Declare Energy Independence with Solar (Just Shop Around First) — Episode 49 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Jump-Starting Solar through Streamlined Shopping

The web-based platform acts as a clearinghouse that provides options for installers, materials, and financing — all by simply entering a ZIP code. Tilting the shopping process toward consumers is a pivotal step toward mass solar adoption, Aggarwal said.

Bigger Isn’t Always Better

EnergySage pre-screens all the contractors it offers up to users, and works with them to gather quotes and standardize them on a consumer-by-consumer basis. Based on user preferences, the site generates comparison shopping list that remains a rarity in a fast-expanding solar market where installers — especially large ones — are locked in a bitter battle for market share.

Maximizing Choice

For customers looking beyond big-name companies, EnergySage can be a gateway to the local solar industry. The site details how far each company is located from a given user’s property, allowing them the opportunity to maximize the local benefits of their installation. At least half of the quotes generated for each customer are for contractors within 25 miles, Aggarwal said.

An Eye on Policy

The cost of installing solar, in a yearslong freefall, is a key contributor to rising solar adoption. But it’s far from the only factor at play. In order for consumers to capture the potential benefits of installing a rooftop array, the right policy must in be in place.

Consumers’ Call to Action

Propelled by dual trends — more consumers looking into increasingly affordable solar, and more options for them in the marketplace — utilities are beginning to budge on business strategies that have historically favored fossil fuels and expensive infrastructure. Amid a global reconfiguration of the energy sector, and rising pressure from customers, forward-thinking utilities are warming up to renewables.

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Inst: Local Self-Reliance

Inst: Local Self-Reliance

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance has a vision of thriving, diverse, equitable communities. To reach this, we build local power to fight corporate control