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Google and its line of Nest thermostats are designed to provide energy efficiency and ease of use. With the ability to control it from a smart phone, users can get the precise temperature that they want with just a few taps. Best of all, they are compatible with most HVAC systems, allowing for easy installation. Learn how a Nest smart home thermostat can help make your home more eco-friendly.

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ecobee's line of smart thermostats can help to provide energy savings for a variety of different HVAC systems. Their thermostats provide intelligent automation for your heating and cooling system, allowing you to reduce your energy usage while staying comfortable. Keep reading for a breakdown of the different ecobee smart thermostat options.

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Up Your Skincare Game: 6 Best Vitamin C Serums

Medically reviewed by Anna H. Chacon, M.D.

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From eating foods for healthy skin to switching up your morning and routines, taking care of the largest organ in the body can get overwhelming. Recently, vitamin C has grown in popularity in the skincare world — but do the best vitamin C serums live up to the hype?

Vitamin C is not only an essential supplement for your immune system and overall health, but it's also a great skincare ingredient that can help limit inflammation, brighten skin, dull fine lines and wrinkles, fight free radicals, and reduce discoloration and dark spots.

Adding vitamin C to your skincare routine seems like a no-brainer, but before you start shopping for a serum, it's important to be aware that vitamin C is an unstable ingredient. Dermatologists say it's important to find legit and properly formulated vitamin C serums to capitalize on the benefits of the antioxidant. In this article, we'll help you find the right dermatologist-approved vitamin C serum to add to your routine.

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A smart home thermostat is a great way to make your home more energy efficient. We looked at some of the most popular smart thermostats on the market and found the five best smart thermostats. We reviewed them based on their features, energy savings, and costs to help make your search a little easier. See which smart home thermostats made our list below.

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Flipping the light switch is a great start, but a little more can go a long way for saving energy at home.

The unearthing, processing, transportation, and burning of fracked gas, coal, and crude oil for energy has devastating consequences for ecosystems, human health, and our global climate. With 80% of all energy consumed in the United States coming from fossil fuels, energy use and reduction have real implications for the planet and our personal carbon footprint.

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Throughout Texas, there are a number of solar power companies that can install solar panels on your roof to take advantage of the abundant sunlight. But which solar power provider should you choose? In this article, we'll provide a list of the best solar companies in the Lone Star State.

Our Picks for the Best Texas Solar Companies

Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

  • SunPower
  • Sunpro Solar
  • Longhorn Solar, Inc.
  • Solartime USA
  • Kosmos Solar
  • Sunshine Renewable Solutions
  • Alba Energy
  • Circle L Solar
  • South Texas Solar Systems
  • Good Faith Energy

How We Chose the Best Solar Energy Companies in Texas

There are a number of factors to keep in mind when comparing and contrasting different solar providers. These are some of the considerations we used to evaluate Texas solar energy companies.

Services Offered

Different solar companies may provide varying services. Always take the time to understand the full range of what's being offered in terms of solar panel consultation, design, installation, etc. Also consider add-ons, like EV charging stations, whenever applicable.

Installation Process

When meeting with a representative from one of Texas' solar power companies, we would always encourage you to ask what the installation process involves. What kind of customization can you expect? Will your solar provider use salaried installers, or outsourced contractors? These are all important questions to raise during the due diligence process.

Coverage Areas

Texas is a big place, and as you look for a good solar power provider, you want to ensure that their services are available where you live. If you live in Austin, it doesn't do you much good to have a solar company that's active only in Houston.

Pricing and Financing

Keep in mind that the initial cost of solar panel installation can be sizable. Some solar companies are certainly more affordable than others, and you can also ask about the flexible financing options that are available to you.

Industry Affiliations

To guarantee that the renewable energy providers you select are reputable, and that they have both the integrity and the expertise needed, we would recommend assessing their status in the industry. The simplest way to do this is to check to see whether they are North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) certified or belong to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) or other industry groups.

Types of Panels

As you research different companies, it certainly doesn't hurt to get to know the specific products they offer. Inquire about their tech portfolio, and see if they are certified to install leading brands like Tesla or Panasonic.

Rebates and Tax Credits

There are a lot of opportunities to claim clean energy rebates or federal tax credits which can help with your initial solar purchase. Ask your solar provider for guidance navigating these different savings opportunities.

Warranty

Going solar is a big investment, but a warranty can help you trust that your system will work for decades. A lot of solar providers provide warranties on their technology and workmanship for 25 years or more, but you'll definitely want to ask about this on the front end.

The 10 Best Solar Energy Companies in Texas

With these criteria in mind, consider our picks for the 10 best solar energy companies in TX.

SunPower

SunPower is a solar energy company that makes it easy to make an informed and totally customized decision about your solar power setup. SunPower has an online design studio where you can learn more about the different options available for your home, and even a form where you can get a free online estimate. Set up a virtual consultation to speak directly with a qualified solar installer from the comfort of your own home. It's no wonder SunPower is a top solar installation company in Texas. They make the entire process easy and expedient.

Sunpro Solar

Sunpro Solar is another solar power company with a solid reputation across the country. Their services are widely available to Texas homeowners, and they make the switch to solar effortless. We recommend them for their outstanding customer service, for the ease of their consultation and design process, and for their assistance to homeowners looking to claim tax credits and other incentives.

Longhorn Solar

Looking for a solar contractor with true Texas roots? Longhorn Solar is an award-winning company that's frequently touted as one of the best solar providers in the state. Their services are available in Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio, and since 2009 they have helped more than 2,000 Texans make the switch to energy efficiency with solar. We recommend them for their technical expertise, proven track record, and solar product selection.

Solartime USA

Solartime USA is another company based in Texas. In fact, this family-owned business is located in Richardson, which is just outside of Dallas. They have ample expertise with customized solar energy solutions in residential settings, and their portfolio of online reviews attests to their first-rate customer service. We love this company for the simplicity of their process, and for all the guidance they offer customers seeking to go solar.

Kosmos Solar

Next on our list is Kosmos Solar, another Texas-based solar company. They're based in the northern part of the state, and highly recommended for homeowners in the area. They supply free estimates, high-quality products, custom solar designs, and award-winning personal service. Plus, their website has a lot of great information that may help guide you while you determine whether going solar is right for you.

Sunshine Renewable Solutions

Sunshine Renewable Solutions is based out of Houston, and they've developed a sterling reputation for dependable service and high-quality products. They have a lot of helpful financing options, and can show you how you can make the switch to solar in a really cost-effective way. We also like that they give free estimates, so there's certainly no harm in learning more about this great local company.

Alba Energy

"Powered by the Texas sun." That's the official tagline of Alba Energy, a solar energy provider that's based out of Katy, TX. They have lots of great information about solar panel systems and solar solutions, including solar calculators to help you tabulate your potential energy savings. Additionally, we recommend Alba Energy because all of their work is done by a trusted, in-house team of solar professionals. They maintain an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, and they have rave reviews from satisfied customers.

Circle L Solar

Circle L Solar has a praiseworthy mission of helping homeowners slash their energy costs while participating in the green energy revolution. This is another company that provides a lot of great information, including energy savings calculators. Also note that, in addition to solar panels, Circle L Solar also showcases a number of other assets that can help you make your home more energy efficient, including windows, weatherization services, LED lighting, and more.

South Texas Solar Systems

You can tell by the name that South Texas Solar Systems focuses its service area on the southernmost part of the Lone Star State. Their products include a wide range of commercial and residential solar panels, as well as "off the grid" panels for homeowners who want to detach from public utilities altogether. Since 2007, this company has been a trusted solar energy provider in San Antonio and beyond.

Good Faith Energy

Good Faith Energy is a certified installer of Tesla solar technology for homeowners throughout Texas. This company is really committed to ecological stewardship, and they have amassed a lot of goodwill thanks to their friendly customer service and the depth of their solar expertise. In addition to Tesla solar panels, they can also install EV charging stations and storage batteries.

Free Quote: See How Much You Can Save on Solar Panels in Texas

Find the best company in your area: Complete this form to see if you can save up to $2,500 each year on your electric bills and receive a state tax rebate.


What are Your Solar Financing Options in Texas?

We've mentioned already that going solar requires a significant investment on the front-end. It's worth emphasizing that some of the best solar companies provide a range of financing options, allowing you to choose whether you buy your system outright, lease it, or pay for it in monthly installments.

Also keep in mind that there are a lot of rebates and state and federal tax credits available to help offset starting costs. Find a Texas solar provider who can walk you through some of the different options.

How Much Does a Solar Energy System Cost in Texas?

How much is it going to cost you to make that initial investment into solar power? It varies by customer and by home, but the median cost of solar paneling may be somewhere in the ballpark of $13,000. Note that, when you take into account federal tax incentives, this number can fall by several thousand dollars.

And of course, once you go solar, your monthly utility bills are going to shrink dramatically… so while solar systems won't pay for themselves in the first month or even the first year, they will ultimately prove more than cost-effective.

Finding the Right Solar Energy Companies in TX

Texas is a great place to pursue solar energy companies, thanks to all the natural sunlight, and there are plenty of companies out there to help you make the transition. Do your homework, compare a few options, and seek the solar provider that's right for you. We hope this guide is a helpful jumping-off point as you try to get as much information as possible about the best solar companies in Texas.

Josh Hurst is a journalist, critic, and essayist. He lives in Knoxville, TN, with his wife and three sons. He covers natural health, nutrition, supplements, and clean energy. His writing has appeared in Health, Shape, and Remedy Review.

brown brick house with solar panels on roof
Photo by Vivint Solar on Unsplash

There are plenty of perks to living in Arizona, and one of the biggest is all the sunshine. Living in a sun-soaked part of the country allows you to take full advantage of clean energy solutions, specifically power that's generated by a solar system. In fact, Arizona ranks fifth on the list of states with the most solar energy.

For residents of Arizona, there are solar power companies that provide service in Tucson, Phoenix, Tempe, Scottsdale, Glendale, and beyond. How can you be sure you're choosing the best solar installer? In this article, we'll highlight our top 10 Arizona solar companies.

Our Picks for the Top Solar Companies in Arizona

Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

  • Arizona Solar Wave & Energy
  • Sunrun
  • Sunpro Solar
  • Sun Valley Solar Solutions
  • Verde Solar Power
  • Arizona Southwest Solar & Electric
  • Arizona Solar Concepts
  • Solar Topps
  • Arizona Energy Pros
  • Streamline Solar Power

How We Chose the Best Solar Energy Companies in Arizona

Before sharing our picks for Arizona's best solar contractors, it's important to highlight some of the criteria we used. When comparing different solar energy providers, there are quite a few factors to keep in mind.

Services Offered

Keep in mind that different solar energy companies are going to offer slightly different services. Design and installation of solar paneling is one thing, but will the company also help install battery storage and an EV charging station for your electric car? Will they provide windows or weatherization to help boost your household energy efficiency? You want to choose a full-service solar company whenever possible.

Installation Process

Before you hire a solar roofing company, it's helpful to ask about the installation process. Find out what the customization and design elements will encompass. Also find out whether the installation will be handled by trained and salaried employees, or by solar contractors.

Coverage Area

While some companies may offer coverage across the state, others may be limited to a particular market. If you live in Tempe, it may not do you much good to hire a solar company that's only active in Glendale. Always confirm the scope of coverage before hiring a solar energy provider.

Pricing and Financing

Installing solar equipment can cost a lot (more than $10,000) on the front end, but may ultimately pay for itself in terms of tax incentives and monthly electric bill savings. If that initial investment is a bit steep for you, you can always ask about payment plans and solar leasing opportunities.

Professional Reputation

To ensure that the solar provider you hire is reputable and trustworthy, we recommend hiring a company that's held in high regard within the industry. Specifically, look for a provider with Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) affiliation and North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) certification.

Technology Portfolio

It may also be useful to determine if the company you hire uses a trusted brand of solar paneling; for certain brand names like Tesla and Panasonic, the company must be certified to install these panels.

Rebates and Tax Credits

As we mentioned, there are rebates and tax incentives to help offset the initial cost of your solar installation. Look for a solar power company that can help you navigate these offers and obtain the savings you need.

Warranty

Most solar installers will include a warranty on their technology, with 25 year warranties being the industry norm. These warranties can give some much-needed peace of mind on both the technology and workmanship behind your new photovoltaic system.

The 10 Best Solar Energy Companies in Arizona

Arizona Solar Wave & Energy

Arizona Solar Wave & Energy is a top-rated solar contractor in the state. They provide best-in-class customer service and also assist customers looking to navigate all the different rebate and incentive offers. With 17 years in the industry, Arizona Solar Wave & Energy has experience helping homeowners make the switch to solar. They are NABCEP-certified, and offer free repair and maintenance for the life of your solar system.

Sunrun

Sunrun has long been a leading name in the solar industry. They offer virtual consultations and custom solar designs, allowing you to be involved in the development of your home energy solution from the ground up. We also like them for their first-rate customer service guarantees, their generous tech portfolio, and their prestigious reputation within the industry.

Sunpro Solar

Sunpro Solar is active in 22 states, and their goal is to make the solar energy transition as simple, seamless, and cost-effective as possible. Sunpro's installers will present you with a free quote for your system, and also offer you support in claiming clean energy tax incentives, including the state's property tax exemption. Sunpro boasts a ton of positive customer reviews, testifying to their high standards of service.

Sun Valley Solar Solutions

Sun Valley Solar Solutions made our list because they utilize the very best in solar technology. They are certified Tesla Solar Roof and Tesla Powerwall installers. Additionally, they go out of their way to help you find affordable solutions and claim any savings opportunities that are available to you. Sun Valley Solar Solutions professionals are NABCEP-certified and offer award-winning customer service.

Verde Solar Power

Verde Solar Power is another company that's native to Arizona, and covers areas including Sedona, Cottonwood, Camp Verde, and more. This company helps Arizonans take advantage of the 300+ days of sunlight they get each year, with custom energy solutions that allow for clean and affordable home power. They are NABCEP-certified and offer a free solar solar assessment.

Arizona Southwest Solar & Electric

Arizona Southwest Solar & Electric is one of the most experienced solar installers serving the southwestern part of the state. True to the company's name, they provide both solar power as well as comprehensive electrical services as needed. We'll also note that they have a very admirable mission statement, with a commitment to clean and renewable energy solutions. These are just a few of the reasons why Arizona Southwest Solar & Electric makes our list.

Arizona Solar Concepts

If you're seeking an experienced solar company with deep roots in AZ, Arizona Solar Concepts is a must. This family-owned and operated company has been serving local homeowners since 2006, and in that time, they have helped more than 5,000 Arizonans make the switch to solar power. They are offer high-quality solar technology as well as generous warranties and guarantees, and are Tesla Powerwall Certified Installers and SunPower Master Certified.

Solar Topps

Solar Topps provides easy and efficient consultation, fast installation, and customer support representatives who are available 24/7. They are also authorized dealers of some of the top solar panel brands on the market today, including Panasonic and Enphase. Finally, they offer a lot of really helpful information on their website, including a calculator that will generate an instant quote for solar services.

Arizona Energy Pros

Arizona Energy Pros, a company that's been around since 1977, is one of the most experienced solar providers on the market. This is a comprehensive home energy company, and a lot of their services involves electrical work, but they also offer solar energy services. Arizona Energy Pros has excellent financing options, including opportunities to get solar installation with zero money down. Note that they are only available in the Phoenix area.

Streamline Solar Power

Streamline Solar Power is a solar installation company serving Valley Wide, Tucson, Yuma, and surrounding areas. They are authorized dealers for some of the top solar panel brands, including Tesla, and they custom-design and install every system themselves. If you're looking for an all-in-one, AZ-owned solar company, this is an excellent pick.

Free Quote: See How Much You Can Save on Solar Panels in Arizona

Fill out this 30-second form to get a quote from one of the best solar energy companies in Arizona. You could save up to $2,500 each year on your electric bills and receive both federal and state tax rebates.

What are the Benefits of Going Solar in Arizona?

By making the switch to solar energy, you can potentially reduce your household utility bills considerably, even eliminating month-to-month energy expenses altogether.

Even more importantly, switching to solar energy can help you to minimize your environmental footprint. For those looking to break away from polluting fuel sources, embracing solar power is a no-brainer.

There aren't many states that get as many days of consistent sunshine as Arizona, meaning that it's easy to generate household power harnessed purely from the sun.

The biggest advantage to doing so is that it allows you to utilize renewable energy sources as opposed to toxic fossil fuels.

How Much Does a Solar Energy System Cost in Arizona?

Solar costs can vary from home to home, depending on factors like your household energy use, sun exposure, and the surface area of your roof. With that said, the average price for going solar is around $13,000. Note that once you factor in tax incentives and rebates, that price should drop by several thousand dollars. And of course, those monthly utility savings will ultimately offset the cost of solar installation.

Going solar requires an investment, and it won't pay for itself overnight, but with so many tax rebates and other incentives, many Arizonans find it to be more than cost-effective.

Going Solar in the Grand Canyon State

Making the switch to solar energy can be a great choice not just financially but also ecologically. And for those who live in Arizona, the opportunities to transition to solar power are bright.

Josh Hurst is a journalist, critic, and essayist. He lives in Knoxville, TN, with his wife and three sons. He covers natural health, nutrition, supplements, and clean energy. His writing has appeared in Health, Shape, and Remedy Review.

tree beside house under clear sky
Photo by Vivint Solar on Unsplash

One of the best ways to power a home or business while minimizing your environmental footprint is by harnessing the renewable energy provided by the sun. The good news for Californians is that the state has long been on the leading edge of green energy; as you seek solar energy companies in California, you'll find that there are plenty of options choose from.

In this article, we'll look at some of the top solar energy companies servicing homeowners in Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco and throughout CA.

Our Picks for the Best Solar Energy Companies in California

Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

  • NRG Clean Power
  • Sunworks Solar Power
  • Sunrun
  • Semper Solaris
  • Stellar Solar
  • Tesla
  • Vivint Solar
  • Sunlux Energy
  • Solar Optimum

How We Chose the Best Solar Companies in California

There are a number of factors to consider as you search for the best solar installation company.

Some of the specific factors we used for our rankings include:

Services Offered

For one, it's important to note that different solar companies may offer slightly different services. Most CA homeowners will want a company that provides a diverse portfolio, assisting with everything from an initial consultation on their solar energy system to solar panel installation.

Installation Process

Also consider the specific steps in the solar panel system installation process. How long will it take to have your solar panels placed? Will the panels be installed by a trained member of the solar energy company, or will it be a third-party contractor?

Coverage Areas

Some solar companies have a wider field of service than others. It doesn't do you much good to hire a solar power company that's only active in Sacramento if you live closer to Los Angeles in southern California.

Pricing and Financing

You'll want to consider your budget, which can be a determinative factor. Keep in mind that most solar companies are going to have fairly steep upfront costs, but you'll ultimately save a lot of money in the long run, thanks to the reduced electric bills. Also, we have tried to celebrate companies that offer flexible financing options like solar leases.

Professional Memberships

We would generally recommend working with a company that maintains membership in the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) or other professional association. Membership in these groups is a great indicator of the company's professionalism, workmanship, reputation, and reliability.

Types of Panels

Pay attention to the specific type of solar technology that is offered. Is the company certified to install leading brands like Tesla Powerwall, Panasonic, and LG? It never hurts to take a closer look into the company's tech portfolio.

Rebates

You can likely find solar energy rebates or federal tax credits by making the switch to solar energy. Will your solar energy provider help you make the necessary arrangements? It is often wise to inquire about these incentives on the front-end.

Warranty

Finally, we would recommend seeking a solar energy company that can offer a good warranty. This can offer great consumer protection and peace of mind as you make a big investment in clean energy.

The Best Solar Energy Companies in California

NRG Clean Power

NRG Clean Power claims to do solar "the smart way," and they have a great reputation in the solar industry. They make solar panels accessible and affordable, without any financing gimmicks or middlemen to complicate the process. They have an admirable vision of decentralizing and deregulating power supplies, making it easier for all of us to participate in the clean energy revolution.

NRG Clean Power offers solar roofing, energy storage, and EV charging solutions, as well as flexible payment and financing options.

Sunworks Solar Power

Sunworks Solar Power is a company that supplies affordable and reliable solar energy solutions to homes, businesses, and even farms across the state. They actually boast more than 30 years of experience in the solar space, which makes them a true standard-bearer within the industry. In addition to some significant home energy savings, Sunworks Solar Power can also benefit you by providing a generous 25-year warranty.

There's a lot to love about Sunworks, specifically that they handle the entire solar energy process from start to finish.

Sunrun

When it comes to flexible, affordable solar solutions, Sunrun is a great option. You can actually get financing for your panels and other equipment with zero money down, making it incredibly easy to get up and running. Additionally, Sunrun assists with claiming any tax incentives that are available to you, either at a state level or the federal level. They also do an excellent job customizing their services, helping each homeowner get exactly the solar setup they need.

Learn why Sunrun is one of California's photovoltaic leaders.

Semper Solaris

Semper Solaris is owned and operated by American military veterans, which is just one of many reasons why it ranks so high on our list. We also love the fact that the company showcases a wide range of solar services, including heating and air conditioning assistance, solar batteries, and of course home solar installation. Also note that Semper Solaris offers service across California, with offices in San Diego, Inland Empire, Fresno, Concord, Los Angeles, Bakersfield, and beyond.

Semper Solaris is easily one of the best solar energy companies in California, and a great option for solar and battery storage installation.

Stellar Solar

Stellar Solar is primarily available in the San Diego area. They offer some incredible solar deals, including affordable equipment fees, low-interest financing, and access to some generous rebates and tax credits. Stellar Solaris has been around since 1998, and in that time, they have assisted more than 12,000 customers go solar.

If you live the San Diego area, Stellar Solar is one of the best solar contractors available.

Tesla

You may know Tesla from their electric cars. What you might not know is that Tesla has brought a similar sophistication to the solar energy industry, developing premium solar panels that have been adopted by other solar providers in the state. Of course, you can always go straight to the source, having your panels installed directly by Tesla themselves. Tesla also guarantees to match any price on solar systems in order to offer the lowest prices in the country.

Tesla's solar panel systems feature sleek designs, ensuring that your solar paneling isn't just functional, but also aesthetically pleasing.

Vivint Solar

Vivint Solar is a solar installer that really excels in customization. They understand that no two homes are quite alike, and they tailor their solar designs accordingly. Additionally, their top-notch panels are backed with a 25-year warranty, which should give you ample assurance as you consider choosing Vivint for your home energy needs.

Vivint Solar also provides a complete service experience to help you with everything from system design to permits and installation.

Sunlux Energy

Sunlux Energy delivers solar energy solutions in California as well as Texas, and they really have a lot to offer. Specifically, they can furnish solar panels and batteries, full home automation options, and even EV charging stations for your garage. They give free consultations, and they come backed with a great portfolio of online reviews.

Sunlux Energy is great for their full-service process, system warranty, and solar financing options.

Solar Optimum

Solar Optimum is an award-winning company known for its professional installation services, including a distinction as the 2020 Installer of the Year for Panasonic solar panels. They also back their products with reliable warranties and guarantees.

Solar Optimum offers true solar expertise, and their 25-year warranty covers the panels, inverter, racking, roof, and workmanship.

Free Quote: See How Much You Can Save on Solar Panels in California

Fill out this 30-second form to get a quote from one of the best solar energy companies in California. You could save up to $2,500 each year on your electric bills and receive both federal and local tax incentives and rebates.

How Does Solar Panel Installation Work?

As you consider hiring a solar energy company, you may have some questions about the installation process. What exactly is involved in having your home enhanced with solar paneling?

The process should always begin with a consultation. A solar expert will evaluate how much energy you need, based on factors such as your home's square footage, appliances, and the number of people in your home. Additionally, the consultant will help you determine the best places on your roof to place solar panels so that they maximize solar energy absorption.

The company will then install the panels onto your roof and make sure that they are connected to your home and operating properly. Once installed, these solar panels will capture the sun's energy and store it in a battery. A component known as an inverter will then take this solar power and turn it into AC electrical current, which is the kind of energy you'll need to power your appliances and home electronics.

The goal is that the renewable energy you get from the sun will be sufficient for you to stop using electrical power from a utility company. What's more, making the jump to solar energy can help you reduce your environmental footprint. For those seeking clean and (in the long run) cost-effective home energy, solar power can be tremendously advantageous.

What Do You Need to Go Solar in California?

Are you a good candidate for solar power? First and foremost, you'll probably need to own your own home. And second, you'll want to have a rooftop that receives plenty of sunlight.

One important note is that in California, depending on the city where you live, you may actually work with the local utility company, like PG&E, for a power purchase agreement or net metering service. The utility will still be connected to your home, but you will receive credits on your bill for the extra energy generated by your home's solar system.

This can be a little bit cumbersome, and you'll probably want to work with a solar energy company that can help you coordinate with your local utility provider as well as helping you get the permits and approvals you need. For residents of California, this is something to ask about as you seek the best solar energy partner.

The Benefits of Going Solar in CA

If you're interested in going solar in California, the first thing you'll want to do is research different companies so that you can find the one that best fits your budget and your needs.

Solar energy can make a world of difference for you and your family. We hope this guide will be useful to you in evaluating some of California's top solar energy providers.

Josh Hurst is a journalist, critic, and essayist. He lives in Knoxville, TN, with his wife and three sons. He covers natural health, nutrition, supplements, and clean energy. His writing has appeared in Health, Shape, and Remedy Review.

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SDI Productions / E+ / Getty Images

Kids are the ones that will be inheriting the world from us. Getting them invested early in protecting the environment will ensure that their curiosity and interest will live on once they become adults.

Figuring out how to introduce the concept of renewable energy to kids can be tricky. The more significant challenge comes down to getting kids interested and excited versus putting them on the receiving end of another lecture.

It will take a bit of planning and creativity, but there are ways to get children interested in renewable energy even at a young age.

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When installing a solar power system for a home or business, choosing between monocrystalline vs. polycrystalline solar panels is an important step in the planning process. But how do you decide which is right for you?

In this article, we'll break down similarities and differences between the two types of solar panels, going over costs, aesthetics, efficiency and more to help you determine the best choice for your solar installation.

What are Monocrystalline and Polycrystalline Solar Panels?

Monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels are the two most common types of solar energy receptors. Both work using photovoltaic cells made of silicon — the same material that's used in chips for electronic gadgets. The difference between monocrystalline vs. polycrystalline solar cells is the configuration of the silicon:

  • Monocrystalline solar panels: Each solar PV cell is made of a single silicon crystal. These are sometimes referred to as "mono solar panels."
  • Polycrystalline solar panels: Each PV cell is made of multiple silicon crystal fragments that are melded together during manufacturing. You may see them called "multi-crystalline panels" or "poly panels."

Both types of solar panels have the same purpose: converting sunlight into electricity. However, the crystalline silicon structure of individual solar cells affects their performance and appearance. In fact, you can identify the type of panel by simply observing the shape and color of its solar cells.

Monocrystalline Solar Panels

Monocrystalline solar panels are characterized by their black PV cells with rounded edges. They have a higher conversion efficiency than polycrystalline panels, which means they produce more kilowatt-hours of electricity. If you want to install a solar panel system but your space is limited, monocrystalline panels will be more productive per square foot.

While they're the most efficient solar panels, they're also the most expensive, since the manufacturing process of single-crystal silicon cells is more complex.

Polycrystalline Solar Panels

Polycrystalline solar panels have blue-hued PV cells with straight edges. They have a lower efficiency compared with monocrystalline cells, which means you need more panels to reach the same power output. However, polycrystalline panels also have a lower price, since their manufacturing process is simpler.

Polycrystalline panels are very durable, but they tend to last slightly less than monocrystalline panels. They are also affected more by high temperatures, which reduces their productivity on the hottest days.

Monocrystalline Vs. Polycrystalline Solar Panels: Key Differences

Now that you know the basics of monocrystalline vs. polycrystalline solar panels, let's discuss how each type of solar panel technology performs. The following table summarizes the most important differences between monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels:

Factor Monocrystalline Solar Panels Polycrystalline Solar Panels
Silicone Arrangement One pure silicon crystal Many silicon fragments melded together
Cost More expensive Less expensive
Appearance Panels have black hue Panels have blue hue
Efficiency More efficient Less efficient
Lifespan 25-40 years 20-35 years
Temperature Coefficient Lower temperature coefficient,
making them more efficient in heat
Higher temperature coefficient,
making them less efficient in heat

Solar Panel Cost

The silicon structure of each solar panel is the main factor that determines cost. To produce polycrystalline panels, manufacturers must simply pour molten silicon into square molds, then cut the resulting wafers into individual cells. On the other hand, to produce single-crystal solar cells, the solidification of silicon must be controlled very carefully. Because of this more complex manufacturing process, mono panels are more expensive.

Here are a couple of things to keep in mind about the cost of solar panels:

  • Monocrystalline solar panels have a higher cost when comparing only the panels.
  • The cost of inverters, wiring, electrical protections, racking and labor is the same for both solar panel types.
  • Because monocrystalline panels are more efficient, you may get a better return on your investment.
  • Homeowners are eligible for the federal solar tax credit whether they choose mono or poly panels.

Efficiency and Temperature Coefficient

As mentioned above, monocrystalline solar panels have a higher efficiency. However, this does not mean that polycrystalline solar panels are inferior products — you can find high-quality solar panels of both types. Here are a few more facts about efficiency:

  • When a solar panel has a higher efficiency, it converts a larger percentage of sunlight into electricity.
  • As of 2021, polycrystalline panels have typical efficiencies below 20%, while the best monocrystalline panels are approaching 23%.
  • You will need more polycrystalline panels to reach a certain kilowatt-hour output per month, since their efficiency is lower.
  • All solar panels suffer a temporary efficiency drop when their temperature increases, but monocrystalline solar cells are less affected by heat.

The temperature coefficient indicates how much solar panels are affected by temperature. All solar panels are factory-tested under the same Standard Test Conditions (STC) to ensure a fair comparison.

In general, polycrystalline solar panels tend to have higher temperature coefficients, which means they lose more productivity when they heat up. However, as technology improves, there are now solar panels of both types with similarly low temperature coefficients.

Solar panel efficiency is not a critical factor when you have plenty of space available. Since polycrystalline panels have a lower price, installing more to compensate for the lower efficiency is not a problem. However, when you have limited space, installing more panels is not an option, so monocrystalline panels will maximize electricity production in the available area.

Appearance and Lifespan

The appearance of solar cells is also a result of their silicon structure, since it determines how they interact with sunlight and how they are perceived by human eyesight. The single-crystal structure of monocrystalline cells gives them a black color, while polycrystalline cells are blue.

Both solar panel types have a long lifespan, while their payback period is less than five years in many cases. Solar manufacturers normally offer a 25-year power production warranty, but some brands now come with 30-year warranty coverage.

Are Monocrystalline or Polycrystalline Solar Panels Best for You?

Each type of solar panel has advantages and disadvantages, and you can get an excellent return on investment with both. However, to make your choice easier, consider the following factors when picking the best solar panels for your home:

Do you want solar panels of a specific color? Keep in mind that monocrystalline panels are black, while polycrystalline panels are blue. If you prefer one over the other, you can buy solar panels to suit your taste.

How much space do you have for solar panels? The exact dimensions of home solar panels depend on their brand and manufacturer. The typical dimensions are 65 inches by 39 inches, equivalent to 17.6 square feet per panel, but monocrystalline panels offer more watts per square foot. Here's a simplified example of how you can install more kilowatts in a given area by using monocrystalline panels:

  • You may find that a polycrystalline panel produces 300W, while an equally-sized monocrystalline panel produces 350W.
  • If you have space for 20 of them, you will reach 7 kW with the monocrystalline panels, but only 6 kW with the polycrystalline panels.

What do your budget and financing options look like? Polycrystalline solar panels are more affordable, but monocrystalline panels are more productive. If you have access to a solar loan with favorable interest rates, you can finance your solar installation and pay the loan off with the money you save on utility bills. In this case, the extra cost of monocrystalline panels is not an issue.

Also, make sure you compare several solar quotes. Monocrystalline solar panels are more expensive individually, but you must also consider other system components and installation costs. There may be cases in which a completed installation with monocrystalline panels is actually cheaper, even if a single panel costs more.

To start comparing costs, you can get a free, no-obligation quote from a top solar installation company in your area by filling out the 30-second form below.

Other Types of Solar Panels

Monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels are the most common, but they are not the only types available. You will also find thin-film solar panels, which have a completely different manufacturing process:

  • Instead of using crystalline solar cells, they use a photovoltaic material that is deposited in thin layers.
  • There are many subtypes of thin-film solar panels based on their PV material. The most common are cadmium telluride (CdTe), copper gallium indium diselenide (CIGS) and amorphous silicon.
  • Since thin-film solar panels are not divided into cells, they have a uniform surface without divisions.
  • Most flexible solar panels use thin-film solar cells.

The main disadvantage of thin-film solar panels is that they are much less efficient than polycrystalline or monocrystalline panels. This means you must cover a larger area with thin-film solar panels to reach a certain kilowatt-hour production.

FAQ: Monocrystalline Vs. Polycrystalline Solar Panels

Which solar panel type is better: monocrystalline or polycrystalline?

Both monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels have certain pros and cons, which means the better choice for you will depend on your specific project. Monocrystalline panels are recommended when space is limited and when you are willing to make a larger investment to achieve top efficiency. On the other hand, polycrystalline solar panels are recommended when you want to reduce upfront costs and space is not a limitation.

Is monocrystalline more expensive than polycrystalline?

When comparing the price of individual solar panels, monocrystalline products are more expensive. However, when comparing quotes for completed solar systems, you may find similar costs per kilowatt among both technologies. This is because, due to their high efficiency rates, you'll need to buy fewer mono panels overall.

What is the difference between polycrystalline and monocrystalline solar panels?

Polycrystalline solar panels have blue cells made of multiple silicon crystals, and they are less efficient but more affordable. Monocrystalline panels have black cells made of single crystals, and they offer a higher efficiency at a higher price.

What is the price difference between monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels?

This price difference between monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels varies depending on the exact solar panel models being compared. However, in general, the price difference is comparable to the efficiency difference — monocrystalline panels are around 20% more efficient, but they also cost around 20% more.

Comparing quotes for complete solar power systems is recommended, since they include all other system components and their installation costs.

Leonardo David is an electromechanical engineer, MBA, energy consultant and technical writer. His energy-efficiency and solar consulting experience covers sectors including banking, textile manufacturing, plastics processing, pharmaceutics, education, food processing, fast food, real estate and retail. He has also been writing articles about energy and engineering topics since 2015.

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Before installing a residential solar system, you may stop to wonder: Do solar panels increase home value? It turns out, the answer is a resounding yes.

In this article, we'll go over how much solar panels can increase the value of your home, as well as how that increased value affects property taxes and whether buyers are really looking for homes with solar energy systems. With this knowledge, you can make an informed decision about whether solar panels are a good investment for your home.

How Much Do Solar Panels Increase Home Value?

Many homeowners, buyers, and appraisers know that the installation of solar panels and solar batteries can increase a property's market value. In fact, one study confirmed that solar installations increase a home's resale value by up to $5,911 for each kilowatt of solar panels installed, and another estimated an increase of 4.1% of the home's value.

Where do these figures come from, exactly? To begin with, consider a Zillow study, which notes that homes with solar installations tend to sell for about 4.1% more than homes without. Of course, this is an average. Some locations show a higher value-add (5.4% for New York City), and some show lower (2.7% for Riverside, California). An older study from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory reveals an increase in resale value of approximately $5,911 for each kilowatt of solar power that's installed.

So, how much do solar panels increase home value? Let's take a look at some averages:

Home Solar System Size Amount Solar Panels
Increase Home Value*
4 kW $23,644
6 kW $35,466
8 kW $47,288
10 kW $59,110

*Figures based on study by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

It's worth noting that these amounts are roughly in line with the total cost of a solar panel system, which may be just the incentive you need to finally take the plunge into solar power.

Factors That Influence the Value-Add of Solar Panels

While these simple calculations can give you a ballpark, there are a number of factors that influence the value-add of solar panels. Some of the most prominent include:

  • Geographic location: Different communities experience different electrical costs (and higher electrical costs result in greater value from your solar panels). Additionally, geography can influence the amount of sun exposure you get, as well as the social benefits of installing solar power.
  • Local solar installation prices: Another geographic factor is the cost of getting a new system in your area. If a buyer would save money by purchasing a home with a system already installed, it will make your home that much more valuable.
  • System output: As you can see from the chart above, a larger system with more energy generation will provide more added value.
  • System age: If you have an older solar system, you'll need to account for depreciation. Older systems won't add that much value to your home when you sell it, as there's a higher chance the buyer will need to do repairs or replace parts sooner.
  • System replacement value: Along the same lines as system age, how expensive or difficult parts of your system would be to replace affects the added value of the system overall.

Are Buyers Looking for Homes with Solar Panels?

Another question to consider when figuring how much solar panels would increase your home value is just how enticing a solar system is to buyers in your community. This is something that will vary by geography, and specifically by local solar literacy. Simply put, buyers won't be as willing to invest in a solar system if they don't really understand how solar panels work or how they can benefit from them.

With that said, there's some data that shows homeowners to be pretty open to energy efficiency features, for the most part. For example, more than 80% of homebuyers say that energy efficiency is a priority, according to the Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report.

Some earlier data from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory shows that homes with solar panels sell 20% faster and for 17% more than those without. (Granted, this information is about 15 years old; there's now greater supply and greater demand for homes with solar panels, but these data points should be promising nonetheless.)

How Do Solar Panels Affect Property Taxes?

Of course, when your property values go up, that usually means that your property taxes increase as well. The good news is that many states offer exemptions, meaning that when you install a solar system, your property taxes do not go up, even if your property value rises.

Here's a rundown of property tax exemptions by state:

Solar Property Tax Exemption States*
100% exempt Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida,
Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota,
Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island,
Texas, Vermont, Wisconsin
Local exemptions Alaska, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Ohio, Virginia
100% exempt for 20 years Massachusetts
100% exempt for 10 years Montana
100% exempt for 5 years Iowa, New York, North Dakota
100% exempt until 2025 California
80% exempt North Carolina
System-based exemption Illinois, Nebraska, Tennessee
Tax exemption of $50,000 or 70%
of total property value
South Dakota
No exemption Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky,
Maine, Mississippi, Nevada, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania,
South Carolina, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming

*Accurate as of date of publication.

Do Solar Panels Make Sense for Your Home?

As you weigh the pros and cons of solar energy, it makes sense to consider the overall impact on your property value. You'll also want to take into account factors including:

  • How much you spend on utility bills each month: If you live in an area that has high average electricity rates, you'll get a better return on your solar energy investment.
  • How much sunlight your home gets throughout the year: Some homes are better positioned for solar panel installation than others. If your home is situated at an optimal angle for harnessing the sun's energy, it makes more sense to go solar.
  • Financial incentives available to you: All American homeowners are eligible for the federal solar tax credit, but many states and municipalities have added rebates, low-interest loans and other financial incentives for their own residents as well.

For many homeowners, the question of whether to buy solar panels comes down to cost. If you want to see how much solar panel installation would cost for your home, you can get a free, no-obligation quote from a top solar company in your area by filling out the form below.

FAQ: Do Solar Panels Increase Home Value?

Do solar panels hurt the resale value of your home?

Generally speaking, the opposite is true; installing a home solar array actually increases the resale value of a home, particularly if you have a high-efficiency system that helps lower monthly energy bills.

Solar literacy in your local community is an important factor here, but for most homeowners, the answer to this question will be a resounding no. Multiple studies have shown that buyers are looking for more energy-efficient homes to reduce their carbon footprints and help save on electricity bills.

Do bigger solar installations present a better value-add than smaller systems?

Bigger solar installations may present a better value-add than smaller systems. However, in many cases, it's not the number of panels that matters so much as the power output. A smaller system, assembled with the most efficient solar panels can be just as impactful as a larger, lower-efficiency system.

The aesthetics of the system may also be a factor, with many buyers actually preferring smaller, less conspicuous systems.

How much value does solar add to the home?

A few studies have shown that solar installations increase a home's resale value by up to $6,000 for each kilowatt of solar panels installed, or by about 4.1% of the home's value. However, this can vary quite a bit from one geographic location to the next, even for comparable homes with similar solar panel systems.

Do you really save money with solar panels?

While the initial investment may be steep, solar panels can definitely help to significantly reduce or even eliminate your monthly electric bills. These ongoing energy savings are a nice addition to the elevation in property values.

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While the upfront cost of a solar water heater may be higher than traditional water heaters, the solar energy you'll harness can yield great savings and environmental benefits. Heating water accounts for 18% of a home's energy use, but a solar water heater could cut your water heating bills by 50 to 80%.

In this article, we'll explain how a solar-powered hot water heater can help you tap into a free, renewable energy source, potentially saving money and doing good for the planet. With this information, you can make the best decision about whether a solar water heater is a good investment for your home's hot water needs.

Solar Water Heater Basics

A solar hot water heater's basic function is to expose water or a heat-exchanging liquid to the sun's rays, then circulate the warmed liquid back into your home for domestic use. The basic components of all solar water heaters are a storage tank and a collector to trap the sun's heat.

Collectors are a series of flat plates, tubes or tanks through which water or a heat transfer fluid passes and absorbs the sun's heat. From there, the fluid is circulated to either a water tank or heat exchange unit.

Solar water heaters are most commonly used as energy-saving devices to preheat water before entering a conventional water heater in the home. But some solar water heaters warm and store water without the use of a conventional tank, offering totally sun-powered hot water.

Types of Solar Water Heaters

Solar hot water heaters are split into two broad categories: passive and active. The primary difference between the two is that active systems require circulating pumps to move water, and passive systems rely on gravity to move water. Active systems also require electricity to operate and may use antifreeze as a heat exchanger fluid.

In the simplest of passive solar collectors, water is heated in tubes, then piped directly to a faucet when needed. Active solar collectors either use antifreeze — which is passed from the solar collector into a heat exchanger that heats potable water for storage and household use — or just heat water directly, which is then pumped to a water tank.

Active and passive systems have subcategories that are specialized for various climates, tasks, capacities and budgets. The one that's right for you will depend on factors including:

  • Available space
  • Availability of sunshine
  • Your capacity requirements
  • Building codes and regulations in your area
  • Your installation budget

Let's take a look at each type of solar hot water system and how it can benefit your home.

Active Solar Water Heaters

Though more expensive than passive systems, active solar water heaters are more efficient. There are two types of active solar water heating systems:

Active Direct

In an active direct system, potable water passes directly through the heat collector and into a storage tank for use. They're best suited for mild climates where temperatures rarely go below freezing.

Active Indirect

Active indirect systems circulate a non-freezing fluid through the solar collector and into a heat exchanger, where the fluid's heat is transferred to potable water. The water is then circulated into a storage tank for domestic use. Active indirect systems are a must for cold climates where temperatures regularly dip below freezing. Without an active indirect system, pipes run the risk of freezing and bursting.

Passive Solar Water Heaters

Passive solar water heaters are the less expensive, simpler option but also tend to be less efficient than active systems. They can, however, be more reliable and last longer, so you shouldn't overlook them as an option, especially if you're on a budget.

All passive systems use pressure or gravity to circulate water, and come in two variations:

Integral Collector Storage and Batch Heaters

Integral collector storage (ICS) systems are the simplest of all solar water heating units — the heat collector also serves as the water storage tank. They're quite efficient but only work in climates with little risk of freezing temperatures. ICS systems can be as simple as a large black tank or a series of smaller copper tubes fastened to a roof. ICS units with copper tubing heat faster due to the increased surface area but lose heat faster for the same reason.

ICS systems are usually used to preheat water for conventional heaters. In such a system, when water is needed, it leaves the storage tank/collector and enters a conventional water heater in the home.

An important thing to consider with an ICS system is size and weight: Because the storage tank itself is also the collector, they're large and heavy. A structure must be strong enough to support bulky ICS systems, which may be impractical or impossible for some homes. Another drawback to an ICS system is its tendency to freeze and even burst in colder weather, making them suitable only for warmer climates or otherwise drained before cold weather hits.

Thermosyphon Water Heaters

Thermosyphon systems rely on thermal circulation. Water circulates when warm water rises and cool water descends. They feature a tank like an ICS unit but have collectors attached sloping downward from the tank to allow thermal circulation.

Thermosyphon collectors gather sunlight, sending heated water back to the tank via a closed-loop or heat pipe. While thermosyphons are more efficient than ICS systems, they can't be used where regular freeing occurs.

How Much Does a Solar Hot Water Heater Cost?

The more hot water you use, the more likely a solar water heater will pay for itself over time. Solar hot water heaters are most cost-effective for households with many members or a large hot water demand.

A typical solar water heater will cost around $9,000 before federal incentives, with higher capacity active models reaching upwards of $13,000. Small systems may cost as low as $1,500.

Prices vary dramatically based on many factors, including the materials you choose, system size, installation and maintenance costs, and more. While ICS systems are the cheapest option (around $4,000 for 60-gallon units), they won't work in all climates, so if your home sees regular temperatures below freezing, you'll have no other choice than to fork over the cash for an active indirect system, or at least use a different system only part of the year.

Weight and size of cheaper passive systems might not be appropriate for everyone. If your structure won't accommodate the weight of a passive system or you don't have the room, a more expensive active system is yet again your best option.

If you're building a new home or refinancing, you can roll the cost of a new solar hot water heater into your mortgage. Including the cost of a new solar water heater in a 30-year mortgage will cost you between $13 and $20 per month. Tack on federal incentives, and you might pay as little as $10 to $15 per month. So if you're building new or refinancing, and your conventional water heating bills are over $10 to $15 per month, you'll immediately start saving money. And the more water you use, the faster the system will pay for itself.

Aside from the cost to purchase and install the system itself, you'll need to account for annual operating costs. In a simple passive system, this could be negligible or nothing. But in most systems utilizing conventional water heaters in tandem with a solar heater, you will bear some heating costs, albeit much lower than operating a conventional heater alone.

Tax Credits for Solar Water Heaters

You don't have to shoulder the entire price of a new solar water heating system. Federal tax credits may significantly reduce the cost of installing one. Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credits (also known as ITC, or Investment Tax Credits) can provide a 26 percent tax credit on solar water heaters. But there are some conditions to qualify:

  • At least half of the energy generated from the property must come from the sun (photovoltaic systems).
  • The new solar hot water heater must be certified by the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation (SRCC) or a similar entity endorsed by the government of the state in which the system is installed.
  • The solar heating system can't be used to heat swimming pools or hot tubs — it must heat water used within the home or business.

Many states, municipalities and utilities offer their own incentives and rebates for solar water heater installation. Check out the DSIRE database for more regulatory information.

Where to Get a Solar Water Heater

Solar hot water heater components are readily available in many national chain stores, such as Home Depot. Units are also available for purchase directly from producers, with Duda Diesel and Sunbank Solar offering several great residential solar water heater options. Local installers may also offer quality solar water heaters.

For solar pool heating and small-scale use, check out the heaters below:

  • Duda Solar 30 Tube Water Heater Collector: This system is the perfect choice for heating pools, hot tubs and closed-loop systems. Thirty highly efficient unpressurized tubes provide excellent sunlight absorption and are rated at up to 45,000 BTUs a day.
  • Sunbank Solar 40 Gallon Solar Water Heater: This solar water heater is designed for households with one to three members. This thermosyphon system offers exceptional absorption efficiency (92-96%) and keeps hot water hot all day in an ultra-insulated built-in tank. Weighing in at just 180 pounds, it can be installed on most roofs.
  • Duda Solar 200 Liter Water Heater Active Split System: This full kit comes with a stainless-steel water tank, controller and submersible water pump. It's a dual-coil system, which allows you to heat the water in the tank both with solar power and a secondary electricity or heat source.

Because so many factors influence which solar water heater you should buy, it's advisable to work with a professional when choosing and installing a larger solar water heating system.

Solar Hot Water Heaters Vs. Home Solar System

Solar water heaters are less common than they used to be. This is largely due to the drastic decline in the cost of solar panels, causing many people who would otherwise install solar water heaters to forgo them and heat their water with electricity generated from their own solar panels.

Solar water heaters take up precious real estate, and for a homeowner interested in producing their own solar-generated electricity, it may make more sense to maximize the space available and nix solar water heating altogether, buying solar panels instead.

However, if you don't have the space for solar panels, solar water heaters may still be a great fit, as they take up far less room than solar panels do. Solar water heaters can also be a great option for those living in remote locations or as an environmentally friendly add-on for existing solar electricity generation. Modern electric water heaters are incredibly efficient and, when powered with solar electricity and paired with a solar water heater, will yield significant savings for your pocketbook and cut down your greenhouse gas emissions.

For many homeowners, the decision comes down to price. Solar hot water heaters can cost upwards of $13,000. To see how much a full home solar system would cost for your home, you can get a free, no-obligation quote from a top solar company in your area by filling out the form below.

FAQ: Solar Hot Water Heater

Is a solar water heater worth it?

Whether a solar water heater is worth it all depends on where you live, your needs and preferences, and whether you plan on installing solar panels. Solar water heaters have been losing ground due largely to the surge of home solar: The folks that would install solar water heaters also want solar for electricity generation and often choose to eliminate solar water heaters that compete for valuable rooftop space.

If you have the space, a solar water heater will likely lower your water heating bills. Used in tandem with other renewable energies, a solar water heater is still a great choice for nearly any application.

What is the price of a solar water heater?

A typical solar water heater system will cost around $9,000, with higher-end models reaching upwards of $13,000. Small-scale use heaters will be much cheaper, running between $1,000 and $3,000.

What are the disadvantages of solar hot water heaters?

The biggest disadvantage of a solar water heater is that it won't work on foggy, rainy or cloudy days, nor at night. While this can be overcome with a conventional auxiliary heater, it is still a disadvantage all solar technologies share. Maintenance can be another turn-off. While generally requiring little maintenance, some solar water heaters need regular draining, cleaning and protection against corrosion.

How does a solar water heater work?

Solar water heaters circulate liquid through a solar collector — most commonly a flat-plate collector or tube collector — heating the liquid and sending it either to a tank for use or an exchanger, where the liquid is used to heat water for home use.

Christian Yonkers is a writer, photographer, filmmaker, and outdoor junkie obsessed with the intersectionality between people and planet. He partners with brands and organizations with social and environmental impact at their core, assisting them in telling stories that change the world.

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A good backup generator can help you keep your home running smoothly, even in the event of a major power outage. And, when you choose a solar generator, you can power your home using clean, renewable energy from the sun. By contrast, gas and diesel generators burn fossil fuels, and are extremely loud and spew harmful emissions into the atmosphere. Here are the best solar power generators available today that can provide a cleaner alternative for home generators.

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Google and its line of Nest thermostats are designed to provide energy efficiency and ease of use. With the ability to control it from a smart phone, users can get the precise temperature that they want with just a few taps. Best of all, they are compatible with most HVAC systems, allowing for easy installation. Learn how a Nest smart home thermostat can help make your home more eco-friendly.

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ecobee's line of smart thermostats can help to provide energy savings for a variety of different HVAC systems. Their thermostats provide intelligent automation for your heating and cooling system, allowing you to reduce your energy usage while staying comfortable. Keep reading for a breakdown of the different ecobee smart thermostat options.

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Up Your Skincare Game: 6 Best Vitamin C Serums

Medically reviewed by Anna H. Chacon, M.D.

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From eating foods for healthy skin to switching up your morning and routines, taking care of the largest organ in the body can get overwhelming. Recently, vitamin C has grown in popularity in the skincare world — but do the best vitamin C serums live up to the hype?

Vitamin C is not only an essential supplement for your immune system and overall health, but it's also a great skincare ingredient that can help limit inflammation, brighten skin, dull fine lines and wrinkles, fight free radicals, and reduce discoloration and dark spots.

Adding vitamin C to your skincare routine seems like a no-brainer, but before you start shopping for a serum, it's important to be aware that vitamin C is an unstable ingredient. Dermatologists say it's important to find legit and properly formulated vitamin C serums to capitalize on the benefits of the antioxidant. In this article, we'll help you find the right dermatologist-approved vitamin C serum to add to your routine.