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

What are Time of Use rates - and when is electricity cheapest?

Ben Zientara

April 27, 2020

What are Time of Use rates - and when is electricity cheapest?

Time of Use rates change the price of electricity based on demand during the day. Electricity is cheapest when not many people are using it, late at night.

Should you choose a lead acid battery for solar storage?

Ben Zientara

November 27, 2020

Should you choose a lead acid battery for solar storage?

Are lead acid batteries right for you? They may be an old technology, but the design still works well. Deep cycle lead acid batteries are a great way to store solar energy.

Net metering 3.0 in California: What homeowners need to know

Ben Zientara

August 11, 2021

Net metering 3.0 in California: What homeowners need to know

After NEM 3.0 is enacted in California, the Golden State will likely not have a true net metering system, with reduced compensation and increased monthly fees on solar owners.

How and why to use solar panels to charge an electric car

Ben Zientara

December 11, 2018

How and why to use solar panels to charge an electric car

Electric cars and home solar panels are a match made in heaven. Just a few panels on your roof can make all the “fuel” your electric vehicle needs - for life.

The LG Chem Battery: is it right for your home?

Ben Zientara

October 10, 2020

The LG Chem Battery: is it right for your home?

When it comes to lithium ion home solar batteries, the LG Chem battery is one of the best. Here’s a full review of the benefits, cost, and incentives available.

Big changes on the horizon for California net metering for 2022

Ben Zientara

February 12, 2021

Big changes on the horizon for California net metering for 2022

California regulators are changing how solar owners connect to the grid & get credit for solar energy. The changes could greatly affect the solar industry.

What happens if you have solar and the power goes out?

Ben Zientara

July 25, 2017

What happens if you have solar and the power goes out?

Typical home solar installations shut down during a blackout, but you can keep the lights on in 1 of 3 ways: a generator, battery, or a special solar inverter.

Q CELLS solar panels (Hanwha) - 2022 review

Ben Zientara

February 26, 2021

Q CELLS solar panels (Hanwha) - 2022 review

A complete review of Q CELLS solar panels, including their efficiency, warranty, and cost. If you’ve gotten a solar quote featuring Q CELLS, learn more about them here.

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.