Category: Residential Solar Basics

How long will the blackout last?

Why are we certain to be measuring blackouts in days?  And how will we get through it? Preparation is the best way to prevent riots and other dangers.  No matter how long a blackout lasts, there are things that will help us all get through it.

Power Outage: “Public Safety Power Shutoff”

If you don’t think it can happen to you, or you want to know the odds, start here.  There are links to the maps the Utility is using to determine which lines to shut off during fire season.

Lower Utility Bill – Tips for Natural Gas

Are You Paying Too Much for Natural Gas? Years ago, I signed up with one of those natural gas procurement companies that promised to be cheaper than PG&E, Tiger Natural Gas, Inc.  I wanted to lower my utility bill. A couple of years later, a stranger showed me how to determine what I would have […]

Solar Suitable: Attic Parkour Edition

Last month I met site surveyor, Mark, at a client’s house for the site survey. SunStor Solar had put together a system proposal for the homeowners a couple of days earlier, and I was anxious to confirm their roof was suitable for solar.  One of the reasons for my concern was that some other solar […]

Site Survey — Avoid Solar Surprises

As good as today’s solar design tools are, they’re no substitute for getting a site survey up close. The solar industry invented many semi-automated computer programs that start with your address and your geographical location. Using satellite photos, data from your Utility, historical weather patterns, and local solar production data, we can calculate the system […]

Difference Between Solar Modules and Solar Panels

You say “panel,” I say “module” Sticklers know the difference between solar panels and solar modules. The solar module is the framed unit that contains within it the solar panels consisting of multiple solar photovoltaic (“PV”) cells.  The cells are usually blue or black. Modules look pretty much like a large, chrome or black, glass-fronted, […]

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