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You own your own home, so why are you renting from your local utility? Control your home’s power and become energy independent today.

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Tired of the constant rate hikes? Give your wallet a break. Our customers know that the sun’s rates will never increase.

30% Tax Credit

Call now to find out how to get your custom designed system up and running before the end of the year.

$0 Upfront Costs

Hassle-free financing options mean that going green has never been easier. And with no upfront costs, there’s no better time than right now to be at the forefront of the power trend of the future.

Increased Home Value

Berkeley Labs performed a study between 1999-2013 and found that buyers will pay an average of $15,000 more for a home with solar. Do you really want to leave that money on the table?

Berkeley Labs

Solar Energy By The Numbers



Years it can take for a photon to reach the surface of the sun to create a single ray of light


Minutes how long it takes sunlight to reach a solar panel


Watts amount of direct solar radiation received per square meter


Million barrels of oil saved annually by solar energy


Mega Watts of expected solar installations in Florida the next 5 years

Fast, Affordable, Hassle-Free

Home Solar Panel Installation

  • Free Quote And Consultation, including a Utility Bill Analysis
  • Review, Financing Options, And HOA Compliance
  • Home Visit And Panel Placement By Our Solar Design Experts
  • Licensed, Trained Technicians For Hassle-Free Panel Assembly
  • 20-25-Year Warranty, Depending On Which Products You Choose
  • 25-Year Workmanship and 25-Year Guarantee Against Roof Leaks
  • Remote Panel Monitoring

Spending Over Time

To find out how much you could save going solar put in what your average monthly bill is and choose an offset between 60-90% to see the possible savings.**

  • A/C
  • Electronics/Lights/Appl
  • Water Heater
  • Heating

**Disclaimer on Spending Over Time Illustration

Homes.Solar has limited the amount of offset you can choose in this illustration to between 60% and 90% in recognition of typical variables including system size, the position of the roof, and location of surrounding trees and structures. Your local utility company may still charge the basic service charges regardless of your total offset.  This illustration Does Not Include the Cost of Solar and is only an approximate representation of what your electric bill may be if you choose to install a solar energy system.  Your total savings and offset percentage are not guaranteed. All illustrations based on data from EIA’s 2009 Residential Energy Consumption Survey

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Latest News & Information

When the semiconductor is exposed to light, it absorbs the light’s energy and transfers it to negatively charged particles in the material called electrons. This extra energy allows the electrons to flow through the material as an electrical current. This current is extracted through conductive metal contacts – the grid-like lines on solar cells – and can then be used to power your home and the rest of the electric grid.

The efficiency of a PV cell is simply the amount of electrical power coming out of the cell compared to the energy from the light shining on it, which indicates how effective the cell is at converting energy from one form to the other. The amount of electricity produced from PV cells depends on the characteristics (such as intensity and wavelengths) of the light available and the multiple performance attributes of the cell.

An important property of PV semiconductors is the bandgap, which indicates what wavelengths of light the material can absorb and convert to electrical energy. If the semiconductor’s bandgap matches the wavelengths of light shining on the PV cell, then that cell can efficiently make use of all the available energy.

Learn more below about the most commonly used semiconductor materials for PV cells.

A picture of three solar cells made out of different silicon materials: thin-film, monocrystalline, and polycrystalline silicon.


Silicon is, by far, the most common semiconductor material used in solar cells, representing approximately 95% of the modules sold today. It is also the second most abundant material on Earth (after oxygen) and the most common semiconductor used in computer chips. Crystalline silicon cells are made of silicon atoms connected to one another to form a crystal lattice. This lattice provides an organized structure that makes the conversion of light into electricity more efficient.

Solar cells made out of silicon currently provide a combination of high efficiency, low cost, and long lifetime. Modules are expected to last for 25 years or more, still producing more than 80% of their original power after this time.


A thin-film solar cell is made by depositing one or more thin layers of PV material on a supporting material such as glass, plastic, or metal. There are two main types of thin-film PV semiconductors on the market today: cadmium telluride (CdTe) and copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS). Both materials can be deposited directly onto either the front or back of the module surface.

CdTe is the second-most common PV material after silicon, and CdTe cells can be made using low-cost manufacturing processes. While this makes them a cost-effective alternative, their efficiencies still aren’t quite as high as silicon. CIGS cells have optimal properties for a PV material and high efficiencies in the lab, but the complexity involved in combining four elements makes the transition from lab to manufacturing more challenging. Both CdTe and CIGS require more protection than silicon to enable long-lasting operation outdoors.


Perovskite solar cells are a type of thin-film cell and are named after their characteristic crystal structure. Perovskite cells are built with layers of materials that are printed, coated, or vacuum-deposited onto an underlying support layer, known as the substrate. They are typically easy to assemble and can reach efficiencies similar to crystalline silicon. In the lab, perovskite solar cell efficiencies have improved faster than any other PV material, from 3% in 2009 to over 25% in 2020. To be commercially viable, perovskite PV cells have to become stable enough to survive 20 years outdoors, so researchers are working on making them more durable and developing large-scale, low-cost manufacturing techniques.


Organic PV, or OPV, cells are composed of carbon-rich (organic) compounds and can be tailored to enhance a specific function of the PV cell, such as bandgap, transparency, or color. OPV cells are currently only about half as efficient as crystalline silicon cells and have shorter operating lifetimes, but could be less expensive to manufacture in high volumes. They can also be applied to a variety of supporting materials, such as flexible plastic, making OPV able to serve a wide variety of uses.

Organic photovoltaics (OPV) are lightweight solar cells made with carbon compounds that can be dissolved and solution-processed


Quantum dot solar cells conduct electricity through tiny particles of different semiconductor materials just a few nanometers wide, called quantum dots. Quantum dots provide a new way to process semiconductor materials, but it is difficult to create an electrical connection between them, so they’re currently not very efficient. However, they are easy to make into solar cells. They can be deposited onto a substrate using a spin-coat method, a spray, or roll-to-roll printers like the ones used to print newspapers.

Quantum dots come in various sizes and their bandgap is customizable, enabling them to collect light that’s difficult to capture and to be paired with other semiconductors, like perovskites, to optimize the performance of a multijunction solar cell (more on those below).

Quantum Dots make a semiconductor solution processable


Another strategy to improve PV cell efficiency is layering multiple semiconductors to make multijunction solar cells. These cells are essentially stacks of different semiconductor materials, as opposed to single-junction cells, which have only one semiconductor. Each layer has a different bandgap, so they each absorb a different part of the solar spectrum, making greater use of sunlight than single-junction cells. Multijunction solar cells can reach record efficiency levels because the light that doesn’t get absorbed by the first semiconductor layer is captured by a layer beneath it.

While all solar cells with more than one bandgap are multijunction solar cells, a solar cell with exactly two bandgaps is called a tandem solar cell. Multijunction solar cells that combine semiconductors from columns III and V in the periodic table are called multijunction III-V solar cells.

Multijunction solar cells have demonstrated efficiencies higher than 45%, but they’re costly and difficult to manufacture, so they’re reserved for space exploration. The military is using III-V solar cells in drones, and researchers are exploring other uses for them where high efficiency is key.


Concentration PV, also known as CPV, focuses sunlight onto a solar cell by using a mirror or lens. By focusing sunlight onto a small area, less PV material is required. PV materials become more efficient as the light becomes more concentrated, so the highest overall efficiencies are obtained with CPV cells and modules. However, more expensive materials, manufacturing techniques, and the ability to track the movement of the sun are required, so demonstrating the necessary cost adva

ntage over today’s high-volume silicon modules has become challenging.


Learn more about photovoltaics research in the Solar Energy Technologies Office, check out these solar energy information resources, and find out more about how solar works.



As Rooftop Solar Grows, What Should the Future of Net Metering Look Like?

Almost every state has been weighing changes to how homes with solar are compensated for electricity they send to the grid. The results will impact solar growth.

Like solar installers across much of America, Mark Hagerty is adapting to drastic changes in the economics of his business. His state, Michigan, is one of many that are cutting the rates rooftop solar owners receive for selling excess power to the grid.

“We’re going to do fewer jobs, and each job is going to be a smaller size,” said Hagerty, president of Michigan Solar Solutions, a solar installer based northwest of Detroit. His comments echo concerns now being voiced by solar installers in many states as new rules take effect.

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alternatives to the tesla powerwall

Home battery comparison: Tesla Powerwall, Generac PWRcell, LG Chem RESU, Sonnen Eco, Enphase Encharge

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Now more than ever, home batteries are becoming a smart purchase either with or without a solar panel system. Batteries offer many benefits, from electricity bill savings to resiliency against grid outages and more.

There are plenty of companies offering energy storage solutions, including both established manufacturers and up-and-coming smaller players offering unique products. In this article, we’ll review some of today’s most popular home battery options to see what sets them apart.

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ac coupled vs dc coupled batteries

AC vs. DC solar battery coupling: what you need to know

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Solar batteries are becoming popular additions to solar energy projects of all scales. When it comes to the way your solar panels, batteries, and inverters are all wired together on your property, there are two main options: alternating current (AC) coupling and direct current (DC) coupling. Both AC and DC coupling have advantages and drawbacks that are dependent on the specifics of your solar plus storage installation.

AC vs. DC coupling: what’s the difference?

The key distinction between an AC-coupled and DC-coupled system lies in the path electricity takes once it is produced by solar panels. Solar panels generate DC electricity that must be transformed into AC electricity for your home’s appliances. However, solar batteries store electricity in DC form.

In an AC-coupled system, DC solar electricity flows from solar panels to a solar inverter that transforms the electricity into AC electricity. That AC electricity can then flow to your home appliances, or go to another inverter that transforms the electricity back to DC for storing in a battery system. With AC-coupled systems, any electricity that is stored in the battery system needs to be inverted three separate times before use.

ac coupled battery system diagram

In a DC-coupled system, DC solar electricity flows from solar panels to a charge controller that directly feeds into a battery system, meaning there is no inversion of solar electricity from DC to AC and back again before the electricity is stored in the battery. Any electricity produced by the solar panels will be inverted only once (from DC to AC), either as it flows from batteries to your home electrical setup or out to the electrical grid.

dc coupled battery system diagram

Historically, AC-coupled battery storage setups have been more common for residential and commercial solar installations, but as more DC options become available, DC coupling is gaining in popularity.

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Solar 101

solar cells

How does a photovoltaic solar cell work?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

You’ve probably seen solar panels on rooftops all around your neighborhood, but do you know how they actually work to generate electricity? In this article, we’ll take a look at what a photovoltaic solar cell is – the technology behind a solar panel that makes it possible to create energy from the sun. Specifically, we’ll examine the science of silicon solar cells, the solar cells making up the vast majority of solar panels.

Solar cells produce energy in three steps

A solar photovoltaic (PV) cell works in three general steps:

  1. Light is absorbed and knocks electrons loose
  2. Loose electrons flow, creating a current
  3. The current is captured and transferred to wires

The photovoltaic effect is a complicated process, but these three steps are the basic way that energy from the sun is converted into usable electricity by solar cells in solar panels.

Solar cells are the building blocks of solar panels

A solar panel is made up of six different components, but arguably the most important one is the photovoltaic cell, which actually generates electricity. The conversion of sunlight into electrical energy by a solar cell is called the “photovoltaic effect”, hence why we refer to solar cells as “photovoltaic.”

A typical solar photovoltaic cell. A typical solar panel for your home is made up of 60 PV cells.
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Recent Blogs and Information

Comparing solar warranties

How to compare solar panel warranties in 2022


This is an unbiased review: EnergySage is not paid to review brands or products, nor do we earn money from affiliate advertising in this article. The content of this blog is based on research and information available at the time of writing.

Key takeaways

  • Choosing a solar panel brand should depend on a number of factors, including cost, efficiency, power output, performance, and warranty
  • The most important warranty characteristics to compare include product warranty term, power guarantees, labor warranty term, transferability & bankability, and the availability of an extended warranty
  • Based on our ranking system, SunPower has the strongest overall warranty, with Panasonic and LG Solar close behind
  • The best way to make your solar panels last is to choose an excellent installer: visit the EnergySage Marketplace to access our network of pre-vetted solar installers

What’s in this article?

The EnergySage warranty scoring system

Solar panel warranties aren’t exactly straightforward – so, we developed our own scoring system to facilitate comparison between warranties from different solar panel companies. Each factor of a warranty has its own unique scale within the rating, which we determined based on its importance. The warranty factors include:

  • Product: How many years does the warranty cover the integrity of the equipment itself?
  • Power at year 25: What percentage of initial power output is guaranteed at year 25? This is also often referred to as a performance warranty.
  • Labor: Is the work needed for any diagnostics, repairs, or replacements covered by the manufacturer warranty? Is it up to a certain dollar amount?
  • Shipping: Is the transportation of any components needed to be diagnosed, fixed, or replaced covered?
  • Extended product warranty: Can you extend your product warranty by paying more?
  • Extended 30-year power warranty: Does your power warranty extend to 30 years (either automatically, or at an additional cost)?
  • Transferable: If you sell your house, how easy is it to transfer your warranty to the new owner? Do you have to fill out any paperwork or does it transfer automatically?
  • Bankability: What happens if the company goes out of business or stops manufacturing panels? Will your warranty still be covered? We use a few different metrics here, as bankability can be difficult to quantify. First, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) is an industry-standard tool; Tier 1 panels are considered the most bankable. Second, PV Evolution Labs (PVEL) conducts independent testing to assess the quality and bankability of panels and releases a list of top scorers. And third, we assess if companies have a separate warranty reserve, escrow, or insurance company that backs their warranties.
  • Inverter: Does the warranty extend to the inverters in the system?
  • Racking equipment: Does the warranty cover the racking equipment for the system?

For more information on the warranty factors, be sure to check out our solar panel warranty overview article, which goes into depth about what each factor means.

We assessed and scored every company across each factor – but please note that each factor was weighted based on importance and thus they don’t all have the same number of available points. We then summed the individual factor scores to determine the overall company score. The higher the score, the better the warranty. For example, a company’s warranty could offer:

  • 20 years for product (3) 
  • 88% at year 25 for performance (2)
  • No coverage of labor (0)
  • No coverage of shipping (0)
  • Extended product warranty up to 25 years at a cost (1)
  • No extended 30-year power warranty (0)
  • Unlimited ownership transfers if you fill out paperwork each time (1)
  • BNEF Tier 1 bankability (3)
  • No inverter coverage (0)
  • No racking equipment coverage (0)

In this case, based on each factor score, the manufacturer’s warranty overall score would be 10 points.

Compare solar panels based on various factors in the EnergySage Buyer’s Guide

While it’s important to compare warranties when choosing a solar panel company, they’re just one part of the equation. You’ll want to consider a number of factors when making your decision including costefficiencypower output, and performance. Using the EnergySage Buyer’s Guide, you can compare the warranties, performance, and aesthetics of top solar panels. There’s a lot in there, so we recommend using the filter and sorting functionalities to find the right solar panel for you.

How do the top solar panel warranties compare?

Based on our ranking system, we compared 10 of the top solar panel companies against each other and the industry standard. While making your decision on which solar panel to buy should be based on a number of things, including cost, efficiency, power output, and performance, a warranty is an important consideration as well.

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Solar Panel Efficiency: The Most Efficient Solar Panels In 2020

If you follow any of the latest news in the solar industry, you may see the phrase “solar panel efficiency” come up very often.

I think (around) every 6-8 months there is a new world record for the ‘most efficient solar panel’. Just by jumping on google and searching, I can see there is so much information on new “highest efficiency solar cells of 50%”.

But what does it all mean…

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String inverters vs. power optimizers vs. microinverters

Last updated 12/21/2020

energy flow from solar panels to a home

If you are considering a solar panel system for your home, one of the key decisions you need to make is the type of inverter to install. Inverters convert direct current (DC) electricity generated by your solar panels into usable alternating current (AC) electricity. Given the complex power electronics and software contained within, inverters are vital to the success of your solar power system.

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Why Florida Homeowners Are Warming up to PACE Solar Financing

For most Florida homeowners, cash and leasing are still the 2 most popular ways to pay for a new solar installation. These financing approaches are polar opposites. And they both have their own pros and cons:

  • Cash delivers the highest returns and shortest payback periods. But not everyone has the money to pay for a solar installation entirely out-of-pocket.
  • Leasing allows you to receive a new installation for free. You only pay for the clean electricity generated. But you’ll never technically “break even” with this approach. You’re simply buying electricity from a cheaper and cleaner source.

But with Homes.Solar, there’s now a Third financing option – one that’s quickly picking up steam in the Sunshine State.

PACE financing combines the best of both worlds by turning solar into an affordable investment that delivers guaranteed returns.

How PACE Solar Financing Works in Florida

Short for Property Assessed Clean Energy, PACE is a unique type of solar financing that provides you with full system ownership – without requiring any upfront payments.

Here’s how it works.

An authorized PACE lender provides you with money to pay for your solar installation (parts and labor included). This financing is technically a loan. And you may be wondering why anyone would take on debt to go solar.

After all, the goal is to save money by installing panels – not owe money.

But here’s what makes PACE financing unique.

The loan is tied directly to your property taxes instead of to any personal guarantees. And this means your annual property tax bill goes up slightly over the 20-year term of the PACE agreement.

But rather than pay off this higher tax bill using your own money, you use that year’s utility bill savings instead. In fact, you’ll have extra cash in your pocket at the end of each billing cycle. So, your annual savings are guaranteed.

And at Homes.Solar, we can further increase those savings by extending the PACE loan terms from 20 years to 25. This shrinks your annual obligation, allowing you to keep even more money in your wallet each year.

As an added bonus, the interest payments on PACE loans may be 100% tax deductible.

Better still, PACE financing isn’t attached to you – the borrower. Instead, it follows the property. And this is beneficial for 2 reasons:

  • Your own credit history doesn’t come into the picture, which is ideal for anyone with an imperfect score. However, PACE is only available for those who haven’t filed for any recent bankruptcies.
  • If you sell your home before the loan is paid off, the balance follows the home – not you. And the next buyer takes over the remaining portion of the PACE agreement.

Is PACE Solar Financing Right for You?

Every homeowner is different. And depending on your own goals, budget, and credit history, you may be better off exploring other financing options like cash or solar leasing.

But for a growing number of homeowners throughout Florida, PACE offers many important benefits. And it would be a mistake to not consider this financing solution as you begin exploring your solar options.

To learn how Homes.Solar can help you qualify for affordable PACE solar financing, schedule a free consultation with us today.


PACE financing, PACE solar financing, PACE, solar leases, solar loans, Florida solar

If you’d like more information, we’re happy to talk solar anytime!

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