The national office supply chain Staples has partnered with a solar power shopping website to provide discounts on solar power to their customers. They are giving e-gift cards with values ranging from $125 to $2,500 to customers that install solar systems purchased through the partner, EnergySage Solar.

So who is EnergySage? It is a new company that is made up of employees that care about the environment and helping people learn about solar power.

The site has a solar power system cost estimator. It only takes about one minute to get your cost estimate after you enter your physical address and then choose the residential, commercial, or non-profit option. Then you will wait very briefly and see the cost comparison of various solar power systems showing how much you will spend, how long it takes to pay off the system and how much money you will save. If you buy your own home pv system and stay in the say home for twenty years, you might save tens of thousands of dollars.

The decision to choose solar power might be thought of as the right thing to do for the environment, but one that is expensive. However, the cost of home solar systems has decreased very much in the last six years. They are now more affordable than they have ever been, so some homeowners or businesses that get solar power systems will very likely save a lot of money over the life of the system, because they won’t have to pay a full utility bill for all those years.

Another recent development is making home and business solar systems more attractive. Onsite energy storage in the form of batteries allows electricity generated by solar panels during daylight hours to be stored, so electricity can be used at night or on overcast days. These energy storage systems are in their infancy currently, at least for small solar systems, so they aren’t readily available at low prices. As more and more solar power systems are installed and there is increased demand for energy storage, they are likely to start entering the marketplace at appealing prices.

Currently, only about one percent of electricity generated in the United States is produced by solar power, so we will see a lot of growth in this sector in the immediate future. Even now, we are witnessing a lot of growth, as we see with websites like EnergySage and partnerships with major retail chains like Staples. Going solar is now very easy, but it might be that many people are still thinking it is hard.