continued to fall significantly over the past 15 years, and more recently batteries, the cost of installing solar modules and battery energy storage systems (BESS) is still a sizable investment for homeowners. To help reduce the overall cost of solar PV and BESS, the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) was initiated in 2006 to provide further financial incentives to promote the installation of solar. In addition to driving job growth in the renewable energy sector, the ITC has been a motivating driver for homeowners seeking to maximize their financial return while reducing their environmental impact. For 2022, the ITC is currently at 26%. This translates to a credit equal to 26% of all material (e.g. Solar PV Inverters, Panels, Racking, Storage Batteries, all balance of systems components) and labor costs associated with a solar PV and BESS (assuming battery is charged using solar generated on-site and not the utility grid). In some cases the ITC can even apply to other work done on the house and needed to facilitate a Solar PV Install, such as a replaced section of roofing that is also the area where panels will be installed. This credit is claimed the following year when an individual, or business, files their taxes, and any eligible amount is used as a dollar for dollar offset of their respective tax liability, with the ability to carryover any unused amount to subsequent tax year liabilities.
In addition to the Federal Solar ITC, there are other incentives available such as state-level tax credits, rebates from electrical utility providers, the USDA Rural Energy for America Program (USDA REAP) and Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECS). A good resource for these additional incentives, which vary across states and regions, is the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency®, found at DSIRE.
Can I go solar?
Most likely! Although the available roof space may vary from home to home - even small areas of roof can make a big difference on your power bill. The most desirable solar array location would be on a sunny south facing roof. However there are always alternative options.
How would you install solar, when there is no south facing roof space available?
Alternative to a solely South facing array, you could install two smaller arrays. Installing one facing East and one facing West, your solar electric production would be surprisingly similar to a single South facing array. Even a single West facing, or South facing array can get the job done nicely!
What if my home has a complicated roof line, or if there are lots of obstructions such as plumbing vents, chimneys, exhaust fans, skylights?
If your home’s roof is complicated - perhaps consider a solar carport, or pergola! There are also ground mounted solar options, and single pole mounted solar array options.
Does the type of roofing I have make a difference?
There are plenty of array racking options available! Be it you have spanish tiles, shingles, standing seam or corrugated - Quick and easy installation options exist for all!
Can I install solar panels on the North side of my home?
You can - your maximum production will be reduced as compared to a South, East or West array. Depending on where your home is located, and how steep your roof face is, the production would be limited somewhere in the range of 15-35% vs the same array on the South Face of your home.
Can I install solar on my garage?
Absolutely! Detached or attached, either one! Depending on your local building authority, putting a solar array on a garage vs home may have slightly different requirements.
Always check with your local building authority for your town and/or associations' solar array requirements before purchasing.
Some areas may require set back from the ridge of your roof line, or rapid shutdown fire protection measures. Electrical design requirements also may vary, and in some cases your association may require you to design solar arrays using all black panels (aka Black on Black). Ask first, design second and purchase third!
What if my town says I need an engineering drawing, review or even stamped plan to apply for a building permit?
We offer permit package design options to assist with this.
Yes, a homeowner can buy and install their own system! We have had dozens of successful DIY install projects, as shown on our reviews and testimonials online.
Can I afford solar?
The price of a solar PV system installation has fallen dramatically over the past decade plus, due mostly to a significant reduction in the price of solar panels coupled with an increase in their efficiency and availability, with other components such as PV inverters also becoming less costly and readily available for any size project.Typically discussed in terms of price/cost per watt, a solar pv system installed in 2010 cost an average of $7.44 per watt. To provide an example, a 10kW array would have cost $74,400. In 2021, that same system would have been priced at an average of $2.22 per watt, or $22,200. That’s a reduction of over 70%! Solar panels themselves have fallen from $2.00 per watt to under $0.50 per watt, a reduction of 75%! Now, how does this translate into how much solar will cost for you? That is where our Solar Design & Quote Toolcan help provide detailed pricing for a system that is specific to your project site and meets your individual needs.
To accurately price a solar PV system, you will need to know how to accurately size your system. Sizing is usually referred to in how much DC power is at the array, and more specifically in terms of kilowatts(kW). For example, if you had 10 340 watt(w) solar panels, the total array size would be 3,400 watts, or 3.4kW. The AC size of a system refers to the AC power output of the PV inverters, and while important for correctly matching inverter sizing to solar PV array output (a good rule of thumb is a DC/AC ratio of 1.15), this number is typically only referenced for permitting and utility interconnection purposes.
Solar array sizing is determined by both budget and energy use. Budget is of course different for every individual, and while there are average energy consumption numbers, energy use also widely varies. A good place to start is with the bill from your electric utility. Most utilities will provide information on the bill that communicates how much energy a location has used over the past year. This number will provide a basis to the maximum size you want your solar array to be. To easily see what size system would be needed in your location to meet a certain percentage of your annual electrical consumption, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) provides a free and invaluable tool: PV Watts Calculator. This calculator allows you to see what kind of annual production you can expect from your solar array, specific to your geographical location, annual climate conditions, and the orientation of your solar panels as they relate to your project site. With the information generated from this calculator, you will have an overall system size to use as a basis for building out your system quote using ourtool. Just divide the desired overall system size (DC) by the power of the solar panels you plan to purchase and you will know how many panels you need, and the rest of the components required for a full system will be generated. For example, if you have decided that a 7.6kW system (7,600 watts) meets your budget and consumption goals, and the Canadian Solar 380 watt solar panel is what you would like to use in your system, simply divide 7,600 by 380 to get 20 as the number of solar panels you would need. It is that simple.
How long will your solar pv system take to start saving you money? Determine your return on investment with your electricity bill, the size of the system, and the total cost of the system.
- Local / State incentives
- Federal Tax Credit
Renvu has been in solar distribution since 2012 and has fulfillment centers in CA, NJ, and TX. Our aim is to provide quality materials at the lowest price point in the market. We sell modules from Tier1 photovoltaic manufacturers, and work directly with US-Based solar companies such asIronRidge, Sol-Ark, Fortress Power, and many other up and coming US brands to bring you the best components at the lowest price. If you receive a quote for lower from another distributor, just let us know and we will do our best to price match!
For large volume orders we keep this spreadsheet updated regularly, this is a good one to bookmark if you are in the market for a large quantity: RENVU Commercial Price List
If you’d like you can make a full residential PV system quote with our free Solar Design & Quote Tooldesign tool, please check it out! This tool allows you to dynamically configure and compare prices for a variety of system design options, and you can have a copy of the bill of materials emailed to you at the end of the process. Once configured, one of our experienced sales engineers can check over your quote to confirm availability and/or lead times of the components once you've generated a quote, just let us know the quote number and your questions by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are unsure, we'd be glad to help you through the process! To get started with a proposal on our end please fill out all of the following information about your intended system and send it to and a sales engineer generate a quote for you:
- Project Address (or zip code):
- Site Snow Load (PSF):
- Site Wind Load (MPH):
- Size of system (kW):
- Grid tied or Off Grid:
- Utility connection (single phase, three phase, 110/220/480V):
- Energy storage (kWh, type, voltage, brand):
- String, Optimizer, Microinverter, Rapid Shutdown preference (manufacturer preference?):
- Module type (color, size, wattage, or manufacturer preference):
Roof Mount or Ground Mount:
- For Roof Mount:, Sloped or Flat?:
- If Flat, Penetrating or Ballasted Racking?:
- Type of roof (Spanish tile, shingles, metal):
- If Metal: Sheet Profile (R-panel, Corrugated, etc):
- Framing Structure: (Wood, Metal)
- Available unobstructed array area dimensions (Length, Width, @ridge/gable, ft):
For Ground Mount:
- Site Wind Exposure (B, C, or D):
- ASCE Code (7-10 or 7-16):
- Soil Class (2, 3, or 4):
- Pipe Structure Diameter (2" or 3"-less piers and pipe'):
- Array sizing requirements (IE: length or width maximums, if any)
Do you need permitting services? (Single Line Diagram, Permit Plan, Structural Stamp?, Electrical Stamp?):
RENVU offers two solar permit services, a full solar design and permit package, and a solar single line diagram, for any residential or commercial solar installation in the USA. The plan set is intended to pass every check on the first submission. If any changes are needed, just let us know and generally we can have them made in 2-3 business days. If your local AHJ requires, we also offer Structural and Electrical PE Stamps in all 50 states (separate line item quoted upon request, cost is $250 per stamp).
These solar permit packages are created via collaboration between RENVU engineers, the local inspectors, and you, the installer or homeowner. Our permit service provides you with a .pdf file, which you can freely print and use.
ALL of our sales engineers have an engineering background and/or solar design and installation experience. They are trained to help you find the right systems and components for your needs. Email your questions to email@example.com to get you in contact with our next available team member.
Our team regularly updates a large selection of technical articles to provide a free educational resources on relevant industry information.
Our past customers have shared some of their experiences over on our testimonials page.