solar energy at home
Solar Energy Alerts Newsletter

| November 2009 |

"I'd put my money on the Sun and solar
energy. What a source of power!"
Thomas Edison (1847–1931)

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In This Issue...

  1. Focus On: The Cost of Solar Energy
  2. Solar News for Homeowners
  3. Upcoming Solar Energy Events
  4. What's New on

Focus On: The Cost of Solar Energy

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory published a report in October called, "Tracking the Sun II: The Installed Cost of Photovoltaics in the U.S. from 1998-2008." The report highlights that the cost of solar has decreased by 30% since 2008. There was a 4% drop from 2007 to 2008 alone.

Aside from the significant decrease in costs during that time period, it's interesting to note that until 2007, the price decreases were due mainly to non-module costs such as labor, marketing, balance of system components, etc. But from 2007 to 2008, the decrease was due to a decrease in module prices.

If you'd like to read more about this, you can download the report (PDF) from LBNL Renewable Publications website.

Also make sure to check out our Cost of Solar Energy page. It has a worksheet you can use to estimate how much it would cost for you to go solar. You can also find info about incentives available to homeowners and the true economics of solar energy from a homeowners perspective.

Solar News for Homeowners

On Oct 8th, 16 cities were selected for Solar America Cities Special Projects. As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, $10 million was provided to fund 40 projects in these cities. The cities include...
  • Austin, TX
  • Berkeley, CA
  • Boston, MA
  • Madison, WI
  • Milwaukee, WI
  • Minneapolis - St Paul, MI
  • New Orleans, LA
  • New York City, NY
  • Portland, OR
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • San Diego, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • San Jose, CA
  • Santa Rosa, CA
  • Seattle, WA
  • Tucson, AZ
For more information: Solar America Cities Special Projects

In California, the Governator has announced that he wants California to get a third of its power from sustainable and renewable resources, such as solar energy. Utility company PG&E is trying to help him with that goal and has proposed to the state legislature that it would like to increase the power it gets from solar, which would require more residential solar installations.

For more information: Major California Utility Company to Grab More Solar Power

In Oregon, SolarCity has announced a new residential solar service called PurePower. PurePower is a power purchase agreement (PPA) with the potential to provide homeowners with a net $0 cost for a solar energy system installed in their home.

For more information: Solar City

In Colorado, the first solar leases in the state are being offered by SunRun. With SunRun, homeowners pay as little as $1,000 for a one-time system installation fee, and then pay a low, monthly bill to have solar energy at home. SunRun provides complete monitoring, repairs, insurance, and a performance guarantee for all its customers, making it a simple option for homeowners who don`t want to think about solar equipment or pay a high upfront cost to switch the source of their electricity.

For more information: SunRun

On the technology front, solar panels are sexy and get all the attention. But a new company, Zep Solar, has developed a new, no-rail system for mounting solar panels to a homeowners roof. This new product will cut the installation time in half which will significantly reduce the price of solar power for homeowners. The product will be available through groSolar beginning in 1Q 2010.

For more information: Zep Solar

A partnership between Fat Spaniel Technologies and Tendril networks is aiming to create a residential energy management system that will enable homeowners to take control of their energy consumption to better utilize their renewable energy systems.

For more information: Fat Spaniel Technologies

Upcoming Solar Energy Events

Do you know of any solar energy or green-living events happening in your area? Add them to the database using our online Submit Form. It's quick and easy.

What's New on

Take a look at our newest pages...

In Closing...

Is there a residential solar energy topic you'd like more information about? If so, let me know through my Contact page (make sure to note that you subscribe to Solar Energy Alerts! so I can put your request to the top of the list). I'm always looking for topics of interest to Solar-Energy-At-Home readers.

Until next time...

Michael's Signature