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 residential solar installers need to stop doing immediately

Ben Zientara

June 9, 2021

What residential solar installers need to stop doing immediately

Some solar installers use inflated estimates of utility price growth to make it seem like savings will be higher than they likely will. It’s time to stop.

Best solar monitoring systems for 2021

Ben Zientara

May 21, 2021

Best solar monitoring systems for 2021

Solar monitoring systems help homeowners see whether their solar panels are working and how much electricity they make, tracked over time to compare.

How much electricity prices increase per year in the U.S.

Ben Zientara

May 19, 2021

How much electricity prices increase per year in the U.S.

The average electricity cost increase per year in the U.S. is about 2-3%, but several factors can affect that rate for individual states and utility companies.

Perovskite solar cells: why they’re the future of solar power

Ben Zientara

April 23, 2021

Perovskite solar cells: why they’re the future of solar power

Perovskites are the most promising solar cell technology in the world, and they might be on your roof soon. Here’s how they work & when they’ll be available.

Sharp solar panels: how they compare to other top brands

Ben Zientara

March 19, 2021

Sharp solar panels: how they compare to other top brands

Sharp offers solar panels for home and commercial solar installations. Here’s more about them and how they compare to other top brands.

PERC solar cells - are they the best choice?

Ben Zientara

March 11, 2021

PERC solar cells - are they the best choice?

PERC is a technology that makes solar panels more efficient by adding extra layers to traditional silicon solar cells. Find out if they’re right for you.

Q CELLS solar panels (Hanwha) - 2021 review

Ben Zientara

February 26, 2021

Q CELLS solar panels (Hanwha) - 2021 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.

Big changes on the horizon for California net metering in 2021

Ben Zientara

February 12, 2021

Big changes on the horizon for California net metering in 2021

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

The state of net metering in the United States in 2021

Ben Zientara

January 26, 2021

The state of net metering in the United States in 2021

This annual report ranks the states for friendliness to home solar based on their net metering programs.