About Ben Zientara

Ben Zientara - Author of Solar Reviews

Ben Zientara

Solar Policy Analyst and Researcher

Ben Zientara is a writer, researcher, and solar policy analyst who has written about the residential solar industry, the electric grid, and state utility policy since 2013.

His early work included leading the team that produced the annual State Solar Power Rankings Report for the Solar Power Rocks website from 2015 to 2020. The rankings were utilized and referenced by a diverse mix of policymakers, advocacy groups, and media including The Center for American Progress, The Institute for Local Self-Reliance, the Solar Institute at George Washington University, PolitiFact, and The Guardian.

In 2020, Ben joined SolarReviews, and now lends his expertise to the annual Solar Industry Survey, Top Solar Manufacturers list, Top 10 Solar States list, and throughout articles and pages across the site.

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 wife, kids, and big brown dog in the mountains, woods, parks, and playgrounds of the Portland, Oregon area.

Recent articles by Ben Zientara

Why California electricity bills are so high and what you can do about it

Ben Zientara

February 20, 2024

Why California electricity bills are so high and what you can do about it

In 2024, the average electricity bill in California is $186, which is over 29% higher than the average bill in the USA.

How to claim the solar tax credit: IRS Form 5695 instructions

Ben Zientara

February 27, 2018

How to claim the solar tax credit: IRS Form 5695 instructions

Step-by step instructions for using IRS Form 5695 to claim the federal solar tax credit. For installations completed until 2032, the tax credit is 30% of solar costs.

Generac PWRcell expert review: What makes it the most exciting new battery on the market?

Ben Zientara

September 27, 2021

Generac PWRcell expert review: What makes it the most exciting new battery on the market?

The Generac PWRcell is a home solar battery backup system that stands apart from the competition. Find out if it’s right for your home here.

Solar loans: Everything you need to know

Ben Zientara

May 18, 2023

Solar loans: Everything you need to know

Solar panels are a great way to cut down on your power bills but the initial cost can be off putting. Explore the pros and cons of financing your solar system.

Expert review of the Geneverse HomePower TWO PRO Solar Generator

Ben Zientara

February 7, 2024

Expert review of the Geneverse HomePower TWO PRO Solar Generator

The Geneverse HomePower TWO PRO is a good choice for people who want protection from power outages and a way to keep essential appliances running in a power outage.

Solar panel payback period and ROI: How long does it take for solar panels to pay for themselves?

Ben Zientara

October 26, 2023

Solar panel payback period and ROI: How long does it take for solar panels to pay for themselves?

Curious as to how long it will take to break even on solar panels for your home? Here's how to see the cost, savings & payback time you would get if you install solar panels on your specific home.

Enphase vs. SolarEdge: which is the best choice for your home solar system?

Ben Zientara

May 22, 2023

Enphase vs. SolarEdge: which is the best choice for your home solar system?

Find out whether Enphase or SolarEdge is best for your home solar system.

Canadian Solar panels 2024 expert review

Ben Zientara

October 5, 2021

Canadian Solar panels 2024 expert review

Canadian Solar is one of the 5 biggest manufacturers of solar panels in the world. How do they stack up against the competition? Let’s find out.

Expert review of Maxeon solar panels: are they the best on the market?

Ben Zientara

February 21, 2023

Expert review of Maxeon solar panels: are they the best on the market?

Maxeon solar panels are at the top of the market in efficiency and performance but also come at a very high price. Read this to find out if they’re worth it.