Exploring 3 Paths to Solar

Navigating Solar Energy Options: My Personal Exploration

As someone who has personally researched and evaluated various solar energy options, I understand the complexity and importance of making the right choice for your home. Here’s a detailed comparison of three distinct approaches: the Sunnova Solar Program, the PoweredUp Network, and purchasing and installing solar panels independently.

Sunnova Solar Program: Advanced Technology and Broad Access

Project Hestia: This initiative, supported by a $3 billion loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy, aims to make solar energy accessible to underserved communities without upfront costs. The program incorporates smart technology for demand response and virtual power plant capabilities, which help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide reliable, affordable energy.

Home Depot Partnership: Sunnova has partnered with Home Depot to offer solar and energy storage solutions across more than 2,000 locations, making it easier for homeowners to explore and manage their solar options​ (Sunnova Investors)​​ (pv magazine USA)​.


  • No upfront costs.
  • Advanced technology for energy management.
  • Focus on underserved communities.


  • Homeowners do not own the system.
  • Limited control over energy usage during outages.

PoweredUp Network: Cost-Effective and Predictable

Power Purchase Agreement: Homeowners sign a 25-year agreement where customized solar energy systems and smart home batteries are installed at no cost. Although the homeowners do not own the systems, the agreement can be transferred if the property is sold.

Cost and Savings: Residents pay $0.24 per kilowatt-hour with a 2.9% annual increase. This rate is about half of the typical utility bill and lower than the annual increases of Southern California Edison, which range from 5% to 15%.


  • No upfront costs.
  • Predictable energy costs with lower annual increases.
  • Smart batteries for energy management.


  • Homeowners do not own the system.
  • Annual rate increases, although lower than some utility rates.

Purchasing and Installing Solar Panels Independently: Maximum Control and Savings

Ownership and Incentives: By purchasing and installing solar panels and batteries independently, you can take advantage of state and local government incentives, such as tax credits and rebates, significantly reducing the net cost.

Energy Independence and Reliability: This approach offers the highest level of energy independence and reliability, with the ability to use stored energy at night and during power outages.


  • Full ownership of the system.
  • Eligible for government incentives.
  • No ongoing monthly fees or rate increases.
  • Maximum control over energy usage and storage.


  • High initial investment.
  • Responsibility for maintenance and operation.

Conclusion: Making an Informed Decision

Having personally delved into these three avenues, I recognize the importance of understanding each option’s nuances and benefits. With summer approaching, it’s an ideal time to consider your solar energy options. Here’s my insight for anyone researching or considering this move:

  • Sunnova Solar Program is perfect for those who want no upfront costs and comprehensive support, especially in underserved areas.
  • PoweredUp Network suits those looking for predictable energy costs without initial investment, despite gradual rate increases.
  • Purchasing Independently provides the greatest control, potential long-term savings, and energy independence, albeit with a higher initial investment.

In A Nutshell . . .

As you evaluate these options, consider your financial situation, energy needs, and long-term goals. Solar energy is a significant investment in your home and the environment, and choosing the right path can lead to substantial savings and energy security. Embrace the power of the sun and make an informed decision that best suits your needs.