Smart Solar Articles

Environmental Benefits Of Solar Energy In The Pacific Northwest

Environmental Benefits of Solar Energy in the Pacific Northwest

Oregon and Washington residents are grappling with the harsh realities of climate change, from drastic weather shifts to the alarming increase in wildfires. At Smart Solar Energy, we are deeply committed to the environment, and our company was born out of a strong desire to slow the climate crisis. Continue

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Can I Expand My Existing Solar System

Can I Expand My Existing Solar System?

Many Oregon and Washington homeowners have installed solar panels but want to generate more solar power. Their energy needs have often increased since they initially installed solar panels. Perhaps they are now charging an electric vehicle at home, using a heat pump for home heating, or more people now live

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Net metering process

The Net Metering Process in Oregon and Washington

As the world becomes more eco-conscious, solar energy has soared in popularity, especially in Oregon and Washington. Rooftop solar energy systems contribute to a greener environment and significantly reduce home electricity costs. However, integrating your solar power system with the local power grid can be complex and intimidating in Oregon

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Time of use billing in Oregon and Washington

Time-of-Use Billing in Oregon & Washington?

Many homeowners dread viewing their electric bills each month, as it often reveals unexpected expenses. This is especially true after a summer heat wave where we all crank our AC units to avoid wilting. Unfortunately, electricity rates often increase over time, sometimes faster than inflation. Some households in Oregon and

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Record Year For Solar Energy Installations In Oregon

Record Year for Solar Energy Installations in Oregon

The use of solar power has increased dramatically over the last decade throughout the United States and Oregon in particular. The newly released solar dashboard by the Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) illustrates the steady growth of solar-generated electricity in the state since 1986, encompassing both utility-scale and rooftop solar

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Solar Panel Lifespan and degradation curve

Solar Panel Lifespan and Degradation Curve

Installing solar panels in your home can provide several benefits — lower electricity bills, a reliable energy source, and an increased home value. There is no doubt that getting solar panels installed in your home is a worthwhile investment in the long run. But, as with any significant investment, smart

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Home Solar Potential In Oregon and Washington

Home Solar Potential in Oregon and Washington

Now is an excellent time to install a home solar power system. Although many homeowners in Oregon and Washington want to harness solar energy to power their homes, not all properties are ideal for solar panels. Even though installing a rooftop solar system can eliminate power bills for most homes,

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What Does Solar Cost In Oregon And Washington

What Does Solar Cost In Oregon And Washington?

Home solar energy systems have skyrocketed in popularity in recent years, primarily due to plummeting costs. In fact, the total cost of installing a solar system in the United States has decreased by a staggering 40% in the last decades. As a result, many more households in Oregon and Washington

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Solar Panel Reliability In Oregon And Washington

Solar Panel Reliability In Oregon And Washington

Are Solar Panels Reliable? Residential solar energy systems have skyrocketed in popularity in recent years, and nearly 4% of US homes have solar panels. They harness the power of the sun to generate clean energy, reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and lowering greenhouse gas emissions. However, one doubt that

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How To Reduce Home Heating Bills In Washington State

How to Reduce Home Heating Bills in Washington State

With fall weather upon us, many Washington residents are starting to think about heating their homes this winter. Home heating costs were exceptionally high last winter for many Washington households due to a surge in natural gas and electricity costs.  Increasing energy costs combined with record-high inflation are causing some

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Oregon Solar Incentives

Oregon Solar Incentives

Investing in a solar energy system in Oregon will significantly decrease your home energy expenses, carbon footprint, and dependence on fossil fuels. There are several incentives accessible to Oregon homeowners that can dramatically reduce the total system cost and the time it takes for the solar panels to pay for

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Record shattering year for solar energy in Washington

Record Shattering Year for Solar Energy in Washington

Last year was a banner year for solar energy installations in Washington State. There are currently 604 megawatts (MW) of installed solar energy capacity across the Evergreen State, and nearly 50% was installed in 2022! The most significant increases were in the residential and utility-scale solar energy markets, so many

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how to reduce home energy bills amid soaring electrical rates in Oregon

How to Reduce Home Energy Bills Amid Soaring Electric Rates in Oregon

Electricity prices are climbing in Oregon and across the United States. The average monthly electricity bill in Oregon is about $140 a month and about $1,680 per year. Power rate hikes impacted most Oregonians, effective January 1.  For example, average household electricity bills increased by $19.45 or 21% for Pacific

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Washington state solar incentives

Washington State Solar Incentives

Installing a solar energy system is an investment that will dramatically lower your home energy bills, carbon footprint, and reliance on fossil fuels. There are a few incentives available to Washington homeowners that can reduce both the total cost of going solar and the payback period for the solar panel

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Energy Use In Washington State

Energy Use In Washington State

Washingtonians spend over $20 billion on energy each year, and most of that leaves the state to fund oil and natural gas. This is about $8 billion more than Oregonians spend on energy each year. Washington consumes about twice as much energy as it produces, despite being a leader in

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Energy Use Across Oregon

Energy Use Across Oregon

Oregonians spent $12.1 billion on energy in 2020, a drop from the recent peak of $14.2 billion two years prior. This includes power and fuel for homes and businesses, industrial energy consumption, and petroleum products used for transportation.  Yet, the use of energy across the state of Oregon is evolving.

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How to read an electric bill in oregon and washington

How to Read an Electric Bill in Oregon & Washington

Electricity rates are rising across Oregon and Washington, prompting many people to take a closer look at their electricity bills. However, many families find it difficult to read the power bills for various reasons.  The cost structure can be confusing, and many homes are charged different prices for electricity depending

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Electricity Rate Hikes In Oregon And Washington

Electricity Rate Hikes in Oregon and Washington

Geopolitics, inflation, and severe weather events are causing natural gas and coal prices to soar. The Russian invasion of Ukraine caused a surge in natural gas prices due to economic sanctions and severe weather in the United States has caused disruptions in natural gas extraction, curbing domestic supply. Then, price

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Do Oregon and Washington have net metering programs?

Do Oregon And Washington Have Net Metering Programs?

If you have a solar system, it will produce a lot of clean energy on sunny days. However, what if it generates more electricity than your home uses at that time? Many people think they need batteries to store this extra power, but another alternative exists in Oregon and Washington.

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Are EVS Greener than gas-powered cars in Oregon and Washington

Are EVs Greener Than Gas-Powered Cars in Oregon & Washington?

There is a prevalent myth that electric vehicles aren’t better for the climate than gasoline-powered cars. However, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, “Electric vehicles typically have a smaller carbon footprint than gasoline cars, even when accounting for the electricity used for charging.” Electric cars generate no tailpipe

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Blackouts in Oregon And Washington

Severe Weather And Blackouts In Oregon And Washington

The United States has more power outages than any developed country. Unfortunately, blackouts are becoming more frequent in the United States due to an aging utility grid and severe weather.  “This is not because the grid has changed, but because there is so much greater threat from extreme weather,” said

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Installing Solar Panels In Washington State

Installing Solar Panels in Washington State

Solar panels have grown in popularity recently across the Pacific Northwest because they produce clean, affordable energy. As concern about high electricity costs and climate change increases, solar panels provide a practical solution for Washington homeowners. What solar panels should I install in Washington? There are numerous factors to consider

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The best solar inverters for Oregon & Washington

The Best Solar Inverters for Oregon & Washington

Although solar panels get a lot of attention, inverters are also a critical system component. In fact, proper selection of an inverter is essential for optimum solar energy production.  For example, if a solar inverter is undersized, it will “clip power.” This means that some of the solar electricity is

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How To Calculate The Solar Payback Period

How to Calculate the Solar Payback Period

Installing solar panels is one of the few home improvement projects that actually pays for itself over time with energy bill savings. In fact, one of the main reasons people go solar is to lower their monthly expenses.  When calculating the solar payback period for your system, it is critical

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How to select the best solar panels for your home

How To Select The Best Solar Panels For Your Home

The design life of a solar system is about 30 to 40 years. That means your solar panel system can outlive most of the appliances in your home. Therefore, selecting which solar panel  (also known as a module) to install is a major decision. At Smart Solar Energy, we install

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Home EV Chargers in Oregon and Washington

Home EV Chargers in Oregon and Washington

Many clean energy experts predict 2022 will be the year of the electric vehicle (EV). More battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) are available than ever before, including electric pickups like the Rivian R1T and the Ford-150 Lightning. There are also many new luxury and sports

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How Does Solar Storage Work

How Does Solar Storage Work?

As extreme weather becomes more and more common, so are power outages. Unfortunately, intense storms and high winds can cause blackouts, often from downed trees. In Oregon and Washington, many power outages are caused by winter snow or ice storms or from emergency power safety shutoffs. In these cases, your

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Roof Replacement & Solar Panel Systems

Roof Replacement and Solar Panel Systems

Residential solar energy systems are designed to last for about 30 years, and most are installed on rooftops. Because of the long lifespan of systems, many solar homeowners wonder how to repair or replace their roofs after installing a solar system. In fact, many homeowners have questions related to roof

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Will My HOA Let Me Install Solar Panels

Will My HOA Let Me Install Solar Panels?

Homeowner associations (HOAs) help protect homeowners’ investments in a neighborhood. They create covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) that shape how residents can use and alter their properties. Historically, some HOAs have tried to prevent residents from installing solar panels. Typically, this is because they want to maintain a uniform appearance

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Should I join a community solar farm in Oregon?

Should I Join a Community Solar Farm in Oregon?

More Oregonians are using solar energy than ever before! Residents that want to run their homes with solar PV panels have two main options. They can either install solar panels on their property or join a community solar farm. The second option typically involves paying a monthly fee for electricity

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Do I need to clean my solar panels?

Do I Need To Clean My Solar Panels?

Many Smart Solar Energy customers want to ensure that their solar PV panels operate at their optimum capacity. This helps boost the return on investment of your solar system and increases your solar electricity output. Sometimes, our customers ask us if they need to clean the panels on their solar

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Will have an electricity bill after going solar?

Will I Have An Electricity Bill After Going Solar?

Many solar shoppers are motivated by utility bill savings. Often, homeowners realize they are wasting a hundred or more dollars a month on electricity with nothing to show for it long-term. Thankfully, installing solar panels will dramatically lower your power bills. But, will solar panels completely eliminate your power bill?

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Can Solar Panels Be Recycled

Can Solar Panels Be Recycled?

There are now enough solar panels installed in the United States to power 18.6 million homes.  Although this is excellent news for air quality and a stable climate, there is a looming e-waste issue that needs to be addressed. Eventually, these solar PV panels will no longer generate enough electricity,

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Will solar work in the fall & winter months?

Will Solar Work in the Fall and Winter Months?

Contrary to popular belief, solar panels do generate electricity in the fall and winter months. In fact, solar panels produce energy even during cloudy weather, just at a lower rate. Because solar energy production relies on sunlight and we tend to have more cloudy weather in Oregon during the winter,

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Will Solar work when the power goes out?

Will solar work when the power goes out?

A solar system will not provide electricity during a power outage unless paired with a solar battery bank. Solar installers must design systems to shut off during outages to protect worker safety. If technicians are working on power lines to restore power, the solar system could create unsafe working conditions.

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How Does A Solar Loan Work

How Does a Solar Loan Work?

Many Oregon families want to go solar but don’t have the cash on hand for this investment. For this reason, solar loans are a very popular way to finance a solar panel installation. In many cases, these loans are relatively easy to obtain and require no downpayment. Depending on the

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Will solar increase my homes resale value

Will Solar Increase My Home’s Resale Value?

There will be over 3 million solar systems in the U.S. by 2022. As solar energy systems become more widespread throughout Oregon, Washington, and the rest of the Pacific Northwest, more solar houses will be up for sale. It is becoming increasingly important to understand how solar increases your home’s

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Do Solar Panels Work At Night?

Do Solar Panels Work At Night?

Solar panels are made up of a number of photovoltaic (PV) cells that convert sunlight into electricity. During nighttime, there is no sunlight and hence, solar panels cannot create much energy. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t be able to power your home after dark. There are some

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Everything you need to know about solar warranties

Everything You Need to Know About Solar Warranties

Installing a solar system is an excellent way to virtually eliminate your power bills and use clean energy to power your home. A well-designed and installed solar power system with quality equipment is designed to last decades. Purchasing a residential solar energy system is an investment. It is crucial to

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Why Install Solar Batteries

Why Install Solar Batteries?

It’s said that there is no place like home. However, many of the comforts of home rely on a functional electric grid. During power outages, many of our houses are dark, cold, and inhospitable. This is one of the biggest reasons solar systems with battery backup have skyrocketed in popularity

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Solar Panels In Washington

Solar Panels in Washington

Washingtonians who are considering solar energy for their homes are lucky to benefit from a wide range of extremely solar-friendly state and federal policies that are designed to make it easy for homeowners to make the switch. And, despite Washington’s infamous rain, solar panels in the state still produce a

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How Many Solar Panels Do I Need

How Many Solar Panels Do I Need?

At Smart Solar Energy Co., one of the most common questions our customers ask us is “how many solar panels do I need?” Most homeowners want to purchase a solar system that will completely offset their power bill. To get an idea of how much solar energy you might produce

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The Two Most Important Things You Need To Know Before Going Solar

The Two Most Important Things You Need to Know Before Going Solar

For homeowners, switching to solar can feel like a big, intimidating financial decision. However, until they’ve had an in-depth consultation with a knowledgeable installer, most homeowners don’t understand the true financial impact of going solar—because there’s more to the equation than you might think. To the naked eye, the price

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Should I lease Or Buy My Solar System

Should I Lease or Buy My Solar System?

The main difference between buying vs. leasing your solar system is the question of ownership. When you lease your solar system or sign a power purchase agreement, a third party owns the system, whereas if you buy your solar system, either outright or through a financing loan, you own the

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How Much Energy Does A Solar Panel Produce

How Much Energy Does A Solar Panel Produce?

Solar energy has become a popular alternative to conventional electricity in recent years. As more people become concerned about the environment, switching to a cleaner source of energy has grown in popularity. The decline in solar prices has also been one of the major drivers of growth in residential solar.

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Will solar panels damage my roof?

Will Solar Panels Damage My Roof?

In the last decade, the cost of solar has seen a massive drop, making switching to green energy more affordable than ever. By the second quarter of 2020, Oregon alone had installed 880.94 MW of solar capacity—enough to power 114,837 homes. If you don’t have solar panels installed, chances are

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