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

How SCE customers can save money with solar panels

Ben Zientara

October 18, 2021

How SCE customers can save money with solar panels

Southern California Edison (SCE) has solar programs that can help you save money on energy bills, but they are set to expire soon.

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.

Guide to going solar in PG&E territory

Ben Zientara

September 20, 2021

Guide to going solar in PG&E territory

Our guide to getting solar panels for your home if you’re a Pacific Gas & Electric customer. PG&E solar programs can ensure you save a lot for years to come.

Canadian Solar panels 2021 expert review

Ben Zientara

October 5, 2021

Canadian Solar panels 2021 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.

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.

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.

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, which provides payments to solar system owners, was renewed as part of Illinois' new Climate And Equitable Jobs Act.

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.

How to claim the solar tax credit using IRS Form 5695

Ben Zientara

February 27, 2018

How to claim the solar tax credit using IRS Form 5695

Step-by step instructions for using IRS Form 5695 to claim the federal solar tax credit. For installations completed until 2023, the tax credit is 26% of solar costs.