About Ben Zientara

Ben Zientara - Author of Solar Reviews

Ben Zientara

Solar Policy Analyst and Researcher

Ben is a writer, researcher, and data analysis expert who has worked for clients in the sustainability, public administration, and clean energy sectors.

He entered the solar industry in 2014, joining Solar Power Rocks to lead the team that put together its annual State Solar Power Rankings Report, which has been cited by a diverse mix of advocacy groups and media like PolitiFact, The Guardian, The Center for American Progress, The Institute for Local Self-Reliance, and the Solar Institute at George Washington University. He’s now joined SolarReviews to add his expertise to the content development team and expand the site’s coverage of state solar policy and incentives.

Ben holds a B.S. in Scientific & Technical Communication from the University of Minnesota, with special coursework in Environmental Science and a minor in Sustainability Studies. He spends his time away from the solar power world cooking and eating delicious food or spending quality time with his family in the mountains, woods, parks, and playgrounds of the Portland, Oregon area.

Recent articles by Ben Zientara

SolarReviews’ top 10 solar panel brands in 2023

Ben Zientara

January 31, 2023

SolarReviews’ top 10 solar panel brands in 2023

Each year, we rank the best solar panel manufacturers that produce panels for homeowners and small businesses.

Seraphim solar panels review - Are they a good brand?

Ben Zientara

September 7, 2021

Seraphim solar panels review - Are they a good brand?

Our expert review of Seraphim solar panels, a Tier 1 Chinese solar panel manufacturer that offers good products at decent prices.

S-Energy solar panels review - are they worth buying?

Ben Zientara

September 9, 2021

S-Energy solar panels review - are they worth buying?

S-Energy is a brand known for its low-cost, high-quality solar panels. Are they the right choice for your home solar project? Find out here.

Low-income solar incentives in the U.S.

Ben Zientara

July 2, 2020

Low-income solar incentives in the U.S.

Across the U.S., several states have programs that provide free solar panels for low-income households.

Illinois renews its best solar incentive under Climate and Equitable Jobs Act

Ben Zientara

October 4, 2021

Illinois renews its best solar incentive under Climate and Equitable Jobs Act

The Illinois Shines Adjustable Block Program was renewed as part of Illinois' new Climate And Equitable Jobs Act. Find out what this means for solar system owners in the state.

How much do solar panels cost in Chicago, IL and what is the payback period?

Ben Zientara

November 23, 2018

How much do solar panels cost in Chicago, IL and what is the payback period?

For a basic 6 kilowatt (kW) residential solar installation, this means your solar system will cost $14,820 before the 26 percent federal ITC tax credit, and $10,966 after the credit is applied.

How many solar panels are needed for a 2,000-square-foot home?

Ben Zientara

August 3, 2022

How many solar panels are needed for a 2,000-square-foot home?

To make the average amount of energy used by a home in America, a 2,000 sq. ft. home would need between 16 and 21 solar panels.

Guide to solar battery tax credits, rebates, and other incentives

Ben Zientara

December 11, 2021

Guide to solar battery tax credits, rebates, and other incentives

Comprehensive guide to various tax credits, rebates, and incentives for solar batteries on the federal, state, and utility level.

Guide to net metering in New Hampshire for 2023

Ben Zientara

April 7, 2022

Guide to net metering in New Hampshire for 2023

New Hampshire's net metering program for solar homeowners is a pretty good deal, and you stand to save quite a bit of money. Find out everything you need to know about the state's NEM 2.0 program in our latest blog post.