What are the best solar panels?

What are the best solar panels? That’s a question we are asked all the time. When customers look for the “best” solar panels they consider efficiency, reliability, quality and cost. Cost and efficiency are closely related – all solar panels generate the same amount of electricity (kwh) on a per watt basis. Your appliances can’t tell the difference if they get their electrons from super-efficient panels made in the USA, or the cheapest panels made somewhere in Asia.

Nevertheless, there are clear cut differences among solar panels when it comes to aesthetics (all black panels look better), ease of installation (which effectively reduces costs) and cost per watt pricing (especially in light of the tariffs on solar cells and panels). There are also more subjective distinctions such as brand name and perceived reliability. Generally these subjective measures are not based on comparison data or independent laboratory testing, so be wary of manufacturer’s claims.

So which panels are best? Please Listen Up to this week’s Energy Show for our advice for selecting solar panels for your roof.